Click for St. Louis, Missouri Forecast

// a href = ./ // St Louis News, Weather, Sports, The Big 550 AM, St Louis Traffic, Breaking News in St Louis

 
 
 
ENNISKILLEN, Northern Ireland (AP) — Talks on a sweeping trade deal between the European Union and the United States are to get underway in Washington next month, President Barack Obama and top European Union officials said Monday.

"The EU-U.S. relationship is the biggest in the world," Obama said after meeting with European leaders at the G-8 summit in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, citing roughly the $1 trillion in trade in goods and services between the two every year.

"This potentially ground-breaking partnership would deepen those ties."

The head of the EU's executive arm, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, said a deal could bring "huge economic benefits" to both sides.

Summit host British Prime Minister David Cameron said the trade pact could create 2 million jobs.

The aim of the trans-Atlantic deal would be to promote economic growth by eliminating the import tariffs and changing regulations that keep goods made on one side of the Atlantic from being sold on the other side.

Officials have said a deal could be reached next year. But securing one will be tricky. The talks will be watched warily by interest groups and would have to be approved by each side's lawmakers and leaders before the new trade arrangements take effect.

The EU has already yielded to a demand from France to exempt the TV and movie industry from the talks. Barroso said the exception for movies and TV shows could be revisited later. Meanwhile, U.S. labor officials have also expressed skepticism.

The statement of support for the trade deal came just ahead of the opening of the Group of Eight Summit among the leaders of leading industrial nations: The U.S., Britain, Germany, France, Italy, Japan, Canada and Russia, plus the European Union.

The host, British Prime Minister David Cameron, greeting the arriving leaders against a backdrop of green grass and stunning lake views at the Lough Erne golf resort near the small town of Enniskillen.

Later Monday over a working dinner, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russia's support for the Syrian government will be a topic for discussion.

Cameron said he wanted the summit to deliver a firm plan for promoting multi-faction talks in Geneva aimed at ending the country's bloody civil war. Moscow officially shares that goal but keeps shipping military aid to the army of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Following a frosty Putin-Cameron meeting Sunday in London, the Russian leader remains opposed to plans by the West to start shipping weapons to rebels struggling to topple Assad.

Obama announced Friday that the U.S. would start sending weaponry, while Britain and France remained concerned that the firepower might end up helping anti-democratic extremists linked to Iran and Lebanon's Hezbollah militia.

__ Associated Press writers Cassandra Vinograd and Vladimir Isachenkov in Enniskillen contributed to this report.
Read more...
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran's newly elected president pledged on Monday to follow a "path of moderation" and promised greater openness over the country's nuclear program, but sided with the hard-line Islamic establishment that refuses to consider halting uranium enrichment.

However, the overall tone of Hasan Rowhani's first post-election news conference, will likely be viewed by the West as further evidence that his stunning victory last week could open new possibilities for dialogue to ease tensions over Tehran's disputed nuclear program.

In his outreach to Washington, Rowhani also had a dual message. He urged for no additional tensions and said both countries should "look to the future." But he repeated past statements from Iran's leadership that one-on-one talks are only possible if the U.S. vows to "never interfere in Iranian affairs."

Many other questions remain. Rowhani sidestepped the issue of Iran's close alliance with Syrian President Bashar Assad, saying only that the efforts to end the civil war and restore stability rest with the "Syrian people."

He also must balance the hopes of many supporters who want him to push hard against the ruling system. At the end of the news conference, a spectator yelled out for the release of opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi, who has been under house arrest for more than two years. Rowhani made no comment.

Rowhani does not have authority to set major policies, such as the direction of the nuclear program or relations with the West. All those decisions rest with the ruling clerics and the powerful Revolutionary Guard, which have so far appeared to embrace Rowhani but could easily turn against him if he is perceived as a threat to their grip on power.

Rowhani, however, can use the strength of his landslide victory and his influential connections, including with former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, to try to sway policies. He also will serve as Iran's main international envoy and is almost certain to present a much milder tone than his combative predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who is to formally give up power in August.

This could help lower political friction between Iran and the West and also undercut calls by some factions in Israel and the U.S. to study military options against Iran's nuclear facilities.

The 64-year-old Rowhani — the only cleric in the presidential race — described his election as opening a "new era" and said he would "follow the path of moderation and justice, not extremism."

"We have to enhance mutual trust between Iran and other countries," he said. "We have to build trust."

He also said dealing with the economy was among his priorities, in a clear reference to how Western sanctions over Iran's nuclear efforts have helped spike inflation to more than 30 percent and slashed vital revenue. Previously, Rowhani — a former nuclear negotiator — criticized Iranian positions that have led to increased sanctions but also described the economic pressures by the U.S. and others as "oppressive."

"The Iranian nation has done nothing to deserve sanctions. The work it has done has been within international frameworks . If sanctions have any benefits, they will only benefit Israel. They have no benefits for others," he said.

He promised to encourage "step by step" measures to reassure the West over Iran's nuclear ambitions. The West claims that Iran is seeking a nuclear weapon. Iranian leaders, including Rowhani, insist Iran seeks reactors only for energy and medical applications.

Enriched uranium is used as fuel for energy and research reactors but it can be further boosted to make a nuclear warhead.

"The first step will be showing greater transparency. We are ready to show greater transparency and make clear that the Islamic Republic of Iran's actions are totally within international frameworks," he said. "The second step is promoting mutual confidence. We'll take measures in both fields. The first goal is that no new sanctions are imposed. Then, that the (existing) sanctions are reduced."

On Syria, he said the ultimate responsibility to resolve the more than two-year-old civil war should be in the hands of the "Syrian people."

"We are opposed to foreign intervention," he said. "We hope peace and tranquility will return to Syria through the cooperation with countries of the region and world."

Rowhani formally takes office in August. In the meantime, it appears Ahmadinejad's political foes could be plotting a payback, underscoring the often cutthroat nature of internal Iranian affairs.

Iran's official news agency said a criminal court summoned Ahmadinejad over a lawsuit filed by the country's parliament speaker and others.

Monday's report by IRNA gave no further details, but Ahmadinejad and the speaker, Ali Larijani, have waged political feuds for years. In February, Ahmadinejad released a barely audible videotape that purported to show discussion over bribes that included Larijani's brother. A parliamentary committee also joined Larijani in the legal action.

IRNA, which comes under the president's authority, noted there were several other subpoenas issued previously against Ahmadinejad and described the latest as unconstitutional. The court has set a November date for Ahmadinejad's appearance, it said.
Read more...

   BELFAST, Northern Ireland (AP) — President Barack Obama will appeal to Northern Ireland's youth to sustain their peace in his first opportunity to highlight the role the United States has played helping bring about reconciliation in the country.

   Obama arrived at Belfast on Monday morning. After his Belfast speech he will attend a two-day summit of the Group of Eight industrial economies.

   Later Monday he was to meet on the sidelines of the summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Topics for the two leaders range from Syria to arms control. Russia has criticized Obama's decision to arm Syrian rebels and has dismissed U.S. claims that President Bashar Assad's regime has used chemical weapons against Syrians.

   Russia is a member of the G-8. So are Canada, Japan, Britain, France, Italy and Germany.

Read more...

Latest News

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
Prev Next
Air Force staffer admits to targeting sex offenders with pipe bombs

Air Force staffer admits to targeting sex offenders wit…

EAST ST. LOUIS, IL (AP) – An Air Force staffer stationed in Illinois has admitted he possessed pipe bombs that officials say he planned to unleash on local sex offenders. &n...

Man charged in connection to mother's murder

Man charged in connection to mother's murder

St. Louis, MO (KTRS) - A St. Louis man is facing first-degree murder charges in his mother's death.   Prosecutors allege that Courtney Cunningham allegedly shot his...

Missouri lawmakers mull change to helmet law

Missouri lawmakers mull change to helmet law

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri House has endorsed a bill that would allow motorcyclists over the age of 21 to forgo wearing helmets while travelling on the road. &n...

House approves change to Missouri primary dates

House approves change to Missouri primary dates

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri House gave initial approval to legislation that would move the state's primary elections to June.   Party primaries for Cong...

One dead after shooting in Washington Park, Illinois

WASHINGTON PARK, Ill. (AP) - Illinois State Police are helping investigate a suspected drive-by shooting death of a 19-year-old man in southwestern Illinois' Washington Park. ...

Three gyms robbed within minutes of one another

St. Louis, MO (KTRS) - A spate of break-ins targeted south city gyms this morning.   Fox2 reports thieves hit at least three different gyms in less than a half an h...

UPDATE: Missing Belleville boy found safe

UPDATE: Missing Belleville boy found safe

St. Louis, MO (KTRS) - UPDATE: Good news for a Belleville father, his 11-year-old son has been found safe.   A SARAA Alert was issued Wednesday morning for DeA...

© 2013 KTRS All Rights Reserved