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A labor dispute has caused a beer shortage in the Caribbean, mere weeks before the celebrations of Carnival. Caribbean Development Company Ltd., one of the region’s largest breweries, has seen its production of local favorite Stag beer fall to 40 percent of normal output since a lockout began on May 24. At issue between the union and the company are wages, pension changes and a dozen other issues — including proposed blood-alcohol level tests … A judge has ordered 15 al-Qaida suspects to face trial in Spain on charges including mass murder for the Sept. 11 attacks. Judge Baltasar Garzon, who has been investigating Islamist militants since 1996, ordered his first arrests in November 2001 in an attempt to destroy an alleged cell of the terrorist network in his country. Fourteen of the 15 suspects now headed to trial are currently in custody … It’s not quite a silk purse from a sow’s ear, but it’ll have to do: A Nebraska appeals court has ruled that Progressive Swine Technologies must pay damages to people who live near its massive hog farms. The overpowering stench of waste from the farms’ thousands of hogs forced residents indoors; one even said it affected the taste of food from her garden. A trial court will determine the amount of damages … Halliburton executives will be asked to testify next month before a House committee investigating possible favoritism and waste in Iraq reconstruction contracts. Halliburton, formerly headed by Vice President Dick Cheney, holds more than $7 billion in Iraq contracts, running the gamut from restoring oil production to housing U.S. troops (much of it awarded through “task orders” — assignments that do not require competitive bids). –Lydia Markoff

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