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US Supreme Court Eases Campaign Finance Laws

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Supreme Court Wednesday issued an important ruling that further loosens restrictions on campaign contribution limits, possibly opening the way for even greater influence by wealthy donors.
By a vote of 5-4, the conservative majority on the Supreme Court struck down overall limits on campaign contributions for individual donors who wish to support […]

South Korean Ferry Sinks, Hundreds Missing

SEOUL - South Korean officials say three people are dead and at least 290 missing after a ferry sank off the country’s southern coast Wednesday.
The boat was carrying more than 459 people, mostly students, to the resort island of Jeju when it sank in what appeared to be calm conditions.
Many are feared to be trapped […]

Missouri Gunman Faces Hate Crime Charges

WASHINGTON - Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead.  A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. He was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
The attacks at a Jewish community […]

US Olympic Legend Michael Phelps To Make Comeback

WASHINGTON - The most decorated Olympic athlete of all time, Michael Phelps is coming out of retirement.
USA Swimming announced Phelps, who retired from the sport after taking six medals at the 2012 London Olympics, will make his competitive comeback next week at a meet in the western U.S. state of Arizona.
Phelps, who has 22-time Olympic […]

Deadly Virus Plagues Saudi Arabia

WASHINGTON  - Saudi Arabia says a deadly virus is rippling through the kingdom as additional cases were reported over the weekend in the United Arab Emirates and Yemen.
Confirmed cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS, have been seen at two major hospitals in the port city of Jeddah.
Saudi health authorities are embarking on a […]

Israel Holds Talks With Arab States

JERUSALEM - Israel is holding secret talks with some Arab States that do not recognize it, looking to establish diplomatic ties based on a common fear of Iran, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said on Monday.
Among the countries he was in contact with were Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, Lieberman told newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth - the […]

US Condemns Russia For Provocative Behavior

WASHINGTON - The Pentagon says a Russian SU-24 fighter aircraft made 12 low-altitude, close-range passes near the USS Donald Cook in the Black Sea over the weekend.
U.S. defense officials say the Russian jet had no missiles and did not respond to attempts to communicate during the passes which lasted 90 minutes.
A U.S. military official said […]

7.6 Earthquake Strikes Near Solomon Islands

WASHINGTON - A powerful magnitude 7.6 earthquake struck near the Solomon Islands on Sunday morning, triggering a tsunami warning that was later canceled, according to U.S. government agencies, and there were no immediate reports of damage.
The quake was centered 100 km (60 miles) south of Kira Kira on the island of Makira at a depth […]

Joe Biden To Visit Ukraine

WASHINGTON - The White House said on Saturday that Vice President Joe Biden would travel to Kyiv this month to show support for the Ukrainian government as U.S. officials expressed new concern over “violence and sabotage’’ by militants it said were apparently supported by Russia in eastern Ukraine.
Biden, set to travel to Kiev on April 22, […]

Poison Gas Attack Injures Several In Syria

DAMASCUS - The Syrian government, rebel forces and a rights group say poison gas has injured several people in a central village. The government and rebels are blaming each other for the incident.
The Syrian National Coalition and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Saturday that government air raids resulted in dozens of injuries and […]

Iran Refuses To Replace Envoy Despite US Visa Denia ...

TEHRAN - Iran says it is not considering a replacement nominee for its prospective new envoy to the United Nations, despite his being denied a U.S. visa.
A senior Iranian Foreign Ministry official said Saturday there is no replacement choice for Hamid Abutalebi, and Iran will pursue the visa denial issue “through legal mechanisms at the […]

US Denounces Iran Pick For UN Ambassador

WASHINGTON - The White House made clear on Tuesday that it did not welcome Iran’s choice of Hamid Abutalebi as its new United Nations ambassador, saying officials had told Tehran that the selection was “not viable.”
But White House spokesman Jay Carney stopped short of saying Abutalebi would be barred from entering the United States because […]

Syrian Forces Recapture Border Town

BEIRUT - Forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad recaptured the rebel-held Syrian border town of Rankous on Wednesday, military sources and state television said, consolidating their control over a former rebel supply line from neighboring Lebanon.
The capture of Rankous was the latest stage of an offensive by the army and Hezbollah fighters to seal off […]

US Warns Russia Against Instigating Unrest

WASHINGTON - The United States has warned Russia against stirring separatist sentiment in eastern Ukraine, following unrest in several cities in recent days. U.S. officials said there are clear signs that pro-Russian demonstrations were orchestrated from outside. Meanwhile, recent events in Ukraine have emboldened Russian-speaking separatists in Moldova to renew their calls for independence, with […]

Mickey Rooney Dead at 93

LOS ANGELES - Actor Mickey Rooney, who became the United States’ biggest movie star while a brash teenager in the 1930s and later a versatile character actor in a career that spanned 10 decades, died on Sunday of natural causes, Los Angeles authorities said. He was 93.
Rooney, who developed a reputation as a hard-partying, off-screen […]

Japan Orders Strike Against North Korean Missiles

TOKYO - Japan has ordered a destroyer in the Sea of Japan to strike any ballistic missiles that may be launched by North Korea in the coming weeks after Pyongyang fired a Rodong medium-range missile over the sea, a government source said on Saturday.
Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera issued the order on Thursday, but did […]

Iran Suffers Water Crisis In Capital

WASHINGTON - A looming water crisis in Iran has officials warning of water rationing for the capital Tehran.   The Mehr news agency quotes Khosro Erteghaei, the head of Tehran’s regional water company as saying water levels at the four reservoirs that serve Tehran are at a critical level.  He warns that if residents of Tehran […]

 

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