(Reuters) - More than 100 business leaders in the United Kingdom with operations in Scotland plan to speak out against independence in a united statement, the Telegraph reported. The newspaper said Keith Cochrane, chief executive of Glasgow-based engineer Weir Group Plc WEIR.L, was behind the move urging business leaders and entrepreneurs to sign a joint letter imploring voters to reject independence for the sake of economic prosperity. (http://bit.ly/1BHPEYw) Those approached included Royal Mail Plc RMG.L Chairman Donald Brydon, Cairn Energy Plc CNE.L boss Bill Gammell, Aggreko Plc AGGK. ...
HONG KONG (AP) — Most Asian stock markets inched higher Friday after a record day on Wall Street powered by upbeat data that adds to evidence the world's biggest economy is gaining strength. Gains were tempered as investors awaited a meeting of central bankers that might shed light on the timing of U.S. interest rate hikes.
A lucky koala was recovering Friday after being caught by firefighters when it fell unconscious from a tree before being given mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Emergency crews were called to the Melbourne suburb of Langwarrin on Thursday night after reports that an injured animal was lying on the road after being hit by a car. When officials arrived, they found the furry native marsupial had climbed a tree for shelter and firefighters were brought in to bring it down. "We believed it had died in the tree, just when we were trying to rescue it," Langwarrin Country Fire Authority's Sean Curtin told Fairfax radio.
By Jennifer Saba NEW YORK (Reuters) - A chilling video showing the execution of journalist James Foley by Islamist militants marks the second time an American reporter has been beheaded by captors overseas, echoing the murder of Wall Street Journal correspondent Daniel Pearl in Pakistan in 2002. While Pearl worked for one of the largest news organizations in the world, Foley was on assignment for GlobalPost, an online news startup with about 28 full-time staffers that is trying to survive as a small, independent outlet. ...
By Scott Malone and Edward McAllister FERGUSON Mo. (Reuters) - Missouri's governor ordered National Guard troops to withdraw from the riot-weary town of Ferguson on Thursday as tensions eased after nearly two weeks of racially charged protests over the fatal police shooting of an unarmed black teenager. Demonstrators were orderly for a second straight evening on Thursday, the calmest night in the St. Louis suburb since 18-year-old Michael Brown was gunned down by a white police officer on Aug. 9 under disputed circumstances. Keep them close." Ferguson erupted in anger after the teenager's slaying, with nightly rallies frequently punctuated by looting, vandalism and clashes between protesters and heavily armed riot police, often ending in volleys of tear gas and dozens of arrests.
Black-clad Malaysians observed a minute of silence and a nationwide day of mourning on Friday as the first remains of the country's 43 citizens killed in the MH17 disaster returned home. People across the country of 28 million went silent at 10:55 am (0255 GMT), about an hour after a Malaysia Airlines jet landed with the remains of 20 people killed when MH17 was blasted from the sky by a suspected surface-to-air missile over Ukraine on July 17. Malaysia's King Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah, Prime Minister Najib Razak and dozens of other top officials were on hand for a sombre reception ceremony at Kuala Lumpur International Airport. Residents of the capital Kuala Lumpur were overwhelmingly black-clad, including many Muslim women in black Islamic headscarves, as state television aired recitations from the Koran and photos of the Malaysian victims.
World champion James Magnussen said it would take one of the year's fastest times to win the Pan Pacific Championships 100m freestyle after American stars Michael Phelps and Nathan Adrian threw down the gauntlet Friday. Adrian, who nudged out Magnussen by one-hundredth of a second to win the Olympic 100m gold in London, topped Friday's qualifiers with 48.05 seconds. Australia's two-time world champion was just 0.2sec behind, with Olympic great Phelps surging into contention on the back of 48.45, just four-hundredths of a second ahead of another Australian, Cameron McEvoy. Phelps, four months into his comeback from retirement, produced a sizzling swim to ensure he would be the second American in Friday's final ahead of team-mates Anthony Ervin and Jimmy Feigen.
By Amy Sawitta Lefevre and Andrew R.C. Marshall BANGKOK (Reuters) - "Is she dead yet?" Thai opposition activist Kritsuda Khunasen said she was blindfolded and struggling to regain consciousness when she heard this chilling query from one of her interrogators. She was detained for nearly a month by the Thai military after it toppled the government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on May 22. Junta chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha has dismissed Kritsuda's claims as "totally untrue" and ignored United Nations calls for an investigation.
The trial of a German police officer accused of murdering a willing victim he met on a website for cannibalism fetishists starts on Friday in the eastern city of Dresden. In a macabre case that captured global attention, prosecutors say the 56-year-old defendant, Detlef Guenzel, killed the man at his home last November, then cut his body into small pieces and buried them in his garden. The dead man, 59-year-old Polish-born Wojciech Stempniewicz, had met Guenzel the month before on a website where users share slaughter and cannibalism fantasies. Guenzel is a three-decade veteran of the police force, the father of an adult daughter, and had been married to his male partner in a civil union for a decade at the time of the killing.
By Toru Hanai HIROSHIMA (Reuters) - Heavy rain delayed a search on Friday for more than 50 people believed buried under a deadly landslide on the edge of the Japanese city of Hiroshima, as opposition politicians rounded on Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for his handling of the disaster. Rescue workers feared the continuing rain could set off further landslides in the area after a month's worth of rain fell in one night on Wednesday, loosening slopes already saturated by heavy rain over the past few weeks.