HAVANA, Cuba – Cuban officials say they are ending a nearly decade-long ban on new licenses for private taxis — and they will even let c...
HAVANA, Cuba – Cuban officials say they are ending a nearly decade-long ban on new licenses for private taxis — and they will even let cabbies set their own fares.
The rules newly published in the official gazette also will allow private jitneys in rural areas, though they will be under greater restrictions than city taxis.
Many car-owning Cubans already offer pirate taxi services, but run the risk of having their cars confiscated if they are caught as well as receiving fines.
The new rules appear to add a dose of the free market to help the communist system's struggling transportation system.
Officials in earlier years cracked down on private taxis, accusing them of fomenting a black market in fuel as well as putting the industry at risk.
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip – Israeli warplanes pounded the homes of Hamas leaders and ground troops edged closer to the Gaza Strip's densely populated urban center Monday, as Israel weighed a decision to escalate its devastating offensive.
Despite the tightening Israeli cordon, militants managed to fire off at least 15 rockets Monday. There were no reports of injuries, though one rocket hit a house in the southern city of Ashkelon.
A few hours after that strike, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert visited Ashkelon and said Israel would end the conflict if rocket fire on Israel stops and Hamas is unable to rearm."Anything else will be met with the Israeli people's iron fist," Olmert said. "We will continue as long as necessary to remove this threat from our heads." Black smoke rose over Gaza City's suburbs, where the two sides skirmished.
SYDNEY – A spate of savage shark attacks in Australia has sent a shiver through summer holidaymakers bombarded with graphic details and claims that the razor-toothed predators are increasingly targeting humans.
Three attacks on swimmers within 24 hours over Sunday and Monday -- just two weeks after a snorkeller was killed -- have fuelled a fevered debate over whether overfishing has put man on the menu. "Humans are next in line on the food chain," veteran shark hunter Vic Hislop told commercial radio. "It will definitely get worse." Experts say there is no scientific evidence to support his claim that reducing the shark's natural prey through overfishing has produced a spike in attacks. But a steady stream of shock reports has won splash headlines and set radio talkback shows buzzing during the annual school holidays:-51 year-old banker Brian Guest disappeared in a turmoil of fins and blood while snorkelling. His body has not been found.