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US private hiring picks up in March

US businesses added 191,000 jobs in March, returning to the level of job growth seen in December before bad winter weather hit the economy, payrolls firm ADP said Wednesday. March job growth in the private sector was slightly above the 12-month average, but came in well below the consensus forecast of 215,000 net new jobs. The February number was revised up by 39,000 to 178,000 jobs.

Cameroon releases minister suspected of embezzling public funds

YAOUNDE (Reuters) - A Cameroon minister has been release from jail a day after he was arrested and remanded in custody on suspected embezzlement of public funds, the Central African Nation's government spokesman said on Tuesday. Louis Bapes Bapes, minister for secondary education, was arrested on Monday on instructions from a judge of the country's Special Criminal Tribunal. The court was created in 2012 to try officials suspected of embezzling sums equal or above 50 million CFA francs ($105,100).

Mike Harcourt quits B.C. New Democrats after party 'blunders' and mistakes

VANCOUVER - Former British Columbia New Democrat premier Mike Harcourt has given up his party membership in a split he says was more in sorrow than in anger. Harcourt said Tuesday that the decision not to renew his membership came after a combination of mistakes made by the party and its leaders.

Mike Harcourt quits B.C. New Democrats after party 'blunders' and mistakes

VANCOUVER - Former British Columbia New Democrat premier Mike Harcourt has given up his party membership in a split he says was more in sorrow than in anger. Harcourt said Tuesday that the decision not to renew his membership came after a combination of mistakes made by the party and its leaders.

European ministers take sobering look at social impact of crisis

By John O'Donnell ATHENS (Reuters) - The economic crisis in Europe put 6 million people out of work and driven others into poverty, according to a think-tank study looking into the social impact of the slump that was examined by European finance ministers for the first time on Tuesday. As host, Greece, the first euro zone country to be bailed out during the crisis, put it on the agenda of the regular meeting of EU finance ministers that has more usually focused on appeasing financial markets with tough spending reforms.

India court commutes death penalty for 1993 car bomber

India's Supreme Court Monday spared a Sikh militant convicted of a deadly car bombing two decades ago from execution, citing his mental illness and lengthy delays in deciding on his plea for mercy. The court commuted Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar's death sentence to life in jail in the latest such decision since a landmark ruling placed new restrictions on executing prisoners in the world's biggest democracy.

Northwestern football players can unionize, federal agency says in precedent-setting decision

CHICAGO - In a stunning ruling that could revolutionize college sports, a federal agency said Wednesday that football players at Northwestern University can create the nation's first union of college athletes. The decision by a regional director of the National Labor Relations Board answered the question at the very heart of the debate of the unionization bid: The football players who receive full scholarships to the Big Ten school, the agency found, do qualify as employees under federal law and therefore can legally unionize.

Ford predicts 'knockout' in first televised debate of Toronto mayoral campaign

TORONTO - Toronto Mayor Rob Ford says he's ready for tonight's first televised debate in this year's mayoral campaign — and jokes that he's expecting to win by a knockout. When asked today for his prediction about the debate with the top four challengers for his job, Ford laughingly responded "a knockout in the first 15 seconds."

Manitoba politicians will vote on opposition push for inquiry into minister

WINNIPEG - Manitoba politicians will vote next month on an opposition push for an inquiry into former NDP cabinet minister Christine Melnick. Tory house leader Kelvin Goertzen gave notice Wednesday that he will introduce a motion after next week's spring break to have a legislature committee set up to conduct the probe. The committee, which would have people testify under oath, would determine whether Melnick or Premier Greg Selinger is telling the truth about a controversial immigration debate in April 2012 that was criticized by the ombudsman.

Manitoba politicians will vote on opposition push for inquiry into minister

WINNIPEG - Manitoba politicians will vote next month on an opposition push for an inquiry into former NDP cabinet minister Christine Melnick. Tory house leader Kelvin Goertzen gave notice Wednesday that he will introduce a motion after next week's spring break to have a legislature committee set up to conduct the probe. The committee, which would have people testify under oath, would determine whether Melnick or Premier Greg Selinger is telling the truth about a controversial immigration debate in April 2012 that was criticized by the ombudsman.
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