Top Business Stories
Activity in China's services industry ticked up in February from a 2-1/2-year low the previous month, a private survey showed on Wednesday, confirming other data showing a pick-up in services even as manufacturing activity slows. "February data signalled stronger expansions of business activity and new work at Chinese service-sector firms," HSBC/Markit said in a statement. The data came as Premier Li Keqiang told China's annual parliament session that expanding domestic demand will be a major economic driver and an important structural adjustment as the country pushes ahead with reforms to promote consumer-led growth. The PMI found that service-sector firms remained optimistic in February, generally expecting business activity to be higher than current levels in one year.
Yahoo Inc will stop letting consumers access its various online services, including Fantasy Sports and photo-sharing site Flickr, by signing-in with their Facebook Inc or Google Inc credentials. The change, which will be rolled out gradually according to a Yahoo spokeswoman, will require users to register for a Yahoo ID in order to use any of the Internet portal's services. The move marks the latest change to Yahoo by Chief Executive Marissa Mayer, who is striving to spark fresh interest in the company's Web products and to revive its stagnant revenue. "Yahoo is continually working on improving the user experience," the company said in a statement, noting that the new process "will allow us to offer the best personalized experience to everyone".
An American lawyer used "corrupt means" to secure a multi-billion-dollar pollution judgment against Chevron Corp in Ecuador, a U.S. judge ruled on Tuesday, a major setback for Ecuadorean villagers hoping to collect on the award. U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan in New York said he found "clear and convincing evidence" that attorney Steven Donziger's legal team used bribery, fraud and extortion in pursuit of an $18 billion judgment against the oil company issued in 2011. The villagers had said Texaco, later acquired by Chevron, contaminated an oil field in northeastern Ecuador between 1964 and 1992. Ecuador's high court cut the judgment to $9.5 billion last year.
U.S. stocks rallied on Tuesday, with the S&P 500 closing at a record as concerns about a confrontation between Russia and Ukraine eased, and the market recovered more than all of the previous session's hefty losses. President Vladimir Putin delivered a robust defense of Russia's actions in Crimea on Tuesday, saying he would use force in Ukraine only as a last resort. The day's gains followed Wall Street's worst day in a month, when investors sold stocks and other risky assets as tensions escalated between Ukraine and Russia.
President Barack Obama proposed new tax credits and job-training programs for U.S. workers on Tuesday in a 2015 budget that drew instant condemnation from Republicans, who dismissed the document as an election-year campaign pitch. The proposal has almost no chance of passage in Congress, where Republicans control the House of Representatives, but it lays out Obama's policy priorities ahead of November congressional elections. "Our budget is about choices, it's about our values," Obama told reporters during a visit to an elementary school. While working within the overall cap of $1.014 trillion for discretionary spending that Congress set for 2015, the president proposed $56 billion in additional spending for education, welfare and defense programs, paid for in part by ending a tax break for wealthy retirees.
By Jeff Mason, Mark Felsenthal and David Lawder WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama proposed new tax credits and job-training programs for U.S. workers on Tuesday in a 2015 budget that drew instant condemnation from Republicans, who dismissed the document as an election-year campaign pitch. The $3.9 trillion blueprint for the fiscal year that begins on October 1 also would boost spending on roads and bridges and expand early-childhood education while paying for some of the additional spending by scaling back tax breaks for wealthier Americans. ...