*China slowdown worries curb risk appetite. SYDNEY, Sept 15- Asian stocks stumbled to their lowest in five weeks on Monday after a batch of weak data out of China raised the specter of a sharp slowdown in the world's second-biggest economy. The Australian dollar, considered a liquid proxy for China plays, also took a hammering and slumped to a six-month low.» Read More
EL DORADO, Ark.-- Murphy Oil is splitting in two in order to better focus on the separate tasks of exploration and production, and the sale of gasoline and other goods through its retail locations. Murphy Oil will continue to explore for and produce oil in the U.S., Canada and Malaysia.
Scott Walker is touting the deposit of nearly $109 million into the state's rainy day fund, money that can be tapped in an emergency. The deposit announced Monday comes after the state ended the last fiscal year in June with a surplus of about $342 million.
NEW YORK-- A Republican-leaning independent group supporting Mitt Romney's presidential bid is spending $11.1 million on new television ads aimed at women. The group planned to air the new ad on national and local cable stations, and in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia.
AMSTERDAM-- Seven paintings by artists including Pablo Picasso and Claude Monet were stolen from a museum in Rotterdam in an early-hours heist, Dutch police said Tuesday.
BATON ROUGE, La.-- Homeowners and renters have been approved for $105 million in individual aid from the Federal Emergency Management Agency since Hurricane Isaac. Another $19 million has been provided for other types of individual assistance, according to FEMA. FEMA spokesman Ray Perez provided the latest figures Monday.
A notice published in Communist Party newspaper Granma said Cubans will also not have to present a letter of invitation to travel abroad when the rule change takes effect Jan. 13, and beginning on that date islanders will only have to show their passport and a visa from the country they are traveling to.
NEW DELHI-- Delegates from nearly 200 countries were working Tuesday to implement an agreement on protecting Earth's ecosystems at a biodiversity conference in southern India.
DES MOINES, Iowa-- Iowa farmers are close to wrapping up this year's harvest as much needed rain finally fell across most of the state. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says 87 percent of the corn crop has been harvested, which is a month ahead of schedule. Ninety-three percent of the soybean crop is in from the fields, which is three weeks ahead of normal.
NEW YORK-- On the red carpet of his annual AIDS foundation benefit Monday night, Sir Elton John remembered AIDS sufferer Ryan White. The 65- year musician said dealing with the teenager's death was a major turning point in his life, which at the time was "out of whack."
SIOUX FALLS, S.D.-- South Dakota's row crop harvest advanced substantially again last week, with nearly all the soybeans harvested. The U.S. Agriculture Department says in its weekly crop and weather report that 98 percent of the soybean crop was harvested, up from last year's pace and well ahead of the five-year average.
FARGO, N.D.-- Good weather helped North Dakota farmers make progress last week in harvesting corn, soybeans and sugar beets. The U.S. Agriculture Department says in its weekly crop, livestock and weather report that the soybean harvest was nearly complete.
The Chinese ships were sighted about 49 kilometers from the island of Yonaguni, in Japan's Okinawa prefecture, according to Japan's Defense Ministry. They were about 200 kilometers from a chain of small islands that have sparked a heated dispute between Japan and China. Defense Minister Satoshi Morimoto said Japan is monitoring the ships' movement.
LONDON-- Teen superstar Justin Bieber has teamed up with the Adidas NEO Label to be its new global style icon. The Canadian pop star, who cites James Dean as his fashion idol, says the collaboration is a "perfect fit" because "we both believe in living life to the fullest, being young, free and making our own style."
ST. PAUL, Minn.-- Minnesota's sugarbeet harvest is progressing quickly while the state's corn harvest is nearly complete. Minnesota's corn is 90 percent harvested, compared with 40 percent last year and a 27 percent average. Precipitation ranged from none in central areas to nearly 1.5 inches in Preston in southeastern Minnesota.
The rating agency will review Iberdrola's rating for a downgrade because the company gets almost half its revenue from Spain, which is in recession. Worsening conditions there could hurt Iberdrola's profitability. Iberdrola owns New York utilities Rochester Gas& Electric and New York State Electric and Gas as well as Central Maine Power.
WICHITA, Kan.-- Kansas farmers are nearly done planting winter wheat, with 81 percent of the crop now seeded. Kansas Agricultural Statistics Service also says in a report Monday that 44 percent of the winter wheat has emerged. Meanwhile, fall harvest is nearing the end for the Kansas corn crop, with 90 percent of it now cut.
Russia's Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev declared war on tobacco Tuesday, calling for a ban on tobacco advertising, an end to smoking in public and a rise in the price of a pack. Russia's smoking rates are among the world's highest, led by the central Pacific island nation of Kiribati where 57 percent of the adult population lights up.
COLUMBIA, S.C.-- South Carolina officials have hired someone to keep an eye on food safety across the state. The South Carolina Department of Agriculture announced last week that Weatherly Thomas had been hired to serve as its statewide food safety coordinator.
CONCORD, N.H.-- The New Hampshire attorney general's office says it's been notified that TD Bank's potential data breach could affect 43,750 customers in New Hampshire. TD Bank says it's monitoring the situation. TD Bank has eight million customers.