- ‘I Am Alive’ app gains popularity in terror-ravaged Lebanon
- Gun giveaways gain popularity among Republican candidates
- S.C. hospital worker slapped with $525 federal fine for refilling $0.89 soda
- Teen from ‘Jihad Jane’ plot becomes youngest ever to serve time on U.S. terror charges
- Iranian woman forgives son’s killer at the gallows
- Nebraska principal sorry for ‘don’t tattle’ flier
- Illinois readies to spend $100M for Obama museum in Chicago
- John Edwards back in court — this time as a lawyer for Va. boy’s malpractice case
- Covered California reports more than 200K in overtime Obamacare sign-ups
- Thanks, Chuck: Hagel says U.S. sending Ukraine sleeping mats, helmets
Payment gap has businesses in limbo
HAVANA | Many of Cuba’s foreign business partners still have money stuck in state-run banks and do not know when they will get it, 18 months after the accounts were frozen by the cash-strapped Cuban government.
The issue is one of several pressing financial problems that are straining Cuba’s business ties, in a climate darkened by the government’s unwillingness to disclose key information about its economic condition.
Hit by the international financial crisis, U.S. scrutiny of its finances, damaging hurricanes and chronic inefficiencies, the communist-run nation failed to make some debt payments on schedule beginning in 2008, then froze up to $1 billion in the accounts of 600 foreign suppliers by the start of 2009.
It also delayed payments to some joint-venture partners and did not honor some commercial paper that came due thereafter.
State-run banks have offered to pay back the frozen accounts at 2 percent annual interest over five years, but sources said progress has been slow.
‘Arms’ said to be mining explosives
KHARTOUM | Sudanese officials said Wednesday that a cargo ship seized by Cyprus suspected of trying to deliver weapons to Sudan in contravention of a U.N. embargo has explosives onboard for a gold-mining firm.
“The boat contains explosives destined for Port Sudan, for mining firm Ariab, which needs them to work a gold mine,” said Abdel Baqi al-Gilani, Sudan’s minister responsible for mining.
On Tuesday, Cyprus said it it placed the cargo ship Santiago, anchored off the southern city of Limassol, under police guard with a suspected military cargo that would contravene a 2004 U.N. embargo on arms sales and deliveries to Sudan.
Search on for 600 missing in floods
RIO DE JANEIRO | Rescuers searched Wednesday for 600 people declared missing after torrential floods ripped through cities in northeastern Brazil. The death toll rose to 44 after three bodies were found overnight.
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