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US Senate confirms new Russia envoy WASHINGTON: The US Senate approved President Barack Obama's nominee for ambassador to Moscow Thursday, a quick confirmation amid a long backlog of would-be envoys awaiting a vote.John Tefft, a career diplomat specializing in Eastern Europe, fills a post that has been vacant during a period of high tension between the Kremlin and Washington.The approval comes only weeks after his nomination, amid the most challenging period in US-Russia relations since the end of the Cold War, with the rivals at odds over what Washington sees as Moscow's interference in Ukraine and its annexation of Crimea.A former US ambassador to Ukraine and Georgia, Tefft has served as deputy assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian Affairs and served as chief of mission in the US embassy in Moscow in the 1990s.Tefft, who was confirmed by a Senate voice vote, fills a post vacated by Michael McFaul, who resigned in February.The White ...

US lawmakers postpone recess to deal with immigration WASHINGTON: In a last-ditch effort to schedule a vote dealing with a influx of undocumented Central American children, the US House of Representatives postponed their summer recess Thursday.The move came after the Republican-controlled chamber scrapped a vote earlier in the day on a bill to provide $659 million in emergency aid for the humanitarian crisis at the border."We'll stay until we vote," said Republican Congressman Darrel Issa.US officials have said that almost 57,000 unaccompanied children ...
Nine hospitalized after US lightning strike LOS ANGELES: Nine people, including teenager, were taken to hospital Sunday following a lightning strike at bustling Venice Beach, the Los Angeles Fire Department said.LAFD spokeswoman Katherine Main told AFP two of the individuals were in critical condition but that it was unclear whether all nine were actually hit.The early afternoon incident occurred while there were isolated thunderstorms in the area and many people were at the beach, Main said.Eight of those taken to hospital ...
Mexico arrests 32 cops for alleged organized crime ties MORELIA: More than 30 police officers have been arrested in Mexico for alleged organized crime ties and possible involvement in the killing of fellow cops, authorities said Sunday.Those detained include a former top public safety chief from the town of Tarimbaro, an ex-commander of the same unit and 18 more active duty agents, a public safety source in the troubled state of Michoacan told AFP.Authorities are investigating whether those taken into custody were involved in ...
Americans infected with Ebola in Liberia outbreak WASHINGTON: Two Americans involved in the treatment of Ebola victims in Liberia have become infected with the West African epidemic, an aid agency said on Sunday.Samaritan's Purse, a Christian charity, said that its physician Kent Brantly was in stable condition and had been isolated at the group's Ebola treatment center at the ELWA hospital in the Liberian capital Monrovia.His symptoms included intermittent fever and body aches. Nancy Writebol, a missionary with the SIM Christian charity ...
Committees in Mexico's lower house pass energy reform bills MEXICO CITY: Committees in Mexico's lower house on Saturday approved laws fleshing out a landmark energy reform that seeks to drive private investment into the long-shuttered sector.The so-called secondary laws, which detail the implementation of the constitutional energy reform passed last year, will head to the floor of the lower house, where lawmakers will debate them beginning on Monday. If they are fully approved in the lower house, some of the secondary laws will head ...
Tropical Storm Hernan forms off Mexico's Pacific coast MEXICO CITY: Fearing potentially deadly flooding, Mexican disaster officials are closely monitoring the weather after Tropical Storm Hernan formed off the country's Pacific coast of Mexico late Saturday.Hernan was located 585 kilometers (more than 360 miles) southwest of the tourist port of Manzanillo and was moving in a northwesterly direction, parallel to the coastline, at a speed of 22 kilometers per hour, Mexico's National Meterological Service (SMN) reported at 0300 GMT.The storm was packing maximum ...


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