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Belarus criticizes new U.S. economic sanctions

The United States imposed sanctions last Thursday against four firms owned or controlled by a company linked to President Alexander Lukashenko in response to his government’s crackdown on the political opposition. “I believe that this is an act of aggression against the Belarussian people, a blow to the Belarussian economy, especially sectors which are…

Gaddafi forces fire Scud missile

Rebels fighting to end Gaddafi’s 41-year rule seized two strategic towns near Tripoli over the past two days, cutting the city off from its supply lines and leaving the Libyan leader with a dwindling set of options if he is to stay in power. The Scud missile was fired on Sunday morning…

High pressure with Germany-France talks

PARIS (Reuters) – The leaders of France and Germany meet for high-pressure talks on Tuesday to discuss what further measures they can take to shore up investor confidence in the euro zone following a dramatic market sell-off last week. President Nicolas Sarkozy andGerman Chancellor Angela Merkel are under pressure to show financial markets they are in agreement on doing…

Biden heads to China to woo next Chinese leader

Vice President Joe Biden heads to China in hopes of winning favor with the rising power’s next leader, seeking a smoother relationship after Beijing’s sharp criticism of US fiscal policy. Biden will spend five days in China, an unusually long trip that comes at the invitation of Vice President Xi…

High food prices threaten poorest: World Bank

WASHINGTON — Food prices near record peaks and volatility in commodity markets are driving the lives of the world’s poorest people to the edge of survival, the World Bank warned Monday. Global food prices in July were 33 percent higher than a year ago, while oil prices were up 45…

Man arrested over Sydney schoolgirl ‘collar bomb’

SYDNEY — An Australian man was arrested Tuesday in the Unites States in connection with a fake bomb strapped around the neck of a Sydney schoolgirl, police said. New South Wales state detectives said the 50-year-old was taken into custody in Louisville, Kentucky, in an operation assisted by the United…

Gorbachev says Bush warned him of ’91 coup

The last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, said Monday that former US president George H.W. Bush had warned him about his safety a few weeks before Communist hardliners staged their August 1991 coup. The ex-Soviet president and Nobel Peace Prize winner said on the eve of the failed plot’s 20th anniversary…

U.S. committed to Taiwan: White House

A White House official pledged Monday that the United States will remain committed to Taiwan’s defense after a report said that Washington has rejected the island’s pitch to buy F-16 fighter jets. A day before Vice President Joe Biden heads to China, President Barack Obama’s administration said it stood by…

White House: U.S. would ‘consider’ staying in Iraq past 2011

The White House said Monday it would “consider” any Iraqi request for a US troop presence past 2011 as the war-torn country mourned the bloodiest violence in more than a year. Spokesman Jay Carney told reporters that Washington’s “overall” posture “in terms of drawing down” was unchanged after the countrywide…

Tibetan monk sets self on fire to protest Chinese crackdown

BEIJING (AFP) – A monk has set himself on fire in an area of south-western China with a large Tibetan population that has experienced unrest in recent years, state media reported on Monday. The official Xinhua news agency quoted local authorities as saying the monk set himself on fire in…

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