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James Packer: Australia tycoon quits boards citing mental health

James Packer retreats from business life after a tumultuous period that affected him psychologically.

DRC's Kabila Gives No Clues of His Future Plans

The president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Joseph Kabila, said Thursday that there would be a presidential election on Decenber 23, but did not say what his political plans were. Kabila told the nation in a televised speech that he “unequivocally respects the constitution.” But the opposition says it fears he may try to hold on to power. Kabila’s two-term limit as an elected leader ended in 2016. But violence, armed militias and problems organizing a new vote have twice… Read Full Article

Argentina rocker Cristian Pity Álvarez accused of murder

The musician known for playing in bands Viejas Locas and Intoxicados says he acted in self-defence.

US Seen Receiving Frosty Reception at G-20 Meeting

The financial leaders of the world's 20 biggest economies meet in Buenos Aires this weekend for the first time since long-simmering trade tensions burst into the open when China and the United States put tariffs on $34 billion of each other's goods. The United States will seek to persuade Japan and the European Union to join it in taking a more aggressive stance against Chinese trade practices at the G-20 meeting of finance ministers and central bank presidents, according to a senior U.S.… Read Full Article

Trump Appeals Court Nominee Yanked Over Racially Insensitive Writings

U.S. Senate Republican leaders on Thursday pulled the plug on one of President Donald Trump's judicial nominees over racially insensitive articles he wrote as a college student, marking the first time a Trump appeals court pick was not confirmed. The Republican-led Senate had been poised to vote on whether to confirm Ryan Bounds, a federal prosecutor, to sit on the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals when Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that the nomination would be… Read Full Article

Amid Growing Anger over Ortega, Nicaragua Marks Sandinista Revolution

Nicaraguans mark the anniversary of the Sandinista revolution on Thursday despite months of bloody repression of protesters opposed to President Daniel Ortega, with critics increasingly comparing the former rebel to the dictator overthrown in 1979. International condemnation against Ortega has grown sharply in the past week over his deployment of police and allied paramilitary forces to squash the unrest, which has led to nearly 300 deaths and many more injured since the protests began three… Read Full Article

UK's New Brexit Envoy Optimistic as EU Warns of Brexit Crash

London's new Brexit minister said he was confident he could reach a deal, on his first trip to Brussels on Thursday as the EU warned business to get ready for Britain crashing out of the bloc without agreed terms to cushion the economic disruption. Brexit campaigner Dominic Raab, appointed to the government last week after his predecessor quit over Prime Minister Theresa May's proposals to stay close to EU trading rules, said Britain was ramping up preparations for a "no deal" but focused… Read Full Article

Southern Iraq's Woes to Continue, Renewed Protests Possible

Iraq's government may have muddled its way through violent street protests in the country's oil-rich south with promises of jobs and better services, but the root causes of this month's unrest remain almost intact and it could be just a matter of time before popular discontent boils over again. In its bid to end the protests, Iraqi authorities have deployed security forces backed by armor and arrested hundreds of protesters in the southern city of Basra, the epicenter of the weeklong… Read Full Article

Turmoil Slows Rebuilding of Puerto Rico's Power Grid

Ten months after Hurricane Maria destroyed Puerto Rico's electric grid, the local agency responsible for rebuilding it is in chaos and more than $1 billion in federal funds meant to strengthen the rickety system has gone unspent, according to contractors and U.S. officials who are anxious to make progress before the next hurricane. The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority has seen two chief executive officers and four board members resign in less than a week in a messy fight over how much the… Read Full Article

US Weekly Jobless Claims Hit Lowest Point Since Late '69

The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits dropped last week to its lowest point in more than 48 years as the labor market strengthens further, but trade tensions are casting a shadow over the economy's outlook. Other data on Thursday showed manufacturing activity in the mid-Atlantic region accelerated in July amid a surge in orders received by factories. But the Philadelphia Federal Reserve survey also showed manufacturers paying more for inputs and less upbeat about business… Read Full Article