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Romania, IMF Agree on $664 Million Tranche as Balkan Nation’s Growth Slows

Romania and the International Monetary Fund reached a staff-level agreement to unlock about 505 million euros ($664 million) in funds from its standby loan, IMF Mission Chief Jeffrey Franks said.

Obama’s Faster, Smarter Afghan Exit

Leslie H. Gelb says the Obama administration’s announcement of a quick end to U.S. combat in Afghanistan is a surprise decision of strategic skill and political courage.

Drawing Down in Afghanistan

The Pentagon’s plan for an end to U.S. combat operations in Afghanistan by the end of 2013 has drawn familiar battle lines in the public debate over the proper

Military planes used in Australia floods

Authorities were using military helicopters and a C-130 cargo plane Sunday to evacuate thousands of residents stranded by rising floodwaters in the eastern Australian province of Queensland, the government said.

Mitt Can Win by Battling America’s Debt Addiction

Sebastian Mallaby proposes that Mitt Romney declare war on America’s addiction to debt.

Butterflies helps threatened forests

Farmers in Tanzania are helping to conserve threatened forests by cultivating an unlikely crop: butterflies.

Close encounters of a Zambian kind

“Stop the car, stop the car! There’s a bull elephant in the road!” Words I listen to closely as they’re being shouted by a man sitting next to

John Stossel on Policing the World

With an election approaching and at least some Americans upset about irresponsible spending, the president has finally expressed a political interest in cutting something. He says the Pentagon will spend “only” $525 billion next year. …

Policing the World

With an election approaching and at least some Americans upset about irresponsible spending, the president has finally expressed a political interest in cutting something. He says the Pentagon …

Billionaire O’Brien Says He Would Invest in Bank of Ireland

Denis O’Brien, the Irish telecommunications and media billionaire, said he would invest in Bank of Ireland Plc as the lender has “cleaned up its balance sheet.”

European Stocks Post Biggest Weekly Rally of 2012; Xstrata, Glencore Gain

European stocks posted the biggest weekly gain this year, sending the Stoxx Europe 600 Index to its highest level in six months, as manufacturing increased globally and the U.S. jobless rate fell to the lowest in three years.

At Least 12 Dead in Latest Syria Violence

Activists report at least 12 deaths as protests and clashes rippled across Syria Friday while the United Nations Security Council struggled to craft a resolution to help end the bloodshed. Opposition activists said tens of thousands of…

NATO: Forces Will Not Back Down During Afghan Transition

NATO’s secretary-general says foreign forces in Afghanistan will remain on combat duty during the scheduled transition to Afghan security control in 2014. That statement by Anders Fogh Rasmussen came after U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said American forces’ combat role will end next year, …

Russia’s Opposition Movement Spreads Far Beyond Moscow

Kremlin political strategists say Russia’s new spirit of independent political thinking is limited to intellectuals in Moscow. But on the western edge of Siberia, almost 2,000 kilometers east of Moscow, more and more Russians are speaking their minds on elections and on democracy. Stability …

Jose Mourinho Ready to Make Chelsea Return, the Sun Says: Soccer Roundup

The following is a roundup of soccer stories from U.K. newspapers, with clickable links to the Web.

Campaign 2012: Latin America

Drug trafficking, changing immigration trends, and rising economic opportunities are the major issues the winner of the 2012 U.S. presidential election faces in dealing with Latin America, says CFR’s Shannon O’Neil.

ANC Study Discourages South Africa Mine Nationalization, Business Day Says

A report by South Africa’s ruling African National Congress found that nationalization of the country’s mines would be unconstitutional and too expensive, Johannesburg-based Business Day reported, without saying where it got the information.

The Chinese Are Coming!

Richard Bernstein A Contest for Supremacy: China, America, and the Struggle for Mastery in Asia by Aaron L. Friedberg Imaginechina/Corbis A ceremony in Sichuan Province, China, sending off an engineer battalion of the People’s Liberation Army on a peacekeeping mission to Lebanon, January 2011 Imaginechina…

Hey Canada, how about a trade? — Tom Purcell

Canada, with its proud history of big-government initiatives such as health care, is now led by a pro-capitalist conservative, whereas America is led by a fellow who’s trying to turn his country into Western Europe.

Julian Assange: Loathed and admired

Since the summer of 2010, Julian Assange has become a pop culture fixture, a self-appointed champion of free speech, the suspect in a Swedish sex crimes investigation and a man who says he’s keeping afloat a financially strapped

Taliban 'poised to retake Afghanistan'

The US military said in a secret report that the Taliban, backed by Pakistan, are set to retake control of Afghanistan after NATO-led forces withdraw.

NATO Taliban report revives fears

Pakistan continues to support the Taliban in Afghanistan, a secret NATO report says, despite years of Pakistani denials and American pressure.

Analyst Sees Senegalese Opposition Divided

A Senegalese political analyst said it appears that some of the country’s opposition leaders have decided to participate in this month’s presidential election rather than protest President Abdoulaye Wade’s bid for a third term. Campaigning for the February 26 th election…

New App Aims to Fight Poverty

A pilot project gets underway soon to test whether mobile phones can be used to help educate the poor. It’s estimated three quarters of the world’s poor have access to mobile phones. …

Congo’s abuse survival strategy

An inaugural group of Congolese women are graduating Saturday from a gender violence survivors program in the nation’s east, where armed rebels roam the hills and rape residents.

Healing ‘traumatized continent’

As Kenya’s leading psychiatrist, Frank Njenga has been championing the cause of better mental health care on the east African country and the continent for more than three decades.

Germany Seeks China’s Help on Iran

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is urging China to help the international community persuade Iran to abandon any ambitions it may have for nuclear weapons. Her comments came …

Pew: Latinos in the 2012 Election: Florida

This Pew Research Center profile provides Florida voter registration data as reported by the Florida Division of Elections through January 3, 2012. It also provides key demographic information on eligible Latino voters and other

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