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Freedom in the air

Barack Obama

US RAPPROACHMENT WITH CUBA

Dismantling last vestige of Cold War

ON December 17, Barack Obama made a bold and courageous announcement that the US would establish an embassy in Cuba and open negotiations to normalise its relations with the communist country, ending more than five decades of, at times, and terrifying Cold War politics. In a speech at the White House the president urged Cubans and Americans to leave behind the “tyranny of both colonisation and communism.” He said neither Cubans nor Americans were “well served by a rigid policy...

4 Afghan Guantanamo inmates sent home

4 Afghan Guantanamo inmates sent home

Four Afghan detainees at the Guantanamo Bay prison have been sent back to their home country, the Pentagon says. Shawali Khan, Khi Ali Gul, Abdul Ghani and Mohammed Zahir were repatriated after a thorough review of their cases. Eight Afghans are believed to be among the 132 detainees remaining at the US prison in Cuba. President...

Raul Castro urges US to lift Cuba trade embargo

Raul Castro urges US to lift Cuba trade embargo

Cuban President Raul Castro has urged the US to end its trade embargo after the two countries opened formal talks on restoring diplomatic relations. He said the five-decade embargo "caused enormous human and economic damage". But only the US Congress has the power to lift the embargo, and correspondents say many Republicans are still deeply...

CIA interrogations report sparks prosecution calls

CIA interrogations report sparks prosecution calls

The UN and human rights groups have called for the prosecution of US officials involved in what a Senate report called the "brutal" CIA interrogation of al-Qaeda suspects. A top UN human rights envoy said there had been a "clear policy orchestrated at a high level". The CIA has defended its actions in the years...

CIA report prompts US security alert

CIA report prompts US security alert

Security has been stepped up at US facilities around the world ahead of the release of a report expected to reveal details of harsh CIA interrogations, the White House says. Embassies and other sites were taking precautions amid "some indications" of "greater risk", a spokesman said. A 480-page summary of the Senate report is due...

Obama tested following sore throat

Obama tested following sore throat

US President Barack Obama has had a persistent sore throat, and has briefly visited a hospital for tests, the White House says. Obama had experienced a sore throat over "the past couple weeks", which appeared to be caused by acid reflux, his doctor said. Obama had a fibre optic exam, followed by a CT scan,...

Federal probe into NY chokehold case

Federal probe into NY chokehold case

The US justice department is to launch a civil rights investigation into the death of Eric Garner, a black man who was placed in an apparent chokehold by a white New York police officer. The inquiry was announced by Attorney General Eric Holder after a grand jury decided against charging the officer. Crowds gathered in...

Obama demands $6bn for Ebola fight

Obama demands $6bn for Ebola fight

President Barack Obama has renewed calls for Congress to approve $6bn (£3.8bn) in emergency aid to fight the deadly Ebola outbreak in West Africa. The president made the plea on a visit to the National Institutes of Health, where he congratulated scientists on work towards a vaccine. The WHO says 6,055 people have died in...

Ministers from anti-IS coalition to meet Dec 3

Ministers from anti-IS coalition to meet Dec 3

Foreign ministers from up to 60 countries forming the US-led coalition against Islamic State militants will hold their first meeting next week in Brussels, US officials said on Wednesday. The December 3 meeting, chaired by US Secretary of State John Kerry, is expected to review progress in the fight against Islamic State and to...

Ferguson ruling sparks 'worst' riots

Ferguson ruling sparks 'worst' riots

A St Louis County grand jury has brought no criminal charges against Darren Wilson, a white police officer who fatally shot Michael Brown, an unarmed African-American teenager, more than three months ago in nearby Ferguson, reports the New York Times. The decision by the grand jury of nine whites and three blacks was announced...

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