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MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay - Uruguay's Senate gave final congressional approval Tuesday to create the world's first national marketplace for legal marijuana, an audacious experiment that will have the government oversee production, sales and consumption of a drug illegal almost everywhere else. The vote was 16 to 13, with the governing Broad Front majority united in favour. The plan now awaits the signature of President Jose Mujica, who wants the market to begin operating next year. Two-thirds of Uruguayans oppose a government-run marijuana industry, according to opinion polls.
MCALESTER, Okla. - Oklahoma on Tuesday executed a man who was convicted of killing two women â€” one 83, the other 93. Ronald Clinton Lott, 53, was pronounced dead at 6:06 p.m. after receiving a lethal injection at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester. Lott was the fifth Oklahoma death row inmate to be executed this year. As the curtains opened, Lott looked over at his brother, who raised his fist and nodded.
KIEV, Ukraine - Police clashed with protesters and tore down their tents in the main square of the Ukrainian capital early Wednesday, in an escalation of a weeks-long standoff threatening the leadership of President Viktor Yanukovych. Several thousand protesters shouted "Shame!" and "We will stand," and sang the Ukrainian national anthem. The protests began in late November when Yanukovych backed away from a pact that would deepen the former Soviet republic's economic ties with the 28-nation EU â€” a pact that surveys showed was supported by nearly half the country's people. The agreement would make Ukraine more Western-oriented and would be a significant loss of face for Russia, which has either controlled or heavily influenced Ukraine for centuries.
DETROIT - Mary Barra has spent the past three years as General Motors' product chief, making cars that drive better, last longer and look good in showrooms. Barra replaces Dan Akerson, who moved up retirement plans by several months to help his wife, Karin, battle advanced cancer. When Barra starts her new job Jan. 15, she will lead a company that's made nearly $20 billion since emerging from bankruptcy in 2010, much of it from the cars and trucks she helped develop. But she still faces challenges in paring down GM's costs and winning over buyers in international markets such as India and South America.
By Emily Stephenson and Douwe Miedema WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. banks will no longer be able to make big trading bets with their own money after regulators finalized on Tuesday a rule shutting down what was a hugely profitable business for Wall Street before the credit crisis. The measure known as the Volcker rule was a late addition to the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law and seeks to ensure that banks can't make speculative trades that are so large and risky that they threaten individual firms or the wider financial system. Former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker had promoted the restriction on proprietary trading as a simple measure to reduce risk, and U.S. officials acknowledged the final version was not as streamlined as they had hoped. Large banks such as Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley have already wound down parts of their trading desks in anticipation of the rule.
By Paul Lienert DETROIT (Reuters) - Until two years ago, Mary Barra, the incoming CEO of General Motors Co , was little known outside the automaker. Barra, a 33-year GM veteran who turns 52 on Christmas Eve, was marked for future success in the company's "Progression and Succession" reviews, annual surveys designed to identify young high-potential employees, former GM executives said. "She was always at the top of that list" in the late 1990s, said Don Hackworth, who retired as head of GM's North American Car Group in 2001. Barra's early identification as a "high-pot" executive led to a job in the corporate suite, as Vice Chairman Harry Pearce's assistant, when she was still in her 30s.
ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - Newfoundland and Labrador will borrow $5 billion over 40 years to help finance the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project, Premier Kathy Dunderdale said Tuesday as she announced that the federal loan guarantee for the development is finalized. Dunderdale made the announcement Tuesday evening during a news conference at the provincial legislature in St. John's. "We are affirming that the Muskrat Falls project is indeed one of the most significant ventures Canada has ever undertaken," Dunderdale said of the $7.7 billion development, which is under construction. She said the completion of the loan guarantee will result in more than $1 billion in savings through lower interest rates and enabled the province to secure a $5 billion loan for the project to be repaid over 40 years at an interest rate of 3.8 per cent.
LONDON, Ont. - After nearly 90 years in London, Ont., Kellogg Co. will shut the doors of its cereal plant by the end of next year, cutting more than 500 full-time jobs. Union president Bob Martin said workers were taken aback by the news, given that they had been working with Kellogg to lower costs. But Martin was doubtful that another plant could replicate the production from London, which makes 27 different varieties of cereal, including Corn Flakes, Frosted Flakes and Raisin Bran. Kelloggâ€™s has been in London since 1924.
By Cameron French TORONTO (Reuters) - Bain Capital, the U.S. private equity firm, has bought a majority stake in Canada Goose Inc, a family-owned company which had been seeking an investor to help it meet demand for its high-end cold-weather gear. The two companies did not disclose the purchase price or the size of the majority stake bought by Bain, but said in a statement on Tuesday that Canada Goose Chief Executive Dani Reiss will remain in his position and maintain a "significant" stake in the company. Canada Goose has built a name on its pricey fur-lined parkas and other winter items, which the company boasts are manufactured in Canada, in spite of higher manufacturing costs than in other locations. In April, the company hired investment bank Canaccord Genuity to find a partner to bring additional equity into the company, with Reiss saying at the time that a minority partner was preferred.