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Benin freed a former militant leader from Nigeria's oil-rich Delta region on Friday after a personal intervention by Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, a government spokesman said. Mujahid Dobubo-Asari had been arrested in the West African nation's capital Cotonou on Tuesday. Like Jonathan, Asari is from the Ijaw ethnic group. He is best known for staging attacks on oil infrastructure in the swampy creeks of OPEC member Nigeria that drove up oil prices to record highs in 2004.
By Adama Diarra BAMAKO (Reuters) - Separatist Tuareg rebels said on Friday they were ending a five-month-old ceasefire with Mali's government and taking up arms following violence in the northern city of Kidal. "The political and military wings of the Azawad (MNLA, MAA and HCUA) declare the lifting of the ceasefire with the central government in Bamako," said a statement by Attaye Ag Mohamed, one of the founders of the MNLA groups. A French-led military offensive routed the Islamists but tension remains between the central government and Tuareg separatists demanding an independent homeland they call Azawad.
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. The holiday shopping incidents also included a suspected shoplifter shot by police in a Chicago suburb and a woman spitting on another woman's child in an argument over baby clothes.
Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey has indicated he would resist the government taking a stake in Qantas, in comments reported on Saturday, after calling for a debate on the national carrier's future. A government buyback of 5 or 10 percent of Qantas has been suggested as a measure to help the airline if there is to be no lifting of current foreign ownership restrictions on it, but Hockey appeared cool on the idea. "Of course, the government is very, very reluctant to own an airline," the Treasurer told The Weekend Australian newspaper. Qantas claims that it operates on an uneven playing field against rival Virgin Australia, which is now majority-owned by state-backed carriers Singapore Airlines, Air New Zealand and Abu Dhabi-based Etihad.
Jordan Crawford notched a triple-double with 11 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists as the Boston Celtics routed the Cleveland Cavaliers 103-86 in an NBA contest. Jeff Green poured in 31 points and Avery Bradley scored 21 for Boston, who shot 61 percent in the first quarter as they powered to an 18-point lead. Brandon Bass and Jared Sullinger had 12 points apiece for the Celtics, who never trailed in snapping a four-game home losing streak. Dion Waiters came off the bench to score 21 points for Cleveland, who have lost five in a row and eight of their last nine games.
Local media reported that police shot a suspected shoplifter in Chicago, while a man was stabbed in Virginia in a fight over a parking spot at a branch of the Walmart retail giant. In New Boston, Ohio, a woman was "knocked down" at a Walmart and took herself to the hospital, a police officer said. Police in Las Vegas said a shopper leaving a store with a television set was shot by a thief while in Rialto, California, a police officer was injured trying to break up a fight in a carpark. Walmart meanwhile found itself the target of protests in Chicago, Dallas and other cities over low pay.
BEIJING (AP) — The United States advised U.S. carriers to comply with China's demand that it be told of any flights passing through its new maritime air defense zone over the East China Sea, an area where Beijing said it launched two fighter planes to investigate a dozen American and Japanese reconnaissance and military flights.