Obama aide says no more troops to Afghanistan
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(OBAMA, SECURITY, MILITARY, TROOPS, AFGHANISTAN, JONES)


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama`s top security adviser has told U.S. military commanders there are no plans to send more troops to Afghanistan for now and that the focus instead will be on economic development and reconstruction, The Washington Post reported on Tuesday. National Security Adviser James Jones delivered that message last week in Afghanistan, where Marine Brigadier General Lawrence Nicholson hinted he could use more "thousands more" troops, the newspaper said. Jones` message seemed designed to cap expectations that more troops might be coming, although the Obama admi... read more

California misses budget deadline, readies "IOUs"
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(CALIFORNIA, BUDGET, STATE, BILLION, SENATE, OBLIGATION)


By Jim Christie SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - California`s lawmakers failed to agree on a balanced budget by the start of its new fiscal year on Wednesday morning, clearing the way to suspend payments owed to the state`s vendors and local agencies, who instead will get "IOU" notes promising payment. The notes will mark the first time in 17 years the most populous U.S. state`s government will have to resort to the unusual and dramatic measure. Democrats who control the legislature could not convince Republicans late on Tuesday night to back their plans to tackle a $24.3 billion budget shortfall or ... read more

U.S. targets North Korea`s missile, nuclear activities
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(NORTH, KOREA, NUCLEAR, TREASURY, ELECTRONICS, WHICH)


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States said on Tuesday it had cracked down on companies involved in North Korea`s suspected missile proliferation and in purchases of equipment that could be used in a nuclear weapons program. The Treasury and State Departments said they had targeted Iran`s Hong Kong Electronics and North Korea`s Namchongang Trading Corporation under an executive order that would freeze their U.S. assets and bar U.S. firms from dealing with them. The move appeared aimed at isolating the companies from the U.S. financial and commercial systems and, by extension, from other coun... read more

Minnesota court rules Democrat Al Franken won Senate seat
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(COURT, DEMOCRAT, FRANKEN, REPUBLICAN, COLEMAN, DECISION)


MINNEAPOLIS (Reuters) - The Minnesota Supreme Court on Tuesday declared Democrat Al Franken the winner of a tight U.S. Senate race over Republican Norm Coleman, which should give Democrats the 60-seat majority they need to overcome procedural obstacles and push through their agenda. Coleman has said in published reports he is unlikely to appeal the state court`s decision to the federal courts. Under state law, the court`s decision gives Franken the right to occupy the seat, which has been up for grabs since last November`s election. Minnesota Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty has said he will c... read more

Obama admin. sets wide scope for consumer agency
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(AGENCY, WOULD, CONSUMER, PROTECTION, FINANCIAL, CREDIT)


By David Lawder WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A new U.S. agency would have sweeping powers to write and enforce tough consumer protection rules for banks, mortgage lenders and other financial institutions under proposed legislation the Obama administration sent to Congress on Tuesday. The legislative language fleshes out a key component of President Barack Obama`s plan outlined earlier this month to revamp U.S. financial regulation in response to the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. The proposed Consumer Financial Protection Agency aims to protect Americans from abusive practices em... read more

U.S. targets North Korea missile proliferation network
enpoliticstyle

(TREASURY, NORTH, KOREA, ELECTRONICS, FINANCIAL, KOMID)


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Treasury said on Tuesday it has targeted an Iranian-based firm for its ties to North Korea`s missile proliferation network, a move that bans U.S. companies from dealing with it. Hong Kong Electronics, located in Kish Island, Iran, has been named for transferring millions of dollars of proliferation-related funds to North Korea from Iran. "North Korea uses front companies like Hong Kong Electronics and a range of other deceptive practices to obscure the true nature of its financial dealings, making it nearly impossible for responsible banks and governments to dis... read more

Main news of June 29
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(WORLD, RUSSIA, MINISTRY, SPOKESMAN, MONDAY, RUSSIAN)


WORLD * Russia condemns the coup d`etat in Honduras and calls for the restoration of law and order in the country, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said * The European Commission said Monday that progress has been made on the issue of giving Ukraine an international loan to pay Russia for natural gas * The World Health Organization (WHO) on Monday confirmed 70,893 officially registered A/H1N1 cases and 311 deaths in 116 countries and territories worldwide * Honduran interim president Roberto Micheletti promised on Monday that presidential polls would go ahead as scheduled on November 29, a Venezue... read more

Moscow condemns Honduran coup, calls for restoration of law
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(HONDURAS, PRESIDENT, RUSSIA, COUNTRY, ZELAYA, MILITARY)


What Muscovites know about Honduras Honduras Crisis : Soldiers ousted the democratically elected president MOSCOW, June 29 (RIA Novosti) - Russia condemns the coup d`etat in Honduras and calls for the restoration of law and order in the country, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Monday. Parliamentary speaker Roberto Micheletti was sworn in as president of the Central American state on Sunday after President Jose Manuel Zelaya was deposed in a coup. The military`s action, apparently supported by the country`s Supreme Court, has been condemned across the world. "All actions by political playe... read more

EU says making progress on gas loan to Ukraine
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(EUROPE, RUSSIAN, RUSSIA, UKRAINE, SUPPLIES, EUROPEAN)


Delivering gas to Europe A map of Russian gas suppliers to Europe via Ukraine Russia resumes gas supplies to Ukraine Russia Ukraine sign gas deal BRUSSELS, June 29 (RIA Novosti) - The European Commission said Monday that progress has been made on the issue of giving Ukraine an international loan to pay Russia for natural gas. The statement was issued after high-level talks involving representatives of gas companies Gazprom and Naftogaz, the World Bank, the IMF, the EBRD and the EU. "The participants made good progress in identifying the key issues of concern and elements for possible solution... read more

Gazprom to buy 0.5 bcm of Azerbaijani gas annually from 2010
enpoliticstyle

(GAZPROM, AZERBAIJAN, MILLER, RUSSIAN, AZERBAIJANI, SUPPLIES)


BAKU, June 29 (RIA Novosti) - Gazprom will buy 500 million cubic meters of natural gas from Azerbaijan annually from January 1, 2010, CEO Alexei Miller said on Monday. The Russian energy giant, which has not so far bought Azerbaijani gas, signed an agreement with the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) earlier in the day. "Gazprom will buy Azerbaijani gas from January 1, 2010. Initially we will buy 500 million cubic meters of Azerbaijani gas," Miller said, without disclosing either the price or the pricing formula. "The agreement signed today fixes a basic price that is commercial... read more

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