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CIA director reverses himself on Senate spying

FILE - This March 11, 2014 file photo shows CIA Director John O. Brennan speaking in Washington. The CIA's insistence that it did not spy on its Senate overseers collapsed July 31 with the release of a stark report by the agency's internal watchdog documenting improper computer surveillance and obstructionist behavior by CIA officers. Those internal conclusions prompted Brennan to abandon months of defiance and defense of the agency and apologize to Senate intelligence committee leaders. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)WASHINGTON (AP) — For months, CIA Director John Brennan stood firm in his insistence that the CIA had little to be ashamed of after searching the computers of the Senate Intelligence Committee. His defiant posture quickly collapsed after a devastating report by his own inspector general sided against the CIA on each key point of the dispute with the Senate.



Disappointment, uncertainty after India blocks WTO trade deal

WTO Director-General Azevedo gestures during a news conference on world trade in 2013 and prospect for 2014 in GenevaBy Matt Siegel and Tom Miles SYDNEY/GENEVA (Reuters) - Several member states of the World Trade Organisation voiced frustration after India's demands for concessions on agricultural stockpiling led to the collapse of the first major global trade reform pact in two decades. WTO ministers had already agreed the global reform of customs procedures known as "trade facilitation" in Bali, Indonesia, last December, but were unable to overcome last minute Indian objections and get it into the WTO rule book by the July 31 deadline. "We have not been able to find a solution that would allow us to bridge that gap," WTO Director-General Roberto Azevedo told trade diplomats in Geneva, just two hours before the final deadline for a deal lapsed at midnight (2200 GMT Thursday). Most diplomats had expected the pact to be rubber-stamped this week, marking a unique success in the WTO's 19-year history which according to some estimates would add $1 trillion and 21 million jobs to the world economy.



Kerry tells India refusal to sign WTO deal sends wrong signal

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday that India's refusal to sign a global trade deal had sent the wrong signal, and urged New Delhi to work to resolve the row as soon as possible. A World Trade Organisation pact to ease trade collapsed on Thursday over India's demands for concessions on agricultural stockpiling. "Failure to sign the Trade Facilitation Agreement sent a confusing signal and undermined the very image Prime Minister Modi is trying to send about India," a U.S. State Department official told reporters after Kerry's meeting with Modi.
Algerian capital hit by 5.5 quake, no reports of damage

A magnitude 5.5 earthquake hit southeast of the Algerian capital on Friday, shaking buildings and sending panicked families rushing into the streets of Algiers and nearby towns, witnesses and officials said. The United States Geological Survey said the quake had struck nine miles (14 km) southeast of Algiers and its epicentre was recorded at a relatively shallow depth of 6.2 miles.
3-day Gaza cease-fire goes into effect

Gaza City, northern Gaza Strip, is seen shortly before the start of a proposed cease-fire, Friday, Aug 1, 2014. Palestinian officials say more than 15 Palestinians were killed in Israeli strikes ahead of the planned three-day cease-fire in the Gaza war. The cease-fire was to take effect at 8 a.m. (0500 GMT) Friday, under a deal brokered by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and the United Nations. During the lull, Egypt is to host indirect talks between Israel and Hamas in Cairo on a more durable truce. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Israel and Hamas began observing a three-day Gaza cease-fire on Friday as diplomats worked to broker a lasting truce in a 25-day-old war that has killed more than 1,450 Palestinians, mainly civilians, and more than 60 Israelis, nearly all soldiers.





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