Briefly World: Horsemeat scandal: French firm denies fraud

Horsemeat scandal: French firm denies fraud

PARIS: A French wholesaler at the heart of a growing uproar over horse meat mislabeled as beef and hidden in frozen meals denied any fraud on Friday. Barthelemy Aguerre, the chief of Spanghero, told RTL radio that his company in southern France did receive a lot of horse meat along with beef, "and we didn't touch'' it. He did not provide details or specify whether he reported the horsemeat delivery, saying only, "I will prove my innocence.''

Pak tests n-capable Hatf-II missile

Islamabad: Pakistan Friday successfully tested the nuclear-capable Hatf-II ballistic missile with a range of 180 kms, marking the second test of a missile system in four days as part of measures to evaluate the capabilities of its Strategic Forces.

Republicans delay Hagel vote

WASHINGTON: Republican senators delayed former Senator Chuck Hagel's nomination to be the next US Secretary of Defence at least temporarily in a bold, rare exercise of the Senate's power to block one of the president's choices for his Cabinet. Obama reacted immediately, accusing Republicans of playing politics with the nation at war.

Vatican bank'S NEW chief has military ship links

The Vatican was drawn into a new controversy Friday after acknowledging that its bank's new president, Ernst von Freyberg, is also chairman of a shipbuilder making warships.

When a journalist noted that the von Freyberg chairs Blohm + Voss— a German firm known for its military ship construction — Vatican spokesperson Rev. Federico Lombardi defended the selection. He later issued a statement saying von Freyberg chairs a civilian branch of Blohm + Voss, which repairs and transforms cruise ships.

New Chavez photos released

CARACAS: Venezuela's government showed the first photos of ailing President Hugo Chavez in more than two months on Friday, presenting images of him smiling alongside his daughters while also acknowledging that he is in a "delicate" state fighting cancer.

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