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Dutch Seek Explanation over Chavez Remarks

The Dutch government says it has asked Venezuela's ambassador to clarify remarks by President Hugo Chavez accusing the Netherlands of planning aggression against Venezuela. The comment Friday comes one day after President Chavez said the Netherlands was allowing the United States to use Dutch islands off Venezuela's Caribbean coast for a possible military attack against his country. The Venezuelan leader provided no evidence to support his allegations, and State Department spokesman Ian Kelly Thursday told the Associated Press the allegations were "baseless." The United States has lon

Cambodia Tribunal Charges Former Khmer Rouge Head of State With Genocide

Cambodia's U.N.-backed war crimes tribunal has charged the Khmer Rouge's former head of state with genocide, the third such charge this week against a former leader of the brutal regime. A court spokesman says Khieu Samphan was brought before investigating judges of the U.N.-assisted tribunal Friday and charged. On Wednesday, the tribunal charged two other defendants with genocide for the first time: Nuon Chea, the group's top ideologist and former foreign minister Ieng Sary. All three have been charged with involvement in the deaths of members of the country's ethnic Cham and Vietnam

Obama: US Close to New Arms Deal with Russia

U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and Russia are 'quite close' to agreeing on a new arms control treaty. Mr. Obama discussed the issue with Russian President Dmitri Medvedev in a private meeting Friday while both were attending the Copenhagen climate conference. Mr. Medvedev said some work is still needed on the technical details. Delegates from both countries have also been holding negotiations on the treaty in Geneva, Switzerland. U.S.

As Year Closes, Sudan Peace Deal Faces Final Test

In early December, crowds gathered outside the police station in Khartoum to protest the detention of senior Southern party officials. The South's ruling party, the Sudan People's Liberation Movement, had organized a political rally with Northern opposition groups.

US Drone Strikes Kill 12 in Western Pakistan

Pakistani intelligence officials say two suspected U.S.

Russia's Lavrov Says US Slowing Progress on Arms Pact

Russia's top diplomat is accusing the United States of holding up progress on a new nuclear arms treaty, saying he does not expect the presidents of Russia and the United States to sign a new accord when they meet Friday in Copenhagen. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called on Thursday for Washington to accept deeper reductions to its nuclear arsenal and less intrusive verification measures than those in the current treaty. The two governments have been negotiating to replace the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, known as START.  Earlier this year, President Obama and his coun

Mexico Drug Cartel Chief Killed

One of Mexico's most-wanted drug gang leaders has been shot dead. Mexican navy officials said Wednesday Arturo Beltran Leyva, head of one of the most powerful drug crime syndicates, was killed by security forces in a shootout in a high-end residential complex in the city of Cuernavaca. At least three other gang members were also killed in the clash, while a fourth committed suicide. Beltran Leyva's death is a victory for President Felipe Calderon's drug offensive as gang-related violence is jumping.  Despite deploying nearly 50,000 troops against the cartels since taking office in 200

Iran Test Fires Improved Long-Range Missile

Iran has test-fired what it claims is an improved version of its Sejil 2 medium-range missile, Wednesday, amid ongoing tension with the West over its nuclear program.   State television showed video of the Sejil 2 missile launch Wednesday, calling the test a success. The Sejil 2 has a range of about 2,000 kilometers, making it capable of hitting Israel and U.S.

Pakistan Battles Militants, Political Scandal in 2009

U.S. President Barack Obama has made Pakistan a key part of his new strategy in Afghanistan.  But as the U.S.