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President-elect Macri promises to reboot Argentine economy

Macri wins in ArgentinaPresident-elect Mauricio Macri promised on Monday to correct the errors of Argentina's outgoing leftist government but urged patience while he defines his strategy to liberalize the ailing economy.

The conservative Macri, who won a run-off presidential vote on Sunday, inherits a fragile economy: slow growth is driven by unsustainable spending, inflation is soaring and capital controls have backfired to leave foreign reserves at nine-year lows.


Anger rises as Brazilian mine disaster threatens river and sea with toxic mud

Brazilian mine disasterThis weekend, 16 days after the collapse of the FundĂŁo dam supporting the reservoir of the Samarco mine, the waters in the delicate ecosystem of the Rio Doce estuary began to turn brown.

A crowd gathered at the village’s wooden dock to watch. Behind a tape cordon, a group of technicians from Samarco, – a joint venture of the Brazilian mining company Vale and the Ango-Australian firm BHP Billiton – sat under a marquee staring at monitors.


Belgium police arrest 16, Paris fugitive still at large

Belgian police raidsBelgian prosecutors announced early Monday that police had detained 16 people in 22 raids but that Paris fugitive Salah Abdeslam was not among them. Despite the raids, authorities maintained their highest terror alert in the capital for a third straight day.

Federal prosecutor Eric Van Der Sypt said 19 raids were carried out in Molenbeek and other boroughs of Brussels and three raids were carried out in other cities.

"We have to stress that no firearms or explosives were discovered ... during the raids," Van Der Sypt said." Certain elements in the investigation made Sunday's intervention necessary. The investigation will in any case be relentlessly continued."


One Israeli, three Palestinians killed in violence Sunday

Violence on West Bank continuesAn Israeli woman was stabbed to death by a Palestinian who was among three assailants to be shot dead in separate incidents Sunday, Israeli security forces said. The latest flare-up of violence comes ahead of a visit to the region by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

The Israeli woman was seriously wounded when a Palestinian attacked her with a knife in the West Bank on Sunday afternoon before being shot and killed by soldiers nearby, the military said. A spokeswoman at Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem said the 21-year-old Israeli woman arrived in serious condition and later died of her wounds.


Iran sentences US journalist to prison

WP journalist sentenced to prisonIran has sentenced detained Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian to an unspecified prison term following his conviction last month on charges that include espionage, Iranian state TV reported Sunday.

Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejehi, the spokesman for Iran's judiciary, announced the punishment in a statement on the TV station's website.

"In brief, it is a prison sentence," he said. The verdict is "not finalized," he added, referring to an expected appeal.


Landslide near jade mine kills scores in Myanmar

mayanmar mineA landslide near a jade mine in northern Myanmar killed about 100 people, most of them villagers digging for green stones in a mountain of displaced earth, a witness and a community leader said Sunday. Many other people were missing.

The collapse occurred Saturday evening in the Kachin state community of Hpakant, said Brang Seng, a jade businessman, who watched as bodies were pulled from the debris and taken to a hospital morgue.


Pope Francis calls Christmas festivities "a charade"

Pope FrancisIn a mass Thursday, Pope Francis called Christmas celebrations this year "a charade" because so many nations wage violence, according to media reports.

Speaking at the Casa Santa Marta in the Vatican, the head of the Catholic Church said God and Jesus were weeping "because we have chosen the way of war, the way of hatred, the way of enmities," Vatican news reported.

"Christmas is approaching. There will be lights, parties, Christmas trees and nativity scenes... it's all a charade. The world continues to go to war," he said, according to AFP.


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