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A police helicopter crashed into a pub in Glasgow and fatalities are likely, Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond said. "I can confirm that it is a police helicopter which has been involved in the tragic accident in Glasgow," Salmond tweeted. Scottish police said two police officers and a civilian pilot were on board the helicopter but said they were "not in a position to confirm any details regarding injuries".
US military chiefs insist they will not change their operations despite a move by China to scramble fighter jets to monitor American and Japanese aircraft in Beijing's newly declared air defence zone. China flew warplanes into its air defence identification zone (ADIZ) on Friday, Chinese state media said, nearly a week after it announced the zone, which covers islands at the centre of a dispute between Beijing and Tokyo, raising regional tensions. The Xinhua report indicated that Japan and the United States are continuing to disregard China's demands that aircraft submit flight plans when traversing the area in the East China Sea or face unspecified "defensive emergency measures".
Individuals seeking to sign up for health coverage on the US government's troubled website were urged to visit the crisis-hit portal during off-peak hours on Friday. In comments which reflect the ongoing problems with the site, which made a calamitous debut last month, US Secretary of Health Kathleen Sebelius said individuals hoping to sign up for health insurance should avoid visiting the site at peak times. The rollout of the website, which in theory should allow every American without health insurance to register for coverage, has been plagued by technical problems since its launch. President Barack Obama's administration had earlier vowed to improve the site's technical failings by November 30, hoping to enable the site to be capable of accommodating 50,000 users at a time.
By Suzanne Barlyn, Phil Wahba, Marina Lopes and Dhanya Skariachan NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. retailers' controversial choice to kick off the U.S. holiday shopping season early, on Thanksgiving, may not pay off as much as they had hoped. Eager to entice cautious consumers, especially with six fewer shopping days this year than in 2012, many retailers launched sales on Thursday's U.S. holiday, traditionally a day for family, friends and football games. Even Macy's Inc's flagship store in New York City opened then for the first time in its 155-year history, at 8 p.m. Some U.S. shoppers played along, hitting the Internet and stores on Thanksgiving. "It's a lot less than I thought," said Alison Goodwin, from Horsham, Pennsylvania, who ventured to an area mall on Friday seeking gifts and maybe something for herself.
By Thomas Grove and Pavel Polityuk KIEV (Reuters) - Ukraine's political opposition said on Friday that President Viktor Yanukovich had 'stolen the dream' of closer integration with Europe as his supporters hailed his decision to spurn a European Union free trade deal. In a sea of blue and gold, the colors of both the EU and Ukrainian flags, some 10,000 protesters chanted "Ukraine is Europe" in Independence Square, the theatre of the Orange Revolution of 2004-5 that thwarted Yanukovich's first presidential bid. The scuffle occurred as police tried to remove passersby near Independence Square to try to clear a pro-EU demonstrator's vehicle from the road.
By Andrew Cawthorne and Daniel Wallis CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro said a stricter wave of inspections for suspected price-gouging would begin on Saturday in an aggressive pre-election "economic offensive" aimed at taming the highest inflation in the Americas. "We're not joking, we're defending the rights of the majority, their economic freedom," Maduro said on Friday, alleging price irregularities were found in nearly 99 percent of 1,705 businesses inspected so far this month. Maduro, who has staked his presidency on preserving the legacy of late socialist leader Hugo Chavez, launched a theatrical - and often televised - wave of inspections this month to force companies to reduce prices. He says "capitalist parasites" are trying to wreck Venezuela's economy and force him from office.
By Justyna Pawlak and Adrian Croft VILNIUS (Reuters) - Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich vetoed last-minute attempts by the European Union to rescue a trade deal that could have been signed at a summit on Friday and would have signaled a historic shift away from Russia, EU diplomats said. Under pressure from Moscow, Yanukovich abandoned plans last week to sign the agreement, preferring closer ties with Ukraine's former Soviet master and dealing a blow to EU efforts to build closer relations with its eastern neighbors. As EU leaders gathered in Vilnius on Thursday for a summit with six countries in eastern Europe and the southern Caucasus, officials from the EU and Ukraine tried to work out a last-minute compromise that could have allowed Yanukovich to sign the trade deal in the near future. EU diplomats told Reuters a preliminary understanding had been reached, but Yanukovich had refused to sign off on it.