Worth the sting: Cuba’s scorpion pain remedy

HAVANA, (Reuters) – Once a month for the last decade, Pepe Casanas, a 78-year-old Cuban farmer, has hunted down a scorpion to sting himself with, vowing that the venom wards off his rheumatism pains.

Dow notches record point surge in dramatic rebound

(Reuters) – The Dow Jones Industrial Average surged more than 1,000 points for the first time yesterday, leading a broad Wall Street rebound after a report that holiday sales were the strongest in years helped mollify concerns about the health of the economy.

New allegations against Ghosn concern payments to Saudi businessman -sources

BEIJING,  (Reuters) – Fresh misconduct allegations brought by Tokyo prosecutors against ousted Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn centre on the use of company funds to pay a Saudi businessman who is believed to have helped him out of financial difficulties, two company sources with knowledge of the matter said.

Actor Kevin Spacey charged with indecent assault in Massachusetts

(Reuters) – Oscar-winning actor Kevin Spacey has been charged in connection with an allegation that he sexually abused an 18-year-old boy at a Nantucket, Massachusetts, bar more than two years ago, the local district attorney said yesterday.

Tsunami kills at least 222 in Indonesia after Krakatau eruption

PANDEGLANG, Indonesia,  (Reuters) – A tsunami killed at least 222 people and injured hundreds on the Indonesian islands of Java and Sumatra following an underwater landslide believed to have been caused by the erupting Anak Krakatau volcano, officials said on Sunday.

Trump, annoyed by resignation letter, pushes out Mattis early

WASHINGTON,  (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump yesterday said he was replacing Defense Secretary Jim Mattis two months earlier than had been expected, a move officials said was driven by Trump’s anger at Mattis’ resignation letter and its rebuke of his foreign policy.

At least 20 die when tsunami hits Indonesian islands of Java, Sumatra

JAKARTA, (Reuters) – At least 20 people died in Indonesia on the islands of Java and Sumatra when a tsunami struck areas around the Sunda Strait late yesterday following a sub-sea landslide caused by a volcano, the government’s Disaster Mitigation Agency said.

U.S. government to shut down in fight over Trump’s border wall

WASHINGTON,  (Reuters) – The U.S. government was to begin a partial shutdown at midnight last night after Republican senators failed to muster the votes needed to approve $5 billion that President Donald Trump wants for a border wall fiercely opposed by Democrats.

London’s Gatwick airport reopens again, police make two arrests

LONDON, England, (Reuters) – London’s Gatwick Airport reopened yesterday after a mystery saboteur wrought 36 hours of travel chaos for more than 100,000 Christmas travellers by using drones to play cat-and-mouse with police snipers and the army.

U.S. defense chief Mattis quits after clashing with Trump on policies

WASHINGTON, Dec 20 (Reuters) – U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis abruptly said he was quitting yesterday after falling out with President Donald Trump over his foreign policies, including surprise decisions to yank troops from Syria and start planning a drawdown in Afghanistan.

U.S. to lift sanctions from aluminium giant Rusal

(Reuters) – The U.S. Treasury will lift sanctions on the core empire of Russian businessman Oleg Deripaska, including aluminium giant Rusal and its parent En+, watering down the toughest penalties imposed since Moscow’s 2014 annexation of Crimea.

Vanuatu baby treated in world’s first commercial drone-delivered vaccine

KUALA LUMPUR,  (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – A one-month-old baby in Vanuatu has become the first person in the world to be immunised using vaccines delivered by a commercial drone, the United Nations said, raising hopes that the method could save lives in other far-flung areas.

Judge excoriates Trump ex-adviser Flynn, delays Russia probe sentencing

WASHINGTON,  (Reuters) – A U.S. judge fiercely criticized President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn yesterday for lying to FBI agents in a probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election, and delayed sentencing him until Flynn has finished helping prosecutors.

Brazil’s Bolsonaro says he will target Venezuela, Cuba

SAO PAULO,  (Reuters) – Brazil’s far-right President-elect Jair Bolsonaro said yesterday that he would take all action “within the rule of law and democracy” to oppose the governments of Venezuela and Cuba.

Oil drops over 5 pct on economic slowdown fears, supply glut

NEW YORK, (Reuters) – Oil prices tumbled more than 5 percent yesterday in heavy trade due to fears of oversupply and deteriorating demand, extending a selloff that has taken major crude benchmarks down more than 30 percent from an October peak.

China, EU lambast United States for miring WTO in crisis

GENEVA,  (Reuters) – The United States came under fire from China and the European Union yesterday, accused by both major trading partners of taking protectionist measures and bringing the World Trade Organization (WTO) to its knees.

Maduro says Venezuela’s civil militia grows to 1.6 million members

CARACAS, (Reuters) – Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said yesterday the country’s civil militia had grown to 1.6 million members – more than tripling in size from the beginning of the year – and that its mission was to defend the country against external aggression.

CBS fires CEO Leslie Moonves and denies $120 million severance

(Reuters) – CBS Corp said yesterday it has fired Leslie Moonves for cause and has denied a $120 million severance package as it girds for a likely legal battle with its former chief executive who has been accused of sexual harassment and assault that allegedly took place before and after he joined the company.

Facing opposition, UK’s May will bring Brexit deal back to parliament

LONDON,  (Reuters) – Prime Minister Theresa May said yesterday she would bring her Brexit deal back to parliament for a mid-January vote, pledging to get assurances from the European Union before then to break a deadlock over Britain’s fraught efforts to quit the bloc.