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DR Congo rape victims to get $3.5 million from the European Union

KINSHASA — The European Union will provide 2.5 million euros ($3.5 million) to help care for rape victims in the Democratic Republic of Congo under an agreement signed Monday. The cash will go towards “appropriate medical care” for victims of sexual attacks in the east of the country, the EU…

Washington Mutual shareholders win $208 million

WASHINGTON (AFP) – Former Washington Mutual executives have agreed to pay $208.5 million to settle a lawsuit launched by a group of investors after the bank’s failure in 2008, the largest ever of its kind. The bank leaders, among them former Washington Mutual chairman Kerry Killinger, ex-chief operating officer Stephen…

Obama calls for ceasefire in Sudan

WASHINGTON (AFP) – President Barack Obama is calling on Sudan’s warring factions to end the bloody violence threatening a peace agreement as the south gears up for independence due in three weeks. “There is no military solution,” Obama said in an audio message recorded late Tuesday for the publicly-funded VOA…

Palestine and Hamas leaders poised to seal unity deal

CAIRO (AFP) – Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas and Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal were set to bury the hatchet at a Cairo ceremony Wednesday that puts the seal on nearly four years of division but has angered Israel. UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East peace process Robert Serry was to…

Former secy of state Warren Christopher dies

LOS ANGELES — Former secretary of state Warren Christopher, a “diplomat’s diplomat” who helped negotiate peace in the former Yugoslavia and advanced the Middle East peace process, has died at the age of 85, officials said. He had reportedly been suffering from kidney and bladder cancer. A lawyer by training,…

South Korea stays on guard despite North Korea concessions

A wary South Korea stayed on guard against North Korea Tuesday, with jet fighters and warships deployed, a day after the communist state backed off from threats of attack over a live-fire exercise. Washington and Seoul expressed scepticism at another reported concession by Pyongyang — an agreement to reopen its…

South Korea stages live-fire artillery drill, despite North’s threats

YEONPYEONG, South Korea (Reuters) – South Korea held live firing drills in a disputed area on Monday despite threats of war from Pyongyang after an emergency U.N. Security Council meeting failed to agree on how to defuse the crisis. The drill, delayed from the weekend by bad weather, lasted almost…

Veteran diplomat Richard Holbrooke dies

WASHINGTON — Veteran US diplomat Richard Holbrooke, 69, the US special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, has died after undergoing surgery after suffering a torn aorta, US media reported. President Barack Obama had told members of Holbrooke’s family at a diplomatic holiday reception at the State Department just hours earlier:…

Merck probed for bribes to foreign governments

Two federal agencies are probing drugmaker Merck & Co. for possibly violating anti-bribery laws in multiple foreign countries. Merck, the world’s second-biggest drugmaker by revenue, has received inquiry letters from both the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company said in a regulatory filing. The letters…

Anger in Costa Rica over deal to ‘invite’ 46 US warships

Costa Ricans suspect ‘ulterior motive’ in permitting large numbers of US troops Opposition leaders in Costa Rica are up in arms over an agreement between the country and the United States that reportedly allows 46 US warships and 7,000 US Marines to enter the country as part of an anti-drug…

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