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Venezuela’s Chavez insists he is cancer-free

CARACAS — Firebrand Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez insisted that he is “totally” cancer-free and ready to take on what promises to be a tough re-election battle without “physical restrictions.” “Free, totally free,” he replied when asked by a reporter if he had beaten the disease, as he gears up for…

NSA chief backs cybersecurity law

WASHINGTON — The head of the powerful National Security Agency, General Keith Alexander, said the US must adopt a law to protect the country from cyberattacks while insisting that it would respect privacy. Faced with ever-increasing Internet traffic and the more sophisticated nature of cyberattacks, Alexander said passing such legislation…

U.S. offers $1 million reward over killing of border agent Brian Terry

LOS ANGELES — US authorities offered a $1 million reward Monday for information about four suspects wanted over the killing of a border agent in December 2010. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) published the names as an indictment was unsealed charging five suspects with offenses including first degree murder…

Sitting less may extend American lives: study

PARIS — American adults may boost their life expectancy by two years by sitting for fewer than three hours a day, researchers said Tuesday, while admitting this was a tough task. Reducing television viewing to under two hours a day could similarly add 1.4 years, the US team said in…

DEA agent fatally shoots drug suspect in Honduras

TEGUCIGALPA — A US agent working with Honduran police fatally shot a Brazilian national last week during the seizure of nearly 1,000 kilos (2,200 pounds) of cocaine, US officials said Monday. Two agents from the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) were involved in the July 3 operation in eastern Honduras,…

U.S. and Mexican relations strain over death involving border patrol

The Mexican government and the FBI are at odds over who was responsible for a death that followed a pair of shootings involving US border patrol agents. Mexican authorities have claimed the death was caused by the border patrol, which it accused of using an unnecessary level of force in…

Obama frames tax breaks as key election issue

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama drew sharp election battle lines between himself and rival Republicans on Monday by pressing Congress to maintain tax breaks for most US families but end them for the wealthy. “We don’t need more top-down economics. We have tried that theory. We have seen what happens,”…

PepsiCo takes aim at the U.S. yogurt market

NEW YORK — Global drinks and snacks giant PepsiCo said Monday it will enter the fast-growing US yogurt market this month, teaming up with a German dairy company to introduce premium European products. PepsiCo, the US maker of Pepsi-Cola, Frito-Lay chips and Quaker Oaks granola bars, announced a joint venture…

Romney out-raises Obama by $35 million in June

WASHINGTON — Republican Mitt Romney raked in $106 million in June, his team announced Monday, trouncing President Barack Obama by $35 million and asserting a second straight month of campaign fundraising dominance. Romney and the Republican National Committee now have $160 million in cash on hand, the campaign said, as…

Iran works to foil insurance embargo on oil

TEHRAN — Iran has come up with several methods to foil the European insurance embargo on ships loaded with its crude, a sanction which may harm its vital exports as much as the EU oil embargo itself. Strengthening its sanctions aimed at pressuring Tehran to renounce a controversial nuclear programme,…

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