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Toronto's crack-smoking mayor faced new embarrassment Thursday when video footage was published showing him in an agitated drunken state, staggering and making foul-mouthed threats.

Rob Ford, who admitted earlier this week that he had smoked crack cocaine while on a drunken binge, said he had been "extremely, extremely inebriated" when the video was shot.

"It's extremely embarrassing and I don't know what to say," Ford told reporters outside his office, after seeing the one minute 17 second clip.

"The whole world is going to see it. You know what? I don't have a problem with that," he added.

The video was purchased and released by the daily Toronto Star. It shows Ford staggering around an unknown living room, ranting and making punching gestures.

"I'll rip his fucking throat out. I'll poke his eyes out... I'll make sure that motherfucker's dead," Ford says, in a tirade apparently secretly videotaped by someone in the room.

"I'm gonna kill that fucking guy. I'm telling you, it's first-degree murder," he says.

This video's release comes after Ford on Tuesday admitted that he once smoked crack "probably in one of my drunken stupors."

The admission by the 44-year-old came after repeated denials, and six months after another video surfaced that allegedly showed him consuming the illicit drug.

The crack video is now in police hands part of an investigation of Ford's longtime friend Alexander Lisi for extortion, related to Lisi's attempts to recover that video.

Police are also expected to soon release possibly damning wiretaps in the Lisi case, after a court ordered authorities to do so.

But Toronto's police chief has refused to release the crack video, saying it is part of the Lisi criminal investigation.

Toronto's police chief, however, has refused to release the crack video as it is part of a criminal investigation of a Ford friend.

"This is very disturbing and very upsetting," city Councillor James Pasternak said of the latest Ford video controversy.

"It is very sad, and it's conduct unbecoming of a chief magistrate, and it's just another disappointment."

Later Toronto City Council is expected to vote on a motion asking for the provincial government of Ontario to step in and remove Ford from office if he does not heed urging to step aside.

The province's premier however has already said she would not step in, preferring to let police and the courts deal with the matter for now.

Pasternak, while generally supportive of attempts to oust the mayor, cautioned fellow councillors that having the province "come in and run the country's largest city is a dangerous and risky precedent.



The euro rebounded in Asia trade on Wednesday on hopes for fresh European Central Bank easing policies after officials downgraded their eurozone growth forecasts for next year.

The pick-up follows days of selling pressure for the unit, which began falling last week after data showed inflation at a four-year low.

After suffering early selling pressure the single currency climbed to $1.3501 and 133.04 yen in Tokyo afternoon trade, up from $1.3474 and 132.76 yen in New York Tuesday. The currency is well down from the $1.3787 and 134.40 yen before last week's inflation data.

The dollar was at 98.54 yen, from 98.53 yen in New York where it had won support from better-than-expected US services sector data.

On Tuesday, European officials said the eurozone economy would grow 1.1 percent next year, slower than the 1.2 percent it forecast in May. They also kept their estimate of a 0.4 percent contraction this year.

The figures -- along with data showing inflation surprisingly fell to just 0.7 percent -- dented hopes about a strong recovery in the debt-wracked bloc but fuelled speculation the ECB would cut already record-low interest rates at its policy meeting Thursday. Lower interest rates tend to weigh on currencies.

"Since the ECB looks uncomfortable with a recent rally in the euro above $1.38, the ECB President Mario Draghi is unlikely to say something that can be taken as denying the odds of a future rate cut," Marito Ueda, managing director at FX Prime Corp., told Dow Jones Newswires.

The dollar advanced in late Asian trade Wednesday after reports on Toyota's upgrading outlook for the annual operating profit boosted the stock prices and encouraged buying of the US unit.

Dollar trading was focused on upbeat US services sector figures on Tuesday, which pointed to a pickup in the world's biggest economy.



Easing pressure on Iran over its nuclear programme at this stage would be a "historic mistake," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday.

"It would be a historic mistake to ease the pressure on Iran a moment before the sanctions achieve their objective," he said at the opening of the Israeli parliament's winter session.

In remarks a day before world powers hold a fresh round of talks with Iran over its nuclear programme, which Israel and much of the West believes is a front for building a weapons capacity, Netanyahu issued a stark warning over any move to ease sanctions.

"Particularly at this moment we must not give up on them, we must keep up the pressure," he said.



Toyota on Friday unveiled the next generation of cars featuring an auto pilot system that will swerve to avoid collisions and also keep to the middle of the road, all without drivers touching the wheel.

The Japanese giant autos using the self-driving technology could be available on the market in just a few years' time.

"These advanced driving support technologies prevent human errors, reduce driving stress and help drivers avert accidents, which has a big potential to reduce the number of traffic deaths," Toyota managing director Moritaka Yoshida said at a presentation in Tokyo.

Leading automakers and technology firms, including Toyota, rival Nissan and Internet giant Google, have been working on self-driving and assisted-driving technology for years.

Toyota, the world's biggest automaker, said that while drivers would still need to be alert and take part in the driving process, it essentially lets them put the vehicle on auto-pilot, leaving most of the work to the computer system.





Russian investigators on Wednesday formally charged two of 30 Greenpeace campaigners detained for two months over an open-sea protest against Arctic oil drilling with piracy, an activist said.

"The first two activists have been charged with piracy," Mikhail Kreindlin, a representative of Greenpeace, told AFP. "These activists are from Brazil and Britain."

President Vladimir Putin last week raised hopes that the activists would face lesser charges when he said that they "are not pirates", but had nonetheless broken international law by protesting close to a Russian oil rig.




European stock markets slid Monday after heavy falls in Tokyo, as investors reacted to a budgetary impasse in Washington and political unease in Italy, sending the country's bank shares crashing.

London's benchmark FTSE 100 index dropped 0.67 percent to 6,468.75 points in morning deals, the CAC 40 in Paris shed 0.87 percent to 4,150.44 points and Frankfurt's DAX 30 declined 0.64 percent to 8,606.18.

In Italy, the FTSE Mib lost 1.56 percent to 17,371.47 points compared with Friday's closing value.

The rate of return demanded by investors on 10-year Italian government bonds meanwhile rose to 4.598 percent from 4.416 percent on Friday.

"On the continent, the real story centres around the heavyweight Italian banks, with Unicredit and Intesa Sanpaolo dropping more than four percent at the open as the farcical political situation causes further wobbles for the Italian markets," said CMC Markets trader Nick Dale-Lace.

Recession-hit Italy is braced for a showdown between Prime Minister Enrico Letta and billionaire tycoon Silvio Berlusconi.

After weeks of bickering, Berlusconi on Saturday said he was pulling his party's five ministers out of a fragile coalition government with the left and called for early elections as soon as possible for the embattled eurozone nation.

In reaction, the euro was down to $1.3498 from $1.3519 late on Friday in New York. The dollar slid to 97.81 yen from 98.24 Friday.

Tokyo's stock market dived 2.06 percent on Monday as the dollar dropped sharply against the yen on concerns about a budgetary stand-off in Washington that threatens to shut down parts of the government.



Somalia's Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab rebels on Saturday claimed responsibility for an attack on a shopping mall in Nairobi, saying on Twitter it was in retaliation for Kenya's military intervention in Somalia.

"The Mujahideen entered #Westgate Mall today at around noon and are still inside the mall, fighting the #Kenyan Kuffar (infidels) inside their own turf," the Islamist militants said on Twitter.

"What Kenyans are witnessing at #Westgate is retributive justice for crimes committed by their military," the group said.

Shebab claimed that its fighters had killed 100 people in the attack.





Western powers were poised Tuesday to press their efforts for a UN resolution to rid Syria of chemical weapons, one day after a report by the world body describing a "chilling" sarin gas attack there.

United Nations experts, without assigning blame, said they had gathered "clear and convincing evidence" that surface-to-surface rockets took sarin gas into the opposition-held Damascus suburb of Ghouta on August 21.

The United States had threatened a military strike on Syria over the attack, which it said killed more than 1,400 people.



Washington said responsibility for the attack rests squarely with the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.


French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said there was "no doubt" that government forces were to blame, while British Foreign Secretary William Hague said the report made "abundantly clear" that the Syrian regime was behind the attack."The technical details of the UN report make clear that only the regime could have carried out this large-scale chemical weapons attack," said Washington's UN ambassador Samantha Power. "It defies logic to think that the opposition would have infiltrated the regime-controlled area to fire on opposition-controlled areas."

France and Britain will soon send a draft resolution to other Security Council members demanding a threat of sanctions if Assad does not keep to a disarmament plan and for the chemical attacks to be referred to the International Criminal Court, diplomats said.

The council, meanwhile, is expected to start negotiations this week.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon condemned the use of chemical weapons in Syria as "a war crime" as the country's conflict again spilled into neighboring nations, with Turkey saying it had shot down a Syrian military helicopter.

Ban said the report prepared by the experts "makes for chilling reading.




He added that the use of sarin had been proved "unequivocally and objectively" and that the Ghouta attack was "the most significant" with chemical weapons since Saddam Hussein unleashed poison gas in Halabja, Iraq, in 1988, killing thousands.

"The environmental, chemical and medical samples we have collected provide clear and convincing evidence that surface-to-surface rockets containing the nerve agent sarin were used" in Ghouta, said the report by UN inspectors who were in Syria when the attack was staged.

The experts concluded that "chemical weapons have been used in the ongoing conflict between the parties in the Syrian Arab Republic, also against civilians including children on a relatively large scale."

A separate UN-mandated independent human rights inquiry announced separately on Monday that it was investigating 14 alleged chemical weapons attacks in Syria.

Ban would not say on Monday who had carried out the attack."We may all have our own thoughts on this, but I would simply say that this was a grave crime and those responsible must be brought to justice as soon as possible," Ban told reporters.

On Friday, he said Assad had "committed many crimes against humanity."

While the United States, Britain and France all insist that the findings show Assad's forces had used the weapons, Russia's UN envoy Vitaly Churkin said after a Security Council meeting on the report that there should be more investigation into who was responsible.

Moscow has sided with Assad in blaming opposition rebels for the chemical assault.

The UN experts' report will now become a key weapon in a Security Council battle over how much of a threat must be made against Assad to make him disarm.




The French, US and British foreign ministers called for a "strong" resolution after a meeting in Paris.



Iran's foreign minister said on Facebook that Tehran condemns the World War II Nazi massacre of the Jews, in stark contract to Holocaust denials by former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

"We condemn the massacre of Jews by the Nazis, and we condemn the massacre of Palestinians by the Zionists," Mohammad Javad Zarif wrote on his Facebook page, where he published the text of an interview he gave to the Tasnim news agency.

Zarif was also asked whether he wished Jews "Happy Rosh Hashanah" (new year), and had had an exchange about the Holocaust on Twitter.

"I replied to a question from a person who appeared to be the daughter of the ex-speaker of the US House of Representatives," Nancy Pelosi, he wrote.

On his recently activated Twitter account, Zarif wrote in English "Happy Rosh Hashanah," and Christine Pelosi replied, thanking him.

"Thanks. The new year would be even sweeter if you would end Iran's Holocaust denial, sir," she wrote.

Zarif replied: "Iran never denied it (the Holocaust). The man who was perceived to be denying it is now gone. Happy New Year."

Tehran does not recognise Israel and Ahmadinejad's eight years in office were filled with anti-Israeli diatribes and denial of the Holocaust.

The controversial Ahmadinejad was succeeded as president by Hassan Rowhani, who won a surprise election victory over five conservatives on June 14.

The former president's anti-Israel diatribes and Iran's controversial nuclear programme both contributed to its increased international isolation.



The Mexican government said recent release of the drug lord Rafael Caro Quintero, implicated in the murder of U.S. drug agent Enrique Camarena, will not affect relations with EU. “We are certain that not affect”, both countries are seeking the same goal and that “the law is strictly enforced,” said Mexican Foreign Minister Rafael Caro Quintero, The Mexican government from Singapore, where he made an official visit. The Mexican government will seek a review of the court’s decision that allowed the release of Caro Quintero on August 9, after dismiss several cases against him, one of them for the abduction and murder of Enrique Camarena in 1985. “There is full conviction and full coordination around that and other matters” and therefore there will be no other impact on the bilateral relationship than the “point us to reinforce the importance of coordination and improvement,” he said.

After serving 28 of the 40 years of his sentence for drug trafficking and organized crime cartel founder left Guadalajara prison in the western state of Jalisco after a federal court to grant an injunction. The court ordered the immediate release of Caro Quintero after dismissing four criminal cases against him, including two for murder, an illegal deprivation of liberty and one for drug trafficking. In the case of the kidnapping and murder of Enrique Camarena and Mexican pilot Alfredo Zavala in February 1985, the case was dismissed because it was under federal jurisdiction, where appropriate to the regular courts. In his first statement on the bonnet release on Tuesday, the Foreign Minister said that “this particular case there was a failure attached to law” and announced that the prosecution would work “to correct”.