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Anti-Israeli cyber-hackers may face retaliation, official warns

By Jeff Abramowitz JERUSALEM, Israel — Hackers who attack Israel need to know they will be attacked back, Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said Saturday, following a cyberattack on…

Japan says it needs consumption tax rate of 17 percent to cover social security costs

By Hideo Kamata, The Yomiuri Shimbun – TOKYO — The government and ruling parties of Japan have described the planned increase in the consumption tax rate as a “first step” because…

Chinese outlook unusually uncertain: experts

By Greg Robb, MarketWatch – CHICAGO — The outlook for the Chinese economy is cloudier than it has been in years, experts said. The road ahead for China is the “great…

Nevada has head start as states react to federal gambling decision

By Pamela M. Prah, Stateline.org – WASHINGTON — The Internet gambling business has always been a lucrative one, but federal law has kept states on the sidelines, barred from tapping into…

US Navy rescues Iranian fishermen taken over by pirates

By David S. Cloud, Tribune Washington Bureau – WASHINGTON — A Navy destroyer rescued 13 Iranian fishermen held hostage by Somali pirates in the Arabian Sea, only days after Tehran warned…

Blackwater settles with families of Nisoor Square victims

By Doug Miller, McClatchy Newspapers – CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The security company formerly known as Blackwater has agreed to settle a lawsuit filed by six victims or their families in the…

Minnesota officials walk fine line with state’s first wolf hunting season

By Josephine Marcotty, Star Tribune (Minneapolis) – MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota wildlife officials are planning a wolf hunting season that puts the long-term survival of the wolf above the of zeal of…

Miss California USA features two gay contestants

By Ruben Vives, Los Angeles Times – LOS ANGELES — Amid the photographs of beauty contestants competing in Miss California USA this weekend are those of two young women who are…

Iran’s Ahmadinejad to begin Latin American tour

By Jim Wyss, McClatchy Newspapers – MIAMI — Under pressure at home and facing a fresh wave of economic sanctions, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is seeking the company of friends —…

Court case on wetlands seen as having broader implications

By Michael Doyle, McClatchy Newspapers – WASHINGTON — An Idaho couple’s dream home will be the center of a legal storm Monday at the Supreme Court. For homebuilders, farmers and major…

Navajo Nation confronts HIV and AIDS

By Stephen Ceasar, Los Angeles Times – GALLUP, N.M. — Five years ago, the man Elsie Smith loved told her calmly from his hospital bed that it was time for him…

8 Western troops die in 24 hours in southern Afghanistan

By Laura King, Los Angeles Times – KABUL, Afghanistan — Eight members of the NATO force were killed in southern Afghanistan in a 24-hour period ending Friday, Western military officials said.…

Need jobs? Call on government

MCT FORUM – By Dimitri B. Papadimitriou – Is high unemployment as certain as death and taxes? Of course not. But if we depend on the private sector to bring rates…

Arpaio to run for 6th term as Maricopa County sheriff

By Michael Muskal, Los Angeles Times – LOS ANGELES — Joe Arpaio, criticized by the U.S. Department of Justice for what it called discrimination against Latinos, said Thursday that he would…

Bombing wave in Iraq ratchets up sectarian tension

By Raheem Salman and Alexandra Zavis, Los Angeles Times – BAGHDAD — A string of explosions targeting Shiite Muslim pilgrims that killed at least 71 people bore the hallmark of Sunni…

Obama unveils leaner Pentagon budget with focus on China and Iran

Obama unveils leaner Pentagon budget with focus on China and Iran

By David S. Cloud and Christi Parsons, Tribune Washington Bureau – WASHINGTON — Outlining new military priorities after a costly decade of war, President Barack Obama called for shrinking the Army…

A Europe boycott of Iran oil would cap years of US effort

By Kevin G. Hall, McClatchy Newspapers – WASHINGTON — The European Union appears on the verge of banning its member countries from buying Iranian oil, a move that would culminate a…

Possible Casey Anthony ‘video diary’ surfaces online

By Arelis Hernandez, Hal Boedeker and Amy Pavuk, The Orlando Sentinel ORLANDO, Fla. — A video of a woman who looks and sounds like Casey Anthony has surfaced online, in what…

Obama: Defense cuts will mean ‘leaner’ U.S. military forces

Obama: Defense cuts will mean ‘leaner’ U.S. military forces

By Christi Parsons, Tribune Washington Bureau – WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama on Thursday announced a new defense strategy that he says will make U.S. military forces “leaner” in the coming…

Egypt’s Islamists close to a sweeping elections victory

By Amro Hassan, Los Angeles Times – CAIRO — The Muslim Brotherhood, expected to dominate the final round of Egyptian parliamentary elections, called Wednesday for unity with other political parties in…

Iran’s Ahmadinejad to tour 4 Latin American nations

By Cristina Munoz and Chris Kraul, Los Angeles Times QUITO, Ecuador — In the face of increasing tension between Iran and the West, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad plans a four-nation tour…

Afghan tribal elder gunned down in Helmand province

By Laura King, Los Angeles Times – KABUL, Afghanistan — Gunmen ambushed and killed a prominent tribal elder in Helmand province Wednesday as he was on his way to evening prayers,…

Scores killed in string of bombings in Iraq

By Raheem Salman and Alexandra Zavis, Los Angeles Times – BAGHDAD and BEIRUT — A string of explosions Thursday targeting Shiite Muslim pilgrims in the south of Iraq and mainly Shiite…

Losing students in southern Iowa: Can local schools reverse the troubling trend?

Mark Newman, Ottumwa Courier, Iowa – OTTUMWA — The state as a whole may have lost students 14 years straight, but it may be the smaller and rural districts which have…

Headless cats found in Utah park

Jasen Asay, Standard-Examiner, Ogden, Utah – CLEARFIELD — The next time Jana Taylor takes her dog for a walk in the park, she plans to carry pepper spray and her cellphone.…

British police investigate discovery of body on queen’s estate

By Janet Stobart, Los Angeles Times – LONDON — There were all the elements of a mystery novel of the type Britons love so well: a wooded area on the queen’s…

Montana court opinion takes aim at Citizens United decision

By Kim Murphy, Los Angeles Times – SEATTLE — Montana has engaged in a long, slow dance between corporations and politicians through much of its history. The free-spending audacity of the…

Case in tiny town makes big waves

By Jason Meisner, Chicago Tribune – CHICAGO — Michael Allison is a lot of trouble for a small town. The 42-year-old car buff from Bridgeport, about 250 miles south of Chicago,…

Taliban says it will open a political office in Qatar

By Laura King, Los Angeles Times – KABUL — In its most public indication to date of a willingness to enter peace negotiations, the Taliban movement announced Tuesday it planned to…

How 80,000 volunteers showed Joplin ‘the world cares’

How 80,000 volunteers showed Joplin ‘the world cares’

By Todd C. Frankel, St. Louis Post-Dispatch – JOPLIN, Mo. — The volunteers started arriving at first light. Some lived nearby. Others drove through the night. No one summoned them. They…

FDA falling short on safety checks for baby wipes

FDA falling short on safety checks for baby wipes

By John Diedrich and Rick Barrett, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel – MILWAUKEE — Five years ago, whistleblowers sent a letter to federal regulators warning that contaminated baby wipes were streaming out of…

Priorities, staffing impede oversight

By John Diedrich and Ben Poston, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel – MILWAUKEE — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is required to inspect drugmakers every two years, but the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel…

Possible showdown with Iran sends oil prices soaring

Possible showdown with Iran sends oil prices soaring

By Jonathan S. Landay and Kevin G. Hall, McClatchy Newspapers – WASHINGTON — The possibility of a confrontation between the United States and Iran appeared to rise Tuesday after the Obama…

Casey Anthony prosecutor announces state attorney bid

By Anthony Colarossi, The Orlando Sentinel – ORLANDO, Fla. — Supporters clapped outside the Orange County Courthouse Tuesday as retired prosecutor Jeff Ashton announced his bid for state attorney, challenging his…

Weight-loss surgery reduces cardiovascular risks, study says

By Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times – LOS ANGELES — Weight-loss surgery clearly cuts the risk of heart attacks, strokes and death from cardiovascular disease, a new study shows. But the…

Muslim villagers clash with Chinese authorities over mosque’s demolition

By Barbara Demick, Los Angeles Times BEIJING — The government demolition of a newly refurbished mosque in a northern Chinese village has raised tensions with the Hui, a Muslim group that…

Israeli, Palestinian officials hold first talks in more than a year

By Sheera Frenkel, McClatchy Newspapers – JERUSALEM — Israeli and Palestinian officials met Tuesday in Jordan’s capital, Amman, in the first attempt at peace talks in more than a year. As…

Arab League, dissidents disagree on progress in Syria

By Alexandra Zavis and Amro Hassan, Los Angeles Times – BEIRUT — Syria’s government has taken steps to comply with a regional initiative to end months of bloodshed, including pulling tanks…

Historian casts a skeptical eye on the emerging Egypt

By Jeffrey Fleishman, Los Angeles Times – CAIRO — Wrapped in a shawl on a cold morning, Gamal Banna shuffled over a dusty carpet amid fraying books on old civilizations. He…

Austin, MN audience to get early look at Buddy Holly tribute

Trey Mewes, Austin Daily Herald, Minn. – Buddy Holly fans should take note this Friday. That’ll be the day a tribute to Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valenz and The Big Bopper comes…