Raul Castro stirs curiosity
Cuban President Raul Castro has unexpectedly raised the possibility of leaving his post, saying Friday that he is old and has a right to retire. But he did not say when he might do so or if such a move was imminent. The Cuban leader is scheduled to be named by parliament to a new five-year term Sunday, and Castro urged reporters to listen to his speech that day. “I am going to resign,” Castro said at a joint appearance with visiting Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, an enigmatic smile on his face. It was not clear whether he was joking. “I am going to be 82 years old,” Castro added. “I have the right to retire, don’t you think?” In Washington, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland had no comment on Castro’s remarks.
Horse meat plant closes
A slaughterhouse has been caught labeling horse meat as beef and shipping it to the Czech Republic, Ireland’s government said Friday, in the latest crackdown on alleged fraud in Europe’s month-old scandal. No other European government has pinpointed a single slaughterhouse that was mislabeling horse meat as beef. Until now, any companies found selling meat products containing hidden amounts of horse have insisted they were duped by others, while suspected slaughterhouses have insisted they either did not handle horses or labeled all horse-meat exports correctly. But Ireland said its fraud detectives have identified the practice at a small slaughterhouse in County Tipperary that is licensed to debone both cows and horses, and immediately shut down the facility.
Athens awash in storms
Torrential rainfall in Greece’s capital Friday crippled traffic, inundated basements and streets, and was blamed for the death of woman whose car was trapped in floodwater, authorities said. The overnight storm swept across greater Athens, flooding hundreds of homes, causing blackouts in parts of the city and forcing authorities to close major roads and a central subway station in Athens. Police closed underpasses and highways in low-lying parts of the city after they were submerged, while parked cars were swept away.
Compiled from wire reports.