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One-third of North Americans say they have ‘no spare cash’

By Susan Fenton LONDON (Reuters) – Global consumer confidence remained weak in the third quarter with more than 60 percent of consumers saying it was not a good time to spend, and one-in-three North Americans saying they have no spare cash, a survey showed on Sunday. The economic outlook, followed…

Egypt’s military junta jails dissident blogger

By Samer al-Atrush CAIRO — Egypt’s ruling military jailed a veteran dissident and blogger on Sunday on charges of inciting deadly clashes between soldiers and Christians this month, his sister and a fellow activist said. Alaa Abdel Fatah, who was jailed for his activism under ousted president Hosni Mubarak’s government…

German police stop drunken ‘Yoda’ at wheel

BERLIN — German police called to a traffic incident early Sunday were astonished to find themselves face-to-face with Jedi master Yoda from Star Wars, much the worse for wear after Halloween celebrations. In the early hours of Sunday morning, a 42-year-old male driver, resplendent in his Yoda costume, had a…

Preparations for U.S. Iraq withdrawal in full swing

COS KALSU, Iraq — At a US base south of Baghdad, trucks plod in either direction amid a hive of activity: with the clock ticking on a year-end withdrawal from Iraq, preparations are in full swing. Located in the centre of Iraq, just 50 kilometres (30 miles) south of the…

Euro crisis ‘could lead to social unrest’

BERLIN — The eurozone debt crisis could lead to a decade-long recession and rising social unrest, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) has warned, according to a German media report on Sunday. “The next few months will be decisive in terms of avoiding a dramatic decline in employment and a further…

Armed guards to defend British ships from pirates

LONDON — British merchant ships travelling around the Horn of Africa will for the first time be able to carry armed guards to protect them from pirates, Prime Minister David Cameron announced on Sunday. Officials said a legal ban will be relaxed so that shipping companies can apply for a…

Libya militias accused of ‘revenge attacks’

TRIPOLI — Misrata militias are carrying out revenge attacks on the displaced residents of the nearby town of Tawargha, a stronghold of Moamer Kadhafi loyalists during Libya’s eight-month conflict, a rights group said on Sunday. New York-based Human Rights Watch said in a statement it had received credible reports of…

Iraqi ‘resistance’ forced U.S. pull-out: Khamenei

TEHRAN — The Iraqi people’s “unified resistance” forced the United States to pull its military out of their country, Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said Sunday. The national defiance “which finally resulted in America being forced to withdraw from Iraq is a golden page in the history of this…

Yemen’s Al-Qaeda denies death of its media chief

ADEN — Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula denied on Sunday the death of its media chief in a suspected US drone strike earlier this month, a statement distributed to the public in Yemen’s southern Shabwa province said. Yemen’s defence ministry announced on October 15 that Ibrahim al-Banna was among at…

Somalia suicide bomber was ‘U.S. citizen’: rebels

MOGADISHU — An American citizen of Somali origin was one of the two suicide bombers behind a twin attack on a pro-government military base in Mogadishu, the Islamist Shebab movement said on Sunday. Several pro-Shebab radio stations broadcast what they said were the last words of Abdusalam al-Muhajir who said…

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