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Britain anticipates Tony Blair's Iraq testimony

LONDON, United Kingdom — With former British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s testimony before the Iraq War inquiry now only days away, the nation watches in rapt suspense. Known as the Chilcot inquiry after its chairman, Sir John Chilcot, the panel formed last summer to investigate the causes and conduct of the bitterly unpopular war has become Britain's daily drama fix.

Prince William wows the ex-colonials Down Under

This is what they were hoping for when the ill-fated marriage of Britain's Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer began — "they" being the members and employees of "The Firm," as the Royal Family refers to itself — handsome offspring rejuvenating and re-enthusing the world for the extraordinary anachronism that is the British Monarchy.

Europe's airport security dilemma

BRUSSELS, Belgium — When the Obama administration ordered airport security ramped up after the December bombing attempt aboard an Amsterdam-to-Detroit flight, it allocated a billion dollars in federal funding for that effort. 

A real-life Mrs. Robinson

DUBLIN, Ireland ― The political crisis in Northern Ireland arising from a dalliance between a 59-year-old woman and a teenager has underlined the fragility of the power-sharing arrangements that were beginning to be taken for granted.

The Whiskey Diaries: Scotland in Taiwan

ILAN, Taiwan — Six thousand miles from Scotland's chill, one bold company is attempting what some consider the impossible: Producing a top-shelf, 100 percent distilled- and aged-in-Taiwan single-malt whiskey. After the success of Japanese whiskies, Taiwan is hoping to follow in its Asian cousin's footsteps and prove that it too can produce a world-class tipple.

British hostage release in Iraq raises questions about Iran

London — In a surprise to all concerned, Peter Moore, a British IT worker kidnapped in Baghdad more than two years ago was released by his captors on Wednesday.  The British Foreign Office as always said no deal was done ... but almost immediately  the leader of a radical Shiite group, an imam named Qais al-Khazali, was released from American custody in Iraq.

Was the would-be Northwest bomber radicalized while attending a British college?

Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab, 23, charged with attempting to blow up a Northwest Airlines plane Christmas Day as it approached Detroit on a flight from Amsterdam with almost 300 people on board, was refused a student visa in May of this past year, the Home Secretary, Alan Johnson confirmed to the BBC this morning.

EU politics cause UK-France rift

BRUSSELS, Belgium — Those who start snoring at the mention of the European Commission — the European Union’s executive arm — should look again at its politics, for example a recent battle between London and Paris, or more specifically, between British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Germany and France remain non-commital on Afghanistan

BRUSSELS, Belgium — For months, European allies have said they wanted to hear U.S. President Barack Obama’s plans for Afghanistan before they made any new commitments of troops to the eight-year-old war, now led by NATO. "I think most countries are waiting for the American decisions," Dutch Defense Minister Eimert Van Middelkoop said in October at a meeting of NATO defense ministers in Bratislava.

Writing official history: Britain's Iraq Inquiry begins

LONDON —  There was a moment of silence for all the dead of Iraq today. The place: the Queen Elizabeth Conference Center, across the square from the Houses of Parliament. The occasion: the first public session of The Iraq Inquiry (official name). The Inquiry is chaired by Sir John Chilcot, a member of that unique British species, the Whitehall Mandarin. These are the senior civil servants who form a permanent shadow government, guiding Britain's ever changing cast of elected leaders towards decisions in the "national interest."
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