Economy Government and Policy

  • US consumer spending edges up 0.1 percent in Febru … Associated Press - 1 hour 26 minutes ago
    FILE - In this Friday, Jan. 23, 2015, file photo, vehicles form a line behind a motorist gassing up at a gas station in Newark, N.J. The Commerce Department releases its February report on consumer spending, which accounts for 70 percent of economic activity, on Monday, March 30, 2015. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)

    WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. consumers spent just slightly more in February even though their income rose by a healthy amount. But economists hope bigger paychecks will give spending a bigger boost in the coming months.

  • Final curtain for 'Downton Abbey' after Season … Reuters - Fri, Mar 27, 2015 6:18 AM SGT
    Actress Penelope Wilton of the ITV series "Downton Abbey" accepts the award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series at the 21st annual Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles

    By Michael Roddy LONDON (Reuters) - The hugely successful British period drama "Downton Abbey" will wind up after the sixth season, its executive producer said on Thursday, but a possible movie version cannot be ruled out. "There's so many different explanations" for the decision, Gareth Neame said in a conference call …

  • Thais smile through gritted teeth for China's  … Reuters - Thu, Mar 26, 2015 3:19 PM SGT
    Chinese tourists pose for photos as they visit Wat Phra Kaeo (Emerald Buddha Temple) in Bangkok

    Public outrage forced the Thai government to issue thousands of Chinese-language etiquette manuals last month in an effort to ensure sightseers behave themselves. Feathers were ruffled anew in March when a Thai model posted a video on Facebook accusing Chinese tourists of jumping the queue at an airport, prompting heated …

  • Britain's Prince Charles attends a reception for him and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, in Washington

    Britain's Supreme Court will rule on Thursday whether "particularly frank" letters sent by Prince Charles to ministers should be published, a step that could leave the heir to the throne vulnerable to accusations of political meddling. The Guardian newspaper has sought for a decade to obtain 27 letters written in 2004-2005 …

  • England's Richard III, the 'villainous' … Reuters - Thu, Mar 26, 2015 8:11 AM SGT
    A crown sits on the coffin of King Richard III as it stands in Leicester Cathedral

    By Michael Holden LONDON (Reuters) - Richard III, the last English king to die in battle and the country's most maligned monarch, will be re-buried on Thursday three years after his remains were found under a car park. Depicted by Shakespeare as a sadistic, crafty hunchback, Richard will be re-interred at Leicester Cathedral …

  • US durable goods orders stumbled in February Associated Press - Thu, Mar 26, 2015 2:53 AM SGT
    In this March 13, 2015 photo, a worker inspects a new 2015 aluminum-alloy body Ford F-150 truck at the company's Kansas City Assembly Plant, in Claycomo, Mo. The Commerce Department releases its February report on durable goods on Wednesday, March 25, 2015. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Orders to U.S. factories for long-lasting manufactured goods fell in February, the latest installment of disappointing data this quarter that suggests the economy has hit a soft patch.

  • A Minute With: Naomi Watts on comedies and 'While … Reuters - Thu, Mar 26, 2015 1:41 AM SGT
    Actress Naomi Watts shows off her Bulgari earrings at the 87th Academy Awards in Hollywood, California

    By Alicia Avila LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - After a slew of dramas including "The Impossible" and "Diana," actress Naomi Watts said she was looking for something that would "feel lighter." Watts, 46, found herself drawn to comedies such as Noah Baumbach's "While We're Young," a look at the disconnect between Generation X …

  • Christie's aims for auction record book with $140 … Reuters - Thu, Mar 26, 2015 1:38 AM SGT

    By Chris Michaud NEW YORK (Reuters) - Records look set to tumble at the big spring art auctions with Christie's' announcement on Wednesday of a Picasso oil poised to set the mark for the most expensive work of art in auction history. "Les femmes d'Alger (Version “O”)," a vibrant cubist work last auctioned in 1997 when …

  • Malik quits 'One Direction', says wants normal … Reuters - Thu, Mar 26, 2015 1:36 AM SGT
    Malik performs with his band "One Direction" on NBC's Today show in New York

    By Michael Roddy LONDON (Reuters) - Singer Zayn Malik said on Wednesday he was quitting the best-selling pop band One Direction because he wanted to live a normal life and apologised to fans of the hugely popular British-Irish group for doing so. The decision by Malik to quit came after he dropped out of an Asian tour …

  • Nude sculptures of ancient Greeks dazzle in British … Reuters - Thu, Mar 26, 2015 1:35 AM SGT

    By Alistair Smout LONDON (Reuters) - The nude sculptures of the ancient Greeks depict what they believed to be the perfect human form, and the results still dazzle and move us thousands of years on, as the British Museum's latest exhibition demonstrates. "Defining Beauty" is a stunning array of sculptures and ceramics …

  • BBC drops "Top Gear" presenter Clarkson over … Reuters - Thu, Mar 26, 2015 12:47 AM SGT
    ‘Top Gear’ Host Jeremy Clarkson Fired by BBC For Assaulting Producer

    By Estelle Shirbon LONDON (Reuters) - The BBC on Wednesday dropped British "Top Gear" motoring show presenter Jeremy Clarkson, who built a global fan base while repeatedly causing offence with strongly worded views, after finding he had physically attacked a producer. The fate of Clarkson, 54, had been the subject of …

  • Chinese artist Ai Weiwei and U.S. singer Joan Baez … Reuters - Wed, Mar 25, 2015 12:02 PM SGT
    Dissedent Chinese artist Ai Weiwei looks up during a group interview at his studio in Beijing

    Amnesty International has given its top 2015 human rights award to both Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei, a fierce critic of Beijing who has been banned from leaving China after an 81-day detention in 2011, and U.S. folksinger Joan Baez. The Ambassador of Conscience Award recognises "those who have shown exceptional …

  • Higher gas costs lift US consumer prices after 3 d … Associated Press - Wed, Mar 25, 2015 12:11 AM SGT
    FILE - In this Jan. 23, 2015 file photo, a motorist refuels his vehicle at a Westar gas station in Miami. A slight rise in gas costs and broad increases in other categories lifted consumer prices in February, the Labor Department said Tuesday, March 24, 2015, a welcome sign after three straight months of declines that had pointed to excessively low inflation. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File)

    WASHINGTON (AP) — A slight rise in gas costs and broad increases in other categories lifted consumer prices in February, a welcome sign after three straight months of declines that had pointed to excessively low inflation.

  • US new-home sales surge in February Associated Press - Tue, Mar 24, 2015 10:43 PM SGT
    This Jan. 8, 2015 photo shows a sign advertising lots for new homes for sale in Richmond, Va. The Commerce Department releases new home sales for February on Tuesday, March 24, 2015.  (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Sales of new U.S. homes in February climbed to their fastest pace in seven years, as an otherwise dormant housing market showed fresh signs of life.

  • Man Booker releases names of 2015 international fiction … Reuters - Tue, Mar 24, 2015 7:46 PM SGT
    Indian author Ghosh speaks during interview with Reuters in New Delhi

    Ten writers, including a first-time entry from the tiny French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe, have been nominated as finalists for the 2015 Man Booker International prize for fiction writing. "This is a most interesting and enlightening list of finalists. It brings attention to writers from far and wide, so many of whom …

  • Tom Hanks, Mila Kunis help James Corden take over "Late … Reuters - Tue, Mar 24, 2015 2:30 PM SGT
    Host James Corden arrives for Glamour Magazine's annual Women of the Year award ceremony in New York

    By Chris Michaud NEW YORK (Reuters) - Award-winning British actor James Corden settled in to his new late-night gig on U.S. television on Monday, welcoming stars Tom Hanks and Mila Kunis to his first show as host of CBS' "The Late Late Show." Corden, not widely known in the United States before he landed the high-profile …

  • Sharma wins Folio prize, says wishes someone else wrote … Reuters - Tue, Mar 24, 2015 11:28 AM SGT

    By Ahmed Aboulenein LONDON (Reuters) - It took him 13 years to write and publish it, or as he puts it, "my 30s", but U.S. author Akhil Sharma won the second annual Folio literary prize and 40,000 pounds ($59,752) on Monday for his novel "Family Life". Sharma, 43, was selected from a shortlist of eight authors for the …

  • White Othello speaks Sicilian dialect in Rome prod … Reuters - Mon, Mar 23, 2015 8:37 PM SGT

    By Isla Binnie ROME (Reuters) - Actor and director Luigi Lo Cascio says he "stripped the flesh" from Shakespeare's great tragedy Othello for his new version, with a pared-down cast and a white-skinned Moor speaking Sicilian dialect. The production dispenses with sailors, officers, attendants, family members and the young …

  • Big box gyms may be fitter, when it comes to muscling … Reuters - Mon, Mar 23, 2015 8:34 PM SGT
    Clients work out on machines at the Bally Total Fitness facility in Arvada

    By Dorene Internicola NEW YORK (Reuters) - Cut-rate clubs and small studios catering to niche tastes from barre classes to yoga have crowded the U.S. fitness landscape, but big box gyms that can keep up with rapidly changing trends may be in a better position to flex their muscles in the future. A brightening economy, …

  • U.S. rapper Kendrick Lamar scores UK album number  … Reuters - Mon, Mar 23, 2015 11:41 AM SGT
    Hip hop recording artist Kendrick Lamar stands backstage during the iHeartRadio Music Awards in Los Angeles

    U.S. rapper Kendrick Lamar scored his first British number one album on Sunday when his "To Pimp A Butterfly" knocked Sam Smith's "In the Lonely Hours" off the top spot in its first week of release, the Official Charts Company said on Sunday. Lamar's follow-up to his 2012 debut had already broken global records for music …

  • Britain's top court to rule on Prince Charles' … Reuters - Fri, Mar 20, 2015 11:37 PM SGT
    Prince Charles visits a classroom the Carlos Rosario International Public Charter School in Washington

    By Michael Holden LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's top court will rule next week whether "frank" letters sent by Prince Charles to government ministers should be made public, potentially embarrassing the heir-to-the-throne and raising the contentious issue of royal interference in politics. For years, the Guardian newspaper …

  • Photos without a camera? Exhibition shows it's … Reuters - Fri, Mar 20, 2015 7:44 PM SGT

    By Nigel Stephenson ST IVES, England (Reuters) - The English seaside town of St Ives has long attracted leading modern artists and a new exhibition there looks at how modernist photographers from across the globe developed new ways of seeing a rapidly changing world. The Modern Lens, at Tate St Ives until May 10, includes …

  • Britain's Prince Charles meets Obama on U.S. goodwill … Reuters - Fri, Mar 20, 2015 6:47 AM SGT
    U.S. President Barack Obama (R) meets with Britain's Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, and his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington

    Britain's Prince Charles and his wife Camilla met with President Barack Obama at the White House on Thursday as part of a goodwill tour of the United States. Obama and the Prince of Wales chatted amiably in front of reporters and television cameras while the Duchess of Cornwall sat smiling on a couch nearby. "I think …

  • One Direction's Malik takes tour break due to  … Reuters - Fri, Mar 20, 2015 2:58 AM SGT
    Malik performs with his band, "One Direction" on NBC's Today show in New York

    (Reuters) - One Direction singer Zayn Malik has dropped out of the pop band's On the Road Again tour in Asia due to "stress", his publicist said on Thursday, after pictures were posted of the engaged Malik partying with a holidaymaker in Thailand. "Zayn has been signed off with stress and is flying back to the UK to recuperate. …

  • 'Game of Thrones' stars storm Tower of Lon … Reuters - Thu, Mar 19, 2015 8:21 PM SGT
    Harrington arrives for the world premiere of the television fantasy drama "Game of Thrones" series 5, at The Tower of London

    Medieval fantasy "Game of Thrones" met some medieval reality on Wednesday at the Tower of London where stars from the hit HBO television show walked a red carpeted moat for the premiere of the fifth season. The buzz around the 11th century building, one of the oldest in London, centered on how far season five would stray …

  • 'Lost' Ruskin Venice photos offer insight into … Reuters - Thu, Mar 19, 2015 8:12 AM SGT
    Daguerreotype photograph circa 1845 shows The Grand Canal and the Casa d'Oro under restoration in Venice

    By Michael Roddy LONDON (Reuters) - Early daguerreotype photos of Venice that were auctioned off as an odd lot belonged to John Ruskin and provide new insight into the Victorian art critic's work, the authors of a book about the images said on Thursday. The Venice scenes, taken around 1850 and purchased at an auction …

  • Britain's Prince Charles, Camilla wow other tourists … Reuters - Thu, Mar 19, 2015 5:48 AM SGT
    Britain's Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, and his wife Camilla ascend the steps of the Lincoln Memorial with a U.S. Park Service ranger and Goodwin and Beschloss, in Washington

    Britain's Prince Charles wowed tourists, viewed monuments, addressed ocean pollution and got special gifts from the National Archives on Wednesday during his U.S. goodwill visit with his wife Camilla. The four-day visit by the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall aims to boost British-American partnership in such …

  • Bassist Andy Fraser, who co-wrote "All Right Now", … Reuters - Wed, Mar 18, 2015 7:56 PM SGT

    (Reuters) - Andy Fraser, the bass player who co-wrote and played on the 1970 rock hit "All Right Now" by the band Free, has died in California at the age of 62, a coroner's report said. The coroner's report, saying Fraser died in Temecula on Monday, listed the cause of death as unknown, pending investigation, but Fraser …

  • As Fed weighs a rate hike, US economy is looking a … Associated Press - Wed, Mar 18, 2015 3:04 AM SGT
    In this Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015 photo, carpenter Ted Jaffe cuts a piece of baseboard at a new construction home in Pepper Pike, Ohio. The Commerce Department reports on U.S. home construction in February on Tuesday, March 17, 2015. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Just as the Federal Reserve seems to be inching toward an interest rate hike because of the strengthening U.S. job market, its task is getting more complicated:

  • World Chefs: Former Disney music man Morales brings … Reuters - Tue, Mar 17, 2015 1:04 PM SGT

    By Matilda Egere-Cooper LONDON (Reuters) - Five years ago, Martin Morales quit his job as the head of Disney Music and took on a self-assigned mission: championing the arts, culture and food of Peru. The 42-year-old opened his first restaurant, Ceviche, in 2012 and a second, Andina, a year later. Morales spoke to Reuters …

  • Fashion duo Dolce and Gabbana attacked for "synthetic" … Reuters - Tue, Mar 17, 2015 1:06 AM SGT
    Italian designers Stefano Gabbana stands next to Domenico Dolce as they talk to the media during a party in Shanghai

    By Angus MacSwan LONDON (Reuters) - Outraged celebrities tore into Italian fashion designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana on Monday after Dolce described children born to gay couples through fertility treatment as "synthetic". Victoria Beckham, a former Dolce and Gabbana ambassador, offered John sympathy on Monday, …

  • France likely to pass bill banning super-skinny mo … Reuters - Mon, Mar 16, 2015 11:53 PM SGT

    France's government is likely to back a bill banning excessively thin fashion models as well as potentially fining the modelling agency or fashion house that hires them and sending the agents to jail, the health minister said on Monday. Style-conscious France, with its fashion and luxury industries worth tens of billions …

  • Factory output falls for third straight month in F … Associated Press - Mon, Mar 16, 2015 10:55 PM SGT
    FILE - In this Dec. 12, 2014 file photo, a worker prepares vehicle assembly parts for shipping to Nissan Motors' nearby assembly plant, at the automaker's 1.5-million-square-foot integrated logistics center in Canton, Miss. The Federal Reserve releases industrial production figures for February 2015 on Monday, March 16, 2015. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Output at U.S. factories fell for a third straight month in February, driven by a big drop in production at auto plants.

  • Sam Smith achieves UK music charts double Reuters - Mon, Mar 16, 2015 11:13 AM SGT
    Singer Sam Smith arrives for the BRIT music awards at the O2 Arena in Greenwich, London

    British singer-songwriter Sam Smith secured a UK music charts double on Sunday, topping both the singles and album chart simultaneously, the Official Charts Company said. Smith's collaboration with John Legend, "Lay Me Down", in aid of charity Comic Relief, debuted at number one in the singles chart, his fourth chart-topping …

  • At Waterloo, a tale of two hats Reuters - Sat, Mar 14, 2015 3:37 AM SGT
    Transport staff members prepare to pack the two-cornered hat worn by French Emperor Napoleon during the Battle of Waterloo at the Museum of Sens

    By Miranda Alexander-Webber WATERLOO, Belgium (Reuters) - Battle-worn old enemies sat side by side at Waterloo in a display of historic British-French reconciliation 200 years after their epic showdown -- or at least their hats did. Napoleon's instantly recognisable black felt bicorn has returned on a bicentennial loan …

  • Rate decision shows division at top of RBI Reuters - Sat, Mar 14, 2015 2:07 AM SGT
    The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Raghuram Rajan listens to a question during a news conference, after the bi-monthly monetary policy review, in Mumbai

    By Neha Dasgupta and Suvashree Choudhury MUMBAI (Reuters) - Some top officials in the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) say they were surprised by Governor Raghuram Rajan's decision to cut rates last week, a rare sign of divisions that could become much more public as the bank overhauls its decision processes in a way that will …

  • US wholesale prices down for fourth straight month Associated Press - Fri, Mar 13, 2015 9:03 PM SGT
    In this photo made on Thursday, Feb. 12, 2015, a man welds parts in fans for industrial ventilation systems at the Robinson Fans Inc. plant in Harmony, Pa. The Labor Department releases the Producer Price Index on Friday, March 13, 2015. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Wholesale prices fell for a fourth straight month in February as a decline in food prices offset an increase in gasoline prices.

  • Art and politics collide on fringes of Hong Kong art … Reuters - Fri, Mar 13, 2015 7:37 PM SGT

    By Tara Joseph HONG KONG (Reuters) - Three months after police quashed the last of Hong Kong's massive pro-democracy street protests, its artists are keeping the movement alive with displays of edgy, protest artwork on the fringes of Asia's leading contemporary art fair. A spate of events around Art Basel Hong Kong will …

  • Experts call for a tobacco-free world by 2040 Reuters - Fri, Mar 13, 2015 8:09 AM SGT

    A world virtually free of tobacco and its devastating health consequences could be a reality within 30 years if governments showed political will and took stronger action against cigarette companies, health experts said on Friday. The international group of public health and policy specialists, writing in The Lancet medical …

  • Disney feeds 'Frozen' frenzy with news of  … Reuters - Fri, Mar 13, 2015 3:59 AM SGT
    A girl looks at items from Disney's Frozen toy line at the Toys R Us store in Times Square in New York

    By Lisa Richwine LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The Walt Disney Co has started work on a sequel to "Frozen," the best-selling animated movie of all time and a global merchandising phenomenon that helped push the media giant to record profits. Directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee are returning for the sequel, Disney said on …

  • Terry Pratchett, author of fantasy 'Discworld' … Reuters - Fri, Mar 13, 2015 3:46 AM SGT
    File photograph of British author Pratchett posing before delivering a petition on the behalf of the Alzheimer's Research Trust to 10 Downing Street in London

    By Estelle Shirbon LONDON (Reuters) - Terry Pratchett, the British author whose fantasy novels sold in their tens of millions worldwide, has died of a rare form of Alzheimer's disease aged 66, his publisher said on Thursday. News about the death of Pratchett - who campaigned during his final illness for legalising assisted …

  • Déjà vu? Winter chills US economy, but slowdown should … Associated Press - Fri, Mar 13, 2015 3:35 AM SGT
    In this Thursday, Feb. 19, 2015 photo, a shopper carries JCPenney shopping bags, in New York. The Commerce Department releases retail sales data for February on Thursday, March 12, 2015. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

    WASHINGTON (AP) — For a second year, harsh winter weather has kept Americans away from shopping centers, slowed home sales and weighed on U.S. economic growth.

  • Python's Jones slams finance in 'Boom Bust … Reuters - Fri, Mar 13, 2015 3:14 AM SGT
    File photo of the surviving members of the original cast of the Monty Python comedy team Palin, Idle, Jones, Gilliam and Cleese, pose for photographers at a photocall in central London

    By Farah Nayeri LONDON (Reuters) - Terry Jones, a founding member of the Monty Python comedy team, targets the global financial system in a provocative new documentary and warns of more meltdowns if the system isn't fixed soon. Jones, co-writer and co-director of "Boom Bust Boom," uses puppetry and animation to get the …

  • London fashions a show in memory of designer Alexander … Reuters - Fri, Mar 13, 2015 3:14 AM SGT
    A dress from the Alexander McQueen Eshu, autumn/winter 2000-2001 collection is diplayed in the Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty exhibition at the V&A in London

    By Li-mei Hoang LONDON (Reuters) - A butterfly headdress, feathered gowns and garments crafted from horns, hair and seashells went on display in London this week in a exhibition celebrating the work of the late British fashion designer Alexander McQueen. McQueen was famous for his daring creations and avant-garde fashion …

  • US business stockpiles frozen in January Associated Press - Thu, Mar 12, 2015 10:21 PM SGT
    FILE-  In this May 17, 2014 photo, a shopper checks out with her lumber at a Home Depot in Boston. U.S. businesses did not add to their stockpiles for a second straight month in January 2015 as total business sales fell by the largest amount in nearly six years, the Commerce Department reported Thursday, March 12, 2015. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)

    WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. businesses did not add to their stockpiles for a second straight month in January as total business sales fell by the largest amount in nearly six years.

  • Book Talk: Jemimah Steinfeld offers peek into Chinese … Reuters - Thu, Mar 12, 2015 1:20 PM SGT
    A young couple embraces in the People Square in Shanghai

    By Michael Gold TAIPEI (Reuters) - A British journalist's book on her China experience is packed with the pillow talk of the young middle class in a country where social values have not kept pace with economic growth. The lifestyles of the colourful characters populating "Little Emperors and Material Girls: Sex and Youth …

  • Global art market reaches 51 billion euros in 2014 Reuters - Thu, Mar 12, 2015 1:46 AM SGT

    The global art market surpassed its pre-recession peak to reach 51 billion euros ($53.93 billion) in 2014, according to a report by the European Fine Art Foundation, with the market helped by growing numbers of high net-worth individuals. The Maastricht, Netherlands-based foundation, which puts on the annual European Fine …

  • Global fans demand BBC reinstate "Top Gear" … Reuters - Thu, Mar 12, 2015 12:52 AM SGT
    Television presenter Jeremy Clarkson leaves an address in London

    By Michael Holden LONDON (Reuters) - Nearly 450,000 fans from around the world have backed a petition calling for British presenter Jeremy Clarkson to be reinstated to his job hosting the "Top Gear" motoring show after the BBC suspended him following a "fracas" with a producer. Clarkson, renowned for his outspoken remarks …

  • Tribeca Film Festival marks 40th anniversary of Monty … Reuters - Wed, Mar 11, 2015 11:25 PM SGT

    A new documentary about Monty Python will premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York and members of the British comedy troupe will attend a special screening of the film "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" to mark its 40th anniversary. The feature-length documentary, "Monty Python - The Meaning of Live," will debut …

  • Advocate of disabled wins $1.7 million Templeton Prize … Reuters - Wed, Mar 11, 2015 8:49 PM SGT

    By Tom Heneghan TROSLY-BREUIL, France (Reuters) - Jean Vanier, a Canadian who launched an international network of communities for the mentally disabled, has won the 2015 Templeton Prize worth $1.7 million for affirming life's spiritual dimension. The U.S.-based John Templeton Foundation announced the award on Wednesday …

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