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Injury-struck Barcelona can ensure they finish top of Champions League Group H with just a point when they travel to face Ajax on Tuesday. Gerardo Martino's men have already qualified for the last-16 and shrugged off the absence of Lionel Messi and Victor Valdes among others to maintain their place atop La Liga with a comprehensive 4-0 win over Granada on Saturday. Cesc Fabregas was on target once more at the weekend and he has echoed his coach's calls for there to be no excuses despite the absence of a number of key players. "We need to try so that the other players aren't missed and we managed that against Granada, but we are talking about very important players."
By Suadad al-Salhy BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq is hunting militants, still unidentified, who led a deadly attack on an Iranian dissident camp near Baghdad and dismisses suggestions its own security forces were behind the violence, a senior government official said. More than 50 people were killed at the dissident Mujahadin-e-Khalq (MEK) group's Camp Ashraf in September in an attack the United Nations described as "an atrocious crime" and which drew condemnation from the United States and Britain. MEK, which the U.S. State Department removed from its list of terrorist organizations last year, wants Iran's clerical leaders overthrown and fought on former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein's side during the Iran-Iraq war in 1980s. The group, which has accused Iraqi security forces of being behind the attack, is no longer welcome in Iraq under the Shi'ite Muslim-led government that came to power after U.S.-led forces toppled Saddam in 2003.
By Peroshni Govender JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa's biggest union is considering pulling out of the ANC-aligned COSATU labour federation to form its own political entity, a split that could hurt the ruling party in next year's elections, senior union sources said on Tuesday. The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) is increasingly at odds with the African National Congress (ANC) and COSATU - part of an official, three-way governing alliance that also includes the Communist Party - over labour policies it says are too pro-business. Coupled with anger at a perceived increase in corruption under President Jacob Zuma, the 350,000-strong union is now on the brink of walking out on a 25-year relationship forged in the common struggle against white-minority rule. If NUMSA took some smaller unions with it, COSATU - the ANC's most effective 'get-out-the-vote' machine - could lose half a million members who would normally have campaigned faithfully for Nelson Mandela's former liberation movement.
TANAUAN, Philippines (AP) — As Typhoon Haiyan tore across the eastern Philippines, coconut plantations older than the fathers of the men who tend them were smashed like matchsticks and call centers that field customer service gripes from around the world fell silent. The storm that killed thousands also wrecked livelihoods in the worst hit region, a blow that will ripple long after the disaster fades from attention.
By Belinda Goldsmith GLASGOW, Scotland (Reuters) - An independent Scotland would keep the British pound, the queen and remain in the European Union but have its own defense force and collect its own taxes, First Minister Alex Salmond said on Tuesday. In a 670-page blueprint aimed at convincing Scots they should vote on September 18 next year to end a 306-year union with England, Salmond said there would be no need to increase taxes if Scotland broke away. ...
Chancellor George Osborne has asked the Bank of England to consider whether it needs extra powers to restrain banks' risk-taking and accelerate a timeframe for new rules agreed by international financial regulators. The BoE's Financial Policy Committee can already shape the regulation of Britain's financial system. It has powers to force banks to hold more capital but has no direct say over a separate tool for reining in big banks' risk-taking, a so-called leverage ratio. Global regulators, keen to make banks safer after the financial crisis, are focussing on the leverage ratio as a way to prevent banks from taking on too much risk and mitigate any attempts to circumvent the other capital rules.