Rihanna calls Chris Brown music reunion “innocent”

(Reuters) – Pop star Rihanna called her recent musical collaboration with ex-boyfriend Chris Brown “innocent,” after critics and fans split on the duo working together three years after Brown assaulted the pop star.

Obese UK police officers face pay cuts

LONDON,  (Reuters) – British police and support staff must prove their fitness in annual tests or have their pay docked after a survey found 64 percent were overweight, obese or morbidly obese, a review concluded yesterday.

Reuters World News Highlights

BEIRUT – Syrian forces pressed their military offensive in the northern province of Idlib, driving 1,000 refugees across the Turkish border as the bloody revolt against President Bashar al-Assad entered a second year with no sign of political solution.

Argentina will sue over Falklands oil exploration

BUENOS AIRES, (Reuters) – Argentina will take legal action against any companies involved in oil exploration off the disputed Falkland Islands as part of a drive to pressure Britain into sovereignty talks, the foreign minister said yesterday.

Mexico bows to Brazilian pressure on auto exports

MEXICO CITY,  (Reuters) – Mexico has yielded to Brazilian pressure to slash auto sales to the southern giant, fixing an export quota for the next three years to save a decade-old trade agreement between Latin America’s two dominant economies.

Syria marks anniversary of uprising, violence grows

BEIRUT,  (Reuters) – Syria marks the first anniversary yesterday of an increasingly bloody uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, with recent army gains unlikely to quell the revolt and no diplomatic solution in sight.

Venezuela’s Capriles criticizes Chavez’s stay in Cuba

MARACAIBO, Venezuela, (Reuters) – Venezuela’s opposition candidate sharply criticized socialist President Hugo Chavez for having cancer treatment in Cuba rather than trusting doctors at home, saying it sends a terrible message to ordinary Venezuelans.

Historic verdict condemns warlord, but Hague court limited

THE HAGUE,  (Reuters) – The war crimes court at The Hague found Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga Dyilo guilty yesterday in its first ever ruling after a decade of work limited largely to Africa while major cases elsewhere remain beyond its reach.

Russia’s Vekselberg may sue RUSAL in oligarch row

MOSCOW,  (Reuters) – Russian billionaire Viktor Vekselberg is considering suing RUSAL over accusations that he failed to fulfil his duties as its chairman, intensifying a battle with rival oligarch Oleg Deripaska at the world’s largest aluminium producer.

Departing Goldman banker slams ‘rip-off’ culture

LONDON/NEW YORK, (Reuters) – Goldman Sachs faced an unprecedented assault from one of its own yesterday after a banker published a withering resignation letter in the New York Times, calling the Wall Street titan a “toxic” place where managing directors referred to their own clients as “muppets.” Greg Smith It was the latest blow for the investment bank.

In India, a dynasty’s tryst with decline

NEW DELHI,  (Reuters) – Rahul Gandhi slept under the stars in rural India, he shared simple meals of lentil curry and bread with poor villagers, and he was even arrested for joining farmers in a land protest.

Violence across Syria, Annan awaits answer

BEIRUT,  (Reuters) – U.N.-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan kept up efforts to broker a halt to hostilities as Syrian government forces killed dozens of people in the northern city of Idlib, dumping their bodies in a mosque, opposition activists said.

RUSAL chairman quits, says company faces deep crisis

MOSCOW, (Reuters) – Russian billionaire Viktor Vekselberg quit yesterday as chairman of the world’s largest aluminium producer, UC RUSAL, saying the heavily indebted company was in deep crisis after a long battle with rival oligarch Oleg Deripaska.

Encyclopaedia Brittanica ends print, goes digital

NEW YORK,  (Reuters) – In yet another sign of the growing dominance of the digital publishing market, the oldest English-language encyclopedia still in print is moving solely into the digital age.

Billions in cash flees Afghanistan, economy threatened

KABUL, (Reuters) – Wealthy Afghans are carrying about $8 billion — almost double the state budget — in suitcases out of the country each year, an amount likely to rise as the exit of foreign troops nears and threatening to ruin the fragile economy, a senior official said.

Senegal: holding back Africa ‘democracy recession’

By Pascal Fletcher DAKAR (Reuters) – Asked what might happen if Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade is declared winner of the West African country’s elections, student Nando da Silva mouths the sound of an explosion: “Boom!” Casting his first round ballot last month in Grand Yoff, a dusty Dakar suburb which is a labyrinth of sandy streets and crowded homes, da Silva is one of many young Senegalese who want to see an end to the octogenarian president’s 12-year rule.

Massacre makes Obama ‘more determined’ to exit Afghanistan

WASHINGTON/KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (Reuters) – President Barack Obama said on Monday the massacre of 16 villagers by a US soldier raises his determination to get American troops out of Afghanistan, while a US official said the accused staff sergeant previously had suffered traumatic brain injury.

Iran executed 670 in 2011, says UN investigator

GENEVA (Reuters) – Iran executed some 670 people last year, most of them for drug crimes that do not merit capital punishment under international law and more than 20 for offences against Islam, a United Nations investigator said yesterday.

A decade on, war crimes court’s first verdict

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – The world’s first permanent war crimes court opened nearly a decade ago, promising accountability for brutal tyrants, justice for victims and swift trials for perpetrators.

Bolivia defends coca consumption at UN meet

VIENNA (Reuters) – Bolivian President Evo Morales yesterday defended Bolivians’ right to chew coca leaves, the main ingredient of cocaine, saying it was an ancient tradition and the world’s No 3 cocaine producer was working to fight drug trafficking.

In spotlight, Uganda says Congo slows hunt for Kony

KAMPALA (Reuters) – Responding to an Internet campaign backed by celebrities who want Uganda to capture fugitive warlord Joseph Kony and save child soldiers, the government complained yesterday it needed more help from its African neighbours.