• Appeals court rejects challenge on cement plants

    Associated Press - 6 minutes ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal appeals court on Friday turned aside a challenge by environmental groups to an air pollution standard for cement plants. More »Appeals court rejects challenge on cement plants

  • Brazilian tycoon Batista investigated for financial crimes -reports

    Reuters - 14 minutes ago

    Brazil´s federal police have opened an investigation into former billionaire Eike Batista for financial crimes, including insider trading, manipulation of markets and money laundering, Brazilian media reported on Friday. If the police probe leads to criminal charges against Batista, it would be yet another major blow for a businessman once hailed as Brazil's model entrepreneur and symbol of its economic success. Batista´s EBX oil, mining and logistics empire, which two years ago was valued at $60 billion, collapsed last year in a mountain of debt and massive filings for bankruptcy protection. A week ago, Brazil's securities commission, CVM, announced that Batista was under investigation for insider trading as chairman of his now-bankrupt oil-producing company Óleo and Gás Participações SA, formerly known as OGX, and its sister company, shipbuilder OSX Brasil SA. Batista is now being investigated by the police at the request of federal prosecutors in Rio de Janeiro for financial crimes involving the allegedly illegal sales of shares before his conglomerate fell apart, O Globo newspaper reported. More »Brazilian tycoon Batista investigated for financial crimes -reports

  • 5 features an Amazon phone might offer

    Associated Press - 20 minutes ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Rumors of an Amazon smartphone reached a fever pitch this week, with several tech blogs speculating that the device could be due out this year. More »5 features an Amazon phone might offer

  • US newspaper industry revenue fell 2.6 pct in 2013

    Associated Press - 21 minutes ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. newspaper industry revenue continued to fall last year, as increases in circulation revenue failed to offset shrinking demand for print advertising. More »US newspaper industry revenue fell 2.6 pct in 2013

  • Erdogan challenges social media in top Turkish court

    Reuters - 32 minutes ago

    By Orhan Coskun ANKARA (Reuters) - Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan applied to Turkey's constitutional court on Friday to challenge the alleged violation of his and his family's rights by social media, a senior official in his office told Reuters. Erdogan's government blocked Twitter and YouTube in March, drawing international condemnation, after audio recordings, purportedly showing corruption in his inner circle, were leaked on their sites. The Twitter block was lifted earlier this month after the constitutional court ruled that it breached freedom of expression, a decision Erdogan has since said was wrong and should be overturned. YouTube remains blocked in Turkey. More »Erdogan challenges social media in top Turkish court

  • Strike-hit South Africa platinum miners unveil new pay offer

    AFP - 42 minutes ago

    Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union President Joseph Mathunjwa (L) delivers a memorandum to a representative of the main Platinum producers in front of hundreds of members in Johannesburg ... More »Strike-hit South Africa platinum miners unveil new pay offer

  • Italy government prepares to approve tax cuts

    Reuters - 57 minutes ago

    By Gavin Jones ROME (Reuters) - Italy is due to get the income tax cuts promised by Prime Minister Matteo Renzi as a way to boost stagnant domestic demand. Renzi's cabinet is meeting on Friday to agree the details of roughly 7 billion euros (5.76 billion pounds) of tax cuts. The prime minister said last month the cuts would increase the pay of low-income workers by around 80 euros per month, starting in May. However, when he announced the tax cuts, in his first full news conference after taking office, he did not present the legislation needed to enact and fund them. The prime minister, a 39-year-old former mayor of Florence who gained power in February by replacing a party rival, needs a strong showing in the election to shore up his political credibility and legitimise his hold on the government. More »Italy government prepares to approve tax cuts

  • Italy government cuts income taxes for 10 million low earners - PM Renzi

    Reuters - 57 minutes ago

    Italy's government on Friday passed a decree cutting income tax for 10 million Italians earning between 8,000 (6,585 pounds) and 26,000 euros a year and will be funded mainly by permanent spending cuts, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said. He told reporters after a cabinet meeting that tax cuts for very low earners who already do not make enough to pay taxes and for the self-employed will be made in "coming weeks and months". Italy now has committed to ordering 90 of the planes for about 12 billion euros. More »Italy government cuts income taxes for 10 million low earners - PM Renzi

  • Avalanche sweeps down Everest, killing at least 12

    Associated Press - 1 hour 0 minutes ago

    KATMANDU, Nepal (AP) — An avalanche swept down a climbing route on Mount Everest early Friday, killing at least 12 Nepalese guides and leaving four missing in the deadliest disaster on the world's highest peak. Several more were injured. More »Avalanche sweeps down Everest, killing at least 12

  • French President Hollande's top aide resigns

    Associated Press - 1 hour 5 minutes ago

    PARIS (AP) — The French president's top adviser resigned Friday following allegations of a past conflict of interest, striking a new blow to the already unpopular Francois Hollande. More »French President Hollande's top aide resigns

  • Amazon's tax-free European profits drop after IRS clamp-down

    Reuters - 1 hour 13 minutes ago

    By Tom Bergin LONDON (Reuters) - The amount of money Amazon.com Inc reports through a tax-exempt vehicle in Europe has dropped sharply in the past two years, even as European sales jumped, after the U.S. tax authority tightened rules it felt were being abused to shift profits. Amazon minimises its tax bill by having the U.S. unit which owns its technology licences lease the rights to re-license the technology to a tax-exempt partnership based in Luxembourg. The Group of 20 leading economies has vowed to crack down on corporate tax avoidance and the practice of shifting profits into low or no tax jurisdictions. Amazon has been a frequent subject of politicians' criticism in Europe over the way it channels all European revenues to Luxembourg where profits can be earned tax free. More »Amazon's tax-free European profits drop after IRS clamp-down

  • Mega salaries are evil, papal preacher tells Good Friday service

    Reuters - 1 hour 18 minutes ago

    By Philip Pullella VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - The Vatican's official preacher, at a Good Friday service attended by Pope Francis, said huge salaries and the world financial crisis were modern evils caused by the "cursed hunger for gold". Father Raniero Cantalamessa, whose title is "preacher of pontifical household," weaved his sermon around the character of Judas Iscariot, who the Bible says betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. "Is it not also a scandal that some people earn salaries and collect pensions that are sometimes 100 times higher than those of the people who work for them and that they raise their voices to object when a proposal is put forward to reduce their salary for the sake of greater social justice?" he said. Francis, who has made caring for the poor a central theme of his pontificate, said in December that huge salaries and bonuses were symptoms of an economy based on greed and inequality. More »Mega salaries are evil, papal preacher tells Good Friday service

  • Algeria's Bouteflika wins re-election with 81.5 percent - official results

    Reuters - 1 hour 36 minutes ago

    By Patrick Markey and Lamine Chikhi ALGIERS (Reuters) - Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, the aging independence veteran already in power for 15 years, won re-election on Friday after a vote opponents dismissed as a stage-managed fraud to keep the ailing leader in power. Sitting in a wheelchair, Bouteflika had cast his vote on Thursday in a rare public appearance since suffering a stroke last year that raised doubts about whether he is fit enough to govern the North African oil-exporting state. Preliminary official results showed Bouteflika had won with 81.53 percent of the vote, Interior Minister Tayeb Belaiz told a news conference. His nearest rival, Ali Benflis, won 12.18 percent, and national turnout was 51.7 percent. More »Algeria's Bouteflika wins re-election with 81.5 percent - official results

  • Italian lender backs 5 bn-euro share sale

    AFP - 1 hour 43 minutes ago

    A view taken on January 25, 2013 in Siena shows the headquarters of the Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena More »Italian lender backs 5 bn-euro share sale

  • Powerful earthquake rattles Mexico, shakes buildings

    Reuters - 2 hours 15 minutes ago

    By Dave Graham MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - A powerful earthquake struck Mexico on Friday, shaking buildings in the capital and sending people running out into the street, although there were no early reports of major damage. The magnitude 7.2 quake was centred in the south-western state of Guerrero, close to the Pacific beach resort of Acapulco, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said. Luis Felipe Puente, head of the Mexican government's emergency services, said there were no immediate reports of damage and the U.S. Pacific Warning Center said it did not expect the quake to trigger a destructive tsunami. Nevertheless, residents of the capital were shaken by the quake, one of the biggest to hit Mexico in several years. More »Powerful earthquake rattles Mexico, shakes buildings

  • Ukraine separatists reject diplomatic deal to disarm

    Reuters - 2 hours 16 minutes ago

    By Thomas Grove and Aleksandar Vasovic SLAVIANSK/DONETSK, Ukraine (Reuters) - Armed pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine said on Friday they were not bound by an international deal ordering them to disarm and would not move out of public buildings they have seized until the Kiev government stepped down. The agreement, brokered by the United States, Russia, Ukraine and the European Union in Geneva on Thursday, seemed to be the best hope of defusing a stand-off in Ukraine that has dragged East-West relations to their lowest level since the Cold War. Ukraine's acting president and prime minister offered some of their strongest pledges yet to strengthen constitutional rights to use the Russian language to try and defuse the protests but Kiev also said its efforts to root out the separatists would continue. More »Ukraine separatists reject diplomatic deal to disarm

  • Bank of Cyprus sells business in Ukraine, Romania

    Associated Press - 2 hours 18 minutes ago

    FAMAGUSTA, Cyprus (AP) — Cyprus' largest bank says it has sold off its business in Ukraine and a stake in a Romanian bank to help reduce risk and improve cash flow for the troubled lender. More »Bank of Cyprus sells business in Ukraine, Romania

  • Turkish president rules out role swap with Erdogan

    Reuters - 2 hours 32 minutes ago

    By Orhan Coskun and Humeyra Pamuk ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey's president appeared to rule out a job swap with Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan when his term as head of state ends in a few months, signalling strains between the allies following months of political tension. President Abdullah Gul's comments on Friday threw open the question of who might succeed Erdogan if he runs for president in an August election as expected, and raised the prospect of him picking a close loyalist to cement his grip on power. More »Turkish president rules out role swap with Erdogan

  • Shell committed to Russia expansion despite sanctions

    Reuters - 2 hours 40 minutes ago

    By Alexei Anishchuk NOVO-OGARYOVO, Russia (Reuters) - Royal Dutch Shell is committed to expansion in Russia, Chief Executive Ben van Beurden told Russian President Vladimir Putin at a meeting on Friday amid sanctions imposed on the country after its annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region. Shell plans to expand Russia's only liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant with Russian partner Gazprom, he said at a meeting at Putin's residence. More »Shell committed to Russia expansion despite sanctions

  • Russian EU envoy says Kiev misinterpreted Geneva agreement

    Reuters - 2 hours 48 minutes ago

    MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's envoy to the European Union said the authorities in Kiev had incorrectly interpreted an international deal to resolve the crisis in Ukraine, where rebellions have broken out in Russian-speaking eastern provinces. "If we are speaking about how the Geneva document is being interpreted in Kiev by the current authorities, then unfortunately they understood this incorrectly," Vladimir Chizhov told the Russian state television Rossiya-24. ... More »Russian EU envoy says Kiev misinterpreted Geneva agreement

  • Russia criticises Washington's assessment of accord on Ukraine

    Reuters - 2 hours 49 minutes ago

    Russia voiced disappointment on Friday with the U.S. assessment of an international deal to defuse the crisis in Ukraine, saying the threat of new sanctions against Moscow by Washington was "completely unacceptable". The Foreign Ministry accused U.S. officials of seeking to whitewash what it said was the use of force by the Ukrainian government against protesters in the country's mainly Russian-speaking eastern provinces. Thursday's deal called among other things for all illegal armed groups to disarm and end occupations of public buildings in Ukraine's east. President Barack Obama said the meeting in Geneva between Russia, Ukraine and Western powers was promising but that Washington and its allies were prepared to impose more sanctions on Russia if the situation fails to improve. More »Russia criticises Washington's assessment of accord on Ukraine

  • Chobani to expand offerings amid competition

    Associated Press - 2 hours 56 minutes ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Chobani plans to expand beyond its Greek yogurt cups this summer as it faces intensifying competition in the fast growing category. More »Chobani to expand offerings amid competition

  • Unemployment rates fall in 21 US states last month

    Associated Press - 3 hours ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — More than two-thirds of the states reported job gains in March, as hiring has improved for much of the country during what has been a sluggish but sustained 4 1/2-year recovery. More »Unemployment rates fall in 21 US states last month

  • Shell head tells Putin wants to expand Russia operations

    AFP - 3 hours ago

    Vladimir Putin (left) welcomes Royal Dutch Shell CEO Ben van Beurden to the president's Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow, on April 18, 2014 More »Shell head tells Putin wants to expand Russia operations

  • Vimpelcom resolves Algeria row with $2.6 billion stake sale

    Reuters - 3 hours ago

    By Maria Kiselyova MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's Vimpelcom has resolved a long-running dispute with the Algerian government by selling it a majority stake in the country's biggest telecoms operator for $2.6 billion (1.5 billion pounds), while it will keep control and slash debt. Orascom Telecom Algeria, also known as Djezzy, is a prized asset, which Vimpelcom bought in 2010 from Egyptian tycoon Naguib Sawiris as part of a more than $6 billion deal as it aimed to diversify outside of Russia. Algeria that year made moves to nationalise Djezzy, hitting the business with back tax claims and restrictions on imports and foreign exchange transactions, creating uncertainty that has weighed on Vimpelcom's shares. On Friday, Russia's third-largest mobile operator said that Global Telecom Holding (GTH) , its 51.9 percent-owned subsidiary, had signed an agreement to sell a 51 percent stake in Djezzy to the Algerian National Investment Fund (FNI) for $2.6 billion. More »Vimpelcom resolves Algeria row with $2.6 billion stake sale

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