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WORLD
February 3, 2010 | By Liz Sly
Hundreds of candidates accused of having ties to the outlawed Baath Party will be allowed to participate in Iraq's upcoming election after a decision Wednesday by judges to defer hearing their appeals until after the poll. The step may help ease political tensions in the run-up to the elections, and closely matches a U.S. proposal pressed recently by Vice President Joe Biden. The 500 or so candidates affected could still be barred from taking their seats if they are elected to parliament, potentially creating a fresh political crisis.
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WORLD
February 3, 2010 | By Jeffrey Fleishman and Haley Sweetland Edwards
President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who once described ruling Yemen as dancing on the heads of snakes, has stayed in power for three decades through a clever mix of money, tribal ploys and government corruption. But Saleh's political capital is shrinking and his wiles are straining as Yemen struggles with a civil war in the north, secession troubles in the south and a battle against an Al Qaeda affiliate that has drawn the United States into a new front against the terrorist network. As with former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, the U.S. regards Saleh more as a skilled operator than a trusted ally.
WORLD
February 2, 2010 | By Jeffrey Fleishman
Past the wild dogs and poor boys selling charred corn and party hats, the road turns to dirt and stone and dips toward an ancient riverbed the colors of butterscotch and bone. Fossils underfoot, foxes on the ridges, this is Cairo at the edge of the Eastern Desert, where the canyon cuts the sky and the smiling man in the entrance hut writes in a ledger and listens to chants from the Koran on his radio. " Assalam alaikum ." "Peace be upon you, too." My brother. The city falls away, standing distant, a ragged sentinel in the smog.
WORLD
January 30, 2010 | By Borzou Daragahi
A high-ranking Iranian cleric close to both supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sharpened the rhetoric against opposition supporters by giving religious justification for their killings in a fiery Friday sermon. Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, head of the hard-line Guardian Council of jurists and clerics that ratified Ahmadinejad's disputed reelection in June, likened the opposition to Jewish tribes which he said long ago defied the founder of Islam.
WORLD
January 26, 2010 | By Liz Sly
It was lucky for us that the suicide bombers struck first at two other hotels, and that the one who targeted our hotel was forced by security guards to fight his way into the compound. Alerted by the two explosions minutes earlier on Monday, and then the popping of automatic gunfire immediately outside, most staffers of the Los Angeles Times bureau had taken cover in an inside corridor when the bomber detonated his vehicle outside. The blast left a 30-foot crater in the tarmac, destroyed walls and windows around us and demolished at least two houses nearby.
WORLD
January 26, 2010 | By Borzou Daragahi
Rescue workers found no one to save. They could only retrieve the corpses of those aboard an Ethiopian Airlines flight that crashed into the Mediterranean Sea early Monday during a fierce winter storm. The Boeing 737-800 bound for Addis Ababa, Ethiopia's capital, was carrying eight crew members and 82 passengers when it crashed shortly after takeoff from Beirut amid hail and thunder. The U.S.-born wife of the French ambassador to Lebanon was among the passengers. By nightfall, rescue workers had recovered about 25 bodies, the Lebanese transportation minister said.
WORLD
January 22, 2010 | By Liz Sly
Iraq's president has asked the country's Supreme Court to rule on the legality of a ban on hundreds of candidates in the upcoming elections, offering the first official challenge to a decision that could undermine the legitimacy of the poll. President Jalal Talabani said Thursday that he was "personally not happy" with the ban on mostly secular candidates, and questioned the authority of the committee that ordered it because its composition had not been approved by the parliament.
WORLD
January 20, 2010 | By Liz Sly
The barring of hundreds of mostly Sunni candidates from participating in Iraq's upcoming elections is testing the limits of U.S. influence in Iraq even as American troops prepare to draw down later in the year. U.S. diplomacy has shifted into high gear in recent days in an attempt to pressure Iraqi government officials into finding a way out of a crisis that many fear could seriously destabilize the country both before and after the election. The 515 barred candidates -- the number keeps growing -- belong mostly to Sunni Arab and secularist parties that oppose the dominance of Shiite religious parties in the current government.
WORLD
January 16, 2010 | By Jeffrey Fleishman
One of Al Qaeda's top military strategists in Yemen was reportedly killed Friday along with five other militants in airstrikes targeting two vehicles in the country's northeastern mountains, according to officials and news agencies. The operation by the Yemeni air force was the latest in a string of attacks on Al Qaeda strongholds and the terrorist network's key operatives. The government, which has been guided by U.S. intelligence in the past, has yet to capture or kill the group's two leaders, but Friday's strikes were an indication that Al Qaeda faces increasing pressure.
WORLD
January 14, 2010 | By Jeffrey Fleishman
Yemeni special forces killed a suspected Al Qaeda leader and captured four fighters as the country increased pressure on the militant network operating in several key tribal provinces, officials said Wednesday. Yemen's government, juggling a civil war in the north and a secessionist movement in the south, had been slow to react to a widening Al Qaeda threat. Its stepped-up raids come amid international concern over the country's ability to defeat a branch of Yemeni and Saudi fighters that has claimed responsibility for the failed Christmas Day attack on a Northwest airliner.
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