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Gabriel Garcia Marquez, master of magical realism, dies at 87 MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the Colombian author whose beguiling stories of love and longing brought Latin America to life for millions of readers and put magical realism on the literary map, died on Thursday. He was 87. A prolific writer who started out as a newspaper reporter, Garcia Marquez's masterpiece was "One Hundred Years of Solitude," a dream-like, dynastic epic that helped him win the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982.

China shoe factory strike shows welfare Achilles' heel

By John Ruwitch DONGGUAN, China (Reuters) - Zhou Hujun, one of thousands of shoe factory workers on strike in southern China, drove his motorbike to the local government's Social Security Department seeking answers. After a few minutes, he left clutching spreadsheets that just raised more questions.

US city flushes reservoir after man urinates in it

The US city of Portland, Oregon, is ditching 38 million gallons of drinking water from a reservoir after a teenager was caught on camera urinating into it, officials said Thursday. The water -- enough to fill nearly 60 Olympic-size swimming pools, according to reports -- will be discarded despite tests finding no evidence of contamination. The 19-year old man, seen with two friends carrying skateboards in the early hours Wednesday, was filmed urinating through an iron fence into the reservoir in southeast Portland shortly after 1:00 am.

In Iraq shootings, gov't says its case against a former Blackwater guard is in jeopardy

WASHINGTON - The government says its criminal case against a former Blackwater security guard is in jeopardy as a June 11 trial looms on charges stemming from the shootings of dozens of Iraqi citizens in an incident in Baghdad nearly seven years ago. Nicholas Slatten and three other former Blackwater guards are charged in the Sept. 16, 2007, killings of 14 Iraqi citizens and the wounding of 18 others.

Obama says health law is working, private insurance enrollment at 8 million

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama delivered a vigorous defense of his signature healthcare law on Thursday, saying private insurance enrollment under it has reached 8 million people and faulting Republicans for failing to agree with him that "this thing is working." The White House separately offered up statistics showing that 28 percent of those who signed up are between the ages of 18 and 34 years old.

Rio workers end strike but issue pay talks warning

By Rodrigo De Miguel and Pedro Fonseca RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Workers at the main venue for the 2016 Olympics ended a two-week strike on Thursday but a full return to work will only come next week and they will strike again if pay talks prove fruitless, union officials said. The first of about 2,500 workers returned to Rio de Janeiro's Olympic Park on Thursday morning after contractors agreed to increase the value of the daily lunch vouchers given to each employee.

Hotel magnate pleads guilty to U.S. campaign contribution scheme

By Nate Raymond NEW YORK (Reuters) - A prominent hotel executive in New York pleaded guilty on Thursday to conspiring to make $188,000 of illegal campaign contributions to three U.S. candidates via straw donors. Sant Singh Chatwal, chairman of Hampshire Hotels Management, pleaded guilty in federal court in Brooklyn, New York, to criminal charges of conspiring to violate the Federal Election Campaign Act and witness tampering.

US-MUSIC Summary

Rapper Jay Z brings 'Made in America' music fest to Los Angeles

Global shares edge higher on U.S. data; dollar gains

By Sam Forgione NEW YORK (Reuters) - Global equity markets rose on Thursday, boosted by solid U.S. economic data and upbeat results from some U.S. companies, including General Electric, while the dollar rose after a joint call by major powers for an end to the fighting in Ukraine.

Rihanna settles multimillion-dollar lawsuit with ex-accountants

By Joseph Ax NEW YORK (Reuters) - Pop star Rihanna has agreed to settle a lawsuit with her former accountants accusing them of mismanaging her finances and costing her millions of dollars, lawyers for the parties told a federal judge on Thursday. The terms of the deal were not disclosed during a brief hearing before U.S. District Judge Kevin Castel in New York. Lawyers for Rihanna and for the defendants, accounting firm Berdon and former employees Michael Mitnick and Peter Gounis, declined to comment.
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