United States

US changes vote on UN resolution against Cuba embargo

Holiday shopping, the city's marathon, and the US voting against the rest of the world at the UN over Washington's Cuba embargo.

On Wednesday, however, the US took the small but significant step of changing its vote to an abstention on the annual UN General Assembly resolution calling for an end to the US economic embargo of the island nation.

USA regain Ryder Cup

 Davis Love III's team held a 9.5 - 6.5 lead heading into Sunday's singles and received a huge boost when Patrick Reed recorded a 1up win over Rory McIlroy in a gripping opening match.

Henrik Stenson, Thomas Pieters and Rafael Cabrera Bello all secured points for the reigning champions, having been sent out early by Darren Clarke, the Belgian breaking new ground as a European rookie with his fourth triumph of the week.

USA were the better team – Clarke

A woeful start at Hazeltine left Europe 4-0 down after Friday's foursomes and they never recovered to take the lead in the tournament.

It left Clarke needing another miracle like the one he contributed to as a vice-captain at Medinah in 2012 and, despite comfortably winning three of the first five matches out, it was all downhill from there.

It was left to Ryan Moore to pick up the winning point to spark wild celebrations among Davis Love III's team and the raucous home fans.

North Korea: US faces consequences

Ri's comments came as the US and Asian nations gathered in New York Friday with a fresh reminder of what they consider the gravest threat facing the region: North Korea's announcement this week that it had successfully tested its most powerful rocket engine yet.

The test Tuesday was followed by a US show of force, as the Pentagon on Wednesday flew two B-1B bombers alongside the demilitarized zone separating North and South Korea, setting the the stage for US-South Korea joint military exercises in October that will include a simulated nuclear facility strike.

US qualify for Rugby League World Cup

Danny Howard, who plays for Sydney club Wentworthville in the NSW Cup, scored three of his side's eight tries in Jacksonville.

It confirmed the Hawks' place at the tournament in Australia and New Zealand following their success at the 2013 World Cup in which they were surprise quarter-finalists before going down 62-0 to the Kangaroos.

Howard and brother Stephen were born in Los Angeles before their family moved back to Canberra when they were young.

US congratulates Solomons Police Force at graduation

He also donated equipment valued at about $200,000 to Solomon Islands for use in unexploded ordnance (UXO) recovery. 

Ambassador North praised the RSIPF and U.S. military divers for their teamwork in this important endeavour: “The United States values its longstanding relationship with the Solomon Islands and appreciates the efforts of the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force in rehabilitating the contaminated areas.” 

Unexploded ordnance remaining from World War 11 still impacts Solomon Islands.

US put territory climate measures at high priority

The Office of Insular Affairs is accepting applications for 2016 technical assistance which will be processed on a first-come, first-serve basis until funds are exhausted.

Assistant Secretary Esther Kia'aina says the island communities continue to face extreme climate events, including typhoons and hurricanes, storm surges, high winds and king tides.

Ms Kia'aina says the areas are also feeling the effects of slow, progressive climate-induced stresses, such as sea level rise, ocean acidification, coral bleaching and saline intrusion into water systems.

Europe, US split over form of Syria talks

The Europeans invoke the success of the Iran nuclear talks in arguing for a similar format — with key additions.

Iran negotiated with the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany to reach their July 14 agreement. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius on Wednesday called for a similar arrangement "enlarged with regional partners."

The Americans, in contrast, want a tighter group, without the Europeans.

Prince William's anti-illegal wildlife trade campaign backed by Obama

But when Prince William did, he urged them both to add their political muscle and influence to the ongoing fight against illegal wildlife trade.

And both world leaders must have felt William's passion for the cause as President Barack Obama and President Xi Jinping have issued a joint statement on their countries' aims to combat wildlife trafficking.

American Samoa Governor says US must protest fishing zone

Lolo Moliga has asked the US Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker to reject the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council's resolution to allow longliners access.

If the council's resolution is approved it would temporarily allow vessels of 15 metres or longer to fish within 20 kilometres of the territory's shores.

At the moment the area up to 80 kilometres offshore is reserved for alia fishing.