UPDATED: Dozens killed or wounded in Russian missile strike in Ukraine

UPDATED: Dozens killed or wounded in Russian missile strike in Ukraine

ZAPORIZHZHIA, Ukraine, Sept 30 (Reuters) - Dozens of civilians were killed or wounded in what Kyiv said was a cynical Russian missile strike on a convoy of civilian cars in southern Ukraine on Friday, leaving bodies strewn across the ground. The convoy had been assembling at a car market on the edge of the city of Zaporizhzhia, preparing to leave Ukrainian territory controlled by Kyiv to visit relatives and deliver supplies in an area occupied by Russia, officials said. Car windows were blown out by the impact of the missile strike, and their sides were sprayed by shrapnel, a Reuters…
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Euro zone unemployment unchanged at record low of 6.6%

Euro zone unemployment unchanged at record low of 6.6%

BRUSSELS, Sept 30 (Reuters) - Euro zone unemployment was unchanged at a record low of 6.6% of the workforce in August, the European Union's statistics office Eurostat said on Friday, matching expectations of economists polled by Reuters. Eurostat said that in absolute terms, the number of people without jobs in the 19 countries sharing the euro fell further to 10.966 million in August from 10.996 million in July. The figure was 1.358 million lower than in August 2021, when the unemployment rate was 7.5%. For Eurostat release, click HERE TABLE-Euro zone unemployment data for August The European Union's statistics office…
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Russian spy chief: we have evidence West involved in ‘sabotage’ of Nord Stream pipelines

Russian spy chief: we have evidence West involved in ‘sabotage’ of Nord Stream pipelines

Sept 30 (Reuters) - Russia's top spy said on Friday that Moscow had materials which indicated the West had a role in ruptures to the undersea Nord Stream pipelines that have threatened to put them permanently out of use, Russian news agencies reported. "We have materials that point to a Western trace in the organisation and implementation of these terrorist acts," the Interfax news agency quoted Sergei Naryshkin, head of Russia's foreign intelligence service, as saying on Friday. Naryshkin's remarks are the most direct accusation against the West from a senior Russian official. He did not say what evidence Russia…
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UPDATED: EU countries approve energy windfall levies, turn to gas price cap

UPDATED: EU countries approve energy windfall levies, turn to gas price cap

BRUSSELS, Sept 30 (Reuters) - European Union countries agreed on Friday to impose emergency levies on energy firms' windfall profits, and began talks on their next move to tackle Europe's energy crunch - possibly a bloc-wide gas price cap. Ministers from the 27 EU member countries met in Brussels on Friday, where they approved measures proposed earlier this month to contain an energy price surge that is stoking record-high inflation and threatening a recession. The package includes a levy on fossil fuel companies' surplus profits made this year or next, another levy on excess revenues low-cost power producers make from…
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Euro zone inflation hits record high 10%, raising pressure on ECB

Euro zone inflation hits record high 10%, raising pressure on ECB

FRANKFURT, Sept 30 (Reuters) - Euro zone inflation zoomed past forecasts to hit a fresh record high this month, reinforcing expectations for another jumbo interest rate hike from the European Central Bank in October. Price growth in the 19 countries sharing the euro accelerated to 10.0% in September from 9.1% a month earlier, data from Eurostat showed on Friday, beating expectations for a reading of 9.7%. Figures a day earlier had shown inflation in Germany, the bloc's biggest economy, jumping to its highest rate since the time of the Korean War 70 years ago. Inflation was still driven mainly by…
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GO With First Ever Library of Maltese TV Content

GO With First Ever Library of Maltese TV Content

Today marks the official launch of GO’s new Maltese television channel TOKIS, the first ever library of local television content, which to date already features over 1000 hours of Maltese drama productions, available to all GO TV customers. GO TOKIS starts transmitting officially this evening at 20.45hrs. “To date, we have already registered over 1.7 million views of the existing content since this started airing as video on demand on GO’s TV platform,” announced Antonio Ivankovic, Chief Commercial Officer of GO. Describing the official launch of TOKIS as a significant milestone in the evolution of Malta’s television history, Mr Ivankovic…
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Photo Story: Fatal bridge collapse in the Brazilian Amazon

Photo Story: Fatal bridge collapse in the Brazilian Amazon

A picture taken with a drone of the collapse of a bridge in the municipality of Careiro Da Varzea, Brazil. At least three people died on 27 September and 14 more were injured when a bridge collapsed over a river in the Brazilian Amazon, official sources reported. Three vehicles fell into the river when the bridge collapsed, where the passage of heavy vehicles had been prohibited this 26 September, due to the precarious conditions of its structure. Photo: EPA-EFE/Raphael Alves
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Romanian education minister resigns after plagiarism accusations

Romanian education minister resigns after plagiarism accusations

BUCHAREST, Sept 30 (Reuters) - Romanian Education Minister Sorin Cimpeanu resigned under public pressure late on Thursday after allegations he plagiarised a university course he had taught. He has denied the allegations and said he took over the course with the consent of its other authors. Plagiarism is widespread in the European Union state among lawmakers, former cabinet ministers and magistrates, eroding trust in public institutions. Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca has himself been accused of plagiarising parts of his doctoral thesis on military science, allegations he denies. An investigation by news website PressOne alleged Cimpeanu, a former university rector who…
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German economy minister: energy situation ‘extremely tense’

German economy minister: energy situation ‘extremely tense’

BERLIN, Sept 30 (Reuters) - Germany is in an "extremely tense situation" with regards to energy supply, Economy Minister Robert Habeck said on Friday, a day after the government set out a "defensive shield" to protect Germans from the impact of soaring energy prices. "We are still in this emergency. If we don't save, if households don't reduce consumption, we still risk not having enough gas in the winter," he told Deutschlandfunk radio. Despite the government's 200 billion euro ($196.4 billion) "defensive shield", Habeck added: "We are not going to subsidise the price of gas down to what it was…
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US army doctor and wife charged with spying for Russia

US army doctor and wife charged with spying for Russia

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A former U.S. Army major and his anesthesiologist wife have been criminally charged for allegedly plotting to leak highly sensitive healthcare data about military patients to Russia, the Justice Department revealed. Jamie Lee Henry, the former major who was also a doctor at Fort Bragg in North Carolina, and his wife, Dr. Anna Gabrielian, were charged in an unsealed indictment in federal court in Maryland with conspiracy and wrongful disclosure of individually identifiable health information about patients at the Army base. Although the indictment identifies Henry with the pronouns "he" and Henry used male pronouns during an…
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Lula and Bolsonaro trade barbs over corruption in Brazil election debate

Lula and Bolsonaro trade barbs over corruption in Brazil election debate

RIO DE JANEIRO, Sept 29 (Reuters) - Brazil's leading presidential candidates traded accusations of corruption in the last debate before Sunday's election, with little discussion of proposals to govern the South American country. Incumbent far-right President Jair Bolsonaro called his leftist rival, former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, the boss of a criminal gang that ran a "kleptocracy" during his two-term presidency 2003-2010. Lula, who has a comfortable double-digit lead going into the first round of voting, called Bolsonaro a "shameless" liar whose government had covered up graft in the purchase of vaccines during the COVID-19 pandemic that killed…
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Rebel UK Conservative lawmakers prepare to block scrapping of top income tax rate

Rebel UK Conservative lawmakers prepare to block scrapping of top income tax rate

LONDON (Reuters) - Rebel British lawmakers from Prime Minister Liz Truss's Conservative Party are preparing to vote down sections of a finance bill to block the abolition of the top rate of income tax, The Telegraph reported on Thursday. The government's plans for huge tax cuts, unveiled last week, have come under criticism after triggering nearly a week of financial market chaos including a sharp fall in the value of pound sterling . Those tax cuts included a plan to scrap the 45% top rate of income tax applied to the highest earners. Britain's opposition Labour Party has pledged to…
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Sterling recovers with euro as UK fiscal angst recedes, European inflation accelerates

Sterling recovers with euro as UK fiscal angst recedes, European inflation accelerates

TOKYO, Sept 30 (Reuters) - Sterling and the euro rose to fresh one-week highs on Friday, buoyed by the Bank of England's moves to calm markets and hawkish signals from the European Central Bank. The British currency was headed for its best week against the U.S. dollar in 2 1/2 years as the BoE waded into the debt market to buy gilts for a second day on Thursday, buoying UK yields. Heated German and Dutch consumer inflation data also served as a reminder that the job of the ECB, BoE and other central banks is not done, with the figure…
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At least 19 dead after blast hits Kabul education centre

At least 19 dead after blast hits Kabul education centre

Police in Kabul say an explosion at an education centre in the Afghan capital has killed at least 19 people and injured many others. The blast took place at the Kaaj education centre in the Dashte Barchi area in the west of the city. Students had been sitting a practice university exam, officials from the centre said. Many of those living in the area are from the Hazara minority, which has been targeted in past attacks. No group has yet said they are behind the blast. The Taliban's interior ministry spokesman said security teams were at the site and condemned…
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As Australia calls end to COVID emergency response, doctors warn of risk to public

As Australia calls end to COVID emergency response, doctors warn of risk to public

SYDNEY, Sept 30 (Reuters) - Australia will end the mandatory five-day home quarantine for COVID-infected people on Oct. 14, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said on Friday, even as some doctors warned the move would put the public at risk. The decision to let COVID-infected Australians decide whether they need to isolate or not removes one of country's last remaining restrictions from the pandemic era, and comes about a month after the quarantine period was cut to five days from seven. "We want a policy that promotes resilience and capacity-building and reduces a reliance on government intervention," Albanese told reporters after…
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Italy’s regulated household electricity prices to rise 59% – ARERA

Italy’s regulated household electricity prices to rise 59% – ARERA

ROME (Reuters) - Italy's regulated household electricity prices will increase by 59% in the fourth quarter, Italy's energy authority ARERA said in a statement on Thursday, as Russia's war on Ukraine impacts energy prices across Europe. The change, which reflects a spike in wholesale energy prices, concerns 41.5% of Italian households, according to ARERA's 2021 data. Market conditions would have dictated a far higher price hike of "about 100%", but ARERA intervened "exceptionally" to dampen the increase, the regulator said. The authority said it did not factor in the difference between forecast and real electricity prices in the last quarter,…
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British PM Truss to attend European political summit in Prague

British PM Truss to attend European political summit in Prague

LONDON, Sept 29 (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Liz Truss will attend the first summit of the European Political Community in the Czech Republic next week, Politico reported. Britain told European partners that Truss is not only willing to attend the gathering in Prague, but also that she is willing to host the next summit in London, Politico said, citing two officials from a meeting on Thursday. Truss's Downing Street office had no immediate comment when contacted by Reuters. French President Emmanuel Macron first proposed the idea of a European Political Community in an effort to counter Russian and Chinese…
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Drone activity observed near Total offshore installation in North Sea

Drone activity observed near Total offshore installation in North Sea

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - TotalEnergies said it had observed "unauthorized drone activity" near one of its offshore oil and gas installations in the North Sea. Denmark, has like other countries in the region, raised its safety level for its power and gas sector after several countries said two Russian pipelines to Europe spewing gas into the Baltic Sea had been attacked. "There have been observations of unauthorized drone activity at the Halfdan B oil and gas field in the North Sea," a spokesperson said in a written comment, adding the activity had been observed on Wednesday. "We have taken the necessary…
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Pentagon chief: Too soon to say who might be behind Nord Stream pipeline ruptures

Pentagon chief: Too soon to say who might be behind Nord Stream pipeline ruptures

WASHINGTON, (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said it was still too soon to speculate who might have been behind the Nord Stream pipeline ruptures. "In terms of the attack - or the damage to the pipeline, at this point I think there's a lot of speculation. But quite frankly, until a complete investigation is done, no one will be able to really determine for certain what happened," Austin told a news conference in Hawaii. Austin added that he discussed the incident with his Danish counterpart on Wednesday, "and he pointed out to me that it will be several…
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New UK coins featuring image of King Charles revealed

New UK coins featuring image of King Charles revealed

LONDON, Sept 30 (Reuters) - The first British coins to feature the image of King Charles have been unveiled by the Royal Mint, with the portrait of the new monarch facing the opposite direction to his late mother Queen Elizabeth in keeping with tradition. The new image will appear on 50 pence ($0.55) coins, which will begin circulating in the coming months, and also on a commemorative 5 pound coin which also features two new portraits of Elizabeth on its reverse side. Since the monarchy was restored in 1660 following the 10-year republic of Oliver Cromwell, it has become traditional…
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Death toll in Florida uncertain as Ian takes aim at Carolinas

Death toll in Florida uncertain as Ian takes aim at Carolinas

Fort MYERS, Fla., (Reuters) - Emergency crews tried to reach stranded Florida residents as a resurgent Hurricane Ian veered toward the Carolinas after cutting a path of destruction across Florida, leaving behind deadly floodwaters, downed power lines and widespread damage. Ian, one of the strongest storms ever to hit the U.S. mainland, flooded Gulf Coast communities and knocked out power to millions before plowing across the peninsula to the Atlantic Ocean, where it regained strength ahead of another anticipated landfall in South Carolina on Friday afternoon. Florida's death toll remained uncertain amid scattered reports of casualties. At an evening news…
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U.S. candidate beats Russian to head U.N. telecoms agency

U.S. candidate beats Russian to head U.N. telecoms agency

GENEVA, Sept 29 (Reuters) - The U.S. candidate Doreen Bogdan-Martin on Thursday decisively beat a Russian candidate to be the next Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union in an election seen as a test of how many countries are still siding with Russia. Bogdan-Martin won the election to be the next head the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) with 139 votes out of 172 cast, defeating Russia's Rashid Ismailov, the U.N. agency said in a statement. The election that took place in Bucharest, Romania is seen as a key indicator of Western efforts to isolate Russia diplomatically at the U.N. amid…
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Italy slashes 2023 growth forecast but sees public finances improving

Italy slashes 2023 growth forecast but sees public finances improving

ROME, (Reuters) - Mario Draghi's outgoing Italian government slashed next year's economic growth forecast to 0.6% due to sky-high energy costs but said strong revenues would still ensure an improvement in public finances. Gross domestic product in the euro zone's third largest economy will "decline slightly" over the second half of this year, a government statement said. The new growth projections underscore the economic headwinds facing Giorgia Meloni, who led a right-wing alliance to victory at elections on Sunday and is expected to be named prime minister next month. The Treasury's annual Economic and Financial Document (DEF) said GDP would…
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China signals no let-up in its aggressive diplomacy

China signals no let-up in its aggressive diplomacy

BEIJING, Sept 29 (Reuters) - China signalled on Thursday no let-up in its combative approach to foreign policy in a third term for Xi Jinping as leader despite criticism from many Western diplomats that the so-called Wolf Warrior stance has been counterproductive. As relations with the West have soured over issues from trade and human rights to COVID-19, Chinese diplomats have often been confrontational on the public stage, including on social media, a stridency that some critics see as intended for a domestic audience that nonetheless hurts its foreign ties. "We Chinese will not capitulate. We will not sit and…
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UK banks and insurers told to step up help for struggling customers

UK banks and insurers told to step up help for struggling customers

LONDON, Sept 29 (Reuters) - Britain's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) told banks and insurers on Thursday to do more to help customers struggling with a cost of living crisis as it investigates 40 banks for dragging their feet. Interest rates are increasing to quell decades high inflation, with energy, mortgage and food bills also rising faster than wages. Sheldon Mills, the watchdog's head of competition and consumers, said that in May over nine million people had too much debt, up by two million since 2020. "We’ve told lenders that we expect them to support struggling customers, particularly as they have…
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Romania reiterates advice for citizens to avoid travel to Russia

Romania reiterates advice for citizens to avoid travel to Russia

BUCHAREST (Reuters) - Romania's foreign ministry reiterated a call for Romanian citizens to consider leaving Russia or to avoid non-essential travel to the country amid escalating tensions between Moscow and the West over Ukraine. The call mirrors similar recommendations by other European countries in the region including Poland and Bulgaria.
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Thailand may receive more than 10 mln foreign tourists this year – minister

Thailand may receive more than 10 mln foreign tourists this year – minister

BANGKOK, Sept 29 (Reuters) - Thailand may record slightly more than 10 million foreign tourist arrivals this year, the tourism minister said on Friday, as a vital industry has recovered from the impact of the pandemic. There have been about 5.8 million foreign arrivals since the start of the year, Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn told a seminar. (Reporting by Panarat ThepgumpanatWriting by Orathai Sriring; Editing by Kanupriya Kapoor)
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Berlusconi bounces back with return to Italy’s parliament

Berlusconi bounces back with return to Italy’s parliament

ROME, (Reuters) - The Italian right-wing coalition's resounding victory in Sunday's general election marks a return to parliament for former premier Silvio Berlusconi, nine years after he was kicked out over a tax fraud conviction. Berlusconi, who turns 86 on Thursday, won more than 50% of the votes in a Senate race in the northern constituency of Monza, where the billionaire owns a villa and the local soccer club, newly promoted to the Serie A top division. "I'm going to try to act as playmaker in the (next) government," Berlusconi told supporters after casting his vote, indicating his desire to…
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EU proposes rules making it easier to sue drone makers, AI systems

EU proposes rules making it easier to sue drone makers, AI systems

BRUSSELS, (Reuters) - The European Commission proposed rules making it easier for individuals and companies to sue makers of drones, robots and other products equipped with artificial intelligence software for compensation for harm caused by them. The AI Liability Directive aims to address the increasing use of AI-enabled products and services and the patchwork of national rules across the 27-country European Union. Under the draft rules, victims can seek compensation for harm to their life, property, health and privacy due to the fault or omission of a provider, developer or user of AI technology, or for discrimination in a recruitment…
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UK banks told to reimburse customers tricked by scams

UK banks told to reimburse customers tricked by scams

LONDON, Sept 29 (Reuters) - Banks will have to reimburse customers tricked into sending money in a type of online scam that has become Britain's largest type of payment fraud, the Payment Systems Regulator proposed on Thursday. The PSR proposed that banks must reimburse payments over 100 pounds ($107.39) in "authorised push payment" (APP) scams. The maximum claim would be a million pounds per payment, though many banks have lower limits. The time limit on claims would be no less than 13 months. "Consumers still need to take caution when sending payments, but these proposed measures will have the added…
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Spanish unions seek 18% pay rise for staff at big retailers

Spanish unions seek 18% pay rise for staff at big retailers

MADRID, (Reuters) - Unions representing some of the 234,000 workers at large retailers in Spain such as Carrefour, IKEA and department store chain El Corte Ingles plan to demand pay raises of at least 18% to offset the effects of soaring inflation. The CCOO union, one of Spain's largest, said it will seek in the next round of negotiations starting in January clauses allowing revisions if inflation were to accelerate further, in addition to the minimum 18% increase over the next four years. FASGA, another union, is demanding an increase of almost 20% over four years. "The inflationary environment is…
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LaLiga resumes with host of injuries after international break

LaLiga resumes with host of injuries after international break

International duty was not kind to LaLiga sides as several key players reported back to their teams nursing injuries that will affect their availability for the weekend and beyond. Barcelona had arguably the worst of them with defender Ronald Araujo having surgery on his right thigh after suffering a tendon injury on Friday in Uruguay's 1-0 defeat by Iran in a friendly, leaving the pitch after only five minutes. Araujo will miss Barca's Saturday's visit to Mallorca as he is expected to be out for six to eight weeks, which means he would only come back to club duty after…
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Euro sculpture in Frankfurt rescued by crypto firm

Euro sculpture in Frankfurt rescued by crypto firm

FRANKFURT, (Reuters) - A giant blue euro sculpture in the heart of Frankfurt's financial district has a new benefactor: The firm behind a sharia-compliant cryptocurrency. The future of the sculpture, in the shadow of the European Central Bank's former headquarters and long a symbol of Frankfurt's role in managing the single European currency, was at risk after the banks that paid for its upkeep backed out. On Tuesday, the sculpture's owner, the Frankfurt Culture Committee, revealed that it had secured a new sponsor, saving it from having to auction the 14-metre object. The sponsor is the technology developer Caiz, a…
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ECB policymakers back another jumbo hike as inflation rises further

ECB policymakers back another jumbo hike as inflation rises further

VILNIUS, Sept 29 (Reuters) - Four European Central Bank policymakers on Thursday backed another big interest rate hike next month as euro zone inflation looked set for another record high, but they differed on whether it was time to think about mopping up cash from the economy. The ECB has raised rates by a combined 125 basis points over its past two meetings and promised further increases as inflation rises towards 10% and longer-term expectations edge above its 2% target. Strengthening the case for another 75-basis-point increase, data on Thursday showed inflation in Germany's most populous state jumped to 10.1%…
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Finnair to cut up to 200 jobs

Finnair to cut up to 200 jobs

Sept 29 (Reuters) - Finnair will cut up to about 200 jobs globally in a move to restore profitability shattered by the Russian airspace closure, the Finnish airline said on Tuesday, having decided earlier in the month to reduce its fleet. Negotiations will start on Oct. 6, Finnair said, potentially leading to a reduction of up to 120 positions in Finland alone. (Reporting by Boleslaw Lasocki in GdanskEditing by David Goodman)
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Montenegro investigates Russians, Montenegrins on suspicion of spying

Montenegro investigates Russians, Montenegrins on suspicion of spying

BELGRADE, Sept 29 (Reuters) - Authorities in Montenegro have launched an investigation against an unspecified number of people on charges of espionage, a spokesman for the Special State Prosecutor's office said on Thursday. Earlier in the day, the Podgorica-based daily Pobjeda reported said Montenegro's Agency for National Security (ANB) and the Special State Prosecutor's office (SDT) had detained six Russian diplomats, 30 Russian nationals with temporary residence permits, and two Montenegrins on suspicion of espionage. Vukas Radonjic, an SDT spokesman, told Reuters police raided several apartments seeking evidence of conspiracy and espionage. "Following the request of the SDT and the…
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Lindt wins chocolate bunny battle in Swiss court

Lindt wins chocolate bunny battle in Swiss court

ZURICH, Sept 29 (Reuters) - Lindt & Spruengli's foil-wrapped chocolate bunnies deserve protection from copycat products, Switzerland's highest court ruled on Thursday, and ordered German discounter Lidl to stop selling a similar product in Switzerland and to destroy its remaining stock. Surveys submitted by Lindt showed Lindt's Easter bunny was well known to the public, the Federal Court said, adding the two products were likely to be confused even though there were some differences between them. It overturned a Swiss commercial court's ruling against Lindt and in favour of two Swiss units of Lidl last year and ordered Lidl to…
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FACTBOX: Russia’s annexation plan in Ukraine: Kremlin signing ceremony

FACTBOX: Russia’s annexation plan in Ukraine: Kremlin signing ceremony

LONDON, Sept 29 (Reuters) - President Vladimir Putin will host a signing ceremony in the Kremlin on Friday to incorporate four Ukrainian regions into Russia, a major step towards formally annexing around 15% of Ukraine. What happens now? The Kremlin said a signing ceremony on incorporating the new territories would take place on Friday in the Georgievsky Hall of the Great Kremlin Palace. Putin will give a speech, and meet with the leaders of the self-styled Russian-backed Donetsk People's Republic (DNR) and Luhansk People's Republic (LNR) as well as the Russian-installed leaders of the parts of the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia…
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Euro zone economic sentiment falls sharply as inflation expectations rise

Euro zone economic sentiment falls sharply as inflation expectations rise

BRUSSELS, Sept 29 (Reuters) - Euro zone economic sentiment fell sharply and by more than expected in September, data showed on Thursday, as confidence dropped among companies and consumers, who are also downbeat about price trends in the coming months. The European Commission's monthly economic sentiment index fell to 93.7 points in September from a downwardly revised 97.3 in August, compared with a decline to 95.0 forecast by economists polled by Reuters. Confidence fell in all economic sectors, including industry, services, retail trade and among consumers, Commission's data showed, amid a rise in inflation expectations across the board. The fall…
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EU countries head for deal on energy windfall levies, split over gas price cap

EU countries head for deal on energy windfall levies, split over gas price cap

BRUSSELS, Sept 29 (Reuters) - European Union countries are poised to approve a package of emergency measures including windfall profit levies on energy companies on Friday, at a meeting where states will also lock horns over whether to cap gas prices. The 27 EU member countries are negotiating measures proposed by Brussels last week to attempt to contain an energy price surge that is stoking record-high inflation across the bloc and threatening a recession. Diplomats from some European countries were confident EU energy ministers would approve the measures at a meeting on Friday - albeit with tweaks to the original…
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Finland will shut border to Russian tourists from midnight

Finland will shut border to Russian tourists from midnight

HELSINKI, Sept 29 (Reuters) - Finland will close its border to Russian tourists from midnight local time (2100 GMT), which is expected to lead to a significant drop in cross-border traffic, the government said on Thursday. The inflow of Russians is now seen as endangering Finland's international relations, Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto told a news conference. Entry for family visits, as well as for work and studies, will still be permitted, he added. The Finnish government, wary of being a transit nation into western Europe's passport-free Schengen zone, on Friday said it planned to halt tourism from Russia and that…
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HSBC to review Canary Wharf tower HQ, consider new London base

HSBC to review Canary Wharf tower HQ, consider new London base

LONDON, Sept 29 (Reuters) - HSBC will undertake a review of whether to keep its global headquarters in London's Canary Wharf financial district, according to a memo sent to staff and seen by Reuters on Thursday. The bank said it had decided to undertake a review "of the best future location in London" ahead of its lease expiring at the 45-floor tower at 8 Canada Square in early 2027. The bank said the review would include the option of staying and renovating the tower, adding it would keep its global headquarters in London. The memo outlined the lender's approach to…
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Hungary cannot support any new EU energy sanctions against Russia – govt

Hungary cannot support any new EU energy sanctions against Russia – govt

BUDAPEST, Sept 29 (Reuters) - Hungary cannot support the European Union's planned eighth round of sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine if those contain energy sanctions, Prime Minister Viktor Orban's chief of staff said on Thursday. The EU executive proposed on Wednesday fresh sanctions against Russia, including tighter trade restrictions, more individual blacklistings and an oil price cap for third countries. The proposed sanctions fall short of harder-hitting measures, including a ban on importing Russian diamonds, sought by Russia hawks Poland and the three Baltic countries. But EU states need unanimity to impose sanctions and Orban has been…
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Russian region limits incoming cars amid queues at Georgia border to escape draft

Russian region limits incoming cars amid queues at Georgia border to escape draft

LONDON, (Reuters) - Russia's North Ossetia republic imposed restrictions on cars arriving from other parts of the country as an exodus of military-age men led to a queue of over 3,000 vehicles at the region's Verkhny Lars crossing point into Georgia. North Ossetia Governor Sergei Menyailo said the ban was being introduced after 20,000 people crossed the border in two days, with far more remaining in line. "We will not be physically able to ensure order and security if this flow continues to grow," he said on Telegram. Menyailo said the ban would not apply to residents or tourists, or…
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UPDATED: EU takes Malta to court over golden passport programme

UPDATED: EU takes Malta to court over golden passport programme

BRUSSELS/VALLETTA, Sept 29 (Reuters) - The European Commission said on Thursday it would file a legal challenge against Malta for its so-called golden passport programme that allows wealthy foreigners to buy citizenship in exchange for an investment of around 1 million euros ($970,000). Holding a Maltese passport allows them to live and work in any EU country. In recent months, Malta suspended the programme for Russian and Belarusian nationals following the start of the war in Ukraine, but it continues to operate the scheme for all other nationalities and "has not expressed any intention to end it", the Commission said…
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UPDATED: Germany faces threat of economic, social crisis – econ minister

UPDATED: Germany faces threat of economic, social crisis – econ minister

BERLIN, Sept 29 (Reuters) - German businesses and households must reduce their gas useage further as Germany battles an economic war with Russia, German government ministers said on Thursday. "The energy crisis that we are experiencing in Europe threatens to grow into an economic and also a social crisis," Economy Minister Robert Habeck told reporters as the government announced funding of up to 200 billion euros ($194 billion) in response to soaring energy prices. "We find ourselves in an energy war," Finance Minister Christian Lindner said, adding that Germany would respond with its full economic might. Four leading German economic…
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Putin to preside over ceremony adding Ukrainian territories to Russia on Friday

Putin to preside over ceremony adding Ukrainian territories to Russia on Friday

LONDON, Sept 29 (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin will on Friday begin formally annexing 15% of Ukrainian territory, presiding at a ceremony in the Kremlin to declare four Ukrainian regions part of Russia. Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the ceremony would take place at 3 p.m. (1200 GMT) on Friday in the St George's (Georgievsky) Hall of the Grand Kremlin Palace to sign "agreements on the accession of new territories into the Russian Federation". Agreements will be signed "with all four territories that held referendums and made corresponding requests to the Russian side", Peskov said. Ukraine and the West…
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Agreement on EU sanctions against Russia expected before summit – EU official

Agreement on EU sanctions against Russia expected before summit – EU official

BRUSSELS, Sept 29 (Reuters) - An agreement on the next sanctions package against Russia is expected before next week's EU summit, or at least major parts of the package, an EU official told Reuters. The official said they expected the summit to focus on the referendums in Ukraine, possible annexations of areas by Russia, Russia's nuclear threats and the disruption to the Nord Stream pipelines. EU leaders are also expected to discuss different ideas for energy price caps at the summit, which the EU official expects to be a tense one "as we are in difficult times". The draft text,…
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Some euro zone countries need to beef up financial sector, ECB’s VP says

Some euro zone countries need to beef up financial sector, ECB’s VP says

FRANKFURT, Sept 29 (Reuters) - Some euro zone countries need to beef up their financial sector as their vulnerabilities are likely to be magnified by the imminent downturn of the bloc's economy, European Central Bank Vice President Luis de Guindos said on Thursday. "Certain countries have in recent years seen a build-up of financial vulnerabilities, notably related to residential real estate prices and growing household and firm indebtedness," de Guindos told a conference. "Given the deteriorated outlook for economic growth, some countries might benefit from further increasing the resilience of their financial sectors before credit risks start materialising." (Reporting by…
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Ebola kills five in Uganda, 19 other deaths likely connected

Ebola kills five in Uganda, 19 other deaths likely connected

KAMPALA, (Reuters) - Five people have died from Ebola in Uganda and another 19 deaths were likely caused by the disease, the president said, but he said he would not order a lockdown because Ebola is easier to manage than COVID-19. The outbreak of the deadly hemorrhagic fever was announced last week, triggering fears of a major health crisis in the country of 45 million people. There is no vaccine for the Sudan strain of the disease behind the latest Uganda infections. In a televised address President Yoweri Museveni said that in addition to five confirmed Ebola fatalities, another 19…
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Some French unions call strike in test of Macron mettle on pension reform

Some French unions call strike in test of Macron mettle on pension reform

PARIS, Sept 29 (Reuters) - Several hard-left trade unions in France are calling for a nationwide strike on Thursday to demand pay increases to cope with soaring inflation, threatening disruption to transport, schools and the energy sector. The one-day walkout is seen as a test of the unions' ability to mobilise support and a barometer of potential social unrest as President Emmanuel Macron decides whether to push ahead with plans to reform the pension system. "For us this is a starting point, the start of a movement," CGT union leader, Philippe Martinez, whose CGT union is spearheading Thursday's protests, told…
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Rockets hit central Baghdad for second day in escalating unrest

Rockets hit central Baghdad for second day in escalating unrest

BAGHDAD, Sept 29 (Reuters) - Four rockets fired from eastern Baghdad on Thursday landed around the Iraqi capital's Green Zone, home to government buildings and foreign missions, police said, as political unrest intensified. There were no immediate reports of casualties from the strikes and no claim of responsibility, two police officers said. A number of Shi'ite Muslim militant groups have offices and supporters in eastern Baghdad. A similar attack on Wednesday wounded seven members of the Iraqi security forces in the Green Zone, and appeared to add a new dimension to a contest among power-hungry politicians. Rocket attacks on the…
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UPDATED: Moscow calls for ‘objective’ investigation into Nord Stream damage

UPDATED: Moscow calls for ‘objective’ investigation into Nord Stream damage

MOSCOW, Sept 29 (Reuters) - Russia called on Thursday for an international investigation into ruptures of the Nord Stream gas pipelines under the Baltic Sea to be "objective", amid an escalating war of words between Moscow and the West over responsibility for the still-unexplained damage. In a press briefing, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova also said the United States would have to "explain itself", referring to comments President Joe Biden made in February when he said "there will no longer be a Nord Stream 2" if Russia sent troops into Ukraine. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Thursday that…
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EU lawmakers on Brazil’s Bolsonaro: Respect vote or face sanctions

EU lawmakers on Brazil’s Bolsonaro: Respect vote or face sanctions

BRASILIA (Reuters) - Several dozen members of the European parliament urged European Union leaders to monitor Brazil's Sunday election for attempts by far-right President Jair Bolsonaro to subvert democracy, arguing trade sanctions should apply if he does. Voters in Brazil head to the polls for a first-round presidential vote on Oct. 2, with leftist front-runner and former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, known as Lula, expanding his lead over Bolsonaro in the latest polls even as fears of post-election turmoil persist. In an open letter to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Vice President Josep Borrell, the…
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Sterling drops 1% as PM Truss defends economic plans

Sterling drops 1% as PM Truss defends economic plans

LONDON, Sept 29 (Reuters) - Sterling fell as much as 1% on Thursday after British Prime Minister Liz Truss defended economic plans that have triggered chaos in the country's markets. Truss said big tax cuts were the right path for Britain and refused to consider reversing the so-called "mini budget" laid out last week. The pound was last down 0.88% to $1.0791 after hitting a session low of $1.0764. The euro was up 0.18% against sterling at 89.54 pence. Sterling crashed to a record low against the dollar of $1.0327 on Monday after new finance minister Kwasi Kwarteng unveiled plans…
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As protests spread, Iran president says Amini’s death is ‘tragic incident’, but ‘chaos’ unacceptable

As protests spread, Iran president says Amini’s death is ‘tragic incident’, but ‘chaos’ unacceptable

 (Reuters) - Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said that the death of a young woman in custody had "saddened" everyone in the Islamic Republic, but warned that "chaos" would not be accepted amid spreading violent protests over Mahsa Amini's death. Amini's death two weeks ago has sparked anti-government protests across Iran, with protesters often calling for the end of the Islamic clerical establishment's more than four decades in power. "We all are saddened by this tragic incident ... (However)Chaos is unacceptable," Raisi said in an interview with state TV, while protests continued around the country. "The government's red line is our…
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Windsor Castle to reopen to public for first time since Queen’s death

Windsor Castle to reopen to public for first time since Queen’s death

Windsor Castle will reopen to the public for the first time since the Queen's death. The castle and St George's Chapel will open at 10am on Thursday. It will be the first time members of the public will be able to visit the Queen's final resting place and view the ledger stone inscribed with her name in the George VI Memorial Chapel. Entrance to the chapel is included in a ticket for Windsor Castle, which costs £26.50 for adults during the week and £28.50 on Saturdays. Children's tickets cost £14.50 during the week and £15.50 on Saturday. It comes after…
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