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Asian markets continue their slide 2 September 2015 From the section Business Image caption Japanese shares continued into correction territory on Wednesday Asian markets continued to fall on Wednesday as worries about China's growth took their toll.Data suggesting China's manufacturing sector was shrinking at its fastest pace in three years ignited a global market sell-off on Tuesday, resulting in US stocks closing down nearly 3%.Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index was down 1.3% in early trading at 17,937.3.It led the region's losses in the previous session, losing nearly 4%.Data showing US factory activity fell to a more than two-year low in August added to the already grim sentiment among investors. Meanwhile, crude oil futures continued downwards after plunging 8% overnight on fears of how slowing Chinese growth would impact demand.Investors are also bracing for another volatile day of trade in Chinese markets before they close for a two-day holiday to commemorate the end of World War Two.Growth in focusAustralia's S&P/ASX 200 was lower by 1% at 5,046.7 points as investors awaited economic growth figures for the second quarter, which were due later in the morning session. The economy is expected to have grown 2.2% from a year ago, which is much lower than the mining boom years' average of about 3.3%.In South Korea, shares were also lower after government data showed that exports fell 4.3% in July, while imports rose 0.7%.That led the current account surplus to fall to $9.5bn (£6.2bn) in seasonally-adjusted terms from a record high of $10.7bn in June.The benchmar…
21 minutes ago · From World News
US swoop on secret 'steroids labs' with China links 2 September 2015 From the section US & Canada US agents have arrested more than 90 people and shut down 16 underground labs making illegal steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) said hundreds of kilos and thousands of litres of chemicals were seized in 20 states over five months.Operation Cyber Juice focused on secret laboratories dealing in drugs obtained over the internet from China.Agents also confiscated steroid powder, liquid and more than $2m in cash.DEA spokesman Chuck Rosenberg said too many young people were ruining their bodies and lives through steroid abuse, but this operation had attacked the "global underground steroid market, exposing its dangers and lies". It began in April and ended with nine arrests on Tuesday.The DEA said many of the drugs seized were bought from Chinese chemical manufacturing companies and then converted in secret labs into forms of steroids to be sold on the US black market.In Arizona, four so-called steroid conversion labs were shut down and 150,000 doses of the finished product seized.What was seized across US:134,000 doses of illegal steroids more than 1,300lbs of raw steroid powder nearly 2,100 gallons of raw steroid liquid more than $2m (£1.3m) cash
an hour ago · From World News
A service truck drives past an oil well on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation in North Dakota, November 1, 2014. Reuters/Andrew Cullen NEW YORK Oil prices plummeted on Tuesday, settling 8 percent lower, as weak Chinese data extended a roller-coaster run that knocked oil to its lowest in 6-1/2 years last week before frenzied short-covering fueled a 25 percent three-session surge. The past few weeks have been among the most volatile in the modern oil market's three-decade history, with prices plunging early last week as worries about China's economic strength sent shivers through risk markets, only to bounce back fiercely as bearish traders rushed to cash in short positions. Traders took flight on Tuesday after seeing China's official Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) drop to 49.7 in August and U.S. manufacturing sector growth slow to its weakest pace in more than two years, reinforcing fears of slowing global growth and weaker fuel demand. "It was primarily the China fear factor," Carsten Fritsch at Commerzbank in Frankfurt told the Reuters Global Oil Forum. Some also wondered if the 25 percent three-day surge through Monday, the biggest since Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in 1990, was overdone given a persistent global supply glut. And an OPEC magazine commentary that some traders interpreted on Monday as signaling a possible subtle policy shift was nothing of the sort, OPEC insiders said. Brent October crude fell $4.59, or 8.48 percent, to settle at $49.56 a barrel, then fell below $49 in post-settlement trade as U.S. equities deepened the day's losses to more than 3 percent. American Petroleum Institute (API) data showing U.S. crude inventories soared 7.6 million barrels last week also pressured prices post-settlement. [API/S] Crude oil stocks were expected to have been unchanged last week, a Reuters survey of analysts said. [EIA/S] U.S. crude fell $3.79, or 7.7 percent, to settle at $45.41 following an 8.8 percent …
Main  Reuters
4 hours ago · From World News
ATHENS A ship bringing about 1,800 migrants and refugees from an eastern Greek island to the port of Piraeus arrived on Tuesday night, the Greek coastguard said. Greece has seen a spike in the number of refugees and migrants arriving on the islands by rubber dinghies via nearby Turkey this summer, with aid agencies estimating about 2,000 crossing over daily last month. After a hiatus of a few days last week, Greek authorities on Saturday resumed carrying the refugees - mostly from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan - to the mainland by ship from the islands of Kos, Lesbos, Samos, Symi and Agathonissi. Many then carry on their journeys across mainland Europe. "You have to help us," said 27-year-old Isham, a Syrian teacher who left his wife and two children behind in Turkey. "We are human," he said, appealing to governments not to block the refugees' attempts to travel through Europe in search of a better life. A coastguard official said the ship, the Tera Jet, carrying 1,749 migrants from Lesbos docked in Piraeus, adding that another ship with 2,459 migrants was expected to arrive from the island in the early hours on Wednesday. An average of 1,700 migrants crossed into Greece daily in July, with the number topping 2,000 a day in August. Cash-strapped Greece has said it lacked the infrastructure to cope with influx. President Prokopis Pavlopoulos told French counterpart Francois Hollande by telephone that migration should be addressed at a top European level, according to a statement by Pavlopoulos' office. Greece's caretaker Prime Minister Vassiliki Thanou will chair a ministerial meeting on migration on Wednesday. Thanou took over last week after former Greek premier Alexis Tsipras, who heads the leftist Syriza party, resigned last month to pave the way for a snap election on Sept. 20. (Reporting by Angeliki Koutantou and Georgia Kalovyrna; Editing by Matthias Williams and Alison Williams)
Main  Reuters
4 hours ago · From World News
DUBLIN London and Dublin will hold further talks with Northern Ireland's political parties to try to avert a crisis over an IRA-linked murder that has led to calls to suspend Belfast's parliament, the British government said on Tuesday. Northern Ireland's First Minister Peter Robinson asked British Prime Minister David Cameron on Tuesday to suspend the Northern Irish Assembly for four weeks to facilitate talks to save the power-sharing executive it leads with the nationalist Sinn Fein party. "The Prime Minister has asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland to hold further urgent talks with the political parties in Northern Ireland and the Irish Government with the aim of agreeing a way forward," a statement from Cameron's office said after the meeting with Robinson. Robinson's Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) in Northern Ireland earlier sought the permission of a parliamentary committee to extend the summer recess by a month, but their motion was voted down by Sinn Fein. The DUP has said it wants Sinn Fein, the one-time political wing of the IRA, thrown out of government after police said a rump of the militant group that formally disbanded in 2005 may have been involved the recent killing of a former member. Robinson, who has described the crisis as the most serious in a decade, said that urgent talks were needed and that his party could take unilateral action if necessary. It has already threatened to quit the government if Sinn Fein are not excluded. Northern Ireland deputy first minister Martin McGuinness of Sinn Fein, a former IRA commander, said the proposed suspension was not a good idea and warned that a collapse "would bring a very real prospect of increased violence on our streets." "BIG FAILURE" An end to violence by Irish Republican Army (IRA) guerrillas was a central plank of the 1998 Good Friday accord. The deal largely ended three decades of conflict between mostly Catholic nationalists, who favoured unific…
Main  Reuters
5 hours ago · From World News
Google reveals new logo for mobile world 1 September 2015 From the section Technology Image caption The updated logo drops the "serif" style of the earlier incarnation Google has unveiled a new logo for its core search services.The change smoothes out some of the features in the letters that make up the well-known colourful logo spelling out its name.It said the change was needed because people were now reaching Google on lots of mobile devices rather than just desktop computers.The change comes after Google put its many divisions under an umbrella company called Alphabet.It said that the logo, and its many variations, would work better on the many different-sized screens through which people used or encountered Google and its services. As well as the full logo of the company's name, it also plans to use four dots in its signature blue, red, yellow and green colours and a single, multi-coloured capital "G" to represent it. Google announced the change on its official blog and illustrated what was different via a series of animated gifs. It said the revamped logo was "simple, uncluttered, colorful, friendly" and represented the best of Google. Image caption Google's original 1998 logo changed several times before taking on a "flat" look in 2013 It also provided a much more detailed explanation of what drove it to change the logo. One key challenge for the designers, it said, was to refine "what makes us Googley".Google last updated its logo in September 2013.…
6 hours ago · From World News
A service truck drives past an oil well on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation in North Dakota, November 1, 2014. Reuters/Andrew Cullen NEW YORK Oil prices tumbled 8 percent on Tuesday in volatile trading that sent Brent futures back below $50 a barrel as weak Chinese data revived concerns about demand for petroleum after crude's three-day rally of more than 20 percent. China's official Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) dropped to 49.7 in August from 50.0 in July, reinforcing fears of slowing growth. "It was primarily the China fear factor," Carsten Fritsch at Commerzbank in Frankfurt told the Reuters Global Oil Forum. Other data showed U.S. manufacturing sector growth slowed in August to its weakest pace in more than two years, adding to concerns about faltering economic activity. Brent crude slumped $4.59, or 8.48 percent, to settle at $49.56 a barrel, after falling as low as $49.24. Brent rose $4.10, or 8.2 percent, on Monday, extending its rally to a third day as oil prices recovered from their lowest since the global financial crisis. Brent fell to a 6-1/2-year low at $42.23 on Aug. 24 as plunging Chinese equities markets battered global markets. U.S. crude fell $3.79, or 7.7 percent, to settle at $45.41, after dropping as low as $45.13 following an 8.8 percent gain on Monday. The CBOE's crude oil volatility index rose nearly 10 percent intraday on Tuesday, trading at its highest since March. Monday's rally was fueled by Energy Information Administration (EIA) revised data showing U.S. oil output peaked at just above 9.6 million barrels per day (bpd) in April before falling by more than 300,000 bpd over the following two months. "Even with the EIA revision, we're still producing over 9 million barrels per day, so I'm not convinced we've seen the fundamental shift to justify the rally," said Gene McGillian, senior analyst at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut. Some traders on Monday cited support …
Main  Reuters
6 hours ago · From World News
Former Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras stands at his office door inside the Maximos Mansion, before a meeting with the Archbishop of Albania, Anastasios, (unseen) in Athens, Greece August 25, 2015. Reuters/Costas Baltas/Intimenews ATHENS Greece's Syriza party will scrap a value added tax on private education if voted back to power in a snap election in September, a party statement said on Tuesday evening, as its leader Alexis Tsipras campaigned on the island of Crete. The Syriza-led government of former Prime Minister Tsipras had agreed to such a tax in July as part of prior actions needed under a deal with the country's international lenders to pave the way for talks on a third bailout. After Tsipras stepped down to make way for the snap polls, Greece's interim government announced imposing VAT of 23 percent on private schools on Monday. (Reporting by Angeliki Koutantou; writing by Matthias Williams)
Main  Reuters
6 hours ago · From World News
US murder rate sees sharp increase in 2015 1 September 2015 From the section US & Canada Image caption Milwaukee, St Louis, Baltimore and Washington have seen the sharpest rise over the past year Murder rates have increased sharply across the US in 2015, with at least 30 cities reporting a rise in violence.Experts say factors may vary from city to city, but no-one really knows what has caused the trend, which was first identified this summer.The latest figures obtained by the New York Times show Milwaukee has seen the biggest spike, with a 76% increase.It is followed by St Louis, Missouri, which has seen a 60% increase, and Baltimore, Maryland, with a 56% rise.Some senior police officials say that heightened scrutiny of use of force by officers may have caused them to withdraw from everyday policing and emboldened criminals. But others say an increase in gun ownership, a spike in gang-related killings and more young people settling disputes with guns may be contributing factors.Why has the murder rate spiked? By Ashley Gold, BBC News Image caption Michael Brown's killing in Ferguson last summer and unrest that followed has sparked debate over police and race relations in the US While it is unclear what has led to the sharp increase, some say it can be attributed to "the Ferguson effect" - the theory that police officers have been withdrawing from everyday enforcement due to fears they could be charged. It follows a nationwide debate over the police's use of force and…
7 hours ago · From World News
Migrants stranded as Hungary bars them from rail station 1 September 2015 From the section Europe Hundreds of migrants are stranded outside a major railway station in the Hungarian capital Budapest after police sealed off the terminal to stop them travelling through the EU.Government spokesman Zoltan Kovacs defended the closure, saying Hungary was trying to enforce EU law.Thousands of people, many fleeing war and persecution, are trying to reach northern Europe to claim asylum.EU states are engaged in a flurry of diplomatic activity to find a solution. The BBC's Europe correspondent Chris Morris says the crisis has highlighted the limitations of the EU's system for coping with refugees. Under an EU rule known as the Dublin Regulation, refugees should seek asylum in the first EU country they enter. But with countries such as Italy and Greece saying they cannot cope with the numbers, many have headed north. Hungary had earlier appeared to abandon efforts to register migrants. However, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto told reporters on Tuesday that Hungary would now register all migrants and send those it considered to be economic migrants back to the state from which they entered the country. Image caption Many families bedded down near Keleti station, wondering what to do next Analysis by Chris Morris, BBC's Europe correspondentThe European Union is supposed to have a common asylum system but at the moment it's not worth much more than the paper it's written on. Many of the migrants currently trying…
8 hours ago · From World News
Story highlights New report: Marine mammals often seen swimming through London Earliest record is of a whale in London in 1240 Busiest month for sightings is August, report says Maybe the city's new tourist slogan should be this: Visit London and sea the seals. No guarantees, of course. But if you spot a seal, or maybe a dolphin, you won't be the first. Far from it. Over the last 10 years, 1,317 people on London's shores and bridges have reported seeing sea mammals -- seals, porpoises and even whales -- in the Thames. That is according to a report from the Zoological Society of London, which is collecting reports of marine mammal sightings in the city. In case you're interested, your best month would be August. Whales in Thames are nothing new The figures do not mean that more than 1,300 sea mammals swam though London on the Thames. The same animal might well have been seen by several people. But the animals reported include two varieties of seal as well as porpoises, dolphins, whales and even a couple of otters. London is about 70 kilometers (45 miles) up the Thames from the North Sea. So it is safe to say that any sea mammal that shows its face outside the Houses of Parliament, which is reported to have happened many times, has seriously lost its way. Not that this is anything new. The earliest record of a marine mammal in the River Thames was in 1240. Which, actually, is more than 600 years before the tower housing the bell called Big Ben was even built. In any event, in 1240 a whale was spotted, then chased upriver to a place called, appropriately, Mortlake -- where it was then, more's the pity, butchered. But, as the Zoological Society of London notes in its report, "Attitudes to marine mammals have changed." In 2006, a female northern bottle-nose whale lost her bearings and showed up in London, apparently seeking directions to the North Sea. And there was no talk of butchering at all. She was spotted that January …
8 hours ago · From World News
Story highlights Two British journalists and their guide, all working for Vice News, are charged in Turkey They're accused of "knowingly and willfully helping the armed terrorist organization," a semiofficial news agency reports Vice News says the journalists were unjustly detained; rights groups call for their immediate release The three, held last Thursday, were charged late Monday with "knowingly and willfully helping the armed terrorist organization without being a part of its hierarchical structure," according to Turkey's semiofficial Anadolu news agency. It didn't name the organization they were allegedly aiding. The reporters' treatment has raised questions about the Turkish government's commitment to freedom of expression. Vice named the two British journalists as Jake Hanrahan and Philip Pendlebury but did not identify the fixer -- a journalist acting as a translator and guide. However, he was named by Anadolu as Mohammed Ismael Rasool. "Today the Turkish government has leveled baseless and alarmingly false charges of 'working on behalf of a terrorist organization' against three Vice News reporters, in an attempt to intimidate and censor their coverage," Kevin Sutcliffe, Vice's head of news programming in Europe, said in an online statement. "Prior to being unjustly detained, these journalists were reporting and documenting the situation in the southeastern Turkish province of Diyarbakir." The journalists' driver was also detained but has since been freed, said Vice News, a U.S.-based news outlet. Anadolu reported that the prosecutor's office started an investigation after a tipoff that three foreign journalists were recruiting for terror organizations, specifically ISIS. However, the investigation is now leaning toward a relationship with the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, according to Anadolu. Turkey and the United States list the PKK as a terrorist organization. Anadolu said that a police record inclu&#823…
8 hours ago · From World News
Story highlights Brazilian authorities are looking for Lidiane Leite, the 25-year-old ex-mayor of Bom Jardim She's accused of siphoning funds from schools while "flaunting a luxurious lifestyle," one official says Lidiane Leite has been on the run for 12 days, with no clues to her whereabouts, a Federal Police delegate from the northern state of Maranhao told CNN. "She is the most wanted person in Maranhao now," Max Ribeiro said. "She can't hide for much longer." Leite, 25, was the mayor of the town of Bom Jardim, which is about 275 kilometers (170 miles) southwest of Sao Luis, the capital of the tropical Maranhao state, which borders the Atlantic Ocean. She is being investigated by authorities, accused of siphoning off funds earmarked for school lunches and refurbishments. She has been indicted, but apparently doesn't have an attorney at this time. Leite enraged local residents by posting pictures of herself at nightclubs and parties in Sao Luis and is said to have sent messages to her Cabinet via WhatsApp. "She started flaunting a luxurious lifestyle that her salary couldn't afford," Ribeiro said. "She was traveling, doing plastic surgeries and buying expensive cars." "There were also complaints that she was leaving town every week and sending orders over phone apps like WhatsApp," he added. Leite was removed from her post on Sunday after officially abandoning her office for 10 days. Her deputy was sworn in as interim mayor. Many residents in Bom Jardim -- a town of 39,000 in one of Brazil's poorest states -- have taken to the streets to demand an end to corruption. In total, Federal Police believe that more than $1 million was siphoned off in a corruption scheme also involving other members of the local government. According to Ribeiro, Leite's boyfriend at the time, Beto Rocha, ran for mayor of Bom Jardim back in 2012. But two days before the vote, he was barred from participating in elections bec…
8 hours ago · From World News
BUDAPEST/BERLIN Hundreds of angry migrants demonstrated outside Budapest's Eastern Railway Terminus on Tuesday demanding they be allowed to travel on to Germany, as the biggest ever influx of migrants into the European Union left its asylum policies in tatters. Around 1,000 people waved tickets, clapping, booing and shouting "Germany! Germany!" outside the station. Later they sat down, staring at a police blockade erected at the entrance. A refugee crisis rivalling the Balkan wars of the 1990s as Europe's worst since World War Two has polarised and confounded the European Union, which has no mechanism to cope with the arrival of hundreds of thousands of poor and desperate people. Germany is likely to accept by far the largest share. In the case of those fleeing the Syrian civil war it has effectively suspended an EU rule that asylum seekers must apply in the first EU country they reach. But it insisted on Tuesday that the rule was nevertheless still in force and urged other EU countries to abide by it. The vast majority of refugees fleeing violence and other migrants escaping poverty arrive on Europe's southern and eastern edges but are determined to press on and seek asylum in richer and more generous countries further north and west. That means illegally crossing a bloc that has no internal border controls to stop them. Hungary has emerged as one of the main flashpoints of the crisis as the primary gateway for migrants travelling over land through the Balkans and into the EU. Hungarian authorities shut the Budapest train station altogether on Tuesday, then reopened it but barred entry to migrants. About 100 police in helmets and wielding batons guarded the station. Dozens of migrants who were inside were forced out. Hungary's decision to bar the migrants from westbound trains was a reversal from the previous day, when Hungary and Austria let trainloads of undocumented migrants leave for Germany, a violation of EU rules they now have li…
Main  Reuters
8 hours ago · From World News
A combination photo of Google's new (top) and old logos. Reuters/Google/Handout Google Inc (GOOGL.O) (GOOG.O) unveiled a redesign of its iconic logo on Tuesday, the fifth such modification since the search engine giant started in 1998, the company said in a blog post. The revamped logo, displayed as a Google Doodle on its homepage, spells 'Google' in a sans-serif typeface, similar to the one being used by Google's newly created holding company, Alphabet. (bit.ly/1EvU49a) The compact version of the logo, used to identify most of its apps, bids farewell to the little blue "g" icon and replaces it with a uppercase "G" coloured in blue, red, yellow and green to match the full logo. The new brand identity "aims to make Google more accessible and useful to our users", the company said in a blog post explaining the logo. (bit.ly/1JvGik1) The new logo comes three weeks after the company's surprise move to create a holding company called Alphabet to pool its many subsidiaries and separate the core web advertising business from newer ventures like driverless cars. (Reporting by Anya George Tharakan in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza)
Main  Reuters
8 hours ago · From World News