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Latin America Caribbean

  • Carmen Wilkerson ran for mayor of St. George with one clear goal in mind for the tiny Missouri town: Get rid of it. In 2008, St. George _ known as a local speed trap _ had spent $200,000 more than it took into its coffers, according to county records. In its budget woes, St. George is far from alone.

  • HAVANA-- Cuba shuttered hundreds of medical facilities last year, including 54 hospitals, as the country reorganizes its health care sector. Cuba is proud of the universal, free health system installed after Fidel Castro's 1959 revolution, but his younger brother and successor Raul Castro has stressed that medical care must be more efficient and less wasteful.

  • PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad-- Former world soccer vice president Jack Warner has forbidden the release of crime reports and statistics in his capacity as Trinidad's national security minister, saying that publicizing such information encourages people to commit more crime.

  • ISSAQUAH, Wash.-- Costco is drawing more shoppers and signing up more new members, helping the wholesale club operator's fiscal fourth-quarter net income and revenue climb. Consumers have been drawn to stores like Costco, BJ's Wholesale Club and Sam's Club because they feel like they are getting bargains by purchasing items in bulk.

  • KINGSTON, Jamaica-- The two houses of Jamaica's Parliament held a special joint sitting Tuesday to honor former Prime Minister Edward Seaga, a major player in national politics for decades and the only survivor of the leaders who drafted the constitution when the Caribbean island gained independence from Britain in 1962..

  • RIO DE JANEIRO-- The one-time right-hand-man of popular former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was found guilty on a corruption charge by a majority of 10 Supreme Court justices Tuesday, who ruled he orchestrated a widespread cash-for-votes scheme that came to light seven years ago.

  • BRUSSELS, Oct 10- The European Union said on Wednesday it had reduced the duties imposed on screws and bolts from China after the World Trade Organisation found flaws in the way they were initially calculated. China is a subject in 21 of the European Commission's 41 ongoing investigations into subsidies and dumping.

  • ISSAQUAH, Wash.-- Shoppers continue to head to Costco in search of deals, helping the wholesale club operator's fiscal fourth-quarter net income and revenue climb. Consumers have been drawn to stores like Costco, BJ's Wholesale Club and Sam's Club because they feel like they are getting bargains by purchasing items in bulk.

  • FALMOUTH, Jamaica-- Tourists emerge by the hundreds from a towering, 16- deck megaship docked at the Caribbean's newest cruise port. That's not the way townspeople in the old Jamaican sugar port of Falmouth were told it would be.

  • ISLAND ISOLATION: Jamaica's port authority and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. pitched the port of Falmouth as a place where passengers would dive into the historic city for "a wraparound experience not unlike Colonial Williamsburg." But their dollars have been kept at a distance.

  • JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.-- Businesses affiliated with the husband of Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill have received almost $40 million in federal subsidies for low-income housing developments during her first five years in office, though it appears only fraction of that has made it to the family's bank accounts, according to an Associated Press analysis.

  • *Piracy common in West Africa's waters. ATHENS, Oct 9- Pirates freed a Greek-operated gasoline tanker on Tuesday that they had hijacked over the weekend in the Gulf of Guinea, the operator of the Bahamas- flagged ship said, adding that the crew were all safe. Pirate attacks are on the rise in the Gulf of Guinea, which is second only to the waters around Somalia for piracy.

  • PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti-- Haiti's government wants to raise $100 million for a special education fund by putting additional taxes on alcohol, cigarettes and gambling, the Caribbean nation's prime minister said Monday.

  • Since the Sept. 25 recall of three lots of a steroid produced by a Massachusetts company, the outbreak has spread to nine states and 105 patients, with eight people killed, the Centers for Disease Control said.

  • HONG KONG/ SINGAPORE, October 09 Fitch Ratings has downgraded and simultaneously withdrawn the rating on the notes of Corsair No.4 Limited Series 6 due to tranche default. The transaction is a synthetic corporate CDO referencing corporate obligations mainly in the U.S. and Europe.

  • NASHVILLE, Tenn., Oct 8- About 13,000 people in 23 U.S. states may have received steroid injections linked to a rare fungal meningitis outbreak that has killed eight people, but far fewer are likely to contract the disease, the Centers for Disease Control said on Monday.

  • *Congressman says Coast Guard in "death spiral". *Coast Guard fleet one of world's oldest. Signs of out-of-date gear were clear aboard the 270- foot cutter Tahoma, now hauled out of the water to undergo an 11- month makeover at Baltimore's Coast Guard yard.

  • CARACAS, Venezuela-- President Hugo Chavez put to rest any doubts about his masterful political touch in winning a third consecutive six-year term after a bitterly fought race against a youthful rival who has galvanized Venezuela's opposition.

  • *Petronet may join GAIL if it gets Repsol's LNG assets. NEW DELHI, Oct 8- India's Petronet LNG has allowed gas firm GAIL to use annually 2.5 million tonnes capacity at Petronet's liquefied natural gas plant at Dahej in western India for importing the fuel, its chief executive A. K. Balyan said on Monday.

  • ATHENS, Oct 8- The Greek manager of a Bahamas- flagged tanker carrying more than 32,000 metric tonnes of gasoline reported the vessel missing on Monday after it left Abidjan in the Ivory Coast unexpectedly in the early hours of Saturday. The tanker Orfeas, crewed by two Greeks and 22 Filipinos, had been expected to discharge its cargo at Abidjan.