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Jon Huntsman close to announcing presidential bid

WASHINGTON — Ex-US ambassador to China Jon Huntsman said on Sunday he is close to throwing his hat in the ring for the Republican presidential nomination, distancing himself from former boss Barack Obama. “We’re about a week and a half out,” he told CNN’s State of the Union, adding “we’re…

GOP 2012 candidate Jon Hunstman to skip Iowa caucus

Jon Huntsman, the former ambassador to China under President Barack Obama who resigned his post to present himself as a Republican presidential candidate, has announced that he will likely not participate in the lead-off caucuses in Iowa. Huntsman, who served as the governor of Utah from 2005 until he was…

Bachmann claims NATO killed 30,000 civilians in Libya

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) got her facts confused Sunday while objecting to President Barack Obama’s decision to participate in the military action against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. The Minnesota congresswoman told Fox News’ Chris Wallace that NATO airstrikes had killed up to 30,000 civilians in the country. “People should be…

French forces rescue Japanese ambassador to Ivory Coast during firefight

ABIDJAN (AFP) – Heavy weapons fire erupted in Ivory Coast’s main city Abidjan on Thursday after Japan’s ambassador was rescued overnight from fierce battles involving fighters for would-be president Alassane Ouattara. Gunfire was heard around the presidential palace and the residence of strongman Laurent Gbagbo, who refuses to cede power…

Abstinence foundation paid Bristol Palin $262K, spent little on prevention programs

Tax documents reveal that an anti-teen pregnancy foundation paid Bristol Palin seven times what it spent on actual teen pregnancy prevention programs. Bristol Palin, the 20-year-old daughter of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, was appointed as a teen ambassador for the Candie’s Foundation in 2009. Actresses Jenny McCarthy and Hayden…

Ecuador demands U.S. envoy leave over WikiLeaks

QUITO (Reuters) – Ecuador said on Tuesday it had declared the U.S. ambassador to the country “persona non grata,” demanding the envoy leave over U.S. diplomatic cables released by Wikileaks reporting alleged police corruption. Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino told reporters he had not received a satisfactory explanation from U.S. ambassador…

Wikileaks controversy forces US ambassador to Mexico to resign

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The US ambassador to Mexico has resigned, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced, after Mexican President Felipe Calderon said diplomatic cables written by the envoy damaged bilateral ties. Ambassador Carlos Pascual “has relayed his decision to return to Washington based upon his personal desire to ensure the…

Clinton wades into Arab revolutions on overseas tour

WASHINGTON (AFP) – Secretary of State Hillary Clinton leaves Sunday for an overseas tour to find ways to help the Libyan opposition oust a third Arab leader and maintain the momentum of democracy revolutions. The chief US diplomat is due first in Paris for face-to-face talks with Libya’s opposition before…

US ambassador talks to Egypt’s ElBaradei

WASHINGTON – The US ambassador to Egypt spoke to the country’s top dissident Mohamed ElBaradei Tuesday as mass protests built in Cairo, in another apparent sign Washington is looking to the post-Mubarak era. Ambassador Margaret Scobey spoke to the former globe-trotting diplomat for the first time since he flew back…

US sends first ambassador to Syria since 2005 rift

DAMASCUS – Robert Ford, the first US ambassador to Syria since 2005, arrived Sunday in Damascus on a challenging mission to re-engage the two countries which disagree on a raft of important issues. “United States Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford arrived in Damascus today in the afternoon,” the embassy said…

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