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Venezuela’s Maduro threatens shopkeepers in ongoing ‘economic war’

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro vowed Friday to arrest shopkeepers who defy government price controls, the latest salvo in a populist “economic war” ahead of key municipal elections. Maduro delivered the warning in a nationally televised address that laid the ground for tougher enforcement of a three-week-old crackdown on actions seen…

52 killed in Iraq as fears mount of a return to sectarian warfare

A wave of violence Friday killed 52 people in Iraq, most of whom were kidnapped and shot dead with their corpses abandoned, in scenes harking back to Iraq’s sectarian war. The killings come amid a surge in violence that has left more than 600 people dead this month, including several…

Celebrity chef Nigella Lawson’s ex-husband has ‘no proof’ she took drugs

Multi-millionaire art dealer Charles Saatchi told a British court Friday he had no proof that his celebrity chef ex-wife Nigella Lawson took drugs — but admitted he had sent an email claiming she was “off her head”. Saatchi, 70, said he was “utterly bereft” that a private email he sent…

China scrambles jets after U.S. and Japan enter air zone

China on Friday scrambled fighter jets to monitor a dozen US and Japanese military aircraft which entered its new air defence zone, state media said. Beijing’s announcement last weekend of the air defence identification zone, which covers islands at the centre of a dispute between China and Japan, has raised…

Police helicopter crashes ‘like a stone’ into Glasgow pub

A helicopter believed to be operated by the police crashed into the roof of a pub in the Scottish city of Glasgow on Friday, causing multiple injuries, lawmakers and witnesses said. Firefighters, paramedics and police rushed to the Clutha pub after the accident, which happened while the pub was full…

Astronomy community rallies behind ‘Zombie comet’ ISON

Zombie comet: Is Comet ISON really dead? Maybe not. (+video) (via The Christian Science Monitor) Comet ISON (l.) approaches the sun on Nov. 25. The comet appeard to break up when it rounded the sun on Thanksgiving Day, but scientists are grateful that new data are suggesting it survived.(NASA/AP) As…

Colombian FARC rebels say they taxed coca growers

Colombia’s FARC rebels acknowledged Friday that they collected taxes from coca cultivators but rejected accusations of “narco-terrorism.” “We saw ourselves forced to set up a system of fiscal contributions and transaction regulations with the farmers, taking into consideration their rights and protecting them from abuse from intermediaries and drug traffickers,”…

Honduran leftist presidential candidate vows to deliver proof of election fraud

Honduran leftist presidential candidate Xiomara Castro vowed Friday to deliver proof of the fraud she claims cheated her out of the presidency. The electoral authorities called Sunday’s election in favor of her conservative rival Juan Orlando Hernandez. “We all know that in this process, there were major irregularities, that fraud…

Yemen’s president warns southern secessionists not to disrupt country’s ‘unity’

emeni President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi warned Friday against any attempt to undermine his country’s unity, after southern secessionists pulled out of a national dialogue with the central government. “I will not allow anyone to haggle over the issue of the south of Yemen’s unity,” Hadi said in a speech marking…

Apple complains about court-appointed e-books monitor

Apple wants to rein in the pay and power of a monitor hired to watch over the company as punishment for conviction in an e-book price-fixing case. In court paperwork available online Friday, Apple objected to being billed more than $1,000 an hour for the services of former US prosecutor…

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