PARIS-- The burglars dashed out the back door with seven masterworks, then sped on screeching tires into the night. If the thieves who robbed Rotterdam's Kunsthal exhibition this week don't have a plan, the stolen art could quickly become a burden.
BOSTON-- Jason Aldean will be making history at one of baseball's most historic sites. Aldean will be the first country music star to play a concert at Fenway Park, the iconic home of the Boston Red Sox.
ENFIELD, Conn.-- Northeast Utilities says it is setting aside nearly 1,000 acres in a land trust to help preserve open space in Connecticut. The Hartford- based parent company of Connecticut Light& Power announced Thursday that the land trust will include 723 acres in Sharon, 188 acres on the Connecticut River in Enfield, 57 acres in Newtown and 13 acres in Waterford.
LONDON-- Campaigners say British lawmakers are headed for another clash over their expenses _ three years after six legislators were jailed amid revelations that politicians had billed the public for items including an ornamental duck house and pornographic movies.
BUCYRUS, N.D.-- A tiny southwestern North Dakota town has been all but destroyed by a wind-fueled wildfire that displaced its 27 residents, prompting an outpouring of assistance from surrounding communities, officials said Thursday. The chairman of the County Commission said the fire razed four homes in the town about 60 miles south of Dickinson.
GOVERNMENT ATTACKS: Government airstrikes on rebel areas in northern Syria killed at least 43 people and leveled buildings, forcing residents to search through rubble for bodies, anti-regime activists said. And this week, Human Rights Watch accused Syria of using cluster munitions.
MEMPHIS, Tenn.-- AutoZone Inc. said Thursday that it elected PepsiCo executive Enderson Guimaraes to its board. In addition, AutoZone said two of its current board members, William Crowley and Robert Grusky, will not stand for re-election at the company's annual shareholder meeting in December. AutoZone's stock rose $2.08 to $371.55 in midday trading.
That's a sign layoffs are increasing, but the Labor Department said that there were technical reasons behind rise, such as delayed figures from California. The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia says that manufacturing in the Philadelphia region expanded in October after five months of declines.
DALLAS-- Alliance Data Systems Corp., which manages loyalty and rewards programs for retailers and others, posted a 27 percent increase in third-quarter earnings, led by growth in its private label business. Alliance said Thursday it earned $119.5 million, or $1.84 per share, in the three months that ended Sept. 30.
PARIS-- Shoe hats, lobster dresses, and spiraling goggle glasses could easily be part of a closet inventory belonging to Lady Gaga. The house of the influential fashion designer, and hated rival of Coco Chanel, is being revived this fall, in one of the most highly anticipated fashion events of 2012 in Paris.
ATHENS, Greece-- Labor unions in recession-hobbled Greece are holding another general strike against a new harsh austerity program, as European leaders beset by a deep debt crisis and economic stagnation gather for a summit meeting in Brussels.
It's the latest snapshot of the growing burden of student debt and it's another discouraging one: Two-thirds of the national college class of 2011 finished school with loan debt, and those who borrowed walked off the graduation stage owing on average $26,600 _ up about 5 percent from the class before.
NEW YORK-- Macy's is firing its first salvo at the millennials. In March, Macy's restructured its merchandise team to focus on those shoppers and plans to make other major changes in the next three years to further rope them in.
BEIJING-- China's economic growth tumbled to the lowest in more than three years in the latest quarter but retail sales and other activity accelerated in a sign a recovery from the painful downturn is taking shape.
BANGKOK-- Asian stock markets rose Thursday after an unexpectedly strong U.S. housing report renewed confidence in the world's biggest economy and enabled investors to overlook slower growth in China. The U.S. Commerce Department said builders started construction on new single-family houses and apartments at the fastest pace in more than four years.
DENVER-- Denver police said they have no suspects in the killings of five people whose bodies were found at a neighborhood bar after it was set on fire early Wednesday, apparently to cover up the slayings. The Denver medical examiner said the victims included Young Fero of the Denver suburb of Aurora.
BEIJING-- China's economic growth tumbled to the lowest in more than three years in the latest quarter but retail sales and investment improved in a possible sign a painful slump might be stabilizing.
WELLINGTON, New Zealand-- Chinese home appliance giant Haier Group on Thursday announced it is poised to complete a takeover bid for the small but well-regarded New Zealand manufacturer Fisher& Paykel Appliances after sweetening an earlier offer. The move will allow Haier to gain a valued brand as well as technology pioneered by the New Zealand company.