• Jailing of Zambian ex-minister prompts calls for action on graft

    Reuters - 3 minutes 20 seconds ago

    By Chris Mfula LUSAKA (Reuters) - Zambia's former mines minister, Maxwell Mwale, was jailed for corruption on Friday, in a rare case that prompted calls for a wider crackdown on graft among public officials. Mwale, a former cabinet minister in Africa's second-largest copper producing nation, was sentenced to a year in jail with hard labour after he was found to have interfered in the granting of mining licences to China's Zhonghui International Mining Group. ... More »Jailing of Zambian ex-minister prompts calls for action on graft

  • Life sentence for Rwanda's genocide-era justice minister upheld

    Reuters - 5 minutes ago

    By Clement Uwiringiyimana NAIROBI (Reuters) - Rwanda's high court on Friday upheld the life sentence of the s genocide-era justice minister, who was convicted six years ago for her role in the 1994 slaughter that killed 800,000 people. Agnes Ntamabyariro is the only senior official in the former government to have been brought to justice in Rwanda. Others were tried by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) in the Tanzanian city of Arusha and elsewhere. Ntamabyariro was found guilty in particular for her role in the murder of Jean Baptiste Habyarimana, the head of Butare prefecture in southern Rwanda, who was a Tutsi. More »Life sentence for Rwanda's genocide-era justice minister upheld

  • Falls at Intu and RBS nudge FTSE off record peaks

    Reuters - 3 hours ago

    By Sudip Kar-Gupta LONDON (Reuters) - A drop in the share prices of Intu Properties and Royal Bank of Scotland nudged Britain's top equity index down from record highs on Friday. The blue-chip FTSE 100 index <.FTSE> - which hit a record intraday peak of 6,958.89 points on Tuesday - dipped 0.2 percent to 6,936.17 points by the middle of the trading session. The FTSE remained up around 3 percent since the start of February. "It has had a good run and it's the end of the month so I think we're going to see it drift lower today as people book some profit," said Joe Rundle, head of trading at ETX Capital. More »Falls at Intu and RBS nudge FTSE off record peaks

  • Royal Mail to increase stamp prices again

    Reuters - 7 minutes ago

    Britain's Royal Mail postal service said on Friday stamp prices would rise from March 30 as it tries to offset the impact of a steadily falling number of letters to deliver each year. Royal Mail said the price of first and second class stamps would both increase by 1 pence to 63p and 54p respectively. The increase comes after a 2p rise for first class stamps and a 3p rise for second class stamps last year.  Royal Mail, whose shares rocketed in the wake of their 2013 privatisation, also said on Friday large letter first class stamps up to 100 grammes would rise by 2p to 95p with the equivalent second class stamp going up 1p to 74p. The company said second class medium parcel prices would fall, however, while second class small parcel prices would stay at a cheaper rate used during a Christmas promotion.  Royal Mail has seen letter volumes fall steadily in recent years and forecasts further drops of 4-6 percent per year as more people use email and social media instead. More »Royal Mail to increase stamp prices again

  • Federer trounces teenager Coric in Dubai semi-finals

    Reuters - 7 minutes ago

    By Matt Smith DUBAI (Reuters) - Roger Federer trounced Croatian teenager Borna Coric 6-2 6-1 at the Dubai Championships on Friday to set up a potential final showdown with world number one Novak Djokovic. Federer may have failed to win a grand slam title since triumphing at Wimbledon in 2012 but he remains a formidable competitor as Coric discovered in their semi-final. The 18-year-old, who last year became the youngest player to crack the top 100 since Rafa Nadal burst through in 2003, had high hopes of reaching his first ATP final after thumping Andy Murray in the last eight but found himself on the receiving end of a Federer masterclass. Federer will play Djokovic or world number eight Tomas Berdych in his 126th tour final as he seeks a seventh Dubai title. More »Federer trounces teenager Coric in Dubai semi-finals

  • UK more dependent on fuel imports as refining capacity falls

    Reuters - 8 minutes ago

    Britain's net imports of petroleum products more than tripled last year, according to government figures, after a fresh wave of refinery cuts left the country unable to meet its demand. A Reuters analysis of figures from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) showed that Britain's net imports of petroleum products jumped to more than 7.5 million tonnes in 2014, up from about 2 million tonnes in 2013 - the first time it had been a net importer since 1984. The cuts have left Britain increasingly dependent on fuel imports, raising concerns that as bottlenecks emerge at strained import terminals the country will be vulnerable to supply shocks and price spikes. More »UK more dependent on fuel imports as refining capacity falls

  • Signed contracts to buy US homes rise to 18-month high

    Associated Press - 11 minutes ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans signing contracts to buy homes rose at a healthy pace in January, a sign that home sales are poised to accelerate after a slow start to the year. More »Signed contracts to buy US homes rise to 18-month high

  • Standard Life Investments voted against management 907 times in 2014

    Reuters - 12 minutes ago

    LONDON (Reuters) - Standard Life Investments, the fund arm of insurer Standard Life , said on Friday it voted against management recommendations in 907 resolutions in 2014. SLI also said in its annual governance and stewardship review that it was escalating concerns about Sports Direct , Afren and Micro Focus Intl . (Reporting by Carolyn Cohn; editing by Simon Jessop) More »Standard Life Investments voted against management 907 times in 2014

  • Obama, European Council's Tusk to meet March 9 - White House

    Reuters - 12 minutes ago

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama and European Council President Donald Tusk will meet at the White House on March 9 to discuss the Ukraine crisis and the fight against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, the White House said on Friday. Obama and Tusk also are expected to discuss the global economy, talks toward a U.S.-European trade deal, energy security and climate change, the White House said in a statement. (Reporting by Roberta Rampton; Editing by Susan Heavey) More »Obama, European Council's Tusk to meet March 9 - White House

  • Volkswagen profits up 20 percent for full year

    Associated Press - 13 minutes ago

    German automaker Volkswagen says net profit rose 20 percent last year to 10.8 billion euros ($12.1 billion), but offered a cautious outlook for this year. The maker of Volkswagen, Audi, Skoda and SEAT ... More »Volkswagen profits up 20 percent for full year

  • Stock market slips after weaker-than-expected growth in US

    Associated Press - 13 minutes ago

    U.S. stock indexes edged slightly lower in early trading Friday after the U.S. economy slowed more sharply than expected in the final three months of 2014. Utilities stocks were among the biggest decliners. ... More »Stock market slips after weaker-than-expected growth in US

  • US consumer sentiment slips in February on icy weather

    Associated Press - 14 minutes ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Harsh winter weather left U.S. consumers feeling a bit less confident this month, the University of Michigan says. But confidence levels still remain at the highest level in eight years. More »US consumer sentiment slips in February on icy weather

  • Thousands protest in Maldives, calling for president to quit

    Reuters - 15 minutes ago

    By Daniel Bosley and Shihar Aneez MALE/COLOMBO (Reuters) - Thousands came by boat to the capital of the Maldives to protest on Friday against the arrest of former president Mohamed Nasheed and demand that current leader Abdulla Yameen resign. Supporters of Nasheed's Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) and the Jumhooree Party, which has broken away from Yameen's ruling coalition, converged by boat from across the nation of 1,190 islands after a call to rally in Male. The entire population of the Maldives, a popular destination for sun-seeking tourists, is less than 400,000. Mohamed Hussain Shareef, a minister in Yameen's office, said police had found on protesters rods, machetes and knives. More »Thousands protest in Maldives, calling for president to quit

  • Saudi's Naimi says oil markets are settling

    Reuters - 20 minutes ago

    JIZAN, Saudi Arabia (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia's Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said on Wednesday that oil markets are settling. More »Saudi's Naimi says oil markets are settling

  • Ala. tourism campaign to focus on state's barbecue culture

    Associated Press - 22 minutes ago

    BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — State officials say this year's Alabama tourism campaign will be focused on barbecue. More »Ala. tourism campaign to focus on state's barbecue culture

  • Qatar takes full control of prime Milan development

    AFP - 24 minutes ago

    Qatar's sovereign fund has acquired full ownership of Milan's most important business district at Porta Nuova More »Qatar takes full control of prime Milan development

  • Nepal army officer accused of torture in London court

    Reuters - 25 minutes ago

    By Estelle Shirbon LONDON (Reuters) - A Nepali army officer was accused by a British prosecutor on Friday of torturing two men in 2005, during his country’s civil war, in a rare use of laws that allow British courts to prosecute certain serious crimes wherever they took place. Kumar Lama, 48, is on trial at London's Old Bailey court, charged with two counts of torture on Nepali citizens at an army barracks in Nepal. In the first, Afghan national Faryadi Zardad was jailed for 20 years in 2005 for torture and hostage-taking. At least 16,000 people were killed during Nepal's 1996-2006 civil conflict and both sides have been accused of human rights abuses, but calls for perpetrators to be brought to justice in Nepal have remained unanswered. More »Nepal army officer accused of torture in London court

  • Brent rises above $61, set for first monthly gain since July

    Reuters - 25 minutes ago

    By Claire Milhench LONDON (Reuters) - Crude oil futures rebounded on Friday and Brent headed for its first monthly gain since July, helped by strong investor inflows, an improving demand outlook and supply outages. At 2.35 p.m., Brent crude futures were up $1.26 at $61.32 (39.6 pounds) a barrel, off an earlier high of $61.75. More »Brent rises above $61, set for first monthly gain since July

  • Foreign tourists posing nude at temples infuriate Cambodians

    Associated Press - 26 minutes ago

    SIEM REAP, Cambodia (AP) — Cambodia's most popular tourist attraction — the complex of ancient temples that includes Angkor Wat — is suffering from a form of overexposure: At least five foreign visitors have been arrested and deported this year for taking nude photos at the sacred sites. More »Foreign tourists posing nude at temples infuriate Cambodians

  • Fire in Stratton ski lodge causes more than $200k in damage

    Associated Press - 28 minutes ago

    STRATTON, Vt. (AP) — Vermont fire investigators say an early morning fire in the kitchen of a ski lodge at Stratton Mountain caused more than $200,000 in damage. More »Fire in Stratton ski lodge causes more than $200k in damage

  • Syria expels three United Nations aid workers - sources

    Reuters - 29 minutes ago

    The Syrian government has recently expelled three United Nations staff, a move which will harm attempts to deliver desperately needed relief around the country, aid sources told Reuters on Friday. Damascus denies that it blocks aid. Syrian officials could not immediately be reached for comment on these cases. The expulsions come at a sensitive time, with U.N. mediator Staffan de Mistura arriving on Saturday to discuss his proposed plan for Damascus to suspend its bombardment and shelling of the northern city of Aleppo for a six-week period. More »Syria expels three United Nations aid workers - sources

  • Libya's PM says Turkey supplying weapons to rival Tripoli group

    Reuters - 32 minutes ago

    By Ahmed Tolba CAIRO (Reuters) - Libya's internationally recognised Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni said his government would stop dealing with Turkey as it was sending weapons to a rival group in Tripoli so "the Libyan people kill each other", ramping up his rhetoric against Ankara. Two administrations, one in the capital and Thinni's in the east, have been vying for power since an armed group called Libya Dawn seized Tripoli in July and reinstated lawmakers from a previous assembly, four years after Muammar Gaddafi's ousting. "Turkey is a state that is not dealing honestly with us. A spokesman for Turkey's foreign ministry strongly denied Thinni's allegations. More »Libya's PM says Turkey supplying weapons to rival Tripoli group

  • Bank of England turns up the heat on accounting firms

    Reuters - 33 minutes ago

    By Huw Jones LONDON (Reuters) - The Bank of England would have the power to fine or ban accounting firms from working in financial services under proposals setting out how the UK central bank's regulation arm will monitor the accounting industry. The proposals from the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA), which supervises Britain's banks, were published on Friday and show how the watchdog plans to oversee the accountants and actuaries hired by banks and use new powers to sanction them. The accuracy of external audits has come under scrutiny by regulators and governments after banks had to be rescued by taxpayers in the 2007-09 financial crisis just months after accounting firms gave them a clean bill of health. The plans echo measures being taken inside banks to make individuals more directly accountable for their actions, making it easier to punish rule breaches. More »Bank of England turns up the heat on accounting firms

  • UAE to reopen embassy in Yemen's south, backing Hadi

    Reuters - 35 minutes ago

    The United Arab Emirates will reopen its Yemeni embassy in the southern port city of Aden, the state news agency WAM said on Friday, where Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi has set up a seat of power since being driven from the capital. Sanaa was captured in September by the Shi'ite Muslim Houthi militia, which placed Hadi under house arrest and forced him to announce his resignation. An aide to Hadi said on Thursday that Yemen's neighbour Saudi Arabia, the Sunni-ruled main Gulf Arab power, was moving its ambassador to Aden. UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said the UAE had made its decision "in order to entrench constitutional legitimacy in Yemen, embodied by President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi and his government", according to WAM. More »UAE to reopen embassy in Yemen's south, backing Hadi

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