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Updated: 11 min 31 sec ago

China, Singapore slowdown weigh on third quarter Asia business sentiment

17 September, 2014 - 00:25

MUMBAI (Reuters) - Business sentiment among Asia's top companies fell sharply in the third quarter, weighed down by worries about China's slowing economy, a possible end to the U.S. Federal Reserve's stimulus policy and a decline in the outlook for regional economic hubs like Singapore, a ThomsonReuters/INSEAD survey showed. The ThomsonReuters/INSEAD Asia Business Sentiment Index fell to 66 in the third quarter from 74 in the previous quarter, its steepest decline in three years. A reading above 50 indicates an overall positive outlook. ...


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North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un 'To Visit China in Near Future'

17 September, 2014 - 00:11

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un may visit one of his country's closest remaining allies, China, in the near future, a top Chinese diplomat has said. Beijing's ambassador to South Korea, Qiu Guohong, was speaking during a conference when he said a visit by North's leader may be on the cards. "I think that a visit by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to China is likely to be made down the road," South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported Qiu as saying. The 30-something Kim took over as North's leader following his father Kim Jong-Il's death in 2011.


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Fijians head to polls for first post-coup general election

16 September, 2014 - 23:46

By Malakai Veisamasama SUVA (Reuters) - Voters in Fiji headed to the polls on Wednesday for the first time in eight years, following a decision by the South Pacific island nation's military junta that the time was right for a transition back to democratic rule. Fiji, a tropical idyll about 3,200 km (2,000 miles) east of Australia, has suffered four coups since 1987, the latest in 2006 led by former army chief Voreqe "Frank" Bainimarama, whose Fiji First Party had a strong lead heading into the general election. ...


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'Forced labour' rife in Malaysian electronics factories - report

16 September, 2014 - 23:11
By Trinna Leong KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Nearly a third of some 350,000 workers in Malaysia's electronics industry - a crucial link in the international consumer supply chain - suffer from conditions of modern-day slavery such as debt bondage, according to a study funded by the U.S. Department of Labor. ...
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Qatar Airways takes delivery of its first Airbus A380

16 September, 2014 - 23:03

By Jan Schwartz HAMBURG (Reuters) - Qatar Airways has taken delivery of its first A380 superjumbo following a three-month standoff with planemaker Airbus over the quality of cabin fittings. Chief Executive Akbar Al Baker said Airbus was not to blame for the delayed delivery of the world's largest airliner, defusing the row after earlier threatening to seek compensation. He also expressed confidence that the mid-sized A350, the company's newest model, would be delivered on time before the end of the year and hinted at a possible new plane order. ...


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Chinese envoy says North Korea's Kim Jong Un may visit Beijing - Yonhap

16 September, 2014 - 22:53

SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korean leader Kim Jong Un could go to China on his first foreign trip since taking power, China's ambassador to South Korea said on Wednesday, according to a report from South Korea's Yonhap news agency. The 31-year-old leader assumed power after his father, Kim Jong Il, died suddenly in 2011. China is North Korea's closest ally and main benefactor. "I think that a visit from Kim Jong Un might materialise sometime in the future," Chinese Ambassador Qiu Guohong was quoted by Yonhap as saying at a forum in Seoul. ...


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Top general: US ground troops possible in Iraq

16 September, 2014 - 22:53

WASHINGTON (AP) — American ground troops may be needed to battle Islamic State forces in the Middle East if President Barack Obama's current strategy fails, the nation's top military officer said Tuesday as Congress plunged into an election-year debate of Obama's plan to expand airstrikes and train Syrian rebels.


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Games-Palestine soccer player charged with sexual harassment

16 September, 2014 - 22:52
SEOUL, Sept 17 (Reuters) - South Korean police said on Wednesday they have charged a Palestine soccer player with sexual harassment and banned him from leaving the country following a complaint from a female staff member at the Asian Games in Incheon. The complaint came a day after police said they had charged a member of Iran's Asian Games delegation with the same offence. . Police told Reuters by telephone that the latest incident occurred after the player suggested they take a photograph together at the athletes village on Tuesday. ...
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Questions, answers about Senate race in Kansas

16 September, 2014 - 22:49

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Supreme Court is considering whether the state's chief elections officer must fulfill a request from Democrats' nominee for the U.S. Senate to remove his name from the Nov. 4 election ballot. The legal dispute has national implications for the GOP drive to take the majority in the Senate.


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AP Interview: Feds launch policing bias study

16 September, 2014 - 21:54

WASHINGTON (AP) — Broadening its push to improve police relations with minorities, the Justice Department has enlisted a team of criminal justice researchers to study racial bias in law enforcement in five American cities and recommend strategies to address the problem nationally, Attorney General Eric Holder said Tuesday.


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GAO report warns of security risks in U.S. healthcare website

16 September, 2014 - 21:26

(Reuters) - HealthCare.gov, President Barack Obama's health insurance exchange, has security and privacy protection vulnerabilities, a U.S. government watchdog reported on Tuesday, nearly a year after the website's troubled rollout. The General Accounting Office (GAO) said that despite steps taken by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for security and privacy protection, weaknesses remain in the processes used for managing information security and privacy. The GAO also identified issues regarding the technical implementation of IT security controls. ...


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Obama's Ebola response: Is it enough and in time?

16 September, 2014 - 21:14

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama declared Tuesday that the Ebola epidemic in West Africa could threaten security around the world, and he ordered 3,000 U.S. military personnel to the region in emergency aid muscle for a crisis spiraling out of control.


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Endo offers to buy Auxilium Pharma for about $2.2 billion

16 September, 2014 - 21:08
(Reuters) - Specialty healthcare company Endo International Plc offered to buy Auxilium Pharmaceuticals Inc for about $2.2 billion (1.3 billion pounds) in cash and stock to expand its men's healthcare products business. Auxilium, which said in June it would buy Canadian eye drug maker QLT Inc in an all-stock deal to move its headquarters to lower-tax British Columbia, was not immediately available for comment. Endo said it sent a proposal to Auxilium on Friday but had not received an official response. Endo's offer of $28.10 per share represents a premium of 30. ...
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House passes 'no welfare for weed' bill

16 September, 2014 - 20:43
WASHINGTON (AP) — The House passed a bill Tuesday that could make it a little harder for people to use government welfare payments to buy marijuana in states where the drug is legal.
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Citing security threat, Obama expands U.S. role in fighting Ebola

16 September, 2014 - 20:40

By Jeff Mason and James Harding Giahyue ATLANTA/MONROVIA (Reuters) - President Barack Obama on Tuesday called West Africa's deadly Ebola outbreak a looming threat to global security and announced a major expansion of the U.S. role in trying to halt its spread, including deployment of 3,000 troops to the region. "The reality is that this epidemic is going to get worse before it gets better," Obama said at the Atlanta headquarters of the U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). "But, right now, the world still has an opportunity to save countless lives. ...


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House passes bills highlighting IRS controversy

16 September, 2014 - 20:31
WASHINGTON (AP) — The House passed three bills Tuesday designed to highlight complaints that the IRS mistreated conservative political groups when they applied for tax-exempt status.
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House passes bill to oversee VA hospital building

16 September, 2014 - 20:26
WASHINGTON (AP) — The House has passed a bill to increase oversight of veterans' hospitals under construction, following a report that some medical centers take three years longer to complete than estimated and cost an extra $366 million per project.
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World Cup winner Cowan fills a hole at the Auckland Blues

16 September, 2014 - 20:17

WELLINGTON (Reuters) - World Cup winning scrumhalf Jimmy Cowan will play for the Auckland Blues next season after signing a contract with the Super Rugby franchise. The 32-year-old halfback, who won 51 test caps for the All Blacks, returned to New Zealand earlier this year after two seasons in Britain. He will plug the hole at the Blues left by fellow World Cup winner Piri Weepu's departure for London Welsh in the English Premiership. ...


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World Cup 2022 the ultimate goal for reborn Afghanistan

16 September, 2014 - 20:08
By Mike Collett LONDON (Reuters) - The 2022 World Cup in Qatar has been beset by controversy, but for the visionaries bringing football back to life in Afghanistan it represents a shining, magical light at the end of a very long and dark tunnel. "It is an almost impossible dream, but our dream is that Afghanistan, an Asian nation, takes part in an Asian World Cup in Qatar in eight years time," Sayed Ali Reza Aghazada, the general secretary of the Afghanistan Football Federation (AFF), told Reuters. ...
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U.N. chief urges nations to 'act decisively' on Islamic State

16 September, 2014 - 19:40
By Louis Charbonneau UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged countries with the capacity to do so to take decisive action against Islamic State militants, who have taken over large swaths of Iraq and Syria. "I ... urge the international community, and those with the means, to act decisively and after sober reflection," Ban told reporters Tuesday. "It is critical to keep at the forefront the protection of civilians." Ban didn't say what steps he hoped U.N. member states would take, but praised recent U.S. ...
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