Nation/World

In brief: Latin Americans to trade ‘sucres’

Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez delivers a speech Saturday after a meeting in Havana, Cuba.  (Associated Press)
Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez delivers a speech Saturday after a meeting in Havana, Cuba. (Associated Press)

Havana – Members of a leftist bloc of nine Latin American nations said Saturday they plan to use a new currency dubbed the “sucre” for trade among themselves starting in January.

No sucres will be printed or coined, but the virtual currency will be used to manage debts between governments while reducing reliance on the U.S. dollar and on Washington in general.

The Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas trade group is holding a two-day summit starting today in the Cuban capital. The group was formed by Venezuela’s self-described socialist president, Hugo Chavez, as an alternative to U.S.-backed free-trade consortiums. Member nations are Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua, Honduras, Ecuador, Bolivia, Antigua and Barbuda, San Vincent and the Grenadines, and Dominica.

Islamists blamed in attack on jail

Manila, Philippines – Dozens of suspected Islamic militants knocked down a concrete wall and barged into a jail in the volatile southern Philippines on Sunday, freeing 31 inmates in a nighttime attack that sparked a gunbattle in which two people were killed, officials said.

The daring assault sparked a brief clash that killed one attacker and a jail guard. The attackers and prisoners fled in several vehicles, an official said.



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