President Barack Obama has so far been unable to persuade Republicans in Congress to act on the measure. The board of the International Monetary Fund said Wednesday the institution's 188 member countries should agree on steps that could make "meaningful progress" toward the reforms by June 30, without providing details. Finance chiefs around the world had...» Read More
WASHINGTON-- U.S. service companies, which employ nearly 90 percent of the workforce, likely grew more slowly in September than August. Economists expect the Institute for Supply Management non-manufacturing index dipped to 53.5 in September, from 53.7 in August, according to a survey of economists by FactSet.
LONDON-- Markets were subdued Wednesday as investors awaited a run of U.S. economic figures and after Spain's prime minister indicated his cash-strapped country would not request a bailout imminently.
TEHRAN, Iran-- Tehran's main bazaar has been closed as authorities tighten controls trying to halt the fall of Iran's currency after it hit a record low. The semiofficial Mehr news agency says the bazaar _ the traditional commercial hub in Iran's capital _ was closed for security reasons on Wednesday.
The U.S. Labor Department will release employment data for September on Friday. Britain's FTSE 100 fell 0.1 percent to 5,801.45. Germany's DAX was less than 0.1 percent lower at 7,300.12 and France's CAC-40 lost 0.3 percent to 3,404.64.
BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan-- Protesters clashed with police and tried to break into a building housing the parliament and government offices in Kyrgyzstan's capital Wednesday during a rally to demand the resignation of the prime minister and other top officials.
NARITA, Japan-- Japan has a reputation for loving expensive things like overpriced real estate, gourmet melons and luxury brands. Ticket prices are plunging by about half, to 16,000 yen trips to the southwestern resort island of Okinawa or a 5,000 yen hop to Seoul.
BRUSSELS-- A 24- hour strike by Belgian rail workers on Wednesday paralyzed train traffic throughout Belgium and the international high-speed service to London and Paris.
LONDON-- Tesco PLC, Britain's largest supermarket operator, has reported a 12 percent fall in half yearly pre-tax profit to 1.7 billion pounds, as a downturn in Asia and Europe offset stronger sales in Britain. Group sales were up 1.4 percent to 36 billion pounds in the half-year period, while sales in Britain rose 2.2 percent to 23.9 billion pounds.
The government announced in August that it was awarding a 13- year franchise to run the west coast London- to- Scotland service to Virgin's rival, FirstGroup. Branson, who had at the time questioned whether FirstGroup could meet its financial commitments, on Wednesday praised transport authorities for reconsidering their decision.
BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan-- Several hundred people are rallying in the capital of Kyrgyzstan in protest at a major gold miner that has been the source of a series of toxic spills in past years, including a cyanide spill into a river.
TOKYO-- Japan is hoping the recent flare-up in friction with China will not damage the two Asian economic powers' cooperation in international finance, a finance ministry official said Wednesday.
VAUGHN, N.M.-- Petty crime and burglaries aren't unusual in New Mexico's isolated Guadalupe County, but lately Sheriff Michael Lucero has seen thieves steal something a bit unexpected: grass.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska-- The $5 bill displayed for decades on Charles Fairbanks IV's wall was long a treasured family heirloom from Alaska. The rare find is expected to fetch as much as $300,000 at auction this month when a Texas auctioneer plans to put it up for bids in Dallas and online as part of the American Numismatic Association National Money Show.
BANGKOK-- Asian stocks flattened out Wednesday as skittish investors waited for a key U.S. jobs report later in the week that will signal whether the world's largest economy is on the mend. The U.S. Labor Department will release employment data for September on Friday.
JAKARTA, Indonesia-- More than 2 million factory workers went on a one-day strike across Indonesia on Wednesday to demand better benefits and protest the hiring of contract workers, union officials said.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D.-- Opponents of a proposed $10 billion oil refinery are asking the South Dakota Supreme Court to strike down a state permit that would allow the project to be built in the southeastern part of the state.
SERVICE FIRMS GROW: U.S. service companies grew in September at the fastest pace in 6 months, helped by a sharp increase in customer demand. Service firms employ roughly 90 percent of the work force. THE NUMBERS: The Institute for Supply Management said its non-manufacturing index rose to 55.1 in September, up from 53.7 in August.
CHARLESTON, W.Va.-- State regulators in West Virginia have ordered Argus Energy to repair a water treatment system at a Lincoln County mine site after a blackwater spill killed fish. The Department of Environmental Protection said Wednesday that the fish kill was discovered Tuesday along about a quarter-mile of Copley Trace Branch.
PARIS-- A French official says France's government is working out a common position with Germany on the proposed merger between Franco-German aerospace group EADS and Britain's BAE Systems. France and Germany have long fought for an equal say in EADS, which owns plane maker Airbus.
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