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Updated: 27 min 13 sec ago

France drops case against Iranian dissidents after 11-year probe

4 hours 50 min ago
PARIS (Reuters) - Prosecuting judges in Paris on Wednesday dropped all charges of money laundering and fraud against nine people close to an exiled Iranian opposition group more than 10 years after they were arrested on terrorism charges. The five women and four men were among 167 sympathisers of the People's Mujahideen Organisation of Iran (PMOI) who were rounded up in 2003 during a police raid on the ouskirts of Paris for questioning over possible links to terrorism and suspicion of money laundering. ...
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West African powerhouse Ivory Coast battles to keep out Ebola

4 hours 52 min ago

By Joe Bavier ABIDJAN (Reuters) - The billboard depicts a masked health worker in a biohazard suit looming over a bed-ridden patient. Above them, bright red letters warn commuters on a busy Abidjan street that "The Ebola risk is always there". As Ivory Coast campaigns to fend off an Ebola outbreak ravaging neighbouring West African states, such grim reminders of the catastrophe unfolding across its western border are everywhere. ...

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Sky Deutschland advises investors to shun BSkyB offer

5 hours 11 min ago

By Harro Ten Wolde FRANKFURT (Reuters) - The management of pay-TV provider Sky Deutschland has advised minority investors not to accept an offer from BSkyB , a token gesture given that BSkyB's terms are little more than a formality required after its purchase of a controlling stake in the broadcaster. BSkyB in July agreed to buy the 57 percent stake in Sky Deutschland owned by Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox , and offered remaining shareholders 6.75 euros for each of their shares, as mandated by German takeover law. ...

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Libyan PM seeks to reassert authority as oil production is hit

5 hours 14 min ago

By Feras Bosalum and Ahmed Elumami BENGHAZI Libya (Reuters) - Libya's acting prime minister sought to reassert authority over his turbulent country by naming a new cabinet on Wednesday, but some lawmakers threatened to veto his choices and a rival assembly continued to hold sway in the capital. In a sign of the government's inability to control the vast desert nation, which has been rocked by anarchy, Libya's biggest oilfield stopped working after rockets fired by an armed group hit a refinery storage tank. ...

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Airbus strategy chief Lahoud rules out bid to be Safran CEO

5 hours 14 min ago

By Tim Hepher PARIS (Reuters) - Airbus Group strategy chief Marwan Lahoud indirectly ruled himself out as the next chief executive of French engine maker Safran on Wednesday, dampening recurring media speculation that he could leave Europe's largest aerospace group. Lahoud, 48, the architect behind recent changes in Airbus Group governance limiting the influence of governments, is often seen as a potential high-flyer outside the group he helped to found and has repeatedly been linked in the press with Safran. ...

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StopHillary PAC Wants Clinton to Answer for Benghazi in Key Presidential Primary States

5 hours 15 min ago
StopHillary PAC, the group dedicated to smothering Hillary Clinton's unofficial presidential campaign in its crib, has released a new commercial demanding Clinton "break the silence" on Benghazi. The ad will air in New Hampshire, Iowa and South Carolina, the group told The Washington Post.
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Benghazi Panel Succeeds In Avoiding Partisan Spectacle (So Far)

5 hours 24 min ago

Members of the House Select Committee on Benghazi have pledged to keep its polarizing investigation from devolving into the same kind of partisan spectacle that plagued many of the half dozen previous congressional inquiries into the 2012 terrorist attacks.

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Russia welcomes special status for eastern Ukrainian regions

5 hours 29 min ago
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's foreign ministry on Wednesday welcomed as a "step in the right direction" a Ukrainian parliament decision to grant special status to two regions pro-Russian separatists want to split off from Kiev. On Wednesday, Ukraine passed laws granting temporary and limited self-rule to the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk in an attempt to blunt the independence drive of separatist fighters there. "We expect that all provisions of the law will be responsibly implemented," the ministry also said in a statement. "It's clear that attempts... ...
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Miliband sees 'ugly side' of poll

5 hours 31 min ago

Ed Miliband claimed the campaign for independence has an "ugly side" during chaotic scenes as he was mobbed during a visit to Edinburgh.

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Ebola could drain billions of dollars from African economies - World Bank

5 hours 32 min ago
By Anna Yukhananov WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The largest-ever outbreak of Ebola could drain billions of dollars from economies in West Africa by the end of next year if the epidemic is not contained, the World Bank said in an analysis on Wednesday. The global development lender predicted that slow containment of the deadly virus in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone could lead to broader regional contagion, particularly through tourism and trade. Under the worst-case scenario, Guinea's economic growth could be reduced by 2.3 percentage points next year while Sierra Leone's growth would be cut by 8. ...
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First UK volunteer gets experimental GSK Ebola shot in trial

5 hours 32 min ago

By Kate Kelland LONDON (Reuters) - The first volunteer in a fast-tracked British safety trial of an experimental Ebola vaccine made by GlaxoSmithKline received the injection on Wednesday, trial organisers said. The candidate Ebola vaccine, which GSK co-developed with the U.S. National Institutes of Health, has also been given to 10 volunteers taking part in a similar separate trial in the United States, and so far there were no signs of any serious adverse reactions, doctors said. ...

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FTSE underperforms as Scottish uncertainty weighs on market

5 hours 33 min ago

By Sudip Kar-Gupta LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's top share index slipped and underperformed gains on rival European bourses on Wednesday, as the uncertainty raised by Scotland's vote on independence pegged back the UK stock market. The blue-chip FTSE 100 index closed down by 0.2 percent, or 11.34 points, at 6,780.90 points. ...

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Russia to present toughest budget since global crisis as sanctions bite

5 hours 40 min ago

By Lidia Kelly MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia presents its toughest budget in years on Thursday, relying on optimistic forecasts for oil prices at a time when borrowing abroad to cover any deficit slippage will be tough due to tightening Western sanctions. With the economy slowing to a crawl, the 2015-2017 budget proposes possibly tapping into the country's reserves for the first time since the 2008 global crisis, while foreseeing an end to real wage growth, a struggle to tame inflation and a falling rouble. ...

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Iraqi army launches offensive on Islamic State in three cities

5 hours 41 min ago

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraqi forces launched an intense military operation against Islamic State insurgents in three cities in central Iraq on Wednesday, fighting to regain control of lost ground, security sources said. The offensives in Ramadi, Falluja and Haditha in the western province of Anbar started before dawn, security sources in the three cities said. Sunni tribes revolted in these areas in late 2013 when Iraq's former prime minister, Nuri al-Maliki, moved his forces into the cities to suppress a year-long anti-government protest movement. ...

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US can't track Westerners fighting in Syria

5 hours 42 min ago
WASHINGTON (AP) — A top American intelligence official is acknowledging that the U.S. has difficulty tracking the movements and activities of Westerners in Syria who have joined rebels fighting President Bashar Assad (bah-SHAR' AH'-sahd).
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Durham's Rushworth takes 15 wickets in a day against Northants

5 hours 53 min ago
(Reuters) - Durham seam bowler Chris Rushworth took 15 wickets on Wednesday as Northants were bowled out twice in less than 3-1/2 hours on their way to an innings defeat. Rushworth, who has led the Durham attack this term with Graham Onions injured, took 9-52 either side of lunch as Northants were dismissed for 83 and, when following on, 90. Hosts Durham had scored 392 in their first innings in the match at Chester-le-Street. The 28-year-old Rushworth finished with match figures of 15-95, the best by a Durham bowler in a county championship fixture. ...
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Adidas shares jump on report of hedge fund activism

5 hours 57 min ago

By Jörn Poltz MUNICH (Reuters) - Shares in sportswear maker Adidas jumped on Wednesday on a report that a group of hedge funds is seeking to buy a stake to pressure management to make sweeping changes, although one of the funds dismissed this. Germany's manager magazin said hedge funds including Knight Vinke, Third Point and TCI were considering buying stake in the world's second-largest sportswear company, driving a 4 percent jump in its shares. ...

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UK trade deficit wider on illegal drug imports - ONS

6 hours 9 min ago
LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's trade deficit widened by 4 billion pounds due to imports of illegal drugs in 2012, equivalent to more than 10 percent of the country's trade shortfall that year, according to new figures from the Office for National Statistics. The ONS is revamping how it calculates the size of Britain's economy and the way it measures British trade, bringing them into line with the latest international standards. It published new estimates of British trade data for 2010 to 2012. ...
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Activist Bramson targets Electra revamp in letter to shareholders

6 hours 12 min ago
LONDON (Reuters) - Activist investor Edward Bramson has written to shareholders of private equity firm Electra asking for support for a shake-up of the company's management and strategy, promising to more than double the value of its shares. Bramson's Sherborne Investors, which has built up a stake of around 19 percent in Electra since February, on Wednesday promised to add more than 1 billion pounds to Electra's market value to take its share price to around 6,000 pence ($98). Shares in Electra were trading at 2,729 pence at 1402 GMT (03:02 p.m. BST), up 0.04 percent on the day. ...
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Russia's Bashneft says sees no impact from owner arrest

6 hours 17 min ago
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Alexander Korsik, the head of Russia's oil producer Bashneft , said on Wednesday that his company's operations have not been affected by putting the owner of Sistema holding under house arrest. Vladimir Yevtushenkov, chairman of Sistema that owns Bashneft, was accused of money-laundering in connection to his company's acquisition of the oil producer and placed under house arrest on Tuesday. "We are following the situation of AFK Sistema and for now do not see negative impact of these events on our current operational activity," Korsik said in emailed comments. ...
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