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Islamist militants shell two Libyan oilfields, port pipeline damaged

Tue, 03/03/2015 - 01:53
Islamist militants shelled Libya's Bahi and Mabrouk oilfields on Monday, damaging a pipeline to the Es Sidra oil port, a spokesman for forces protecting energy infrastructure said. Militants claiming loyalty to Islamic State have been blamed for attacks last month on an oilfield and pipeline in Libya, where two rival governments are battling for control. "Large armed forces calling themselves Islamic State in Libya shelled Bahi and Mabrouk oilfields.

Ben Carson creates committee to explore presidential bid - WSJ

Tue, 03/03/2015 - 01:53

(Reuters) - Ben Carson, a retired surgeon popular with Tea Party conservatives, has formally created an exploratory committee to run for president, according to his campaign chief executive, Terry Giles, the Wall Street Journal reported. With the exploratory committee, Carson can raise money that he can transfer to his campaign once it begins, the Journal said. Carson, a former neurosurgeon at Maryland-based Johns Hopkins University, has no prior political experience.

Japan's Sharp plunges on bank aid report

Tue, 03/03/2015 - 01:53

Shares in Sharp tumbled almost 10 percent Tuesday morning after a report said the struggling electronics maker will ask its two main lenders for aid, including a 150 billion yen ($1.24 billion) debt-for-equity swap, as it considers closing money-losing businesses. The company plans to request aid from Mizuho Bank and Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, it said.

Brent crude up $1 to over $60.50 as global markets firm

Tue, 03/03/2015 - 01:46

By Henning Gloystein SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Brent crude oil prices rose more than a dollar to above $60.50 a barrel on Tuesday, tracking firmer Asian markets, but analysts warned the market remained oversupplied. Most Asian stock markets edged up on Tuesday, bolstered by a record day on Wall Street, while a resurgent yen helped knock the U.S. dollar index off an 11-year high, making commodities priced in the greenback slightly cheaper for holders of other currencies. A drop in U.S. rig counts is also boosting oil prices, analysts said. "Brent crude prices (are) attempting to rally on rapid week-on-week reduction in U.S. ... rig count," Morgan Stanley said on in a note on Tuesday.

Indian envoy in Pakistan after talks broke down last year

Tue, 03/03/2015 - 01:43
ISLAMABAD (AP) — India's foreign secretary has arrived in Pakistan on a two-day visit, marking the first high-level meeting since talks broke down between the two nuclear-armed rivals last year.

From bond coupons to imports, strong dollar hurts Senegal, says President

Tue, 03/03/2015 - 01:41

By Diadie Ba ZIGUINCHOR, Senegal (Reuters) - Senegal's President Macky Sall said on Monday that the strong U.S. dollar posed risks to the west African country's economy, which has already been hit by a drop in tourism due to the Ebola virus. Sall said the trade imbalance highlighted the need for countries in West Africa to move up the value chain to produce higher quality goods and not just rely on exporting raw materials to fuel industries in China or the West. "We should promote in Africa the transformation of our raw industrial, mineral or natural resources," he said. "Africans should put more added-value into their raw resources, it brings more (economic) gains."  Senegal had to pay an extra $127,440 on a coupon payment for its 2024 Eurobond earlier this month due to the dollar rising in value as Senegal cleared a technical error that delayed the payment.

Somali-American on FBI watch list detained in Somalia: source

Tue, 03/03/2015 - 01:39
A former Washington-area taxi driver who was on the FBI's "Most Wanted Terrorists" list has been detained and is in the custody of the Somali government, a U.S. government source said on Monday. The FBI in said in January it added Somali-born U.S. citizen Liban Haji Mohamed, 29, to its watch list because he allegedly provided support to the Somalia-based Islamist militant group al Shabaab. Mohamed lived in the northern Virginia suburbs near Washington and drove a taxi.

Body-camera maker has financial ties to police chiefs

Tue, 03/03/2015 - 01:37

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Taser International, the stun-gun maker emerging as a leading supplier of body cameras for police, has cultivated financial ties to police chiefs whose departments have bought the recording devices, raising a host of conflict-of-interest questions.

Guinea says Ebola patients sent home after botched blood tests

Tue, 03/03/2015 - 01:37

By Emma Farge DAKAR (Reuters) - Health officials botched more than 20 Ebola blood tests in January and February which led to the release of at least four positive patients, two of whom later died, Guinea's anti-Ebola coordinator and other health officials told Reuters. Five health officials and experts familiar with the incidents said the mistakes occurred at two different treatment centres and resulted in as many as 52 botched tests, exposing many others to the virus and revealing weaknesses in Guinea's response to the crisis. Dr. Sakoba Keita, Guinea's anti-Ebola coordinator, confirmed the mistake had occurred but gave lower figures. Health officials, some of whom asked not to be named because they were worried about embarrassing the Guinean government, said the mistakes took place in Coyah, where Cuban medics are supporting a government-run centre, and in Conakry, where medical charity Medicins Sans Frontieres runs a centre at the Donka hospital complex, when staff placed blood samples in the wrong test tubes, damaging specimens.

Mavericks balanced attack snaps Pelican's NBA win streak

Tue, 03/03/2015 - 01:37

The Dallas Mavericks had six players in double figures as they used a balanced scoring attack to snap the New Orleans Pelicans' five-game winning streak with a 102-93 victory. Monta Ellis and Rajon Rondo combined for 39 points for the Mavericks, who ended a two-game losing skid of their own. Ellis scored 20 and Rondo tallied 19 for Dallas, which shot 48 percent from the field. Richard Jefferson scored 16 points, Dirk Nowitzki finished with 14 points and eight rebounds, and Amar'e Stoudemire and Devin Harris scored 14 apiece in the win.

Hillary Clinton may have broken federal laws on record keeping: report

Tue, 03/03/2015 - 01:36

Hillary Clinton may have violated federal records laws by using her personal email account for all messages when she worked as US secretary of state, The New York Times reported. Among other concerns, such personal emails are seen as less protected against the risk of hacking. Clinton, an attorney, former first lady and former top US diplomat, is considered the officially undeclared frontrunner for her Democratic Party's presidential nod in 2016. Hillary Clinton had no federal government email address during her four years at the State Department, the report said.

Nearly 30 countries "highly vulnerable" to Ebola-style epidemic - charity - TRFN

Tue, 03/03/2015 - 01:33
By Joseph D'Urso LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Almost 30 countries around the world are "highly vulnerable" to an Ebola-style epidemic, with Somalia, Chad, Nigeria, Afghanistan and Haiti most at risk, a major charity said on Tuesday. An increasingly mobile global population makes deadly outbreaks more likely, with the emergence of two new diseases a year that can be spread between animals and humans making stronger health systems crucial, Save the Children said. The charity's report comes as political and development agency leaders gather in Brussels to discuss the Ebola crisis that has killed nearly 10,000 people and infected almost 24,000 others, according to latest World Health Organisation (WHO) data. Justin Forsyth, chief executive of Save the Children, said a robust health system could have halted the rapid spread of Ebola through Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia over the past year and saved thousands of children's lives.

Missouri officials to mourn death of Auditor Schweich

Tue, 03/03/2015 - 01:32

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Former U.S. Sen. John Danforth, an outspoken critic of the uncompromising nature of modern politics, was to speak Tuesday at a memorial service for Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich, who fatally shot himself not long after entering a combative campaign for governor.

Nigeria stalls Chad, aims to beat Boko Haram before election

Tue, 03/03/2015 - 01:32

By Daniel Flynn and Bate Felix N'DJAMENA/YAOUNDE (Reuters) - When battle-hardened Chadian troops overran a Boko Haram camp in northern Nigeria last week, they wanted to press deep into territory controlled by the Islamist group but Nigeria refused to let them. Having defeated al Qaeda in Mali two years ago, Chad's military believes it could could finish off Boko Haram alone. In a country proud to be a major African power, it would be an embarrassment to President Goodluck Jonathan as he seeks reelection for a smaller nation to tackle Nigeria's security problems, diplomats say. In their forward base in the town of Gambaru on the Nigeria-Cameroon border, Chadian soldiers displayed dozens of guns seized from Boko Haram and a burnt-out armoured vehicle painted with black and white Arabic script.

Moscow funeral for slain Kremlin critic Nemtsov

Tue, 03/03/2015 - 01:31

Mourners for slain Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov prepared to gather for his funeral in Moscow Tuesday, as Polish and Latvian officials said they had been barred from entering Russia on the eve of the ceremony in retaliation for EU sanctions over Ukraine. The funeral for Nemtsov, a 55-year-old former deputy prime minister, longtime Vladimir Putin critic and anti-corruption crusader who was shot dead in central Moscow four days ago, will be held in the Russian capital's Troekurovskoye cemetery.

Drew Peterson back in court in murder-for-hire plot

Tue, 03/03/2015 - 01:28

CHESTER, Ill. (AP) — The former suburban Chicago police officer convicted of killing his third wife and suspected in his fourth spouse's disappearance returns to court Tuesday on charges of trying to hire someone to kill the prosecutor who helped put him in state prison.

Russian tycoon clashes with Britain over North Sea deal

Tue, 03/03/2015 - 01:17

FRANKFURT/DUESSELDORF (Reuters) - Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman said on Monday he would buy a number of gas licenses in the North Sea despite British opposition, threatening legal action if London should force him to sell them on to a third party. German utility RWE on Monday finalised the sale of its oil and gas production unit DEA [RWEDE.UL] to Fridman's investment vehicle LetterOne, ending months of uncertainty over whether the 5.1 billion euro (3.7 billion pounds) deal would go ahead. Britain on Saturday said the deal's structure did not alleviate concerns that possible future sanctions against LetterOne's owners Fridman and his partner German Khan could negatively impact production. "We are deeply disappointed and concerned by your letter, given the extensive efforts the parties have made to address your professed concerns," Jonathan Muir, chief executive officer of LetterOne Holdings S.A., said in a letter addressed to British Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Edward Davey.

Rare 'alien of the deep' goblin shark found in Australia

Tue, 03/03/2015 - 01:09

A rare sea creature described as an "alien of the deep" has been found off Australia and delivered to a museum which Tuesday showed off its fleshy snout, nail-like teeth and flabby pink body. The prehistoric-looking goblin sharks live on deep sea bottoms and little is known about their lives. "It's pretty impressive, it's not hideous it's beautiful," said the Australian Museum's fish collection manager Mark McGrouther, who described its teeth as looking like "little daggers". McGrouther said this was only the fourth goblin shark to be acquired by the museum in Sydney, with the first two collected in the 1980s.

Israel's Netanyahu to address Congress in speech that has strained ties with Obama

Tue, 03/03/2015 - 01:09

By Dan Williams and Doina Chiacu WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will escalate his campaign against U.S. President Barack Obama's Iran diplomacy on Tuesday in a speech to Congress whose staging has put unprecedented stress on the two leaders' already strained ties. Although cold-shouldered by the administration, Netanyahu has offered an olive branch, saying he meant no disrespect to Obama by accepting an invitation to address U.S. lawmakers that was orchestrated by the president's rival Republicans. As many as one-fifth of Democratic members plan to sit out the speech to protest what they see as a politicization of Israeli security, an issue on which Congress usually unites. The White House is wary of Netanyahu using the forum to lay bare the closed-door negotiations designed to curb Iran's nuclear drive.

Quality of health care focus of NYC jail oversight hearing

Tue, 03/03/2015 - 01:06
NEW YORK (AP) — New York City lawmakers are taking a hard look at the quality of health care inmates receive at the Rikers Island jail complex and whether the city should renew a $126.6 million contract with a private health provider.