Libya elects little-known scientist new prime minister

TRIPOLI (Reuters) – Libya’s ruling National Tran-sitional Council has elected little-known academic Abdul Raheem al-Keeb as the new interim prime minister to guide the country as it emerges from a bitter civil war towards a new constitution and democratic elections.

Mugabe says he’s still fit, may target Swiss assets

HARARE (Reuters) – Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe denied speculation his health is failing and hinted at taking action against Swiss firms in retaliation for his wife and aides being denied visas to visit Geneva, the official Herald newspaper reported yesterday.

13 dead, millions without power after rare US storm

BOSTON (Reuters) – Devastation from a rare and deadly October snowstorm lingered in the US Northeast where 1.6 million homes were still without power yesterday, schools were closed and downed trees and powerlines snarled traffic.

Arab League awaits Syrian response over unrest

DOHA (Reuters) – The Arab League awaited a response from Syria yesterday to its proposal to end seven months of increasingly violent unrest against President Bashar al-Assad’s rule and to start talks between Syrian authorities and their opponents.

Arab League hands Syria plan to end unrest

AMMAN, (Reuters) – The Arab League handed Syrian officials a plan for ending seven months of increasingly violent unrest against President Bashar al-Assad’s rule, and Assad told Russian Television he would cooperate with the opposition.

Officials arrest 70 in major Arizona drug bust

(Reuters) – Law enforcement officials in Arizona  seized thousands of pounds of narcotics and arrested at least  70 suspected drug smugglers with apparent ties to a violent  drug cartel in Mexico, an official involved with the  investigation in the U.S.

Colombians elect former guerrilla mayor of Bogota

BOGOTA, (Reuters) – Colombians elected one-time  guerrilla Gustavo Petro as Bogota mayor, the Andean nation’s  second most powerful post after the presidency, in a poll yesterday devoid of the bloodshed that marked campaigning.

Madoff wife, son say knew nothing of scheme – CBS

NEW YORK, (Reuters) – The wife and son of financial  swindler Bernard Madoff said in their first interview to be  broadcast on Sunday that they knew nothing of his estimated $65  billion Ponzi scheme, but feel shame for his “unforgiveable”  crime.

“Wife-sharing” haunts Indian villages as girls decline

BAGHPAT, India, (TrustLaw) – When Munni arrived in  this fertile, sugarcane-growing region of north India as a young  bride years ago, little did she imagine she would be forced into  having sex and bearing children with her husband’s two brothers  who had failed to find wives.

North America box office goes to ‘Puss in Boots’

LOS ANGELES, (Reuters) – Animated movie “Puss in  Boots” landed on its feet with a $51 million global debut over  the weekend and likely set a Halloween weekend record for a  domestic opening, according to studio estimates released yesterday.

Commonwealth defends relevance, faces human rights finger-pointing

PERTH, Australia, (Reuters) – Commonwealth leaders yesterday defended their moves to toughen support for human rights,  rejecting criticism the group was becoming irrelevant and had  failed at their three-day summit to hold member Sri Lanka  accountable for alleged abuses.

ICC fears son of Libya’s Gaddafi may flee justice

TRIPOLI/BEIJING (Reuters) – The International Criminal Court said yesterday that Libya’s Saif al-Islam Gaddafi was in contact via intermediaries about surrendering for trial, but it also had information mercenaries were trying to spirit him to a friendly African nation.

Former Brazil president Lula diagnosed with cancer

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Brazil’s popular former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was diagnosed with throat cancer yesterday, casting doubt on his political future in Latin America’s largest economy.

Kabul suicide bomb kills 13 troops, civilians

KABUL (Reuters) – A suicide car bomber yesterday killed 13 troops and civilian employees of the NATO-led force in Kabul, including Americans and a Canadian, in the deadliest single ground attack against the coalition in 10 years of war in Afghanistan.

Ukraine to investigate Tymoshenko over murder-report

KIEV (Reuters) – Ukrainian prosecutors are to investigate whether former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, jailed for abuse of power, was involved in the murder of a member of parliament, news agency Unian quoted a senior prosecutor yesterday as saying.

Rare October snowstorm hits US Northeast

BOSTON (Reuters) – A rare October snowstorm bore down on the heavily populated US Northeast yesterday, knocking out electricity, delaying flights and threatening some areas with up to a foot (30 cm) of snow.

Commonwealth leaders agree to be more proactive on human rights

PERTH, Australia,  (Reuters) – Leaders of the  Common-wealth group of mostly former British colonies today  took tentative steps to tighten up on human rights abuses by  members, but have still to address tougher measures some warn  the group must take to remain relevant.

It’s a girl! British royal succession rules to change

PERTH, Australia, (Reuters) – Centuries of British  royal discrimination came to an end yesterday after Commonwealth  leaders agreed to drop rules that give sons precedence as heir  to the throne and bar anyone in line for the crown from marrying  a Roman Catholic.

Islamists to rule Tunisia; clashes in cradle of revolt

TUNIS, (Reuters) – The leader of the Islamist party  which won Tunisia’s first free election appealed for calm in the  town where the “Arab Spring” began, accusing forces linked to  the ousted president of fanning violence there.

Haiti looks to Asia, own diaspora, for investment

PORT-AU-PRINCE,  (Reuters) – Haiti is wooing Asian  manufacturers, and its own diaspora, to inject investments and  funds into the economy and create jobs to drive a recovery from  last year’s earthquake, the foreign minister said on Thursday.

Secrecy undermines U.N. anti-graft talks-activists

MARRAKESH, Morocco, (TrustLaw) – Campaigners yesterday accused governments at a major U.N. conference on  corruption of excluding civil society from fully participating  in reviewing how states are doing in  enforcing the world’s biggest anti-graft convention.

U.S. role in arming Mexico’s drug war exaggerated-study

GENEVA, (Reuters) – Mexico’s hardline fight against  drug gangs has driven violence to levels higher in than many war  zones but the role the United States plays in arming these  brutal cartels appears exaggerated, independent arms researchers  said on Thursday.

Arrests mark US prescription drug abuse crackdown

TAMPA, Fla., (Reuters) – U.S. authorities arrested  22 people in Florida yesterday, including pharmacists and  doctors, in a crackdown against prescription drug abuse that  officials say is the nation’s fastest growing drug problem.

Arab League sends ‘urgent message’ to Assad to end violence

CAIRO, (Reuters) – Arab ministers said yesterday they  had sent an urgent message to Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad,  calling on him to end seven months of violence against civilians  following the killing of 40 pro-democracy demonstrators by  Syrian forces.