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Updated: 41 min 27 sec ago

Asian shares cautiously push higher

1 hour 1 min ago

By Lisa Twaronite TOKYO (Reuters) - Asian shares edged higher on Monday, with investors wary of a deepening crisis in Ukraine and a downbeat China manufacturing survey, while the euro touched a fresh one-year low ahead of this week's European Central Bank meeting. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko warned a "full-scale war" was imminent if Russian troops continued to advance in support of pro-Moscow rebels, while U.S.

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China gives Microsoft 20 days to provide explanation in anti-trust probe

1 hour 23 min ago

A Chinese anti-trust regulator said on Monday it has given Microsoft Corp 20 days to reply to queries on the compatability of its Windows operating system and Office software suite amid a probe into the world's largest software company. The State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) questioned Microsoft Vice President David Chen and gave the company a deadline to make an explanation, the agency said in a short statement on its website. SAIC also repeated that it suspected the company has not fully disclosed issues relating to the compatability of the software and the operating system. "[A] special investigation team conducted an anti-monopoly investigation inquiry with Microsoft Vice President Chen Shi (David Chen), and required that Microsoft make a written explanation within 20 days," the SAIC said in a statement on its website.

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Famed tenor Placido Domingo is the closing act at this year's iTunes Festival

2 hours 19 min ago
LONDON - Placido Domingo will be taking the final bow at this year's iTunes Festival.
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Retreat in China's PMIs heightens calls for policy easing

2 hours 56 min ago

By Koh Gui Qing BEIJING (Reuters) - Growth in China's vast factory sector cooled in August as foreign and domestic demand slowed, two surveys showed on Monday, spurring new calls for more policy easing to prevent the economy from stumbling once more. A purchasing managers' index (PMI) published by the National Bureau of Statistics fell from a 27-month high to 51.1 in August, slightly less than forecast as factories shed jobs for at least the 24th consecutive month. The declines in both PMIs prompted some analysts to re-state their support for more policy action to lift the fading growth momentum in the world's second-biggest economy. He said the central bank could cut interest rates or reduce the amount of reserves that banks must hold as deposits to re-stoke the economy.

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Federal judge blocks enforcement of restrictive Louisiana abortion law

Sun, 08/31/2014 - 23:45
A federal judge has temporarily blocked Louisiana from enforcing its restrictive new abortion law. District Judge John deGravelles wrote that authorities cannot enforce the law until he holds a hearing on whether an order to block it is needed while the case remains in court. "Today's ruling ensures Louisiana women are safe from an underhanded law that seeks to strip them of their health and rights," Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, one of the groups representing two northwest Louisiana clinics, one in suburban New Orleans, and doctors at those clinics, said in a news release.
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Toronto's new streetcars hit the streets

Sun, 08/31/2014 - 23:10
Some of the shiny new streetcars that will be taking TTC passengers across the city for years to come have finally hit the streets of Toronto. "It's a huge day for Toronto," said TTC CEO Andy Byford, speaking of the launch on Sunday. For now, transit users will only be seeing the new streetcars on Spadina Avenue.
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Britain's Barclays to sell Spanish assets to Caixabank

Sun, 08/31/2014 - 22:25

Barclays is selling its Spanish retail and corporate banking operations to Caixabank, the two companies said on Sunday, as the British bank starts shrinking its struggling European divisions as part of a major overhaul. Caixabank, Spain's third-biggest lender and one of the most acquisitive banks during the recent financial crisis, said it would pay 800 million euros ($1.05 billion) for the Barclays businesses. The sale marks one of the first big steps in Barclays' bid to exit most of its European retail banking businesses, after Chief Executive Antony Jenkins embarked on a turnaround plan earlier this year to try and lift profitability. Barclays will make thousands of job cuts in the next three years as part of the restructuring and has said it wants to refocus on its British and African businesses, credit cards and investment banking in Britain and the United States.

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Tantrums, concubines, hotpot burns and smog: China insurers have it covered

Sun, 08/31/2014 - 21:56

Similarly, buy cover against your bride becoming pregnant before the honeymoon, your team being knocked out of the soccer World Cup, burning your tongue eating hotpot or if smog ruins your holiday. Quirky, maybe, but China's insurers are turning to ever more creative ways to drum up business in a market where growth has stalled and penetration rates of around 3 percent, half the global average, are little changed from a decade ago. Premiums in China are less than $278 billion a year, way below the $1.3 trillion paid in the United States and below even the UK's $330 billion, according to Munich Re and Swiss Re data. "It's consumer acquisition, a way to engage new customers," said Joseph Ngai, who heads the Greater China financial institutions practice at McKinsey in Hong Kong.

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Joan Rivers' daughter: 'We are keeping our fingers crossed' about comedian's recovery

Sun, 08/31/2014 - 21:50

Joan Rivers' loved ones said Sunday that they remain hopeful about her recovery three days after she went into cardiac arrest at a doctor's office. "We are keeping our fingers crossed," her daughter, Melissa Rivers, said in a statement, thanking people who have expressed support for the 81-year-old comedian. Joan Rivers was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital on Thursday, a day after she spoke at an employee event at Time Inc. in New York. Two of her "Fashion Police" co-stars tweeted their well-wishes to Joan Rivers and her family Saturday.

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B.C. to start daycare payments to parents as teachers strike talks collapse

Sun, 08/31/2014 - 21:12

Education Minister Peter Fassbender said parents who start registering at the government's website ( can expect to receive $40 a day as early as late September or early October, although the website says the payments will come after the strike is over. Both sides have said they are willing to bargain throughout the long weekend in hopes of striking a deal, but Iker and Peter Cameron, the government's negotiator, have said school will likely not start on time.

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Trespasser struck, killed by Via train east of Ottawa

Sun, 08/31/2014 - 21:06
A trespasser was struck and killed by a Via train east of Ottawa on Sunday night. The collision occurred on a stretch of tracks in the Carlsbad Springs area, about 30 kilometres east of Ottawa, at 6 p.m, Via Rail spokesman Malcolm Andrews told CBC News. Two buses were used to take the passengers on to their destinations — one went to Ottawa, the other took the passengers going further than that.
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After taking Libya's capital, Islamist militia group now guards US Embassy and its residences

Sun, 08/31/2014 - 20:58

An Islamist-allied militia group in control of Libya's capital now guards the U.S. Embassy and its residential compound, a commander said Sunday, as onlookers toured the abandoned homes of diplomats who fled the country more than a month ago. An Associated Press journalist saw holes left by small-arms and rocket fire dotting the residential compound, reminders of weeks of violence between rival militias over control of Tripoli that sparked the evacuation. A commander for the Dawn of Libya group, Moussa Abu-Zaqia, told the AP that his forces had been guarding the residential compound since last week, a day after it seized control of the capital and its international airport after weeks of fighting with a rival militia.

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Alberta's minimum wage increases to $10.20 on Monday

Sun, 08/31/2014 - 20:18

On Monday, 26,000 people earning minimum wage in Alberta will start seeing a slight boost in their paycheques. The province is raising the general minimum wage on Sept. 1 from $9.95 to $10.20 an hour, while the liquor server wage will increase from $9.05 to $9.20 an hour. Alberta is the last province to hit the $10 general minimum wage barrier.

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Citi to pay allowance to compensate for limited bonuses

Sun, 08/31/2014 - 20:13

(Reuters) - Citigroup Inc has told senior staff in Europe that they would receive fixed monthly pay in addition to their salaries in an attempt to compensate for rules that limit bonuses to up to twice the level of base salaries, the Financial Times reported, citing several people. More than 600 of Citigroup bankers in Europe were affected by the bonus cap and will therefore be paid such allowances, several people told the newspaper. The FT said about half of the bankers had received similar allowances in the past after Citi introduced them a few years ago to mitigate the impact of regulatory demands for higher bonus deferrals for key staff. One senior Citi banker told the FT the allowances had been structured so that the bank's European staff would still receive the same amount of overall pay and a similar mixture of cash and shares as their U.S.

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UK manufacturing growth cools as export orders slip: EEF

Sun, 08/31/2014 - 19:55

Britain's main manufacturing trade association trimmed its growth forecast for 2014 on Monday after its members reported the first fall in export orders since early 2013. The EEF association said its quarterly survey of members showed slowing growth in output and new business over the last three months, and cut its forecast for factory output growth in 2014 to 3.3 percent from 3.5 percent. The EEF said that with the euro zone economy stagnating, sterling strong and political risks on the rise, the picture for demand was now more uncertain than for some time, though the overall picture remained positive. "We're seeing manufacturers continue to recruit for skilled jobs and increase their plans to invest in the coming year - exactly what the UK economy still needs for balanced growth," said Lee Hopley, the EEF's chief economist.

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William Shatner sees 'mythological' appeal in science fiction

Sun, 08/31/2014 - 19:46
William Shatner says the people taking part in Fan Expo this weekend are looking for much more than a chance to see the stars of science fiction up close and in person. Over the years, Shatner has become synonymous with Star Trek, playing Captain James T. Kirk on television and in seven big-screen movies. It has been nearly 50 years since Star Trek made its television debut. In October, the 83-year-old Shatner says he's headed to the New York Comic Con, where he'll be unveiling a comic book that is based on a book he wrote called Man o' War.
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City of Fairbanks has spent $7,000 defending mayor's $37.50 elections fine

Sun, 08/31/2014 - 19:32
The city of Fairbanks has so far spent about $7,000 appealing a $37.50 elections fine levelled on the mayor. The Alaska Public Offices Commission ordered City Mayor John Eberhart to pay the $37.50 fine in May after concluding he broke a state election law in the October 2013 election by sending an email on his city council email account. In that email, Eberhart, then a city council member, asked city staff to research resolutions and ordinances sponsored by Eberhart and his mayoral opponent Vivian Stiver.
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Putin calls for talks; Ukraine says rebels fire on border guard vessel in Azov Sea

Sun, 08/31/2014 - 19:31

KIEV, Ukraine - Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday called on Ukraine to immediately start talks on a political solution to the crisis in eastern Ukraine.

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Police investigating after man finds loaded machine gun in backyard

Sun, 08/31/2014 - 19:03
Calgary police are investigating after a homeowner discovered a loaded machine gun in his backyard in the Temple area in the city's northeast on Sunday. A man was doing yardwork when he found the loaded gun and a cellphone inside a pillowcase on his property.
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Qantas stays loyal to its frequent flyer 'cash cow'

Sun, 08/31/2014 - 18:28
By Jane Wardell SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia's flagship airline, Qantas Airways Ltd , is making a mint helping other companies keep their customers - even as it struggles to retain the loyalty of its own. Hiding behind Qantas' staggering A$2.8 billion ($2.6 billion) headline annual net loss announced last week is a hugely profitable loyalty program that is the envy of the airline world - and the carrier isn't letting go. Some investors have urged Qantas to sell all or part of Qantas Frequent Flyer, which is valued as high as A$3 billion. Rival carrier Virgin Australia Holdings announced on Friday it was offloading a stake in its loyalty plan.
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