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Pentagon backs expanding Israel’s anti-rocket defenses

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon said Tuesday it will request funding to expand Israel’s “Iron Dome” short-range air defense system, which helped thwart rocket attacks out of Gaza earlier this month. The United States spent $204 million on the Iron Dome system in fiscal year 2011 and the Pentagon did not…

Geithner urges Congress to back IMF, World Bank

WASHINGTON — US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on Tuesday urged a tight-fisted Congress laden with conservatives opposed to global institutions to keep up financial support for the IMF and World Bank. With the International Monetary Fund prodding members for more funding and Washington seeking support for its new nominee to…

U.S. judge OKs wiretap evidence in former Goldman Sachs director trial

NEW YORK — A US judge said he will allow prosecutors to play recordings of wiretapped phone conversations in the insider trading trial of former Goldman Sachs director Rajat Gupta. Judge Jed Rakoff’s ruling, made public in court papers Tuesday, was a blow to Gupta, whose scheduled May 21 criminal…

Global economy shows ‘fragile’ improvement: IMF

Recent improvements in the global economy are “very fragile” and an escalation of the eurozone crisis remains the most immediate concern, IMF deputy managing director Naoyuki Shinohara said Tuesday. While indicators had last year pointed to a big setback for the world there have in recent weeks been modest signs…

Supreme Court takes on the individual mandate of health care law

The US Supreme Court Tuesday took up the most contentious part of President Barack Obama’s landmark health care reform, hearing arguments on whether it is constitutional to require Americans to buy insurance coverage. The second day of an unprecedented three days of arguments into the Affordable Care Act, derided by…

Survival odds better with bypass than angioplasty: study

Patients who undergo bypass surgery for heart disease have better long-term survival rates than those who opt for less invasive procedures like angioplasty, a major US study showed on Tuesday. The study looked at data from 190,000 US patients and found that those who had bypass surgery had a lower…

6.0-magnitude quake hits northeastern Japan: USGS

A 6.0-magnitude quake struck northeastern Japan on Tuesday, the US Geological Survey said, but Japanese authorities noted that no tsunami warning was issued. The quake hit at 8:00 pm (1100 GMT), off Iwate prefecture in the Pacific with the focus estimated some 10 kilometres (6.2 miles) below sea level, the…

France urges TV networks not to air shooting videos

President Nicolas Sarkozy and families of the victims urged television networks Tuesday not to broadcast graphic videos shot by an Islamist extremist killer during his shooting spree in southern France. Qatar-based Al-Jazeera said it was considering broadcasting the videos — which include footage shot by Mohamed Merah during his attacks…

Student jailed for offensive tweets at stricken soccer player

A university student was on Tuesday jailed for 56 days for inciting racial hatred, after posting offensive comments on Twitter about the collapse of Bolton Wanderers footballer Fabrice Muamba. Magistrates in Swansea sent 21-year-old biology undergraduateLiam Stacey to prison after he admitted the charge at a previous hearing last week. He broke down in tears as…

N. Korea snubs Obama to overshadow nuclear summit

North Korea vowed Tuesday to go ahead with a rocket launch, snubbing demands from US President Barack Obama and other world leaders who are in Seoul for a summit on combating nuclear terrorism. The North’s plan to launch a long-range rocket next month has overshadowed the 53-nation summit, which is meant to focus on the…

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