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Venezuela bans most U.S. airlines

CARACAS, Venezuela - Venezuela will prohibit flights by most U.S. airlines starting next week in response to a similar ban placed on some Venezuelan carriers 10 years ago, the government said.

The ban announced late Thursday affects travel on Continental Airlines and Delta Air Lines, while flights by the other major U.S. passenger carrier serving Venezuela, American Airlines, will be restricted.

The United States instituted the ban because of safety violations, and Venezuela said the U.S. has not recognized the improvements it has made since then.

London mayor is punished for Nazi comment

LONDON - A disciplinary panel took the highly unusual step on Friday of suspending the mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, for four weeks to punish him for comparing a Jewish reporter to a Nazi concentration camp guard.

The mayor, no stranger to contentious debate, has refused to apologize to the reporter since the exchange with him after a City Hall party one year ago.

Livingstone said the ruling "strikes at the heart of democracy." The suspension begins Wednesday.

British police recover some cash from heist

LONDON - Detectives investigating what could be the biggest cash robbery in British history recovered a "significant amount" of the money Friday from a van near the heist site, police said.

The robbery Wednesday at a cash storage depot in Tonbridge could have netted as much as $87-million, police estimate.

An undisclosed amount of the money was found in a van parked about 10 miles from Tonbridge.

Elsewhere . . .

MOSCOW ROOF COLLAPSE: The director of Basmanny market, where the roof collapsed, killing at least 61 people, was charged with negligence, prosecutors said Friday, as hope faded for finding more survivors.

MEXICO MINERS: Rescue crews suspended the search for 65 trapped miners for up to three days because of dangerous gas levels, officials said Friday.

BIRD FLU: The European Union's first outbreak of lethal H5N1 bird flu in commercial poultry was confirmed Saturday in France.

THAI GOVERNMENT: Thailand's prime minister dissolved Parliament on Friday, forcing national elections three years early.

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