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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016


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Fitness Becoming a Political Necessity

Time was, all a politician had to do to look good was kiss a baby. These days, projecting the right image is getting a lot more strenuous.

Merkel Finds Big Support In Germany

As German Chancellor Angela Merkel heads to Asia this weekend, her standing at home floats at sky-high levels -- she enjoys unprecedented poll ratings, strong economic growth and the first government budget surplus since Germany's 1990 reunification.

U.S. Finds Allies in Former Iraqi Foes

U.S. forces have re-branded one of the main insurgent organizations in Iraq and now use the term ""concerned local nationals"" to refer to a group that once claimed responsibility for killing scores of Americans.

51 Dead as Greek Wildfires Spread

EU firefighters and planes joined the battle Sunday against fires raging in Greece for three days, killing 51 people and threatening areas near ancient Olympia, the historic site of the first Olympic games.

India Eyes Islamists in Fatal Blasts

Foreign-based Islamic extremists may have been behind a pair of bombings that tore through a popular restaurant and a park in this southern Indian city, killing at least 42 people, an Indian official said Sunday.

A Tricky Passage

A helpful friend once asked me in 2003, ""Would you like to meet a Russian gangster?"" The conversation proved comfortable, intelligent and wide-ranging.

It Comes With the Territory

Russia's intrepid underwater conquest of the south side of the North Pole earlier this month raised some bemused eyebrows. If you're under a pole, one observer asked, do you plant the flag upside down?

Testing New Waters in Azeri Popular Culture

Azerbaijan may be a secular Muslim country, but morally it is still a distinctly conservative kind of place.

Georgia Says It Fired On a Russian Plane

Georgian forces fired at a plane they believe was Russian over Georgian territory last week and may have brought it down, a Georgian official said.

12 Convicted for Tbilisi Coup Attempt

A Georgian court Friday convicted 12 followers of a pro-Russian opposition leader of plotting an armed government overthrow and sentenced them to prison terms of up to 8 1/2 years.

Ashgabat Backs Off Of Religion

Members of a U.S. governmental commission said a recent visit to Turkmenistan showed signs of improvement in the country's religious freedom but that many concerns remained.

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