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Obama, Clinton ‘prejudiced’ WikiLeaks suspect’s case

FORT MEADE, Maryland — President Barack Obama’s comments about the soldier accused of the biggest intelligence leak in US history may have damaged the prospects of a fair trial, a defense lawyer argued Tuesday. Other leading members of the government, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the former head…

Physical inactivity kills 5 million a year: report

PARIS — A third of the world’s adults are physically inactive, and the couch potato lifestyle kills about five million people every year, experts said in the medical journal The Lancet on Wednesday. “Roughly three of every 10 individuals aged 15 years or older — about 1.5 billion people —…

Judge refuses to recuse himself from USS Cole case

The judge refused to recuse himself Tuesday from the trial of the alleged Al-Qaeda operative accused of masterminding the 2000 suicide attack on the USS Cole. Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri faces the death penalty over the bombing of the US Navy destroyer off Yemen in October 2000 that killed 17 sailors…

Obama names new Afghan and Pakistan envoys

President Barack Obama on Tuesday named veteran diplomats to be the US ambassadors to Afghanistan and Pakistan, tasking them with shaping highly sensitive relationships after US troops pull out. Two month after the incumbents resigned, Obama named Richard Olson, a former ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, to serve in…

Wall Street rises after Bernanke’s gloomy outlook

NEW YORK — US stocks closed higher Tuesday after Federal Reserve chief Ben Bernanke gave a gloomy assessment of the economy to Congress and said the Fed would act if the situation gets worse. Trade was volatile as investors appeared to shrug off Bernanke’s downbeat testimony to Senate lawmakers and…

Tetra Pak heir charged after wife’s death: police

LONDON — Billionaire Hans Kristian Rausing, the heir to the Tetra Pak fortune, was on Tuesday charged with preventing the lawful and decent burial of his US-born wife Eva, British police said. Police discovered the body of Eva Rausing at the couple’s home in London’s upscale Belgravia district last week…

Nazi war criminal revelation stokes Hungary fears

BUDAPEST — News that the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s most-wanted Nazi war criminal is living freely in Hungary is the latest incident to spark fears that the country is veering alarmingly to the right. In particular, there are concerns that anti-Semitism, largely dormant under Hungary’s communist era that ended two decades…

EU delivers harsh verdict on Romania’s respect for democracy

BRUSSELS — The EU executive delivered a harsh verdict on Romania’s respect for democratic values and threatened tighter policing to ensure respect for the rule of law, in a report seen by AFP on Tuesday. “A well functioning, independent judicial system, and respect for democratic institutions are indispensable for mutual…

New Dell fund will invest in data storage technology

SAN FRANCISCO — The chief of US computer maker Dell on Tuesday announced the launch of a $60 million fund focused on investing in technology for storing the massive amounts of data being collected by businesses. “We really believe in this explosion of data driven a lot by smartphones and…

HSBC compliance chief resigns at Senate hearing over ‘horrific’ actions

Executives with Europe’s biggest bank, HSBC, were subjected to a humiliating onslaught from US senators on Tuesday over revelations that staff at its global subsidiaries laundered billions of dollars for drug cartels, terrorists and pariah states. Lawmakers hammered the British-based bank over the scandal, demanding to know how and why…

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