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Starbucks cups send message

Starbucks is using its coffee cups to jump into the political fray in Washington.

The world's biggest coffee chain is asking employees at cafes in the Washington DC area to scribble the words Come Together on cups for drink orders today and tomorrow.

Chief executive Howard Schultz said the words are intended as a message to lawmakers about the damage being caused by the divisive negotiations over the "fiscal cliff".

Floods force 16,000 to flee

FLOODING sparked by heavy seasonal rains has killed two people and forced nearly 16,000 to flee their homes on Malaysia's east coast.

Authorities have evacuated residents of numerous villages and towns to higher ground in three Malaysian states that are prone to torrential rains.

Flood monitoring centres said 15,993 people were living in schools, community halls and other centres.

Four dead after tropical storm

A LATE season storm has left at least four people dead in separate incidents in the central Philippines but has spared a southern region that was devastated by a typhoon that killed more than 1,000 people weeks earlier.

Three people died when a tree fell on their house in Eastern Samar province, where Tropical Storm Wukong made landfall on Christmas Day. Another person was killed in a landslide in Iloilo province.

Heavy rain on mountains surrounding Kalibo, the capital of Aklan province on Panay Island, caused a river running through the city to overflow.

Soccer in Spain traced to Scots

Genealogists hailed new research that claims to trace the origins of Spanish football to Scotland.

Researchers at Scotland's People, a genealogy project at National Records of Scotland, praised an "excellent" article which suggests that the seeds of Spanish football were sown by a Scottish mining community in Huelva, south-western Spain.

Many historians record this community as being English, but research has shown that they were predominantly Scottish.