HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong's top court rejected a final bid on Thursday for an appeal by an American convicted of drugging her wealthy banker husband and bashing him to death. More »Last appeal bid rejected in HK 'Milkshake Murder'
- 'Ukraine A Pawn In US Game Against Russia'Sky News - 7 minutes ago
- Travis Perkins Sales Up As Housing Market WarmsSky News - 9 minutes ago
- Gym Fees 'Could Stop Mortgage Approvals'Sky News - 12 minutes ago
- Facebook Profits Triple As Apple Sales JumpSky News - 16 minutes ago
- Labour Looks At Breaking Ties With Co-Op BankSky News - 16 minutes ago
PETAH TIKVA, Israel (AP) — When the Israeli women's soccer team Hapoel Petah Tikva lost a number of its players to Israel's national team ahead of World Cup qualifiers, founder Rafi Subra made a decision that sets the team apart from many of its rivals — he recruited from the Arab villages of northern Israel. More »Arab-Israeli women break ground on pro soccer team
Labour is considering breaking its historic links with the struggling Co-op bank. The party has confirmed it is "reviewing its financial arrangements", but insists it is for commercial reasons. It is reported Labour is looking to move loans worth more than £1m to the trade union-owned Unity Trust Bank, in which the Co-op Bank is thought to have a 27% stake. This could pave the way for Labour to move all its current account facilities to the same bank. More »Labour Looks At Breaking Ties With Co-Op Bank
PRAGUE (AP) — Amid Ukraine's deepening crisis, the presidents of post-Soviet republics and EU member states are gathering in Prague to save a project to boost their ties. More »EU, post-Soviet republics meet on partnership plan
DONETSK, Ukraine (AP) — Police have cleared the city hall in a southeastern Ukrainian city of pro-Russian protesters who had been occupying it for over a week, Interior Minister Avakov said on Thursday. More »Ukraine official: city hall cleared of protesters
Russia has accused the West of instigating a "revolution" in Ukraine as part of a "geopolitical game" against Moscow. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov claimed the US and EU were behind the uprising that ousted Viktor Yanukovych - the pro-Kremlin president of Ukraine - in February. "In Ukraine, the United States and the European Union tried to stage - let's call things what they are - another 'colour revolution', an operation to unconstitutionally change regime," the Interfax news agency quoted Mr Lavrov as saying. He reportedly added that Ukraine was being used as a "pawn in geopolitical game" against Russia. More »'Ukraine A Pawn In US Game Against Russia'
TOKYO (AP) — Accusing Russia of failing to live up to its commitments, President Barack Obama warned Moscow on Thursday that the United States has another round of economic sanctions "teed up" — even as he acknowledged those penalties may do little to influence Vladimir Putin's handling of the crisis in Ukraine. More »Obama to Russia: More sanctions are 'teed up'
Building supply firm Travis Perkins has seen its first quarter like-for-like sales rise by 12.7%, after weaker trading in the same period last year. The Office for National Statistics said construction output fell to £5.8bn in February, down 2.8% from January. Chief executive John Carter said: "All of our businesses recorded strong sales growth in the first quarter of 2014 and lead indicators for our different markets are encouraging ... and we remain on course to meet our targets set out in February. Travis Perkins has more than 600 outlets across the UK, and specialises in supplying the trade sector. More »Travis Perkins Sales Up As Housing Market Warms
TOKYO (AP) — Showing solidarity with Japan, President Barack Obama affirmed Thursday that the U.S. would be obligated to defend Tokyo in a confrontation with Beijing over a set of disputed islands, but urged all sides to resolve the long-running dispute peacefully. Wading cautiously into a diplomatic minefield, Obama insisted the U.S. takes no position on whether the islands in the East China Sea are ultimately in the dominion of China or Japan. But he noted that historically Japan has administered the islands, triggering America's treaty obligations to defend its ally should tensions escalate militarily. More »Top Asian News at 7:30 a.m. GMT
(Reuters) - African Barrick Gold Plc said revenue and core earnings fell in the first quarter as an 18 percent rise in production failed to make up for a 19 percent drop in realised gold prices. But investors took heart from a fall in operating costs and improving ore grades and pushed up the miner's shares as much as 7 percent in early trading on the London Stock Exchange. African Barrick also said on Thursday that its board had approved an acceleration of mining at the upper east zone of its Bulyanhulu mine in northwest Tanzania. African Barrick, whose main producing mines are in Tanzania, said core earnings - or earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) - fell 21 percent to $64.7 million in the quarter ended March 31. More »African Barrick makes progress on costs, shares rise
Spain's Caixabank and Sabadell on Thursday said bad debts had fallen slightly in the first quarter, signalling the start of a more marked turnaround for the country's banks. Spain's banks are trying to recover from a real estate market crash that hit earnings when they took hefty charges on soured loans two years ago. Spain's prolonged economic downturn had also taken its toll on bank revenues. Sabadell and Caixabank, both from the northern region Catalonia, said bad loans as a percentage of total credit had dropped at the end of March compared to the end of 2013. More »Spain's Caixa, Sabadell signal turnaround with bad debt falls
Homebuyers could find themselves turned down for a mortgage because of their gym memberships, phone bills and pension payments, under new rules introduced this weekend, experts have warned. Mortgage advisers said new restrictions introduced under the Mortgage Market Review (MMR) would drastically increase the intrusiveness of checks undergone by applicants. Those commitments might include items as innocuous as informal club memberships, according to Peter Marriott of Westexe Mortgage Solutions. He said: "They might have a gym membership, they might be contributing to a pension plan - anything that's deemed by a mortgage lender to be a commitment could be held against them as an ongoing expense, which would in turn affect the affordability and the lender's decision on how much they can borrow." More »Gym Fees 'Could Stop Mortgage Approvals'
Three foreigners were killed on Thursday when a security guard opened fire at an international hospital in the Afghan capital, Kabul, security sources said, in the latest of a series of attacks against foreign civilians. Attacks on security forces, Afghan civilians and Westerners have been on the rise since the beginning of the year as Afghans have voted for a successor to President Hamid Karzai, barred by the constitution from running again. More »Three foreigners killed in attack in Afghan hospital - security sources
By Ed Stoddard JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Marathon talks aimed at ending a crippling three-month strike in South Africa's platinum sector were to resume on Thursday after the world's top producers and union AMCU spent two days haggling over an offer tabled last week by the companies. The strike is already the longest and most costly in living memory for South Africa's mines, though there has been a renewed drive to break the deadlock in recent days after several weeks with no formal direct talks between the two sides. The talks involve the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) leadership and chief executives from Anglo American Platinum, Impala Platinum and Lonmin. There is "potential for further downside revisions from the ongoing industrial action," the unit of global mining house Anglo American said in a trading update. More »Wage talks resume as South Africa platinum strike marks 13th week
A surge in advertising sales helped Facebook triple its profits in the first three months of 2014, the social networking site has revealed. The company posted a Q1 profit of $642m (£380m) on the back of a 72% surge in revenues, driven by mobile advertising. Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said: "Facebook's business is strong and growing and this quarter was a great start to 2014." Facebook released its figures at almost the same time as Apple, which reported first-quarter sales of $45.6bn (£27.2bn) - up about 5% year-on-year - and a $10.2bn (£6.1bn) profit. More »Facebook Profits Triple As Apple Sales Jump
EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — Lawyers for four gay and lesbian couples and the state of Oregon urged a federal judge Wednesday to strike down Oregon's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage. More »Oregon gay marriage ban gets day in court
In one instance, a man claiming jobseeker’s had €400,000 in his bank account and the minister said some €10 million has already been recovered as part of her department’s new system. More »Burton’s department launches programme to catch welfare fraudsters
The achievements of a terminally-ill teenager in raising more than £1.5 million for charity have been hailed as "incredible" by comedian Jason Manford, who is aiming to help him reach £2 million. More »Comic backs cancer teen's £2m drive
Financial markets rarely stick to the script, and this year is no different. Investments traditionally considered safe bets such as utilities, gold and government bonds were supposed to flop in 2014 as ... More »Last year's deadbeats do best as stocks stall
The Duke of Cambridge has thanked Australians for their warm reception and revealed Prince George has taken to chewing the cuddly wombat toy he was given at the start of their visit. In a speech at Parliament House in Canberra, William said: "Reluctantly, Catherine, George and I leave Australia tomorrow. "We go away with wonderful memories, and George goes away with his cuddly wombat, which he has taken to chewing so lovingly." In the speech, his second of the tour, he praised Australia's Aboriginal people for being the custodians of the land, as well as saying he admired the country's arts, sciences, sporting achievements and the role it plays in global trade and affairs. More »Royal Tour: Prince George Wom-Batty About Oz
WASHINGTON (AP) — The captors of an American soldier held for nearly five years in Afghanistan have signaled a willingness to release him but are unclear which U.S. government officials have the authority to make a deal, according to two individuals in the military working for his release. Critics of the release effort blame disorganization and poor communication among the numerous federal agencies involved. More »Taliban ready to deal on captive US soldier?