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Tibetan Monk Dies in Self-Immolation

Posted March 28th, 2012 at 4:10 pm (UTC-5)
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Another Tibetan monk has died after setting himself on fire in an anti-China protest, a day after some U.S. senators approved a resolution saying they mourn the Tibetans who have died in such self-immolations. VOA’s Tibetan service reports that a 20-year-old monk named Lobsang Sherab set himself on fire Wednesday in the main street of […]

Tags: , , , , Posted in East Asia Pacific

Russia’s Upper House of Parliament Approves Poltical Reform

Posted March 28th, 2012 at 3:05 pm (UTC-5)
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Russia’s upper house of parliament has approved a bill that will simplify the procedure to register new political parties, part of a series of reforms promised by President Dmitry Medvedev aimed at diversifying the country’s political system. The Federation Council passed legislation Wednesday that reduces the minimum number of members required for registration from 40,000 […]

Tags: , Posted in Europe

France Considering Release of Oil Reserves

Posted March 28th, 2012 at 3:00 pm (UTC-5)
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France says it is ready to release some of its strategic oil reserves, possibly in a joint effort with the United States and Britain to curb the increase in crude oil prices and cut the cost of gasoline that motorists pay. French Energy Minister Eric Besson said Wednesday that the U.S. had asked it to […]

Tags: , , Posted in Economy

US Supreme Court Grapples with Scope of Health Care Mandate

Posted March 28th, 2012 at 2:35 pm (UTC-5)
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America’s top justices are considering what to do if they strike down the key provision of U.S. President Barack Obama’s health care reform law. The U.S. Supreme Court held its third and final day of arguments Wednesday on the law, examining whether parts of it should survive if the court determines the so-called “individual mandate” […]

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Official: US Will Suspend Food Aid to North Korea

Posted March 28th, 2012 at 2:30 pm (UTC-5)
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A senior U.S. Defense Department official says Washington has decided to suspend food aid to North Korea, in part because of its plans to carry out a provocative missile launch next month. Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense Peter Lavoy told a congressional hearing Wednesday that such a launch would reflect Pyongyang’s desire to ignore its […]

Tags: , , , , Posted in East Asia Pacific

Forest Fires Could Kill Off Indonesian Orangutans This Year

Posted March 28th, 2012 at 1:45 pm (UTC-5)
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A coalition of environmental groups says several hundred critically-endangered orangutans in a protected area of western Indonesia could be killed off by the end of the year if land clearing is not stopped immediately. The warning, issued Wednesday in Jakarta, says satellite imagery shows forest fires in the 13,000-hectare Tripa swamp already forcing the powerful […]

Syrian Troops Assault Rebel Strongholds, Arabs Begin New Diplomatic Push

Posted March 28th, 2012 at 1:25 pm (UTC-5)
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Syrian rights activists say government forces have assaulted several rebel strongholds, triggering battles that killed 13 people as Arab nations began a new diplomatic effort to end Syria’s year-long conflict. The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Wednesday forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad stormed the northern town of Qalaat al-Madiq Wednesday, after a […]

Tags: , , , Posted in Middle East

US Lawmakers Call for ‘Hard-Nosed’ Approach with Iran

Posted March 28th, 2012 at 12:30 pm (UTC-5)
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Leading U.S. lawmakers are urging the Obama administration to take an even tougher stance with Iran over its nuclear program, questioning whether expanding economic sanctions are making a difference. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman, Democrat John Kerry, called Iran and its nuclear program the “biggest foreign policy challenge facing the U.S.” during a hearing […]

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Top US, Pakistani Generals Hold First Talks Since Deadly Cross-Border Strike

Posted March 28th, 2012 at 12:05 pm (UTC-5)
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Pakistan’s army chief has met with top U.S. commanders for the first time since a November NATO airstrike on a border post killed 24 Pakistani soldiers, causing relations between the two countries to sink to a new low. General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani met Wednesday with the head of U.S. Central Command, General James Mattis, and […]

Tags: , , , Posted in South Asia

US Has Wide Trade Gap with China

Posted March 28th, 2012 at 11:40 am (UTC-5)
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A new report shows that the U.S. for the first time last year exported more than $100 billion worth of products to China, but at the same time imported nearly four times that much. The U.S.-China Business Council is a trade group that promotes the sale of American products to China. The council said Wednesday […]

Tags: , , Posted in East Asia Pacific, Economy