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Havells India falls; depreciation, taxes weigh on earnings

Reuters Market Eye - Havells India Ltd falls 1.9 percent after April-June net profit lags estimates. Additional depreciation due to changes in Companies Act and expiry of certain tax exemptions weighed on earnings, traders say. (Reporting by Abhishek Vishnoi)

UN rights chief: Flight 17 possible war crime

Dutch policemen walk in the city of Donetsk, eastern Ukraine Sunday, July 27, 2014. A team of international police officers that had been due to visit the site of the Malaysian plane disaster in eastern Ukraine cancelled the trip Sunday after receiving reports of fighting in the area. Alexander Hug, the deputy head of a monitoring team from the OSCE in Europe, said it would be too dangerous for the unarmed mission to travel to the site from its current location in the rebel-held city of Donetsk. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky) GENEVA (AP) — The downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 may be a war crime, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said Monday.


US: Russia has fired rockets into Ukraine

This second page of a four page document released by the U.S. State Department in Washington, July 27, 2014 shows a satellite image that purports to shows self propelled artillery only found in Russian military units, on the Russian side of the border, oriented in the direction of a Ukrainian military unit within Ukraine. The United States says the images back up its claims that rockets have been fired from Russia into eastern Ukraine and heavy artillery for separatists has also crossed the border. (AP Photo/U.S. State Department) WASHINGTON (AP) — Stepping up pressure on Moscow, the U.S. on Sunday released satellite images it says show that rockets have been fired from Russia into neighboring eastern Ukraine and that heavy artillery for separatists has crossed the border.


Russia ordered to pay $50B over Yukos

LONDON (AP) — An international court on Monday ordered Russia to pay over $50 billion in compensation to the former majority shareholder of now-defunct Russian oil company Yukos over the expropriation of the company more than 10 years ago.

China profits boost Asia stocks, Europe unenthused

BEIJING (AP) — Asian stock markets were mostly higher Monday, shrugging off jitters about stiffer Western sanctions against Russia, after China reported strong corporate profits. Benchmarks in Paris and London also rose but many other European markets drifted lower.

South Africa's Merafe expects higher H1 earnings, shares climb

Shares of South Africa's Merafe Resources were up more than 4 percent on Monday after the ferrochrome producer said it expected earnings to more than double for the six months to June, boosted by higher production and better sales. South Africa's largest producer of ferrochrome, an ingredient used to make stainless steel, said headline earnings per share could to climb up as much as 142 percent to between 8.6 and 9.2 cents per share from 3.8 cents last year. Headline EPS, the main measure of profit in South Africa, excludes certain one-time items.

Israel carries out 3 strikes on Gaza, breaks lull

JERUSALEM (AP) — The Israeli military says it has carried out three airstrikes on Gaza, targeting Hamas rocket launchers and infrastructure in the strip.

Lavrov says Russia will not respond in kind to Western sanctions

Russia will not impose tit-for-tat measures or act "hysterically" over Western economic sanctions, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday, trying to stake out the high ground amid growing tensions with the West. Speaking at a news conference, Lavrov said he hoped that an investigation into a downed Malaysian jet liner, which Western leaders say was almost certainly shot down by Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine, would be objective. He said sanctions could only make Russia more economically independent as Europe prepared new measures over Russia's role in the Ukraine crisis, which has plunged Russia's ties with the West to their lowest since the Cold War. The Kremlin-controlled oil producer also has agreements with ExxonMobil, Eni and Statoil to tap Russia’s Arctic offshore oil and gas.

Relative lull in Gaza as UN calls for cease-fire

Minarets from a mosque are seen in this view of Gaza city, early Monday, July 28, 2014. Monday marked the beginning of the three-day Eid al-Fitr holiday, which caps the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. Muslims usually start the day by visiting cemeteries, to pay their respects to the dead, and then exchange family visits. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis) JERUSALEM (AP) — A relative lull descended on the war-torn Gaza Strip at the start of a major Muslim holiday on Monday, as international efforts intensified to end the three-week conflict between Israel and Hamas and the U.N. called for an "immediate" cease-fire.


Death toll mounts as clashes intensify in Ukraine

Ukrainian Ministry Emergency officer, left, Donetsk People's Republic fighter, 2nd left, and members of the OSCE mission in Ukraine examine a map as they discuss the situation around the site of the crashed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in the city of Donetsk, eastern Ukraine Sunday, July 27, 2014. A team of international police officers that had been due to visit the site of the Malaysian plane disaster in eastern Ukraine cancelled the trip Sunday after receiving reports of fighting in the area. Alexander Hug, the deputy head of a monitoring team from the OSCE in Europe, said it would be too dangerous for the unarmed mission to travel to the site from its current location in the rebel-held city of Donetsk. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky) KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — At least eight civilians have been killed by fighting and shelling in two Ukrainian cities held by separatist militants, officials in the rebellion-wracked east said Monday.


Europe subdued, Russia shares tumble on new sanctions

Traders are pictured at their desks in front of the DAX board at the Frankfurt stock exchange By Marc Jones LONDON (Reuters) - The euro was stuck near its lowest level since November and Russian shares tumbled for a third straight day on Monday as new European sanctions for Moscow chilled the already frosty relationship between the two. The 28-nation EU reached an outline agreement on Friday on its first economic sanctions on Russia, which said the moves would hamper cooperation between the two and undermine the fight against terrorism. Having suffered on Friday, Europe's main bourses were again subdued. There was more pain for Russian stocks after a report that shareholders in defunct oil producer Yukos had won a $50 billion international court case against Russia.


Chinese police remove church cross amid crackdown

In this photo taken July 16, 2014, a man stands near the razed remains of a Catholic church in a village in Pingyang county of Wenzhou in eastern China's Zhejiang province. Across Zhejiang province, which hugs China’s rocky southeastern coast, authorities have toppled, or threatened to topple, crosses at more than 130 churches. (AP Photo/Didi Tang) BEIJING (AP) — Hundreds of police took down a church's cross Monday in a city known as "China's Jerusalem" for its many houses of worship amid a crackdown on church buildings in a coastal region where thousands of people are embracing Christianity.


Kevin Bacon brings his 'Six Degrees' to Comic-Con

Kevin Bacon attends "The Following" special video presentation and Q&A on Day 4 of Comic-Con International on Sunday, July 27, 2014, in San Diego. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP) SAN DIEGO (AP) — Kevin Bacon's "Six Degrees" world got even bigger Sunday at Comic-Con.


After 6 weeks, finally a deal on VA health care

FILE - In this July 24, 2014, file photo, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., right, with Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. The chairmen of the House and Senate Veterans Affairs committees have reached a tentative agreement on a plan to fix a veterans' health program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records covering up delays. Miller and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., scheduled a news conference Monday, July 28, to talk about a compromise plan to improve veterans' care. (AP Photo/File) WASHINGTON (AP) — After more than six weeks of sometimes testy talks, House and Senate negotiators have agreed on a compromise plan to fix a veterans health program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records covering up delays.


Pfizer's need for deal looms larger with earnings report

The Pfizer logo is seen at their world headquarters in New York Pfizer Inc's (PFE.N) vulnerability to cheaper generics and its weak roster of experimental medicines will be on display Tuesday when the company reports quarterly earnings, reviving interest in its pursuit of AstraZeneca Plc (AZN.L) or other deals to fortify its pipeline. While many industry watchers expect Pfizer to re-engage with Britain's AstraZeneca in coming months, some say the U.S. drugmaker should consider targets more focussed on biotechnology, a strategy that has paid off for Merck & Co (MRK.N) and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co (BMY.N). Although Pfizer is conducting trials of promising products - including breast cancer drug palbociclib and vaccines against meningitis and staph aureus - it needs far more drugs to generate meaningful sales growth, said Ori Hershkovitz, analyst with the Tel Aviv-based Sphera Fund, which holds Pfizer shares. "Pfizer is in a very desperate spot, having seen most of its pipeline disappoint and facing multiple patent expirations," he said.


Reporter recalls Soviet evasion in '83 jet downing

FILE - In this Sept. 12, 1983, file photo, Korean Airlines equipment procurement section chief Suk Jin-Ku examines a piece of aircraft debris at Wakkania Police station in Japan. Those searching for the truth about what happened in the shoot-down of the Malaysia airliner over Ukraine can take little comfort from the history of another passenger jet that was blasted out of the sky over the Soviet Union more than three decades ago: The Kremlin at the time dodged, weaved and obfuscated. Today, we still don’t know what exactly happened to Korean Airlines Flight 007. (AP Photo/Mikami, File) Those searching for the truth about what happened in the shoot-down of the Malaysia airliner over Ukraine can take little comfort from the history of another passenger jet that was blasted out of the sky over the Soviet Union more than three decades ago: The Kremlin at the time dodged, weaved and obfuscated. Today, we still don't know what exactly happened to Korean Airlines Flight 007.


Gaza fighting abates as diplomatic tension flares

Minarets from a mosque are seen in this view of Gaza city, early Monday, July 28, 2014. Monday marked the beginning of the three-day Eid al-Fitr holiday, which caps the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. Muslims usually start the day by visiting cemeteries, to pay their respects to the dead, and then exchange family visits. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis) Israel eased its assaults and Hamas rocket fire declined sharply, with both the U.S. and U.N. calling for a durable ceasefire.


Nikkei rises to new six-month high on earnings hopes

Pedestrians walk past at an electronic board outside a brokerage in Tokyo TOKYO (Reuters) - The Nikkei share average hit a six-month closing high on Monday, buoyed by hopes for improvement in domestic corporate earnings, while casino-related plays outperformed on a media report that new casinos could be opened in Japan before the 2020 Summer Olympics. The benchmark Nikkei gained 0.5 percent to 15,529.40 points, its highest closing level since Jan. 23. Since mid-June, the index has tried a few times to rise above the 15,500 level but in vain. Still, the Nikkei is down 4.7 percent since the start of this year. The broader Topix advanced 0.4 percent to 1,286. ...


Death toll mounts as clashes intensify in Ukraine

Ukrainian Ministry Emergency officer, left, Donetsk People's Republic fighter, 2nd left, and members of the OSCE mission in Ukraine examine a map as they discuss the situation around the site of the crashed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in the city of Donetsk, eastern Ukraine Sunday, July 27, 2014. A team of international police officers that had been due to visit the site of the Malaysian plane disaster in eastern Ukraine cancelled the trip Sunday after receiving reports of fighting in the area. Alexander Hug, the deputy head of a monitoring team from the OSCE in Europe, said it would be too dangerous for the unarmed mission to travel to the site from its current location in the rebel-held city of Donetsk. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky) KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Officials in rebellion-wracked eastern Ukraine say at least eight civilians have been killed by fighting and shelling in two cities held by separatist militants.


As U.S. kicks off crude exports, Iran casts a shadow in Asia

Rouhani addresses the audience during a meeting in Ankara By Florence Tan SINGAPORE (Reuters) - The United States faces an awkward rival in its first attempts in 40 years to export crude oil - Iran. Iran, whose economy has been throttled by Western sanctions that have halved its crude shipments, is now selling higher quality and cheaper oil to China that leaves little room for the U.S. crude to enter the world's top energy consumer. While buyers in Japan and South Korea have been willing to trial a U.S. grade of the super-light crude known as condensate, China has already locked in annual contracts with Tehran and is not expected to take any U.S. oil in the short-term. With U.S. producers looking to open a trade route to sell surplus condensate from the U.S. shale boom, worries about quality and legal issues have added to doubts about how much of the oil the rest of Asia can take.


China shares lead Asia higher, dollar buoyed

Investors look at information displayed on an electronic screen at a brokerage house in Shanghai By Shinichi Saoshiro TOKYO (Reuters) - Asian stocks shrugged off a drop in Wall Street and hit a three-year high on Monday, with China taking the lead after data showed a robust jump in profits earned by industrial firms in the world's second-largest economy. Spreadbetters expected Europe to open flat to slightly higher, forecasting Britain's FTSE to start as much as 0.2 higher and Germany's DAX and France's CAX to open little unchanged.


China shares lead Asia higher, dollar buoyed

Investors look at information displayed on an electronic screen at a brokerage house in Shanghai By Shinichi Saoshiro TOKYO (Reuters) - Asian stocks shrugged off a drop in Wall Street and hit a three-year high on Monday, with China taking the lead after data showed a robust jump in profits earned by industrial firms in the world's second-largest economy. Spreadbetters expected Europe to open flat to slightly higher, forecasting Britain's FTSE to start as much as 0.2 higher and Germany's DAX and France's CAX to open little unchanged.


Boart Longyear's earnings continue to fall

Mining services firm Boart Longyear's earnings continue to fall, but it says the decline in demand from resource companies may be over.

In Ukraine's east, Soviet-style economy withers under onslaught

A man walks past a coal mine in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk By Lina Kushch, Elizabeth Piper and Natalia Zinets DONETSK/KIEV (Reuters) - After pro-Russian rebels took 720 kg of explosives, 360 detonators and almost 1 km of wiring, the Skochinskiy coal mine, an ageing stalwart of the economy in Ukraine's Donbass region, was put out of action. Fierce fighting and rebel requisitioning have stopped work at many of the coal mines in and around the strongholds of Donetsk and Luhansk. Without the fuel, nearby steel factories and electricity plants across Ukraine are struggling to work. Many in Ukraine's western and central regions see the industrial east as a burden, home to an outdated Soviet economy of monolithic factories that offer little to the rest of a country where other sectors and smaller firms are more common.


China profits boost Asian stock markets

BEIJING (AP) — Asian stock markets were mostly higher Monday, shrugging off jitters about stiffer Western sanctions against Russia, after China reported strong corporate profits.

Police investigate deaths of family of 5 in Maine

A body is moved from a crime scene at an apartment complex where five members of a family, including three children, were found dead authorities said Sunday, July 27, 2014, in Saco, Maine. Investigators said a family friend had contacted a worker at the apartment complex worried about the well-being of the family. The worker entered the apartment and discovered one body, then immediately called police. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty) SACO, Maine (AP) — Neighbors struggled to make sense of the shooting deaths of a family of five in which the father was known to many throughout their apartment complex as a friendly maintenance worker.


PRESS DIGEST - Wall Street Journal - July 28

The following are the top stories in the Wall Street Journal. * With 100 days to go until the midterm election, unexpectedly strong bids by several Republican candidates and President Barack Obama's continued sagging approval ratings are boosting GOP chances of capturing a Senate majority.

Gaza war rages despite Hamas, Israel truce pledges

Palestinians inspect the rubble of a destroyed house following an Israeli strike killing Christian woman Jalila Ayyad, 70, in Gaza City on Sunday, July 27, 2014. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra) GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Israel and Hamas launched new attacks Sunday in the raging Gaza war, despite going back and forth over proposals for a temporary halt to nearly three weeks of fighting ahead of a major Muslim holiday.


Obama tells Israel Gaza truce needed as conflict rages

Palestinians walk amid the rubble of destroyed buildings and homes in the Shejaiya residential district of Gaza City on July 26, 2014 The Islamist Hamas movement continued firing rockets at Israel Sunday, despite claims it had accepted a UN request for a 24-hour extension of a humanitarian truce in war-torn Gaza.


Nikkei hits 6-month high on earnings hopes; casino plays outperform

Employee of a foreign exchange trading company looks at monitors in Tokyo By Tomo Uetake TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's Nikkei average rose to six-month highs on Monday, and looked poised to test key resistance levels around 15,500 points, on hopes of continued improvement in corporate earnings. By the middday break, the benchmark Nikkei was up 0.5 percent at 15,530.29, its highest level since Jan. 23, reversing early losses that followed Friday's weakness on Wall Street. Still, the index is down 4.7 percent since the start of this year following a record-breaking 57 percent rally in 2013, buoyed by Tokyo's aggressive stimulus policies. ...


1 dead after lightning strikes crowd at California beach

Man is treated by a paramedic after a lightning strike in the water in Venice, California (Reuters) - One man died and at least eight people were injured on Sunday in a lightning strike during a rare thunderstorm at Venice Beach in Los Angeles, officials said. "I heard this crackle and there was this giant bolt of lightning shooting across the sky and the loudest thunder I’ve ever heard," witness Joe Doro told KCAL-TV. The eight survivors were hospitalized for treatment and observation after the lightning hit near Ocean Front Walk facing the Pacific Ocean, around 2:15 p.m. (2115 GMT), said Los Angeles Fire Department spokeswoman Katherine Main. A 20-year-old man taken to Marina Del Rey Hospital was later pronounced dead, according to the Los Angeles county coroner's department.


JP Morgan questioned on private bank impropriety: WSJ

JP Morgan Chase & Co sign outside headquarters in New York (Reuters) - JPMorgan Chase & Co executives have faced regulators' questions on whether private bank advisors guide clients to buy the firm's own financial products, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. As a result of the questioning regarding potential conflicts of interest, the New York-based bank has sharpened its disclosures to clients, the newspaper said, citing sources. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, one of JP Morgan's regulators, has been in discussions with the bank regarding the potential conflicts of interest in recent months, according to the report. "Being transparent is part of our normal course of business and it's what drives our client communications," Darin Oduyoye, a spokesman for JP Morgan's asset-management unit, told Reuters on Sunday.


Fighting complicates Ukraine crash probe, U.S., EU prepare Russia sanctions

A woman takes a photograph of wreckage at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 near the village of Hrabove (Grabovo) By Aleksandar Vasovic DONETSK Ukraine (Reuters) - Fierce fighting in eastern Ukraine where a Malaysian airliner was downed further complicated an investigation on Sunday as Europe and the United States prepared economic sanctions on Russia over the conflict. International monitors said they had abandoned plans to visit the crash site because of fears it was not safe, even though Malaysia said earlier that rebels had agreed to provide access. Ukraine said it was trying to dislodge the rebels, but denied it was fighting near the crash site, saying the separatists had put the monitors off by falsely claiming that the army was operating nearby.


Ebola kills Liberian doctor, 2 Americans infected

In this 2014 photo provided by the Samaritan's Purse aid organization, Dr. Kent Brantly, left, treats an Ebola patient at the Samaritan's Purse Ebola Case Management Center in Monrovia, Liberia. On Saturday, July 26, 2014, the North Carolina-based aid organization said Brantly tested positive for the disease and was being treated at a hospital in Monrovia. (AP Photo/Samaritan's Purse) MONROVIA, Liberia (AP) — One of Liberia's most high-profile doctors has died of Ebola, officials said Sunday, and an American physician was being treated for the deadly virus, highlighting the risks facing health workers trying to combat an outbreak that has killed more than 670 people in West Africa — the largest ever recorded.


Tentative deal reached on VA reform

FILE - In this July 24, 2014, file photo, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., right, with Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. The chairmen of the House and Senate Veterans Affairs committees have reached a tentative agreement on a plan to fix a veterans' health program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records covering up delays. Miller and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., scheduled a news conference Monday, July 28, to talk about a compromise plan to improve veterans' care. (AP Photo/File) The agreement aims to fix a program plagued by long patient wait times and fake records.


Britons warier about house-buying - Halifax

Sold new build homes are seen on a development in south London Britons are feeling much less positive about buying a house while sentiment toward selling is improving, according to a survey on Monday which added to other suggestions that the housing market is losing a bit of steam. The survey by mortgage lender Halifax showed the balance of people who felt it was a good time to buy fell sharply by 29 points to 5 in the second quarter, the largest fall in this measure since the survey began in April 2011. Britain's housing market has had a rapid recovery, with prices rising by an annual 11 percent nationally by one measure. Bank of England Governor Mark Carney last week reiterated his view that the housing market represented the biggest domestic risk to Britain's economic recovery.


Spending scandal besetting Aquino could hurt Philippines' economy

Philippine President Aquino claps as he attends the conference "Daylight Dialogue: The Good Governance Challenge" at the presidential Malacanang Palace in Manila By Manuel Mogato and Karen Lema MANILA (Reuters) - The biggest political crisis that Philippine President Benigno Aquino has faced in four years in power could damage his image as a crusader against corruption and undermine his ability to deliver on reforms to sustain strong economic growth. The Supreme Court this month declared partly illegal a 145 billion pesos ($3.34 billion) economic stimulus fund that Aquino created in 2011 from budget savings, sparking a storm of controversy that has distracted the government from its work. "If this leads to a slowdown in spending, the risk to growth is on the downside," Shanaka Jayanath Peiris, International Monetary Fund resident representative in the Philippines, said on Friday. Henry Schumacher, vice president at the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, said any more delays to much-needed infrastructure would be a "disaster".


Fighting intensifies near MH17 disaster site

Ukrainian Ministry Emergency officer, left, Donetsk People's Republic fighter, 2nd left, and members of the OSCE mission in Ukraine examine a map as they discuss the situation around the site of the crashed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in the city of Donetsk, eastern Ukraine Sunday, July 27, 2014. A team of international police officers that had been due to visit the site of the Malaysian plane disaster in eastern Ukraine cancelled the trip Sunday after receiving reports of fighting in the area. Alexander Hug, the deputy head of a monitoring team from the OSCE in Europe, said it would be too dangerous for the unarmed mission to travel to the site from its current location in the rebel-held city of Donetsk. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky) DONETSK, Ukraine (AP) — Ukrainian armed forces mounted a major onslaught against pro-Russian separatist fighters Sunday in an attempt to gain control over the area where a Malaysia Airlines plane was downed earlier this month.


Peace before economy for Russia sanctions, German Fin Min tells paper

Germans must put peace before economic considerations and accept tougher sanctions against Russia if necessary, Germany's finance minister told the Bild am Sonntag newspaper on Sunday. The European Union reached an outline agreement on Friday to impose the first economic sanctions on Moscow since the downing of a Malaysian airliner and the deaths of 298 people onboard in an area of eastern Ukraine held by Russian-backed separatists. Germany, Europe's biggest economy, sold about 36 billion euros of goods to Russia last year, almost one-third of the EU's total.

No meeting scheduled on Monday between Argentina and court mediator

Argentina's Finance Secretary Pablo Lopez arrives for debt negotiation talks with court-appointed mediator Daniel Pollack in New York Argentina does not have a meeting scheduled for Monday with a court-appointed mediator in New York in its debt dispute with creditors but talks continue, a government source said on Sunday, as the country looks to avoid a possible debt default next Thursday. Argentina, Latin America's third-largest economy, has for years fought the "holdout" hedge funds which snapped up its junk bonds after its $100 billion default in 2002 and then refused the restructuring terms, suing for repayment in full. Argentina's delegation headed home to seek instruction from the government after it failed to reach a breakthrough on Friday with the U.S. court-appointed mediator Daniel Pollack, in talks that lasted just an hour. Last week, U.S. District Judge Thomas Griesa ordered Argentina and holdout creditors who have rejected its debt restructurings to meet continuously with Pollack to try to reach a deal and avoid the country's second default in 12 years.


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