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Last update: Wed, 31 Aug 2016 12pm

North America

World - North America

Obama tells Iran to grasp 'historic' chance WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama told the people and leaders of Iran on Thursday that nuclear talks presented "the best opportunity in decades" for the two countries to transform long-frayed ties, but warned there was still work to do in the tortuous negotiations.It came after mixed messages emerged from the talks earlier in the day in Switzerland, where US Secretary of State John Kerry and his Iranian counterpart hailed "progress," but a European negotiator said Tehran and the six major powers were "pretty far from a deal."The countdown has begun with a March 31 deadline to agree to the outlines of an agreement that would see Iran scale back its nuclear program in return for relief from sanctions.In his annual address to mark the Persian new year festival of Nowruz, Obama -- in a video message -- spoke directly to the Iranian people and their leaders."This year, we have the ...

World - North America

Top Mexican journalist sees government hand in firing MEXICO CITY: One of Mexico's most popular journalists said Thursday she suspects the government was behind her firing because of her report about the first lady's controversial purchase of a mansion.Carmen Aristegui said the abrupt way that she was sacked from her top-rated MVS radio morning program this week makes her think that "there was someone really angry, someone seeking some sort of vengeance" over her work.Fellow journalists, intellectuals and political observers have denounced the ...

World - North America

Fed urges lawmakers to toughen rules on Wall St and commodities WASHINGTON/NEW YORK: US lawmakers should consider overturning a decades-old rule that allows Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs to extract, transport and trade physical commodities, a top Federal Reserve official said on Thursday. Asked at a Senate Banking Committee hearing on bank regulation what rules could be strengthened, Fed Governor Daniel Tarullo said one target was the commodities exemption the two banks enjoy, which allows them to handle everything from crude oil cargoes and copper pallets ...

World - North America

Obama to sign order cutting US government greenhouse gas emissions WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama will sign an executive order on Thursday that will cut the U.S. government's greenhouse gas emissions, the White House said in a statement.After signing the order, Obama will visit the Department of Energy to tour the building's rooftop solar panels. While there, he will attend a meeting of some of the federal suppliers, which will discuss their reduction targets, including initial commitments to disclose emission targets or set new reduction goals, ...

World - North America

Obama to visit Jamaica, Panama in April WASHINGTON: Barack Obama will make his first presidential visit to Jamaica in April, a trip expected to focus on strengthening security in the Caribbean.The White House said Wednesday that Obama would visit the island nation to meet leaders of the Caribbean bloc CARICOM. It is the first time a US president has visited Jamaica since Ronald Reagan in 1982.From Jamaica, Obama will travel to Panama for a Summit of the Americas, the first such meeting ...

World - North America

White House was sent envelope with cyanide WASHINGTON: The White House this week was sent a letter that tested positive for cyanide, US media reported on Tuesday, in yet another piece of bad news for the Secret Service."On Monday 3/16/15, an envelope was received at the White House Mail Screening Facility. Initial Biological testing was negative; however, on 03/17/15, the chemical testing returned a presumptive positive for cyanide," Secret Service spokesman Brian Leary said in a statement on CNN. "The sample was ...

World - North America

Canada opposes Guantanamo ex-inmate's bail application OTTAWA: Canada plans to ask a court to dismiss former Guantanamo detainee Omar Khadr's bail application pending an appeal of his war crimes conviction in the United States.In a legal brief submitted Monday to the Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta ahead of a March 24-25 hearing, the government argues that granting Khadr's application would undermine public confidence in the justice system.It also claims that releasing Khadr would subvert an international law principle of respect ...