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For Californians, higher costs dampen support for clean energy

By Jennifer Chaussee BERKELEY Calif. (Reuters) - An overwhelming majority of California residents support the state's mandate for reducing heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions, so long as they do not bear the higher costs of cleaner energy themselves, a new public opinion poll shows. Eighty percent of adults surveyed believe climate change poses a serious threat to California's economy and lifestyle, and 68 percent back a 2006 law for lowering statewide greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. For example, 76 percent of adults agreed with California's requirement that at least a third of all electricity it generates should come from renewable sources, such as solar and wind power, by 2020. The same level of support was found for requiring oil refineries to produce gasoline and other fuels that yield lower carbon dioxide emissions.

South Africa's Ramaphosa hints at strike law reforms

Ramaphosa celebrates his election as party Deputy President at the National Conference of the ruling African National Congress in Bloemfontein 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.


Eurozone economy picking up steam despite France

LONDON (AP) — A closely watched survey suggests economic growth in the 18-country eurozone picked up during July despite ongoing concerns over France, the currency bloc's second-largest economy.

10 Things to Know for Today

FILE - In a Monday, Jan. 17, 2011 file photo, gun violence protesters participate in a lie-in during an anti-gun rally at the Capitol in Richmond, Va. Nearly six in 10 Americans want stricter gun laws in the aftermath of last month's deadly school shooting in Connecticut, with majorities favoring a nationwide ban on military-style, rapid-fire weapons and limits on gun violence depicted in video games and movies and on TV, according to a new Associated Press-GfK poll. A lopsided 84 percent of adults would like to see the establishment of a federal standard for background checks for people buying guns at gun shows, the poll showed. President Barack Obama was set Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013 to unveil a wide-ranging package of steps for reducing gun violence expected to include a proposed ban on assault weapons, limits on the capacity of ammunition magazines and universal background checks for gun sales. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File) Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:


Obama presses to close corporate tax loophole 'inversions'

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks before signing the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act at the White House in Washington 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.


Obama wants limits on US company mergers abroad

President Barack Obama waves to supporters as he arrives at Los Angeles International Airport Wednesday, July 23, 2014, in Los Angeles, for a 24-hour visit. (AP Photo) LOS ANGELES (AP) — President Barack Obama is tapping into growing misgivings about tax-driven overseas mergers by U.S. corporations, issuing a new call to end the practice quickly and questioning the patriotism and citizenship of those companies.


Wine collector set for sentencing on fraud charges

NEW YORK (AP) — A California wine collector the government has characterized as a prolific counterfeiter who sold at least $20 million in fake wine faces at least 11 years in prison when he is sentenced Thursday on fraud charges.

U.S. lifts ban on flights to Israel as Gaza toll tops 700

Smokes rises during an Israeli ground offensive in the east of Gaza City 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.


FAA lifts ban on US flights to Tel Aviv airport

FAA lifts ban on US flights to Tel Aviv airport The Federal Aviation Administration lifted its ban Wednesday on U.S. flights in and out of Israel, which the agency had imposed out of concern for the risk of planes being hit by Hamas rockets.


Gang violence, fears for children fuel rush to US

FILE - In this June 18, 2014, file photo, detainees sleep in a holding cell at a U.S. Customs and Border Protection, processing facility in Brownsville,Texas. Many of the immigrants recently flooding the nation’s southern border say they’re fleeing violent gangs in Central America. These gangs were a byproduct of U.S. immigration and Cold War policies, specifically growing from the increase in deportations in the 1990s. With weak dysfunctional governments at home, U.S. street gang culture easily took hold and flourished in these countries. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, Pool, File) LOS ANGELES (AP) — Many immigrants flooding across the southern border of the U.S. say they're fleeing violent gangs in Central America.


China manufacturing jumps to 18-month high

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 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.


Family: Teen pilot who crashed in ocean knew risks

In a photo provided by Citizens Foundation, Haris Suleman, center right, in blue shirt, and his father, Babar Suleman, center left, stand with the plane in early July 2014 in Pakistan that they were flying on an around-the-world trip. Haris Suleman, 17, who was attempting to set a record for an around-the-world flight, was killed when his plane crashed in the Pacific Ocean, and crews were searching Wednesday, July 23, 2014, for his father, who was also on board. Family spokeswoman Annie Hayat said the plane flown by Haris Suleman went down shortly after leaving Pago Pago in American Samoa Tuesday night. Hayat said the body of Haris Suleman had been recovered, but crews were still looking for Babar Suleman. The father and son were using the trip to raise money for the Citizens Foundation, a nonprofit that builds schools in Pakistan. (AP Photo/Citizens Foundation) PLAINFIELD, Ind. (AP) — The family of an Indiana teenager who crashed in the Pacific Ocean during an around-the-world flight says he knew the risks and had prepared for them.


AccuWeather: Clouds To Sun, Nice Afternoon

AccuWeather: Clouds To Sun, Nice Afternoon Meteorologist David Murphy says Friday and Saturday look great. Sunday is more humid.


Spain's unemployment falls to 24-month low

Jobseekers walk past an employment office in Madrid, on November 5, 2013 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.


Nokia profits rise after sale of handset division

HELSINKI (AP) — Telecommunications and wireless equipment maker Nokia Corp. saw its shares surge on Thursday after it reported higher profits and an improved earnings outlook in the wake of its sale to Microsoft of its troubled handset division.

Berlin sees tough sanctions on Russia by end of July: source

The German government believes the European Union could move to sanctions on sectors of the Russian economy by the end of July unless Russia acts quickly to defuse the crisis in eastern Ukraine, an EU source said on Thursday. German officials in Brussels have also briefed that Berlin favors a time limit on how long new Russian sanctions should last to provide an opportunity for relations to return to normal, the source said. EU ambassadors will discuss for the first time on Thursday imposing sanctions on sectors of the Russian economy, known in EU jargon as "stage three" of sanctions. German officials said "the transition to stage three of sanctions should follow seamlessly and can be expected by the end of the month," the source said.

1 person hospitalized after shooting in Gloucester Co., N.J.

1 person hospitalized after shooting in Gloucester Co., N.J. Police say one person was hospitalized after a shooting in Williamstown, New Jersey Wednesday night.


Euro gets lift from business activity data, China PMI helps emerging stocks

Punctured euro banknotes used for training purposes are presented during news conference on German custom's annual statistics in Berlin 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.


British manufacturing emerges from years in the shadows

File photo of the new Mini taken at the company's plant in Oxford, southern England 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.


Slaying of Fla. law professor is a seeming mystery

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Detectives say Florida State University law school professor Daniel Markel was shot in the head - but won't say whether he was shot from the front or back. They say he was gunned down at his home in broad daylight - but won't say if he was found inside the house or outside. They released a photo of a vehicle of interest, but wouldn't confirm exactly where the car was seen or even the make and model.

China July HSBC flash PMI at 18-month high as stimulus revs up economy

A worker cut steel bars at a steel plant in Ganyu 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.


Disenchanted with Putin, some Russians vote with their feet

Genealogist Paley poses for a picture after an interview in Jewish Cultural Center in Moscow 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.


South Korea unveils stimulus after ferry sinking

A woman walks by sale signs at Seoul shopping district, South Korea, Thursday, July 24, 2014. South Korea's government unveiled stimulus plans Thursday after the shock of a deadly ferry sinking slowed economic growth to the lowest level in three quarters. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man) SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea's government announced a $40 billion stimulus plan Thursday after the shock of a deadly ferry sinking slowed economic growth to the lowest level in three quarters.


Alaska tourist train halts runs after derailment

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A vintage rail company that hauls hundreds of thousands of tourists every year along the route of the historic Klondike Gold Rush has suspended operations while it investigates a derailment that injured nine people.

AP reporter's account of Arizona execution

The Arizona state prison where the nearly two hour execution of Joseph Rudolph Wood took place on Wednesday, July 23, 2014, is photographed in Florence, Ariz. Wood was convicted in the 1989 shooting deaths of Debbie Dietz, 29, and Gene Dietz, 55, at an auto repair shop in Tucson. (AP Photo) FLORENCE, Ariz. (AP) — Joseph Rudolph Wood looked around the death chamber and glanced at the doctors as they made preparations for his execution, locating the proper veins and inserting two lines into his arms.


Euro zone business on solid footing in July but firms cut prices - PMI

Customers have a lunch inside a 'Restaumobile' restaurant truck for the start of the operation "Tous au restaurant" in Paris 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.


Spanish jobless falls as recovery gains traction

MADRID (AP) — Official figures show that Spain's unemployment rate edged down to 24.5 percent in the second quarter from 25.9 percent in the previous three-month period, a further sign that the economy's recovery is gaining traction and making solid inroads into the labor market.

Midazolam is common thread in 3 lengthy executions

Robert Hungerford, of Phoenix, prays as he and a group of about a dozen death penalty opponents protest the possible execution of Joseph Rudolph Wood at the state prison in Florence, Ariz. on Wednesday, July 23, 2014. Arizona's highest court on Wednesday temporarily halted the execution of the condemned inmate so it could consider a last-minute appeal. The Arizona Supreme Court said it would consider whether he received inadequate legal representation at his sentencing. The appeal also challenges the secrecy of the lethal injection process and the drugs that are used. (AP Photo) Arizona used a two-drug protocol for Wednesday's execution of Joseph Rudolph Wood, who had been sentenced to die for the 1989 deaths of a former girlfriend and her father.


Some lethal injection problems in US executions

With the state prison in the background, about a dozen death penalty opponents pray as they await the possible execution of Joseph Rudolph Wood, Wednesday, July 23, 2014, in Florence, Ariz. The highest courts in Arizona and the nation have cleared the way for the state to carry out its third execution in the last year on Wednesday, following a closely watched First Amendment fight over the secrecy surrounding lethal injection drugs. Wood was sentenced to death for killing Debra Dietz and her father, Eugene Dietz, in 1989 at the family's automotive shop in Tucson. (AP Photo) 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:


Arizona execution takes nearly 2 hours

Joseph Rudolph Wood PHOENIX (AP) — A condemned murderer took nearly two hours to die and gasped for about 90 minutes during an execution in Arizona that quickly rekindled the national debate on capital punishment in the U.S.


Colorado gay marriage ban struck, appeal awaits

Attorney Mari Newman, center, talks with members of the media, as she stands with her plaintiffs and their supporters following a court hearing on sam sex marriage at the Federal District Court, in Denver, Tuesday, July 22, 2014. Gay couples seeking to strike Colorado's same-sex marriage ban urged a federal judge Tuesday to overturn the law immediately and reject the state's request to stay a ruling until the U.S. Supreme Court decides the matter. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley) DENVER (AP) — For years, gay rights activists in Colorado repeatedly said it would only be a matter of time before they would be allowed to marry.


Democrats stand by senator amid plagiarism claim

FILE - In this Feb. 11, 2014, file photo, Sen. John Walsh, D-Mont., right, and his son Michael leave the Old Senate Chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, after a ceremonial swearing-in ceremony with Vice President Joe Biden. Walsh's thesis written for the U.S. Army War College contains unattributed passages that appear to be taken word-for-word from previously published papers. The Democrat is running to keep the seat he was appointed to in February. Walsh faces Republican U.S. Rep. Steve Daines on Nov. 4. (AP Photo/Lauren Victoria Burke, File) HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Sen. John Walsh said his unattributed use of others' work in his master's thesis was not plagiarism but "a few citations that were unintentionally left out of a term paper" that he blamed in part on post-Iraq war trauma.


Fire season in West so far is below expectations

In this July 22, 2014 photo, a wildfire burns in Morgan County, Utah. Fire investigators believe lightning ignited the Tunnel Hollow Fire. Slightly cooler weather on Tuesday helped crews gain ground on the fire five miles east of the town of Morgan, Utah. (AP Photo/Standard-Examiner, Benjamin Zack) TV OUT; MANDATORY CREDIT GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — Widespread drought across the West had forecasters expecting an above-average wildfire season this summer, which so far has not lived up to expectations.


Social Security's $300M IT project doesn't work

FILE - This Friday, Jan. 11, 2013 file photo, shows the Social Security Administration's main campus is seen in Woodlawn, Md. Six years ago the Social Security Administration embarked on an aggressive plan to replace outdated computer systems overwhelmed by a growing flood of disability claims. Nearly $300 million later, the new system is nowhere near ready and agency officials are struggling to salvage a project racked by delays and mismanagement. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File) WASHINGTON (AP) — After spending nearly $300 million on a new computer system to handle disability claims, the Social Security Administration still can't get it to work. And officials can't say when it will.


Women charged with helping al-Qaida-linked group

Somali government soldiers patrol near the scene of a suicide car explosion outside the Somali parliament building in Mogadishu Five people, including two women in the U.S., were charged Wednesday with funneling money to the al-Qaida-linked extremist group al-Shabab in Somalia, prosecutors said.


Texas governor's startup fund is not all it seems

FILE - Texas Gov. Rick Perry talks to the media before speaking to a meeting of local party activists, in this July 19, 2014 file photo taken in Algona, Iowa. Perry has distributed $205 million in taxpayer money to scores of technology startups using a pet program designed to bring high-paying jobs and innovation to the nation’s second most-populous state. An Associated Press review of the program found that one of the companies actually operates in California. Some have stagnated trying to find more capital. A few have even forfeited their right to do business in Texas by not filing tax reports. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File) AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas Gov. Rick Perry has distributed $205 million in taxpayer money to scores of technology startups using a pet program designed to bring high-paying jobs and innovation to the nation's second most-populous state.


How Arizona, Ohio, Oklahoma, executions went awry

A fence surrounds the state prison in Florence, Ariz. where the execution of Joseph Rudolph Wood was scheduled to take place on Wednesday, July 23, 2014. Arizona's highest court on Wednesday temporarily halted the execution of the condemned inmate so it could consider a last-minute appeal. The Arizona Supreme Court said it would consider whether he received inadequate legal representation at his sentencing. The appeal also challenges the secrecy of the lethal injection process and the drugs that are used. (AP Photo) Since the start of the year, executions in Ohio, Oklahoma and Arizona have gone awry, with inmates gasping for breath as lethal drugs coursed through their bodies. The Associated Press had witnesses at the executions of the three inmates. A look at how each unfolded:


Slow public alert after ND fire raises concerns

Smoke rises from the site of a fire in an industrial area of Williston, N.D. on Tuesday, July 22, 2014. Authorities have set up an evacuation zone within a half-mile radius of Red River Supply, the site of the fire. No injuries were immediately reported. Red River Supply provides services to oil companies working in North Dakota's oil patch. (AP Photo/Josh Wood) 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.


Wine collector set for sentencing in New York

NEW YORK (AP) — A California wine collector the government has characterized as a prolific wine counterfeiter who sold at least $20 million in fake wine is set for sentencing on fraud charges.

LG Electronics says 2Q profit more than doubled

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — LG Electronics Inc. said Thursday its quarterly profit more than doubled as its mobile division ended three quarters of losses.
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