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  • Hundreds of dignitaries to attend as Japan's emperor declares enthronement

    Japanese Emperor Naruhito is set to proclaim his enthronement to the world next week in a centuries-old ceremony attended by some 2,500 people, including heads of state and other dignitaries from nearly 200 countries. Emperor Naruhito, 59, acceded to the throne in May after his father, Akihito, became the first monarch to abdicate in two centuries. Emperor Naruhito, like his father nearly three decades ago, will wear a traditional robe and headdress to the ceremony that will start at 1:00 p.m. (0400 GMT) at the Imperial Palace's Matsu no ma, or Hall of Pine, the most prestigious space in the palace.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 05:47:28 -0400
  • UPDATE 1-UK retail sales growth softens as department stores disappoint

    * Q3 retail sales growth slows to 3.1% from Q2 3.6% * Spending rising at weakest pace since Q2 2016 * Department stores report biggest fall in sales since 2009 (Adds reaction) By David Milliken and Jonathan Cable LONDON, Oct 17 (Reuters) - British shoppers grew more cautious about their spending in the three months to September despite rising wages, official figures showed on Thursday, raising concerns about the health of the economy in the run-up to Brexit. Consumer spending has been the biggest driver of British economic growth since June 2016's referendum to leave the European Union, but there have been increasing signs that this is starting to soften. Looking at the third quarter as a whole, which strips out monthly volatility, quarterly sales growth held steady at 0.6% while the annual pace of expansion dropped to 3.1% from 3.6% in the second quarter, the weakest since the late 2018.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 05:28:06 -0400
  • 'GMA' Deals & Steals on smart kitchen savers news

    Tory Johnson is back with exclusive "Deals and Steals" on smart products for your kitchen. Score big savings on everything from a splatter protector to a knife sharpener, innovative kitchen appliances and more. Find all of Tory's "Deals and Steals" on her special deals website,

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 05:26:38 -0400
  • WRAPUP 2-Brexit up in the air at EU summit as N.Irish DUP baulks at deal

    Prime Minister Boris Johnson's last-ditch attempt to clinch a Brexit deal was thrown into disarray hours before a European Union summit on Thursday when the Northern Irish party he needs to help ratify any agreement refused to support it. Johnson had set his hopes on convincing EU leaders to seal a divorce agreement at the summit, followed by a vote at an extraordinary session of the British parliament on Saturday, to pave the way for an orderly departure on Oct. 31.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 05:24:28 -0400
  • UPDATE 1-Russia protests after catching U.S. diplomats near military test site

    Russia said on Thursday it would issue a formal note of protest to the United States after it caught three U.S. diplomats in what it said was a restricted area near a closed military testing site. The diplomats were removed from a train on Monday in northern Russia and briefly detained before being let go. The area where they were intercepted is of heightened interest to Western intelligence agencies after a mysterious military accident took place there in August which saw radiation levels briefly spike and killed at least five employees of Russia's Rosatom state nuclear corporation.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 05:24:00 -0400
  • 'GMA' Daily Deals with Tory Johnson: 50% off shawls, tops and dresses news

    'GMA' Daily Deals with Tory Johnson: 50% off shawls, tops and dresses originally appeared on goodmorningamerica.comCan't get enough of Tory Johnson's "Deals and Steals"? Neither can we.Now Tory has curated an exclusive collection of "GMA Daily Deals" online every day.You can find a new deal here every day, Monday to Thursday, through mid-December. So, bookmark this page and check back! See full deal details below.Deal Details:1. Use the links provided below on the date(s) listed to receive the savings.2. All deals are available only while supplies last. ...

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 05:24:00 -0400
  • UPDATE 1-Australian intelligence agency wants more resources to counter foreign interference

    Australia's national intelligence agency said in a report this week that it does not have enough resources to collect intelligence on foreign agents and their efforts to interfere. Australia, a staunch U.S. ally, has been on heightened alert against the threat of home-grown radicals after several "lone wolf" attacks in recent years. "With the terrorist threat showing no signs of significantly decreasing, ASIO has limited scope to redirect internal resources to address the increasing gap between demand for our counter-espionage and foreign interference advice, and our ability to furnish this assistance," Duncan Lewis, former Director-General of ASIO said in the agency's annual report.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 05:23:40 -0400
  • Turkey could boost 2020 spending for Syria 'safe zone' housing

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    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 05:18:02 -0400
  • Sterling weakens amid mixed Brexit signals from Brussels

    The pound weakened on Thursday after Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party said it could not support a Brexit deal proposed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the European Union, though it traded close to a five-month high. On top of that, French junior foreign affairs minister Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne said a Brexit deal was within "arm's reach" but still not guaranteed.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 05:16:24 -0400
  • GLOBAL MARKETS-Brexit snags stall sterling rally, stocks drift lower

    Sterling faltered on Thursday and Europe's main stock markets went in and out of the red as hopes for a smooth Brexit ran into familiar Irish border snags. Asia earlier saw a five-day stocks rally grind to a halt as Wednesday's disappointing U.S. retail sales data on spread gloom, including to the dollar, though even there traders were watching Brexit. Ongoing Brexit talks passed various deadlines, but the main development was Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party saying that it could not support proposed solutions to Irish border checks.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 05:14:34 -0400
  • UK Labour lawmaker leaves party, says Corbyn unfit to serve

    A longtime U.K. Labour legislator has left the opposition party and warned that leader Jeremy Corbyn is unfit to become prime minister. Louise Ellman said Thursday she is leaving the party after 55 years because of Corbyn's failure to confront mounting anti-Semitism in its ranks. The 73-year-old Jewish legislator said she was "deeply troubled" by spreading anti-Semitism within the Labour Party and felt she had to take a stand with a national election expected in the coming months.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 05:11:50 -0400
  • Giuliani Ukraine associate had checkered past even before indictment news

    On Oct. 25, 2008, the owner of a property in Florida in which Lev Parnas had been living told Parnas to leave. When the men began to argue and the owner told Parnas he would call the police, Parnas told the man, "If you call the cops, they are not going to find you ever," according to a petition for a restraining order filed by the landlord in Miami-Dade county court and obtained by POLITICO. According to the petition, Parnas held a gun to the man’s head and said, "This is my last warning to you," then got into his car, a dark blue Porsche Cayenne, and drove off.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 05:06:17 -0400
  • Rep. Elijah Cummings, House Oversight Committee Chair, is dead at 68 news

    Rep. Elijah Cummings, House Oversight Committee Chair, is dead at 68 originally appeared on abcnews.go.comElijah Cummings, the long-serving Democratic congressman who was deeply involved in the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, has passed away at the age of 68.He had represented Maryland's 7th congressional district since 1996.As chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, he had a prominent role in the ongoing impeachment inquiry.His office announced that he passed away at approximately 2:45 a.m. ...

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 05:05:00 -0400
  • EXCLUSIVE-Iran-backed militias deployed snipers in Iraq protests - sources

    Iran-backed militias deployed snipers on Baghdad rooftops during Iraq's deadliest anti-government protests in years, two Iraqi security officials told Reuters. The deployment of militia fighters, which has not been previously reported, underscores the chaotic nature of Iraqi politics amid mass protests that led to more than 100 deaths and 6,000 injuries during the week starting Oct. 1. Such militias have become a fixture here with Iran's rising influence.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 05:02:46 -0400
  • U.S. tariffs threaten livelihoods of Spain's olive-farming families

    A double whammy of U.S. import tariffs kicking in on Friday and a recent steep drop in global olive oil prices is threatening the subsistence of thousands of families in southern Spain who fully depend on "liquid gold", as the oil is known here. The southern Andalusia region is home to the world's largest olive oil industry, accounting for about half the global output. U.S. President Donald Trump's administration imposed 25% import tariffs on several European agricultural products, including Spanish olive oil, as part of WTO-authorised countermeasures in a long-running spat over subsidies to planemaker Airbus.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 05:00:00 -0400
  • China says two U.S. citizens arrested in September have been released on bail

    China said on Thursday that two U.S. citizens who were placed under criminal detention in late September have been released on bail and are awaiting trial on charges of illegally moving people across country borders. Alyssa Peterson and Jacob Harlan, who worked for U.S.-based education company China Horizons, were detained in eastern China late last month and have been in contact with U.S. officials, said foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang. China Horizons said in a social media post last week that the company has been operating in the country for 17 years and that it believed the charges were "bogus".

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 04:58:32 -0400
  • Kiev commercial court suspends PrivatBank case hearing

    A Kiev court has suspended hearing a case about Ukraine's largest lender PrivatBank until a hearing in a similar case in another court is completed, a PrivatBank lawyer told Reuters on Thursday, confirming a report by Interfax Ukraine. Kiev's commercial court was due to hear a case brought by PrivatBank's former owner Ihor Kolomoisky, who alleges that the sale of PrivatBank shares to the government in 2016 during the lender's nationalisation was illegal.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 04:56:41 -0400
  • Rep. Cummings still not back to work after medical procedure

    U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings, of Baltimore, hasn't returned to work after having a medical procedure that he said would only keep him away for about a week. The Baltimore Sun reports the Democratic House Oversight and Reform Committee chair is a key figure in the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. The procedure already caused Cummings to miss a September hearing on Washington, D.C., statehood.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 04:55:16 -0400
  • WRAPUP-Brexit up in the air at EU summit as DUP refuses to back draft

    Prime Minister Boris Johnson's last-ditch attempt to clinch a Brexit deal was thrown into disarray hours before a European Union summit on Thursday when the Northern Irish party he needs to help ratify any agreement refused to support it. Johnson had set his hopes on convincing EU leaders to seal a divorce agreement at the summit, followed by a vote at an extraordinary session of the British parliament on Saturday, to pave the way for an orderly departure on Oct. 31. Negotiators worked through several nights to agree a draft compromise on the Irish border issue, the most difficult part of Brexit, haggling over everything from customs checks to the thorny issue of consent from the Northern Irish administration.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 04:53:38 -0400
  • UPDATE 1-Swedish Statistics Office says jobless figures suspect

    Recent Swedish jobless figures - which that have shown a sharp rise in unemployment and led to calls for the central bank to postpone planned interest rate hikes - are suspect, the country's Statistics Office said on Thursday. It said it had identified problems in the way it has gathered data for the unemployment survey, with numbers affected as far back as June 2018. The problems also led to the unemployment rate being underestimated at the start of the year and then overestimated in more recent months.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 04:52:01 -0400
  • UK trade minister says government is putting pressure on U.S. over whisky tariffs

    Britain is putting as much pressure as it can on the United States to rethink a decision to impose tariffs on Scottish whisky, trade minister Liz Truss said on Thursday. The United States plans to impose 25% duties on a range of European products, including Scottish whiskies, after it was authorised to by the World Trade Organization as retaliation for illegal EU aircraft subsidies.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 04:51:49 -0400
  • Cypriot MP demands answers for passports to Cambodian elite

    A Cyprus opposition lawmaker on Thursday called on the government to explain itself after Reuters disclosed relatives and allies of Cambodia's leader acquired Cypriot passports under a controversial investment for citizenship scheme. Irene Charalambides, who is also a special representative on fighting corruption for the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, issued a scathing post on social media saying the disclosure made Cyprus the object of international "ridicule". "Where does the issuance of passports stop?

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 04:50:12 -0400
  • REFILE-UPDATE 1-European shares hit by Brexit deal doubts; Ericsson jumps

    European stocks recovered from a weak start on Thursday, helped by strong earnings from Swedish telecoms gear maker Ericsson as signs of continuing political barriers to a Brexit deal hit domestically-focused UK firms. Ericsson was the index's top performer, jumping 6.4% after posting quarterly core earnings that were well ahead of expectations and lifting its 2020 sales target. "There was a consensus view on Ericsson that maybe they've disappointed on the margins which was holding people back," said Mark Taylor, sales trader at Mirabaud.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 04:46:50 -0400
  • UPDATE 1-British mid-caps dip as Brexit mood sours

    Britain's FTSE 250 slid on Thursday after Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) cast doubts on the prospects of a Brexit deal, while shares of building materials suppliers and homebuilders tumbled after Grafton's profit alert. The FTSE 250, up more than 3% since last week amid a flurry of contrasting Brexit headlines, shed 0.5% as sterling slipped after the DUP said it could not back the Brexit deal as it currently stands.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 04:42:37 -0400
  • EU will not negotiate Brexit deal with Johnson at summit - EU official

    EU leaders will not negotiate Britain's divorce deal from the bloc with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a summit on Thursday and it may be impossible to finalise any agreement before the end of the month, a senior EU official said. Johnson has promised to take Britain out of the EU on Oct. 31 come what may, but EU leaders would need the text of any agreement to allow them to give some form of approval during their two-day summit on Thursday and Friday.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 04:42:28 -0400
  • UPDATE 1-Hungary would have to "use force" to fend off new wave of migrants -PM

    Hungary would have to "use force" at its southern border with Serbia to protect the European Union's frontier if Turkey delivers on a threat to open the gates for refugees through the Balkans towards Europe, Hungary's prime minister said. Prime Minister Viktor Orban built a steel fence on Hungary's border with Serbia to seal off the Balkans route of migration, where hundreds of thousands of people marched through from the Middle East to Western Europe at the peak of the crisis in 2015.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 04:36:25 -0400
  • UPDATE 1-Afghanistan to miss Oct 19 deadline for presidential poll results -sources

    Preliminary results in Afghanistan's presidential election will be delayed beyond Saturday's deadline, two officials from the independent election commission told Reuters, probably for more than a week, fuelling chances of political uncertainty. War-torn Afghanistan has battled poll-related violence that killed dozens, low voter turnout and fraud accusations in September's election. Hundreds of thousands of voters have still to be added to an electronic database used to tally votes.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 04:36:13 -0400
  • Catalonia's Torra says aims for region to be independent from Spain by end 2021

    Catalonia's pro-independence regional chief Quim Torra said on Thursday he aims for the region to be independent from Spain by the end of 2021 if Catalan parties agree to it. Addressing the regional parliament, he also said he wanted a proposal for a "Catalan republic" to be ready by the spring of next year. Torra previously said a new vote would have to be held to decide on self-determination for Catalonia.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 04:32:32 -0400
  • Malaysia orders China map cut from "Abominable" film as furore widens

    Malaysia's film censors have ordered a scene removed from the animated movie "Abominable" which shows China's "nine-dash line" in the South China Sea, an official said on Thursday, amid growing anger among countries with overlapping claims in the waterway. The U-shaped line is used on Chinese maps to illustrate its territorial claims over vast expanses of the resource-rich South China Sea, including areas claimed by other countries. Malaysia's Film Censorship Board said on Thursday it has given the green light for the movie to be screened in cinemas without the scene depicting the map.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 04:30:04 -0400
  • ANALYSIS-Indonesia's new green fund urged to focus on rainforest protection

    A new green fund being set up by Indonesia should prioritise protecting its rainforests and creating a carbon trading programme to help the country meet its goals to curb climate change, environmentalists and officials said. Indonesia's environment ministry last week launched an agency to manage funds to repair environmental damage and educate communities to prevent further harm. The agency could potentially raise up to 800 trillion rupiah ($56.5 billion) for environmental projects, Indonesia's finance minister told reporters.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 04:29:25 -0400
  • UPDATE 2-Malaysia, Goldman discuss dropping 1MDB charges- top prosecutor to Nikkei

    Malaysia is open to more talks with Goldman Sachs after having two rounds of discussions to drop criminal charges against three units of the bank over the 1MDB scandal, the country's top prosecutor told the Nikkei Asian Review. Malaysian and U.S. investigators say about $4.5 billion was misappropriated from the now-defunct state investment fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad, set up in 2009 by former prime minister Najib Razak.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 04:26:03 -0400
  • UPDATE 2-China says it hopes to reach phased trade pact with U.S. as soon as possible

    China hopes to reach a phased agreement in a protracted trade dispute with the United States and cancel tariffs as soon as possible, the Commerce Ministry said on Thursday, adding that trade wars had no winners. A phased agreement would help restore market confidence and reduce uncertainty, ministry spokesman Gao Feng told reporters, adding that both sides were maintaining close communication. "The final goal of both sides' negotiations is to end the trade war and cancel all additional tariffs," Gao said.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 04:20:15 -0400
  • Individuals tied to Giuliani probe to appear before judge in NY court news

    Individuals with ties to President Donald Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani are expected to appear before a judge in the Southern District of New York on Thursday afternoon, but without the two men central to campaign finance violation charges from last week. Igor Fruman, Lev Parnas, David Correia and Andrey Kukushkin were charged last Thursday in connection with an alleged scheme to circumvent federal laws against foreign campaign donations.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 04:14:55 -0400
  • Pence to urge Turkey to halt Syria offensive as threat of further sanctions loom

    U.S. Vice President Mike Pence will urge Turkey on Thursday to halt its offensive against Kurdish fighters in northeast Syria, a day after President Donald Trump threatened heavy sanctions over the operation. Turkey's week-long assault has created a new humanitarian crisis in Syria with 160,000 civilians taking flight, a security alert over thousands of Islamic State fighters abandoned in Kurdish jails, and a political maelstrom at home for Trump. Trump has been accused of abandoning Kurdish fighters, who were Washington's main partners in the battle to dismantle Islamic State's self-declared caliphate in Syria, by withdrawing troops from the border as Turkey launched its offensive on Oct. 9.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 04:13:13 -0400
  • Ohio voters express angst over impeachment news

    Support for impeachment may be on the rise, but the view from central Ohio is strikingly complicated and nuanced. Nearly all of those voters showed openness to the inquiry into President Trump’s conduct with Ukraine, but few expressed a sense of outrage or urgency. In a word, the Ohio voters ABC News spoke with are cautious about impeachment.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 04:13:03 -0400
  • Former Nazi SS guard, 93, going on trial in Hamburg

    From his post as a young SS private in a watchtower in Nazi Germany's Stutthof concentration camp, Bruno Dey could hear the screams of Jews dying in the gas chamber. More than seven decades later, Dey is going on trial Thursday on 5,230 counts of accessory to murder in Hamburg state court.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 04:12:44 -0400
  • Caboodles then and now: How this beauty kit started with Vanna White news

    Caboodles then and now: How this beauty kit started with Vanna White originally appeared on goodmorningamerica.comCaboodles were popular beauty organization cases from the '80s and '90s. As soon as Caboodles hit the scene, women and girls became obsessed.For a generation of women, the Caboodle was the must-have organizer to tote and store makeup. However, some may not know the unique backstory of how the product came to be -- a story that involves "Wheel of Fortune" co-host Vanna White. ...

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 04:11:19 -0400
  • Valerie Lundeen Ely, married to Tarzan actor Ron Ely, stabbed to death by son news

    The wife of former "Tarzan" actor Ron Ely was stabbed to death by the couple's son at their California home on Tuesday evening, police said. The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office said in a statement that deputies showed up at the couple's house in the upscale neighborhood of Hope Ranch following an emergency call about a family dispute and found Valerie Lundeen Ely, 62, dead with "multiple stab wounds." Deputies identified the suspect as the Elys' son, 30-year-old Cameron Ely, and shot him dead after determining he posed a threat. "Deputies searched the residence and surrounding area for Cameron Ely," the Sheriff's Office said. "During the search, the suspect was located outside the home. He posed a threat and in response 4 deputies fired their service weapons at the suspect, fatally wounding him." There was no indication that 81-year-old Ron Ely was injured during the attack on his wife. Police said he was taken to a hospital as a precaution and was later released. Ely is best known for playing the lead character in the 1960s television series "Tarzan." He had three children with his wife who was a former beauty pageant queen.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 04:09:00 -0400
  • Woman wins lawsuit after being fired while struggling with postpartum depression news

    Maria Alves thought the crippling anxiety and worry she said she felt after the birth of her son three years ago were simply “baby blues” that would go away. When the feelings continued weeks post-delivery and got worse, Alves asked her then-employer, Boston University, for an extension of her maternity leave, which she was granted. Alves, of Brockton, Massachusetts, was eventually diagnosed with postpartum depression.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 04:07:14 -0400
  • UPDATE 1-Merkel says more work needed on customs for Brexit deal, which is possible

    Solutions still need to be found for customs arrangements in Northern Ireland to clinch a Brexit deal and European Union leaders could yet meet again if they do not reach an agreement at this week's summit, Germany's Angela Merkel said on Thursday. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's last-ditch attempt to clinch a Brexit deal was thrown into disarray just hours before an EU summit on Thursday when the Northern Irish party he needs to help ratify any agreement refused to support it.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 04:07:05 -0400
  • UPDATE 1-Brexit scramble looms over fraught EU summit, Merkel says deal possible

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel said a deal on Britain's exit from the EU was still possible as EU leaders headed to Brussels on Thursday for a two-day summit dominated by last-gasp negotiations. The meeting will be Boris Johnson's first and last EU summit as prime minister of Britain if he can seal an agreement with the other 27 member states to leave the EU on Oct. 31 - and get his parliament's approval at a special session on Saturday. Johnson spoke with the head of the European Union executive, Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, and a Commission spokesman said it still wanted a deal.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 04:05:23 -0400
  • UPDATE 1-Spain's ruling Socialists seen slipping in Nov election - poll

    Support for Spain's ruling Socialists has slipped ahead of elections in November, with neither the left nor the right-wing blocs on course to win a majority, a Sigma Dos poll in El Mundo daily showed on Thursday. The poll was the first to be published since Spain's Supreme Court handed down prison terms to nine Catalan leaders who had sought to declare an independent state, triggering unrest in the northeastern region of Catalonia. Socialist leader Pedro Sanchez last month called an election for Nov. 10 after refusing to strike a coalition deal with the far-left Unidas Podemos, hoping that the repeat ballot, coming just seven months after the last vote, would bolster his party.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 04:04:21 -0400
  • Loosened lending rules in Hong Kong stoke optimism for small apartment sales

    Relaxed mortgage rules in Hong Kong that allow buyers to take on bigger loans will drive small-to-medium flat sales, property agents say, with the changes already prompting some sales. Hong Kong's leader Carrie Lam on Wednesday expanded borrowers' power by reducing the size of down payments required for home purchases as part of a slew of measures aimed at alleviating the city's housing shortage. Under the Mortgage Insurance Programme, borrowers can carry a loan-to-value ratio (LTV) as high as 90% on properties worth up to HK$8 million ($1 million).

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 04:02:30 -0400
  • Hungary would have to "use force" to fend off new wave of migrants -PM

    Hungary would have to "use force" at its southern border with Serbia to protect the European Union's frontier if Turkey delivers on a threat to open the gates for refugees through the Balkans towards Europe, Hungary's prime minister said. "If Turkey sets off further hundreds of thousands on top of (existing migrant flows), then we will need to use force to protect the Hungarian border and the Serbian-Hungarian frontier and I do not wish for anyone that we should need to resort to that," Prime Minister Viktor Orban said.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 03:59:08 -0400
  • China says hopes to reach phased trade pact with U.S. as early as possible

    The Chinese commerce ministry said on Thursday that China hoped to reach a phased agreement with the United States over trade as early as possible, and make progress on cancelling tariffs on each others' goods. A phased agreement would help restore market confidence and reduce uncertainty, Gao Feng, spokesman at the ministry, told reporters, adding that both sides were maintaining close communication. On Oct. 11, U.S. President Donald Trump outlined the first phase of a deal to end a trade war with China and suspended a threatened tariff hike, but officials on both sides said much more work needed to be done before an accord could be agreed.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 03:53:21 -0400
  • Asian cities risk stumbling 'zombie-like' towards digital dystopia

    As Asian cities turn to technologies such as facial recognition and artificial intelligence to deliver social welfare and public services, urban experts on Thursday urged authorities to address privacy concerns and protect the vulnerable. From India to Indonesia, governments across the region are backing hundreds of Smart Cities that use technology and data to improve waste management and energy conservation, tackle traffic congestion and mitigate risks linked to climate change. "Frontier technologies such as AI hold promise to reimagine how the public sector can better serve sustainable development needs," U.N. Under-Secretary-General Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana said at an urban conference in Penang.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 03:50:58 -0400
  • UPDATE 1-Kenya's president rejects finance bill which kept rate caps

    Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta has rejected the 2019/20 budget demanding that lawmakers remove a cap on commercial lending rates, a senior lawmaker and a local daily said on Thursday. In late September, lawmakers rejected a June request by the Treasury to remove the caps, saying lenders had not proven they could be trusted to lower rates without pressure. The Business Daily newspaper reported that Kenyatta had rejected the budget - known as the Finance Bill, over the rate cap, adding that the formal reasons would be sent to parliament later on Thursday.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 03:50:08 -0400
  • Zimbabwe cancels deal with Transnet JV to recapitalise state rail firm

    Zimbabwe has cancelled a deal struck with South African logistics group Transnet and its partner to recapitalise state-owned National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ), citing a failure to meet timelines and funding issues, a government official said. The joint venture of Transnet and Diaspora Infrastructure Development Group (DIDG), a consortium of Zimbabwean investors living abroad, won the bid to recapitalise the financially struggling NRZ with $400 million in August 2017. Nick Mangwana, permanent secretary in the information ministry, said the consortium had missed several timelines to provide proof of funding.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 03:48:45 -0400
  • FOREX-Dollar pinned near 1-month lows on weak data; pound volatile

    The dollar held near a one-month low against its rivals on Thursday as weak data cast a shadow on the outlook for the U.S. economy in the short term with the British pound the only noticeable loser against the greenback on Brexit nerves. U.S. retail sales fell for the first time in seven months in September while a report from the U.S. Federal Reserve described the economy's progress in cautious terms.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 03:42:27 -0400
  • Russia protests after U.S. diplomats found near secret test site - TASS

    Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Thursday it would issue a formal note of protest to the U.S. embassy in Moscow after authorities caught three U.S. diplomats in a restricted area near a secret test site, the TASS news agency reported. The diplomats, among them U.S. military and naval attaches, were removed from a train on Monday in northern Russia near the site of a mysterious military testing accident that took place in August. A U.S. State Department spokesman said the diplomats had been on an official trip and that they had notified Russian authorities in advance of their travel plans.

    Thu, 17 Oct 2019 03:39:21 -0400
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