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Freedom in the air

US President Barack Obama

US pledges 3b for UN climate fund

US pledges 3b for UN climate fund

US President Barack Obama will pledge $3 billion to a UN fund aimed at mitigating the effects of climate change in the world's poorest countries, a US official said yesterday. "It is in our national interest to helping vulnerable countries to build resilience to climate change," the administration official said as Obama headed to...

Obama calls for free polls in Myanmar

Obama calls for free polls in Myanmar

US President Barack Obama yesterday urged Myanmar to hold "free, fair and inclusive" elections as he threw his weight behind a bid by opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi to change a constitution that bars her from the presidency. Obama held talks with fellow Nobel laureate Suu Kyi at her lakeside villa in Myanmar's...

No drugs in Robin Williams suicide

No drugs in Robin Williams suicide

Robin Williams was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of his suicide, authorities in California have revealed. The actor, 63, was found dead in his California home on 11 August in what authorities soon ruled a suicide. A Marin County coroner's report released on Friday found Williams died from asphyxia...

CIA triples estimate of IS number

CIA triples estimate of IS number

The CIA says the Islamic State (IS) militant group may have up to 31,000 fighters in Iraq and Syria - three times as many as previously feared. A spokesman said the new estimate was based on a review of intelligence reports from May to August. IS has seized vast swathes of Iraq and beheaded several...

9/11 commemoration amid renewed terror threat

9/11 commemoration amid renewed terror threat

With the solemn toll of a bell and a moment of silence, the nation paused Thursday to mark the 13th anniversary of the September 11 attacks at the hallowed site just hours after President Obama promised to root out and destroy a new group of terrorists threatening the US. In darkness we shine brightest....

Beheading 'will not intimidate US': Obama

Beheading 'will not intimidate US': Obama

The US President Barack Obama has vowed the US will not be intimidated, after Islamic State militants released a video showing the beheading of American journalist Steven Sotloff. Obama warned, "Our reach is long and justice will be served." Another US journalist, James Foley, was similarly killed last month. Separately, the UK held a meeting of...

White House considers increasing legal immigration

White House considers increasing legal immigration

The White House is considering proposals from business and immigrant rights groups that are pressing President Barack Obama to provide hundreds of thousands of new green cards for high-tech workers and the relatives of US citizens and permanent residents, reports The Washington Post. The behind-the-scenes lobbying comes as Obama prepares to announce a series...

Iraq target IS bastions

Iraqi forces launched a string of attacks on Sunni militants yesterday, including at Saddam Hussein's hometown Tikrit, as US President Barack Obama declared his firmest commitment yet to targeting jihadists. Meanwhile, the UN refugee agency yesterday said it was poised to mount a massive aid operation for 500,000 Iraqis driven from their homes by jihadist rebels. "In response to the deteriorating situation in northern Iraq, UNHCR is this week launching one of its largest aid pushes aimed at helping close to...

Tackling Iraq's insurgency will take time: Obama

Tackling Iraq's insurgency will take time: Obama

President Barack Obama yesterday said US airstrikes had destroyed arms that Islamic State (IS) militants could have used against Iraqi Kurds, but warned there was no quick fix to a crisis that threatens to tear Iraq apart. Speaking the day after US warplanes hit militants in Iraq, Obama said it would take more than...

Israel offers Gaza truce extension

Israel offers Gaza truce extension

Israel has offered to extend a three-day ceasefire in Gaza which began on Tuesday after nearly a month of conflict, Israeli officials say. But there has no far been no agreement from the militant Hamas movement, which controls Gaza, as indirect talks continue in Cairo. US President Barack Obama has said a more durable truce...

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