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Obama praises ‘gang of six’ debt ceiling proposal

US President Barack Obama said Tuesday that “some progress” has been made in tough debt talks, as he congratulated a bipartisan group of senators busy hammering out a “balanced approach.” “Some progress was made, in some of the discussions. Some narrowing of the issues,” the president told journalists as Democrats…

Violence, discrimination slow advances by women: UN

Women around the world enjoy more rights than ever before but still face discrimination in the workplace and far too often fall victim to violence at home, a UN report said Wednesday. The document issued by UN Women, the new agency headed by Chile’s former president Michelle Bachelet, hailed the…

Obama to reveal size of Afghan troop drawdown Wednesday

WASHINGTON (AFP) – President Barack Obama will announce the size of his drawdown of US troops from Afghanistan on Wednesday, mapping out an endgame for a 10-year war that has exacted a fearsome human and financial toll. Two administration officials said Obama would reveal the fruit of his deliberations on…

Mullen: U.S. will not leave Afghanistan

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The top US military officer is vowing long-term commitment to Afghanistan, touting progress in the war against the Taliban and its Al-Qaeda allies ahead of an American drawdown. Admiral Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said on the “Charlie Rose” television interview show…

New military head Dempsey urges response to Arab Spring

LONDON (AFP) – The man named by President Barack Obama to be the top US military officer said Wednesday that American forces must adapt to an uncertain world after the Arab Spring and the death of Osama bin Laden. In his first public comments since Obama unveiled him as his…

Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords ‘will return to Congress’

LOS ANGELES — US lawmaker Gabrielle Giffords, who was almost killed in a horrific shooting in January, will eventually return to Congress, a senior Democrat who saw her last week said Thursday. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, the newly-elected chair of the Democratic National Committee, said Giffords — shot in the head at…

Japan reports progress at Fukushima plant

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan saw some success in its race to avert disaster at a tsunami-damaged power plant, though minor radiation leaks underlined perils from the world’s worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl 25 years ago. Three hundred engineers have been battling inside a danger zone to salvage the six-reactor Fukushima…

US Treasury cleared China of currency manipulation

WASHINGTON – The US Treasury cleared China of official accusations of currency manipulation Friday, but said progress toward allowing the yuan to appreciate was “insufficient.” In a report to Congress, the Treasury said that China, eight other countries and the eurozone had not manipulated exchange rates “for purposes of… gaining…

US sends 1,400 more Marines to Afghanistan

WASHINGTON — The United States has ordered an additional 1,400 Marines to southern Afghanistan to preempt a Taliban spring offensive, despite a planned troop drawdown starting in July, the Pentagon said Thursday. Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Wednesday “approved additional Marine forces to southern Afghanistan to exploit and consolidate gains…

Biden promises 2014 Afghanistan withdrawal ‘come hell or high water’

Biden compares Assange to a ‘high-tech terrorist’ Vice President Joe Biden pledged Sunday that all US troops would be out of Afghanistan by 2014, “come hell or high water.” NBC’s David Gregory asked Biden if the US would only begin withdrawing a token amount of troops next summer as part…

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