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House progressives urge Obama to end Afghan war

WASHINGTON – House progressive leaders on Wednesday urged President Barack Obama to swiftly end the war in Afghanistan, capitalizing on a burst of new momentum to conclude the 10-year occupation after the killing of Osama bin Laden. “In the wake of Osama Bin Laden’s death, now is the time to…

South Korean websites targeted in cyber-attack

SEOUL (AFP) – South Korea issued a cyber security alert as the websites of 29 government and other agencies came under attack Friday, the Korea Communications Commission said. A commission spokesman said the DDoS (distributed denial of service) attacks had initially been expected to hit 40 websites but only 29…

Unemployment claims at two-year low

WASHINGTON — New jobless claims in the United States fell to the lowest levels since July 2008 last week, the Labor Department said. Claims for unemployment benefits stood at 388,000 in the week ending December 25, down 34,000 from the previous week and below 400,000 for the first time since…

Britain to pay compensation to Guantanamo detainees

A British minister will address parliament Tuesday following media reports that the government is to pay millions of pounds in compensation to former Guantanamo Bay detainees. The Cabinet Office, which handles government business, said in a statement that the government would update parliament about the case on Tuesday. The settlement…

White House sets new Afghan deadline for 2014

The Obama administration has decided to de-emphasize plans to begin withdrawing US forces from Afghanistan starting July 2011, administration and military officials said Tuesday. The new policy is to be unveiled at a NATO conference in Lisbon next week, where the United States and other NATO countries are set to…

As public sours on war, GOP senator backs Afghan pullout deadline

One influential Republican senator has changed his mind on President Barack Obama’s plan to begin withdrawing troops from Afghanistan in the summer of 2011. After a recent trip to the region, Sen. Lindsey Graham returned to say that he believes some troops could be removed in July 2011. “After this…

Petraeus issues rules to avoid civilian casualties: NATO

General David Petraeus, commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan on Wednesday issued fresh guidelines to nearly 150,000 foreign troops, emphasising the need to avoid civilian casualties. Civilian deaths during Western operations are hugely controversial in the nearly nine-year Afghan war. Reducing the number of such incidents is seen…

Veiled woman boarding plane triggers Canadian probe

MONTREAL — Canada’s Minister of Transportation John Baird ordered a probe after a video posted on YouTube showed two fully veiled women boarding a passenger airplane without showing their faces. Canadian authorities want to ensure that airline personnel are verifying the identity of all of passengers before they board a…

Woman nabbed in US for arms-smuggle bid to Russia

A Russian woman has been arrested in the United States for allegedly attempting to smuggle sophisticated rifles to Moscow in her luggage, Justice Department documents obtained by AFP Tuesday showed. Latvian-born Anna Fermanova, 24, was arrested July 15 but her case was unrelated to that of 10 people charged in…

US claims it will begin pullout from Afghanistan next summer

The Obama administration reaffirmed Sunday that it will begin pulling U.S. troops out of Afghanistan next summer, despite reservations among top generals that absolute deadlines are a mistake. President Barack Obama’s chief of staff said an announced plan to begin bringing forces home in July 2011 still holds. “That’s not…

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