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White House in the dark over arms supplies to Israel: report

Israel secured supplies of ammunition from the Pentagon last month without the approval of the White House or the State Department, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday. Since officials there were caught off guard as they tried to restrain Israel’s campaign in Gaza, the administration of President Barack Obama has…

Pope Francis kicks off South Korea visit as North fires rockets

Pope Francis called for an end to “displays of force” on the divided Korean peninsula Thursday, as North Korea marked his arrival in Seoul for a five-day visit by firing short-range rockets into the sea. In a speech to South Korean President Park Geun-Hye and top officials, Francis acknowledged the…

Kids obsessed with Call of Duty? Cure them with a trip to a real war zone

Think of it as the antithesis of a trip to Disneyland – a powerful puncturing of fantasy, and certainly not a usual family holiday. Earlier this year, Swedish journalist Carl-Magnus Helgegren took his two sons to Israeli-occupied territories. Helgegren had been sitting around the table with Leo, 10, and Frank, 11, last year,…

Police test mental health of US teen accused of killing mom in Bali, stuffing body in suitcase

Indonesian police on Thursday ran psychiatric tests on the teenage daughter of an American woman found dead inside a suitcase on the resort island of Bali. Police arrested the daughter, Heather Mack, 19, and her boyfriend, Tommy Schaefer, 21, on Wednesday after a taxi driver found a battered body in…

Russia bans Ukrainian alcohol importation in escalating trade war

Moscow (AFP) – Russia fired its latest salvo in an escalating trade war with the West and Kiev on Wednesday by banning all Ukrainian alcohol imports over alleged violations of safety rules. The Rospotrebnadzor consumer protection agency said that various brands of Ukrainian beer, wine and spirits “failed to meet…

Fearing genocide against Christians, Vatican approves Iraq air strikes despite peace policy

Fearing a genocide of Christians, the Vatican has given its approval to US military air strikes in Iraq — a rare exception to its policy of peaceful conflict resolution. The Holy See’s ambassador to the United Nations, Silvano Tomasi, this weekend supported US air strikes aimed at halting the advance…

‘Prince of Pot’ Marc Emery back in Canada after four years in US prison

Canada’s self-proclaimed “Prince of Pot” Marc Emery returned home Tuesday, vowing “political revenge” after spending more than four years in a US prison for selling marijuana seeds by mail across the border. The ardent advocate of legalizing marijuana was met by his wife, Jodie, and supporters in Windsor, Ontario before…

Non-Jewish spouses of Israeli gays can get nationality

Non-Jewish spouses of Israeli homosexuals can now obtain citizenship under an interior ministry decision applicable since Tuesday. “The same-sex partner of a person eligible for the law of return, and who does not live in Israel, may also become Israeli,” a ministry statement said, adding that the ruling applies only…

Time running out for tens of thousands of Iraqis besieged by Islamic State jihadists

With time running out for thousands of Iraqis trapped by jihadists, caretaker premier Nuri al-Maliki Wednesday defied international pressure to step aside to foster reconciliation and bolster the fight against militants. The United States has carried out air strikes against the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group in the area of…

Massive Alexander-era tomb unearthed in Greece — but who’s buried in it?

Archaeologists have unearthed a funeral mound dating from the time of Alexander the Great and believed to be the largest ever discovered in Greece, but are stumped about who was buried in it. Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on Tuesday described the find as “unique” after he visited the site, which…

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