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Second Burmese Diplomat Defects in Washington

Posted July 13th, 2011 at 2:20 pm (UTC-5)
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A Burmese diplomat has defected in Washington, D.C., the second to do so in less than two weeks. Soe Aung has told VOA’s Burmese service that he sent a letter to the U.S. State Department Wednesday morning announcing his decision to defect. He has been serving as the Burmese embassy’s first secretary. He was posted […]

Tags: , , , Posted in East Asia Pacific

UNICEF Resumes Airlifts into South-Central Somalia

Posted July 13th, 2011 at 2:05 pm (UTC-5)
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For the first time in two years, the United Nations has airlifted aid to a part of Somalia controlled by the militant group al-Shabab. A spokeswoman for the U.N. Children’s Fund has told VOA that the agency flew five metric tons of aid into the town of Baidoa on Wednesday. She says the shipment included […]

Tags: , , , Posted in Africa

Prisoners at Venezuelan Prison End 27-Day Standoff

Posted July 13th, 2011 at 1:50 pm (UTC-5)
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Venezuelan prisoners at a detention facility east of Caracas have surrendered to authorities after a 27-day standoff. Information Minister Andres Izarra said on his Twitter feed Wednesday that the inmates — around 1,000 in all — are being taken out of the prison and appear to be in good health. The detainees took control of […]

Tags: , Posted in Americas

Indian Officials: ‘Terrorists’ Coordinated Deadly Mumbai Blasts

Posted July 13th, 2011 at 1:40 pm (UTC-5)
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India’s home minister says authorities believe the back-to-back blasts that killed at least 20 people in Mumbai were a “coordinated attack by terrorists.” P. Chidambaram appealed for calm, after three separate explosions struck India’s financial capital Wednesday evening. Authorities say the blasts wounded more than 80 people and that they expect the number of casualties […]

Tags: , , , Posted in South Asia

Bernanke: Failure To Make Debt Deal Would Be “Calamity”

Posted July 13th, 2011 at 1:10 pm (UTC-5)
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U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke says the economy will face “calamity” if congressional Republicans and President Obama cannot reach an agreement to raise the legal limit on borrowing. He told Congress refusing to increase Washington’s debt ceiling is like having a spending spree with a credit card and then refusing to pay the bill. […]

Tags: , , , Posted in Americas, Economy, US

US Stocks Advance; Europe Closes Higher

Posted July 13th, 2011 at 1:10 pm (UTC-5)
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U.S. stock market indexes were sharply higher in midday trading Wednesday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 both jumped about 1.2 percent. The NASDAQ gained 1.4 percent. European stock markets closed higher. London’s Financial Times 100 gained six-tenths of a percent to end at 5,906. The CAC-40 in Paris advanced half a […]

Tags: , , , Posted in Economy

Chinese Artist Accepts German University Job Offer

Posted July 13th, 2011 at 12:55 pm (UTC-5)
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A German university says acclaimed Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei, recently released from jail in Beijing, has accepted an offer to join its faculty. But administrators of the Berlin University of the Arts said Wednesday it is not clear when or if Ai will be permitted to leave China to take up his new […]

Tags: , , Posted in East Asia Pacific

Murdoch Withdraws Bid for Control of British Satellite Television Company

Posted July 13th, 2011 at 12:45 pm (UTC-5)
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Media baron Rupert Murdoch has withdrawn his bid for control of British Sky Broadcasting amid Britain’s phone-hacking scandal and allegations against his journalists. Parliament was poised Wednesday to vote overwhelmingly for a non-binding resolution calling on Murdoch to end his $12 billion bid for control of the satellite television company. But before the vote, a […]

Tags: , , , , Posted in Economy, Europe

British Court Defers Assange Extradition Decision

Posted July 13th, 2011 at 12:40 pm (UTC-5)
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A British appeals court has deferred a decision on whether to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to Sweden for questioning on sexual misconduct. The court did not specify when it would make its ruling. Assange, an Australian, is seeking to overturn a February judgement ordering him to Sweden. Assange denies any sexual wrongdoing and claims […]

Tags: , , , Posted in Europe

Obama Leads 2012 Republican Challengers in Polls, Fundraising

Posted July 13th, 2011 at 12:40 pm (UTC-5)
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A new public opinion poll shows U.S. President Barack Obama ahead of all leading Republican candidates and possible contenders for the 2012 presidential race. The Quinnipiac University survey, released Wednesday, indicates Mr. Obama hitting 50 percent or above when pitted against every Republican candidate except former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. But President Obama still tops […]

Tags: , Posted in Americas, US