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African beacon Botswana prepares for tight election

President of the Republic of Botswana, Seretse Khama Ian Khama ,gestures during a media briefing in PretoriaBy Joe Brock and Tiisetso Motsoeneng GABORONE (Reuters) - Botswana will on Friday hold what are expected to be its closest elections since gaining independence from Britain 48 years ago as President Ian Khama's ruling party faces growing dissent in a country often heralded as a beacon of African democracy. Khama's Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) is expected to win a reduced majority, extending the grip on power it has held since 1966. There is, however, growing support for opposition parties who say change is needed with economic growth slowing and unemployment stuck at around 20 percent. ...

Thu, 23 Oct 2014 06:51:20 -0400
Dancing priests become Internet sensation

FILE - In this Monday, Oct. 13, 2014 file photo, Father David Rider, left, and father John Gibson dance before an interview with the Associated Press at the Pontifical North American College in Rome. A video of a pair of dueling, dancing American priests studying in Rome has gone viral, following in the footsteps of a now-famous Italian nun whose Alicia Keyes-esque voice won her a singing contest and a record contract. The Rev. David Rider of Hyde Park, New York and the Rev. John Gibson of Milwaukee first shot to Internet fame when they were filmed during a fund-raiser at the North American College, the elite American seminary just up the hill from the Vatican. (AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis, File)ROME (AP) A video of a pair of dueling, dancing American priests studying in Rome has gone viral, following in the footsteps of a now-famous Italian nun whose Alicia Keyes-esque voice won her a singing contest and a record contract.

Thu, 23 Oct 2014 06:50:29 -0400
Business activity improves in China, euro zone but little sign of turnaround

An employee works at the production line of an automobile factory in DalianBy Jonathan Cable and Koh Gui Qing LONDON/BEIJING (Reuters) - Euro zone businesses performed much better than forecasters expected this month and China's vast factory sector grew a shade faster but there were worrying signs that the upturn could be short-lived. ...

Thu, 23 Oct 2014 06:47:09 -0400
Special Report: Why Ukraine's revolution remains unfinished

File photo of radical protesters clashing with Interior Ministry and law enforcement members on the Day of Ukrainian Cossacks during a rally near the parliament building in KievBy Richard Woods KIEV (Reuters) - In the afternoon of February 20, after the mornings dead had been cleared away, Volodymyr Melnychuk arrived outside Kievs October palace. Below lay Independence Square, or Maidan, covered in protesters camps and scarred with barricades and the detritus of battle. In fierce clashes that morning scores of protesters and government forces had been killed. A bullet hit him as he stood next to his partner of 13 years, Maria Kvyatkovska.

Thu, 23 Oct 2014 06:39:38 -0400
Spanish jobless figure drops as economy picks up

MADRID (AP) Spain's unemployment rate dropped to 23.7 percent in the third quarter from 24.5 percent in the previous three-month period thanks to a recovering economy and a bumper summer tourism season, official statistics showed Thursday.

Thu, 23 Oct 2014 06:37:21 -0400
Autoliv says taking business in wake of Takata woes

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Auto safety parts company Autoliv has seen positive effects on its business in the wake of recent issues with Japanese auto parts maker Takata's air bags, the Swedish firm's top executive said on Thursday. "We have seen business come our way as a consequence of this since our last quarterly report (in July)," Chief Executive Jan Carlson told Reuters, declining to provide further details. (Reporting by Helena Soderpalm; editing by Niklas Pollard)

Thu, 23 Oct 2014 06:35:12 -0400
China opposes sending North Korea to int'l court

BEIJING (AP) China said Thursday it was against referring North Korea to the International Criminal Court, dimming chances that its longtime ally will face additional scrutiny over its dismal and well-documented system of sprawling political prison camps, starvation and mass executions.

Thu, 23 Oct 2014 06:34:01 -0400
Tesco chairman resigns after accounting scandal

FILE - This undated photo made available by Tesco PLC shows Tesco chairman, Richard Broadbent. The chairman of Tesco, the world's second-biggest retailer behind Walmart, announced his resignation Thursday, Oct 23, 2014, amid an accounting scandal in which the company admitted it had overstated its projected profits. Richard Broadbent said he will step down once a successor is found while the company confirmed its financial troubles continued, with a 99 percent drop in first-half net income to 6 million pounds ($9.6 million). (AP Photo/Tesco PLC) NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.LONDON (AP) The chairman of Tesco, the world's second-biggest retailer behind Walmart, announced his resignation Thursday amid an accounting scandal in which the company admitted it had overstated its projected profits.

Thu, 23 Oct 2014 06:30:16 -0400
European authorities aim to purge weak banks

A woman stands in front of a window in the new headquarters of the European Central Bank during a media tour at the construction site in Frankfurt, Germany, Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014. The ECB is supposed to move into the building by the end of 2014. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer)FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) Europe's biggest banks are facing a day of judgment as the European Central Bank prepares to unveil the results of a yearlong search through the dark corners of their finances.

Thu, 23 Oct 2014 06:23:08 -0400
Schumacher will need years to recover says doctor

Former Formula One champion Michael Schumacher suffered a devastating ski accident in December, in which he suffered life-threatening brain injuries. After being in a coma for six months, the 45-year-old is now at his home at Gland in SwitzerlandA French doctor treating stricken former Formula One champion Michael Schumacher said Thursday that the German ace was making progress, but will need years to recover. Jean-Francois Payen also praised Schumacher's wife Corinna for the devotion she has shown to the racing driver since his devastating ski accident in December, in which he suffered life-threatening brain injuries. "I have noticed some progress but I would say we will have to give him time," Payen, who treated Schumacher at the Grenoble hospital where Schumacher was taken after the accident, told RTL radio. The doctor said that Corinna Schumacher had played a key role in her husband's progress.

Thu, 23 Oct 2014 06:10:55 -0400
Clarification: Turkey-Islamic State-Istanbul story

In this photo taken Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014, a student puts the finishing touches on an anti-Islamic State poster at Istanbul University's Department of Literature, Istanbul, Turkey. The student was one of several critical of the militant group, whose supporters clashed with left-wing students on Friday, Sept. 26, 2014. The violence was one of the clearest signs that the radical Islamic State group has found sympathizers in Istanbul. (AP Photo/Raphael Satter)ISTANBUL (AP) In a story Oct. 17, The Associated Press reported that the owner of a bookstore in Istanbul that sells pins bearing the emblem of the Islamic State group said jihadists should not be classified as terrorists. The story should have specified that Osman Akyildiz said he does not support the Islamic State militants' campaign of beheadings.

Thu, 23 Oct 2014 06:10:42 -0400
Eight Pakistani Shi'ites killed in sectarian attack

By Gul Yousafzai QUETTA Pakistan (Reuters) - Eight Shi'ite members of Pakistan's ethnic Hazara minority were killed, and one wounded, on Thursday, after gunmen opened fire on a bus in the volatile province of Baluchistan, police said. No one immediately claimed responsibility. Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, a radical Sunni militant group, has carried out many gun and bomb attacks on Hazaras in the past. The men were returning from a vegetable market when gunmen intercepted the bus. "Two gunmen boarded the bus and shot the men," police officer Imran Qureshi told Reuters. ...

Thu, 23 Oct 2014 06:05:55 -0400
Europe's banks face moment of truth from ECB review

The headquarters of the European Central Bank (ECB) are pictured in FrankfurtBy Laura Noonan and Eva Taylor LONDON/FRANKFURT (Reuters) - At around noon on Thursday, the euro zone's 130 biggest banks will receive the European Central Bank's final verdict on their finances after a review aimed at drawing a line under persistent doubts about the health of the region's banking sector. Most banks already have a good idea of how they have fared in the region's most comprehensive ever bank tests, after getting "partial and preliminary" results from the ECB in recent weeks. But the final numbers were only agreed by senior regulators and supervisors late on Wednesday. ...

Thu, 23 Oct 2014 06:02:20 -0400
Guitarist Wilko Johnson says he is cancer-free

LONDON (AP) British guitarist Wilko Johnson says he is free of cancer, two years after being told he had months to live.

Thu, 23 Oct 2014 05:58:51 -0400
Takata shares drop on report of US air bag probe

A crash-test dummy at Takata's crash-testing facility in Auburn Hills, MichiganShares in Japanese auto parts maker Takata sank in Tokyo on Thursday as nervous investors reacted to a report that US justice officials are investigating the firm over an air bag defect that may have killed several drivers. The embattled firm's shares fell 6.16 percent to 1,582 yen ($15) in Tokyo, after plunging 22 percent on Tuesday following an earlier air bag safety warning. The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that federal prosecutors in New York are probing whether Takata made misleading statements about the safety of its bags to US regulators. According to the New York Times, at least 139 injuries have been linked to Takata air bags, including 37 reported as exploding.

Thu, 23 Oct 2014 05:55:24 -0400
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