International

US Ambassador to Ukraine's Bugged Conversation (F-Word Included) Sparks Blame Game with Russia

US Ambassador to Ukraine's Bugged Conversation (F-Word Included) Sparks Blame Game with Russia
US and Ukraine diplomats fired competing verbal salvos at each other after a Russian aide posted a bugged conversation between the US Ambassador and Victoria Nuland, the US' top diplomat to the European Union. A voice assumed to be Nuland can be heard saying, "F--- the E.U." Must be some sort of diplomatic code word.
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Martyr Control: Homeland Security Warns of Toothpaste Bombs En Route to Sochi Olympics

Martyr Control: Homeland Security Warns of Toothpaste Bombs En Route to Sochi Olympics
The US Department of Homeland Security is warning airlines headed to Russia that terrorists may try to smuggle explosives hidden in toothpaste tubes. Russia's Sochi Olympics have been plagued by bad news, from lack of snow to a variety of these terrorist threats.
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Ukrainian Protesters Push Constitutional Changes That Would Weaken Presidential Powers

Ukrainian Protesters Push Constitutional Changes That Would Weaken Presidential Powers
Leaders of the anti-government protests that have gripped Ukraine's capital for more than two months say they will seek constitutional changes that will weaken the president's powers. The changes are expected to be discussed in a Tuesday parliament session that comes as Ukraine's political crisis wades through a stalemate
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Jim Heintz
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Bloc Party: Corruption Costs EU Over $162 Billion Annually

Bloc Party: Corruption Costs EU Over $162 Billion Annually
Corruption affects all member countries of the European Union and costs the bloc's economies around 120 billion euros ($162.19 billion) a year, an official EU report published Monday said. European Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said the estimated amount lost annually due to padded government contracts, covert political financing, bribes to secure health care and other corrupt practices would be enough to fund the European Union's yearly operating budget.
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John-Thor Dahlburg
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Angry Mob Ransacks Gay Rights Organization in 'Gay Friendly' African Country

Angry Mob Ransacks Gay Rights Organization in 'Gay Friendly' African Country
An angry mob "ransacked" the headquarters of Ivory Coast's most prominent gay rights organization, an official said Monday, following days of anti-gay protests in a country generally seen as moderate on the issue. Nearly 200 people stormed the offices of Alternative Cote d'Ivoire, breaking windows with stones and stealing computers and other equipment.
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Robbie Corey-Boulet
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Corruption and Cost Overruns Make Sochi Games Most Expensive Olympics Ever

Corruption and Cost Overruns Make Sochi Games Most Expensive Olympics Ever
An interactive website launched Monday by anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny paints a vivid picture of suspected cost overruns and conflicts of interest at the Sochi Winter Olympics. Russia has spent about $51 billion to deliver the Olympics in Sochi, which run Feb. 7-23, making them the most expensive Olympics ever even though winter games have many fewer athletes competing than summer games do.
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Nataliya Vasilyeva
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Kiev Protests Spread to Rest of Ukraine, President Yanukovych Responds with Promise of Reform

Kiev Protests Spread to Rest of Ukraine, President Yanukovych Responds with Promise of Reform
Protests in Kiev spread out to the rest of the Ukraine, forcing President Viktor Yanukovych to address reform measures, as well as promise to release many of the imprisoned protesters. The protests were amplified by an anti-protest law pushed through last week, backfiring for the government.
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Iraqis Flee Anbar by the Hundreds of Thousands; Worst Displacement Since 2008

Iraqis Flee Anbar by the Hundreds of Thousands; Worst Displacement Since 2008
More than 140,000 Iraqis have fled parts of Anbar province over clashes between security forces and al-Qaida militants, the worst displacement of civilians in years, a United Nations official said Friday. Sectarian fighting has increased recently, occupying the vacuum left by departing American forces.
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Iran Sends Two Warships Into Atlantic Ocean

Iran Sends Two Warships Into Atlantic Ocean
Two Iranian warships set sail Tuesday for the Atlantic Ocean on their navy's first-ever mission there, state TV reported. The voyage comes amid an ongoing push by Iran to demonstrate the ability to project power across the Middle East and beyond. The report said that the destroyer Sabalan and the logistic helicopter carrier Khark will be dispatched on a three-month voyage.
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AP
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Iran Unplugs Parts of Nuclear Enrichment Program, US and Europe Lift Some Sanctions

Iran Unplugs Parts of Nuclear Enrichment Program, US and Europe Lift Some Sanctions
Iran unplugged banks of centrifuges involved in its most sensitive uranium enrichment work on Monday, prompting the United States and European Union to partially lift economic sanctions as a landmark deal aimed at easing concerns over Iran's nuclear program went into effect.
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Ali Akbar Dareini and John-Thor Dahlburg
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