Source Match Cities News
By Wendell Roelf CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - South Africa should adjust labour laws so union members have to vote before striking, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Thursday, suggesting the government may push ahead with reforms to curb damaging industrial action. A strike this year in the platinum sector, the longest and costliest in South Africa's history, dragged the continent's most advanced economy into contraction and led Standard & Poor's to downgrade its sovereign credit rating. The country's biggest union, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA), stopped work on July 2 demanding higher wages, halting output at several car factories. Companies and politicians often argue that workers want to return to work but are intimidated into extending strikes by powerful union leaders.
By Jeff Mason LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama will call on Thursday for an end to a corporate loophole that allows companies to avoid federal taxes by shifting their tax domiciles overseas in deals known as "inversions," White House officials said. Obama will make the comments during remarks about the economy at Los Angeles Technical College. Nine inversion deals have been agreed to this year by companies ranging from banana distributor Chiquita Brands International Inc to drugmaker AbbVie Inc and more are under consideration. The proposed changes, already put forward in Obama's annual budget, would be retroactive to May of this year and implemented independently of moves to achieve broader tax reform.
By Dan Williams GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel won a partial reprieve from the economic pain of its Gaza war on Thursday with the lifting of a U.S. ban on commercial flights to Tel Aviv, as fighting pushed the Palestinian death toll over 700. A truce between the Jewish state and Hamas Palestinian fighters remained elusive despite intensive mediation bids. Palestinians said residents of two southern villages were trapped by days of tank shelling, with medics unable to evacuate wounded, and U.N. agencies said more than 140,000 people had been displaced. Hamas fired rockets at Tel Aviv and said its gunmen carried out a lethal ambush on Israeli soldiers in north Gaza.
A key measure of Chinese manufacturing activity hit an 18-month high in July, HSBC said Thursday, in a further sign the world's second-largest economy is gaining momentum on the back of Beijing's mini-stimulus. The HSBC preliminary purchasing managers index (PMI), which tracks activity in China's factories and workshops, leapt to 52.0 this month, its highest since January 2013, according to the British banking giant. "Economic activity continues to improve in July, suggesting that the cumulative impact of mini-stimulus measures introduced earlier is still filtering through," HSBC economist Qu Hongbin said in a statement accompanying the data. The figures are compiled by financial information services provider Markit and released by HSBC.
The unemployment rate in Spain fell sharply in the second quarter slipping beneath 25.0-percent, official data showed on Thursday in a further sign that the country is pulling away from deep economic crisis. Since then Spain, which was also caught by the eurozone debt crisis, has introduced deep reforms in its economy and has restructured its banking system at great cost, including exceptionally high unemployment. Unemployment has hit young people in particular, as has been the case in some other crisis-hit eurozone countries, leading European Union leaders to speak of a "lost" generation. The Bank of Spain said growth between the first and second quarters of the year was the strongest since just before the global financial crisis began.
European stocks edged up too after digesting Markit's Composite Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) of companies across the euro zone and a good early indicator of overall growth. "But there are concerns about domestic growth in the euro zone and possible sanctions on Russia are likely to have an impact." The euro hit the day's highs at $1.3471, pulling off eight-month lows, while the dollar index dropped from an earlier six-week peak. EU states will meet later on Thursday to discuss harsher measures against Russia for its continued involvement in Ukraine and support for pro-Moscow rebels whom Kiev accuses of shooting down a Malaysian Airlines plane last week, killing 298. European stocks rose 0.2 percent, reversing earlier losses on mixed earnings data and relatively weak manufacturing data from France, the euro zone's second largest economy.
By Andy Bruce CHELTENHAM England (Reuters) - New business is coming from unexpected places to help power the whirring, high-tech lathes on the factory floor of Future Advanced Manufacture, one of the companies spearheading Britain's manufacturing revival. "Even the Germans are starting to deal with us, which is unheard of," said Future AM's managing director Craig Peterson. Manufacturing accounts for only a tenth of Britain's economy, compared with more than a fifth in Germany which is Europe's leader in the sector. One major business survey this month showed the balance of manufacturers reporting rising domestic sales rose during the second quarter to the highest level since records began in 1989.
China's factory activity expanded at its fastest pace in 18 months in July as new orders surged, a preliminary HSBC survey showed on Thursday, the latest indication that the economy is picking up as government stimulus measures kick in. "Economic activity continues to improve in July, suggesting that the cumulative impact of mini-stimulus measures introduced earlier is still filtering through," said Qu Hongbin, chief economist for China at HSBC. "We expect policy makers to maintain their accommodative stance over the next few months to consolidate the recovery." Mainland China stocks jumped after the PMI report while shares in the rest of Asia edged higher. The Australian dollar hit a three-week high on prospects of stronger exports to China.
By Alissa de Carbonnel MOSCOW (Reuters) - Most of Vladimir Paley's clients want him to dig up their family history with one goal in mind: making a case to obtain foreign citizenship and leave Russia. Most just want a better life, with some seeking more political freedom than under President Vladimir Putin and others keen to escape an economy that has been hit by Western sanctions over the Ukraine crisis and is on the verge of recession. Putin's popularity is soaring in Russia over the annexation of Crimea from Ukraine despite pressure from Western leaders over what they say is his support for rebels they accuse of shooting down a Malaysian airliner in east Ukraine. "I don't share the opinion of 90 percent of the country: I feel like a foreigner here now so why not leave?" said Tatiana Konkova, a Russian literature teacher and singer, giving her last concert in Moscow this month.
By Sumanta Dey July 24, (Reuters) - The euro zone's private sector expanded at the fastest rate in three months in July, although faster growth in new business was driven mainly by companies cutting prices again, surveys showed on Thursday. Markit's Composite Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI), based on surveys of thousands of companies across the region and a good early indicator of overall growth, rose to 54.0 in July from 52.8, its highest since April. The services sector across the 18-member bloc performed better than any of the 39 economists polled by Reuters had forecast, while manufacturers also reported a stronger month than suggested by the median Reuters forecast. Markit said the data suggest quarterly economic growth of 0.4 percent if a similar pace is maintained in August and September.
Since Texas became the first state to use lethal injection as its execution method on Dec. 7, 1982, some problems have been reported during the process nationwide. Those include delays in finding suitable veins, needles becoming clogged or disengaged, and reactions from inmates who appeared to be under stress. Some examples:
WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) — Officials need to improve communication with residents of North Dakota's booming oil patch during potentially dangerous situations, an emergency manager and residents said, after an oil field service supply facility storing toxic chemicals exploded this week and authorities failed to alert the public for more than six hours.