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EU decision on Russia sanctions by Friday

New EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini (L) of Italy gives a press conference in Brussels after an interview by the foreign affairs committee of the European Parliament on September 2, 2014 European Union nations will decide on new sanctions against Moscow by Friday, with Russian aggression towards Ukraine requiring the strongest possible response, incoming EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini said. Mogherini, currently the Italian foreign minister, said Russia could no longer be considered a "strategic partner" for the west and urged NATO to reassure eastern European nations that they would be protected from attack. Leaders of the 28-member EU decided at a summit on Saturday to impose new sanctions against Russia, after alleging that Moscow had deployed troops and weapons to back a rebel counter-offensive in southeast Ukraine.


Germany opens memorial to Nazis' disabled victims

A woman passes the new monument for the victims of euthanasia Berlin, Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014. Germany has inaugurated the memorial to more than 200,000 people with physical and mental disabilities who were killed by the Nazis, who deemed their lives “worthless. The 24-meter (79-foot) blue glass pane stands on the site of a villa where the mass murder of patients at hospitals and mental institutes was coordinated starting in 1940. The euthanasia program’s methods included using gas chambers. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber) BERLIN (AP) — Germany on Tuesday inaugurated a memorial to more than 200,000 people with physical and mental disabilities killed by the Nazis after their lives were deemed "worthless."


Estonia wants clear NATO presence in the East to deter Russia

By Balazs Koranyi and David Mardiste TALLINN (Reuters) - NATO needs a clear and visible presence in eastern Europe to deter Russian aggression but Alliance members also must increase military spending after years of cuts, Estonian Prime Minister Taavi Roivas said on Tuesday. Roivas told Reuters in an interview that NATO should move weapons storage facilities into the former eastern bloc, increase air policing on its eastern frontier and create a rapid deployment force that could move more swiftly into place in case of a conflict. "We have to make sure the deterrence is strong enough so it will become unthinkable for Russia to go beyond (Ukraine)," Roivas, 34, said, referring to Moscow's actions in Crimea and eastern Ukraine.

Pakistan minister condemns protests as lawmakers back PM

Pakistani supporters of cricketer-turned politician Imran Khan and Canadian cleric Tahir ul Qadri beat a riot policeman during an anti-government protest in Islamabad on September 1, 2014 Pakistan's interior minister on Tuesday slammed violent anti-government protests as a "revolt against the state" as lawmakers backed beleaguered Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Sharif has resisted calls for him to go but protest leaders Imran Khan and Tahir-ul-Qadri have refused to back down, raising political tensions to fever pitch. Khan, who leads the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) opposition party, claims the May 2013 election that swept Sharif to power in a landslide was rigged.


Saudi arrests 88 suspects in alleged al-Qaida cell

File picture shows Saudi Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud during the opening session of the Gulf Cooperation Council in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on May 14, 2014 RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — A top Saudi security official said Tuesday that police had arrested 88 men suspected of being part of an al-Qaida cell that was plotting attacks inside and outside of the kingdom.


Official: New Polish prime minister this month

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk opens a government meeting in Warsaw, Poland, Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014. Tusk was chosen by EU leaders to be the next president of the European Council. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz) WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland's government spokeswoman says a new prime minister should be appointed before the end of the month to replace Donald Tusk who will take office as the European Council's president in December.


European Commission to hold gas talks with Russia on Thursday

The European Commission will hold expert-level talks with Russia on Thursday to try to solve the Ukraine gas price row, Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said on Tuesday. "We will first hold a technical meeting on expert level between my services and Russia in Brussels on Thursday September 4," Oettinger said in a statement. The meeting is a follow-up to Oettinger's meeting with Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak in Moscow last Friday and aims to further analyze figures on security of supply next winter. Oettinger said he would then meet Ukrainian Energy Minister Yuri Prodan in Baku, Azerbaijan, on Sept. 8.

Top Asian News at 1:30 p.m. GMT

PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — It's a hot, sunny morning at the newly refurbished Sosan Football Stadium in Pyongyang. Two women's soccer teams head to the sidelines of the artificial turf, leaving only a row of archers to continue their practice before several senior sports ministry officials. So sure are they of their aim — or, perhaps, so impromptu is the decision to have them shoot here — that there are no barriers behind the targets, posted on simple squares of straw. The archers have a lot of responsibility on their shoulders.

Dethroned Myanmar beauty queen blasts pageant boss

May Myat Noe, Myanmar's first international beauty queen, winner of the 2014 Miss Asia Pacific World, sits with her crown that she allegedly ran away with, during a press conference in Yangon, Myanmar Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014. The dethroned beauty queen from Myanmar said she won't return her $100,000 worth crown until the pageant's organizers apologize for calling her a liar and a thief. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe) YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — A dethroned 16-year-old beauty queen from Myanmar said Tuesday she won't return her bejeweled $100,000 crown until pageant organizers apologize for calling her a liar and a thief.


Scottish opinion poll knocks the British pound

LONDON (AP) — The British pound slipped sharply after an opinion poll showed that those advocating Scottish independence from the United Kingdom have gained ground, a little more than two weeks before the vote.

6 militants killed in US Somalia strike

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — Al-Shabab's top leader was traveling in one of two vehicles hit Monday night in a U.S. military strike, a member of the Somali Islamic extremist group said Tuesday.

Exclusive: Alitalia, Etihad deal likely to be cleared by end of year - source

A passenger checks-in at an Alitalia machine at Fiumicino airport in Rome By Foo Yun Chee BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Italian airline Alitalia and Etihad Airways are expected to win clearance for their tie-up by the end of the year with minor concessions, a person familiar with the matter said on Tuesday. Abu Dhabi-based Etihad clinched a deal last month to buy 49 percent of lossmaking Alitalia for 1.76 billion euros ($2.31 billion), giving it access to Europe's fourth-largest travel market and 25 million passengers. Cash-rich Etihad, which has minority stakes in Air Berlin , Ireland's Aer Lingus , Virgin Australia and other global airlines, would be the largest single shareholder in Alitalia after the deal.


Pakistan protest leader to meet political figures to discuss crisis

Pakistani protest leader Imran Khan said on Tuesday he would hold talks with a conservative Islamist politician who has been trying to mediate between Khan's political party and the government since the beginning of a political crisis. "We will put our stance in front of them and they will do the same ... The Door for talks should always remain open." Khan, who has refused to negotiate with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif whose resignation he is demanding, stopped short of saying that he could hold direct talks with the government.

UK deputy leader criticizes tumor-boy case

This is an undated handout photos issued by England's Hampshire Police on Monday Sept. 1, 2014, of Brett King and Naghemeh King, the parents of Ashya King, who have legal proceedings against them continuing in Spain after they took the five-year-old brain cancer patient out of hospital without doctors' consent. Critically-ill 5-year-old boy Ashya King driven to Spain by his parents is receiving medical treatment for a brain tumor in a Spanish hospital as his parents await extradition to Britain, police said Sunday Aug. 31 2014. Officers received a phone call late Saturday from a hotel east of Malaga advising that a vehicle fitting the description circulated by police was on its premises. Both parents were arrested and the boy, Ashya King, was taken to a hospital, a Spanish police spokesman said. (AP Photo/Hampshire Police) LONDON (AP) — U.K. Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said Tuesday it was inappropriate to throw the full weight of the law at a couple who took their ill 5-year-old child to Spain in hope of getting a revolutionary type of radiation therapy for a brain tumor.


British 'jihadist' mum threatens to behead Christians: reports

A middle-aged British mother-of-two and former rock band member has joined jihadists in Syria and wants to behead Christians with a "blunt knife", British media reported. The reports identified the woman as Sally Jones, 45, from Kent in southeast England, and said she now goes by the name Sakinah Hussain, or Umm Hussain al-Britani. Security experts estimate that hundreds of Britons have gone to the Middle East to join the Islamic State (IS) militant group, the most brutal to emerge out of Syria's bloody civil war and the most successful. The well-funded group controls large swathes of Syria and Iraq and has proved adept at using social media to boost its profile, attract recruits and terrify enemies with images of mass executions and battlefield victories.

Halliburton to settle U.S. Gulf spill claims for $1.1 billion

Oil is burned off the surface of the water near the source of the Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana (Reuters) - Halliburton Co said it reached a $1.1 billion settlement for a majority of claims against the company for its role in the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.


US targets Shebab leader in Somalia air strike

Ugandan soldiers with the African Union Mission in Somalia prepare to advance on the town of Kurtunwaarey in the Lower Shabelle region of Somalia, on August 31, 2014 US forces have carried out air strikes against the leader of Somalia's Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab rebels, with casualties reported but uncertainty hanging over the fate of the main target, officials said Tuesday. The Pentagon confirmed an "operation" was carried out on Monday against the hardline militia, and that it was "assessing the results". "The Americans carried out a major air strike targeting a gathering by senior Al-Shebab officials, including their leader Abu-Zubayr," said Abdukadir Mohamed Nur, governor for southern Somalia's Lower Shabelle region. Abu-Zubayr is the often-used name for Shebab supreme commander Ahmed Abdi Godane, listed by the US State Department as one of the world's eight top terror fugitives.


England all out for 206 vs India in 4th ODI

India's Ravindra Jadeja, 2nd right, is congratulated by Suresh Raina, right, after bowling England's Eoin Morgan caught Suresh Raina for 32 runs during the fourth One Day International match between England and India at Edgbaston cricket ground, Birmingham, England, Tuesday, Sept 2, 2014. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira) BIRMINGHAM, England (AP) — India bowled England out for only 206 in the fourth one day international at Edgebaston on Tuesday, setting the tourists a comfortable target of 207 to secure series victory.


Pakistan parliament backs embattled prime minister as crisis deepens

Anti-government protesters pull a rope to remove container barricade during the Revolution March in Islamabad By Syed Raza Hassan and Maria Golovnina ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Pakistan's parliament threw its weight behind embattled Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday as a deepening crisis over violent protests demanding his resignation prompted fears of an army intervention. Sharif, who enjoys a solid majority in parliament, convened a joint session of the assembly as he seeks to reaffirm that he is fully in control more than two weeks after protests seeking to bring down his government erupted in the coup-prone nation. ... They are not revolutionaries, they are intruders and terrorists," he said of the protesters. Pakistan has been in turmoil since mid-August when tens of thousands of protesters led by Khan, a former hero cricket player, and outspoken cleric Tahir ul-Qadri flooded into the capital Islamabad, refusing to leave unless Sharif resigns.


Putin's '2 weeks to Kiev' out of context: aide

Russian President Vladimir Putin MOSCOW (AP) — A Kremlin aide on Tuesday sharply criticized EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso for breaching confidentiality when he quoted President Vladimir Putin as saying Moscow could take over Kiev in two weeks, if it wished.


Hollande affair actress wins privacy suit against French glossy

French actress Julie Gayet arrives for the opening ceremony of the Venice Film Festival on August 27, 2014 at Venice Lido French actress Julie Gayet, whose affair with President Francois Hollande made headlines worldwide, on Tuesday won a privacy case against a photographer who snapped her in her car. A court in the western Paris suburb of Nanterre also fined two senior executives of French glossy magazine Closer, which splashed the photograph only a week after revealing the affair in early January. The court handed paparazzo Laurent Viers a suspended fine of 1,000 euros (1,300) for taking the photo, which Closer splashed with the caption: "It's in her white Citroen that Julie Gayet meets the president." Carmine Perna, director general of Closer publisher Mondadori Magazines France, and the magazine's editor-in-chief Laurence Pieau both received suspended fines of 3,000 euros.


Greece to toughen penalties on hate speech

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Lawmakers in Greece have begun debating draft legislation to outlaw Holocaust denial and expand prosecution powers against the incitement of racial violence, following scores of violent attacks against immigrants and a surge in popular support for the extreme right Golden Dawn party.

End of Gaza war doesn't translate into peace

Palestinians sit outside their house that witnesses said was heavily shelled by Israel during the offensive, in the Shejaia neighbourhood, east of Gaza City By Jeffrey Heller JERUSALEM (Reuters) - A week after the guns fell silent in the Gaza war, Israel and the Palestinians seem to have little appetite or incentive for a return to U.S.-sponsored peace and statehood talks that collapsed five months ago. With conflicts raging in Ukraine, Iraq and Syria - and the future of the Gaza Strip largely uncharted by a broadbrush Egyptian-mediated ceasefire deal - world powers also are not rushing headlong into the Israeli-Palestinian stalemate. The parties themselves, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's bickering governing coalition and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, are on a collision course over threatened Palestinian unilateral moves toward statehood and exploration of war crimes prosecution against Israel in the absence of direct talks. Israel drew Palestinian and international criticism on Sunday by announcing a major appropriation of occupied land in the West Bank, the most significant such move in 30 years.


Czechs seek to modify proposed EU sanctions, warn of escalation

The Czech Republic wants to modify some parts of the European Union's proposed new trade measures against Russia, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said on Tuesday, warning that escalating sanctions was risky. EU leaders decided at a summit on the weekend that direct engagement of Russian troops in the war in eastern and southern Ukraine called for a stepping up of sanctions imposed so far unless Russia pulled its soldiers back. The European Commission is to prepare a final draft of new sanctions against Moscow over its involvement in Ukraine by Wednesday and EU governments will make a decision on the final shape of the package by Friday. Russia denies sending troops or armor over the border.

Island airport bid fails as London aims to stay on top

Passenger jets are seen parked on the runway at Heathrow airport's Terminal Five, in London, on March 27, 2008 London mayor Boris Johnson's grand plan for a new airport in the Thames Estuary was rejected on Tuesday, leaving few options on the cards for the city to stay an international hub. The Airports Commission turned down the idea in a report, with its director Howard Davies saying the island airport proposal had "attraction" but would be too costly and complicated. Johnson had backed replacing Heathrow with the construction of four runways some 50 kilometres (31 miles) east of the city by 2030 -- a project referred to as "Boris Island". Davies was quoted in the report saying the proposal would "remove the aviation noise nuisance from many west London residents" and would be far from residential areas.


Police abandon posts in Lesotho, fear for lives

A Lesotho Defence Force member displays arms and ammunition confiscated from police at army barracks in Maseru, Lesotho, Monday, Sept. 1, 2014. Southern Africa's regional body said Monday it will send an envoy and an observer team to Lesotho to help restore stability and security in the mountainous kingdom where military actions over the weekend caused the prime minister to flee. (AP Photo) MASERU, Lesotho (AP) — Police in Lesotho have been told to abandon their posts and not wear uniforms to avoid being targeted in attacks in the kingdom's continuing power vacuum, an official said Tuesday.


Top Asian News at 1:00 p.m. GMT

PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — It's a hot, sunny morning at the newly refurbished Sosan Football Stadium in Pyongyang. Two women's soccer teams head to the sidelines of the artificial turf, leaving only a row of archers to continue their practice before several senior sports ministry officials. So sure are they of their aim — or, perhaps, so impromptu is the decision to have them shoot here — that there are no barriers behind the targets, posted on simple squares of straw. The archers have a lot of responsibility on their shoulders.

Saudi Arabia detains 88 preparing 'terrorist' attacks: Al Arabiya

(Reuters) - Saudi Arabia has arrested 88 people plotting "terrorist" attacks at home and abroad, Al Arabiya television reported on Tuesday, citing the interior ministry. The ministry said the suspects had been monitored for months before their arrest and "were on the verge of carrying out operations". Fifty-nine had been detained previously, it added. (Reporting By Noah Browning, Editing by William Maclean and John Stonestreet)

Exclusive: 'Back to normal' for AstraZeneca CEO, despite Pfizer rumors

Chief Executive of AstraZeneca Pascal Soriot leaves after appearing at a commons science committee hearing at Portcullis House in London By Ben Hirschler BARCELONA (Reuters) - Though speculation is rife of a new Pfizer bid, AstraZeneca's chief executive is not holed up with advisers in London or New York. Instead, he has spent the last three days immersed in heart science in Barcelona. "The only thing I can tell you is I am here - and imagine where I would be if something was happening!" Pascal Soriot told Reuters on the sidelines of the European Society of Cardiology congress, the world's largest heart meeting. Strict British takeover rules limit what Soriot and other players can say about Pfizer's abortive attempt to buy AstraZeneca and the possibility of a resumption of talks.


Wall St. set for flat open; manufacturing data on tap

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) Investors will eye the final August reading on the manufacturing sector from financial data firm Markit at 9:45 a.m. (1345 GMT). At 10 a.m. (1400 GMT), the Institute for Supply Management's August reading on manufacturing will be released.


Putin orders building hastened at new Russian spaceport

Russian President Putin speaks to the media after talks with Ukrainian President Poroshenko in Minsk By Vladimir Soldatkin VOSTOCHNY Russia (Reuters) - President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday ordered construction sped up on a multi-billion-dollar spaceport in Russia's Far East that he said would break reliance on the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and launch future missions to the Moon and Mars. Putin flew in a helicopter over the sprawling building site in Vostochny at a time when conflict with Ukraine, maker of Zenit and Dnepr rockets, is highlighting the fragility of Russia's dependence on former Soviet republics in defense and space. Building a new launchpad on its own soil is central to Putin's effort to reform a once-pioneering space industry hobbled by years of budget cuts and a brain drain in the 1990s. "Our own space infrastructure and modern network of cosmodromes ... will allow Russia to strengthen its standing as a leading space superpower and guarantee the independence of space activities," Putin said at Vostochny, near Russia's border with China.


England vs. India scoreboard

BIRMINGHAM, England (AP) — Scoreboard Tuesday at the end of the innings in the fourth one day international between England and India at Edgebaston:

Saudi executes 4 people for drug smuggling

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Saudi Arabia has executed another four people it says were found guilty of trying to illegally smuggle large quantities of illegal pills and hashish into the kingdom.

England vs. India Scores

BIRMINGHAM, England (AP) — Scores Tuesday at the end of the innings in the fourth one day international between England and India:

Russian forces strengthening positions in Ukraine: Kiev military

By Pavel Polityuk and Kiryl Sukhotski KIEV (Reuters) - Russian troops are strengthening their positions in eastern Ukraine and using aid shipments to smuggle in arms and other supplies to separatist forces, Kiev's military said on Tuesday. Military spokesman Andriy Lysenko said units of Russian troops had been identified in the big regional center of Donetsk, towns and villages to its east and in south-east areas near the Sea of Azov. Fifteen more Ukrainian servicemen were killed in fighting in the past 24 hours, Lysenko said. President Petro Poroshenko accused Russia on Monday of "direct and undisguised aggression" in Kiev's five-month war against pro-Russian separatists.

Russia reviews military doctrine, reflecting chill with NATO

By Mark Trevelyan MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia will update its military doctrine this year to take account of new threats including the Ukraine crisis, a Kremlin security aide said on Tuesday in forceful comments that highlighted a deepening Cold War-style standoff with NATO. Mikhail Popov, deputy head of the Kremlin's advisory Security Council, told RIA news agency that changes were being drafted in the light of risks connected with the Arab Spring, the Syrian civil war and the conflict between the Ukrainian government and pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine. The doctrine was last updated in 2010, when Russia identified NATO enlargement as a national threat and reaffirmed its right to use nuclear weapons if its existence was endangered. Back then, Popov said, "a number of top officials accused the leadership of our country of old thinking and declared that NATO is not Russia's enemy and will never attack Russia.

3 Chinese inmates kill guard, break out of jail

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese authorities set up checkpoints and offered a reward of $48,000 for three inmates who killed a guard, donned police uniforms and escaped Tuesday in a rare jailbreak.

Barcelona says new goalie Ter Stegen fit to play

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Barcelona says German goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen has been cleared to make his debut for the club after recovering from a back injury.

Top Asian News at 12:30 p.m. GMT

PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — It's a hot, sunny morning at the newly refurbished Sosan Football Stadium in Pyongyang. Two women's soccer teams head to the sidelines of the artificial turf, leaving only a row of archers to continue their practice before several senior sports ministry officials. So sure are they of their aim — or, perhaps, so impromptu is the decision to have them shoot here — that there are no barriers behind the targets, posted on simple squares of straw. The archers have a lot of responsibility on their shoulders.

Germany defender Durm extends Dortmund contract

DORTMUND, Germany (AP) — Germany defender Erik Durm has extended his contract with Borussia Dortmund by two years.

Scores killed as Boko Haram insurgents overrun Nigerian town: sources

A girl rubs her eye beside her father in an IDP camp, that was set up for Nigerians fleeing the violence committed against them by Boko Haram militants, at Wurojuli By Lanre Ola MAIDUGURI Nigeria (Reuters) - Islamist Boko Haram insurgents have overrun much of a northeastern Nigerian town after hours of fighting that has killed scores and displaced thousands of residents, several security sources said on Tuesday. The Islamists launched an attack on the town of Bama, 70 km (45 miles) from the Borno state capital of Maiduguri, on Monday. Nigeria's defense spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment. In a bungled air strike, several Nigerian troops were killed at the Bama armory by a fighter jet targeting the insurgents, a soldier on the ground told Reuters.


Goldman cuts price target on Bombardier; sees further CSeries delay

A plane flies over a Bombardier plant in Montreal Goldman Sachs cut its price target on Bombardier Inc and reiterated a "sell" rating on shares of the train and plane maker on Tuesday, warning it expected the CSeries aircraft's entry into service to be delayed again. Goldman's price cut came just days after a Swedish carrier backed out as the first customer to start commercial flights with its new CSeries jet. Malmo Aviation, owned by Sweden's Braathens Aviation, was slated to be the first CSeries customer to take delivery of the new jet in the second half of 2015, but the airline said on Friday that will no longer be the case. "We believe the CSeries will negatively impact Bombardier's financial results and create negative catalysts for the next several years," Goldman analyst Noah Poponak said in a note to clients.


Dollar General sweetens Family Dollar bid, may go hostile

A price sign at a Dollar General store in Arvada, Colorado Dollar General Corp raised its bid for Family Dollar Stores Inc to $80 per share, or $9.1 billion, and warned it may turn hostile and appeal directly to shareholders if the new offer was rejected. Family Dollar opted instead for an $8.5 billion cash-and-stock bid from Dollar Tree Inc . Family Dollar's shares were up almost 1 percent at $80.52 in premarket trading on Tuesday, above Dollar General's offer, suggesting some investors held hopes of higher offers. Shares of Dollar General, which increased its all-cash offer by 2 percent, were up 2.3 percent.


Why Today's Parents Have No Business Giving Their Kids Advice

Why Today's Parents Have No Business Giving Their Kids Advice The world isn't what it used to be.Prior to Generation X you could get and maintain a well-paying job and stay there for 20-40 years. Those days are long gone. As we move from one generation to the next, parents pass along life advice to their children hoping to inspire them to achieve what they did and more. That was the model for parenting...


Somali officials say U.S. struck where al Shabaab were meeting

The strike prompted rumors among Somali government officials that it had targeted al Shabaab leader Ahmed Abdi Godane and other leaders who were suspected to have been at the location, but there was no confirmation they were hit. Godane's close associate, Ahmed Mohamed Amey, was killed by a U.S. After the Westgate assault, Navy SEALS stormed ashore into the al Shabaab stronghold of Barawe, where a regional official said the air strike was launched against, but failed to capture or kill their target.

Record 4.1 million in Syria got food aid in August, U.N. says

People unpack humanitarian aid in a warehouse in Ghouta A record 4.1 million people in Syria received food rations in August due to more convoys being able to cross front lines and borders from Turkey and Jordan, the U.N.'s World Food Program (WFP) said on Tuesday. "We are reaching more people every day with urgently needed food assistance – many of them have been going hungry for months," Muhannad Hadi, WFP's regional emergency coordinator for the Syria crisis, said in a statement. Over the last six weeks, WFP and partner agencies have crossed front lines to reach more than 580,000 people, over four times the 137,000 reached in the preceding six weeks, it said. "Since July 25, a total of five cross-border convoys, via the Bab Al Salam crossing from Turkey and Al Ramtha from Jordan, carried food rations including rice, lentils, oil, pasta, bulgur, canned food, wheat flour, beans, salt and sugar for 69,500 people in the hard-to-reach areas of Aleppo, Idlib, Quneitra and Deraa governorates," the WFP statement said.


Japan's 'Abenomics' feared in trouble as challenges build

Japan's PM Abe attends a memorial service ceremony marking the the 69th anniversary of Japan's surrender in World War Two, at Budokan Hall in Tokyo By Linda Sieg and Tetsushi Kajimoto TOKYO (Reuters) - Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's plan for Japan's economy to generate self-sustained growth on the back of his three policy "arrows" of massive monetary easing, spending and reform appears to be faltering - but no magic solution is in sight. Abe's aides and advisers are promising to forge ahead with painful structural reforms, while spreading the benefits of "Abenomics" to regional areas and drafting a long-term vision for addressing Japan's shrinking population. Failure could leave Japan's economy stuck in a low-growth mode or worse, unable to begin to curb public debt already more than twice the size of a $5 trillion economy, the biggest burden in the industrialized world. Most voters favor delaying next year's sales tax rise to 10 percent after an initial hike in April to 8 percent from 5 percent dented a fragile recovery.


Quantitative easing hopefuls may be disappointed as Draghi plays for time

European Central Bank President Draghi speaks during the bank's monthly news conference in Frankfurt By Eva Taylor FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Expectations for further policy action at the European Central Bank's meeting on Thursday are running high after ECB President Mario Draghi pledged to use all available tools to keep prices in check. Draghi told a central bank conference in Jackson Hole on Aug. 22 that financial market inflation expectations were falling significantly and the ECB would use "all available instruments needed to ensure price stability". In a dramatic departure from debt-cutting orthodoxy, he also said there was scope for fiscal policy - more government spending - to play a greater role in reviving growth, an apparent acknowledgement of the limits of the ECB's powers.


McDonald's to boost China supplier audits after food safety scandal

People walk by a McDonald's store in downtown Shanghai McDonald's Corp will increase the number of audits it conducts of suppliers in China, the firm said on Tuesday, after a food scandal in July dented China sales at the U.S. Industry insiders had told Reuters that suppliers in China often knew about audits in advance. McDonald's will push for more video monitoring at its Chinese suppliers and send more quality control specialists to all meat production facilities, it added. The firm has also created a new role to oversee food safety governance in China and will launch a hotline later this year for whistleblowers to report food safety issues.


Eric Cantor to join investment bank Moelis as vice chairman

House Majority Leader Cantor leaves after a news conference House Majority Leader Eric Cantor will join investment bank Moelis & Co as vice chairman and managing director, the company said, adding that Cantor will also be elected to its board. Cantor, who was defeated in June by a Tea Party challenger in a Republican primary election, will provide strategic counsel to the company's corporate and institutional clients on key issues, Moelis said. "Eric has proven himself to be a pro-business advocate and one who will enhance our boardroom discussions with CEOs and senior management as we help them navigate their most important strategic decisions," Moelis CEO Ken Moelis said in a statement. Cantor, the No.2 Republican in the House of Representatives, was beaten by college economics professor David Brat, who accused Cantor of betraying conservative principles on spending, debt and immigration.


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