imageSome MEPs want to probe Lord Hill's ties to the UK financial establishment

In the middle of the day on Wednesday a former leader of the House of Lords will face a three-hour grilling in the European Parliament.

It is fair to say that Lord Hill will never have endured such a detailed public questioning before.

Jonathan Hill is the UK's nominee for the job of EU Commissioner. The next President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, has given him the portfolio overseeing financial markets and...

Read more: EU hearings: The grilling of Lord Hill


Kansas City (AFP) - Kansas City Chiefs player Husain Abdullah was slapped with a 15-yard penalty in Monday's NFL contest after punctuating a fourth quarter touchdown by dropping to his knees in prayer, the US media reported.

Abdullah, a devout Muslim, slid to his knees after intercepting a Tom Brady pass for a touchdown early in the fourth quarter of the Chiefs 41-14 win over the New England Patriots. He then leaned forward and pressed his forehead against the end zone grass.

It is technically a violation of the National Football League's "excessive celebration" rules after scores to do what...

Read more: Abdullah flagged for touchdown prayer gesture


MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin is visiting Kazakhstan to stress the need for close ties, a month after he caused alarm in the former Soviet republic by seeming to question its future as an independent state.

During a meeting Tuesday with President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Putin said the two countries were "connected historically and today by a thousand threads, which unite us and help us develop, supporting each other."

Speaking to young Russians in late August, Putin said Kazakhstan had only become a state under Nazarbayev and was better off in the "big Russian world."

Russia justified its annexation...

Read more: Putin visits Kazakhstan after remarks cause alarm


NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. (AP) — Ernest Satterwhite was a laid-back former mechanic with some habits, including ignoring police officers who tried to pull him over.

The last time he did that, the 68-year-old black great-grandfather got killed — shot to death after a slow-speed chase as he parked in his own driveway, by a 25-year-old white police officer.

Investigators determined that North Augusta Public Safety Officer Justin Craven broke the law. A prosecutor, in a rare action against a police officer, sought to charge him with voluntary manslaughter, punishable by up to 30 years in prison. But the grand jury...

Read more: SC cop indicted in shooting shrouded in mystery


Paris (AFP) - EU authorities gave the green light Tuesday for Airbus's new long-haul A350 plane to enter service, opening the way for delivery of the next-generation aircraft to first client Qatar Airways.

Designed to help the European manufacturer catch up with its American rival Boeing in the market for long-haul, fuel-efficient planes, the A350-900 makes extensive use of light composite materials which reduce fuel consumption and costs.

"Airbus demonstrated that the aircraft complies with the regulatory safety and environment requirements defined by EASA (the European Aviation Safety Agency) for the European Union," the EU aviation watchdog said in a...

Read more: Next-generation Airbus A350 plane gets EU green light

HONG KONG (AP) — Pro-democracy protesters demanded that Hong Kong's top leader meet with them on Tuesday and threatened wider actions if he did not, after he said China would not budge in its decision to limit voting reforms in the Asian financial hub.

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying's rejection of the student demands dashed hopes for a quick resolution of the five-day standoff that has blocked city streets, forcing some schools and offices to close.

It drew a defiant response from the students.

"If Leung Chun-ying doesn't come out to Civic Square before midnight ... then I believe inevitably more...

Read more: HK leader says China adamant; students seek talks

imageThe European Commission is not convinced Apple is paying a fair rate of tax on what it sells

The European Commission (EC) has told Ireland it believes it gave illegal state aid to Apple.

It has published a letter, originally sent to the country in June, accusing it of helping the computer giant through special tax arrangements.

The EC is looking at whether some countries, including Luxembourg and the Netherlands, unfairly favour multinationals.

Apple says it has received 'no selective treatment'.

Ireland's corporate tax rate is set at 12.5%, but Apple enjoys an...

Read more: Ireland gave 'state aid' to Apple

imageThe parents of the boy have alleged that the dog was removed from the kennel before the child was locked in

Authorities in the southern Indian state of Kerala are investigating reports that a five-year-old boy was locked in a dog kennel by his teacher for talking to another child in class.

Police said the school principal had been arrested, but later freed on bail.

The school has denied the claims, saying they are a "conspiracy".

The parents of the boy have alleged that the dog was removed from the kennel before the...

Read more: India teacher 'locked boy in kennel'


MONROVIA, Liberia (AP) — U.S. mobile Ebola labs should be up and running in Liberia this week, and American troops have broken ground for a field hospital, as the international community races to increase the ability to care for the spiraling number of people infected with the dreaded disease.

Liberia is the hardest hit country in the largest ever Ebola outbreak, which has touched four other West African countries. More than 3,000 deaths have been linked to the disease across the region, according to the World Health Organization, in the largest outbreak ever.

But even that toll is likely an...

Read more: US Ebola labs, parts for clinic arrive in Liberia

GENEVA (AP) — About 3,000 species of wildlife around the world have seen their numbers plummet far worse than previously thought, according to a new study by one of the world's biggest environmental groups.

The study Tuesday from the Swiss-based WWF largely blamed human threats to nature for a 52 percent decline in wildlife populations between 1970 and 2010.

It says improved methods of measuring populations of fish, birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles explain the huge difference from the 28-percent decline between 1970 and 2008 that the group reported in 2012.

Most of the new losses were found in tropical...

Read more: Wildlife populations plummet for 3,000 species

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — They both were walking alone, separated from their friends late at night on or near the University of Virginia campus. One was found dead nearly five years ago. The other is still missing.

And now police believe they have found a link between the 2009 slaying of Morgan Harrington and the Sept. 13 disappearance of Hannah Graham: Forensic evidence found in the arrest of a hospital worker and former taxi driver who fled the state when he learned police wanted to question him about the Graham case.

Jesse L. Matthew Jr., 32, was arrested on a...

Read more: Virginia police: Forensic evidence links 2 cases


PRAGUE (AP) — A former foreign minister of West Germany has arrived in Prague to meet former refugees from the East and commemorate events that led to communism's collapse in Eastern Europe and the reunification of Germany.

Hans-Dietrich Genscher struck a deal with East German authorities to allow thousands of East German citizens who sought refuge at the West German embassy in Prague to go West. Genscher told them the news from the embassy's balcony on Sept. 30, 1989.

Genscher greeted some of the refugees Tuesday at the embassy's garden, which thousands packed in 1989. One of them, 46-year-old Franka...

Read more: 25th anniversary of East German exodus to the West


By Kay Johnson

KABUL (Reuters) - Officials from Afghanistan and the United States on Tuesday signed a long-delayed security agreement to allow American troops to stay in the country after the end of the year, filling a campaign promise by new President Ashraf Ghani.

National security adviser Hanif Atmar and U.S. Ambassador James Cunningham signed the bilateral security agreement in a televised ceremony at the presidential palace, one day after Ghani was inaugurated.

"As an independent country, based on our national interests, we signed this agreement for stability, goodwill, and prosperity of the our people, stability of the region and...

Read more: Afghan, U.S. officials sign long-awaited security deal

By Maggie Fick

SHEKHAN Iraq (Reuters) - For Salah Paulis, it came down to a choice between his faith and his crop.

A wheat farmer from outside Mosul, Paulis and his family fled the militant group Islamic State early last month. The group overran the family farm as part of its offensive that captured vast swathes of territory in northern Iraq. Two weeks later, Paulis, who is a Christian, received a phone call from a man who said he was an Islamic State fighter.

“We are in your warehouse. Why are you not here working and taking care of your...

Read more: Special Report: Islamic State uses grain to tighten grip in Iraq

imageMartin Goldberg worked at Thorpe Hall school for 23 years

Indecent images of pupils have been found on the computer of an Essex deputy head teacher who was recently found dead, police say.

Martin Goldberg, 46, a maths teacher at Thorpe Hall School in Southend, died at his home two weeks ago.

Essex Police said it had recovered images which appeared to have come from a camera hidden inside a bag.

It was used to film boys undressing in the school's changing rooms and at Southend's leisure centre.

The images, reportedly both video...

Read more: Pupils' images on teacher's computer

imageUS and allied aircraft have carried out hundreds of bombing raids on IS in Iraq in recent weeks

Nearly two months on since the US began air strikes against Islamic State (IS) positions in northern Iraq, there are signs that the militants are adapting to the new reality.

Witnesses and tribal sources in IS-controlled areas have reported a drop in the number of militant checkpoints and fighters using mobile phones less, apparently to avoid being targeted by air raids.

Militants have also been seen to ditch conspicuous...

Read more: Islamic State 'adapting to air strikes'

imageIt is the lowest level for Eurozone inflation since October 2009.

Eurozone inflation slipped again in September, with prices rising at their slowest rate in nearly five years.

Consumer price inflation rose by just 0.3% compared to the same month last year, slowing from August's 0.4% rise, said EU statistics agency Eurostat .

It is the lowest level for eurozone inflation since October 2009, adding to fears of a deflationary spiral.

Inflation has been persistently below the European Central Bank's (ECB) 2% target rate.

Eurostat said falls in the prices of unprocessed food...

Read more: Eurozone inflation near five-year low

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