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World - Battle over Scottish independence slightly tightens in new poll

The battle over Scottish independence is tightening, with a new poll on Wednesday showing independence supporters gaining ground slightly as more Scots get involved in the debate. The latest poll by TNS showed 29 percent of Scots intended to vote `Yes` to independence in the September 18 referendum, up from 28 percent a month ago, while 41 percent planned to vote `No,` down from 42 percent. The head of TNS Scotland, Tom Costley, said the poll of 988 people showed a continuing gradual narrowing in the polls, with a gap now of 12 percentage points between the two sides compared to 19 points in September when the polling series began. About four million of Scotland`s 5.3 million population are eligible to vote in the referendum which is open to all Scottish residents aged 16 and above.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014  00:16


Top Stories - Did U.S. miss a huge al Qaeda meet?

Video shows what may have been the largest gathering in years.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014  12:12


Middle East - Did U.S. miss this al Qaeda meet?

A new video shows what looks like the largest and most dangerous gathering of al Qaeda in years. And the CIA and the Pentagon either didn`t know about it or couldn`t get a drone there in time to strike.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014  11:48


Business - Obama, Biden to announce $600M for job grants

WASHINGTON (AP) — Striving to show action on jobs, President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden are hitting the road to trumpet $600 million in new competitive grants to spur creation of targeted training and apprenticeship programs that could help people land well-paying jobs.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014  11:13


World - Australian premier`s resignation a sign of less, not more, corruption

By Matt Siegel SYDNEY (Reuters) - There are few countries where it is considered a good thing when a powerful state premier resigns for misleading a corruption investigation. Australia, however, is apparently just such a place. Experts say that the resignation on Wednesday of New South Wales premier Barry O`Farrell over the gift of a bottle of wine is a sign of a political culture that has become allergic to even the whiff of corruption. `I think what it shows is that we have a higher bar here,` said Professor Adam Graycar, a professor of public policy at the Australian National University and expert on global corruption.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014  09:27


World - Pro-Russians in Ukraine have `shoot-to-kill` orders

Kiev (AFP) - Ukraine`s security service said on Wednesday it had intercepted communications showing that Russian commanders in the separatist east had issued pro-Kremlin militants `shoot-to-kill` orders after Kiev launched an operation to oust them.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014  10:37


Business - BOJ`s Kuroda maintains positive view on economy

By Leika Kihara TOKYO (Reuters) - Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda on Wednesday affirmed the central bank`s upbeat view of the economy, even as global financial markets wobble, stressing that growth will pick up around mid-year as the sting of a sales tax hike fades. Price rises will broaden as the economy continues to improve gradually, Kuroda added, reiterating his view that Japan is making headway towards the central bank`s price goal of 2 percent inflation in about a year`s time. The comments came a day after Kuroda met with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to discuss the economy, which drew some market speculation the BOJ may come under pressure to expand stimulus as a rebound in the yen and sliding Japanese share prices cloud the outlook for the world`s third-largest economy. The latest Reuters poll showed a growing consensus building in the market that the BOJ will probably not ease until July, with no respondent predicting action at the next rate review on April 30.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014  09:15


Business - China economic growth slows to 18-month low in first-quarter

By Adam Rose and Xiaoyi Shao BEIJING (Reuters) - China`s economy grew at its slowest pace in 18 months at the start of 2014, but did a touch better than expected and showed some improvement in March, suggesting Beijing will not rush to follow up recent steps to support activity. The economy grew 7.4 percent in the January-March quarter from a year earlier, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Wednesday. It was China`s slowest annual growth since the third quarter of 2012, when the world`s second-largest economy also grew 7.4 percent. `The slowdown of China`s economy is a reflection of a transformation of the economic mode,` said Sheng Laiyun, of the National Bureau of Statistics.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014  07:41


Business - China economic growth slows to 18-month low in first quarter

By Adam Rose BEIJING (Reuters) - China`s economy grew at its slowest pace in 18 months in the first quarter of 2014, official data showed on Wednesday, with signs of waning momentum already prompting limited government action to steady the world`s second-largest economy. Authorities have ruled out major stimulus to fight short-term dips in growth, and some analysts think the economy will continue to lose momentum into the middle of the year. It was China`s slowest annual growth since the third quarter of 2012, when growth was also 7.4 percent. `I don`t think they`re going to announce any further significant measures to support growth.` Beijing has announced some modest measures, such as tax cuts for small firms and speeding up some investment in rail projects, to try to steady growth around its target of 7.5 percent without disrupting plans to restructure the economy.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014  04:07


Business - GM CEO `agonized` over putting two engineers on paid leave

By Lewis Krauskopf NEW YORK (Reuters) - General Motors Co Chief Executive Mary Barra said she `agonized` over last week`s decision to put two GM engineers on paid leave pending the outcome of an investigation into faulty ignition switches linked to at least 13 deaths. Barra`s comments, made to reporters on Tuesday after an industry conference ahead of the New York Auto Show, referred to Ray DeGiorgio and Gary Altman, two engineers involved in the development of the defective switches, which are being replaced in 2.6 million recalled GM vehicles. GM has not explained why the men were suspended, and the two have not responded to Reuters requests for comment. In the wake of the recall, announced in several waves in February and March, Barra said on Tuesday that GM is creating a new global product integrity organization that will focus on product safety and quality.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014  01:29

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