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Argentina's Kirchner back at helm in cabinet reshuffle

Argentina's President Cristina Kirchner was back at work Monday after a six-week medical leave, and promptly chose a new economy minister. After convalescing following surgery for a blood clot on her brain, Kirchner, 60, was "carrying out her duties at the Olivos (presidential) residence" on Buenos Aires' north end, the government said on its website. She held meetings with Vice President Amado Boudou, who stood in for her leading the administration until Monday.

AFP 0900 GMT News Advisory

Duty Editor: Lachlan Carmichael Tel: +33 1 -- TOP STORIES -- + Philippines monster storm toll tops 100 + Iran nuclear talks stretch into third day + Russia plans Olympic torch spacewalk odyssey Philippines-weather-typhoon,WRAP TACLOBAN, Philippines Super Typhoon Haiyan, one of the strongest on record, kills more than 100 people as savage winds and giant waves flatten communities across the Philippines while corpses lie amid the devastation.

Argentina releases 'blacklists' compiled by dictatorship

Argentina on Thursday released blacklists, including writer Julio Cortazar and folk singer Mercedes Sosa, found among a trove of newly discovered documents from the country's 1976 to 1983 military dictatorship. The list contains the names of 285 artists, actors, journalists and others given the designation "Formula 4" by the junta, according to the country's defense ministry. The label singled out those seen as unfit for government jobs, state aid or subsidies because of alleged Marxist leanings.

Rio club has hit with Che Guevara shirt

By Andrew Downie SAO PAULO (Reuters) - A Brazilian soccer club has won fans and commercial success with a new strip featuring the face of Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara. Madureira, a third division team from Rio de Janeiro's gritty north side, put Che's famously bearded face on their seven-a-side shirts to commemorate a tour of the island they made 50 years ago. The goalkeeper's jersey is designed exactly like the Cuban flag.

Forgotten tapes by writer Borges unearthed in Spain

Hours of forgotten tape recordings of the master Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges have turned up in Spain and may soon be published, his widow and associates said on Tuesday. The recordings contain five hours of lectures given in 1965 by Borges, who was seen as one of the most important writers of last century. The talks in Buenos Aires were recorded by a Spaniard who brought them back to Spain but they did not come to wide attention until a few months ago, when they were handed in to the Casa del Lector, a cultural institute in Madrid.

DR Congo rebel leader calls on fighters to lay down arms

The leader of the Democratic Republic of Congo's M23 rebels on Sunday urged his fighters to lay down arms against army troops waging an offensive against them in the country's troubled east. The call came with the rebels on the back foot as DR Congo troops pounded hilltop positions where die-hard fighters have holed up after being forced from their last stronghold this week. "We order all the forces of the Congolese revolutionary army to immediately end hostilities with the armed forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo," M23 president Bertrand Bisimwa said in a statement.

Brazilian tycoon Eike Batista's oil company files for bankruptcy

Brazilian tycoon Eike Batista's OGX oil company filed for bankruptcy protection.

Cuba's Tower of Babel gives free medical education

On a beach outside Havana stands the crown jewel of Cuba's renowned international program of medical education, training 13,000 students from around the world free of charge. "Studying medicine was my life's dream. But for a poor family like mine, that was impossible," 18-year-old Merady Gomez of Honduras told AFP at the Latin American School of Medicine (ELAM). "Here, I am making my dream come true, and I have high hopes of being able to help my country. This school is a blessing."

Calif. officials: Elder care home where 14 patients were left behind had numerous violations

CASTRO VALLEY, Calif. - Officials say numerous violations had been found at a California assisted living site that left 14 sick and elderly patients behind last week after it was shut down by the state. The state Department of Social Services told the Contra Costa Times ( ) in a story Sunday that one patient who was not supposed to be let outside went missing twice in October before Valley Springs Manor in Castro Valley was shuttered.

Fernandez coalition loses clout but keeps majority in midterm

By Hugh Bronstein BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentine leader Cristina Fernandez's allies took a beating in Sunday's midterm election, shrinking her congressional majority, snuffing out chances of a constitutional change to allow her a third term and kicking off the contest to succeed her in 2015. Voters chose half of the lower house of Congress and a third of the Senate in Sunday's midterm.
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