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Detroit police, fire retirees reach pension deal: court mediators

(Reuters) - Detroit reached a deal with a group representing police and fire retirees over the treatment of pensions and health care benefits, U.S. Bankruptcy Court mediators announced on Tuesday. Under the deal, police and fire retired worker pensions would not be decreased, but cost-of-living increases would be cut in half, according to a court statement. It added that a separate voluntary employee beneficiary association plan or VEBA will be established for retiree health care.

Jordanian ambassador seized in Libya, kidnappers demand prisoner release

By Feras Bosalum and Suleiman Al-Khalidi TRIPOLI/AMMAN (Reuters) - Jordan's ambassador to Libya was kidnapped on Tuesday by gunmen who demanded an Islamist militant be released from a Jordanian jail in exchange for the diplomat's freedom. The masked gunmen shot and wounded the driver of Ambassador Fawaz al-Itan's car as they snatched the diplomat from a street in the capital Tripoli, Libya's Foreign Ministry said.

Venezuela set for new crisis talks

Venezuela's government and opposition will sit down Tuesday for a new round of talks aimed at ending two months of deadly protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation. Vice President Jorge Arreaza will preside over the meeting with the Democratic Unity (MUD) coalition, which agreed to begin the talks last week under the auspices of South American nations and the Vatican. Anti-government protests have rattled Venezuela since February, leaving at least 41 people dead and more than 600 injured, with opposing sides trading blame for the violence.

Time to raise - or scrap - the Social Security payroll tax cap

By Mark Miller CHICAGO (Reuters) - It's Tax Day, and a small number of wealthy Americans have something to celebrate: They are done paying Social Security taxes for the year.

France's Hollande would lose election vs. Sarkozy, Le Pen: poll

PARIS (Reuters) - French President Francois Hollande would be beaten at the polls by both his center-right predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy and far-right rival Marine Le Pen if he ran for re-election this week, an opinion survey showed on Tuesday. Hollande's popularity has plummeted to record lows since he came to power two years ago, with voters increasingly frustrated about his failure to kickstart economic growth and bring down an unemployment rate stuck above 10 percent.

Officer dies in helicopter crash as Iraq violence kills 7

A senior army officer died when his helicopter crashed due to a malfunction, the defence ministry said, as violence in Iraq killed seven people on Tuesday. Iraq is suffering a protracted surge in violence that has claimed more than 2,550 lives this year. The heightened unrest has been driven mainly by widespread anger among the Sunni Arab minority, who say they are mistreated by the Shiite-led government and security forces. It has also been fuelled by the civil war in neighbouring Syria.

Suspected Greek neo-Nazis get life for murdering Pakistani

Two suspected members of Greek neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn were sentenced Tuesday to life in prison over the fatal stabbing of a Pakistani immigrant last year, a judicial source said. However, the Athens court judging the case threw out the prosecution's argument that the murder of 27-year-old Shehzad Luqman in January 2013 was racially motivated.

BlackBerry says partnership with health-care company Nanthealth offers growth

BlackBerry (TSX:BB) is reaching into the health-care sector with the purchase of a minority stake in U.S.-based technology company NantHealth. The Waterloo, Ont.-based smartphone company said the partnership will collaborate on various projects that include a new BlackBerry device designed for the medical industry and an operating system that links medical devices to NantHealth's cloud-based networks. All of the infrastructure will be government-level privacy certified and allow health-care professionals to share information securely, it said.

U.N. finds fear-mongering by Russian speakers in Ukraine

By Tom Miles and Stephanie Nebehay GENEVA (Reuters) - Ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine have falsely claimed to be under assault to justify Russian intervention, the U.N. human rights office said on Tuesday in a report that warned of an impact on the May 25 election if propaganda persisted. Russia declared Ukraine on the brink of civil war on Tuesday as Kiev said an "anti-terrorist operation" against pro-Moscow separatists was under way, with troops and armored personnel carriers seen near a flashpoint eastern town.

'Civil war' warning for Ukraine as troops, tanks push east

Russia warned on Tuesday that Ukraine was on the brink of "civil war" after Kiev's leaders pushed troops and tanks toward a flashpoint eastern city to counter a separatist surge backed by Moscow. The 20 tanks and armoured personnel carriers were the most forceful response yet by Kiev's Western-backed government to the pro-Kremlin militants' occupation of state buildings in nearly 10 cities across Ukraine's rust belt. Ukrainian forces set up a cement road barrier and began checking traffic leading to Slavyansk while fighters and attack helicopters circled overhead.
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