April 23, 2014 |
Prime Minister David Cameron is under fire for suggesting that Britain “should be more confident about our status as a Christian country.” That assertion came in a column the Tory leader wrote for the Church Times, an Anglican publication. In good Anglican fashion, Cameron was careful to add that “being more confident about our status as a Christian country does not somehow involve doing down other faiths or passing judgment on those with no faith at all.” He also confessed to being a “rather classic” member of the Church of England: “not that regular in attendance, and a bit vague on some of the more difficult parts of the faith.” The prime minister's diffidence didn't help him with his critics, who saw his “privileging” of Christianity as incompatible with contemporary multicultural Britain.
April 22, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - After more than four years and 20 rounds of negotiations, the world's biggest free-trade deal in a generation has come down in good part to this: the United States and Japan squabbling over beef. With President Obama due to arrive Wednesday in Tokyo for a two-day summit with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, their aides have been pulling all-nighters in the hope of reaching a compromise on tariffs for beef and, to a lesser extent, pork and dairy products. The proposed 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership is seen as the centerpiece of Obama's promised re-balance in foreign policy priorities to fast-growing Asia-Pacific.
April 18, 2014 |
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - For most of Pakistan's history, the powerful military has held sway over elected officials or simply dumped them from power. Just ask Nawaz Sharif, who was ousted as prime minister in the last military coup, 15 years ago. Lately, however, a new civilian government is pushing back - led by Sharif. Since he returned to office in June, his government has lodged a case against generals over the disappearance of imprisoned militants and engaged Pakistani Taliban insurgents in a controversial peace process against the army's wishes.
April 15, 2014 |
ROME -- Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was ordered Tuesday to spend a year performing community service among the elderly as his sentence for committing tax fraud at his media conglomerate. The decision by a Milan judge spares Berlusconi, 77, a sentence of house arrest. But the former premier, who has dominated Italy's political scene for two decades, will see his movements restricted just as his center-right party gears up for elections to the European Parliament next month.
April 15, 2014 |
Even Pharrell Williams, he of the flamboyant toppers, can't overcome the bowling-over capabilities of Oprah Winfrey. During his "Oprah Prime" appearance on Sunday, the seven-time Grammy-winner was overcome with emotion as the TV queen brought up his infectious song "Happy" and its breakout influence all over the world. Winfrey played a poignant tribute video set to the song, showcasing global fan renditions of the upbeat tune from the "Despicable Me 2" soundtrack. "Happy" was up for an Academy Award in March but lost the best song honor to "Let It Go" from Disney's "Frozen.
April 11, 2014 |
Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Saleh Mutlaq survived an attack by gunmen who shot at his convoy west of Baghdad on Friday, the official state news agency reported. Mutlaq was not hurt, but several people were wounded when the unknown assailants fired at the vehicles in the Abu Ghraib district, according to the National Iraqi News Agency. A shootout reportedly ensued between the gunmen and the guards and soldiers protecting the officials. The assailants eventually fled. Also unharmed was lawmaker Talal Zobaie, who had accompanied Mutlaq and other government officials who were inspecting flood damage to the area caused by militants who tampered with a dam. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.