WASHINGTON— Congress passed a landmark bill Thursday to help veterans avoid long waits for health care and fix other problems at the Department of Veterans Affairs. A 91-3 vote in the Senate sent the $16.3 billion measure to President Barack Obama for his signature. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, Bob Corker of Tennessee and Jeff Sessions of Alabama.» Read More
*Yuan opens at strong-side limit of trading band. SHANGHAI, Oct 26- China's central bank reined in the yuan's appreciation on Friday as the currency hit a record high and bumped against the upper limit of its trading band for the second straight day.
MADRID-- One in four Spaniards are now officially out of work. Spain's National Statistics Institute says the country's unemployment rate rose around 0.4 percentage points in the third quarter on the previous three months to 25 percent. Spain is under pressure to ask for outside aid to help deal with its debts.
MUMBAI, India-- ICICI Bank reported a better-than-expected 30 percent rise in quarterly profit Friday on strong interest income and demand for retail loans, as India's largest private lender managed to improve loan quality despite rising corporate defaults.
DETROIT-- The Detroit Tigers are in the World Series for the second time since 2006. But much of the city seems seasons away from its own grand slam. Whole Foods is building a store north of where the Tigers play, and wealthy optimists are snapping up vacant downtown office buildings and filling them with workers.
*Gold seen trading in $1,700- $1,740 range next week. SINGAPORE, Oct 26- Gold was a tad higher on Friday but heading for its third week of decline after shares inched lower in Asia, the U.S. dollar firmed, and fears about the health of the global economy lingered.
"After last year's small crop, we saw peanut butter prices on average rise 30 percent or more," said Patrick Archer, president of the American Peanut Council. " A 10 percent decrease on a $3 jar of peanut butter, for example, would translate to a savings of 30 cents.
STOCKHOLM-- Swedish wireless equipment maker LM Ericsson has posted a 43 percent plunge in third-quarter net profits as operators have grown more cautious about the economic outlook.
*Shares down 2 pct in Seoul. SEOUL, Oct 26- South Korean technology powerhouse Samsung Electronics Co posted a fourth straight record quarterly profit- of $7.4 billion- with strong sales of its Galaxy range of phones masking sharply lower sales of memory chips.
Germany's economy, which was worth a little under 2.6 trillion last year, in comparison with the U.S.' s 12 trillion, has seen two consecutive years of robust growth. But the Economy Ministry last week cut its growth forecast for 2013 to 1 percent from 1.6 percent, though increased this year's outlook slightly from 0.7 percent to 0.8 percent.
SEOUL, Oct 26- Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, the world's top phone handset maker, sold 56.3 million smartphones in the third quarter, widening its lead over rival Apple Inc, a report by research firm IDC showed.
SEOUL, South Korea-- Kia Motors Corp. reported a lower-than-forecast profit for the third quarter Friday, as a strike and weak demand in South Korea cut into its earnings. South Korea's second-biggest carmaker said its July-September profit rose 28 percent over a year earlier to 829 billion won.
LONDON-- Cynthia Carroll says she will step down as chief executive of mining company Anglo American PLC as soon as her successor is chosen. In a statement released by the company on Friday, Carroll made no reference to reports that some investors had lost faith in her leadership and were pressing for her to go.
BEIJING, Oct 26- China's largely rubber stamp parliament has expelled disgraced former senior politician Bo Xilai, state news agency Xinhua said on Friday, paving the way for formal criminal charges to be laid against him.
*Apple full-year revenue jumps 45 pct to $156.5 bln. SAN FRANCISCO, Oct 25- Apple Inc delivered a second straight quarter of disappointing results and iPad sales fell well short of Wall Street's targets, marring its record of consistently blowing past investors' expectations.
BEIJING, Oct 26- China's largely rubber stamp parliament has expelled disgraced former senior politician Bo Xilai, state news agency Xinhua said on Friday, paving the way for formal criminal charges to be laid against him. Xinhua said the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, China's parliament, ``announced the termination of Bo Xilai's post''.
Benchmark oil for December delivery was down 86 cents to $85.18 a barrel at midday Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 32 cents to finish at $86.05 a barrel in New York on Thursday, the only day this week that oil prices have risen. Brent crude fell $1.04 cents to $107.45 a barrel in London.
TOKYO, Oct 26- Japan's cabinet approved a 422.6 billion yen economic stimulus package of subsidies and tax grants on Friday that will tap budget reserves to avoid selling new debt.
SEOUL, South Korea-- South Korea's economic growth slowed to a three-year low last quarter as private investment fell sharply, outweighing an increase in spending by the government and households. The Bank of Korea said Friday that Asia's fourth-largest economy expanded 1.6 percent over a year earlier in the three months ended Sept. 30.
TOKYO-- Toyota sold 7.4 million vehicles around the world in the first nine months of the year, up 28 percent from a year earlier, but its strong growth faces headwinds from a sales plunge in China that could unseat it as the world's top automaker.