BAGHDAD – Twin car bombs ravaged a popular shopping area in Baghdad's biggest Shiite district Wednesday, killing at least 41 people in a...
BAGHDAD – Twin car bombs ravaged a popular shopping area in Baghdad's biggest Shiite district Wednesday, killing at least 41 people in another powerful strike by suspected Sunni insurgents seeking a return to sectarian chaos.
In less than a week, blasts have struck the heart of Shiite traditions and unity: hitting Shiite pilgrims, a revered shrine and now teeming Sadr City in attacks that have claimed nearly 200 lives.
UNITED NATIONS – The Obama administration, in a major environmental policy shift, is preparing to ask 195 nations that ratified the U.N. ozone treaty to enact mandatory reductions in hydrofluorocarbons, according to U.S. officials.
The change — the first U.S.-proposed mandatory global cut in greenhouse gases — would transform the ozone treaty into a strong tool for fighting global warming.
CANBERRA, Australia – Australia announced Wednesday it will increase by almost one half its troops in Afghanistan to about 1,550 as part of the U.S.-led surge of international forces to bolster the faltering fight against Taliban insurgents.
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, who has mostly played down prospects of increasing Australia's commitment against Afghan insurgents since taking office in 2007, said he had been persuaded to increase the deployment during discussions last week with President Barack Obama.
HAVANA – Raul Castro dismissed Barack Obama's policy changes toward Cuba as "achieving only the minimum," and said Wednesday that it is up to the US to do more to improve relations.
The Cuban president suggested the communist government is not willing to appease Washington by embracing small political and social reforms on the island, saying in a speech before an international gathering of government ministers that "it is not Cuba who has to make gestures."
RIO DE JANEIRO – Reports of debt slavery reached record numbers in Brazil last year, and most of the cases were connected to the nation's booming sugarcane ethanol sector, according to a report released Wednesday by a watchdog group.
The report from the Catholic Land Pastoral, indicated there were 280 cases of debt slavery reported in 2008, a 6 percent increase over 2007.
HAVANA – Fearing swine flu, Cuba is suspending all regular and charter flights from Mexico to the island but still allowing airlines to return travelers to Mexico.
Airlines can fly presumably empty planes to the island and pickup Mexico travels.