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‘Flipping’ used cars a thriving industry in Venezuela

With the world’s largest oil reserves and the cheapest gas anywhere, you’d think Venezuela is a driver’s paradise. Wrong. New cars are scarce and sellers of used ones — even clunkers — make a killing. The counter-intuitive economics stem from rules imposed in 2003 by populist President Hugo Chavez that…

10 people shot dead in 24 hours in Sao Paolo

At least 10 people, including a suspected drug trafficker, were shot dead in the Sao Paulo metropolitan area in the past 24 hours in a worsening wave of violence in which military police have been targeted, officials said Saturday. The latest victims were among some 20 people shot in Sao…

Proponents of hurricane suppression technology seek more research, funds

Devastating tropical storms of the kind that battered the US last week could be weakened and rendered less deadly using a simple and cheap technology based on a surprising component – old car tyres. One of Britain’s leading marine engineers, Stephen Salter, emeritus professor of engineering design at Edinburgh university…

Chinese traders strike in Spain over crackdown

Chinese businesses in a major trading estate in Madrid staged a rare strike Saturday to protest a police crackdown on alleged money-laundering which they said had stigmatized them. Hundreds of warehouses in the Cobo Calleja industrial zone, considered the biggest Chinese wholesale hub in Europe, shut down for the day…

Twitter maps out popularity of Obama, Romney tweets

Twitter has launched an interactive map of the United States that charts where Barack Obama and Mitt Romney’s campaign tweets have had the most impact, and where they have fallen flat. The “Political Engagement Map” measures the popularity of statements posted by both candidates on their official accounts by tracking…

Exodus from Nigerian city after execution style killings

Fear gripped Nigeria’s northeastern city of Maiduguri on Saturday with many men fleeing after the alleged execution style killings of around 40 young men, mostly teenagers, who residents said were rounded up and shot. “All male residents have left the neighbourhood…. Those that remain are women, children and elderly men,”…

FEMA moves to address Sandy rumors on social media

FEMA, the US disaster response agency, on Saturday set up a “rumor control” section on its website to dispel misinformation on social networks in the aftermath of superstorm Sandy. Many Americans have taken to Twitter and Facebook to spread the word about finding supplies in devastated areas of the US…

International ski group denies star Lindsey Vonn’s request to race against men

VIENNA — American alpine ski star Lindsey Vonn’s request to race against the men at a World Cup event was on Saturday refused by the International Ski Federation (FIS). Skiing’s governing body did however offer her an olive branch by offering her the chance to race as a ‘forerunner’. Last…

New York marathon runners vent frustration at last-minute cancelation

NEW YORK — Runners from around the world who converged on New York for Sunday’s marathon expressed understanding but couldn’t hide their bitter disappointment at the last-minute decision to call off the event due to superstorm Sandy. Amateur athletes in bright sports gear still went for sprints Saturday in Central…

As election looms, ‘the world is watching Ohio’

Ohio is where the warring halves of America meet. This midwestern state, mixing rural farmland, small towns and decaying industrial cities, is the ground zero of the bitter and protracted 2012 election that on Tuesday will decide who wins the White House. It is where blue state Americans, who back Barack Obama to…

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