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John Kerry to sign UN Arms Trade Treaty this week

US Secretary of State John Kerry will this week sign the first global treaty to regulate the $80 billion annual trade in conventional arms, seeking to stem the flow of weapons used in war crimes and genocide. A source familiar with the diplomatic maneuvers confirmed to AFP that Kerry would…

U.S. murder rate higher than nearly all other developed countries: FBI data

Violent crime in the United States remained close to two-decade lows last year but the murder rate was higher than in virtually all other developed countries, official figures showed Monday. The Federal Bureau of Investigation said that violent crime inched up 0.7 percent in 2012 from the previous year, while…

France backs action on Syria as U.S. seeks coalition, says strike possible by Wednesday

French President Francois Hollande gave a boost Friday to US hopes of forging an international coalition for possible strikes against Syria after British lawmakers rejected any involvement in military action. The White House had signalled Thursday that President Barack Obama, guided by the “best interests” of the United States, was…

U.S. to reopen all but one Middle Eastern embassy on Sunday

The United States said Friday it would reopen all of the embassies it shut this week except the one in Yemen, after re-assessing the Al-Qaeda threat. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Washington would also keep its consulate in the Pakistani city of Lahore closed, after pulling out staff on…

Assange: Manning verdict ‘a collapse of the rule of law’

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Thursday blasted the United States for finding Army Private First Class Bradley Manning guilty of leaking thousands of diplomatic cables. In an interview with Vice, Assange said he was “not surprised” by the verdict and that “we succeeded” by overcoming the more serious charges, which…

Senate committee votes unanimously to sanction any country that takes Snowden

By Patricia Zengerle WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A U.S. Senate panel voted unanimously on Thursday to seek trade or other sanctions against Russia or any other country that offers asylum to former spy agency contractor Edward Snowden, who has been holed up for weeks at a Moscow airport. The 30-member Senate…

Is it illegal for the U.S. to block Edward Snowden’s asylum claim?

Is the United States illegally trying to block Edward Snowden’s right to seek asylum in other nations? That’s what the National Security Agency leaker asserts. In a meeting Friday at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport, he told representatives of human…  …

U.S. to deliver F-16 fighters to Egypt despite recent upheaval

The United States is pressing ahead with plans to deliver four F-16 fighters to Egypt despite a military coup against President Mohammed Morsi, a US official said Thursday. “It’s still the status quo,” the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told AFP. There was no decision to halt the…

Latin America demands answers from U.S. on spying

From its neighbor Mexico down to Argentina, Latin American nations are demanding answers from the United States after a report of vast US spying on close allies and leftist critics alike. Governments voiced a mix of outrage and concern after the Brazilian daily O Globo, citing documents leaked by fugitive…

U.S. lags behind other wealthy nations in health and life expectancy

The United States spends more per capita on health care than any place in the world but lags behind other wealthy nations in health and life expectancy, according to research published on Wednesday. Japan still leads the world in terms of living the longest, with average life expectancy at 82.6…

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