Asian shares trim losses on renewed Sino-U.S. talks; Turkey, China worries weigh

TOKYO (Reuters) – Asian shares pulled away from one-year lows on Thursday, after Beijing said it will hold trade talks with Washington this month, although Turkey’s currency crisis and fears of an economic slowdown in China kept most markets in the red. FILE PHOTO – People walk past an electronic board displaying various Asian countries’ stock price index and world major index outside a brokerage in Tokyo, Japan, August 21, 2015. REUTERS/Issei Kato/File Photo MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS stood down 0.3 percent, after shedding as…

U.S. tariffs to stay on Turkey, Qatar offers Ankara aid

ISTANBUL/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States on Wednesday ruled out removing steel tariffs that have contributed to a currency crisis in Turkey even if Ankara frees a U.S. pastor, as Qatar pledged $15 billion in investment to Turkey, supporting a rise in the Turkish lira. The White House stance appeared to give Turkish authorities little incentive to work for the release of Andrew Brunson, a pastor on trial in Turkey on terrorism charges and whose case Turkish officials have said was a matter for the courts. The dispute is one…

Oil edges up as China, US set for talks to resolve trade disputes

Oil prices on Thursday recouped some of the previous day’s losses after Beijing said it would send a delegation to Washington in an attempt to resolve trade disputes between the United States and China that have roiled global markets. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures traded at $65.11 per barrel at 0209 GMT, up 10 cents, or 0.15 percent, from their last settlement. International Brent crude oil futures were up 41 cents, or 0.6 percent, at $71.17 per barrel. Both benchmarks lost more than 2 percent the previous day.…

U.S. and Mexico to set up joint team to fight drug cartels

CHICAGO (Reuters) – U.S. and Mexican law enforcement authorities will set up a joint team based in Chicago targeting the leaders and finances of drug cartels that ship opioids into the United States, aiming to stanch a spike in overdose deaths, officials said on Wednesday. The announcement of a fresh effort at co-operation on security issues comes at a time of strained relations between the two neighboring countries and around four months before President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, a left-leaning nationalist, is due to take power in Mexico. Lopez Obrador…

Malaysian court to rule on women accused of killing brother of North Korean leader

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – A Malaysian court will decide on Thursday whether to continue hearing a case against two women charged with the murder of the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, or acquit them. Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong, who is on trial for the killing of Kim Jong Nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korea’s leader, is escorted as she arrives at the Shah Alam High Court on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia August 16, 2018. REUTERS/Lai Seng SinIndonesian Siti Aisyah and Doan Thi Huong,…

The heat is on for 4 more years: Extreme temperatures expected through 2022

This summer’s heat has shattered records around the Northern Hemisphere, from Algeria to Canada and Japan to California. New research suggests this could be only the beginning of a four-year global « warm spell. » Using a new forecasting technique, scientists in a study published Tuesday predict that the rest of 2018 through 2022 may be warmer than expected around the world as human-caused global warming and natural factors combine to heat the planet. « The coming warm period is associated with an increased likelihood of intense to extreme temperatures,…

Pennsylvania report details decades of sexual abuse by priests

HARRISBURG, Pa. (Reuters) – Roman Catholic priests in Pennsylvania sexually abused thousands of children over a 70-year period and silenced victims through “the weaponization of faith” and a systematic cover-up campaign by their bishops, the state attorney general said on Tuesday. An 884-page report made public by Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro after a two-year investigation contained graphic examples of children being groomed and sexually abused by clergymen. It was largely based on documents from secret archives kept by the dioceses, including handwritten confessions by priests, he said. “It was…

U.S. clergy sex abuse revelation fuels push to reform assault laws

BOSTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – The latest revelation of widespread child sexual abuse by Roman Catholic clergy has given impetus to efforts by legislators, including a Pennsylvania lawmaker who has said he was raped by a priest as a child, to make it easier to prosecute such cases. The bell tower on the Roman Catholic St. Mark’s Seminary is seen in Erie, Pennsylvania, U.S. August 15, 2018. REUTERS/Paul GibbensState Representative Mark Rozzi, 47, said he has fought for years to give people who say they were sexually assaulted as children more…

‘Simpsons’ creator brings animated fantasy show to Netflix

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The creator of the long-running animated TV series “The Simpsons” brings his first new show in 20 years to Netflix (NFLX.O) this week, a story that centers around a drunken princess, an elf and a demon. FILE PHOTO – Matt Groening (C), creator of The Simpsons, poses with characters from the show (L-R) Homer, Bart, Lisa and Marge at the 20th anniversary party for the television series at Barker hangar in Santa Monica, California October 18, 2009. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni/File Photo Set in a medieval world called…

Trump revokes security clearance of former CIA director Brennan: White House

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump revoked the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan on Wednesday, accusing Brennan of using his access to classified information in order to “sow division and chaos” about the Trump administration. FILE PHOTO: Former CIA Director John Brennan arrives for a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing evaluating the intelligence community assessment on « Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections » on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., May 16, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis/File Photo Trump announced the decision in a statement from him…

SEC scrutiny of Tesla grows as Goldman hints at advisor role

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has sent subpoenas to Tesla Inc regarding Chief Executive Elon Musk’s plan to take the company private and his statement that funding was “secured,” Fox Business Network reported on Wednesday, citing sources. FILE PHOTO: A Tesla sales and service center is shown in Costa Mesa, California, U.S., June 28, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File PhotoThe electric carmaker’s shares fell as much as 4 percent but cut their losses after Goldman Sachs Group Inc said it was dropping equity coverage of Tesla because it…

Scorching weather helps uncover archeological sites around Britain

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s hottest summer in decades has revealed cropmarks across the country showing the sites of Iron Age settlements, Roman farms and even Neolithic monuments dating back thousands of years, archaeologists said on Wednesday. Cropmarks – patterns of shading in crops and grass seen most clearly from the air – form faster in hot weather as the fields dry out, making this summer’s heatwave ideal for discovering such sites. Archaeologists at the public body Historic England have been making the most of the hot weather to look for…

U.S. targets Chinese and Russian firms with breach of North Korea sanctions

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States on Wednesday imposed sanctions on a Russian port service agency and Chinese firms for aiding North Korean ships and selling alcohol and tobacco to Pyongyang in breach of U.S. sanctions aimed at pressuring North Korea to end its nuclear programs. FILE PHOTO: The North Korea flag flutters next to concertina wire at the North Korean embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia March 9, 2017. REUTERS/Edgar Su/File photoIn a statement, the U.S. Treasury said China-based Dalian Sun Moon Star International Logistics Trading Co. Ltd and its…

Yemen’s ancient architecture threatened by war

SANAA (Reuters) – Yemen’s three-year war has taken a heavy toll on Sanaa’s historic Old City, a dense warren of mosques, bath houses and 6,000 mud brick houses, which date from before the 11th century. Children look from behind a window of a house in the old quarter of Sanaa, Yemen August 6, 2018. REUTERS/Khaled AbdullahPart of the Old City, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has been razed by bombing. Now only rubble and straggly palm trees remain, where unique tower houses once stood. “Many buildings have been badly damaged…

US shale growth will offset global production problems over the coming months, analysts say

A sustained upswing in U.S. shale growth is likely to offset global production problems over the coming months, energy analysts told CNBC on Wednesday. The mood music in the energy market has been heavily influenced by a flurry of demand-side developments of late, with investors continuing to monitor an escalating trade war between the U.S. and China, the financial crisis in Turkey and a resurgent U.S. dollar. Yet, industry analysts point out the U.S. shale boom is perhaps the most notable supply consideration not currently receiving the attention it deserves.…

Brazil may probe Google over its cell phone system: report

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – Brazil’s antitrust watchdog Cade is considering opening an investigation into Google over alleged abuses in its cell phone operating system, the president of the agency said in an interview published on Wednesday in newspaper Valor Economico. The brand logo of Alphabet Inc’s Google is seen outside its office in Beijing, China August 8, 2018. REUTERS/Thomas PeterThe reported comments by Alexandre Barreto come just weeks after European antitrust regulators fined Google a record 4.34 billion euros ($4.91 billion) and ordered it to stop using its popular…

London’s financial district to introduce green car-parking tariff

On-street parking charges that target high-polluting vehicles are to be implemented in London’s financial district next week. The initiative will make use of RingGo’s Emissions Based Parking product, the City of London Corporation said in a statement Tuesday. The RingGo app can automatically determine the kind of vehicle being parked and, in turn, charge tariffs based on the level of pollution that vehicle emits. The City of London Corporation is the governing body of the Square Mile, London’s financial and historic center. Around 8,000 people live in the area, while…

Muja the alligator still alive and snapping in his 80s at Belgrade Zoo

BELGRADE (Reuters) – American alligator Muja arrived at Belgrade Zoo on the eve of the Second World War and is believed to be the oldest of his kind in captivity, and still in good health with a hearty appetite for his age, his handlers said on Tuesday. An alligator named Muja rests in its enclosure in Belgrade’s Zoo, Serbia, August 14, 2018. REUTERS/Marko DjuricaGenerations of Belgraders and tourists have come to watch Muja, and though he rarely moves around much, he is still agile at feeding time – when he…

Energy giant Vestas warns of rising costs due to US metal tariffs

The CEO of Danish wind turbine manufacturer Vestas warned about the impact of tariffs and trade barriers Wednesday, with the company lowering its revenue guidance for the year. In its earnings report for the second quarter of 2018, Vestas said that as a result of the implementation of tariffs in the U.S., prices of U.S. steel and imported components were expected to increase. « We are a global company, present in 70 markets with a global supply chain, and of course trade barriers and tariffs is a negative for any…

Saudi fund may only play minor part in Musk’s $72 billion Tesla plan: bankers

RIYADH (Reuters) – Elon Musk told investors this week that “obviously, the Saudi sovereign fund has more than enough capital needed” to finance taking Tesla private. FILE PHOTO: Elon Musk, founder, CEO and lead designer at SpaceX and co-founder of Tesla, speaks at the International Space Station Research and Development Conference in Washington, U.S., July 19, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein/File PhotoThe fund is estimated to have over $250 billion in assets. But it is not that simple. The Public Investment Fund (PIF) has many claims on its resources, both financial…

Afghans, Syrians help German companies to fill training vacancies

BERLIN (Reuters) – German companies last year managed to attract more apprentices to their dual-track vocational training schemes due to a surge in applications from asylum seekers from Afghanistan and Syria, data showed on Wednesday. FILE PHOTO: Ahmad Hosseini, 18-year-old trainee and former refugee from Afghanistan is pictured through a plain vice at the training workshop of Knipex, a 130 year-old family-owned pliers and tools maker company in Wuppertal, western Germany, October 25, 2016. Picture taken October 25, 2016. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay/File PhotoSkilled labor shortages and a lack of young people…

Italy bridge: Grief and anger over collapse in Genoa

Grief in Italy for the 37 victims of a collapsed motorway bridge in Genoa has been mixed with anger that such a vital structure could have simply given way. Rescuers are still searching for survivors underneath the Morandi bridge, where almost 40 vehicles fell 45m (148ft) in Tuesday’s collapse. The cause is not yet known but there have been calls for the heads of the company operating the bridge to resign. Survivors have also been recalling the horror of the bridge’s collapse. What is the latest at the scene? Hundreds…

Omagh anniversary: Bomb ‘could have been prevented’

Former Police Ombudsman Baroness Nuala O’Loan said she believes the Omagh bomb could have been prevented. She also renewed her call for a public inquiry into the greatest single loss of life in the Troubles. A bell will ring in Omagh later to mark the 20th anniversary of the moment a car bomb exploded, killing 29 people. A woman pregnant with twins was among those killed by the dissident republican attack in the County Tyrone town on 15 August 1998. A former senior police officer rejected Baroness O’Loan’s claims. Baroness…

At least 35 people killed in Genoa bridge collapse: Italian police

MILAN (Reuters) – At least 35 people were killed when a bridge collapsed in the Italian port city of Genoa, police said on Wednesday after firemen worked through the night looking for any survivors buried under the rubble. “The latest official number is 35 but we can’t rule out it could rise further,” a spokeswoman for the police in Genoa said. A 50-meter (160-foot) high section of the Morandi bridge, including a tower that anchored several stays, crashed down with as many as 35 vehicles driving on it on Tuesday.…

Italian minister demands resignations at operator of collapsed bridge

MILAN (Reuters) – Italy’s transport minister called on Wednesday for senior managers to resign at the company operating the bridge that collapsed in the port city of Genoa, killing at least 35 people. FILE PHOTO – Italy’s Minister of Infrastructure and Transport Danilo Toninelli arrives for gala dinner at the Quirinal palace in Rome, Italy, June 1, 2018. REUTERS/Remo Casilli The government will also look into stripping Autostrade per l’Italia, a unit of the Atlantia group, of the concession to manage the motorway that included the Morandi Bridge, and imposing…

Turkey ramps up US spat with huge tariffs on cars and other goods

Turkish lira plummets again, hits record low Turkey on Wednesday intensified its clash with the United States, announcing heavy new tariffs on some American products including cars, alcohol and tobacco. Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay said on Twitter that the measures were in response to « the deliberate attack of the US administration on our economy. » Relations between Washington and Ankara have rapidly soured in recent weeks over Turkey’s detention of an American pastor. The Trump administration announced plans on Friday to double US tariffs imports of steel and…

Walmart teams up with Ellen DeGeneres to launch fashion line

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Walmart Inc said on Wednesday that it would tie up with comedian and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres to launch a women’s fashion line, its latest attempt to make deeper inroads into the apparel space and gain market share in the category. FILE PHOTO: Ellen DeGeneres during a commercial break in taping of the Ellen Show in Burbank, Los Angeles, California, U.S. October 13, 2016. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/File PhotoThe line, dubbed EV1, will feature nearly 60 items, ranging from denim, tees bearing Ellen quotes, accessories and footwear,…

China says U.S. solar tariffs violate trade rules, lodges WTO complaint

SHANGHAI/BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s commerce ministry said a U.S. decision to subsidize renewable energy firms and impose tariffs on imported products has seriously distorted the global market and harmed China’s interests, firing the latest shot in a broader trade conflict. FILE PHOTO: An array of solar panels is seen in the desert in Victorville, California March 13, 2015. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/File PhotoChina has lodged a complaint to the World Trade Organisation to help determine the legality of the U.S. policies, saying they not only harm China’s rights but also undermine the…

Trump ally Kobach wins Republican governor primary in Kansas

(Reuters) – A staunch ally of President Donald Trump, Kris Kobach, won the closely contested Republican nomination for the Kansas governor’s race on Tuesday when incumbent Governor Jeff Colyer conceded the election. Kobach’s win marks another successful endorsement for Trump, who has weighed in on Republican primaries in several state and federal races, including Georgia’s governor primary, signaling the embattled president remains popular with his base. Kobach, who serves as the Kansas secretary of state, in the latest tally for the Aug. 7 primary election, had received 128,543 votes, or…

Sears CEO Lampert offers $400 million for Kenmore

Sears is closing its last Chicago store Eddie Lampert, the CEO and majority shareholder of Sears, has put a price tag on how much he’s willing to pay his company to buy its Kenmore appliance brand: $400 million. Sears Holdings (SHLD), a cash-starved retailer which owns both the Sears and Kmart chains, has been shopping Kenmore and some of its other assets for years in an effort to raise additional money. Once a leader in sales of appliances, Sears has fallen on hard times due to sustained losses and falling…