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Middle East - At War Blog: Returning to Service, and Iraq, With Blackwater

Iraq veteran Matt Pelak returned to the country via a job with Blackwater. He writes that it`s hard to square that experience, and his respect for his colleagues, with the recent coverage of the Blackwater employees on trial for shooting Iraqi civilians in 2007.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014  15:53


Top Stories - 4 more charged in 2011 hate crime

Victim targeted by white teens, harassed and beaten, then run down by a pickup truck

Thursday, July 17, 2014  09:11


Business - US consumer prices up 0.3 percent in June

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. consumer prices rose in June at a slightly slower pace than in May with two-thirds of the June advance driven by the largest jump in gasoline prices in a year.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014  13:39


Business - Gauge of US economy rises 0.3 percent in June

WASHINGTON (AP) — A gauge designed to predict the economy`s future health increased in June for a fifth consecutive month, supporting the view that economic growth should accelerate in the second half of this year.

Friday, July 18, 2014  15:37


World - Norway honors victims of 2011 terror attacks

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg said Tuesday the best way to honor the 77 people who died in terror attacks in her country three years ago is to `fight for openness, tolerance and diversity.`

Tuesday, July 22, 2014  16:19


Business - Standard & Poor`s may face SEC charges over ratings

The parent of Standard & Poor`s, which is defending against a $5 billion lawsuit by the federal government over its credit ratings, said on Wednesday it may soon also face U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charges over another set of ratings. In a regulatory filing, McGraw-Hill Financial Inc said it received a `Wells notice` on July 22 indicating the SEC is weighing filing civil charges for alleged securities law violations over S&P`s ratings of six commercial mortgage-backed securities transactions issued in 2011. Catherine Mathis, an S&P spokeswoman, said it has been reported the SEC was examining its decision in 2011 to `pull` ratings of a CMBS transaction.

Thursday, July 24, 2014  00:30


World - U.S. judge tosses FDA panel report on menthol cigarettes

By Mica Rosenberg NEW YORK (Reuters) - A federal judge ruled on Monday in favor of two tobacco companies that challenged a 2011 U.S. Food and Drug Administration committee report on menthol cigarettes, finding three of the panel`s members had conflicts of interests. U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon ordered the FDA reconstitute the committee and barred the agency from using the panel`s findings, which said removing menthol cigarettes from the market would benefit public health. Lorillard Inc and Reynolds American Inc`s R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co unit filed the lawsuit in 2011 arguing the panel`s members were biased against the industry. `The presence of conflicted members on the Committee irrevocably tainted its very composition and its work product,` Leon wrote in ruling filed at the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. He called the panel`s findings and recommendations `at a minimum suspect, and, at worst, untrustworthy.` Leon has sided with the tobacco companies in the past.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014  01:32


World - Somalia facing new famine threat, aid agencies warn

Three years to the day since a famine that eventually killed more than a quarter of a million people was declared in Somalia, aid agencies warned Sunday the country faced a new catastrophe without urgent aid. A joint statement issued by a group of charities and aid agencies said there were more than 300,000 malnourished children in Somalia and a total of 2.9 million people in need of life-saving help. `Aid agencies today caution, again, that the signs of a drought are re-emerging in Somalia and urge for these not to be ignored in order to avoid a relapse into the conditions of the 2011 catastrophe,` the statement said, warning that without funding, aid programmes were likely to be forced to shut down. `Most affected people are still recovering from the massive losses of the 2011 drought and famine.

Sunday, July 20, 2014  13:03


World - Sri Lanka court sentences four for murder of Briton, rape of fiancée

By Ranga Sirilal and Shihar Aneez COLOMBO (Reuters) - A Sri Lankan court convicted on Friday four men, including a ruling party town council member, of the murder of a British aid worker and the rape of his Russian fiancée and sentenced them to jail with hard labor for 20 years. Khuram Shaikh, a 32-year-old Red Cross worker based in Gaza, was shot and stabbed to death on Dec. 25, 2011, at a hotel while on holiday. His fiancée was beaten unconscious before being sexually assaulted, according to hospital and police records. Colombo High Court sentenced the four, including Sampath Vidanapathirana, a ruling party supporter and head of the council in Tangalle town, where the two were staying, to `rigorous imprisonment` for 20 years.

Friday, July 18, 2014  10:53


World - Rival Libyan militias clash in Tripoli, Benghazi

By Patrick Markey and Aziz El Yaakoubi TRIPOLI (Reuters) - Heavy black smoke rose over southern Tripoli on Thursday after rival militias exchanged artillery and rocket fire in a battle over the Libyan capital`s airport that has killed more than 50 people in nearly a fortnight of fighting. Sporadic blasts echoed across the city from the morning in clashes that have deepened fears of post-war Libya becoming a failed state, with a fragile government unable to control heavily armed brigades battling for power. Fighting in the capital and the eastern city of Benghazi is the heaviest since the 2011 war that ousted Muammar Gaddafi. At least nine people were killed and 19 wounded, mostly civilians, in heavy clashes overnight in Benghazi as government forces tried to oust Islamist militants holed up in Libya`s eastern port city, medical sources said on Thursday.

Thursday, July 24, 2014  19:35

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