Developing

  • A Minute With: Elisabeth Moss and her dream 'Mad Men' role

    Reuters - 11 hours ago

    By Jill Serjeant NEW YORK (Reuters) - As AMC's hit period advertising drama "Mad Men" enters the second part of its final season beginning April 5, actress Elisabeth Moss reflects on her role as Peggy Olson, who blossomed from a shy secretary to an early 1960s feminist and rising female ad agency copy-writer. Moss, 32, spoke with Reuters about how she never became bored with Peggy and how her character may, or may not, end up. More »A Minute With: Elisabeth Moss and her dream 'Mad Men' role

  • India's Nirodh condoms to get visual facelift

    Reuters - 11 hours ago

    By Aditya Kalra NEW DELHI (Reuters) - When it comes to the wrappers of government-supplied condoms, boring is out, attractive is in, but erotic is too much. India is readying a redesign of the staid packaging of its half-century-old condom brand, incorporating pictures of handsome men and gorgeous women, in a desperate bid to seduce customers drawn to fancier versions sold by private firms. The government gives away 650 million 'Nirodh' condoms each year in its safe sex campaign, but the text-heavy display and condoms crammed into a white plastic wrapper are a turnoff for many. "We need looks and quality, and it lacks both." To change this perception, the health ministry has set up a panel to review pictures as well as more vibrant colours for the wrappers of condoms made by state-owned HLL Lifecare. More »India's Nirodh condoms to get visual facelift

  • South Africa's vehicle sales barely changed year/year in March

    Reuters - 11 hours ago

    JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa's new vehicle sales were virtually unchanged at 55,449 units in March compared with 55,440 units in the same period last year, data from the trade department showed on Wednesday. Exports however jumped by 38.5 percent year-on-year to 34,147 units in March. More »South Africa's vehicle sales barely changed year/year in March

  • BOJ's Kuroda says JGB buying aimed at achieving price goal

    Reuters - 11 hours ago

    TOKYO (Reuters) - Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said on Wednesday that the bank is buying government debt as a necessary step to achieve its 2 percent inflation target. Kuroda, speaking in parliament, said he pays heed to the central bank's financial health while buying government bonds, adding that even if bond yields rose the BOJ would not need to book evaluated losses on its JGB holdings. (Reporting by Tetsushi Kajimoto and Stanley White) More »BOJ's Kuroda says JGB buying aimed at achieving price goal

  • Exclusive - 'Abenomics' architect says BOJ must ease again on April 30

    Reuters - 11 hours ago

    By Leika Kihara and Yuko Yoshikawa TOKYO (Reuters) - The Bank of Japan must ease monetary policy further at its rate review on April 30 given signs of slowdown in the economy and prices, a ruling party lawmaker and one of the architects of premier Shinzo Abe's "Abenomics" reflationary policies said. The central bank has various tools available if it were to act again, such as topping up asset purchases or scrapping a 0.1 percent floor it sets on money market rates, said Kozo Yamamoto, a leading expert on monetary policy in Abe's ruling Liberal Democratic Party. To do nothing isn't an option for the BOJ," Yamamoto, a close aide to Abe, told Reuters on Wednesday. "Further monetary easing is absolutely essential to ensure that the Japanese don't slip back to a deflationary mindset." A vocal advocate of aggressive monetary stimulus, Yamamoto told Reuters last October that the BOJ needed to deploy additional stimulus to ease the pain from a sales tax hike in April. More »Exclusive - 'Abenomics' architect says BOJ must ease again on April 30

  • Hostage crisis is campaign gift for Erdogan

    Al Jazeera - 11 hours ago

    Istanbul hostage incident highlights the enduring impact of the Gezi protests and the polarisation of Turkish society. More »Hostage crisis is campaign gift for Erdogan

  • India to repackage state-supplied condoms in bid to attract users

    Reuters - 11 hours ago

    By Aditya Kalra NEW DELHI (Reuters) - When it comes to the wrappers of India's state-supplied condoms, boring is out, attractive is in, but erotic is too much. India is readying a redesign of the staid packaging of its half-century-old condom brand, incorporating pictures of handsome men and gorgeous women, in a desperate bid to seduce customers drawn to fancier versions sold by private firms. The government gives away 650 million 'Nirodh' condoms each year in its safe sex campaign, but the text-heavy display and condoms crammed into a white plastic wrapper are a turnoff for many. "We need looks and quality, and it lacks both." To change this perception, India's health ministry has set up a panel to review pictures as well as more vibrant colors for the wrappers of condoms made by state-owned HLL Lifecare. More »India to repackage state-supplied condoms in bid to attract users

  • Nigerian markets rally after Buhari wins presidential vote

    Reuters - 12 hours ago

    By Chijioke Ohuocha LAGOS (Reuters) - Nigeria's main shares index soared to its single biggest daily gain this year on Wednesday while bond yields fell sharply and the naira currency surged in the black market as investors cheered Muhammadu Buhari's presidential election victory. The main shares index rose 8.4 percent as financial markets in Africa's biggest economy welcomed the peaceful outcome of the closely-fought elections, marking the first time in Africa's most populous nation where a sitting president was voted out of power through the ballot box. Buhari takes charge of Africa's biggest oil producer and one of the continent's most turbulent democracies, three decades after seizing power in a military coup. The naira firmed 0.46 percent to 217 against the dollar on the parallel market, a black market dealer said. More »Nigerian markets rally after Buhari wins presidential vote

  • Gaza man feels duped after selling Banksy mural for $175

    Reuters - 12 hours ago

    By Nidal al-Mughrabi GAZA (Reuters) - A Palestinian man was lamenting his misfortune on Wednesday after selling his bombed-out doorway to a local artist without realizing that the image painted on it was by Banksy and could be worth a small fortune. Rabea Darduna, a father of six from northern Gaza, said he sold the iron-and-brick doorway of his destroyed house to a local man who offered him 700 shekels ($175) for it. Banksy, a British street artist who is famed for his ironic murals in unexpected places, visited Gaza earlier this year and spray-painted an image of a goddess holding her head in her hand on the door, one of a handful of paintings he did in Gaza. "I had no idea what the value of the painting was or who this Banksy is," a frustrated Darduna told Reuters by telephone. More »Gaza man feels duped after selling Banksy mural for $175

  • Nevada rancher Bundy holds rally in support of public lands bill

    Reuters - 12 hours ago

    (Reuters) - The Nevada rancher who was at the center of an armed standoff with federal agents last year held a peaceful rally on Tuesday in support of a proposal that would give the state greater control of public lands, local media said. Cliven Bundy's ranch in Bunkerville, 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas, was the site of an armed protest against the U.S. Bureau of Land Management last April after the agency sought to seize cattle because Bundy refused to pay grazing fees. Nevada lawmakers are debating a bill that would make the federal government obtain permission to use land in the state, and would let county commissions parcel out state land for commercial use, including land claimed by the U.S. government. Nearby, several opponents of the proposal being discussed in the Legislature waved banners that read: "Keep public lands in public hands," and "Nevada is not for sale." Opponents say the legislation would threaten access to public lands and could end up damaging the state's hunting, fishing and outdoor pursuits industries. More »Nevada rancher Bundy holds rally in support of public lands bill

  • After Christie's privatization, NJ lottery missing targets

    Associated Press - 12 hours ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — When Chris Christie privatized New Jersey's lottery two years ago, he said its new overseers would "modernize and maximize" the games. More »After Christie's privatization, NJ lottery missing targets

  • Obama commends Nigerian leaders, urges peaceful transition

    Reuters - 12 hours ago

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday commended Nigerian President-elect Muhammadu Buhari and current President Goodluck Jonathan following the African nation's first democratic transfer of power, and he praised the country's commitment to democracy. "I urge President-Elect Buhari and President Jonathan to repeat their calls to their supporters to continue to respect the election outcomes, focus on unifying the country, and together lead Nigeria through a peaceful transition," Obama said in a statement. More »Obama commends Nigerian leaders, urges peaceful transition

  • South Africa's 2014/15 revenue at 986.4 bln rand: finance minister

    Reuters - 12 hours ago

    PRETORIA (Reuters) - South Africa collected 986.4 billion rand ($82 billion) in revenue during the 2014/15 fiscal year, Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene said on Wednesday, but did not give an estimate for expenditure as had been expected. Nene told a news conference he would give a budget deficit forecast for 2014/15 in June, and a senior Treasury official said this estimate was likely to be narrower than the 3.9 percent shortfall predicted in February. ($1 = 12.0650 rand) More »South Africa's 2014/15 revenue at 986.4 bln rand: finance minister

  • What does historian Simon Schama think about selfies?

    SNAP.PA - 12 hours ago

    The craze for snaps of ourselves has been irking the TV presenter. More »What does historian Simon Schama think about selfies?

  • Bill Gross of Janus says funds he manages resemble Bridgewater strategy

    Reuters - 12 hours ago

    By Jennifer Ablan NEW YORK (Reuters) - Bill Gross, the closely watched bond investor, on Wednesday said the portfolios he manages at Janus Capital Group Inc closely resemble the investment strategies of Bridgewater Associates, the world's largest hedge fund firm. Gross, who runs the Janus Global Unconstrained Bond Fund, said in his latest Investment Outlook report: "Unconstrained portfolios at Janus mimic most closely the strategic philosophy at Bridgewater." Unconstrained bond funds have become some of the most popular investment vehicles over the last year because they have the flexibility to invest in all types of bond securities globally and often invest in credit rather than interest-rate sensitive assets. Bridgewater, with assets under management of about $169 billion and run by Ray Dalio, has used leverage to try to magnify returns on stocks, bonds and commodities. More »Bill Gross of Janus says funds he manages resemble Bridgewater strategy

  • Iraq army hunts ISIL fighters after Tikrit breakthrough

    Al Jazeera - 12 hours ago

    Army and allied Shia militias reconquer centre of Tikrit but pockets of ISIL fighters remain, militia leader says. More »Iraq army hunts ISIL fighters after Tikrit breakthrough

  • Italy, Vatican sign financial information exchange deal

    Reuters - 12 hours ago

    By Philip Pullella VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - The Vatican and Italy signed a financial information sharing agreement on Wednesday in which the Holy See pledged full cooperation and transparency and effectively relinquished banking secrecy. The Vatican has long been criticised by international financial organisations for providing a tax haven for well-connected Italians. In particular, the Vatican bank for decades allowed many Italian citizens to hold bank accounts. The deal, announced in two separate statements from the Vatican and the Italian Economy Ministry, came after months of negotiations and will cover information from 2009 onwards. More »Italy, Vatican sign financial information exchange deal

  • Turkish Airlines flight returns to Istanbul after bags found

    Reuters - 12 hours ago

    A Turkish Airlines flight to Lisbon was diverted back to Istanbul on Wednesday after unaccompanied baggage was found on board, a spokeswoman told Reuters. TK1759 was carrying 170 passengers and seven crew members to Lisbon, the spokeswoman said on condition her name was not used. All passengers were being taken to another aircraft to resume their journey to Lisbon, she said. It was the third time in a week a Turkish Airlines flight has been forced to change course. More »Turkish Airlines flight returns to Istanbul after bags found

  • Progress made at Iran nuclear talks, deal possible - Germany

    Reuters - 12 hours ago

    Iran and six world powers have made progress in talks in Lausanne, Switzerland, about Tehran's nuclear programme and a deal is possible, but not yet certain, a German foreign ministry spokeswoman said on Wednesday. "An agreement must stop Iran's path to a nuclear bomb in a verifiable, long-term and credible way," she said adding there would not be a "bad deal". More »Progress made at Iran nuclear talks, deal possible - Germany

  • Lufthansa CEO ignores barrage of questions on pilot's depression

    Reuters - 12 hours ago

    Lufthansa's boss declined to answer a barrage of questions on Wednesday on what the airline knew of the mental health problems of Andreas Lubitz, the pilot believed to have deliberately crashed a plane in the French Alps last week. The German carrier said on Tuesday it had uncovered emails showing that Lubitz, who flew for Lufthansa's budget airline Germanwings, had told its flight school that he had suffered a period of severe depression. The chief executive, Carsten Spohr, declined to respond to intense questioning from journalists on Thursday after visiting a memorial site near the crash in France, walking away after giving a prepared statement. More »Lufthansa CEO ignores barrage of questions on pilot's depression

  • Monty Don to explore gardens of the past

    SNAP.PA - 12 hours ago

    The TV presenter will take a look at how British horticulture has changed over four centuries. More »Monty Don to explore gardens of the past

  • China expands investment scope of 1.2 trillion yuan social security fund

    Reuters - 12 hours ago

    China is expanding the investment scope of the country's 1.2 trillion yuan (131.33 billion pounds) social security fund to allow it to buy more local government debt, investment trusts and shares in state-owned companies, the cabinet said on Wednesday. The State Council said in an online statement that the investment limit for corporate and local government debt would be increased to 20 percent from 10 percent. The fund backs China's pension system, which must cope with a rapidly ageing population and shrinking workforce. The move may also aid the central government in finding buyers for local government debt being converted to bonds, an attempt to bring financial risks under control. More »China expands investment scope of 1.2 trillion yuan social security fund

  • Obama congratulates President-elect Buhari of Nigeria

    Associated Press - 12 hours ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is congratulating the president-elect of Nigeria, saying the election there has "shown the world the strength" of the African country's commitment to Democratic ideals. More »Obama congratulates President-elect Buhari of Nigeria

  • Tandoori microwaves help Samsung woo India, counter global dip

    Reuters - 12 hours ago

    By Nivedita Bhattacharjee MUMBAI (Reuters) - Microwave ovens that cook tandoori bread, smartphones that understand Tamil and washing machines designed to deal with humid, dusty cities: all part of Samsung Electronics' <005930.KS> push to conquer India and offset a global slump. The consumer electronics giant is betting big on Asia's third-largest economy, at a time when overall sales have struggled against rivals like Apple . In January, Samsung reported its first annual group profit drop since 2011, and in February its first wage freeze for employees in Korea in six years. One source familiar with Samsung said the group, one of the biggest players in the Indian consumer electronics market, would invest up to $1 billion in manufacturing units and in research and development, adapting products to local taste and needs. More »Tandoori microwaves help Samsung woo India, counter global dip

  • Israel applies to join China-backed AIIB investment bank

    Reuters - 12 hours ago

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has signed a letter of application for Israel to join the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), the Israeli Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday. More than 40 countries, including Australia, South Korea, Britain, France, Germany and Italy, have said they would sign up to the AIIB, with Japan and the United States the two notable absentees. China set a March 31 deadline to become a founding member of the AIIB, an institution that could enhance Beijing's regional and global influence. Washington initially tried to dissuade its allies from joining the AIIB, seeing it as a challenge to the World Bank and Asian Development Bank over which the U.S. exerts considerable influence, but changed tack after many signed up for it. More »Israel applies to join China-backed AIIB investment bank

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