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U.S. seeks to step up India trade talks after WTO breakthrough

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U.S. Trade Representative Froman pauses while announcing a trade enforcement action tied to India, in WashingtonNEW DELHI (Reuters) - The United States wants to step up its trade dialogue with India, Trade Representative Michael Froman said on Monday, after the resolution of a global trade dispute paved the way for President Barack Obama to visit India. Direct contacts between Obama and Prime Minister Narendra Modi this month helped to end a deadlock that had prevented the World Trade Organization from implementing a $1 trillion package of reforms to global customs rules. ...


Boehner calls for shift in military strategy, as Hagel replaced

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - John Boehner, who leads Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives, said on Monday that the selection of a replacement for Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense must be accompanied by a new look at U.S. military policies. "This personnel change must be part of a larger re-thinking of our strategy to confront the threats we face abroad, especially the threat posed by the rise of ISIL," Boehner, the House speaker, said in a statement, signaling a potential tough tone by Republicans in Congress on the appointment. ...

Russia suspends coal supplies to Ukraine: Ukraine energy minister

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KIEV (Reuters) - Ukraine's energy minister said on Monday Russia had suspended coal supplies to Ukraine, a blow to domestic energy suppliers who are struggling with a severe lack of raw fuel for power plants due to a separatist conflict in the industrial east. On Nov. 12 Prodan said Ukraine would have to rely on Russian coal to get through the winter after the war in the east disrupted supplies to thermal power plants (TPP), which provide around 40 percent of the country's electricity, and left reserves critically low ahead of the cold season. ...

Hagel resigns as defense secretary

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U.S. Secretary of Defense Hagel participates in the Washington Ideas Forum, in WashingtonBy Phil Stewart and Steve Holland WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel resigned on Monday, the first major change to President Barack Obama's Cabinet since his Democrats were routed in midterm elections three weeks ago. Obama announced the resignation at a White House event with Hagel at his side. Hagel will remain in the job until a successor is in place. Hagel was appointed less than two years ago as Obama pushed his signature program of winding up wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, a process that is being upended this year with U.S. ...


Teenage Jeff Koons tells AFP he 'knew nothing' about art

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US artist Jeff Koons poses next to his sculpture 'Balloon Dog' during an exhibition preview at the Fondation Beyeler museum in Basel, Switzerland, on May 11, 2012He may be the highest-selling artist alive, but on his first day at art school Jeff Koons had a crushing realisation: he "knew nothing" about the world he was about to join. Today likened to the pop art icon Andy Warhol, the teenage Koons was lucky to survive the bolt that hit him as a 17-year-old newcomer to the Maryland Institute College of Art.


Obama announces Hagel's resignation

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama accepted Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel's resignation on Monday, saying Hagel had approached him last month to say it was time for him to leave. At a White House event in the State Dining Room, Obama and Vice President Joe Biden gave Hagel a warm sendoff. He said Hagel will stay on until a successor is confirmed by the Senate. He said Hagel has been candid with his advice and counsel and has "always given it to me straight." (Reporting By Steve Holland; Editing by Doina Chiacu)

Congo: Amnesty says Belgian firm evicted hundreds

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KINSHASA, Congo (AP) — A Belgian company destroyed hundreds of homes near a mine in southeastern Congo and lied about it for years with the help of a government cover-up, Amnesty International said in a report released Monday.

Special Report: Why metro Houston fears the next big storm

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A structure that used to be a boat house in the former Brownwood neighborhood, which was abandoned due to rising sea waters, is seen in Baytown, TexasBy Duff Wilson, Ryan McNeill and Deborah J. Nelson GALVESTON, Texas (Reuters) - When Hurricane Ike hit this city on the Gulf of Mexico, William Merrell found himself trapped in a second-floor apartment as storm waters coursed eight feet deep through the floor below. “I had time to think,” said the professor and chair of marine sciences at Texas A&M University Galveston. One thing he thought about was the Dutch Delta Works, a vast coastal protection system he had seen several years earlier on a trip to the Netherlands. Like its Dutch inspiration, his idea included massive gates that would swing shut as a storm approached, blocking the 1.7-mile-wide entrance to Galveston Bay.


An Alaska village's existential dilemma

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By Duff Wilson SHISHMAREF, Alaska (Reuters) - The Chukchi Sea’s unrelenting waves were slowly ripping away the land and homes of the 600 or so residents of this Alaska Native village on a sinking barrier island. Shishmaref, the media proclaimed, would be the United States’ first climate refugees. Shishmaref has stayed put, protected temporarily by a $19 million rock revetment that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers finished in 2009. “You almost have to be half the way dead to get help,” said Clifford Weyiouanna, former chair of a relocation coalition.

Erdogan: women are not equal to men

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ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan set off a new controversy on Monday, declaring that women are not equal to men and accusing feminists of not understanding the special status that Islam attributes to mothers.

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