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Army suicides set to hit new high in 2009
18 Nov 2009 source: today.reuters.co.uk

By Phil Stewart WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Suicides in the U.S. Army will hit a new high this year, a top general said on Tuesday in a disclosure likely to increase concerns about stress on U.S. forces ahead of an expected buildup in Afghanistan. The findings, released as President Barack Obama inches toward a decision to send up to 40,000 additional troops to Afghanistan, show the numbe ...

Seized tanker's captain dies, Alabama attacked again
18 Nov 2009 source: today.reuters.co.uk

By Mohamed Ahmed HARADHEERE, Somalia (Reuters) - The captain of a Virgin-Islands owned chemical tanker hijacked this week has died from gunshot wounds sustained when the ship was attacked, a Somali pirate said on Wednesday. There was a pause in hijackings during monsoon rains, but Somali sea gangs have stepped up attacks in the past two months, especially off the Seychelles as the pi ...

Obama vows Afghan exit; battered Karzai to take oath
18 Nov 2009 source: today.reuters.co.uk

By Peter Graff KABUL (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama aims to bring the Afghan war to an end before he leaves office, he said on Wednesday, the eve of a swearing-in ceremony Western officials hope can help salvage Hamid Karzai's tattered reputation. Hillary Clinton arrived in Kabul to attend the re-elected Afghan president's inauguration, her first visit as U.S. secretary of s ...

North Korea's nuclear plans cloud Obama in Seoul
18 Nov 2009 source: today.reuters.co.uk

By Jon Herskovitz and Patricia Zengerle SEOUL (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama arrived in South Korea on Wednesday for talks that will focus on how to tempt North Korea back to nuclear disarmament talks and a delayed trade pact between Seoul and Washington. North Korea stoked regional tension ahead of Obama's first tour of Asia since taking office by this month, sparking a nav ...

U.S. inflation edges up, housing starts fall sharply
18 Nov 2009 source: today.reuters.co.uk

By Lucia Mutikani WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Construction of new homes in the United States fell sharply last month, showing potential weakness in the economy's recovery, while consumer prices rose slightly more than expected. The Commerce Department said on Wednesday housing starts dropped 10.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 529,000 units, the lowest level since April a ...

U.S. wants Karzai to use speech for concrete steps
18 Nov 2009 source: today.reuters.co.uk

By Sue Pleming WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States and its allies want Afghan President Hamid Karzai to use Thursday's inauguration speech to announce concrete steps to fight corruption and govern better, U.S. and Western officials said. Karzai will be sworn in for a second term at a ceremony attended by international dignitaries looking for signs of Karzai's commitment. His dis ...

Public divided on troop increase in Afghanistan: poll
18 Nov 2009 source: today.reuters.co.uk

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A majority of Americans expressed confidence U.S. President Barack Obama's new Afghanistan strategy will succeed, but they are divided over how many more U.S. troops to send there, according to a Washington Post-ABC News opinion poll released Tuesday. Obama is weighing several options for boosting U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan and is expected to announce a new war  ...

Obama meets Wen as China visit winds down
18 Nov 2009 source: today.reuters.co.uk

By Caren Bohan and Patricia Zengerle BEIJING (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama continued courting China in talks with Premier Wen Jiabao on Wednesday, opening an opportunity to press him on the economic and currency strains that have shadowed his goodwill visit. Obama's first trip to China has been a mix of goodwill displays toward its sometimes wary people and leaders and clos ...

NATO chief confident of big Afghan troop increase
17 Nov 2009 source: today.reuters.co.uk

By Adrian Croft EDINBURGH (Reuters) - NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Tuesday he was confident the alliance would agree to increase substantially the number of troops battling Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan. President Barack Obama is weighing several options for boosting U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan as a debate rages in his administration over whether to pers ...

U.S. labor group unveils plan to tackle joblessness
17 Nov 2009 source: today.reuters.co.uk

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The head of the largest U.S. labor federation urged President Barack Obama on Tuesday to use the $700 billion Wall Street bailout fund to help cash-starved small businesses as a way to stem rising joblessness. In a preview of labor's contribution to Obama's December jobs summit, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said money from the Troubled Asset Relief Program could b ...

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