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Syrian opposition scrambles to save credibility ahead of peace talks
By Khaled Yacoub Oweis and Ece Toksabay ISTANBUL (Reuters) - The Syrian opposition in exile met on Thursday to decide whether to attend a peace conference that the United States and Russia see as a crucial path to ending two years of civil war. Under international pressure to swiftly resolve internal divisions, the Syrian National Coalition began talks in Istanbul to elect a coherent leadership and decide on the conference which could take place in Geneva in the coming weeks. ...
British police ponder conspiracy after soldier murder
By Guy Faulconbridge and Michael Holden LONDON (Reuters) - Police investigating the murder of a soldier hacked to death on a busy London street were looking on Friday into whether the two suspected killers, British men of Nigerian descent, were part of a wider conspiracy. The two suspects, aged 22 and 28, are under guard in hospitals after being shot and arrested by police following the murder of 25-year-old Afghan war veteran Lee Rigby on Wednesday in broad daylight. They have not yet been charged. ...
Kerry meets Israelis, Palestinians in bid to revive talks
By Arshad Mohammed JERUSALEM (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry held separate talks with Israeli and Palestinian officials on Thursday and acknowledged there was considerable skepticism that the two sides would resume peace negotiations. There were no signs of any breakthrough as Kerry visited Israel for the fourth time in his four months in office to try to revive a peace process that has been moribund for more than two years. ...
Repatriating detainees to Yemen key to closing Guantanamo
By Susan Cornwell and Jane Sutton WASHINGTON/MIAMI (Reuters) - President Barack Obama's pledge on Thursday to lift a ban on transfers of detainees to Yemen from the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, addresses one of the core obstacles to clearing out the detention camp. Of the 86 detainees who have been cleared for transfer or release, 56 are from Yemen, where al Qaeda has a dangerous presence. There are 80 more prisoners who are not cleared and an unknown number of those are Yemeni as well. Most of the Yemeni prisoners were captured more than a decade ago. ...
Russia lifts tsunami warning on Russia's Sakhalin, Kurile islands
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian emergency authorities lifted a tsunami warning on Friday several minutes after they announced one, following an earthquake in the Sea of Okhotsk off Russia's eastern coast. The main city of Kamchatka is home to a nuclear submarine base and Russia's largest liquefied natural gas project is in Sakhalin. A regional branch of the Emergency Situations Ministry issued the warning for Sakhalin and the Kurile islands, urging residents to seek high ground after an 8.2 magnitude earthquake at sea, but lifted the warning less than 10 minutes later. ...
Venezuela prosecutor to open probe over leaked recording
CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela's prosecutor's office said on Thursday it would open an investigation into in a recording the opposition says features a top government ally accusing the deputy head of the ruling Socialist Party of corruption and conspiring against the new president. Opposition deputies on Monday broadcast the recording of a conversation they said was between powerful state television commentator Mario Silva and a Cuban intelligence agent and later requested an investigation of it. ...
Obama talks drones: Will it increase transparency for Pentagon to take lead?
In his widely anticipated foreign-policy speech Thursday, President Obama rejected the wisdom of a global “war on terror” and warned, in the words of President James Madison, that “No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.”
Boy Scouts allow gay scouts, but leave ban on gay leaders in place
The Boy Scouts of America voted Thursday to approve the admission of openly gay youth members but left in place a ban on homosexual adult scout leaders, raising the prospect of gay scouts having to leave the group when they become adults.
Immigration reform is stuck in House, but 'gang' is resolute
Bipartisan immigration reformers in the House haven’t yet managed to clinch a deal, missing their self-imposed deadline, but neither has the group called it quits.
Obama renews push to close Guantánamo military prison
President Obama is renewing his stalled effort to close the military detention center at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. It was a promise he made when he first ran for president, but one he couldn’t keep when Congress began blocking funds for releasing or transferring hundreds of prisoners captured as part of the war on terror.
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