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Study: Crisis in Syria has Ancient Precedent

Posted December 26th, 2012 at 12:55 pm (UTC-5)
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Drought, urban decline and government collapse ended Syria’s central economic role in the Middle East… 4200 years ago. Research from the University of Sheffield in England points to striking parallels between today’s war-torn Syria and political upheavals in the Bronze-Age Mesopotamian empire known as Akkadia. Ellery Frahm, of the university’s Department of Archeology, found the […]

Tags: , , Posted in Science

Northeast US Braces for Blizzard Conditions

Posted December 26th, 2012 at 12:25 pm (UTC-5)
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Parts of the U.S. are bracing for blizzard conditions, as a powerful storm moves east after bringing snow and tornadoes to the southern United States. Blizzard warnings are in effect for parts of Indiana and Ohio. The National Weather Service is advising people to stay off the roads, saying snow and strong winds could create […]

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High-Ranking General Flees Syrian Regime

Posted December 26th, 2012 at 10:45 am (UTC-5)
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A top Syrian military official who headed the feared military police has told a pan-Arab TV station that he defected and joined Syria’s opposition movement. A video published on a social media website on Wednesday shows the general, Abdul-Aziz Jassem al-Shallal, saying that he left the government because the Syrian military police have strayed from […]

Tags: , , , Posted in Middle East

Japan’s Abe Names Cabinet Tasked with Reviving Economy

Posted December 26th, 2012 at 10:45 am (UTC-5)
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Japan’s new conservative Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has named a Cabinet dominated by close allies as he returns to office pledging to revive a sluggish economy and get tough on territorial challenges from neighboring powers. Mr. Abe and his Cabinet were sworn in by Emperor Akihito on Wednesday, shortly after winning votes of confidence in […]

Tags: , , , Posted in East Asia Pacific

UAE Says Terror Cell Arrested

Posted December 26th, 2012 at 9:55 am (UTC-5)
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UAE authorities said Wednesday that several arrests have been made in connection with a terrorist cell that was planning attacks in the Gulf kingdom, Saudi Arabia and nearby states. The official WAM news agency said a “deviant group was planning to carry out actions against the national security of both countries and some sisterly states.” […]

Tags: , Posted in Middle East

Abe Favors Greater Role for Japan on World Stage

Posted December 26th, 2012 at 9:35 am (UTC-5)
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Japan’s newly elected prime minister, Shinzo Abe, is a long-time conservative politician who has pushed for a more aggressive foreign policy and a greater role for Japan on the world stage. His stance appealed to many voters who are concerned that Japan is falling behind China economically and diplomatically. Mr. Abe has called for amending […]

Tags: , , Posted in East Asia Pacific

Activists Say 20 Killed in Syrian Government Shelling

Posted December 26th, 2012 at 7:35 am (UTC-5)
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Syrian opposition activists say government shelling in a northern province near the Turkish border has left at least 20 people dead, including eight children. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights released a video on Wednesday showing what it said were victims of a government assault on a village in the Raqqa region. It was […]

Tags: , Posted in Middle East

Russian Parliament Approves Ban on US Adoptions

Posted December 26th, 2012 at 6:20 am (UTC-5)
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The upper house of Russia’s parliament has unanimously approved a measure banning Americans from adopting Russian children. All 143 members of the Federation Council present voted Wednesday to support the bill, which now goes to President Vladimir Putin for his signature. The legislation essentially bans adoption of Russian children by U.S. families, ends bilateral adoption […]

Tags: , , Posted in Europe

Egypt’s Senate Convenes After Constitution Passes

Posted December 26th, 2012 at 6:20 am (UTC-5)
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Egypt’s upper house of parliament has convened for its first session since President Mohamed Morsi signed a decree putting the controversial new Islamist-backed constitution into effect. The Shura Council met on Wednesday to swear in 90 new members appointed by Mr. Morsi. The council is also expected to begin setting the framework for elections in […]

Tags: Posted in Middle East

Shinzo Abe Officially Approved as New Japanese Prime Minister

Posted December 26th, 2012 at 3:05 am (UTC-5)
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Shinzo Abe has been confirmed as Japan’s next prime minister, marking a return to power for the veteran politician and his Liberal Democratic Party. Japan’s lower house of parliament overwhelmingly approved Mr. Abe to form a new government Wednesday, ten days after the conservative LDP trounced the Democratic Party of Japan in parliamentary elections. The […]

Tags: , , , , Posted in East Asia Pacific