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‘U.S. Peace Index’ finds most violence in conservative southern states

Southern states are more violent than any region, according to a recently released crime index created with U.S. government statistics. The Institute for Economics and Peace said the index was their first U.S. Peace Index, and pulled from data compiled by compiled by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the FBI,…

Pentagon chief holds talks with Saudi king

RIYADH — US Secretary of Defence Robert Gates was holding talks in Riyadh on Wednesday with Saudi King Abdullah, with both sides concerned by Iranian intentions in the region and spiralling unrest in Yemen. “Iran will be a major focus of their conversations, both in terms of the regional threat…

Clinton urges backing for women in Arab world

WASHINGTON – US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Monday hailed a draft Senate resolution backing the rights of women in the Arab world as the region is swept by political upheavals. “Women must be included in every aspect of political and institutional reform, because we know that no government…

Clashes in Russia’s mostly Muslim Caucasus kill 20

MOSCOW (Reuters) – At least 17 rebels and three law enforcement officers were killed on Monday in Russia’s mainly Muslim North Caucasus region, Russian media reported, citing the National Anti-Terror Committee. The clashes between insurgents and security forces enforcement took place in Ingushetia, a small province next to Chechnya, the site of two…

Gates first U.S. defense chief to visit Palestinians

RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters) – Robert Gates on Friday became the first U.S. Defense Secretary to visit the West Bank, meeting Palestinian leaders keenly aware of every little nod to their hopes of achieving statehood. Children in Ramallah stared as the long motorcade of U.S. cars wound through the streets…

Israel’s Barak meets with US Defense Secretary

TEL AVIV – Popular uprisings sweeping through Arab states will bring positive change in the “long run,” Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak said on Thursday, despite his country’s fears of instability. Accustomed to working with entrenched regimes for decades, Israel has looked on with dismay as mass protests toppled the…

Obama visits violence-plagued El Salvador

SAN SALVADOR – President Barack Obama arrived in El Salvador Tuesday for the final leg of a Latin America tour he hopes will turn the page on troubled ties in the past and build a new era of partnership. The three-nation trip — which has been overshadowed by the Arab…

Pakistan demands US apology for deadly drone strike

ISLAMABAD (AFP) – Pakistan has strongly condemned a drone strike against a Taliban bastion in the northwest tribal region that killed 35 people and demanded an apology and explanation from United States. Civilians and police were among those killed Thursday when US missiles ploughed into a militant training compound in…

Knee-high fence to halt rampaging Australian toads

PERTH, Australia – Australia’s popular Kimberley wilderness region has resorted to a long knee-high fence to keep out the poisonous cane toad, which is rapidly overrunning the tourist attraction. A two-kilometre (1.25 mile) barrier will be erected at Emma Gorge, made from cloth to allow other animals to move through…

Desperation, panic grip Japan after quake, nuclear emergency

FUKUSHIMA, Japan (Reuters) – Survivors of Japan’s worst recorded earthquake and a tsunami huddled in shelters and hoarded supplies Saturday as rescue workers searched the rubble of a coastline choked by cars, boats and leveled homes. Aerial footage showed buildings and trains strewn like children’s toys after a deluge of…

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