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Haiti quake victims stuck in a time warp

PORT-AU-PRINCE — In the Port-au-Prince suburb of Petionville, some 2,500 people subsist in a crowded public park near open ditches flowing with human waste, a grim scene frozen in time two years after Haiti’s earthquake disaster. Valerie Loiseau, 28, recalled the fateful day — January 12, 2010 — when she…

Pope: Same sex marriage a threat to humanity’s future

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Benedict said Monday that gay marriage was one of several threats to the traditional family that undermined “the future of humanity itself.” The pope made some of his strongest comments against gay marriage in a new year address to the diplomatic corps accredited to the…

7.3 magnitude quake strikes off western Indonesia: USGS

An earthquake with a magnitude of 7.3 struck off the west coast ofIndonesia’s Northern Sumatra on Wednesday, the US Geological Survey reported. A tsunami warning has been issued by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center. The quake, which had a depth of 29 kilometres, hit at 2:37 am (1837 GMT) around 261 miles southwest of Banda Aceh. An official…

West edges closer to confrontation with Iran

Iran’s showdown with the West slid closer to dangerous confrontation on Tuesday as international alarm over a new uranium enrichment plant and Tehran’s death sentence for a “CIA spy” raised the stakes. Both sides were digging in deeper and brandishing military muscle, with Iran’s defiance hardening and the United States…

Merkel to meet IMF chief in euro crisis flurry

German Chancellor Angela Merkel was due to meet IMF chief Christine Lagarde here later Tuesday for talks set to focus on Greece as it races to reduce its debt in a bid to secure more aid. A day after Merkel hosted French President Nicholas Sarkozy for their first tete-a-tete of…

China urges U.S. to be ‘cautious’ over military plan

BEIJING — Beijing has urged the United States to exercise caution as it refocuses its defence policy to counter China’s rising military power and growing assertiveness in Asia. China’s defence ministry said a new US military strategy unveiled by President Barack Obama last week was based on “unfounded” charges, and…

U.S. defends draft amnesty law for Yemen’s Saleh

WASHINGTON — The United States on Monday defended a draft amnesty law for Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, saying a Gulf Arab deal granted him protection from prosecution in order for him to leave power. It said the deal brokered last year by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which Saleh…

Fidel Castro: ‘Robot’ better than Obama or Republicans

HAVANA — Cuban revolutionary icon Fidel Castro said Monday that a “robot” would be better in the White House than President Barack Obama — or any of the Republicans candidates in the 2012 election race. “Is it not obvious that the worst of all is the absence in the White…

Ex-US soldier charged with trying to join Shebab

A former American soldier with specialist intelligence training faces terror charges after allegedly trying to join Somalia’s Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab militants, US justice officials said Monday. Craig Baxam, 24, secretly converted to Islam after perusing an Islamic religious website while serving in South Korea and quit the army days later in July…

Panetta admits Iran not developing nukes

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta let slip on Sunday the big open secret that Washington war hawks don’t want widely known: Iran is not developing nuclear weapons. Appearing on CBS’s Face the Nation on Sunday, Panetta admitted that despite all the rhetoric, Iran is not pursuing the ability to split…

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