World/nation briefs

  • Updated: December 2, 2012 - 10:00 PM

NEW YORK

UBS said to be near deal on rate-rigging

UBS, the Swiss banking giant, is close to reaching settlements with U.S. and British authorities over the manipulation of interest rates, the New York Times reported Sunday. It's the latest case in a multiyear investigation that has rattled the financial industry and spurred a public outcry for broad reform. UBS is expected to pay more than $450 million to settle claims that some employees reported false rates to increase its profit, according to officials briefed on the matter who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Delta is in talks to buy Virgin Airways stake

Delta Air Lines is in talks to buy Singapore Airlines' 49 percent stake in Virgin Atlantic Airways, in an effort to bolster its international operations, particularly flights between New York and London, a person briefed on the matter told the New York Times. A deal would be Delta's most significant strategic move since its 2010 merger with Northwest Airlines, which made it the biggest American carrier at the time.

CALIFORNIA

Third storm drenches northern region

Residents of Northern California endured the brunt of another powerful storm that drenched the area with yet more pounding rain and strong winds, but damage from the storm was less than expected. The latest storm -- the third in less than a week -- moved across the region late Saturday and early Sunday, dropping as much as an inch of rain per hour in some areas, toppling trees and knocking out electrical service to tens of thousands of people.

MARYLAND

Trial postponed in WikiLeaks case

Pfc. Bradley Manning's trial on whether he gave classified documents to WikiLeaks has been postponed about a month to allow more time for pretrial proceedings. The judge announced the delay at a hearing at Fort Meade, outside Washington. Manning's trial, which had been set to begin Feb. 4, will be pushed back to mid-March. Manning, who was an intelligence analyst in Baghdad in 2009 and 2010, is accused of sending more than 250,000 diplomatic cables to WikiLeaks.

SYRIA

Assad's forces pound capital Damascus

Syrian forces bombarded rebel strongholds in part of the capital city of Damascus, and a car bomb exploded in the central Syrian city of Homs, as fierce fighting between government troops and rebels continued unabated. The extraordinary assault on the outskirts of the nation's capital was the most intense fighting in four months, as government troops tried to stall rebels from advancing further into the seat of power held by Syrian President Bashar Assad.

MEXICO

New president signs economic deal

Newly inaugurated President Enrique Pena Nieto and top opposition leaders have signed an agreement to increase Mexico's economic growth, employment and competitiveness. The leaders of the conservative National Action Party and the leftist Democratic Revolution Party joined Pena Nieto in Mexico City in signing the "Pact for Mexico." It includes education reform, pensions for people 65 and older, and concessions for two new national TV stations.

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