A Serbian minister stands accused of plagiarism and his mentor appears to have lied about having a doctorate in twin scandals that have cast a long shadow over the Balkan nation's ivory tower. "These are institutions with a lot of corruption," said Danica Popovic of Belgrade University's School of Economy. Stefanovic, 37, accused by a British professor of plagiarising passages in his doctoral thesis last year, has strenuously denied the allegation.
With a goofy sales pitch, piercing vuvuzela solos and giant green and yellow hat, Brazilian entrepreneur Josimar Barbosa was wooing customers and raking in a World Cup windfall. "You too can be this sexy while you root for Brazil! Get your hats, vuvuzelas, flags!" he called to the crowd checking out the football merchandise displayed outside his store on a busy street in central Rio de Janeiro. "Everything about this event is good for Brazil, including for us small businesses," he said, winking at a middle-aged woman buying 65 reais' worth of merchandise for 60 reais ($25). The World Cup is adding 30 billion reais ($13.4 billion) to the Brazilian economy, according to a government-commissioned study by FIPE, the University of Sao Paulo's economic research institute.
The shutdown of Iraq's biggest refinery, roads blocked by fighting, and skyrocketing demand have created the worst oil crisis in years in the country's autonomous Kurdish region. At petrol stations across the three provinces of the northern region, but particularly in and around the city of Dohuk and the Kurdish regional capital Arbil, lines extend for hours, sometimes even days. "I've been here for two hours, and I'm hoping I'll be able to fill up in about another half hour," said 34-year-old engineer Raad, who was queueing in Arbil. The crisis began shortly after Sunni militants, led by jihadists from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, launched a lightning offensive that has overrun major parts of five Iraqi provinces.
North Korea announced Friday the successful test of a new high-precision, tactical guided missile, as its army threatened a "devastating" retaliation against South Korea for carrying out live fire drills near their maritime border. The launch of the "cutting-edge" missile was watched by North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, according to the North's official KCNA news agency, which hailed the test as a "breakthrough" in national defence capability. North Korea is not known to have a tactical guided missile, but analysis of a recent propaganda film suggested it may have acquired a variant of a Russian cruise missile, the KH-35.
By Roberta Rampton MINNEAPOLIS (Reuters) - President Barack Obama spent a "day in the life" of a young Minnesota accountant struggling to make ends meet, but the road trip on Thursday quickly turned into a typical day in the life of Obama - one spent defending his actions and criticizing Republicans. The trip, billed as the first in a series, was aimed at reconnecting Obama with Democrats ahead of midterm elections in November when Republicans stand a good chance of taking control of the Senate, jeopardizing his opportunity to accomplish goals for his last two years in office. After Obama chatted with Rebekah Erler, 36, over a cheese-filled "Jucy Lucy" hamburger at the dark-paneled Matt's Bar in Minneapolis, he drove for a town hall meeting to a city park where 350 invited participants were waiting. These were issues Obama loves to talk about, and the friendly crowd frequently applauded his answers, which were salted with stories about his family and childhood, and his frustrations trying to make changes in Washington.
By Phil Stewart WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A suspected leader of the 2012 attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi, captured by U.S. forces and spirited out of Libya, is expected to arrive in the United States this weekend after his journey at sea, U.S. officials told Reuters on Thursday. Libyan militant Ahmed Abu Khatallah was taken aboard the USS New York, an amphibious transport ship, after his seizure in a raid on the outskirts of Benghazi on June 15. U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans died in the Benghazi attack. Khatallah told Reuters in a 2012 interview that he was present during the Benghazi attack but was not one of the ringleaders.
Canada's Supreme Court recognized native groups' rights over a large swathe of land for the first time Thursday in western British Columbia province. The landmark ruling in favor of the semi-nomadic Tsilhqot'in people -- numbering about 3,000 -- could have an impact on similar Native American claims currently pending in court, as well as on impact on mining, forestry and other projects exploiting raw materials across vast portions of Canada. In 2012, a British Columbia appeals court had refused to recognize the Tsilhqot'in people's ancestral rights over the land in center of the province, saying that they needed to identify the "specific sites" their ancestors had used when the Europeans arrived, rather than lay claim to the broad area. The Supreme Court tossed that decision out, stressing that "occupation sufficient to ground Aboriginal title is not confined to specific sites of settlement but extends to tracts of land that were regularly used for hunting, fishing or otherwise exploiting resources and over which the group exercised effective control at the time of assertion of European sovereignty."
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — With 2 1/2 years remaining in his term, President Barack Obama has been blocked by Congress and is running out of steps he can take on his own to achieve his goals. So the White House is trying to maximize Obama's exposure to "real Americans," hoping that more intimate and less scripted interactions will remind struggling citizens why they voted for him in the first place.
Ecuadoran lawmakers proposed constitutional amendments to allow unlimited presidential terms, following a request from incumbent Rafael Correa. National Assembly President Gabriela Rivadeneira, a member of Correa's ruling PAIS Alliance party, presented the list of 17 amendments. "Ecuadoran society demands we, as legislative representatives, have a constitution in accord with the development of the new homeland," Rivadeneira said, referring to the initiative requested by Correa, a prominent figure of Latin America's far left. The constitutional court has 45 days to rule on the initiative, which also aims to lower the minimum age for a presidential candidate from 35 to 30.
A federal judge upheld gun laws on Thursday introduced by Colorado in the wake of deadly shooting rampages there and in Connecticut, dismissing a lawsuit brought by sheriffs, gun shops, outfitters and shooting ranges. The two laws, passed in 2013 by Colorado's Democratic-controlled legislature with scant Republican support, banned ammunition magazines that hold more than 15 rounds and required background checks for all private gun sales and transfers. After a two-week civil trial, U.S. District Chief Judge Marcia Krieger ruled the lawsuit lacked standing and said no evidence had been produced which showed limiting magazines to 15 rounds seriously diminished the ability to defend oneself. Responding to complaints about expanded background checks, she said there were more than 600 firearms dealers in the state which actively perform private checks, and that it takes an average of less than 15 minutes for a check to be run by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.
European leaders meet in Brussels on Friday facing a damaging row over Jean-Claude Juncker's likely nomination as European Commission president which has left Britain isolated and angry. Although Juncker's appointment is expected to be confirmed at the summit, Prime Minister David Cameron will force an unprecedented vote on the issue, playing out in public major disagreements about the EU's future. While leaders could try and appease Cameron by offering London a top job in Brussels, the dispute threatens to fuel eurosceptic sentiment in Britain before a referendum on leaving the EU slated for 2017.
Known for his love of fine but healthy food, President Barack Obama is deploying chefs -- including his own -- to Asia in hopes of bringing food tourists to the United States. The five chefs will take part in Independence Day celebrations on July 4 in a bid to promote both US agriculture produce and regional cuisine, a stretch from the diet of hamburgers and pizza that much of the world associates with the United States. The White House personal chef Sam Kass, an advocate of organic food who also directs First Lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" program aimed at fighting childhood obesity, will appear at the event in Seoul. Four other members of "the American Chefs Corps" -- who cook in high-end restaurants in Austin, Boston, Chicago and New Orleans -- will take part in events in Beijing, Canberra, Taipei and Tokyo, the State Department said.
Howard Baker, a former Senate majority leader and presidential contender known for his ability to achieve compromise across the political aisle, died on Thursday. Baker became the first Republican leader of the Senate in 26 years when he took the reins in 1981. He later went on to serve as chief of staff for president Ronald Reagan, to whom he lost the Republican nomination in 1980. Current Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who took to the Senate floor to announce Baker's death, hailed him as "one of the Senate's most towering figures."