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Defense ministry threatens retaliation for Azeri killings

YEREVAN — Armenia threatened Monday to retaliate for the weekend killings of two ethnic Armenian soldiers by Azeri snipers who fired into a disputed breakaway enclave.

Nagorno-Karabakh is a mountainous enclave within the Caspian Sea nation of Azerbaijan, but it has been under the control of Armenian troops and ethnic Armenian forces since the end of a six-year separatist war in 1994.

Violations of the 1994 cease-fire have been frequent, and Armenian authorities said two servicemen from Nagorno-Karabakh were killed Sunday and Saturday.

Armenia’s Defense Ministry spokesman David Karapetian said the retaliation for the soldiers’ deaths will be “disproportionate.” His Azeri counterpart, Teymur Abdullayev, said a shootout at the border was provoked by Armenians.


Direct farm sales allowed to tourism sector

HAVANA — The Cuban government is authorizing farmers to sell their products directly to state-run tourist hotels and restaurants, eliminating the need to go through a government redistributor, authorities said Monday.

The measure also lets buyers and sellers negotiate their own prices, according to the Official Gazette, a government publication that disseminates new laws.

The latest in a series of economic changes pushed by President Raul Castro, it aims to “reduce losses by simplifying the links between primary production and the final consumer,” according to the Communist Party newspaper Granma.

Beginning Dec. 1, independent growers, rural co-ops and state-run agribusinesses will be able to sell “agricultural products without industrial processing, rice for consumption and charcoal to hotel and restaurant establishments in the tourism sector,” the Gazette said.


U.S. general: Iraq set for ‘turbulence’ as U.S. departs

BAGHDAD — Iraq’s security situation is likely to see “turbulence” as U.S. forces depart and groups including al Qaeda seek to take advantage of this, the top U.S. general in the country said Monday.

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