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By Timothy Gardner WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. State Department extended six-month Iran sanctions waivers on Friday to China, India, South Korea and other countries in exchange for their reducing purchases of Iranian crude oil earlier this year. The waivers had been expected. Under a law governing sanctions imposed on Iran's disputed nuclear program by the United States, the State Department is required to determine whether the Islamic Republic's oil consumers have reduced their purchases.
SAO PAULO (AP) — Brazilian police plan to talk Friday to the operator of the crane that collapsed this week and killed two workers at a stadium set to host the 2014 World Cup soccer tournament opener. Police said they hope the interview will help investigators pinpoint the cause of the accident, which has cast more doubt on Brazil's preparedness for hosting the showcase event.
Beaver Creek (United States) (AFP) - Switzerland's Lara Gut won the first downhill of the women's alpine World Cup season on Friday on the new Raptor course built for the 2015 World Championships. Gut continued a strong start to a season that will be highlighted by the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia, notching her second victory in three races after her giant slalom triumph in Soelden, Austria, last month. The 22-year-old, who is aiming for Olympic glory in February after she missed the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games recovering from a hip injury, clocked 1min 41.26sec to beat Liechtenstein's Tina Weirather by 0.47sec. Italy's Elena Fanchini was third, 0.98sec behind the winner.
EU leaders slammed Russia on Friday for meddling in its affairs after Ukraine rejected a landmark accord with the European Union designed to draw the ex-Soviet state into the Western fold. The snub by Ukraine highlighted a worsening EU-Russia tug-of-war over former Soviet satellites in eastern Europe. "The times of limited sovereignty are over in Europe," European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso said at the close of the summit. The two-day summit in the Lithuanian capital on the EU's eastern flank was to have celebrated a five-year drive to cement ties between the bloc and Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan.
The post-Thanksgiving shopping rush sparked incidents of violence across the United States as a police officer was injured breaking up a fight, a shopper was shot in the leg over a TV and a Walmart was evacuated, according to police and media reports. In White Plains, just north of New York City, an outlet of Wal-Mart Stores Inc was evacuated on Friday, with employees and shoppers saying they had been warned of a possible bomb threat. In Romeoville, Illinois, police shot a suspected shoplifter in the shoulder late Thursday night after the car he was driving dragged an officer through the parking lot of a Kohl's department store, Romeoville Police Chief Mark Turvey said in a video posted by the Chicago Tribune newspaper.
By Rujun Shen SINGAPORE (Reuters) - A shareholder who suffered losses in a penny stock trading debacle in Singapore is suing Goldman Sachs, accusing the investment bank of arbitrarily selling her holdings and saying the sales contributed to a crash in their prices. Last month, Blumont Group Ltd, Asiasons Capital Ltd and LionGold Corp Ltd - three firms interlinked by cross shareholdings and common officers - lost a combined market value of about S$8 billion ($6.4 billion) in just three days of trading. Both the crash and huge run-ups in their share prices earlier in the year left many in the market mystified, prompting the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the stock exchange to launch an extensive review. The lawsuit was filed in the High Court in London on November 20 by Quah Su Ling, who held stocks in all three companies and is the chief executive of investment firm IPCO International Ltd, the second-largest shareholder in Blumont.
French lawmakers on Friday examined a bill punishing clients of prostitutes that has sparked fierce argument in a country known for its liberal attitudes to sex. Dozens rallied both for and against the bill as debate began in the lower house National Assembly, which is expected to vote on the bill next Wednesday. Prostitution itself is allowed in France, but soliciting, pimping, and the sale of sex by minors are prohibited.
Afghanistan booked their berth in a third consecutive ICC World Twenty20 qualifier final after defeating Nepal by seven wickets in the first semi-final at Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Friday. In Saturday's final, Afghanistan will play the winner of the second semi-final featuring Ireland and the United Arab Emirates. Man of the match Samiullah Shenwari helped Afghanistan chase down a modest 90-run target inside 15 overs, bagging three wickets and then scoring 24 not out. we're in the final for a third time, so we're all happy," said Shenwari, who claimed three wickets for 19 runs and featured in a run out as Nepal were restricted to 90 for eight.