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Saudi Arabia to hold municipal elections in April

RIYADH (AFP) – Saudi Arabia is to hold municipal elections from April 23 at a time of pro-democracy uprisings across the Arab world, the official SPA news agency announced. “A committee has been formed… to oversee next month?s municipal council elections,” it said in an official announcement late on Tuesday,…

Oil shoots higher on Libya turmoil

NEW YORK – Crude oil prices surged again Monday as traders fretted about escalating clashes in Libya between forces loyal to leader Moamer Kadhafi and rebels seeking to end his four-decade rule. New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in April, settled at $105.44 a barrel, a gain…

World food prices hit record highs amid oil jitters

ROME – World food prices have hit record highs and oil price spikes could push them even higher, the UN food agency warned on Thursday, as increasing violence in Libya sent jitters through commodity markets. The Food Price Index, which monitors average monthly price changes for a variety of key…

Oil prices stabilize; gold holds close to record peak

LONDON — World oil prices steadied on Wednesday, while safe-haven gold held close to the previous day’s record high on the back of simmering Middle East tensions. Brent North Sea crude for delivery in April eased six cents to $115.36 per barrel. New York’s light sweet crude for April, known…

US could reach debt limit by April 15: Treasury

WASHINGTON – The United States is likely to hit its $14.29 trillion debt limit a little later than expected, the US Treasury said Tuesday, as lawmakers worked to avert a government shutdown. “The Treasury Department now estimates that the United States will reach the debt limit between April 15, 2011,…

Rep. Giffords husband to return to space: report

WASHINGTON – The astronaut husband of wounded US lawmaker Gabrielle Giffords plans to be at the helm of the Space Shuttle Endeavour when it makes its final launch in April, Politico.com reported Friday. Astronaut Mark Kelly was due to make his announcement at a NASA press conference in Houston, Texas…

US to hit debt limit as early as April 5

WASHINGTON – The United States is poised to hit its legal public debt ceiling of $14.29 trillion between April 5 and May 31, the US Treasury said Wednesday as it seeks congressional action to raise the limit. The latest Treasury estimate came amid a brewing political fight over whether Congress…

Facing growing protests, Yemen’s president says he won’t seek another term

Yemeni leader Ali Abdullah Saleh, under opposition pressure to stand down, said on Wednesday he will freeze constitutional changes that would have seen him become president for life. On the eve of a “day of rage” called by civil society and opposition leaders, Saleh told parliament he had also put…

Egypt opposition calls for second day of protests

Egyptian activists called for a second day of street action on Wednesday as authorities vowed to prevent further protests following huge anti-government rallies in which four people died. The pro-democracy youth group April 6 Movement, the driving force behind Tuesday’s protests — the largest and most significant in Egypt since…

BP rig’s defenses totally collapsed: NYT probe

WASHINGTON – The April 20 explosion on an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico that caused the largest environmental disaster in US history occurred because every single defense on the rig named Deepwater Horizon failed, The New York Times reported Sunday. The newspaper, which undertook its own investigation of…

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