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Michelle Obama, Ann Romney: a study in contrasts

One is black, the other white. One was born into wealth, the other came from a working class family in Chicago, and as with the two presidential candidates, their wives — Ann Romney and First Lady Michelle Obama — provide a stark study in contrasts. Both women are viewed as…

Blair, Bush should face trial over Iraq war: Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Archbishop Desmond Tutu called Sunday for former prime minister Tony Blair and former US president George W Bush to face trial in The Hague for their role in the Iraq war. The South African peace icon, writing in The Observer newspaper, accused the pair of lying about weapons of mass…

U.S. special forces suspends training of Afghans

US special forces in Afghanistan have suspended training for about 1,000 Afghan police recruits to carry out checks on existing members, the military said Sunday, after a surge in insider attacks on NATO. There has been a sharp rise in so-called “green-on-blue” attacks recently, in which members of the Afghan…

Turkish bulk carrier spilling oil on South African beaches

Oil from a Turkish bulk carrier that ran aground three years ago off the coast of Cape Town, South Africa’s prime tourist city, was spilling onto two beaches, officials said. Investigations on Saturday showed the vessel had disintegrated into three pieces, Cape Town city disaster management spokesman Wilfred Solomons-Johannes said.…

Two killed in Brazil slum drug sweep

Two people were killed Saturday during a counter-narcotics operation by an elite police in a Brazilian slum, angering residents who blocked a main road into the city. The mayor’s central operations office in Rio de Janeiro reported that Brasil Avenue, which runs from the international airport downtown, was blocked for…

Oscar-winning songwriter Hal David dead at 91

Hal David, an Oscar- and Grammy-winning lyricist who produced dozens of hit songs with composer Burt Bacharach, died in Los Angeles. He was 91. David died of complications from a stroke, according to Jim Steinblatt, spokesman for the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers that the songwriter once led.…

Egypt TV head denies inciting president’s murder

A television channel chief and presenter denied calling for the murder of President Mohamed Morsi when his trial on incitement charges opened in the Egyptian capital on Saturday. “I merely criticized President Morsi,” Tawfiq Okasha told judges at the court appearance, an AFP journalist reported. “This is a political trial.…

Obama, Romney trade job barbs in swing states

President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney derided each other’s record on job creation Saturday as they made a fresh push through key battleground states. Gearing up for next week’s Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, Obama rallied supporters in Iowa, a Midwestern state that helped launch…

Woman beats the odds to make Saudi Arabia’s first film

The female director of Saudi Arabia’s first feature film, showing at the Venice film festival, has explained how she beat the odds to produce the heartwarming tale of a girl’s quest to own a bicycle. In Haifaa Al Mansour’s landmark film “Wadjda,” 10-year-old Waad Mohammed plays a girl who is…

Dos Santos poised for victory with big lead in Angola vote

President Jose Eduardo dos Santos was poised to extend his 33-year rule Saturday as his party took a hefty lead in the election count, despite frustrations among the poor at being left out of Angola’s oil boom. With 68 percent of the vote counted, his People’s Movement for the Liberation…

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