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US combat mission in Iraq to end on Aug 31: Obama

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The United States will end its combat mission in Iraq as scheduled on August 31 despite a recent flare-up in violence, President Barack Obama said in a speech prepared for delivery Monday. “Shortly after taking office, I announced our new strategy for Iraq and for a transition…

Obama relieves McChrystal of command, promotes Petraeus

President Barack Obama has relieved Gen. Stanley McChrystal, commander of the US military’s forces in Afghanistan, of command. In his speech to the press at 1:45 PM ET, Obama emphasized that his decision came in part because he believes it it is imperative that the US military understands it is…

Chavez uses state funds to hire 200 staffers to manage Twitter account

CARACAS (AFP) – Just days after his new Twitter account became a must-read in Venezuela, President Hugo Chavez said he was setting up a special office with 200 staff and public funds to handle requests supporters Tweet him. “I’ve created my own Chavezcandanga mission to answer (the messages) and we’re…

Odierno: Only ‘catastrophic’ event could stop Iraq withdrawal

Only a “catastrophic event” could prevent combat troops from coming home from Iraq, according to the top US general in Iraq. “But we don’t see a catastrophic event on the horizon right now,” General Ray Odierno told MSNBC’s Norah O’Donnell Monday. “The plan is we will continue to turn control…

Thousands feared dead in devastating Haiti quake

Bodies littered the streets of Haiti’s devastated capital on Wednesday after a powerful earthquake that may have killed thousands from shanty towns to luxury hotels and even the presidential palace. With victims pinned under debris and powerful aftershocks rattling the country, looting broke out soon after the 7.0 magnitude quake…

Magnitude 7.0 quake strikes ‘catastrophe of major proportions’ in Haiti

A huge quake measuring 7.0 rocked the impoverished Caribbean nation of Haiti Tuesday toppling buildings and causing widespread damage and panic, officials and AFP witnesses said. “I think it’s really a catastrophe of major proportions,” Haiti’s ambassador to the United States, Raymond Alcide Joseph, told CNN television. A local doctor…

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