SYDNEY, July 29- Asian shares touched fresh three-year highs on Tuesday as investors in the region drew encouragement from a rally in Chinese markets, though caution was widespread given the torrent of U.S. economic news still to come this week.» Read More
VILNIUS, Lithuania-- Lithuania's government said Wednesday it planned to file a 1.45 billion claim against Russia's Gazprom, alleging that the world's largest natural gas company has hiked prices unfairly.
LISBON, Portugal-- Bailed-out Portugal has lowered the financial hurdle it must clear next year when a hefty debt repayment falls due by exchanging bonds worth 3.76 billion for longer-term bills. That reduces the debt Portugal will have to cover in September to just under 6 billion, giving it some breathing space as it struggles to restore market confidence.
Taiwan's EVA Airways recently announced it will begin Yangon- Bangkok- Taipei flights on Oct. 19. Deputy Director of Civil Aviation Nweni Win Kyaw told The Associated Press several other airlines have recently announced direct flights to Yangon, including Korean Air, Japan's ANA and Germany's Condor.
Mark Kalinowski of Janney Capital Markets raised DineEquity Inc.' s rating to "Buy" from "Neutral." Kalinowski also says that Wall Street will likely find DineEquity easier to understand once it closes on the sale of some Applebee's locations. DineEquity shares closed at $56.53 on Tuesday.
HONG KONG-- When two boats filled with people collided on Hong Kong's busy waterways, the impact knocked a hole in one vessel's engine room and the water poured in too fast to stop the boat from sinking. Passengers struggled to find life vests and dozens drowned in the turbulent waters.
MADRID-- Spain's Economy Minister Luis de Guindos says a `bad bank' being set up to allow lenders to offload bad investments will be 55 percent privately-owned. De Guindos defended Spain's banks, saying an independent audit last week showed "70 percent of the financial sector is in condition to handle a severely stressed situation."
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.
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.