Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Pennsylvania Bus-Truck Collision Leaves 2 Dead, 17 Hurt - Wall Street Journal

Pennsylvania Bus-Truck Collision Leaves 2 Dead, 17 Hurt - Wall Street Journal

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New York Daily News

Pennsylvania Bus-Truck Collision Leaves 2 Dead, 17 Hurt
Wall Street Journal
MOUNT POCONO, Pa.—Authorities in eastern Pennsylvania say a head-on crash between a bus and a tractor-trailer has left two people dead and 17 others injured. Monroe County emergency officials say the crash was reported shortly after 10 a.m. ET ...
Latest on bus crash: 3 dead in Pennsylvania collisionWashington Post
Bus-truck collision in Pennsylvania leaves 2 dead, many hurtseattlepi.com
Three people killed and at least 13 injured in head-on crash between Italian tour ...Daily Mail
WFMZ Allentown
all 135 news articles »

Two dead, 17 injured after head-on crash between bus, tractor-trailer in Pa.: video - PennLive.com

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PennLive.com

Two dead, 17 injured after head-on crash between bus, tractor-trailer in Pa.: video
PennLive.com
MOUNT POCONO, Pa. (AP) — Authorities in eastern Pennsylvania say a head-on crash between a bus and a tractor-trailer has left two people dead and 17 others injured. Monroe County emergency officials say the crash was reported shortly after 10 a.m. ...

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Afghanistan Arrests Suspects in Kabul Guesthouse Attack

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Afghanistan’s intelligence agency says it has arrested two of the alleged organizers and planners of a deadly attack on a Kabul guesthouse that killed 14, including nine foreigners.   The Afghan National Directorate of Security issued a statement Wednesday that Ghulam Aziz (aka Salahuddin) and Abdul Wakil, a member of Kabul-based NGO Madeera, are part of the Haqqani network.   The network is considered one of the deadliest groups in the Afghan Taliban ranks.  Afghanistan...

Blatter under pressure to go immediately

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Despite his resignation questions remain about timing of Fifa president’s departure

Protester Disrupts News Conference with Egypt's el-Sissi

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Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi defended his government's human rights track record Wednesday, saying he was operating “amid very difficult circumstances” after Chancellor Angela Merkel criticized the country's widespread use of the death penalty. In an unusually lively news conference for the generally staid Berlin chancellery after the two leaders met, members of the travelling Egyptian press corps clapped at times when el-Sissi spoke, while at the end a woman wearing a...

Potentially Live Anthrax Sent to Dozens of Labs Around the World 

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(WASHINGTON)—The problem of unintended shipments of potentially live anthrax spores over the past decade is worse than first believed, officials said Wednesday.
Officials said it’s possible that shipments were sent to more than four dozen laboratories in the U.S. and abroad. That’s about twice the estimate of last week.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss specifics by name.
The Pentagon has repeatedly asserted that the mistakes posed no public health hazard.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is leading an investigation of the matter.
Details on the extent of the problem are expected to be presented at a news conference Wednesday by Robert Work, the deputy defense secretary. Last Friday Work ordered a comprehensive review of laboratory procedures associated with killing, or inactivating, live anthrax for shipment to labs for research and other purposes, including for calibrating biological threat sensors such as those used by a number of federal government agencies, including the Pentagon.
The scope of the problem has grown almost daily since the Pentagon first acknowledged it publicly last Wednesday.
The initial focus was on procedures used at an Army laboratory at Dugway Proving Ground in Utah, which shipped live anthrax samples that it believed had been killed through the use of radiation. It remains unclear why well-established procedures for killing the spores apparently did not work, at least with some batches of the bacteria.
Among the government labs identified in recent days as having received the suspect anthrax were the Army’s Edgewood Chemical Biological Center in Maryland and the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Virginia, as well as a lab on the grounds of the Pentagon.
Officials said that the Edgewood lab sent some of the samples it had received from Dugway to other labs in the U.S.
On Tuesday, in its most recent update, the Pentagon said potentially live anthrax samples had been mistakenly sent to labs in California, Virginia, Texas, Tennessee, Utah, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Delaware and Washington state. Also receiving suspect samples were labs in Australia, Canada and South Korea.
On Sunday, Defense Secretary Ash Carter told reporters while traveling in Asia that the mistaken shipments were an “unfortunate incident.” He said the Pentagon will make “sure that any public health consequences of this are avoided” and ensure that it never happens again.
The Centers for Disease Control of Prevention said last week that four people at labs in Delaware, Texas and Wisconsin were recommended to get antibiotics as a precaution, although they were not sick. U.S. officials at Osan Air Base in South Korea said 22 people were being treated for possible exposure there after word surfaced that an Osan lab was among the facilities that received suspect anthrax.
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WikiLeaks releases documents related to controversial US trade pact 

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Document dump regarding Trade in Services Agreement comes day after organization put $100,000 bounty on documents from series of US trade treaties
WikiLeaks on Wednesday released 17 different documents related to the Trade in Services Agreement (Tisa), a controversial pact currently being hashed out between the US and 23 other countries – most of them in Europe and South America.
The document dump comes at a tense moment in the negotiations over a series of trade deals. President Barack Obama has clashed with his own party over the deals as critics have worried about the impact on jobs and civil liberties.
Continue reading...

Immigrants try to board moving trains to the USA while carrying their CHILDREN

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These pictures were taken in Huehuetoca, near of Mexico City, immigrants from countries such as Guatemala and El Salvador cross the Mexican border en route to a new life.

What next for Greece? A look at its options in coming days

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ATHENS, Greece (AP) -- Greece's bailout talks are going down to the wire....

US ends NSA's phone snooping, ,passes USA Freedom Act - Hindustan Times

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NBCNews.com

US ends NSA's phone snooping, ,passes USA Freedom Act
Hindustan Times
Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell (R) speaks to the press in Washington. McConnell, who opposed the USA Freedom Act, was dubbed the biggest political loser after it was passed. The United States on Tuesday renewed most of the spying powers ...
A reality check on the future of government spyingWashington Post (blog)
NSA's Republican Defenders Settle on a Line: Now the Phone Company...Bloomberg 
Caitlyn Jenner in her first E! reality series promo: 'I'm the new normal'The Week Magazine

Christian Science Monitor-The Economist (blog)-Hindu Business Line
all 1,768 news articles »

Harvard Gets $400 Million Gift, Biggest Ever

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America's prestigious Harvard University said Wednesday it has received its biggest gift ever - $400 million from Wall Street hedge fund billionaire John Paulson. The university said the money would support its School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, which is being renamed for the 59-year-old donor, a 1980 Harvard Business School graduate. Harvard's science and engineering school has expanded rapidly in recent years. Its research laboratories have led advances in such...

US passes NSA surveillance reform - The Hindu

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The Hindu

US passes NSA surveillance reform
The Hindu
It was a historic moment for civil liberty advocates as much as it was for libertarians of the American right when the U.S. Senate on Tuesday passed on a vote of 67-32, and President Barack Obama signed into law, the first reform in a decade limiting the ...
New US Law Puts Curbs on Surveillance ProgramsVoice of America
US ends NSA's phone snooping, ,passes USA Freedom ActHindustan Times
Caitlyn Jenner in her first E! reality series promo: 'I'm the new normal'The Week Magazine
Christian Science Monitor -The Economist (blog) -Boing Boing
all 763 news articles »
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Boston police say terrorism suspect was not shot in the back – video 

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Boston police commissioner William Evans described to reporters the video that reportedly captured a fatal police shooting of a terrorism investigation suspect the day before, saying the man was not shot in the back, contrary to earlier media reports. Local media had reported the man and an associate had planned to try to behead a police officer. The video, which Evans said showed the officers backing up before opening fire, was not released publicly Continue reading...

Four batches of anthrax to military labs contained live spores - USA TODAY

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CNN

Four batches of anthrax to military labs contained live spores
USA TODAY
WASHINGTON — At least four batches of anthrax samples shipped from a military lab to labs in 12 states, the District of Columbia and three countries contained live spores, a top Pentagon official said Wednesday. The Pentagon will finish by the end of June ...
Pentagon: 51 labs in 17 states with questionable anthraxCNN
Scores of labs may have received live anthrax samples from Army facilityLos Angeles Times
US anthrax scare widens to 51 labsBBC News
CBC.ca -Washington Post -Huffington Post
all 75 news articles »

Fed survey sees growth return to US

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Beige Book points to second-quarter expansion after slow winter

Canada police missed chances to stop Parliament attacker: probe

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OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian police missed chances to stop a gunman who stormed into Parliament last October after killing a soldier, an official probe said on Wednesday, adding that the attack could have been much worse.
  

June 7th Turkey Election to Be Closely Scrutinized

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Turkey's June 7th general election is set to be closely monitored amid growing concerns among opposition parties.  But civic society in Turkey is mobilizing in an unprecedented way to ensure a fair election.   Every Turkish opposition political party has voiced concern the country's June 7th election could be marred by vote tampering.  A recent opinion poll found nearly half the electorate fear the election could be rigged. Parliament Member Ertugrul Kurkcu of...

How FIFA’s Leader Has Clung to Power Despite Corruption Scandal 

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There aren’t many venues in global politics these days where developing nations, especially from Africa, can overrule their wealthy European peers. But FIFA is surely one of them. Such are the rules of the mammoth bureaucracy that governs the game of soccer—in its decisions, one country gets one vote, regardless how big or powerful—that even the worst scandal in its history could not dislodge the technocrat who enjoys the support of the developing world.
Sepp Blatter, who has run FIFA since 1998, easily won re-election on Friday to another four-year term. And it didn’t matter that nine officials under his command, including two direct subordinates, had been indicted by the U.S. two days earlier for allegedly taking millions of dollars in kickbacks during Blatter’s tenure. It also didn’t matter that the most influential nations in soccer, including all of Europe and North America, were intent on finally ousting Blatter after those arrests.
It didn’t matter because of delegates like Amaju Pinnick, the head of the soccer federation of Nigeria, who emerged on Friday evening from the congress hall in Zurich, Switzerland, wearing a pinstripe suit and a radiant smile. His friendship with Blatter dates back to 1999, when the newly elected FIFA President paid a visit to Nigeria. “I was privileged to go with the VIP volunteers who worked with him,” says Pinnick, who was then a mid-level official in Nigerian soccer. “He told me what he wanted to do for Africa, what he wanted to do for the developing nations,” he recalled. “He wants the small nations in FIFA to feel very important.”
The FIFA congress was full of such testimonials. On the massive screens above the stage, videos promoting Blatter’s good works ran at regular intervals, one showing a montage of African children playing soccer on the beach. “We promote soccer, everywhere,” the voiceover explained. At one point, Isha Johansen, the head of the soccer federation of Sierra Leone, stood up to thank Blatter for helping her country fight last year’s outbreak of the Ebola virus with a “solidarity token” of $50,000. “That was the very first international donation Sierra Leone ever received to fight Ebola,” she said.
There was no such praise, however, from the soccer federations of the developed world, which represented about a third of the 209 countries and territories that comprise FIFA. When the voting ended on Friday evening, the Westerners sulked out of the hall, saying little to the news cameras that tried to capture their frustration. The few who agreed to talk, like Jesper Moller Christensen of Denmark, expressed “disappointment” over Blatter’s re-election. “This is not the end,” he insisted. “There are disciplinary actions we could take if the evidence appears.”
But so far, the evidence hasn’t appeared. The indictments unsealed on Wednesday in New York detailed decades of bribes worth a total of around $150 million, which top FIFA officials allegedly received in exchange for granting promotional contracts, tournaments and other lucrative deals to their patrons. Nine of these officials are now under arrest in Switzerland, awaiting extradition to the U.S. to face charges including racketeering and money laundering. But Blatter is not among them.
“Right now he is unscathed,” said the dejected president of the soccer federation of Cyprus, Costas Koutsokoumnis, as he stood smoking outside the congress hall after Blatter’s re-election. “His name is not touched anywhere.”
This fact did not come as a surprise to Brett Forest, who has spent years investigating corruption in the world of soccer. “Many journalists for decades have been on to this guy,” said Forest, a senior writer with ESPN Magazine who recently published a book on match-fixing at the highest levels of the game. “But no one has ever found anything that’s really good enough. That tells you this guy is a smart player.”
Rather than exposing himself through blatant bribery schemes, Blatter has tended to use small development projects to win the loyalty of soccer federations from impoverished countries. He has steadily funneled some of FIFA’s enormous cash pile—the total revenues of the organization between 2011 and 2014 came to around $5.7 billion—toward building stadiums and supporting leagues in the developing world. Under his tenure, the World Cup also came to Africa for the first time: in 2010, South Africa hosted the soccer championships, which Blatter aptly referred to on Friday as “the goose with the golden eggs” during one of his rambling speeches.
“While a lot of that is really positive and shouldn’t be dismissed, only a fraction of the money intended for those projects often goes to the right place,” said Forest. Much of it gets siphoned off to corruptofficials in the recipient countries, further encouraging their devotion to FIFA’s incumbent leadership, he said. “It’s a cabal that perpetuates itself.”
European soccer federations have no easy means of dislodging it. Next week, the Union of European Football Associations, which is known as UEFA, will meet again in Berlin to discuss their options against Blatter. There was even speculation at the congress on Friday that the Europeans could split off from FIFA to form a rival organization. But Christensen of Denmark said that won’t happen any time soon. “The 54 members of UEFA will never agree to a boycott,” he said.
Instead they are counting on the arrested FIFA officials to give testimony against Blatter. “There would then be disciplinary actions we could take” inside FIFA in order to unseat the President, Chistensen told TIME. So even though Blatter managed on Friday to win another term, it is far from clear that he will be able to hold on for the duration of his latest four-year term. “No, no, we will not wait that long,” said Koutsokoumnis of Cyprus. “There are ways to get him.”
The clearest way would be another indictment, which the acting U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of New York has promised to produce as the investigation moves forward. “It’s only just beginning,” Kelly Currie said on Wednesday of the arrests so far.
In the coming months, FIFA and its President will still have to deal with the damning allegations that emerge from the ongoing probe. Working with U.S. law enforcement, Swiss authorities have launched a separate investigation into how FIFA allotted Russia and Qatar the rights to host the next two World Cup championships. But even if these criminal cases implicate Blatter directly, or discredit him enough to force his resignation, it is far from clear that FIFA will change.
“You have to understand the structure of FIFA,” said Forest, the investigative journalist. “In one sense it’s a beautiful and pure democracy. A small country like Togo has the same voting power as a country like Germany. But it’s also FIFA’s fundamental weakness.” In practice, it seems to encourage FIFA’s leadership to court the favor of the smallest federations, because they know that with their support, a FIFA President is effectively immune to internal demands for change.
In his parting remarks on Friday, Blatter seemed to signal that this culture would persist. Instead of addressing the corruption scandal directly—he only referred to it as a “storm,” as though it were a natural and temporary bit of turbulence—he promised to give more seats on FIFA’s ruling committee to representatives of Oceania, which is mostly comprised of Pacific Island countries like Fiji. That is what FIFA needs right now, he said, for the sake of “solidarity.”
And as long as Blatter can use such favors to keep the developing world behind him, there is little that the wealthy nations of the world can do to influence his leadership. They may just have to resign themselves to another four years under Blatter, who seemed to feel that his time in office hadn’t lasted all that long. “What is this notion of time? Time is infinite and we slice it up,” the 79-year-old remarked, turning suddenly philosophical as the congress wound down. “The more one ages, the more time flies by quickly, time grows short. So I am with you, and I would quite simply like to stay with you.” And with that, the majority of the audience broke into wild applause.
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Cop Accused Of Using Dead Man's Credit Card

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The officer allegedly stole the card after finding the victim's body and later used it to buy a $3,200 diamond ring.

FBI Investigates Russia And Qatar World Cups

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The FBI investigation into corruption at FIFA is looking into the awarding of the World Cup to Russia in 2018 and Qatar in 2022.

Saudi Officials Identify Mosque Bomber

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A suicide bomber who killed four people in an attack on a Shiite mosque last week was a Saudi teenager, the country’s interior ministry said.

Sheryl Sandberg on husband's death: 'I have lived 30 years in these 30 days' 

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Facebook’s chief operating officer writes an emotional post about the ‘void’ of the month since her husband, David Goldberg, died in an accident
Sheryl Sandberg, the chief operating officer at Facebook, has written an emotional post on the social networking site about mourning for her husband, David Goldberg, who died in an accident last month.
“Today is the end of sheloshim for my beloved husband—the first thirty days,” Sandberg wrote. “Judaism calls for a period of intense mourning known as shiva that lasts seven days after a loved one is buried. After shiva, most normal activities can be resumed, but it is the end of sheloshim that marks the completion of religious mourning for a spouse.
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U.S. Defense Secretary Visits India to Build Military Ties

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Ashton B. Carter met with senior officials in a country that the United States sees as a crucial future partner in Asia, although neither side made any big announcements.

Ангела Меркель перечислила угрожающие мировому сообществу основные проблемы - Коммерсантъ

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Gazeta.ua

Ангела Меркель перечислила угрожающие мировому сообществу основные проблемы
Коммерсантъ
Канцлер Германии Ангела Меркель в преддверии саммита G7, намеченного на 7-8 июня в баварском замке Эльмау, назвала основные опасности для мирового сообщества. «Кто бы мог поверить в то, что через 25 лет после окончания "холодной войны" мировой порядок в Европе будет ...
Меркель назвала главные вызовы для мирового сообществаИА REGNUM
Меркель назвала аннексию Крыма в числе главных опасностей для мирового сообществаУНИАН
Присоединение Крыма и Эбола: Меркель обозначила угрозы мировому сообществуНТВ.ru
РИА Новости -ЛІГА.net -Московский комсомолец
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Congress Passes, Obama Signs Pared Back Domestic Spying Bill

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The U.S. Congress has approved sweeping changes to surveillance laws enacted after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, eliminating the bulk collection of phone records by the government which shocked the world when revealed two years ago by exiled ex-CIA contractor Edward Snowden.

Russian Delegation Banned from EU Parliament in Retaliatory Move 

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The European Parliament has restricted the Russian delegation's access to the assembly in a jab at Moscow for banning 89 EU politicians from entering Russia.

Ukraine Live Day 471: Russian-Backed Forces Launch Major Assault Near Donetsk 

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Yesterday’s live coverage of the Ukraine conflictcan be found here. An archive of our liveblogs can be found here. For an overview and analysis of this developing story see our latest podcast.
Please help The Interpreter to continue providing this valuable information service by making a donation towards our costs.

For links to individual updates click on the timestamps.
For the latest summary of evidence surrounding the shooting down of flight MH17 see our separate article:Evidence Review: Who Shot Down MH17?

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Chinese Corporations Show New Patterns of Investment in Australia 

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For the first time, almost half of all Chinese investment in Australia is concentrated in real estate, while spending on infrastructure has also increased significantly.   Chinese private sector companies are also investing more than state-owned enterprises, both in terms of volume and value.  The findings are contained in a report titled Demystifying Chinese Investment in Australia by accounting firm KPMG Australia, the University of Sydney Business School and the China Studies Center. Hans Hendrischke, a professor of Chinese Business and Management at the University of Sydney Business School, said the study has shown new patterns of interest. “The most striking feature was the change in Chinese investment composition – that is the shift from big projects in the mining and resources area to this huge increase in real estate, and other industries where the Chinese traditionally had not been too strong, such as leisure and construction.  They have bought one of the biggest cinema chains in Australia and one of the two biggest construction firms, John Holland,” said Hendrischke. As Australia’s mining boom fades, cashed-up Chinese companies have looked to real estate for opportunities. There are restrictions on what they can buy and purchases must be approved by Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board. Phil Harris, the managing director of Harris Real Estate in Adelaide, said Chinese buyers are inflating prices in Australia's major cities. “There is absolutely no question that it is having a dramatic effect on property prices in particular areas of both Melbourne and Sydney.  I have colleagues who own real estate offices in both of those marketplaces, and in some of those markets they are seeing 80 percent of all purchases – now even 100 percent of purchases in certain areas are going to Chinese buyers.  There is no question it is having an effect on property prices,” said Harris. Last year, the Chinese poured $8.3 billion into Australia.  The combination of real estate, leisure and infrastructure made up 79 percent of new Chinese business compared with mining, which was worth 11 percent. While real estate is the most popular sector, there is also growing interest in Australian agriculture. Mining magnate Andrew Forrest said it is helping to boost the productivity of farming. “So far, Chinese investment into Australia - agriculture - has been well received and they're capable of being a strong and passive partner in projects of massive scale which our capital alone could not develop,” said Forrest. The falling value of the Australian dollar has made investments more attractive, along with a relaxation of Australian visa rules. Doug Ferguson, the report’s co-author and head of KPMG Australia’s Asia Business Group, said Chinese investment is good news. “I think it is very important for our economy to be able to successfully move the structure away from mining, gas and power into sectors that have more, maybe, enduring long-term benefit to the broader economy, which I think real estate, which leisure and tourism and agri-business [and] food offers, and that is exactly what is happening, so it is very good news,” said Ferguson. China is the 6th largest foreign investor in Australia, behind the United States and Britain, although Chinese spending is growing fastest. The flow of money from China is politically sensitive, especially purchases of real estate and farms.  Last weekend, Australian nationalists demonstrated and burned flags outside the Chinese consulate in Sydney to protest what they describe as a “foreign invasion.”

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Спецслужбы США ограничили сотрудничество с немецкой разведкой - Российская Газета

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Российская Газета

Спецслужбы США ограничили сотрудничество с немецкой разведкой
Российская Газета
Защиту своих солдат в северо-иракском Эрбиле Германия теперь должна осуществлять собственными силами. По информации газеты Bild, спецслужбы США заморозили сотрудничество с Федеральной разведывательной службой ФРГ (BND) в одном из важных секторов. Речь идет о ...
СМИ: спецслужбы США прекратили снабжать техникой военных ФРГ в ИракеРИА Новости
СМИ: США прекратили снабжать техникой военных Германии в ИракеВзгляд
Bild: США заморозили сотрудничество с немецкой спецслужбой в ИракеНовый Регион
ЛІГА.net -Пронедра -Информационное агентство России ТАСС
Все похожие статьи: 15 »

Contributing Op-Ed Writer: Greece’s Runaway Train

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No one is focusing on the day after a deal or a default, and on which outcome will offer the least pain.
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