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Obama's Pragmatism
I think I’m beginning to understand Barack Obama’s concept of pragmatism better. Pragmatism is the name of a school of philosophy. The major point to understand is that, in the pragmatic view, we have to continue working hard at “business as usual,” regardless of what we believe is ethically right or wrong. As I understand it, Obama’s current philosophically-inspired position is that economic success is the major gauge of his leadership, simply because that is the way everything works in our civilization. Many aspects of our system are repugnant, probably as much to Obama as to some of those reading this, but according to his pragmatism we can’t get away from things as they are.

Obama’s is a deeply thought out attitude and not the same as a policy of continuous expediency. He demands that we throw ourselves into the world as we find it. I think he would say that any other attitude amounts to shirking our (his) responsibility to run the country for the good of everyone, including the good of people we detest.

This attitude can be compared with the one advanced by Victor Frankl in his book Man’s Search for Meaning. Frankl survived life in Auschwitz while following similar principles. I recommend Frankl’s moving and disturbing book without reservation to anyone who would try to see human beings as we are, inextricably connected to the world around us. In some ways the philosophy of Frankl is the antithesis of the agonized lament, heard in Jean-Paul Sartre’s play No Exit, that “Hell is other people.”

I’m not sure I can entirely accept either Obama’s pragmatism or Frankl’s grim determination to follow the road on which we find ourselves. Nevertheless I believe these are ideas that we need to take seriously, particularly in light of the current president’s apparently deep commitment to principles such as I am awkwardly trying to characterize here.

If Obama succeeds in getting himself voted in for another term, it will be interesting to find out what he does with his second four years. He may not change his policies, but I’m hoping he will start to explain, in much greater depth, the decisions he is making and the logic he follows in making them.

—Ralph    |  


Wiki-Leaking Bank Information
For anyone interested in learning more about Wikileaks, how it operates, its ethics and an example of the character of one leaker, I recommend watching this video. Probably because of server overload, the video may take up to about 15 minutes to begin playing. It’s worth the wait.
—Ralph    |  


USA Has a Right-Sided Bias
This week’s diplomatic spat between the US and Venezuela illustrates the built-in U.S. bias against leftist governments.
(Reuters) - Venezuela condemned on Thursday the United States’ revocation of its ambassador’s visa. […]

In the latest flare-up between the ideological foes, Washington withdrew the visa of ambassador Bernardo Alvarez on Wednesday in retaliation for the rejection by socialist President Hugo Chavez of Obama’s nominated U.S. envoy to Caracas.

Chavez had blocked [U.S. envoy] Larry Palmer’s arrival, after the diplomat accused Venezuela’s government of close ties to leftist Colombian rebels. [Palmer] also alleged declining morale and growing Cuban influence in Venezuela’s armed forces.

It’s easy to see why U.S. foreign policy is always so strongly biased against leftist governments: there are still substantial remnants of U.S. anti-communism, the pillar upon which most of Washington’s foreign policy rested from the beginning of the Cold War, around 1947, until the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Throughout 44 years of Cold War polarization, a strong tradition of U.S. anti-leftism became deeply rooted. And even though 20 years has now passed since the collapse of Russian communism, there is still a fixed expectation, both at home and in the rest of the world, that the U.S. will always oppose leftist governments such as Venezuela’s, while glossing over the faults of rightist states like El Salvador, to which

the United States has sent more than $1 billion in military aid […] in the last decade, and $2 billion more in economic assistance.
Anti-communist habits of thought also help explain why, two decades after the fall of the Soviet Union, U.S. press and media still retain a strong right-sided bias. A reflexive “anti-communist” miasma of condemnation subtly permeates the atmosphere when any domestic policy appears to lean leftward.

As long as reactive hatred of communism and reactive fear of terrorism combine to lock U.S. political dialog into a tiny pen, there’s little hope we’ll hear sensible policy discussion any time soon.

—Ralph    |  


Ease of Use
Republicans no longer care how obvious they are about passing legislation exclusively for the benefit of the wealthy. They have no further need to hide this or anything else, because the likes of Beck, Hannity, O’Reilly, Limbaugh and hundreds of other right-wing radio and tv presenters all over the country are able to spin whatever their favored politicians may happen to say into electoral gold.

This wonderful ease of use of the populace is just one of the many miracles made possible by having so large a proportion of uneducated and under-educated citizens. Remember that the American economy is driven by consumption. You only have to know how to eat.

—Ralph    |  


What is a Conservative?
What exactly is an American conservative, anyway? I can’t think of a description that fits the present range of candidates. Is a conservative…
  • A religious fundamentalist who is fanatically opposed to abortion for any reason?
  • A wealthy individual trying to get his taxes reduced by giving money to a politician who promises to cut all taxes?
  • A person opposed to government spending (except for military, CIA, Homeland Security and “Black Ops” spending)?
  • An advocate of “white power,” also opposed to social services and immigration?
  • Someone who believes in “personal responsibility” (except when his or own family needs some kind of help)?
  • A politician who tries to block any legislative proposal advanced by Democrats, including legislation he or she has previously sponsored?
  • Someone who believes “Barack Hussein Obama” is secretly a Kenyan Muslim?
This is, of course, an ironic post, but it also contains a serious question: is there any common set of beliefs shared by self-described American conservatives?
—Ralph    |  


Reality vs Human Nature
We often hear that “reality has a well-known liberal bias.” Public opinion, on the other hand, has a well-known bias in favor of ignorance and jingoism. The truth is usually evident, but will not be accepted until much later. This is especially true when the truth turns out to be unpleasant or (even worse) expensive.
—Ralph    |  


Angry with Barack Obama?
I get pretty disappointed, even angry with Obama because he has neither ended the wars nor closed Guantanamo, but then I have to remember how much I hated Lyndon Johnson for his horrible war in Vietnam. Because of the massive public reaction against that war, in 1968 Johnson did not run for a second full term in office.

But now we remember Lyndon Johnson as the president who moved the Civil Rights Act of 1965 through Congress, and signed it.

It’s true that Barack Obama isn’t the most popular president, and that he’s not helping other Democrats. Those are the unfortunate facts. But we can still hope that the legislation Obama and this Congress have passed will help the country over the long term.

—Ralph    |  



Weblog Commenting and Trackback by HaloScan.com


Cached Dec 18, 2014, 9:12 am (all times Eastern US)
 
Cost of the War in Iraq
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Reuters News
Cameroon army kills 116 Boko Haram
militants, defense ministry says


Yemeni PM Bahah's cabinet wins
parliamentary approval: sources


Suspected Boko Haram gunmen kidnap
over 100 women, children in Nigeria


No risk of contagion from Greek
vote: Italy economy minister


EU bans investment in Crimea,
targets oil sector, cruises


EU appoints Germany's
Stoiber as red tape adviser


U.N. defers Iraq's $4.6 billion
Gulf War reparations to Kuwait


Russian sailors leave French port,
Mistral deal still uncertain


Accused Boston Marathon
bomber due in court today


Putin says deal on Iran's
nuclear program 'very close'


Kenya jails four men for
killing Scottish geologist


White supremacist charged in Kansas
deaths faces competency hearing


Two Wisconsin girls in Slenderman
case to appear in court hearings


Three killed, several injured in
crash outside California church


EU adopts tighter investment
sanctions on Crimea


Colombia rejects FARC's verification
proposal for a cease-fire


Putin says Russia economy will
be cured but offers no remedy


Pakistan court bails man accused
of masterminding Mumbai attack


'Another Wall falls': Europe
hails U.S.-Cuba breakthrough


Nigeria sentences 54
troops to death for mutiny


Angry lawmakers force delay in
vote on Kenyan security law


Putin reassures Russians
ruble will rise again


Myanmar says workers innocent of
murdering Britons in Thailand


Anti-Islam politician Wilders faces
prosecution for Moroccan comments


Putin says central bank, government
taking adequate measures


Australian police raid properties,
not related to siege: authorities


EU court says British
visa rule illegal


After Juncker, Luxembourg
seeks tax gurus' help


Crisis talks in the Netherlands
after health bill shot down


Israel calls Palestinian
U.N. draft a gimmick


Support for Swedish coalition rises
after call for snap vote: poll


Sony cancels North Korea movie in
apparent win for Pyongyang hackers


Book Talk: War on Afghan
frontline, by a female soldier


India tests its heaviest space
launch vehicle, eyes global market


1 killed, about a dozen injured
in southern California crash


Western sanctions may last for decades:
Russian minister tells newspaper


Social media: the hostage that
eluded Sydney siege gunman


China police chief who let off
drunk son charged with graft


FBI, Los Angeles police recover nine
stolen paintings worth $10 million


Fed eyes audit push as key
political challenge in 2015


Iowa and New Hampshire voters will
listen before they judge Bush


Federal judge rebuffs NCAA
concussion settlement


Suicide bomber kills one on
outskirts of Afghan capital


Executions in United States
at 20-year low: report


Hungary's priority is alliance with
Germany, minister tells Figyelo


Lava creeps within mile
of Hawaii shopping center


South Korea balks as U.S. picks Japan,
Australia to service F-35s in Asia


Sea boundary talks between U.S.,
Mexico, Cuba to take years: Mexico


South Korea won't conduct F-35 fighter
maintenance in Japan: official


U.S. shippers cite wide gap in labor
talks with West Coast dockworkers


Palestinian U.N. draft calls for
Israel occupation end by 2017


U.S. determines North Korea behind
Sony attack as studio pulls movie


NY unlikely to face lawsuits
over fracking ban, experts say


Colombia's Trasandino oil pipeline
shut by rebel bomb attack


Texas plumber harassed after company
truck seen in Syrian war photo


Jordan's Palestinian draft calls
for peace with Israel in a year


Experts tell U.S. court that
Oklahoma had deeply flawed execution


Washington governor unveils
carbon cap-and-trade plan


Spy freed from Cuban prison
hailed as secret U.S. hero


Alberta opposition decimated as
leader, eight others cross floor


New York awards three
licenses for upstate casinos


U.S. charges three in Europe with
trying to sell arms to Colombian rebels


Execution drug providers to be
anonymous under new Ohio measure


U.S., Cuba restore
ties after 50 years


Canada PM says Parliament attacker
may not have been lone wolf


Sessions yields to Enzi as
U.S. Senate Budget chairman


From joy to outrage, Florida's
Cuban-Americans greet new U.S. policy


Doubts cast on cause of death for
suspect in Pennsylvania killings


Florida judge grants a
landmark same-sex divorce


U.S. aid agency chief Shah
to step down in February


Marquette suspends professor for
slamming instructor on gay rights


Johns Hopkins apologizes for emailing
welcomes to rejected students


Kentucky woman arrested for shoplifting
at a 'Shop with a Cop' event


Obama grants first commutations
under new clemency program


Third person arrested over Oregon
school shooting that wounded four


Fed confident on U.S. growth,
opens door wider to rate hike


New Hampshire man charged with raping
teen in 10-month kidnap ordeal


Obama reveals experiences with
racism: magazine interview


Oldest U.S. black college on
verge of financial collapse


NY City council votes to ban
sale of bunnies by pet shops


Judge rejects plea deal by South
Carolina sheriff in bribery case


Opponent calls for Putin's exit
as Russia slides into crisis


Yemeni premier suggests he could
resign as Houthis tighten grip


Xi's visit to Macau deals
cold deck to VIP gamblers


Colombia's FARC rebels call
conditional unlimited ceasefire


Obama announces U.S. to restore
diplomatic ties with Cuba


Montana homeowner found guilty in
slaying of German exchange student


Iran calls nuclear talks 'very
useful'; next meeting in Jan


Jury finds former New York jail
guard guilty in inmate death


West Virginia trial of executive
charged in mine disaster delayed


U.S. global aid chief
announces resignation


Iraq Kurds launch Sinjar offensive
after coalition air strikes


Volunteer coach in Ohio rape case
charged with violating probation


U.S. top court bars Arizona from
denying driver's licenses to immigrants


Greek premier prepared European
ground before vote gamble


Texas TV station says meteorologist
shot, suspect at large


Pentagon upbeat Lockheed will
deliver 36 F-35s in 2014 as planned


Sudan warns South Sudan against 'hostile
moves' by rebels in its territory


Chicago area landlord gets life
in prison for deadly arson fire


Europe must stick to 'bitter' sanctions
on Russia: German finance minister


Greek PM Samaras falls short in
first round presidential vote


Republican ousts ex-Gabby Giffords
aide in recount for U.S. House seat


Exclusive: As easy targets thin, Syria
air strikes by U.S. allies plunge


Texas woman convicted of killing
child freed from prison on bond


Italy police break up international
money laundering ring in Rome


U.S.-led coalition conducts 67 air
strikes against Islamic State: task force


Ohio police use pepper spray on
crowd lined up for Air Jordans


U.S. fears Sony hackers may never
be caught: law enforcement official


Two-thirds of Americans back
higher military spending: poll


UK's Osborne accused of claiming
false victory in EU budget row


Secret talks in Canada, Vatican
City led to Cuba breakthrough


New York bans fracking
after health report


Spy freed by Cuba ID'd key Cuban agents
in U.S. government: U.S. spy chief


India goes on security alert
weeks before Obama trip


U.S. Treasury to amend Cuba
sanctions in coming weeks


U.S. charges two pharmacists with
25 murders in meningitis outbreak


Republican Boehner calls Obama's
Cuba deal a 'mindless concession'


U.S. senator pledges to block
efforts to normalize Cuba relations


Florida's Cuban Americans
rejoice at U.S. policy overhaul


South Carolina judge tosses conviction
of black teen executed in 1944


Bird flu found in wild birds
in Washington state: USDA


Jefferies banker Sage Kelly
resigns amid divorce drama: source


New Senate Foreign Relations head to
'closely examine' new Cuba policy


U.S. Senator Rubio says release of
Gross 'sets a dangerous precedent'


Exclusive: Amgen's new leukemia
drug to carry $178,000 price tag


U.S, China making progress on
biotech crop talks: USDA's Vilsack


Over 120,000 pro-Assad fighters killed
in Syria conflict: monitoring group


Stephen Collins admits sexual contact
with young girls: People magazine


UK came 'within days' of Sydney-style
terror attack: top policeman


U.S. to open embassy in
Havana, U.S. official says


U.S. moves to normalize relations
with Cuba in dramatic shift


Texas ex-justice of the peace
sentenced to death for revenge murder


Afghan spy chief laments intelligence
vacuum as foreign troops leave


Latin American leftist exiles
hold faith in Maduro's Venezuela


Obama to announce major Cuba
policy overhaul; prisoners swapped


U.N. Security Council renews
cross-border Syria aid authorization


Sentencing reform clouds California's
inmate firefighting corps


Buhari catches anti-graft mood
but divides Nigerian voters


Hamas' deputy chief says it
has patched up ties with Iran


Brazil leader Rousseff's popularity
undented by Petrobras scandal


U.S. chooses Japan to maintain
F-35 jets in Asia: sources


U.S. slaps sanctions on Swiss,
Dutch companies over Syria


Fourteen charged in deadly 2012 U.S.
meningitis outbreak: prosecutors


Anger and grief as Pakistan buries
students massacred at school


Kenya parliament to vote on
amendments meant to improve security


Cuba releases American Alan Gross as
U.S. prepares to overhaul Cuba policy


Cuban president to make
announcement on U.S. relations


Despite second-quarter profit
jump, FedEx misses expectations


Ruble crisis could shake
Putin's grip on power


Australia orders sweeping investigation
after deadly hostage siege


Myanmar court jails former opposition
official accused of insulting Buddhism


Senate confirms new chief
of U.S. auto safety agency


U.S.-bound United Airlines flight returns
to London after 'maintenance issue'


Houthis consolidate control over
Yemen state institutions: officials


After Pakistan school massacre,
watch for the gloves to come off


Iran says backs Russian push
for Syria talks in Moscow: TASS


Iraq seeks one-year deferral
on Gulf War reparations


EU parliament backs compromise
resolution on Palestinian state


Fed likely to signal rate hike
on track despite global woes


German cabinet approves
training mission to Iraq


Numbers tight for Greek PM
Samaras ahead of crucial vote


Obama signs $1.1 trillion
government spending bill


Youth killed in clashes with
police in southeast Turkey


Inquiry clears British soldiers
of murder and torture of Iraqis


India's Modi orders party
to rein in pro-Hindu agenda


Pope Francis condemns attacks
in Australia, Pakistan, Yemen


Thai army chief calls on
all to protect monarchy


U.S. rejects Manila's bid for custody
of U.S. Marine accused of murder


EU to tighten sanctions on Crimea in
time for leaders summit: officials


Libya conflict revives front
lines from 2011 civil war


Iraq's Kurdistan says to
deepen ties with Iran


Church of England appoints
its first woman bishop


Iran says sees more steps
ahead in nuclear talks


EU court annuls keeping of
Hamas on terrorist list


Greek political fallout a worry, but
financial contagion seen limited


Dalai Lama says China hardliners
hold back Xi on Tibet autonomy


SpaceX to attempt
rocket landing at sea


Drone strike in Afghanistan kills
four Pakistani Taliban: official


Philippines to get frigates, gunboats,
helicopters as tension simmers


New York premiere of North Korea
comedy canceled after threats


Court-appointed panel to monitor
Los Angeles county jails


Bulgaria detains foreign suspects
bound for Syria conflict


Vietnam races to rescue trapped
workers as water levels rise


Eleven dead in vigilante
shootout in western Mexico


Pakistan in mourning as parents
bury children after school attack


India's Sahara awaits court verdict
that may give jailed chief freedom


California university bans fraternity
over anti-rape march harassment


Tough new national security laws, bail
rules failed hostages: Australian PM


Crews to resume pit-digging in
Seattle's stalled tunnel project


Russia invites North Korea
leader for May visit: paper


Colorado inmate who suffered
stroke awarded $11 million by jury


U.S. terrorism insurance bill
killed by objections in Senate


American Airlines plane diverted to Tokyo
after being hit by winter storm, several hurt


U.S. Senate confirms Obama nominee
for senior State Dept post


Early winter storms put
dent in California drought


Top Democrat says regional banks key
to Wall Street win on derivatives


Ex-wife of Deion Sanders sentenced
to week in Texas jail over custody


Son of former Chicago hit man arrested
on suspicion of killing Idaho man


Kerry urges compromise as Haiti
seeks to form new government


Tennessee police looking
for Christmas tree thief


Senate passes bill temporarily
renewing tax breaks


California charity that targeted
Ugandan warlord Kony to close


Kerry says U.S. made no 'determinations'
on Palestinian resolution


L.A. mayor plans to equip city's
police officers with body cameras


How the NLRB may expand
responsibility for labor violations


Greek government faces first test
in crucial presidential vote


Man gets seven years for mailing
bomb to hardline Arizona sheriff


Australian PM says tough new national
security laws failed hostages


Obama makes Alaska's Bristol Bay
area off limits for oil drilling


U.S. court to hear case on
blocking executions in Oklahoma


Jury gets case of Montana
homeowner who shot German student


Florida man pleads guilty to helping
baseball star Puig flee Cuba


Libya rivals clash over oil
ports as EU considers sanctions


Threatened African nations urge
western action on Libya crisis


U.S. teens' use of alcohol, cigarettes
at 40-year low, study finds


Pennsylvania suspect in family
killings dead of self-inflicted cuts


Chinese student pleads guilty in
U.S. to arms export conspiracy


No credible sign of plot on theaters
over Sony movie: U.S. officials


U.S. to unveil plan to curb oil and
gas sector methane soon: sources


Firebrand Senator Ted Cruz apologizes
for U.S. spending bill ruckus


White House: ruble plunge has Russia
between 'rock and hard place'


Woman found in Massachusetts home
with dead babies charged with murder


Texas jury considers death
penalty in revenge plot killing


California pensions should divest
coal assets: state senate leader


NASA rover finds organic
molecules, methane gas on Mars


Russia says arms for Kiev won't
help solve Ukraine crisis: RIA


Lawyer in New York jail 'soap ball'
death disputes photo evidence


Mujica warns against Uruguayan media
falling into hands of foreigners


Former Miami-area mayor found
guilty in mortgage fraud scheme


White House task force takes
aim at illegal seafood trade


Convicted killer Jodi Arias was mystery
witness at her sentencing retrial


Hungarians rally against PM as
discontent with government grows


FBI joins probe into death of
Mississippi woman burned alive


U.S. appeals court denies prisoner's
right to tax-funded sex change


Judge declares Obama immigration
action unconstitutional


Swedish anti-immigration party
building support before vote: poll


First job for new Republican
Senate is Keystone XL: McConnell


Body of suspect sought in deaths of
family found near Pennsylvania home


Jeb Bush explores 2016
U.S. presidential run


U.S. government says demand for 2015 Obamacare
plans jumped in week ending December 12


China buyers in deals for more
than 1 million tonnes of U.S. soy


Minnesota ex-governor Ventura sues
HarperCollins over 'Sniper' book


Bill Cosby's daughter Evin joins
mother in defense against sex claims


Tripoli-based government releases
foreign airmen held in Libya


Kerry says Russia sanctions could
end if Putin takes right steps


California controller warns of $72
billion unfunded retiree benefits


Suspect charged with fourth
shooting death in Georgia


Former Philadelphia sportscaster
withdraws fraud guilty plea


Italy's president hints at
possible retirement date


Egyptian court overturns some
Muslim Brotherhood asset seizures


Obama to sign new Russia
sanctions bill by end of week


Two potential witnesses sought in
suspicious Los Angeles construction fire


Former oil executive in custody after
escape from U.S. prison in Texas


Iraq war vet sought in stabbing, shooting
deaths of his Pennsylvania family


U.S. torture report puts
Romania's role under scrutiny


China approves Syngenta's
Viptera corn: reports


Cameron's plans to shake up
English lawmaking worry his rivals


Uganda says begins sending
ex-Congo rebels back home


Catalan statesman Pujol to
testify in court in tax probe


Ex-Sony employees sue, claim
company failed to protect data


N.Y. Times reporter ordered to
answer questions in CIA leak case


South Carolina sheriff to
plead guilty in bribery case


Russia 'optimistic' on Syria peace
talks early next year: Lavrov


Britain faces threat of Sydney-style
attack at any moment: PM Cameron


Wal-Mart must pay $188 million
in workers' class action


Europe's main leaders
far apart on immigration


Family of Ohio man shot and killed
in Walmart sue company, police


Back to the future: Scientists want
'rewilded' crops to boost agriculture


Austrian experts may need months to
identify murdered Mexican students


Taliban go on killing spree at
Pakistan school, 132 students dead


Gay veterans' group says to march
in Boston St. Patrick's Day parade


Wal-Mart ordered to pay $188
million over reduced staff breaks


Two local Iraqi officials killed
execution style after kidnap


Turkey's Erdogan to start chairing
cabinet meetings, extending power


Captain, officer of Kuwaiti ship
detained after deadly collision


EU to aid Bosnia with $207
million in bid to spur reform


Texas Rangers investigate officer
who killed suspect holding spoon


Pakistani pupils recall narrow
escapes, carnage in Taliban slaughter


Barney Frank on
practically everything


Hillary Clinton unveils new
partnerships to close gender data gaps


EU lawmakers stop short of
Palestine recognition vote


Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush to
'actively explore' 2016 campaign


Obama likely to sign two bills
that could impact arms sales


Two car bombs explode in
central Yemen killing 25


Taliban assault on Pakistani school
ends, 130 dead, mostly children


Friend of accused Boston bomber
may plead guilty in gun, drug case


Taliban fighters mount offensive
near Afghan border with Pakistan


Rescuers battle to save 11 workers
after Vietnam tunnel collapses


Honda to recall more than 500,000
cars in China due to Takata air bags


Libya's rival parliament says open
to U.N.-sponsored peace talks


Vatican report on U.S. nuns is
conciliatory, stresses teachings


U.S. housing starts fall,
but trend points to recovery


Romanian PM gives up doctorate after
years of plagiarism allegations


'Lone wolf' Australian hostage-taker
had violent, unsettled past


Turkey's main opposition to challenge
new police powers in top court


Ten Bosnian Serb wartime security
officials arrested for war crimes


France tries to rally mistrustful
African states against Boko Haram


Israel's Arrow 3 missile shield
fails interception test: sources


Court orders autopsy on German
lawmaker who criticized Russia


Ukraine's Poroshenko hails first
full overnight truce in rebel east


Turkish soccer fans go on
trial accused of coup attempt


Around 180 Syrian soldiers, jihadists
reported killed in battle for base


Over 120 Pakistanis, mostly children,
killed in Taliban high school attack


Afghan army halts transport for
soldiers after wave of bus bombs


Pakistan official: 126 people dead,
122 injured in attack on school


EU's Moscovici backs Greece in
euro zone as key vote nears


Spain arrests seven accused of
recruiting women for Islamic State


Filmmaker Polanski's lawyers seek sex
crime case dismissal: U.S. newspapers


Yemen presidential aide says Houthis
plotting to bring down government


Repsol to buy Talisman
Energy for $13 billion


At least 84 children killed in Taliban
school attack in Pakistan: official


Iran says nuclear talks with
U.S. proceed in good atmosphere


Indian court dismisses marine's
plea to extend stay in Italy


China official satisfied with Taiwan
ties but warns on "bottom line"


India bans Islamic State,
hunts for sympathizers


Taliban take hundreds hostage at
Pakistani military school, 18 dead


British embassy in Cairo
re-opens after nine-day hiatus


Zurich airport re-opens after being
partly shut by unspecified threat


Women feel no safer in Delhi, two
years after notorious gang rape


Taliban gunmen attack military-run
school in northwest Pakistan


Russia carried out snap military
drills in Kaliningrad region


Israeli troops kill Palestinian
during West Bank clash


Journalist murders in Syria a shocking
new trend: press freedom report


Female fighters battle for freedom
and equality in Syria: TRFN


Nine FARC members killed by
army raid in Colombian jungle


Florida asks Supreme Court
to block gay marriage


Australia's foreign affairs dept
evacuated over suspicious package: police


China jails businesswoman in
railway graft case for 20 years


Honduras breaks tradition, names
general as security minister


South Korea to report ex-Korean Air exec
to prosecutors over role in flight delay


Georgia city reverses course,
approves mosque in shopping center


U.S. bill mandating community
banker on Fed board nears passage


Three injured in knife attack
in China's restive Xinjiang


Accused of rights abuses, North Korea
urges U.N. meeting on CIA torture


Tennessee governor proposes
alternative plan to Obamacare


Jury to decide fate of former Miami-area
mayor accused of mortgage fraud


Greek Syriza poll lead narrows
ahead of key presidential vote


Pentagon weighs U.S. funding
bill impact on terrorism fight


Defense seeks mercy for Texan
facing execution for revenge murder


Albuquerque policeman's gun goes
off, accidentally hits bystander


Senate approves new
surgeon general


Seattle police find no explosives
after Amazon HQ threat


California policeman who threatened
protesters on Twitter put on leave


Suspect in six Pennsylvania
killings is target of manhunt


Anti-immigration
protests grow in Germany


Protesters chain themselves to
Oakland police station doors


Oregon protester, hit by
vehicle, is cited by police


Bill Cosby's wife defends
him from sex assault claims


Tennessee lab says eight workers
exposed to radiation, no health threat


Seattle police investigate threatening
letter at Amazon headquarters


Israel seeks U.S. block of
Palestinian statehood drive


Largest family detention center
for immigrants opens in Texas


France urges closer regional collaboration
against Nigeria's Boko Haram


Two dead, nine-year-old driver
critical after Mississippi car crash


Virginia governor seeks to reinstate
restrictions on handgun sales


Pennsylvania man guilty in
stabbing death of police dog


Cincinnati trims parking fines
for holiday food donations


Ukrainian PM appeals to EU
for immediate financial aid


U.N. says forces in Sudan's Darfur
won't leave amid rising violence


Parts of Zurich airport shut
after unspecified threat


Psychologist admits he waterboarded
al Qaeda suspects: report


Venezuela's Maduro slams 'insolent
Yankees,' 'murderer' Aznar


Police hunt for man suspected
in six Pennsylvania killings


Obama vows no safe
haven for Islamic State


Senate Democrats push
votes on Obama's nominees


Missing California teen found
dead under storm-toppled tree


Seattle police investigating
threat close to Amazon.com HQ


White House has not yet decided
on Russia sanctions bill


Obama says he'll sign government
spending bill passed by Congress


Ancient DNA reveals history
of horse domestication


Los Angeles porn actors must wear
condoms, appeals court rules


European Union backs U.N.
plan for Syrian truce


U.N. brigade will need to
'neutralise' Congo rebels: chief


Obama administration says no decision
yet on Russia sanctions bill


Sudan to witness more violence after
ICC shelves Darfur probe: opposition


Newtown victims' families sue
maker of gun used in 2012 attack


Longshore union, shippers see slow
progress in U.S. West Coast port talks


NY judge weighs use of hypnotized
witnesses in Etan Patz case


German court to try former
Auschwitz guard for murder


Sudan government forces accused of
gang rape in Blue Nile state: TRFN


Kuwaiti ship, Egyptian fishing boat,
collide in Red Sea, killing 13


Police storm Sydney cafe to
end hostage siege, three dead


Police surround Pennsylvania home
as killing suspect sought: reports


Australian police say three
dead, four hurt in Sydney siege


U.S. seeks to use letters from
bin Laden raid at terror trial


North Korea wants U.N. Security
Council to discuss CIA torture


Top court rejects Arizona
appeal over abortion drug law


Rare white rhino dies at San Diego
zoo, leaving only five on earth


A million displaced Nigerians unable
to vote unless law changed: INEC


Suspect in five killings barricaded
in Philadelphia-area home: reports


Families of 2012 Connecticut
shooting victims sue gunmaker


Exclusive: Minnesota AG questions
divestiture in Sysco-US Foods merger


Spelman College halts professorship
bearing Bill Cosby's name


U.S. court dismisses Colombian human
rights claims against Occidental


More air strikes near eastern Libyan
oil port and border to Tunisia


Boston Marathon bomber suspect
to appear in court this week


UAW chief backs labor board
decisions on email, organizing votes


France urges African nations to
take charge of their security


Police capture last of
three Alabama jail escapees


U.S. asks Vatican for help
with Guantanamo inmates


Puerto Rico to present power-authority
overhaul ideas to creditors


Sydney hostage siege ends after police
storm cafe, reports say two dead


Egypt to try 40 civilians in
military courts over protests


Wisconsin ice rink closed after gas
leak sickens more than 80 people


The greenest goodbye: Seattle
group wants to compost the dead


Construction work cuts power
to State Department: utility


Security forces storm Sydney
hostage siege cafe, gunman named


Sisters in the vanguard as Egypt's
Muslim Brotherhood battles to survive


U.S. factory production accelerates
in sign of economy's strength


Belgian police storm
apartment to end Ghent siege


U.N. Gulf War fund to meet this
week on Iraq payment delay


Kabila says Congo won't bow
to foreign 'injunctions'


Guantanamo 9/11 hearing
canceled, Army spokesman says


Russia says it wants east Ukraine to stay
with Kiev under reformed constitution


Merkel urges Bulgaria to seek new
talks with Putin on South Stream


Tax extenders expected to win
U.S. Senate approval within days


One in 500 people living
with no nationality: report


Iran's Rouhani says will try to clinch
nuclear deal as talks with U.S. resume


Germany says will help finance
four new Israeli warships


Rights group calls for ICC probe
of Nigerian presidential candidate


Thai King continues to recover
in hospital, palace says


Russia wants charter reform, east
Ukraine to stay with Kiev: Interfax


U.S. manufacturing output
surges in November


Nordic countries summon Russian
ambassadors over military jet incident


Listening devices found in Oslo,
prompting spying investigation


Austria to close Saudi school
for not naming teachers


Turkey's Erdogan says media
raids a response to 'dirty' plot


U.N. Sahel envoy says Libya turmoil
could destabilize neighbors



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