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Briefs

Hostess says talks to stave off shutdown fail

Hostess Brands Inc. lived to die another day.

The maker of Twinkies and Ding Dongs said late Tuesday that it failed to reach an agreement with its second biggest union. As a result, Hostess plans to continue with a hearing today in which a bankruptcy court judge will decide whether the company can shutter its operations.

After it made its case to liquidate on Monday, the bankruptcy judge hearing the case noted that the two sides hadn’t yet tried private mediation.

In a statement late Tuesday, Hostess said it would not comment on the breakdown in talks other than to say that mediation “was unsuccessful.”

Hostess shut down its three dozen plants late last week after it said the strike by the bakers union hurt its ability to maintain normal production. The bakers union says the company’s demise was the result of years of mismanagement, however, and that workers have already given steep concessions over the years.

WORLD

UN puts sanctions on Congo rebels

The U.N. Security Council voted unanimously Tuesday to sanction the leaders of Congo’s M23 rebel force, which hours earlier occupied the eastern Congolese city of Goma as U.N. peacekeepers stood by without resisting.

But it did not name two countries accused of supporting the Congo rebels: Rwanda and Uganda.

The council demanded that the M23 rebels withdraw from Goma, disarm and disband, and insisted on the restoration of the crumbling Congolese government authority in the turbulent East.

Egypt, IMF reach loan agreement

Egypt has reached a preliminary agreement with an International Monetary Fund team for a loan of as much as $4.8 billion that officials say is necessary to support the ailing economy and attract more funding.

The “22-month standby arrangement” for the loan, which will carry an interest rate of about 1.06 percent, will be distributed in eight quarterly tranches if it is approved by the IMF’s board.

Volcano erupts in New Zealand

A New Zealand volcano has erupted for the second time in less than four months, sending a dark ash plume about 1.9 miles into the sky.

Authorities issued a no-fly alert above Mount Tongariro on central North Island after it erupted. Scientists say the eruption did not cause any damage or force road closures and that planes could divert around the mountain.

Anglicans reject female bishops plan

The Church of England rejected a plan to allow women to be bishops, extending 37 years of debate on the issue.

While two of the three houses of the church’s governing General Synod voted by the necessary two-thirds majority at its meeting in London on Tuesday for the change to go through, representatives of lay Anglicans failed to give the measure enough support.

Provision for a code of practice to cater for parishes that object to women bishops on theological grounds did not go far enough to prevent further conflict, opponents said.

NATION

Tea party lawmaker concedes election

Tea party firebrand Florida Rep. Allen West conceded his re-election fight to Democratic newcomer Patrick Murphy on Tuesday, two weeks after the vote gave way to court appearances, two partial recounts and unending accusations by his camp that the vote count wasn’t fair.

“There are certainly still inaccuracies in the results” but not enough to change the outcome, the Republican freshman said in a statement.

West made a string of headline-grabbing statements, from calling congressional Democrats Communists to saying President Obama and others should “get the hell out of the United States.”

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