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Two Tibetans die in latest self-immolations: report

BEIJING — Two Tibetan men died in separate self-immolations on Monday, China’s state media said, the eighth and ninth reported to have set themselves on fire in the last week as the ruling Communists gather for a leadership transition. Both incidents took place in Dowa township in Tongren, a county…

Cray supercomputer named world’s fastest

WASHINGTON — A Cray supercomputer at the US government’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory was named Monday the world’s fastest, overtaking an IBM supercomputer at another American research center. The ranking released by researchers from the United States and Germany found that Titan, a Cray XK7 system installed at Oak Ridge…

Susan Rice happy to stay at UN for Obama

UNITED NATIONS — Susan Rice, the top US diplomat at the center of speculation about a top job in the new Obama administration, said Monday she is happy to remain the US ambassador to the United Nations. US media reports have made Rice a strong contender to become US secretary…

U.S. vows to attack ‘flaws’ in UN Human Rights Council

UNITED NATIONS — The United States on Monday won a new term on the UN Human Rights Council and vowed to renew its campaign to put right “flaws” in the controversial body. The United States was one of 18 countries to win places on the 47-member council from January 1.…

Latin American leaders urge review of U.S. pro-marijuana referenda

MEXICO CITY — The leaders of Mexico and three Central American nations called Monday for a review of anti-drug policies after two US states voted to legalize marijuana. The presidents of Mexico, Honduras, Costa Rica and Belize called on the United Nations to hold a special session by 2015 to…

U.S. stocks flat amid ‘fiscal cliff’ fears

NEW YORK — US stocks closed flat Monday as persistent fears about the looming “fiscal cliff” of spending cuts and tax hikes at year-end overshadowed encouraging China trade data. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.23 point (0.00 percent) at 12,815.16. The broad-market S&P 500 edged up a bare 0.15…

Tower of London changes locks after intruder steals two sets of keys

Some of the locks at the Tower of London — home to Queen Elizabeth II’s crown jewels — have had to be changed after two sets of keys were stolen from the grounds, red-faced officials said on Monday. Police have launched an investigation after an intruder gained access to the…

Red Cross to launch website to reunite families torn apart by crisis

GENEVA — The Red Cross is preparing to launch a new website to help reunite families ripped apart by conflicts and natural disasters all around the world, it said Monday. “War, disaster and migration separate thousands of family members every year,” the International Committee of the Red Cross said in…

Nobel laureate: Stem cell research will still draw debate despite embryo workaround

Newly-crowned Nobel laureate Shinya Yamanaka on Monday cautioned that stem cells could still spur sharp debate, despite his achievement in creating cells that are not derived from embryos. The Japanese scientist was interviewed on a trip to Paris after co-winning the 2012 Nobel Prize for Medicine last month alongside Britain’s…

Armstrong steps down from Livestrong board

Disgraced cycling star Lance Armstrong has stepped down from the board of the cancer-fighting Livestrong charity he founded 15 years ago in the wake of a huge doping scandal. Armstrong voluntarily resigned from the board on November 4, nearly three weeks after he stepped down as chairman, his replacement said…

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