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U.S. designates Afghanistan as major ally: Clinton

KABUL (AFP) – The United States has designated Afghanistan a major non-NATO ally, giving the war-torn country special privileges as the US prepares to pull its troops out in 2014, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Saturday. Clinton announced the move, which provides a long-term framework for security and…

Obama calls for rebuilding U.S. economy

US President Barack Obama said Saturday the United States needed to do more than just reclaim jobs lost to the recession, as he called for rebuilding the economy to make it secure for future generations. “Our mission isn’t just to put people back to work – it’s to rebuild an…

Cafe owner dies hours after serving Obama breakfast

AKRON, Ohio — An Ohio woman collapsed and died hours after serving US President Barack Obama breakfast at her restaurant on Friday. Josephine Ann Harris, the 70-year-old owner of the “Ann’s Place” diner in Akron, complained of fatigue and a tingling feeling after Obama left the premises and was rushed…

Dollar surges and Euro sinks after U.S. jobs data announcement

The dollar surged and the euro sank again Friday after US labor data for June showed the economy was not pumping out the jobs needed to bring down the high unemployment rate. The data told investors that the United States was as stuck in low-growth mode as the rest of…

Church of England set to vote on women bishops

The Church of England is set to take a final vote on Monday on whether to ordain women bishops, after years of wrangling between traditionalists and liberals. The General Synod, the governing body of the worldwide Anglican Communion’s mother church, voted Friday to stage a further discussion and a vote…

Rolling Stones keep giving satisfaction, 50 years on

Most London shoppers rush by 165 Oxford Street without a second glance — but it was there 50 years ago that The Rolling Stones played their first gig and changed the landscape of pop music forever. Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Brian Jones played The Marquee Club on July 12,…

Twitter beefs up search function

Twitter said Friday it was upgrading its search functions to include “autocomplete” and spelling correction features. The new Twitter search will also anticipate when users are looking for posts by people they follow, and offer related suggestions. The move by the popular social media group is similar to search functions…

Four injured in first Pamplona bull run

At least four people were injured Saturday, including a man who was gored in the leg, during the first bull run of Pamplona’s San Fermin festival in northern Spain, officials said. Three people suffered bruises or cuts to their legs or back in spills, and all four injured runners were…

Guyana suspends gold, diamond mining permits over pollution fears

GEORGETOWN — The South American country of Guyana said it had suspended the granting of new permits to mine for gold and diamonds in rivers because of concerns over widespread pollution. The move comes as prices for the yellow metal have soared on global markets. The ministry for natural resources…

China to create Tibetan culture theme park just outside Lhasa

Chinese officials have announced plans to build a £3bn Tibetan culture theme park outside Lhasa in three to five years. Authorities see developing tourism as crucial to the economic future of Tibet and have set a goal of attracting 15 million tourists a year by 2015, generating up to 18bn…

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