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By Richard Balmforth and Thomas Grove KIEV (Reuters) - Ukraine's political opposition said on Saturday it would call a general strike to force the resignation of President Viktor Yanukovich's government after police used batons and stun grenades to break up pro-Europe protests. Some 10,000 protesters regrouped in Kiev, flooding a square outside a church. Further rallies were planned for Sunday in the capital Kiev and other cities. Helmeted police stormed an encampment in Kiev's Independence Square where protesters were singing and warming themselves by campfires early in the morning, the opposition said.
Man of the moment Aaron Ramsey scored twice against his former club as Arsenal beat Cardiff City 3-0 on Saturday to move seven points clear in the Premier League. Ramsey broke the deadlock with a fine first-half header and after substitute Mathieu Flamini added a late second, the Welshman completed victory in stoppage time to take his tally of league goals this season to eight. The win elevated Arsene Wenger's side seven points above nearest rivals Liverpool and Chelsea, both of whom play on Sunday, as well as Everton, who climbed to fourth place by beating Stoke City.
Hobbled by rising production costs and low prices, Brazil's ethanol sector is in crisis, with many sugar mills closing despite rising demand. The South American country is the world's leading sugar producer with an ever-growing share going toward biofuel production. But despite an expected bumper crop for 2013-14 and growing domestic consumption, its mills are drowning in debt. In the country's central southern region -- the main sugar production area -- 40 mills have shut down over the past three years and 60 others are expected to follow suit in the next 24 months due to unsustainable debts, Deutsche Bank analysts said in late October.
By Andrew Osborn LONDON (Reuters) - Britain has put a diplomatic rift with China over the Dalai Lama behind it and Prime Minister David Cameron has no plans to meet Tibet's spiritual leader again, a senior source in his office said ahead of a visit by the British leader to Beijing. Instead, Cameron will use a three-day visit to China next week, his first since the Dalai Lama rift, to focus on deepening trade ties with the world's second largest economy, taking with him a delegation of around 100 business people. We have turned a page on that issue," said the source when asked whether Cameron would raise the issue of Tibet during his trip. Cameron, who is likely to visit Beijing, Shanghai and Chengdu, had been expected to travel to China last autumn.
The United States will destroy the most dangerous of Syria's chemical weapon stockpile on a ship at sea, the world's chemical watchdog said on Saturday. "The neutralisation operations will be conducted on a US vessel at sea using hydrolysis," the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said in a statement. "Currently a suitable naval vessel is undergoing modifications to support the operations and to accommodate verification activities by the OPCW," The Hague-based watchdog added. The ship operation will destroy what is known as "priority chemical weapons", the most dangerous of Syria's total arsenal and ones that have to be out of the country by December 31 under an international deal agreed to avert military strikes on Damascus.
The United States has offered to destroy Syrian chemicals on a U.S. ship, the global chemical weapons watchdog said on Saturday, and is looking for a suitable Mediterranean port where processing can be carried out. The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has been under pressure to find an alternative plan for the destruction of Syria's poison gas arsenal after Albania backed out of hosting the work. The OPCW said 35 firms had expressed an interest in bidding for commercial contracts by Friday's deadline for the treatment of about 800 tonnes (1 tonne = 1.102 metric tons) of bulk industrial chemicals that are safe to destroy in commercial incinerators. The OPCW said the operation would be carried out on a U.S. vessel at sea using hydrolysis, adding a naval vessel was undergoing modifications to support the operations.
By Dominic Evans BEIRUT (Reuters) - Prime Minister Wael Halki said on Saturday Syrian government forces were winning the war with rebels and would not rest while a single enemy fighter remained at large. Maintaining Syria's unyielding response to Western calls for President Bashar al-Assad to step aside, Halki said the era of "threats and intimidation has gone, never to return, while the era of victory and pride is being created now on Syrian soil". He was speaking during a visit to Iran, which has provided military support and billions of dollars in economic aid to Assad during a 2-1/2-year-old civil war which has killed 100,000 people and shows little sign of being halted by diplomacy. Assad, whose forces have consolidated their hold around Damascus and central Syria this year, faces little internal pressure to make concessions to his opponents as long as he maintains military momentum and Iranian support.
By Nazih Siddiq TRIPOLI, Lebanon (Reuters) - Six people were killed in Lebanon's northern city of Tripoli on Saturday in exchanges of fire between neighborhoods which support rival sides in Syria's civil war, security and medical sources said. The dead - including a teenage schoolboy, a Palestinian and a Syrian - were from the Sunni Muslim Bab al-Tabbaneh district, whose residents overwhelmingly support the Sunni Muslim rebels battling Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Thirty-seven people, including nine soldiers, were wounded in the shooting between gunmen in Bab al-Tabbaneh and the adjacent Alawite neighborhood of Jebel Mohsen, which supports the Alawite Syrian leader. Lebanon's caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati, a Sunni Muslim from Tripoli, held talks with the interior minister and other security officials in the Mediterranean city to discuss how to end the violence, which erupted despite the deployment of soldiers in both rival districts.
By Amy Sawitta Lefevre and Martin Petty BANGKOK (Reuters) - At least one person was shot dead and 10 were wounded after anti-government protesters clashed with supporters of Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Saturday, the first bloodshed in a week of demonstrations aimed at toppling her administration. Fighting intensified after anti-government protesters attacked a bus they believed was full of government "red shirt" supporters. As darkness fell, gunfire erupted outside a sports stadium in Bangkok's Ramkamhaeng area where about 70,000 red-shirted supporters of Yingluck and her brother, ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, had gathered for a rally. A gunman fired into Ramkamhaeng University, where hundreds of anti-government protesters had retreated after trying to block people from entering the stadium, witnesses said.