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Julian Assange rejects police request to surrender for breaking bail terms

Julian Assange, the founder of the WikiLeaks website, has said that he will ignore a request by the police to give himself up because he fears that the US has secret plans to extradite him to Washington. He said he had been advised that he was within his rights to…

Health care win boosts Obama legacy, fires up conservatives

WASHINGTON — The US Supreme Court enshrined Barack Obama’s legacy as a transformative president Thursday, but its fateful health care decision unleashed an explosive new row in an already volatile election. A divided conservative majority court narrowly upheld the bulk of Obama’s defining political act, a historic law that brought…

Ex-NASA astronauts aim to launch asteroid tracker

WASHINGTON — A private company made up of former NASA astronauts and US scientists said Thursday it is planning to build and launch its own space telescope to track dangerous asteroids and protect the Earth. The project by the B612 Foundation aims to launch the “first privately funded deep space…

U.S. Air Force faces growing sex scandal

WASHINGTON — The US Air Force said Thursday at least 31 female cadets were victims of alleged sexual assault by military instructors in a widening scandal at the service’s training command. General Edward Rice, commander of Air Education and Training Command, said authorities are investigating 12 male training instructors for…

Inside the complex health care case

WASHINGTON — In deciding to uphold the constitutionality of President Barack Obama’s health care reforms, the US Supreme Court had to decide on four issues: 1. Is the individual mandate a “tax” or a “penalty”? At the heart of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, dubbed “Obamacare” by critics,…

Oldest known pottery is found in China

WASHINGTON — Bits of the oldest known pottery, some 2,000 years older than previously found pieces, have been uncovered in China, researchers said in the US journal Science on Thursday. The fragments were believed to belong to a community of roving hunter-gatherers some 20,000 years ago and apparent scorch marks…

U.S. exempts China, Singapore from Iran sanctions

WASHINGTON — The United States on Thursday exempted China and Singapore from sanctions over purchases of oil from Iran hours before a deadline, saying that major economies were united in pressuring Tehran. The United States, however, did not grant exemptions to smaller-scale importers such as Pakistan and Afghanistan, meaning that…

Suit seeks Chevron assets in Brazil over Ecuador claims

QUITO — Plaintiffs have filed suit in Brazil to seize Chevron assets to pay off $18 billion in damages awarded by an Ecuadoran court for damage to the Amazon rain forest, the parties said Thursday. The claim was filed by Brazilian lawyer Sergio Bermudes on behalf of Ecuadoran Indians in…

Obama thrown by false reports on health decision

WASHINGTON — For a few puzzling moments Thursday, US President Barack Obama believed inaccurate media reports that his proudest political achievement — health care reform — had been shot down. Obama was standing in the outer Oval Office watching a split screen of four cable news channels when reports flashed…

Libya seeks release of detainees in Iraq

TRIPOLI — A Libyan delegation is in Baghdad to negotiate the release of countrymen detained in Iraqi prisons, senior officials said on Thursday, adding that eight prisoners have been pardoned. “We will receive some of the (Libyan) prisoners that are in Iraq,” Justice Minister Hmeida Ashur told AFP. “The order…

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