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World news briefs — compiled Nov. 11

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TORONTO

Mayor refuses to go

A defiant Toronto Mayor Rob Ford declared Monday that he intends to stay in office despite immense pressure to step aside after admitting he smoked crack cocaine. “I’m not going anywhere, guaranteed,” Ford told a supporter as he walked back to City Hall after giving a speech during Remembrance Day ceremonies honoring veterans. Later, Ford told reporters, “Let’s get it on,” in response to a question about a motion filed by a City Council member, Denzil Minnan-Wong, who wants the mayor to step aside. A vote on the motion is likely Wednesday. Ford’s refusal to resign or take a leave of absence has frustrated both his opponents and allies on Toronto’s City Council, which has no legal way to force him out unless he’s convicted of a crime.

UNITED NATIONS

Watchdog to fill seats

China, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Vietnam are among the nations running unopposed for seats on the Human Rights Council, the U.N.’s highest rights watchdog body, a prospect that has independent human rights groups crying foul. Today, the General Assembly will elect 14 new members to the 47-seat, Geneva-based council, which can shine a spotlight of publicity and censure on rights abuses by adopting resolutions — when it chooses to do so. It also has dozens of special monitors watching problem countries and major issues ranging from executions to drone strikes. New York-based Human Rights Watch pointed out that five of the candidates — China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam and Algeria — have refused to let independent U.N. human rights monitors visit to investigate alleged abuses.

VENEZUELA

Citizens jam stores

Throngs of Venezuelans stood in lines outside appliance stores for a fourth day on Monday after President Nicolas Maduro deployed the army to force retailers to slash prices. After taking control of several appliance stores last week, Maduro vowed late Sunday to step up inspections of businesses selling shoes, clothes, automobiles and other goods to make sure they aren’t gouging consumers. Maduro is gambling that by expanding price controls he can regain support he has lost since winning election in April, as inflation soared to 54 percent.

Compiled from wire reports.


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