General News Archive - June 18, 2006

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. military has carried out 340 air strikes in Afghanistan over the past three months, more than double the 160 conducted in Iraq, as fighting with Taliban insurgents intensifies, the Washington Post reported on Sunday. Citing figures from the U.S.

By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (Reuters) - NASA managers cleared the shuttle Discovery for launch on July 1, over the objections of the agency's top safety officer and its lead engineer, officials said on Saturday.

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran will shun direct talks with the United States on Iraq despite being encouraged to take part by an influential Iraqi politician, an official said on Sunday.

By Teruaki Ueno TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan warned North Korea on Sunday of "a harsh response" from Tokyo and Washington if it fired a long-range missile, as media reports suggested that the secretive state was close to staging a test launch.

By Parinoosh Arami TEHRAN (Reuters) - Direct talks on Iraq between Iran and the United States were impossible, a Foreign Ministry official said on Sunday after an influential Iraqi politician encouraged Tehran to take part in discussions.

By Fredrik Dahl BAGHDAD (Reuters) - A militant umbrella body affiliated to al Qaeda claimed responsibility on Sunday for some of the bombings that killed 43 people in and near Baghdad on Saturday in defiance of a security clampdown.

LAGOS (Reuters) - The Nigerian navy has detained an American journalist for taking photographs of an oil facility operated by the local unit of Italy's Agip, a rights group said on Sunday.

By Michael Georgy BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Two U.S. soldiers missing in Iraq since Friday disappeared into a lawless al Qaeda stronghold where residents describe being terrorised by unknown militants.

By Teruaki Ueno TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan warned North Korea on Sunday of "a harsh response" from Tokyo and Washington if it went ahead with the launch of a long-range missile.

By Christine Kearney NEW YORK (Reuters) - When billionaire Michael Bloomberg became New York mayor shortly after the September 11 attacks, some mocked his dullness and lack of political savvy.

Word of the Day
  • The horn of a unicorn considered as a medical or pharmacological ingredient.
  • A winged horse with a single horn on its head; a winged unicorn.
The word 'alicorn' comes from Italian alicorno, already associated with unicorns and reinterpreted, popularized by Bearing an Hourglass (1984) and other fantasy novels by Piers Anthony.