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U.S. panel presses Japan on child abductions

WASHINGTON — A US congressional panel on Tuesday advanced a bill that would punish nations for not addressing child abductions, putting pressure on Japan which has never returned a child to foreign parents. The House foreign affairs subcommittee on human rights approved a bill that would pave the way to…

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…

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…

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…

Oil prices edge up before U.S. data

World oil prices crept higher on Tuesday, as dealers awaited keyeconomic data in top crude consumer the United States, and eyed the weak dollar and new supply tensions in Sudan. In late morning deals in London, Brent North Sea crude for delivery in May added just two cents to $125.67 a barrel. New York’s…

Obama hits back in Russia ‘hot mike’ row

US President Barack Obama Tuesday hit back at Republicans who pounced after he was overheard telling Russia’s leader he could be more flexible over a missile defence row following November’s election. Republicans said Obama’s comments in Seoul Monday to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev – picked up by a live microphone — suggested that he planned to cave…

Transgender model cut from Canada Miss Universe

With blond locks, long legs and delicate features, Jenna Talackovawould have been a strong competitor in Canada’s Miss Universe pageant but was disqualified, she says, because she used to be male. The 23-year-old transgender model from the western Canadian city of Vancouver has accused the pageant of discrimination, and more than 28,000 supporters have…

Julian Assange runs for Australia Senate as ‘libertarian’

SYDNEY — WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Tuesday vowed to be a “libertarian” and campaign for more openness in government if he is successful in gaining a seat in the Australian Senate. Assange, who is on bail awaiting a British court decision on his appeal against extradition to Sweden on…

U.S. suspends Mali aid after coup

WASHINGTON — The United States said Monday it was suspending tens of millions of dollars in aid to Mali after a coup in the African nation last week, and called for the elected government to be restored. “We have now taken the decision to suspend our assistance to the government…

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