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German central bank chief: higher wages justified
2014-07-30: BERLIN (AP) — The head of Germany's central bank says higher wages would be justified in the country as the economy flourishes, and is putting the potential for raises at 3 percent.
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Bank scandal tarnishes powerful Portuguese family
2014-07-30: LISBON, Portugal (AP) — Portugal's Espirito Santo family business survived wars, dictatorship, revolution and family feuds for almost 150 years. Now, one of Europe's last banking dynasties is being stripped of its wealth and influence amid accounting irregularities, huge unreported debts, and a police investigation.
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Obama prods Congress to fix corporate loopholes
2014-07-30: KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — President Barack Obama is prodding Congress to close corporate tax loopholes and take other action before going on summer break this week instead of trying to sue him.
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Senate tires of patching highway programs
2014-07-30: WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate delivered an unexpectedly strong vote Tuesday in favor of taking action later this year to resolve the chronic funding problems that have bedeviled highway and transit programs, a sign that Congress may have reached the limit of its patience with short-term fixes.
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Barclays chief applauds claw-back idea on bonuses
2014-07-30: LONDON (AP) — The chief executive of Barclays says that claw-back provisions on bankers' bonuses are a good idea in principle as the Bank of England prepares to publish new rules to punish executives who misbehave.
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Barclays first-half net profit soars 68% amid restructuring
2014-07-30: Britain's scandal-hit Barclays bank posted a 68-percent jump in first-half net profits on Wednesday, as it pushed ahead with a major restructuring that will shrink its investment bank division. Earnings after taxation surged to £1.13 billion ($1.9 billion, 1.4 billion euros) in the six months to June, from £671 million a year earlier, Barclays said in a results statement. Barclays, which has been plagued by a series of scandals in recent years, added that it was buoyed by its personal and corporate banking and its credit card unit, amid a major group-wide restructuring. Adjusted pre-tax profits however sank seven percent to £3.349 billion in the first half, hit by a 46-percent slump at its investment banking operations.
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Landslide hits Indian village, 150 may be trapped
2014-07-30: NEW DELHI (AP) — A landslide hit a village in western India following torrential rains Wednesday, sweeping away scores of houses and raising fears that more than 150 people could be trapped, officials said.
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Europe shares down ahead of data; Asia gains
2014-07-30: TOKYO (AP) — European stocks were lower Wednesday ahead of U.S. economic data while cheery earnings from major Japanese companies such as Honda Motor Co. boosted Asian markets.
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Spain economic growth at fastest pace since 2007
2014-07-30: MADRID (AP) — Spain's economy grew by a better-than-expected 0.6 percent in the second quarter compared with the previous three months, the fastest rate since 2007 and more evidence of the country's recovery from recession.
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UK Foreign Secretary says Ebola outbreak "a threat" to Britain
2014-07-30: LONDON (Reuters) - British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said he would hold a top-level government meeting to discuss the outbreak of the highly-infectious Ebola virus across West Africa which he warned posed a threat to Britain. "It is a threat. It is something we need to respond to," Hammond told BBC TV. Ebola is believed to have killed 672 people in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone since the outbreak began in February, according to the World Health Organisation. ...
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Kirani James stars as track and field take Glasgow centre stage
2014-07-30: Grenada's Olympic champion Kirani James will start as the hot favourite in a star-studded men's 400 metres final at the Commonwealth Games on Wednesday. With the swimming competition having wrapped up late on Tuesday, all eyes will now turn to Glasgow's Hampden Park as some of the world's finest track and field athletes take centre stage. One such is James, who sauntered to victory in the semi-finals in a time of 45.14sec. South African Wayde van Niekerk, Bahamas duo Chris Brown and Latoy Williams, and England's Martyn Rooney complete the eight-man line-up.
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Millions reported stolen from Albania central bank
2014-07-30: TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania's central bank says 713 million leke (5 million euros; $6.75 million) has been stolen from its reserve storage building.
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Israeli shelling kills 19 taking refuge in Gaza school: U.N.
2014-07-30: By Nidal al-Mughrabi GAZA (Reuters) - Israeli shells blasted a U.N.-run school in a Gaza refugee camp on Wednesday, killing at least 19 people and wounding about 125 others taking refuge there, a U.N. official said. An Israeli military spokeswoman in Tel Aviv said she had no immediate information about what had happened at the facility, which belongs to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which said it had recovered fragments from the shells. Khalil al-Halabi, director of UNRWA's northern Gaza operations, said some 3,000 Palestinians were taking refuge in the school, in Jebalya refugee camp, when it came under fire around dawn. Abdel-Karim al-Masamha, 27, said he and his family had come to the school after fleeing fighting near their home in the northern Gaza Strip.
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Cambodia's former Khmer Rouge leaders start genocide trial
2014-07-30: Two former Khmer Rouge leaders began their second trial at a UN-backed court in Cambodia Wednesday on charges including genocide of Vietnamese people and ethnic Muslims, forced marriages and rape. The complex case of the regime's two most senior surviving leaders has been split into a series of smaller trials, initially focusing on the forced evacuation of people into rural labour camps and related crimes against humanity. The first trial against "Brother Number Two" Nuon Chea, 88, and former head of state Khieu Samphan, 83, was completed late last year, with the verdict -- and possible sentences -- set to be delivered on August 7. Nuon Chea did not attend for health reasons, while Khieu Samphan sat in court alongside his defence team.
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Moscow-based European business lobby says regrets new EU sanctions
2014-07-30: The Moscow-based Association of European Businesses (AEB) said on Wednesday it 'deeply regrets' new sanctions imposed by the European Union on Russia. 'Considering the volume of trade between Russia and the EU, and Russia and Ukraine, the AEB expects that these new sanctions will not only hurt the Russian economy, but also will restrict growth in both the EU and Ukraine,' it said in a statement. The AEB represents more than 600 European companies working in Russia.
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Tokyo governor defends venue relocation plans
2014-07-30: TOKYO (AP) — Tokyo Governor Yoichi Masuzoe on Wednesday defended his call to cut costs by relocating some venues for the 2020 Olympics, even if it threatens plans for having almost all the facilities close to the athletes village.
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Belarus to host Ukraine-Russia talks
2014-07-30: Belarus will host talks between Ukraine, Russia and the OSCE security and rights organisation on the crisis in eastern Ukraine, President Alexander Lukashenko's office said on Wednesday. It did not say when the talks would take place but Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko asked Lukashenko to host them on Thursday and to focus on securing access to the site where a Malaysian airliner was brought down in east Ukraine. There was no indication pro-Russian separatists fighting Ukraine's army would attend the talks, although Lukashenko's office said 'all interested sides' were invited.
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AP PHOTOS: Face of Syrian war seen in youngest
2014-07-30: ZAATARI, Jordan (AP) — At Jordan's Zaatari refugee camp near the border with Syria, the horror of the neighboring country's civil war can be seen in the faces of its youngest refugees.
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Nigeria opens long-awaited battle of ideas against Boko Haram
2014-07-30: By Tim Cocks KADUNA Nigeria (Reuters) - In classrooms facing a sandy courtyard in the northern Nigerian city of Kaduna, Maska Road Islamic School teaches a creed that condemns the violent ideology of groups like Boko Haram. Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, known as the "Pants Bomber", spent his youth in this school - and ended up trying unsuccessfully to blow up a U.S. airliner on Christmas Day 2009 with explosives hidden in his underwear. "We teach them that what they (Boko Haram) are doing is a total misunderstanding of the Islamic religion, that Prophet Mohammed was compassionate, he even lived together with the non-Muslims in Medina," said headmaster Sulaiman Saiki. Koranic schools like Maska Road will be a pillar of the strategy being launched in September to counter Boko Haram's ideology.
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Observers turned back from Ukraine crash site
2014-07-30: DONETSK, Ukraine (AP) — International observers have turned back from another attempt to reach the site where Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 went down in eastern Ukraine.
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BoE says banker bonuses can be clawed back for up to seven years
2014-07-30: Bankers who break the rules may have to hand back bonuses up to seven years after being awarded them, the Bank of England said on Wednesday. The Bank had proposed in a consultation paper in March there could be clawback of bonuses up to six years from the date they were fully paid out.
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Russia's EU envoy says sanctions 'lead nowhere': agency
2014-07-30: Russia's envoy to the European Union Vladimir Chizhov said on Wednesday that new sanctions imposed by the EU would lead nowhere and fail to help solve the Ukraine crisis, Russian news agency Interfax reported on Wednesday. 'Unfortunately, the decision confirms our conclusion that the European Union can not or does not want yet to abandon a course of boosting pressure through sanctions, which in itself leads nowhere and, in any case, does not contribute to de-escalation of the situation in Ukraine and around it,' Chizhov told Interfax.
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Europe shares drift ahead of data; Asia gains
2014-07-30: TOKYO (AP) — World markets were mostly higher Wednesday ahead of U.S. economic data while cheery earnings from major Japanese companies such as Honda Motor Co. boosted Asian stocks.
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Poll: Americans cool to border-crossing children
2014-07-30: SAN DIEGO (AP) — Americans are wary of granting refugee status to children crossing the U.S. border to flee strife-torn countries in Central America, and most in an Associated Press-GfK poll say the U.S. does not have a moral obligation to accept asylum seekers generally.
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AP ANALYSIS: Amid war, endgames in Gaza emerge
2014-07-30: TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — The savage fighting between Israel and Hamas is escalating in Gaza, cease-fire efforts take on elements of farce, and bravado rules the public discourse. But even through the fog of war, a few endgame scenarios can nonetheless be glimpsed.
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Indian online retailer Flipkart raises $1 billion
2014-07-30: MUMBAI, India (AP) — India's largest online e-commerce company, Flipkart, raised $1 billion in new capital this week as the company gears up for competition with Amazon's push into the Indian market.
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Trafficking bust reveals worries over missing kids
2014-07-30: WASHINGTON (AP) — When FBI agents and police officers fanned out across the country last month in a weeklong effort to rescue child sex trafficking victims, they pulled minors as young as 11 from hotel rooms, truck stops and homes.
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UCLA wades through damages from pipe flooding
2014-07-30: LOS ANGELES (AP) — The quiet summer campus of UCLA found itself suddenly steeped in water and chaos after a major water pipe burst and spewed some eight million gallons, stranding people in parking garages and flooding the school's storied basketball court less than two years after a major renovation.
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Obama administration kicks off bid to renew Africa trade program
2014-07-30: By Elvina Nawaguna WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Obama administration on Tuesday pushed for Congress to renew a 14-year-old trade program giving African countries duty-free access to U.S. markets, warning that allowing the program to expire would disrupt trade flows between the two regions. U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman said the African Growth Opportunity Act, or AGOA, which expires on Sept. 30 next year had both benefited African countries and supported 120,000 U.S. jobs. Froman's remarks came just days before the White House is set to host 50 African leaders at a three-day U.S.-Africa summit aimed at strengthening relations. AGOA, which is at the heart of U.S.-Africa trade ties, will be a key issue.
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Japan practices amphibious landing in Hawaii
2014-07-30: KANEOHE BAY, Hawaii (AP) — Japan has been practicing storming beaches with the U.S. and other countries in Hawaii this month. The amphibious landing exercises, which are relatively new to Japan's military, come as Tokyo tries to boost its ability to defend small islands it controls but China claims as its own.

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