• EU watchdog chief sees no clearing requirement for forex

    Reuters - 29 minutes ago

    By Huw Jones LONDON (Reuters) - Foreign exchange dealers won't face the added cost of having to clear some currency trades if the European Union decides they must come under new EU rules to make derivatives markets safer, a top regulator said. The bloc's executive European Commission is deciding whether part of the $5.3 trillion (3.15 trillion pounds) a day foreign exchange market should be legally defined as derivatives under the bloc's laws. This would trigger new regulatory requirements, such as mandatory reporting of trades, which began in February. Steven Maijoor, chairman of the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), an EU watchdog that is enforcing the new derivatives rules, said forex trades deemed to be derivatives would have to be reported. More »EU watchdog chief sees no clearing requirement for forex

  • Nadal eases into Monte Carlo Masters quarterfinals

    Associated Press - 31 minutes ago

    MONACO (AP) — Eight-time champion Rafael Nadal had little trouble reaching the quarterfinals of the Monte Carlo Masters, beating Italian Andreas Seppi 6-1, 6-3 on Thursday. More »Nadal eases into Monte Carlo Masters quarterfinals

  • China Resources chairman under investigation by anti-graft body

    Reuters - 37 minutes ago

    The chairman of state-owned China Resources Holdings Co. Ltd., a holding company for a group of energy, land and consumer businesses in mainland China and Hong Kong, is under investigation, China's top anti-corruption body said on Thursday. Song Lin is suspected of a serious violation of discipline, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection said in a one-line statement on its website. Song appears to be the latest official to fall in President Xi Jinping's fight against corruption. The journalist, Wang Wenzhi, is a reporter for the Economic Information Daily newspaper, run by the official Xinhua News Agency. More »China Resources chairman under investigation by anti-graft body

  • Google still top pick for Wall St., despite mobile ad challenges

    Reuters - 39 minutes ago

    By Saqib Iqbal Ahmed (Reuters) - Google Inc's disappointing first-quarter results left Wall Street unfazed about the internet giant's ability to come to grips with a shift to the fast-growing mobile advertising market. Google shares were down 2 percent in premarket trading on Thursday and at least 12 brokerages cut their target price on the stock. But most analysts kept their "buy" rating on the stock. ... More »Google still top pick for Wall St., despite mobile ad challenges

  • Three dead in east Ukraine, Putin warns of 'abyss'

    Reuters - 43 minutes ago

    By Aleksandar Vasovic and Alexei Anishchuk MARIUPOL, Ukraine/MOSCOW (Reuters) - Separatists attacked a Ukrainian national guard base overnight and Kiev said three separatists were killed, the worst bloodshed yet in a 10-day pro-Russian uprising in east Ukraine, overshadowing crisis talks to resolve the conflict. Ukrainian, Russian and Western diplomats arrived for the meeting in Geneva, but there was little hope of any progress in resolving a confrontation that has seen armed pro-Russian fighters seize whole swathes of Ukraine while Moscow masses tens of thousands of troops on the frontier. President Vladimir Putin, who overturned decades of post-Cold War diplomacy last month by declaring Russia's right to intervene in neighbouring countries and annexing Ukraine's Crimea region, accused the authorities in Kiev of plunging the country into an "abyss". More »Three dead in east Ukraine, Putin warns of 'abyss'

  • GE industrial profits rise 12 percent, shares up

    Reuters - 51 minutes ago

    General Electric Co posted a 12 percent rise in overall industrial profits on Thursday, as strength in its businesses selling gas turbines, jet engines and oil industry equipment offset weakness in healthcare and transportation. "The big story is the organic revenue growth," said Tim Ghriskey, chief investment officer of Solaris Asset Management, which owns GE shares. "It really shows the return to an industrial emphasis is paying off, and where the company is focusing." GE Chief Executive Officer Jeff Immelt wants to focus the company even more on manufacturing of large industrial products as he reduces the company's dependence on its GE Capital finance unit. More »GE industrial profits rise 12 percent, shares up

  • Russia's Putin fields question from U.S. fugitive Snowden

    Reuters - 54 minutes ago

    By Steve Gutterman and Alessandra Prentice MOSCOW (Reuters) - Edward Snowden, the fugitive former U.S. spy agency contractor who leaked details of U.S. intelligence eavesdropping, asked Russian President Vladimir Putin a question on Thursday during a televised call-in show. The exchange was the first known direct contact between Putin and Snowden since Russia granted the American asylum last summer after he disclosed widespread monitoring of telephone and internet data by the United States and fled the country. Snowden, who has been given refuge in Russia, was not in the studio where Putin was speaking. Snowden, wearing a jacket and open-collar shirt and speaking before a dark background, asked Putin: "Does Russia intercept, store or analyse, in any way, the communications of millions of individuals?" He also asked whether Putin believes improving the effectiveness of investigations justifies "placing societies .. under surveillance". More »Russia's Putin fields question from U.S. fugitive Snowden

  • Every dog has his day in court, in New Jersey

    Reuters - 54 minutes ago

    A computer glitch is likely to blame for a summons that called a German Shepherd to report for jury duty, court officials in New Jersey's Cumberland County said on Wednesday. Barrett Griner IV, of Bridgeton, said he opened a jury summons on Friday addressed to "IV Griner," the name of his 5-year-old dog. "I got mail for my dog." The court did not actually request that a dog serve on a jury, said Mark Sprock, the local trial court administrator. More »Every dog has his day in court, in New Jersey

  • RBS says review finds no evidence of fraud in UK business lending

    Reuters - 58 minutes ago

    Royal Bank of Scotland said on Thursday that an independent review by law firm Clifford Chance has found no evidence that it set out to defraud its business customers. "I welcome the Clifford Chance findings which show no evidence of the serious and damaging allegation that we had set out to deliberately defraud our business customers," Chief Executive Ross McEwan said on Thursday. Lawrence Tomlinson, who serves as an "entrepreneur-in-residence" at government minister Vince Cable's business department, said RBS had engineered businesses into default in order to move them into its Global Restructuring Group (GRG), enabling it to generate revenue through higher fees and the purchase of devalued assets by its property division, West Register. More »RBS says review finds no evidence of fraud in UK business lending

  • India's Wipro fourth-quarter profit rises 29 percent, beats estimates

    Reuters - 1 hour 3 minutes ago

    (Reuters) - India's Wipro Ltd posted a 29 percent rise in its fourth-quarter net profit, beating expectations, helped by increased IT spending by its customers. Like its rivals Infosys Ltd and Tata Consultancy Services Ltd, Wipro is banking on a revival in demand for IT services in the industry's biggest markets as the economies of the United States and Europe improve. That compares with average analyst estimates of 21.06 billion rupees in net profit, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. India's outsourcing sector generates more than 90 percent of its sales from providing services, including setting up IT networks and developing software applications for overseas clients. Shares of Bangalore-based Wipro closed at 585.85 rupees on Thursday. More »India's Wipro fourth-quarter profit rises 29 percent, beats estimates

  • China says man attacked checkpoint in Xinjiang

    Associated Press - 1 hour 5 minutes ago

    BEIJING (AP) — China says police killed a youth who attacked a checkpoint in the restive northwestern Xinjiang region, contradicting allegations he was gunned down after running a red light. More »China says man attacked checkpoint in Xinjiang

  • Etihad toughens stance on Alitalia deal but talks continue - sources

    Reuters - 1 hour 10 minutes ago

    Etihad Airways has toughened its stance on conditions for investing in Italy's struggling Alitalia airline but talks are continuing, sources said on Thursday. But a government source said developments could be overcome. An Etihad spokesperson declined to comment. Alitalia also declined to comment. More »Etihad toughens stance on Alitalia deal but talks continue - sources

  • Blast on site of ammunition plant kills 1

    Associated Press - 1 hour 17 minutes ago

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — An explosion and fire at a Tennessee plant where ammunition is made killed one person and injured three others. More »Blast on site of ammunition plant kills 1

  • Divers struggle in search for Korean ferry survivors

    Reuters - 1 hour 19 minutes ago

    By Narae Kim JINDO, South Korea (Reuters) - Rescuers struggled with strong waves and murky waters on Thursday as they searched for hundreds of people, most of them teenagers from the same school, still missing after a South Korean ferry capsized 36 hours ago. Nine people have been found dead and 179 were rescued, according to the South Korean government, leaving 287 unaccounted for and possibly trapped in the vessel. More »Divers struggle in search for Korean ferry survivors

  • India holds biggest day of voting with Hindu nationalists gaining strength

    Reuters - 1 hour 20 minutes ago

    By Ashutosh Pandey and Swetha Gopinath BANGALORE (Reuters) - India held the biggest day of its mammoth general election on Thursday, with a quarter of its 815 million-strong electorate eligible to vote during a week of fresh blows for the ruling Congress party and gains for the Hindu nationalist opposition. Narendra Modi, the prime-ministerial candidate of the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has been wooing voters with promises to rescue India from its slowest economic growth in a decade and create jobs for its booming young population. In the latest large opinion poll, the BJP and its allies were forecast to win a narrow majority in the 543-seat lower house of parliament, compared to previous surveys predicting that they would fall short. Yet a decision by the Election Commission to reprimand a senior Modi aide for making speeches deemed to stir tensions with minority Muslims underlined critics' assertions that the party is a divisive force. More »India holds biggest day of voting with Hindu nationalists gaining strength

  • GDF Suez loses legal case on 1 billion euros in Belgian nuclear tax

    Reuters - 1 hour 20 minutes ago

    French utility GDF Suez's Belgian subsidiary said a Brussels court had ruled in favour of the government in a case over about 1 billion euros (832.6 million pounds) in taxes levied on its profits from generating nuclear power. Belgium imposed a nuclear tax on GDF subsidiary Electrabel that amounted to about 250 million euros a year from 2008 through 2011, the company estimated. The Court of First Instance in Brussels ruled in favour of the government. "We will analyse what further steps we are taking," a spokeswoman for Electrabel said on Thursday, without giving any more details. More »GDF Suez loses legal case on 1 billion euros in Belgian nuclear tax

  • M26 Pile-Up: Lorry Driver Held After Two Killed

    Sky News - 1 hour 27 minutes ago

    A 45-year-old lorry driver has been arrested after two people died in a pile-up involving five vehicles on the M26. Many Twitter users reported being stuck in the resulting traffic jams for several hours. The Red Cross sent its emergency teams to help those stranded, many of whom found themselves in stationary cars in unseasonably warm April weather. Chief Inspector Matt Kendall from Kent Police said: 'We appreciate that some members of the public were inconvenienced for some time but, in light of the tragic circumstances of the incident, we had a duty to conduct a thorough and detailed investigation at the scene. More »M26 Pile-Up: Lorry Driver Held After Two Killed

  • Japan govt cuts econ view after sales tax; no need for fresh stimulus

    Reuters - 1 hour 29 minutes ago

    By Tetsushi Kajimoto TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's government slightly cut its overall view on the economy, its first downgrade in a year and a half, but officials shrugged off the need for more stimulus to support the economy. The government said the economy was on track for a moderate recovery, in keeping with its main overview at its March assessment, but noted there was some weakness in demand after a sales tax increase went into effect on April 1. The government's first downgrade since November 2012 comes a week after the Bank of Japan kept its rosy view that the economy was recovering moderately. But government officials see no gap in the economic view of the government and the central bank. More »Japan govt cuts econ view after sales tax; no need for fresh stimulus

  • Iran cuts sensitive nuclear stockpile, key plant delayed - IAEA

    Reuters - 1 hour 31 minutes ago

    By Fredrik Dahl VIENNA (Reuters) - Iran has acted to cut its most sensitive nuclear stockpile by nearly 75 percent in implementing a landmark pact with world powers, but a planned facility it will need to fulfil the six-month deal has been delayed, a U.N. report showed on Thursday. The monthly update by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which has a pivotal role in verifying that Iran is living up to its part of the accord, made clear that Iran so far is undertaking the agreed steps to curb its nuclear programme. As a result, Iran is gradually gaining access to some previously blocked overseas funds. Japan has made two more payments totalling $1 billion to Iran for crude imports, two sources with knowledge of the transactions said. More »Iran cuts sensitive nuclear stockpile, key plant delayed - IAEA

  • Weibo cuts IPO size amid selloff in technology stocks

    Reuters - 1 hour 31 minutes ago

    (Reuters) - China's Weibo Corp, a Twitter-like messaging service company, raised a less-than-expected $286 million (170 million pounds) after it cut the size of its U.S. initial public offering amid a selloff in technology shares and concerns about slowing user growth. The offering comes ahead of the much-anticipated IPO of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, which holds stake in Weibo. Weibo, controlled by Web portal company Sina Corp, sold 16.8 million American depositary shares (ADSs) at $17 each, the company said on Thursday. At the offer price, Weibo is valued at $3.46 billion. More »Weibo cuts IPO size amid selloff in technology stocks

  • Private eggs freeze offer for woman

    Press Association - 1 hour 32 minutes ago

    An artist who suffers from Crohn's Disease has been offered private financial support to freeze her eggs before she undergoes chemotherapy, her solicitors have announced. More »Private eggs freeze offer for woman

  • Woman jailed over blackmail plot

    Press Association - 1 hour 32 minutes ago

    A former soldier who underwent a sex change has been jailed for six years for her part in a conspiracy to blackmail an animal testing company through a campaign of terror which involved the use of improvised explosive devices and the desecration of graves. More »Woman jailed over blackmail plot

  • Germany's SAP braced for continued currency crunch

    Reuters - 1 hour 33 minutes ago

    By Harro Ten Wolde FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German business software maker SAP warned on Thursday that it expects the negative impact of the strong euro to worsen after reporting lower than expected first-quarter results. The warning comes as SAP grapples with a short-term squeeze from its shift to web-based cloud computing, prompting it to push back its profit target as it waits for subscription income to gather pace and increases investment to keep up with the fast-growing market. SAP said its software and software-related service revenues would fall 6 percentage points in the second quarter if exchange rates remain at March levels, while the hit for operating profit excluding special items would be 8 percentage points. That compares with a first-quarter impact of 5 percentage points on both software and software-related service revenues and operating profit. More »Germany's SAP braced for continued currency crunch

  • Nigeria local authorities say most of abducted schoolgirls still missing

    Reuters - 1 hour 35 minutes ago

    Authorities in Nigeria's northeast Borno state denied on Thursday a statement by the armed forces which had said most of the more than 100 schoolgirls abducted by Islamist rebels had been freed in a military rescue operation. "As I am talking to you now, only 14 of the students have returned," an aide to Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima told Reuters, asking not to be named. The assertion directly contradicted a statement issued late on Wednesday by national armed forces spokesman Major General Chris Olukolade in which he said only eight of the students were still missing after the military operation. An uncle of two of the teenagers who were snatched on Monday by Islamist Boko Haram militants from the government secondary school at Chibok in Borno state said the search was still going on. More »Nigeria local authorities say most of abducted schoolgirls still missing

  • Reporters charged with defamation remanded on bail in Thailand

    Reuters - 1 hour 39 minutes ago

    By Amy Sawitta Lefevre PHUKET, Thailand (Reuters) - Two journalists were remanded on bail in Thailand on Thursday on charges of criminal defamation and other offences in connection with a story they published on the trafficking of Muslim minority Rohingya people from Myanmar. Alan Morison, an Australian, and Thai national Chutima Sidasathian published a story last July for the Phuketwan news website about Rohingya boat people who had fled Myanmar and were mostly trying to get to Malaysia. A criminal court on the island of Phuket in the south of Thailand, where the news website is based, ruled the case against the two journalists should proceed and set the first hearing for May 26. Two Reuters journalists, Jason Szep and Andrew R.C. Marshall, won a Pulitzer prize on Monday for a year-long series of stories on the Rohingya written from Myanmar, Thailand and Malaysia. More »Reporters charged with defamation remanded on bail in Thailand

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