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Last update: Thu, 11 Feb 2016 07am

North America

World - North America

Zika spreads in Latin America: 50 cases in Panama PANAMA CITY: Panama on Monday said it has 50 cases of Zika virus infections and warned that the mosquito-borne disease, which is linked to birth defects, will end up spreading across the Central American nation."Let's be clear: it (Zika) is going to enter, it is going to spread," the head of the health ministry's epidemological department, Israel Cedeno, told the television network TVN-2.The World Health Organization (WHO) on Monday declared the virus a global health emergency. The 50 cases confirmed so far in Panama were concentrated in the predominantly indigenous Guna Yala region along its Caribbean coast.Vice President Isabel De Saint Malo last week had spoken of 38 cases in Guna Yala and said at the time that "there is no big public health risk."Although symptoms of the disease are relatively mild, it is believed to be linked to a surge in cases of microcephaly, a devastating condition in which ...

World - North America

Sanders, Clinton rake in presidential campaign cash WASHINGTON: Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign said Sunday it raised more than $20 million in January, mostly from small donors, in what it called a "powerful demonstration" of grassroots support.That would represent a dramatic acceleration in fund-raising by the Democratic presidential candidate from Vermont, who averaged raising about $11 million a month in the last quarter of 2015 -- $33 million for the period -- and it would indicate an ability to stay in the US ...

World - North America

White House hopefuls in frantic sprint to Iowa vote DES MOINES: US presidential candidates made a frenzied, final push Sunday to lock in Iowa voters on the eve of the first nominating contest of the 2016 election season.Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton both were leading in the polls, but not by enough to assure victory for either candidate in Monday's caucuses.Armies of volunteers fanned out through the snow-swept Midwestern state, knocking on doors or manning phone banks to get out the vote, ...

World - North America

Kerry urges rebels to 'seize moment' at Syria talks WASHINGTON: US Secretary of State John Kerry urged Syria's opposition and regime to play a full role in peace talks Sunday, while accusing Bashar al-Assad's forces of starving civilians."This morning, in light of what is at stake in these talks, I appeal to both sides to make the most of this moment," he said, in an online statement broadcast from Washington.While the top US diplomat aimed his remarks at both sides, his message was clearly ...

World - North America

As Iowa nears, Clinton again defends email practices WASHINGTON: Hillary Clinton, fighting for a strong finish in the Iowa caucuses, tried on Sunday to tamp down the controversy over her past handling of official emails, saying her critics were "grasping at straws."Clinton retained a slim 3-point lead over rival Bernie Sanders in the final poll released before Monday's caucuses, and her backers hope the latest email flap does not discourage Iowans from voting for her on Monday. Asked on ABC's "This Week" about ...

World - North America

Salvadoran ex-president Flores dies after stroke: party SAN SALVADOR: El Salvador's former president Francisco Flores has died, officials in his political party announced late Saturday, days after he slipped into a coma following a massive stroke."We mourn the death of president Francisco Flores, and express solidarity with his family at this time," read a message issued from the Twitter account of his rightist National Republican Alliance (ARENA) party.The announcement of the death of Flores, 56, who led the Central American country from ...

World - North America

Retired US general Petraeus won't be demoted over scandal WASHINGTON: The Pentagon won't strip David Petraeus of his fourth star for providing his mistress classified information, a scandal that forced the resignation of a man feted for changing the course of the Iraq War.The retired general was given two years' probation and fined $100,000 in 2015 over the matter following a guilty plea in a US court.The US Army "completed its review of his case and recommended no additional action," Assistant Secretary of Defense ...