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2009

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As Nelson Garcia becomes the second indigenous activist to be assassinated in Honduras this month, the former secretary of state and President Obama are being urged to take responsibility for having provided support to "the 2009 military coup and to the current Honduran government that is fueling abuses by military personnel and the use of death squads against organizers, journalists, and students."

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After its recent revelation that the National Security Agency is monitoring the phone records and Internet activity of millions of Americans, The Guardian reported Sunday that the U.S. and Britain monitored and intercepted the digital communications of foreign officials during two international conferences in London.

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Even in the face of the global economic crisis, China's economy still managed to grow by a surprising 8.7 percent last year, according to the bean-counters in Beijing, putting the country on track to overtake Japan as the world's second-biggest economy.

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A group that monitors the death toll in Iraq believes the number of civilian deaths in 2009 to be less than half the number for 2008. Yet the United Kingdom-based group said that terrorist violence "still afflicts Iraq's population more than any other."

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The Labor Department announced Thursday that fewer Americans than anticipated have filed unemployment benefit claims this month, potentially pointing to a less substantial unemployment population and maybe, just maybe, better economic growth in 2010.

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It may seem misguidedly America-centric to link the immediate future of many parts of the Middle East to President-elect Barack Obama, but because the U.S. has inserted itself so strongly into the region, a good deal undoubtedly rides on the choices of the next American administration.

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