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World - Obama, Abe to battle negative images at U.S.-Japan summit


By Linda Sieg and David Brunnstrom TOKYO/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - When President Barack Obama meets Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at a summit next week, they will be battling negative undercurrents that could undermine their message that Asia`s most important security alliance is firm. Obama, stopping in Tokyo at the start of a four-nation Asian trip, must counter worries in Japan that his commitment to its defense in the face of an increasingly assertive China is weak. Abe will be trying to soothe U.S. concerns that his conservative push to recast Tokyo`s war record with a less apologetic tone is overshadowing his pragmatic policies on the economy and security. The two leaders will also need to demonstrate at least the prospect of progress on the economic centerpiece of what the Obama administration calls its strategic `rebalance` to Asia - a Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact that would bring together Japan, the United States and 10 other regional economies.


Thursday, April 17, 2014  01:44

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World - Hundreds still missing in deadly Korea ferry sinking


By Narae Kim JINDO, South Korea (Reuters) - South Korean coastguard and navy divers resumed searching on Thursday for about 290 people still missing, many of them students from the same high school, after a ferry capsized in sight of land. Grieving family members gathered on the quay of the coastal city of Jindo, huddled in blankets against the spring cold as efforts to locate the missing went into a second day. One parent, Park Yung-suk, told Reuters she had seen the body of her teenage daughter`s teacher brought ashore earlier in the morning. As coastguard officials arrived at Jindo on Thursday, waiting relatives jeered at them, shouting: `The weather`s nice, why aren`t you starting the rescue.` It is not known why the 6,586 metric ton vessel, built in Japan 20 years ago, sank.


Wednesday, April 16, 2014  23:35

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World - Britain`s Co-op Bank logs huge loss, scraps bonuses


Britain`s crisis-hit Co-operative Bank posted a vast annual loss on Friday and axed bonuses for former executives who had left prior to its near-collapse. Operating losses ballooned to £1.28 billion ($2.15 billion, 1.54 billion euros) in 2013, from £674.9 million in 2012, hit by rising bad debts and charges related to misconduct and legal issues, Co-op Bank said in a results statement. Co-op Bank expressed confidence that investors would inject another £400 million of capital, despite warning it would not make a profit in 2014 or 2015. Chief executive Niall Booker, who was appointed in June to help turn the lender around, apologised to customers and investors for its past failings that had placed the future of the business seriously at risk.


Friday, April 11, 2014  13:18

Yahoo

World - Britain`s anti-EU leader denies expenses allegations


Eurosceptic UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage said Tuesday he was considering legal action after a British newspaper reported that he faces an investigation over his EU expenses. Farage told the BBC that the `outrageous` allegations published by Rupert Murdoch`s The Times were politically motivated, ahead of European Parliament elections on May 22. The Times reported that a former UKIP official had made a complaint to the European Union`s anti-fraud office OLAF over allowances that Farage receives for his constituency office in Britain. The newspaper said Farage gets £15,500 ($25,900, 18,700 euros) a year to run the office in a converted grain store, citing transparency reports on the party`s website, but reported that it is provided rent-free by local supporters, while a former office manager said the premises only cost £3,000 a year to run.


Tuesday, April 15, 2014  19:27

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World - Royal Bank of Scotland to pay government £1.5bn


Britain`s state-rescued Royal Bank of Scotland will pay the government £1.5 billion in a complex deal paving the way for the return of shareholder dividends. The bank has agreed to pay the Treasury the equivalent of $2.5 billion or 1.8 billion euros in a move also aimed at aiding its eventual return to the private sector, it said in a statement late on Wednesday. RBS, based in Edinburgh, remains 81-percent state-owned after it was rescued with £45.5 billion of taxpayers` cash during the global financial crisis. The collapse of RBS was a key event in problems which hit part of the British financial sector at the height of the global financial crisis, and helped stoke public anger at high pay, bonuses and other practices in the banking industry.


Thursday, April 10, 2014  10:27

Yahoo

World - Tesco announces annual net profit of £974m


London (AFP) - Supermarket group Tesco on Wednesday announced a massive jump in annual net profits, but its underlying performance showed a fall.


Wednesday, April 16, 2014  08:15

Yahoo

World - El Salvador to use terror charges against gangs


El Salvador`s government on Wednesday said it would charge gang members who attack police and military personnel under anti-terrorism laws, which impose longer prison sentences, to crack down on rising homicides in the poor Central American nation. Justice Minister Ricardo Perdomo blamed a faction of the country`s Barrio 18 gang for ordering attacks against government troops, saying there had been 60 so far this year. A truce between the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) gang and rival Barrio 18 had cut the murder rate in El Salvador down to a 10-year low in mid-2013, but homicides started climbing again.


Wednesday, April 16, 2014  23:59

Yahoo

Business - GM to seek court protection against ignition lawsuits


GM has said it is protected from liability for claims related to incidents that occurred before it exited bankruptcy in 2009, and has taken steps to raise those issues with the court by filing motions to stay recall-related lawsuits while it asks that bankruptcy court to clarify the extent of that protection. In a filing with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas on Tuesday, GM asked for a stay on litigation related to ignition claims until a judicial panel on multidistrict litigation decides on a motion to consolidate the case with other lawsuits and the bankruptcy court rules on whether the claims violate GM`s 2009 bankruptcy sale order. The company earlier filed a similar motion with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California seeking a stay on pending litigation. The defect has been linked to the deaths of at least 13 people and the recall of 2.6 million GM vehicles.


Wednesday, April 16, 2014  23:00

Yahoo

World - Burberry bags rising quarterly sales


British fashion group Burberry on Wednesday reported a rise in second-quarter sales, boosted by its online division, but cautioned that currency fluctuations would hit profits this year. Revenues at the luxury retailer rallied 19 percent to £1.3 billion ($2.2 billion, 1.6 billion euros) in the six months to the end of March, compared with the same part of the prior financial year, Burberry said in a trading update. `We are pleased with our second half performance ... underpinned by the planned increase in investment in offline and online retail, innovative customer service and marketing,` said chief executive Angela Ahrendts. Burberry had already warned in January that it would be hampered by the strong pound, which costs the group more to convert other currencies back into sterling.


Wednesday, April 16, 2014  17:09

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World - Diageo doubles bid for India`s United Spirits, shares surge


Diageo launched on Tuesday a new $1.9-billion offer to take control of Indian whisky maker United Spirits as the British drinks giant chases expansion in emerging markets. The doubled offer worth 1.4 billion euros comes after Diageo was forced to settle for a lower stake in India`s top spirits maker than it envisaged when investors rejected its 2012 tender bid as being too low. The news sent United Spirits` stock surging on the Bombay Stock Exchange by nearly 12 percent to 2,859.00 rupees. Diageo, which already owns 28.78 percent of United Spirits Ltd (USL), said it would buy an extra stake of up to 26 percent, for £1.13 billion involving as many as 37.8 million shares.


Tuesday, April 15, 2014  11:34

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