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Obama to mark US civil rights law that paved way for his presidency WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama this week celebrates the civil rights advances of 50 years ago which laid the groundwork for him to become the first black president, but his own record in making life better for the African-American community that catalyzed his election is mixed.Obama will join former presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush in speaking at the Lyndon Baines Johnson presidential library in Austin, Texas, this week to mark a half century since Johnson's landmark 1964 Civil Rights Act.As the first African-American president, Obama is the physical embodiment of racial progress that Johnson brought about. The civil rights law, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the creation of Medicare were instrumental in improving equality for racial minorities and putting desegregation in the past."What you can say is that trio of laws allowed for the ascent of Barack Obama to the presidency and any other person ...

Obama's aunt, who fought deportation, dies in US NEW YORK: US President Barack Obama's Kenyan aunt, who won asylum in the United States after fighting possible deportation, has died, her lawyer said on Tuesday. She was 61.Zeituni Onyango died in her sleep in the US city of Boston on Monday night, after falling ill in January, Margaret Wong said."The United States Kenyan community mourns the loss of Zeituni Onyango, known to her friends as 'Auntie,' and half-aunt of President Barack Obama," Wong said ...
US budget cuts hurt Coast Guard drug efforts WASHINGTON: Budget cuts have eroded the US Coast Guard's ability to combat drug smuggling and the agency is intercepting only about 20 percent of the illegal drugs heading into the United States by sea from South America, its top officer said on Tuesday.Admiral Robert Papp, US Coast Guard commandant, said that figure falls far short of President Barack Obama's goal of capturing 40 percent of drugs entering the country by 2015."Right now we're hovering probably ...
Senate passes insurance extension for longterm jobless WASHINGTON: The US Senate voted Monday to restore unemployment benefits for nearly three million Americans, sending the legislation to the House of Representatives, where the emergency aid is opposed by many Republicans.The legislation retroactively restores payments, averaging about $300 per week, for some 2.8 million people from the end of last year, when the benefits to the longterm unemployed were cut off, and extends them five months, until June 1.Six Republicans joined the Democratic majority ...
UN chief decries death of Dutch priest in Syria UNITED NATIONS: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the shooting death Monday of a well-known Dutch priest in Syria as an "inhumane act of violence."Frans van der Lugt, 75, who gained renown for his insistence on staying in Syria's besieged city of Homs, was shot dead there by a masked gunman.Ban's spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the UN chief "demands that warring parties and their supporters ensure that civilians are protected, regardless of their religion, community or ...
Radioactivity risk at N.Korea nuke site: US think tank WASHINGTON: North Korea's main nuclear site appears to have suffered water supply problems that could lead to an escape of radioactivity in an accident, a US think tank said Monday.Citing recent satellite images, the US-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University said the Yongbyon complex seems to be struggling to ensure a stable water supply following heavy rain and floods last summer.The problems pose particular risks for North Korea's first light water reactor which is near ...
18 dead in weekend violence in northern Mexico MEXICO CITY: A series of gunfights left 18 people dead over the weekend in the northern Mexican state of Tamaulipas, which borders the United States and has endured years of drug violence.Twelve men and two women were killed Sunday in shootings between criminal groups in the towns of Tampico and Madero, on the Gulf of Mexico coast, according to the Tamaulipas Coordination Group, which includes federal and state security forces.The first shootout took place at ...


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