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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 Mar 27, 2015, 2:42 am (all times Eastern US)
Cost of the War in Iraq
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Reuters News
Exclusive: Chemical arms body to investigate
allegations of Syrian chlorine gas attack - source

Labor unions, developers reach agreement
on Los Angeles-area NFL stadium

Ten killed in stampede during
Hindu ritual in Bangladesh

Exclusive: Upset by Warren, U.S. banks
debate halting some campaign donations

Oil prices fall more than
$1 as supply threat eases

Amazon in talks to buy online luxury
retailer Net-a-Porter: Forbes

Australia's NSW state election set to
greenlight blockbuster energy sell-off

Thailand keeps suspected Uighurs in
custody amid Turkey-China tug-of-war

South Korea demands release of two men
accused by North Korea of espionage

The $50 device that symbolizes a
shift in North Korea

Oil prices ease as market
downplays supply threat from Yemen

Japan PM Abe to address
joint session of Congress

Airlines introduce two-person
cockpit rule after Alps crash

Senior police official in Fresno,
California, arrested on drug charges

New York buildings collapse in
possible gas blast, 19 hurt

Fed market gurus prep rate hike
amid last-minute anxieties

China launches 'Sky Net' to
better coordinate graft fight

Eight gang members in El Salvador
reported killed in shoot-out with police

RadioShack rescue deal dogged by
fights, demands for new auction

Japan makes a start on sharing
lessons from nuclear crisis

Amid trial, Kleiner Perkins recruits
next generation of partners

Britain's Cameron wins first TV
encounter of close election: poll

Police settle suit over use of
tear gas during Missouri protests

Airport pat-downs of black women's
hairstyles discriminatory: ACLU

Senate tries to score political
points on way to budget vote

Syria's Assad says open to
dialogue with U.S.: CBS interview

Colorado lawmaker says attack on
pregnant woman 'curse of God'

Father of ex-Los Angeles cop wanted
for murder charged with lying to FBI

In first UK election TV encounter, Labour's
Miliband shrugs off 'geek' accusations

U.S. court halts Labor Department
same-sex couple protections

Tesoro sees restarting Martinez,
Calif., refinery beginning Friday

Alaska officials identify remains
of two members of missing family

California to loosen ban on sex
offenders living near schools

Pilot's actions may add to Germanwings'
liability in mountain crash: lawyers

Boehner, Pelosi show gridlock is
not U.S. Congress's only option

UK's Cameron beats Labour's Miliband in
first TV contest before election: poll

Head of U.S. Chemical Safety Board
resigns: White House official

Syria has OKed three of 33 U.N. aid
access requests in 2015: official

California official urges law to
automatically register drivers to vote

U.S. Senate votes unanimously for
amendment to send message on Iran

Bankrupt San Bernardino reveals
details of deal with Calpers

Florida debates gambling as big
players lay down their bets

Moroccan opposition in rare
standoff with police over burial

Life term recommended for Alabama
woman who ran granddaughter to death

Before close election, UK's Cameron says got
some things wrong, but got economy right

Co-pilot suspected of deliberately
crashing Germanwings jet

Yemeni leader Hadi leaves country as
Saudi Arabia keeps up air strikes

White House crafts first-ever
plan to fight superbugs

U.S., allies conduct air strikes in Syria,
Iraq against Islamic State: task force

California man stands by claim that
girlfriend was kidnapped: attorneys

Two U.S. men arrested in plot to attack
Illinois military base: Justice Department

Amish boy, 10, dies, two injured
when buggy struck in Missouri

Iran's Rouhani intervenes as
deadline for nuclear deal approaches

Georgia governor to sign bill allowing
limited medical marijuana use

U.S. appeals court to reconsider
San Diego gun restriction

U.S. gives approval for $350,000
rhino hunt sold at Texas auction

Congressman asks pro sports leagues
about their tax-exempt status

Conservatives step up efforts to
close U.S. Export-Import Bank

Exclusive: Modi government puts brakes
on India's universal health plan

Oil leaps 5 percent, most in a
month, on air strikes in Yemen

Building collapses, engulfed in
flames in New York's East Village

Wisconsin's Walker denies changing
stance on illegal immigrants

U.S. top diplomat for Africa to lead
observation mission for Nigeria vote

New Jersey lawmakers send post-Exxon
pollution bill to governor

Boston bombing jury sees mock
bombs, victim autopsy photos

Argentina court throws out appeal
of decision clearing Fernandez

U.S. has no policy to protect Syrian
force after training: general

West Virginia police capture
escaped murder suspect

Iraq special forces advance in
Tikrit, U.S. coalition joins fight

Informant fingers earlier suspect
in case of missing New York boy

U.S. Air Force overstepped bounds
in SpaceX certification: report

Obama discusses Yemen, Iran
in call with Turkey's Erdogan

U.S. House okays bipartisan bill
to fix Medicare doctor payments

Hearing for black Virginia student
bloodied in arrest postponed

U.S. drug agents had sex parties
funded by drug cartels: watchdog

Obama, Turkey's Erdogan discuss Yemen,
Iran, Islamic State: White House

Oil up 5 percent after Saudi strikes
in Yemen; dollar limits gains

Boston jury sees mockups of
bombs used in deadly 2013 attack

Ohio men imprisoned 18 years
on murder granted new trial

U.N.: Israeli settlements may
have already killed two-state bid

Illinois Senate sends FY
2015 budget fix to governor

U.N. says Libyan parties need more
time to agree unity government

Man kills self in Colorado after
eating pot candies: coroner

Food fight: Kentucky, West Virginia
senators wager over NCAA game

Displacement doubles in north
Cameroon in flight from Boko Haram

More than 15,000 buildings without
power after Oklahoma tornadoes

Rouhani speaks with French, British,
Russian leaders as nuclear talks resume

Schock leaves U.S. Congress, notes
Abe Lincoln had troubles too

One killed, several injured in
Texas highway bridge collapse

EU to resume Galileo
satellite launch program

Arab foreign ministers agree
on unified military force

New U.N. investigator
to probe digital spying

Pentagon research arm says military
must react faster to tech changes

U.S. public pension fund investments
resume growth in fourth quarter

Highway bridge collapses in
Texas, one death reported

Japanese PM Abe invited to
address U.S. Congress on April 29

Modeling agency owner alleges he lost
business after Epstein sex scandal

Bridge collapses on I-35
highway in Salado, Texas

Firefighter dies in Cincinnati
apartment building fire

Greece prepares reforms, eyes
deal with euro zone next week

German police search house of
pilot who flew A320 into mountain

U.S. ad campaign points to dangers
of dual cigarette/e-cig use

U.S. hopes to wrap up Pacific
trade deal, fast-track soon

U.S. Ebola patient's condition
improved to serious: NIH

Nigerian government denies 'fresh
abduction' in Damasak town

Trial of ex-NFL star Hernandez
interrupted by bomb threat

Detroit mom whose children were found
in freezer to face murder charges

U.S. trade rep says hopes to wrap
up Transpacific Partnership soon

Father of slain U.S. blogger says
no progress in Bangladesh probe

Grandma Cissy prays for Bobbi Kristina
but 'not a great deal of hope'

Fed officials say rate hike plan
intact despite weak U.S. data

North Korea says it has
arrested two South Korean spies

U.S. lawmaker to Homeland Security:
'clean up' Secret Service

U.S. 'troubled' by Thai leader's
threat to execute journalists

Maryland student leaves school
after 'hateful' email to fraternity

Post-election unrest could
hamper aid efforts in Nigeria

Indiana governor allows needle
exchange to fight HIV outbreak

Protests continue a week after
woman lynched in Afghan capital

More teenage recruits as Yemen
conflict intensifies, U.N. says

U.S. jobs, services sector
data point to growth rebound

Cuba proposes quick start to
human rights dialogue with U.S.

Flaws in weapons buying threaten
U.S. national security: Sen. McCain

Exclusive: West holds off on Ukraine
aid pledges, seeking reforms

California plans public forums on
marijuana legalization options

U.N. boosts peacekeepers in
Central African Republic by 1,000

Nigeria's presidential
candidates sign new peace appeal

U.S. House committee advances
'threat-sharing' cybersecurity bill

Co-pilot appears to have crashed Germanwings
plane on purpose, prosecutor says

Niger, Chad troops pursue Boko
Haram in Nigerian border area

No U.N. troop cut in Congo until
progress against Rwandan rebels

Indiana governor signs religious
freedom bill that could affect gays

Pope Francis to visit Obama
at White House on Sept 23

Putin says Western spies plot
against Russia before polls

Germany bans Islamist
militant group Tauhid Germany

Four dead in Chile floods, military
rescues stranded residents

Business, military, government seize
land for rubber in Myanmar: rights group

Jockey motion tracking
reveals racing prowess

Ex-U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.
released from prison: media reports

Tunisia signals local al Qaeda
links to Bardo museum attack

Syrian Islamist insurgents advance
around Idlib city: monitor

Lower U.S. jobless claims suggest
solidly improving labor market

U.S., Iran resume talks on preliminary
nuclear deal as deadline looms

Thai junta targets dissent with
visits to student activist homes

Germanwings co-pilot likely crashed
jet deliberately: prosecutor

Burundi ruling party officials ask
president to drop third term quest

Uganda ups security, says al
Shabaab group behind U.S. warning

Cutting losses on Iran nuclear
deal, Israel eyes small print

Just one pilot in cockpit at time of
French Alps crash: German prosecutor

Saudi Arabia leads air strikes
against Yemen's Houthi rebels

Case against accused Boston Marathon
bomber moves towards conclusion

Coalition, Iraqi planes target IS
militants in Tikrit presidential compound

Poland says four U.S. Thunderbolt
planes join exercises

China says probing if more
Myanmar bombs strayed over border

Kenya police officer shot in
possible Islamist revenge attack

UK court rules Prince Charles letters
to ministers can be disclosed

China says will likely invite
Western Allies to WW2 parade

North Korea's neighbors push
to resume six-party talks

Thailand toughens trafficking law
with death penalty, steep fines

Aquino takes responsibility for bungled
mission in Philippines, but no apology

Nigeria's military detains
two Al Jazeera reporters

Philippines says to resume works
in disputed South China Sea

Fed's Bullard: now may be good time
to normalize U.S. monetary policy

Pakistan militant spokesman
phones to deny death

Recording shows pilot locked out
of crashed Airbus cockpit: NYT

Distrust clouds vision of
Kurdish peace in Turkey

Greece believes deal on reforms with
Eurogroup to be reached next week

California police say Bay
Area woman's abduction staged

Costa Rica fires ambassador in
Venezuela after vocal support of Maduro

Woman arrested in plot to
kidnap babies and kill mothers

Saudi Arabia, allies launch air strikes
in Yemen against Houthi fighters

Asylum seekers in the West
highest since Bosnia war: UNHCR

Four suspected rebels dead after
military raid in Thai south

Chinese police raid office
of prominent NGO: co-founder

U.S. consumer watchdog unveils
plans to regulate payday loans

Arizona lawmakers approve
abortion bill, send to governor

Florida teen kills brother, shoots
other sibling, then kills himself

One person killed, several injured
as tornadoes hit Oklahoma, Arkansas

Leaked Pacific trade pact draft
shows investment carve-outs sought

Oil prices surge after
Saudi air strikes in Yemen

Deported South Korean faces U.S.
charges for posing as brother he killed

Vietnam industrial zone
accident kills 14, 30 injured

China's Xi says miscarriages of
justice must be tackled properly

Family of unarmed Georgia man killed
by police launches own investigation

Californians worry about water, favor
legalizing pot and like Jerry Brown: poll

Cockpit voice tape studied in Airbus
crash; NYT says pilot locked out

Stepmother, father arrested after
Florida three-year-old found dead in box

California bill that would allow
assisted suicide passes Senate panel

House Republican budget
crosses finish line, barely

Wisconsin state trooper, bank
robbery suspect die in shoot-out

House Republicans pass blueprint
for deep spending cuts

Tornadoes hit Oklahoma and
Arkansas, damaging structures

Florida man killed family in
murder-suicide drowning: police

U.S. officials urge funding to
reduce vulnerabilities in space

U.S. wants detailed deal with
Iran but hints at flexibility

Files about U.S. intelligence operations
taken by Yemen rebels: LA Times

Driver who injured Denver policeman
at Ferguson protest arrested

U.S. warns of possible
attacks in Ugandan capital

Explosion kills one at Turkish
magazine office: reports

Investigators hope cockpit
tape will explain Airbus crash

Brazil says no 'grand bargain'
with builders in Petrobras scandal

Indiana governor to declare disaster
for county hit by HIV outbreak

Worries grow as new courts
hand Pakistan army more power

House Republicans narrow
budget choices, unity tested

U.N. aviation agency to seek green
light on domestic drone rules

Slain U.S. blogger's wife urges
'thorough' Bangladesh probe

Indianapolis mayor says religious
freedom bill sends wrong signal

U.S.-led coalition, Iraqis
pound Islamic State in Tikrit

U.S. jury says Motorola infringed
one Intellectual Ventures patent

Police make arrest in Florida
university shooting that wounded three

Treasury's Lew to travel to
China March 28-31: Treasury

Large crowd at Univ. of Mississippi
protests dismissal of school leader

U.S. to modify launch capability
deal for Lockheed-Boeing venture

Allies of Yemen Houthis seize Aden
airport, close in on president

Bay Area woman reported kidnapped
turns up safe in Southern California

U.S. autoworkers face threat
as car makers drawn to Mexico

Heinz deal for Kraft expands
food larder for Buffett, 3G

NASA picks an asteroid rock
to pave the road to Mars

Disgraced Oklahoma student says
'deeply sorry' about racist song

Ohio House again passes
'heartbeat' anti-abortion bill

California attorney general seeks
to halt anti-gay ballot initiative

Republicans ask White House about
Clinton's broken charity donors promise

Former Pennsylvania sportscaster
sentenced to prison for charity scam

Texas Senate passes $4.5
billion tax cut bill

As oil prices slide, North Dakota
sees manufacturing in its future

Texas gets new batch of execution
drug after supply ran short

Kremlin critic says under
pressure not to return to Russia

North Carolina State disbands fraternity
after discovery of offensive remarks

Thousands commemorate historic
Selma, Ala., civil rights march

Unarmed Georgia man remembered by family
at apartment where he was killed by police

Friends seek financial aid for family
of U.S. civil rights leader Fauntroy

Delta rocket blasts off from
Florida with improved GPS satellite

Passenger bus blown up by mine
in east Ukraine, three killed

Detroit mom charged after
children found dead in freezer

Ex-U.S. war prisoner Bergdahl
charged with desertion, misbehavior

Ivory Coast's coalition partners
to merge after elections

Orders given for U.S.-led strikes
on Iraq's Tikrit: U.S. official

Obama ready to sign bipartisan
fix for Medicare doctor payments

Venezuela collects three million anti-Obama
signatures, foes denounce coercion

Jury in Silicon Valley discrimination
trial starts deliberations

British government using Falklands
for election gains: Argentina

Colorado pot arrests plunge, but
rate for blacks still higher: study

Former U.S. war prisoner Bergdahl
faces possible life in prison

At least 12 dead in Vietnam
industrial zone accident: media

Virginia governor orders police
retraining after student's arrest

Netanyahu gets go-ahead to
form Israel's next government

Ex-Congo child soldier apologizes
at U.N. for 1990s killings

Exclusive: U.S.-led coalition planning
to carry out Tikrit strikes - source

Britain fights slavery with tough
new law as part of global battle

Oil up 3 percent on weak dollar,
speculative buying, Yemen

U.S. farm groups to press FAA
for fewer drone restrictions

Supermassive blackhole
detector ready for business

Ex-NYU researcher reaches plea
deal in China bribe scheme

FBI offers $25,000 reward for
tips on North Carolina gold heist

Senate Democrats push White
House on oil train safety

Donors pledge more than one
billion euros for Guinea-Bissau

CAR farmers need seeds now, cheaper
than more food aid later: U.N.

Autopsy due on two children
found dead in freezer in Detroit

U.S. Army to give update on case
of former war prisoner Bergdahl

New Afghan president warns of
'terrible threat' from Islamic State

Investigators say have cockpit voice
recordings from crashed Airbus

Conservative justices press Obama
administration on mercury pollution rule

Moscow says new U.S. national
security strategy is anti-Russian

Heave, ho: Elephants rescue
18-wheeler stranded on Louisiana road

Iran insists on lifting all
sanctions in any nuclear deal: IRNA

Facing resistance, U.S. pushes
to meet deadline for Iran deal

Man shoots and kills wife, then
himself outside Memphis grocery store

Nigeria to close land, sea
borders for Saturday election

Union vote set at Boeing's South
Carolina plants, stokes labor rift

Nigerian court leaves challenger Buhari
free to run in presidential race

Oklahoma civil rights pioneer
Nancy Davis dies at 88

Pentagon silent on Iraq's
prediction of Tikrit air strikes

Ghani: Islamic State 'terrible
threat' to western, central Asia

U.S. justices divided over challenge
to mercury air pollution rule

Oil gains on weaker dollar, though
U.S. storage build limits rise

U.S. military challenged maritime
claims of 19 countries in 2014

Chad court convicts Habre-era security
officials of war crimes, torture

Islamic State fighters take on
Libya's rival government forces

Weak U.S. business spending data
points to tepid first quarter growth

Turkish military says clashes with
Kurdish militants in southeast

Two dead in Nashville, Tenn.
crash that shut down I-40 lanes

U.S. ATF had to ditch $600,000 worth
of surveillance drones: watchdog

Two men arrested in Maryland
high school shooting

U.S. drivers extend record
mileage gains in January: FHA

Greece fails in bid for early
cash release, reforms awaited

Italy court ruling on Amanda
Knox delayed until Friday

Kraft to combine with Heinz
in deal led by 3G, Buffett

Brent oil pares gains on
record high U.S. inventory

UK's Cameron rejects charge he's
become lame duck by nixing third term

Yemen's Houthi militia close
in on president's Aden base

Sri Lankan president seeks to mend
ties with China after port suspension

Glimmers of hope in Central
Africa Republic but peace elusive

Former top Mubarak-era official freed
from jail: Egyptian state news agency

Pro motorcycle rider Westby
dies in Oklahoma crash

Liberian ex-president must serve
out sentence in Britain: court

Six killed in suicide bomb near
Afghan presidential palace

Arab leaders confronted with
multiple crises at summit

U.S. justices throw out ruling that
upheld Alabama redistricting plan

U.S. Supreme Court revives
pregnant worker?s case against UPS

U.S. losing 'information war'
to Russia, other rivals: study

Hollande, Merkel, Rajoy arrive
in Alps for crash tribute

Divided north Nigerian city
fears post-election violence

FBI needs better intelligence,
information sharing: U.S. report

Fighters target vital water plants
across Middle East: Red Cross

Turkey unveils Great Synagogue
as Jewish population fades

Amanda Knox verdict likely
to be delayed until Friday

Suspect dead after shooting that
killed California police officer

Polish priest jailed for seven
years over child sex abuse

Three men arrested for recruiting
Islamist fighters in Italy

EU urges quick restart to
Israeli-Palestinian talks

Police make 77 arrests in Europe-wide
people trafficking crackdown

Ford recalls over 220,000 vehicles
in North America for three issues

Brent oil rises as euro
gains against dollar

Smartphone use changing our brain and
thumb interaction, say researchers

Sanctions threat will not deter
counter-attacks: South Sudan president

Investigators search mountains
after 'inexplicable' Airbus crash

Islamic State militants kill five pro-Tripoli
government fighters: Libyan news agency

Loud explosion in Afghan
capital Kabul: police

Kraft and Heinz to form North
America's No.3 food company

Colorado pot campaigner seeks
'sanctuary' status for mountain town

Mainstream Syrian rebels seize
historic town in south: monitor

Myanmar charges 69 protesters with
rioting after police crackdown

Turkish cartoonists fined for
suggesting Erdogan is gay

Iran to insist all sanctions lifted
in any nuclear deal: foreign minister

Romania's parliament votes to
arrest former finance minister

Business group ranks U.S. near last
in welcoming skilled immigrants

Iraqi president expects U.S.-led
coalition air strikes on Tikrit soon

Suspected suicide bombing kills
five in Libya's Sirte: source, TV

Netanyahu picks Kulanu party head
as Israel's finance minister

Italy's top court to
rule on Amanda Knox fate

Air strikes kill 30 militants allied
with Pakistani Taliban: sources

Israel's Netanayhu to name Kulanu party's
Kahlon as finance minister, Likud says

Kraft Foods to merge
with ketchup maker Heinz

Yemen Houthi militia sweeps toward
Aden in threat to president

Passenger plane lands safely
in Russia after engine fails

Ultra-nationalist Ukrainian
battalion gears up for more fighting

UTair plane lands safely in Russia
after emergency landing: source

Rocket from Syria clashes explodes
inside Turkey, injuring five - army

Oil steadies above $55 as
U.S., Chinese stocks fill

Three Chinese tourists killed
in Thai tour bus crash

Pakistan jets kill 30 Taliban-ally
militants, including spokesman: sources

Boeing passenger plane requests
emergency landing in Russia: source

Thai PM Prayuth warns media, says
has power to execute reporters

Egyptian court adjourns trial of
Al Jazeera journalists to April 22

Italy police seek three suspects
over terrorism offences

Search teams probe wreckage
of jet in French Alps

Houthi forces attack air
base near Aden-sources

Two people wounded in Turkey by explosion
of munitions possibly from Syria

Oil prices dip China's strategic
reserves fill, U.S. stocks balloon

Syria's Assad urges united front with
Iraq against terrorism: state media

Scottish nationalists would block
second Cameron government: Salmond

Coke's zero tolerance for land
grabs proves difficult to fulfill

California police officer shot
dead responding to suicide call

Hungary reaches deal on Russian
nuclear fuel supply with Euratom: MTI

Taiwan activists fan China
fears as protest trial opens

Hong Kong ready for fresh 'Occupy'
protests says city leader

Loyalists of former Yemen ruler
reject foreign intervention

Ukraine leader fires oligarch
Kolomoisky as regional chief

Australia kicks off $39
billion submarine tender

U.S. drone strike kills 11 Pakistani
Taliban in Afghanistan, sources say

Top U.S. CEOs reaped billions from stock
gains in recent years, Reuters analysis shows

Islamic State releases Bangladeshi
hostages in Libya oilfield attack

Japanese navy gets biggest flat-top
since WWII-era aircraft carriers

Thousands line Singapore's streets
to pay respect to Lee Kuan Yew

Judge rules teenage girl
sparked California wildfire

China gives 'priority list'
of wanted officials to U.S.

Police name persons of interest
in death of Colorado teen girl

Silicon Valley gender
trial enters final stages

Gamer convention could leave
Indiana over religious freedom bill

Indonesian tycoon sues government to stop
key opposition party defecting to president

Idaho family named as suspects
in fatal Arizona Wal-Mart brawl

Australian opposition seeks Swedish
involvement in submarine tender

Kraft in talks to be acquired
by Brazil's 3G Capital: source

EU, Cuba to speed up talks,
seek deal by end of 2015

China pushes Iran again to reach
nuclear deal with world powers

California woman killed by gravel
dumped on her car in driveway

Attacks against Mexican journalists
rise under Pena Nieto: report

Government report finds U.S. Homeland
Security deputy intervened in visa cases

Colorado carjacker pleads guilty
to crime spree caught on live TV

Thirty new bean varieties
bred to beat baking climate

Islamic State claims suicide
bombing in Libya's Benghazi

Investigators seek clues into why jet
ploughed into French mountainside

Trespassing blamed in fatal
Gregg Allman biopic train crash

Ivory Coast names Catholic bishop
to head reconciliation efforts

Exclusive: Saudi Arabia building up
military near Yemen border - U.S. officials

Jury clears Greyhound of negligence
in California crash that killed six

Ex-death row inmate blasts
'miscarriage of justice' in Arizona

House Republicans vow to close
ranks, support budget plan

Florida Senate passes bill to let gun owners
carry weapons in emergency evacuations

U.S., Lebanon discuss efforts
to defeat Islamic State

Russian foreign minister
praises new U.S.-Cuba relations

U.S. workers set to return next
week to Shell Deer Park refinery

Jordan signs $10 billion nuclear
power plant deal with Russia

Omaha police officer who
fatally shot suspect resigns

Bark beetles not adding to U.S.
West's wildfire woes: study

Oklahoma teen sentenced to life in
prison for killing of Australian

Smugglers busted with three tons
of marijuana off California coast

Home where gunman in Connecticut
massacre lived demolished: official

France tells U.N. 'insufficient'
progress in Iran nuclear talks

U.S. removes dead Cubans, sunken
ships from sanctions list

Obama slows withdrawal of
U.S. troops in Afghanistan

Suicide bombing kills seven in Libya's
Benghazi as army launches revenge strike

Four people found fatally
shot in Indianapolis house

Atlanta-area police shoot dead
wanted man driving Maserati

Georgia lawmakers poised to permit
limited use of medical marijuana

Brazil's leader committed to
austerity with social focus

Prosecution challenges defense bid to blame
earlier suspect in New York child murder case

U.N. ramps up threat to sanction
South Sudan's senior leaders

Pennsylvania township nixes proposed
Islamic cemetery, appeal likely

Obamacare foe Ted Cruz to sign
up for coverage under the plan

Missouri police shooting suspect
told informant officers not target

Medicare doctor pay fix
prospects brighten in Congress

Atlantic City turnaround team
bets on cuts not bankruptcy

Oregon father arrested for
blowing pot into infant's mouth

U.S. to hold mediation talks after
Washington state police slaying

UAW delegates debate strategy to
end two-tier wages at automakers

Obama: U.S. to maintain troop
levels in Afghanistan through 2015

Oldest evidence of breast cancer
found in Egyptian skeleton

Obama: Differences with
Israel's Netanyahu not personal

U.S. Senate leader says fast-track
trade bill still top priority

Naked North Carolina man irks
neighbors, but police say no crime

Cancer experts laud Angelina
Jolie's decision to remove ovaries

Ex-NFL star Sharper pleads guilty
to attempted sex assault in Nevada

SEC's White says 'closely
monitoring' proxy access efforts

Head of New York Dominican Day Parade
ousted after improprieties found

Obama says 'well worth it' to
extend troop levels in Afghanistan

Obama says two-state deal unlikely
after Israeli leader's comments

U.S. Senate will vote on sanctions
bill if there is no Iran deal

French builder Vinci to sue over
claims of forced labor in Qatar

Police search for California
woman said kidnapped for ransom

Brent slides, U.S. crude holds
flat on resilient dollar

Electric fault delays relaunch of
CERN collider after two-year refit

U.S. Joint Chiefs drafting military
cyber standards: arms tester

Former Alamo managers sue
Texas in battle over archives

U.S. to keep 9,800 troops in Afghanistan
through end 2015: White House

Child brides take Zimbabwe government
to court over marriage laws

Al Qaeda influence seen in accused
Boston bomber's note: witness

Congolese hospital sees rise in
rape of girls as young as 18 months

Keep up reforms for entry
talks, EU tells Albania

Venezuelan leader's popularity
inches up to 25 percent: poll

Exclusive: U.S. bets on Brazil,
extends new invitation to Rousseff

Illinois House passes bills
to plug state budget gap

'Threat-sharing' cybersecurity
bill introduced in U.S. House

Lebanese army says captures militant
accused of beheading soldier

Amy's Kitchen recalls spinach
products over listeria concerns

Family of alleged Facebook fraud
fugitive to forfeit bail: U.S. judge

FAA streamlines approval for
some commercial drone use

Angelina Jolie has ovaries
removed to reduce risk of cancer

Three arrested as Chicago
protesters demand police reforms

German Airbus crashes in French
Alps with 150 dead, black box found

Obama mercury air pollution rule
faces test at U.S. top court

California woman may have been
kidnapped for ransom: police

U.N. proposes 'presidential
council' to Libyan rival factions

Greece risks running out of cash
by April 20, scrambles on reforms

Obama appoints new senior
adviser, chief digital officer

Tunisia's Bardo museum in symbolic
reopening and march after attacks

20-foot deep sinkhole in New
Jersey forces home evacuations

South Sudan parliament extends
president's term by 3 years

Boko Haram kidnapped hundreds in
northern Nigeria town: residents

Hadi forces check Houthi
push towards Yemen's Aden

Pakistani minister: Officials in several
ministries ran racket that freed prisoners

House leader says prospects good
for fixing Medicare doctor pay

Canada says it will bomb Islamic
State 'safe havens' in Syria

Want an affordable earthquake warning
system? Use animals, scientists say

U.S. Senator Coats, Indiana Republican,
says won't seek re-election

U.S. says would review any Iraqi
request for help in Tikrit

Russia fails in bid to stop UN
staff benefits for all gay couples

Policeman, two soldiers killed in
attacks in Egypt's Sinai: sources

Roots of accused Boston
bomber's note argued at trial

Afghan police official fired for
mob-killing Facebook comment

Robot stays on its feet
despite punishment

Euro zone and U.S. manufacturing
expand, China struggles

Britain says to boost defense
of disputed Falkland Islands

Canada says to launch air strikes
against Islamic State in Syria

Court rules PSEG may be entitled to
recover Sandy storm-surge losses

Desperate for food, Mindanao
villagers want to return home

Nigeria court bars military from
deploying around polling stations: lawyer

School bus carrying students
crashes into Philadelphia area home

Yemen's Houthis advance towards
Aden but deny it's their target

Nigeria's electoral commission says
82 percent of voter cards collected

Romanian prosecutors find gold,
Renoir painting in minister's safe

Tunisia closes airspace to western
Libya for security reasons

Robot racing sparks scientific
enthusiasm in U.S. students

Police official fired amid outcry
over lynching of woman in Kabul

Euro zone economy leading
the way as China struggles

Iraq request for U.S.-led Tikrit
air strikes 'imminent': diplomat

Romanian prosecutors seek to
expand probe into former finmin

Turkish military launch operation
targeting Kurdish rebel hideouts

Yemen's Houthis enter southern
town near Red Sea strait

Yemen rivals to hold talks
in Doha-Qatar source

Fed's Bullard says zero U.S.
rates no longer appropriate

Sweden intercepts Russian planes
over Baltic amid regional tensions

Boston bomb trial digs into
suspect's extremist influences

Germanwings plane crashes
in southern France: police

Oil rebounds towards $57 as weaker
dollar overshadows China slowdown

Taiwan president pays last respects
to Singapore's Lee, China shrugs off

China province says graft
probes leaves 300 jobs empty

Islamic State recruits 400 children
since January: Syria monitor

Oil below $56 as Saudi output
near record, China activity slows

Greece promises list of reforms
by Monday to unlock cash

Masked gunmen kill 13 Afghans
in third bus attack in a month

China confirms, in roundabout way,
Japan invite for war memorial

Man accused of weekend abduction
dies in Wisconsin: media

Greek deal with euro zone
likely this week: EU's Schulz

Japan lawmakers to submit casino
legalization bill by end-March

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