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Occupy London camp dismantled by police

LONDON (AP) -- Authorities dismantled Occupy London's camp outside the famous St. Paul's Cathedral in a dramatic early hours raid Tuesday, clearing away one of the longest-surviving encampments inspired by the New York protest against capitalist excess.

City of London police said 20 people had been arrested as officers removed tents and equipment from outside the 300-year-old church, where demonstrators had camped since mid-October.

As riot police surrounded the encampment, bailiffs in fluorescent jackets hauled camping equipment into waiting trucks and refuse bins -- though there was little sign of the violence that has accompanied the clearance of several Occupy sites in the United States.

Protesters waved flags and banged tambourines, though a small number crafted a makeshift wooden structure opposite the cathedral and scaled it in an attempt to obstruct the eviction.

Last Wednesday, Britain's High Court rejected the protesters' legal challenge to an eviction order.



Retired police horse given to tabloid editor

LONDON (AP) -- British police gave Rebekah Brooks, former editor of the tabloid News of the World, a retired police steed to look after, the force confirmed Tuesday -- but they insisted that it was not a gift horse.

The Metropolitan Police said the 22-year-old horse was lent to Brooks -- former chief executive of Rupert Murdoch's British newspapers -- in 2008 upon her request under a program that allows people to care for retired service animals and ride them. Brooks' spokesman, David Wilson, confirmed that the then-editor had been a "foster carer" for the animal and paid for the horse's upkeep while it was stabled at her rural home.

Brooks is married to horse trainer Charlie Brooks and has a country home near Chipping Norton, northwest of London.

Britain's media ethics inquiry is currently looking into allegations of crooked relations between the press and the police.



Chavez surgery in Cuba reported as successful

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) -- Doctors successfully extracted a tumor from President Hugo Chavez's pelvic region, and he was stable and recovering in Cuba on Tuesday with family at his side, his vice president announced.

"President Chavez is in good physical condition," Vice President Elias Jaua told the main chamber of the National Assembly, prompting a standing ovation and cries of "Onward, comandante!"

"A total extraction of the diagnosed pelvic lesion was performed, removing also the tissue surrounding the lesion," Jaua said, reading a statement from the President's Office. "There were no complications related to the local organs."

Jaua did not say when Chavez had the surgery but said the socialist leader was stable and recovering adequately.