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David Cameron has come under fire on Twitter after his account was used to post a picture of him with ITV's Little Ant and Dec as the Prime Minister led tributes to Nelson Mandela in the Commons.
By Andrew Downie SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Shocking violence at a Brazilian championship match is not an indication of what can be expected when the South American country hosts next year's World Cup, FIFA and Brazilian government officials said on Monday. Three people were seriously injured when fans fought running battles at the Atletico Paranaense v Vasco da Gama match on Sunday and at least 30 people have been killed in incidents in and around Brazil's stadiums this year. Brazil's Sports Ministry condemned the violence and called for swift punishment for hooligans. President Dilma Rousseff also condemned the troublemakers and called for a special police station to be set up to deal with football-related incidents.
Pope Francis denounced the "global scandal" of hunger on Monday, calling for an international "wave of prayer" to bring attention to the plight of the needy and homeless. Since his election in March, Francis, the former Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina, has frequently beseeched global leaders to fight poverty and growing inequality. "We are in front of a global scandal of around one billion - one billion people who still suffer from hunger today," he said in a video message launching a campaign by Caritas Internationalis, a confederation of 164 Catholic charities working in 200 countries.
By Timothy Heritage MOSCOW (Reuters) - Vladimir Putin tightened his hold on Russia's media on Monday by dissolving the main state news agency, seen by hawks as too liberal, and creating a new outlet to improve Moscow's image under a more conservative editor. The abolition of RIA Novosti, as well as international radio station Voice of Russia, and establishment of a news agency to be called Rossiya Segodnya (Russia Today) is part of efforts to strengthen the president's authority after protests against him. It is also designed to improve Russia's international standing after growing Western criticism of its record on human rights and democracy, and accusations, which it denies, of bullying neighbours such as Ukraine. Political analyst Pavel Salin said the decision was probably a result of Kremlin turf wars and a victory for the conservatives.
By Robin Emmott BRUSSELS (Reuters) - EU labour ministers gave initial approval on Monday to tougher rules on employing cheap temporary workers from eastern Europe and elsewhere, responding to political unease at a time of record joblessness. Ministers agreed to curtail abuses of European Union law that enable companies to move cheaper, foreign workers from one EU country to another, but which trade unions say prevent locals from getting work. While France championed the case for stricter enforcement, eastern European countries such as Hungary, whose workers benefit, are reluctant to toughen them up. That means it will now fall to negotiations between EU countries and the European Parliament, which also has a say in lawmaking, to flesh out the broad deal agreed by labour ministers.
A top Federal Reserve official and critic of Fed stimulus said on Monday it was unrealistic for the U.S. central bank to think it could make frequent adjustments to the pace of its monthly asset purchases. Richmond Federal Reserve President Jeffrey Lacker also said any change in the Fed's bond-buying program would lead markets to wonder about the path for short-term interest rates. "If we change the setting of one policy instrument like asset purchases....it's going to be hard to convince people it doesn't have implications for the path of short term interest rates," Lacker told reporters.
Journalist and elected parliamentarian Mustafa Balbay was freed from prison on Monday pending appeal after Turkey's Constitutional Court ruled his pre-trial detention period of more than four years had violated his rights. Balbay was among 275 defendants including an ex-military chief, retired officers, academics, journalists and opposition politicians given mostly long prison terms in August over an alleged ultra-nationalist plot to overthrow Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's Islamist-rooted government. The Constitutional Court ruled last week that the four years and nine months Balbay spent in prison pending trial had violated his rights to freedom and representation of the people as an elected parliamentarian. Balbay, a member of the main opposition Republican People's Party's (CHP), was sentenced to almost 35 years in prison.
By Louis Charbonneau UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - A U.N. nuclear team will visit Libya this month to assess the safety of thousands of barrels of milled uranium - known as yellowcake - amid concerns about the country's deteriorating security situation, a U.N. official said on Monday. "With respect to yellowcake, we have received information indicating that 6,400 barrels are stored in a non-functional former military facility close to Sabha in the south," U.N. Libya envoy Tarek Mitri told the Security Council. An inspection team from the International Atomic Energy Agency will visit this month to verify the stockpiles and storage conditions, he said. Russian Deputy U.N. Ambassador Alexander Pankin raised Russia's concerns about Libya's uranium and weapons that might have gone astray in the aftermath of the country's 2011 civil war during the closed-door consultations on the situation in Libya, council diplomats told Reuters on condition of anonymity.
By Rania El Gamal KUWAIT (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia's dream of binding the Gulf Arab states into a union will get a sceptical hearing at a summit this week, with differences over Iran, Egypt and Syria demonstrating that the Gulf's absolute monarchs do not all speak with one voice. Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah proposed two years ago for a stronger union with Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman and the United Arab Emirates.
By Philip Pullella VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - A European committee evaluating the Vatican's financial reforms said the Holy See had made significant progress but needed more internal controls over its bank and another key financial office, sources familiar with the report said on Monday. The plenary of Moneyval, a monitoring committee of the Council of Europe, adopted a progress report on the Vatican following a July, 2012 initial evaluation that made recommendations on how the Holy See could clean up its murky finances. Moneyval will issue its report on Thursday. It is expected to add impetus to Pope Francis's efforts after decades of scandal, particularly surrounding its bank.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Vice President Joe Biden expressed "deep concern" about the potential for violence in Ukraine during a phone call with President Viktor Yanukovich on Monday and urged dialogue with opposition leaders to de-escalate the situation, the White House said. "He noted that violence has no place in a democratic society and is incompatible with our strategic relationship," the White House said in a statement about Biden's call. ...
Snapchat, a service that allows users to exchange fleeting photo messages, has filed for a temporary restraining order against Frank Reginald Brown, who claims he came up with the idea for the company. Snapchat last month rejected an acquisition offer from Facebook Inc that would have valued the company at $3 billion or more, the Wall Street Journal has reported. Snapchat said Brown disclosed confidential information about the company to the media, according to court documents filed in California on Friday.
By Tim Hepher PARIS (Reuters) - Airbus parent EADS risked a collision with unions and European politicians by unveiling plans to cut 5,800 mainly defence and space jobs that for a first time include significant forced redundancies, driven by weak European budgets. Chief Executive Tom Enders, who has pledged to run EADS as a normal company after a shake-up of French and German state shareholdings earlier this year, told unions that EADS had to be competitive or face worse turmoil as pressures increase. The cutbacks coincide with plans to merge the company's defence and space divisions into one unit combining its share of Eurofighter combat jets and Ariane space rockets as EADS becomes the latest defence firm to respond to weak orders. One of France's leading unions, Force Ouvriere, pre-empted the announcement by disclosing the jobs news immediately following Enders' briefing to the EADS works council and vowed to used "any initiative" to resist compulsory redundancies.
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said the Iranian nuclear deal would be dead if the U.S. Congress imposes new sanctions, even if they do not take effect for six months, Time Magazine said on Monday. In a transcript of the interview, which was conducted on Saturday and posted online on Monday, Time said it asked Zarif what happens if Congress imposes new sanctions, even if they do not go into effect for six months. According to the magazine, he replied: "The entire deal is dead." Zarif was referring to a November 24 agreement with six world powers under which Tehran would curb its nuclear program in exchange for limited relief from economic sanctions. "If Congress adopts sanctions, it shows lack of seriousness and lack of a desire to achieve a resolution on the part of the United States.
By Jonathan Spicer and Walden Siew NEW YORK (Reuters) - Britain's economic recovery is showing signs that it can reach self-sustaining momentum, but monetary policy will need to remain exceptionally loose for some time to come, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said on Monday. Responding to some arguments that rich economies might be stuck in a rut of low growth, Carney said in a speech that he was confident that monetary policy was gaining traction and that a 'liquidity trap' had been avoided. "Leverage is still high and weak demand for advanced economy exports could persist for some time." Against a background of high debt and weak investment growth, former U.S. Treasury secretary Larry Summers said recently that real interest rates consistent with full employment could now be minus 2-3 percent, meaning central banks would struggle to spur a return to growth. Carney said the Bank of England's view was that Britain's equilibrium real interest rate - the level needed to get growth back to normal over several years without firing up inflation - was still negative but slowly moving back towards zero.
Slovenia reassured euro zone finance ministers it would be able to fix its troubled financial sector without asking for external financial assistance, the head of euro zone finance ministers Jeroen Dijsselbloem said on Monday. The results of an external audit of the country's mainly state-owned banks, nursing bad loans equivalent to almost one quarter of economic output, are expected on Thursday. "They assured us they will do it on their own without external support," Dijsselbloem, who chairs the gatherings of euro zone ministers, told reporters.
Labour leader Ed Miliband has called for a cross-party approach to prevent a proposed 11% pay rise for MPs going ahead.
DOHA (Reuters) - U.S. Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel has authorised military transport aircraft to carry troops from Burundi to the Central African Republic to support a French-led effort to stop the spread of sectarian violence in that country, a Pentagon spokesman said. Hagel, who is travelling in Qatar, authorized the use of U.S. transport planes on Sunday after being asked for airlift assistance by French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, the spokesman said in a statement. (Reporting by David Alexander; editing by Christopher Wilson)
The leftist mayor of Colombia's capital of Bogota was removed from his post on Monday for the mismanagement of garbage collection and banned from holding office for 15 years, a blow to the nation's left as peace talks continue with Marxist FARC rebels. The inspector general ruled that former guerrilla Gustavo Petro, who as Bogota mayor held Colombia's second-most powerful political post, badly handled changes to waste management in the city of 8 million people, creating a health hazard as rubbish piled up on the streets last year.
Inspectors representing Greece's international backers will return to review the country's reform progress on Tuesday, the head of the euro zone finance ministers said on Monday. "They will go to Athens tomorrow to continue working with the Greek authorities to sort out as many points as possible at the latest by year-end," Jeroen Dijsselbloem, who chairs the gatherings of euro zone ministers, told reporters. International inspectors visit Athens regularly to check its progress before payments of aid are made. They represent the so-called troika of the European Central Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the European Commission.