Japan may take South Korea wartime labor dispute to International Court of Justice: NHK

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan is considering taking a dispute with South Korea over its compensation for wartime forced laborers to the International Court of Justice as the deadline for seeking third-country arbitration passes on Thursday, public broadcaster NHK reported. FILE PHOTO: A police officer stands guard near Japan and South Korea national flags in Tokyo June 22, 2015. REUTERS/Toru HanaiThe question of compensation for South Koreans for labor during Japan’s 1910-45 occupation of the Korean peninsula has soured the U.S. allies’ relations, which took a turn for the worse this…

Protesters vent anger at NY mayor, U.S. DOJ after chokehold decision

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Several hundred people took to the streets of New York on Wednesday to protest the U.S. Department of Justice’s decision not to bring charges against a New York City policeman in the chokehold death of an unarmed black man in 2014. Protesters march and rally on the fifth anniversary of the death of Eric Garner, a day after federal prosecutors announced their decision not to prosecute NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo or other officers for charges related to his death, in New York, U.S., July 17, 2019.…

Unbowed, Trump intensifies attacks on four Democratic congresswomen

GREENVILLE, North Carolina/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump intensified his vilification of four liberal lawmakers as un-American at a raucous rally on Wednesday, underscoring that the attacks will be a key part of his strategy for winning re-election in 2020. Despite criticism from Democrats that his comments about the four minority congresswomen are racist, Trump went on a 20-minute diatribe about them, saying they were welcome to leave the country if they do not like his policies on issues such as immigration and defending Israel. “So these congresswomen, their comments…

Man sentenced for threatening to bomb Harvard ceremony for black students

BOSTON (Reuters) – An Arizona man was sentenced to 15 months in prison on Wednesday after admitting he made online threats to bomb Harvard University and shoot students at its first commencement ceremony for black students in order to “end their pro-black agenda.” Nicholas Zuckerman, 25, wept as he apologized to a federal judge in Boston for the “hateful” threats he posted on Instagram in May 2017 at a time when he was regularly being “amped up” reading about politics. Prosecutors said he made the online comments in response to…

Paint makers reach $305 million settlement in California, ending marathon lead poisoning lawsuit

OAKLAND, Calif. (Reuters) – After a 19-year legal struggle, three former makers of lead paint have agreed to a $305 million settlement with California county and city governments to mitigate poisoning dangers still present in old housing. Common sources of lead found in homes, including lead-based paint, are seen displayed at the Alameda County Healthy Homes Department in Oakland, California, U.S., June 18, 2019. Picture taken June 18, 2019. REUTERS/Kate MunschUnder the deal, disclosed in a filing in Santa Clara County Superior Court on Wednesday, defendants Sherwin-Williams (SHW.N), Conagra Brands Inc…

U.S. lawmakers challenge Facebook over Libra cryptocurrency plan

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. lawmakers bashed Facebook on Wednesday over its planned cryptocurrency, after a bruising first bout a day earlier when senators from both parties condemned the project, saying the company had not shown it could be trusted. David Marcus, CEO of Facebook’s Calibra, testifies to the House Financial Services Committee hearing on « Examining Facebook’s Proposed Cryptocurrency and Its Impact on Consumers, Investors, and the American Financial System » on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., July 17, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua RobertsThe social media company is fighting to get…

Amazon under EU antitrust fire over use of merchant data

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Amazon became the target of an antitrust investigation by the European Union on Wednesday over its use of merchants’ data, underlining regulators’ increasing focus on how tech companies exploit customer information. FILE PHOTO: The company’s logo outside an Amazon pop-up store in Berlin, Germany, November 22, 2018. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch/File PhotoU.S. tech giants Amazon, Google, and Facebook have been in the regulatory spotlight as antitrust enforcers examine how they use data to boost their market power. Some U.S. politicians and even one of Facebook’s co-founders have called for…

U.S. judge blasts drug lord El Chapo’s ‘overwhelming evil,’ imposes life sentence

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, the Mexican drug lord who twice escaped maximum-security prisons in that country, will spend the rest of his life in a U.S. penitentiary, a federal judge said on Wednesday after accusing him of “overwhelming evil.” Guzman, 62, berated the U.S. justice system, and a former associate described how he had paid a gang $1 million to try to kill her before U.S. District Judge Brian Cogan imposed the mandatory sentence of life plus 30 years. Cogan also ordered Guzman to forfeit $12.6…

Bank of America profit beats as healthy economy fuels loan growth

(Reuters) – Bank of America Corp beat estimates for quarterly profit on Wednesday, as the loan book of the country’s second-largest lender benefited from a healthy economy. A Bank of America logo is pictured in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., January 30, 2019. REUTERS/Carlo AllegriConsumer banking has held up for the big Wall Street banks that have reported second-quarter results this week, cushioning a blow from weakness in trading and advisory businesses. But warning signs also emerged with JPMorgan, Citigroup and Well Fargo reporting a…

Suu Kyi’s bid to reform charter sparks rival protests in Myanmar

YANGON (Reuters) – Hundreds of people demonstrated in Myanmar’s largest city, Yangon, on Wednesday in support of proposed constitutional amendments that would reduce the power of the military. FILE PHOTO: Myanmar’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi attends the ASEAN-China Summit in Singapore November 14, 2018. REUTERS/Edgar Su/File PhotoA separate protest against the reforms was planned for later in the day. Aung San Suu Kyi’s ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) party is pushing for change despite objections from military lawmakers, who hold a veto over amendments. The demonstrators, led by…

Making sense of chaos? Algos scour social media for clues to crypto moves

LONDON (Reuters) – After months of relative calm in cryptocurrency markets, bitcoin exploded back into life in April with its sharpest price jump in over a year – but few people could convincingly explain why. FILE PHOTO: A copy of bitcoin standing on PC motherboard is seen in this illustration picture, October 26, 2017. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/File PhotoThe 20% leap focused investors’ attention on one of the enduring mysteries of cryptocurrencies: what moves the price of an emerging asset in an opaque, largely unregulated market? For some, the answer lies on…

House condemns Trump over ‘racist comments’ tweeted at congresswomen

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. House of Representatives voted on Tuesday to condemn President Donald Trump for “racist comments” against four minority Democratic congresswomen, a symbolic measure aimed at shaming Trump and his fellow Republicans who stood by him. The 240-187 vote, which split mainly along party lines, was the culmination of three days of outrage sparked by a Trump tweetstorm that diverted attention from other business in Washington but had little impact on the president’s overall approval rating, according to a new Reuters/Ipsos poll. Trump is seeking re-election next…

In rare rebuke, dozens of Republicans hit Trump over ‘racist’ tweets

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – After initial hesitation, a growing number of Republicans in the U.S. Congress – including almost half the Ohio delegation in the House – have openly criticized President Donald Trump over his racially charged attacks on four Democratic lawmakers. Three Republicans from Texas, a solidly pro-Trump state, also voiced some level of concern about his comments targeting the four minority women, joining the critics from Ohio, a key battleground state for Trump as he seeks re-election in 2020. Fear of retribution from the president, who readily inveighs on…

Former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens dies

FILE PHOTO: Justice John Paul Stevens sits as Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States pose for a 2006 class photo inside the Supreme Court in Washington March 3, 2006. REUTERS/Larry Downing/File PhotoWASHINGTON (Reuters) – Former Justice John Paul Stevens, a Republican appointee to the U.S. Supreme Court who later became an outspoken leader of the liberal wing as the court moved to the right, died on Tuesday at the age of 99, the court said in a statement. Stevens, who retired from the court in 2010 at…

U.S. Justice Department asks appeals court to pause antitrust ruling against Qualcomm

(Reuters) – The U.S. Justice Department asked a federal appeals court to pause the enforcement of a sweeping antitrust ruling against mobile chip supplier Qualcomm Inc on Tuesday, citing support from the Energy Department and Defense Department. FILE PHOTO: A Qualcomm sign is pictured at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Shanghai, China June 28, 2019. REUTERS/Aly Song“For DoD, Qualcomm is a key player both in terms of its trusted supply chain and as a leader in innovation, and it would be impossible to replace Qualcomm’s critical role in 5G technology…

U.S. imposes sanctions on Myanmar military commander over Rohingya abuses

Myanmar’s Commander in Chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing salutes as he attends an event marking Martyrs’ Day at Martyrs’ Mausoleum in Yangon, Myanmar July 19, 2018. REUTERS/Ann WangWASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States on Tuesday announced sanctions on the Myanmar military’s Commander-in-Chief Min Aung Hlaing and other military leaders over extrajudicial killings of Rohingya Muslims, barring them from entry to the United States. The steps, which also covered Min Aung Hlaing’s deputy, Soe Win, and two other senior commanders and their families, are the strongest the United States has…

Chicago alligator stakeout snaps shut after professional catches reptile

CHICAGO (Reuters) – An elusive alligator residing in a Chicago lagoon was caught early on Tuesday after the reptile, thought to be an abandoned pet, captivated locals for nearly a week. The alligator, called “Chance the Snapper” after Chicago-born hip-hop artist Chance the Rapper, is a 5-foot-3 male who appeared to be “very healthy,” said Kelley Gandurski, executive director for Chicago Animal Care and Control. Chicago authorities brought in Frank Robb, an expert from Florida with nearly 24 years experience capturing reptiles, to stake out the animal in Humboldt Park…

Lagarde resigns as IMF chief, starting race for her successor

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde submitted her resignation from the global crisis lender on Tuesday, citing more clarity about her nomination to lead the European Central Bank as European legislators approved a new top bureaucrat. FILE PHOTO: International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde arrives for the Women’s Forum Americas, at Claustro de Sor Juana University in Mexico City, Mexico, May 30, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso/File PhotoLagarde said in a statement her resignation was effective Sept. 12, firing the starting gun for the IMF’s search for her…

Germany’s Von der Leyen secures powerful EU executive top job

STRASBOURG (Reuters) – Germany’s Ursula von der Leyen secured European parliamentary approval on Tuesday to become the first female European Commission president on a platform of a greener, fairer and rule-based Europe. Elected European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen delivers a speech after a vote on her election at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, July 16, 2019. REUTERS/Vincent KesslerThe German conservative got the thumbs up from socialist and liberal lawmakers which, together with the endorsement by her fellow conservatives, gives her a stronger mandate to tackle issues such…

Global stocks slip, U.S. yields rise on retail sales data

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A gauge of global equities edged lower on Tuesday and U.S. Treasury yields climbed as a stronger-than-anticipated report on retail sales raised the possibility that a second rate cut by the Federal Reserve this year could be pushed back by several months. FILE PHOTO: The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, July 15, 2019. REUTERS/Staff/File PhotoU.S. retail sales rose 0.4% in June, as households stepped up purchases of motor vehicles and a variety of other goods. The…

Wall Street finds blockchain hard to tame after early euphoria

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Two years ago Nasdaq Inc (NDAQ.O) and Citigroup Inc (C.N) announced a new blockchain system they said would make payments of private securities transactions more efficient. Nasdaq Chief Executive Adena Friedman called it “a milestone in the global financial sector.” A Wall St. street sign is seen near the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., March 7, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermidBut the companies did not move forward with the project, a person familiar with it said, because while it worked in testing, the…

Tesla drops cheapest Model X, S variants, cuts prices to simplify lineup

BEIJING (Reuters) – Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) has dropped the standard-range variants of its Model X and Model S from its product lineup and adjusted prices across its range, in a sales push that comes days after the U.S. electric vehicle maker reported record deliveries. To simplify its offerings, the automaker on Tuesday limited variants of its Model X sport-utility vehicle and Model S sedan to “Long Range” and the more expensive “Performance”. It also trimmed the price of its now entry-level Long Range variants. The discontinuation of the standard-range variants,…

JPMorgan profit beats estimates on lending strength; net interest margin dips

(Reuters) – JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit on Tuesday as higher interest income and buoyant consumer lending offset lower activity at its trading desks. FILE PHOTO: JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon speaks at the North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU) 2019 legislative conference in Washington, U.S., April 9, 2019. REUTERS/Jeenah Moon/File PhotoEven as the world’s biggest bank recorded record earnings, there were warning signs that the playing field is beginning to tilt against the financial industry. JPMorgan’s net interest margin declined to 2.49% from 2.57%…

Colombian caught in Spain with cocaine under toupee

A man poses with a drug package on his head, that he hid under a toupee, after being arrested in Barcelona, Spain, in this picture released on July 16, 2019. Spanish National Police via REUTERS MADRID (Reuters) – A Colombian man was detained at Barcelona’s international airport after half a kilo of cocaine was found hidden under an over-sized toupee, Spanish police said on Tuesday. Arriving on a flight from Bogota, the man attracted police attention as he looked nervous and had a disproportionately large hairpiece under his hat. They…

North Korea says nuclear talks at risk if U.S.-South Korea exercises go ahead

SEOUL (Reuters) – Talks on getting North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons are at risk because the United States looks set to break a promise not to hold military exercises with South Korea, North Korea said on Tuesday. FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un stand at the demarcation line in the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas, in Panmunjom, South Korea, June 30, 2019. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File PhotoU.S. President Donald Trump revitalized efforts to persuade the North to give up its nuclear weapons…

High and dry: Alpine resorts grapple with climate change

AROSA, Switzerland (Reuters) – The prospect of searing heatwaves driving holidaymakers to cool mountains and children asking grandparents about their memories of snow is focusing minds in Alpine ski resorts on the implications of climate change. Parts of the Gurschengletscher glacier are covered with tarps in Andermatt, Switzerland July 5, 2019. REUTERS/Arnd WiegmannWith global warming widely expected to slash snowfall, especially at lower levels, the Swiss tourism industry is looking for ways to preserve a lucrative business brutally exposed to the weather. Enter Napa, Serbia’s last circus bear. The Arosa…

China says will freeze out U.S. companies that sell Taiwan arms

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s government and Chinese companies will cut business ties with U.S. firms selling arms to Taiwan, China’s Foreign Ministry said on Monday, declining to give details of the sanctions in a move likely to worsen already poor ties with Washington. FILE PHOTO: A military honour guard holds a Taiwanese national flag as he attending flag-raising ceremony at Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, in Taipei, Taiwan March 16, 2018. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu/File PhotoChina claims self-ruled and democratic Taiwan as its own and has never renounced the use of force to…

Asian shares inch up as cautious investors await U.S. data, earnings

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Major Asian equity indicators nudged higher on Monday as investors awaited U.S. retail sales data and corporate earnings to gauge the health of the world’s biggest economy, with markets remaining focused on a likely U.S. rate cut this month. FILE PHOTO: A man looks at a stock quotation board outside a brokerage in Tokyo, Japan, July 1, 2019. REUTERS/Issei KatoMSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.17%, with losses in Chinese shares capping gains elsewhere in the region. China’s blue-chip CSI300 index was 0.4%…

Epstein’s accusers urge U.S. judge to keep him jailed until sex trafficking trial

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Two women who say they are victims of sexual misconduct by American financier Jeffrey Epstein on Monday urged a U.S. judge to keep him in jail while he awaits trial on charges of sex trafficking dozens of underage girls. “He’s a scary person,” one of the women, Courtney Wild, told U.S. District Judge Richard Berman in federal court in Manhattan. Wild and another accuser, Annie Farmer, spoke at the end of a hearing in which prosecutors argued that Epstein, 66, posed an “extraordinary risk of flight”…

Trump defiant as lawmakers blast his ‘racist’ attacks on four congresswomen

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump doubled down on his attacks against four minority U.S. congresswomen on Monday and dismissed concerns that his comments were racist, prompting outrage from Democrats, who moved to condemn him in the House of Representatives. Speaking at the White House, Trump said people he described as critical of the United States should leave the country. Those remarks followed his Twitter messages on Sunday that said the four left-wing lawmakers, known in Congress as “the squad,” should go back to “the totally broken and crime infested…