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/ 1 June 2008

Obama quits Chicago church after race rows

Democrat Barack Obama said on Saturday he had quit his long-time Chicago church after months of controversy over racially laced pulpit rhetoric that still threatens to tarnish his White House hopes. The Illinois senator said he and his wife, Michelle, were withdrawing from the 8 000-strong congregation of the Trinity United Church of Christ.

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/ 21 May 2008

Oil rises above $129, near record high

Oil held above a barrel on Wednesday, within sight of the previous session’s record high, supported by a weak United States dollar and concern about supplies. Attention will shift later to a US government report expected to show that crude inventories rose for a fifth straight time last week while petrol and distillates supplies also increased.

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/ 16 May 2008

Watching athletes go cold turkey

If the death of a racehorse is a sad event, then the death of a racehorse on live television is an obvious starting point for national catharsis. So it has been in the United States in the past few days after the collapse and ultimate euthanasia of the filly Eight Belles at the end of last weekend’s Kentucky Derby.

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/ 5 May 2008

Oil price crosses $120

Oil jumped more than to strike a record over a barrel on Monday on the weaker dollar and supply concerns from Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries members Nigeria and Iran. United States crude gained ,37 to trade at ,69 at 3.55pm GMT, after surging to ,21 earlier.

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/ 4 May 2008

Obama hunts for knock-out as fight turns ugly

It looked like yet another jubilant Barack Obama rally. The cavernous Indiana University sports hall in Bloomington jammed with thousands of supporters who stood in their seats and cheered deafeningly loudly. Ever since Obama launched his bid to become America’s first ever black President 15 months ago, hundreds of cities and towns have seen the same huge rallies.

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/ 2 May 2008

Fatigue, racism threaten to knock Obama

Barack Obama was showing signs of campaign fatigue. Sitting on a picnic bench in a park on Pagoda Street, Indianapolis, in discussion with a group of 30 supporters, he told a story about the ”modest” background of himself and his wife, Michelle. And 10 minutes later, seemingly having forgotten, he told them it all again.

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/ 30 April 2008

Clinton gaining on Obama as key primaries loom

Hillary Clinton appeared on Wednesday to be gaining on Barack Obama in two key primary states, after her Democratic foe tried to quell another damaging uproar sparked by his fiery former pastor. The White House rivals fought another day of fierce turf battles in mid-western Indiana and North Carolina, which hold Democratic primaries on Tuesday.

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/ 29 April 2008

Obama pastor reignites US debate on race

Barack Obama’s fiery former minister thrust his way back into the United States presidential campaign on Monday, again placing the divisive issue of race at the heart of the Democratic White House tussle. An unapologetic Reverend Jeremiah Wright hit back at weeks of criticism over his incendiary comments.

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/ 21 April 2008

Nigeria rebels claim attacks on oil pipelines

A rebel group from Nigeria’s oil-producing Niger Delta said it attacked two major oil pipelines there on Monday in what it called a message to the United States. In an email, a faction of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta said its commandos had carried out attacks against the pipelines located at Isaka River and Abonnema River.

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/ 17 April 2008

Oil sets yet another record

Oil set a record above a barrel on Thursday as a drop in United States gasoline inventories raised concern of tighter supply and a weak dollar boosted investor demand for commodities. A US government report on Wednesday showed a surprise drop in crude inventories and a larger-than-expected decline in stocks of petrol.

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/ 9 April 2008

Top US official pushes cybersecurity goals

Federal cybersecurity officials are trying to develop an early-warning system that alerts authorities to incoming computer attacks targeting critical United States infrastructure, says Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff. His keynote speech on Tuesday at the RSA security conference, however, was light on details.

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/ 27 March 2008

Oil prices soar on Iraq pipeline attack

Oil prices leapt higher on Thursday as concerns about tight supplies were stoked by news that saboteurs had blown up an Iraqi export pipeline, traders said. New York’s main oil contract, light sweet crude for delivery in May, rose by $1,68 to close at $107,58 per barrel. In intraday trade it had hit $108,22.

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/ 26 March 2008

Obama camp turns on Clinton over pastor row

Barack Obama’s camp has accused Hillary Clinton of trying to divert attention from her exaggerated account of a 1996 trip to Bosnia after she revived a row over her rival’s fiery pastor. With Obama set to return to the campaign trail on Wednesday after a short Easter holiday, the Democratic White House foes were braced for more bitterness.

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/ 23 March 2008

Inside the court of the Tibetan god-king

When the Dalai Lama sat down on Saturday with Richard Gere and Robert Thurman, father of actor Uma and a United States professor of Buddhism, it was supposed to be for a few hours contemplating sacred art and silent meditation. But like almost everything the 72-year-old does, who he meets and what he says are picked over and pulled apart.

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/ 21 March 2008

Oil extends slide on economic worries

Oil prices extended a week-long slide on Thursday, briefly tumbling below a barrel for the first time in two weeks amid growing concerns an economic slowdown in top consumer the United States would cut global energy demand. US crude settled down 70 cents to ,84 a barrel after falling as low as ,65 earlier in the session

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/ 7 March 2008

Oil eases below $105

Oil eased to under a barrel on Friday, but stayed within sight of its record high from the previous session, with a tumbling United States dollar, fund flows and Opec’s (the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) reluctance to pump extra crude providing support.

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/ 27 February 2008

Oil price hits new peak as dollar slumps

Oil powered to a new record above a barrel on Wednesday, closing in on its inflation-adjusted lifetime peak, as an ailing dollar on worsening United States economic data triggered a surge across commodities markets. US crude stood 15 cents higher at ,03 a barrel by 1pm GMT, off its new record high of ,08.

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/ 7 February 2008

Bush visit to Africa to centre on Tanzania

United States President George Bush will spend most of his time during a five-nation tour of Africa later this month in Tanzania, to spotlight development gains in the East African nation. "This is a success story," said US embassy public affairs officer Jeffery Salaiz of Tanzania, during a press conference held in Dar es Salaam on Tuesday.

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/ 31 January 2008

Mugabe’s nephew, Zim spy chief blacklisted by US

The United States Treasury said on Wednesday it had blacklisted the chief of Zimbabwe’s Central Intelligence Organisation and a nephew of President Robert Mugabe. The Treasury identified Zimbabwe’s spy chief as Happyton Bonyongwe in a statement that also announced that Leo Mugabe would be subjected to targeted US financial sanctions.