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Briefs, December 5, 2012

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 05 December, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 05 December, 2012, 6:35am

Jordan's king to visit Palestinian Authority

RAMALLAH, Palestinian Territories - Jordan's King Abdullah will visit Ramallah tomorrow, the first Arab leader to travel to the Israeli-occupied territory since the Palestinians won UN non-member-state status, a Palestinian official said. "The visit will confirm Jordanian efforts and support for the Palestinian people and their leadership," said Nimr Hammad, adviser to Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas. AFP

 

US denies Iran's claim of captured spy drone

DUBAI - Iran said it had captured a US intelligence drone in its airspace in the past few days, but the US military quickly denied the claim. The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps said on its website that the ScanEagle drone had been flying over the Gulf and was "captured" when it strayed into Iranian airspace. A US Navy spokesman said no drone had gone missing. Reuters

 

McAfee flees murder investigation in Belize

MEXICO CITY - American anti-virus-software guru John McAfee said he had left Belize, where police want to question him in connection with a neighbour's murder, and will not turn himself in. "I am not in Belize. That is all I will say," McAfee said from an undisclosed location. Reuters

 

2 held over gunman's killing spree in France

PARIS - French police arrested two alleged accomplices of gunman Mohamed Merah, whose al-Qaeda-inspired shooting spree in Toulouse left seven people dead. A man, described by police as a member of the traveller community, was arrested in the southern town of Albi, while his ex-partner was arrested in Toulouse. They were detained on suspicion they helped carry out the attacks in March, a source said. AFP

 

Putin orders cabinet to declare personal assets

MOSCOW - Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered cabinet members and their families to file personal-spending declarations, stepping up the most far-reaching campaign against corruption of his 12-year rule. The measure will apply from January 1 to purchases of real estate, securities and vehicles when the amount spent is more than triple the family's annual income for the previous three years. Bloomberg

 

Adelson's bid to oust Obama cost US$150m

WASHINGTON - American casino magnate Sheldon Adelson spent US$150 million - much more than previously thought - on funding Republican hopefuls in an unsuccessful attempt to stop President Barack Obama winning a second term. Adelson, whose Las Vegas Sands Corporation also operates casino resorts in Macau, funded several Republican candidates and affiliated groups during the campaign. The US$150 million figure given by The Huffington Post, citing Republican fund-raisers, is three times the US$54 million officially disclosed and 50 per cent more than the US$100 million that the 79-year-old had formally said he was prepared to spend. AFP

 

Fort Worth trial judge exits over beard ruling

FORT WORTH, US - The military judge who ordered the Fort Hood shooting suspect's beard to be forcibly shaved has been thrown off the case, a ruling that should end lengthy delays in the trial of the army officer charged with the 2009 rampage that killed 13 people. The US Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces ruled on Monday that Colonel Gregory Gross did not appear impartial while presiding over the case of Major Nidal Hasan, who faces the death penalty if convicted in the shootings at the Texas army post that left more than two dozen wounded. AP

 

New York Times aims to shed 30 managers

NEW YORK - Looking to cut costs, The New York Times is offering buyouts to some of its staff members. The newspaper reported that the company is looking for 30 managers who are not in the union to take the buyouts. Jill Abramson, executive editor of the newspaper, said in a letter to staff that the newsroom had grown back to the size it was in 2003 with 1,150 people and had to be cut. The date to decide whether to take a severance package is January 24. AP

 

Cheney plans book on fight with heart disease

NEW YORK - Former US vice-president Dick Cheney, one of the world's most prominent heart patients, is working on a book about his many battles with coronary disease and the revolutionary treatment changes that helped keep him alive. The 71-year-old is collaborating with his cardiologist Dr Jonathan Reiner and daughter Liz Cheney. The book launch is scheduled for next year. AP

 

Joe Kennedy to enter congress as newlywed

BOSTON - US congressman-elect Joe Kennedy, grandson of late senator Robert F. Kennedy, has married. His marriage to Lauren Anne Birchfield comes less than a month after the younger Kennedy defeated Republican Sean Bielat in Massachusetts' 4th congressional district. The 32-year-old is the son of former US congressman Joseph Kennedy and grandson of the late Robert F. Kennedy, brother of former president John F. Kennedy. AP

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