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German unemployment dips again in October, economy continues to gain steam
30 October 2014 - Germany's unemployment rate fell to 6.3 per cent in October as the labor market in Europe's biggest economy continued to gain steam. ING economist Carsten Brzeski says indications are the labour market should remain solid, supporting private consumption. (more)

Malala donates prize money to rebuild Gaza school
30 October 2014 - The UN agency that assists Palestinian refugees says Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai has donated $50,000 to rebuild a UN school in Gaza damaged during this summer's Israel-Hamas war. UNRWA says Malala is donating all of the proceeds of the $50,000 World Children's Prize, which she collected in Stockholm on Wednesday. The agency quoted Malala as saying Palestinian children deserve a quality education, and that 'without education, there will never be peace.' (more)

Spanish economy grows for 5th quarter in a row
30 October 2014 - Spain's economy grew by 0.5 per cent in the third quarter compared with the previous three months, its fifth consecutive quarterly growth. Spain fell into the first of two severe recessions in the second half of 2008 after its real estate sector collapsed. It emerged from the second slump in the latter half of 2013. (more)

US economy rallies to solid Q3 growth
30 October 2014 - The US economy powered its way to a respectable growth rate of 3.5 per cent from July through September, outpacing most of the developed world and on track to extend the momentum through the end of the year and beyond. The result isn't a fluke. It turns out the world's biggest economy did a lot of things right in the wake of the Great Recession. Those key decisions, particularly by the Federal Reserve, appear to be paying off now. It's American consumers who drive the US economy. They account for nearly 70 per cent of the economy, and things are looking up for them. The job market is healthier than it's been in a while, with the unemployment rate at a six-year low of 5.9 per cent. And falling gas prices frees up money for consumers to spend on other things that help fuel growth. (more)

Malala awarded 'Children's Nobel' prize in Sweden
29 October 2014 - Children's rights activist and Nobel Peace winner Malala Yousafzai has received the World's Children's Prize 2014 -- a global vote involving millions of children. The Sweden-based awards organization said Wednesday the 17-year-old Pakistani girl, who began speaking out for the rights of girls at age 11 and was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman, won the prize for 'her courageous and dangerous fight for girls' right to education'. (more)

Romanian peasant blouse back in fashion
29 October 2014 - Romania's latest hot fashion item? The traditional peasant blouse. The peasant blouse garment with distinctive traditional stitching dates back centuries, but it disappeared from sight during the communist era as authorities tried to stamp out rural traditions. Now the blouse is making a comeback -- even having its intricate stitching featured in the recent presidential campaign. The revival of the 'ie' (EE-yeh) -- seen everywhere these days on the streets of the capital -- is a sign that Romanians are returning to their roots a quarter century after the Soviet collapse. (more)

UK: Honour for hero who saved London from WWII flooding
29 October 2014 - Every day, boats full of tourists and commuters float by a pale patch on the wall that lines the River Thames near Britain's Houses of Parliament. Few notice the concrete mark, or recognize it as evidence of how close London came to drowning during World War II. It is a piece of hidden history that has been uncovered by a team of professional and amateur archaeologists. On Wednesday a group of engineers and civic dignitaries will unveil a plaque commemorating Thomas Peirson Frank, leader of a secret squad of engineers and labourers who worked night after night during World War II to repair flood defenses hit in German air raids. (more)

Electric-car drivers trading gas for solar power
28 October 2014 - Owners of electric vehicles have already gone gas-free. Now, a growing number are powering their cars with sunlight. Solar panels installed on the roof of a home or garage can easily generate enough electricity to power an electric or plug-in gas-electric hybrid vehicle. No one knows exactly how many electric cars are being powered by solar energy, but the number of electric and plug-in hybrid cars in the US is growing. (more)

Czechs honour Sir Nicholas Winton for trains evacuating children
28 October 2014 - The President of the Czech Republic awarded a Briton his country's highest state honor for organizing a mass evacuation of children to save them from Nazi death camps. Sir Nicholas Winton received the Order of the White Lion from President Milos Zeman at a ceremony Tuesday at Prague Castle. Accepting the award, the 105-year-old Winton said he was delighted to receive it. Winton had arranged for eight trains to carry 669 children, most of them Jewish, from Czechoslovakia through Hitler's Germany to Britain in 1939 at the outbreak of World War II. Winton's story did not emerge until 1988. (more)

Museum of Jewish history opens in Poland
28 October 2014 - The Presidents of Poland and Israel on Tuesday joined Holocaust survivors for the formal opening of a multimedia museum that tells the 1,000-year history of Jewish life in Poland. The POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews was built at what was the centre of the Warsaw Ghetto. It shows the richness of Poland's Jewish culture, which was wiped out in the Holocaust. Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, on his first foreign trip as President, and Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski attended the open-air ceremony. (more)

Nigerian Stock Exchange joins World Federation
28 October 2014 - The Nigerian Stock Exchange became a full member of the World Federation of Exchanges on Tuesday, just as it prepares to woo Asian fund managers. The main board of the Nigerian Stock Exchange currently lists 190 equities with a market cap of more than $83 billion. The Nigerian exchange is only the fifth in Africa to join the federation. The membership comes the same year Nigeria, Africa's biggest oil producer and its most populous nation of about 160 million, rebased its economy to overtake South Africa as the largest on the continent. (more)

US consumer confidence hits 7-year high in October
28 October 2014 - US consumer confidence rebounded strongly in October, hitting a seven-year high as solid job gains raised expectations for economic growth. The Conference Board said Tuesday that its confidence index climbed to 94.5, the strongest reading since October 2007 and the start of the Great Recession a few months later. The recent hiring has left more people optimistic about getting a raise. (more)

Museum unveils rich story of Jewish life in Poland
27 October 2014 - In the two millennia between ancient Israel and its modern rebirth, Jews never enjoyed as much political autonomy as they did in Poland, a land that centuries later would become intrinsically linked to the Holocaust. The story of this great flourishing of political and cultural life is part of a 1,000-year history told in a visually striking new museum, the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews, which opens its long-awaited core exhibition to the public Tuesday, 28 October amid days of celebrations. Polin is Hebrew for Poland, and also means 'rest here', a reference to a story Jews told themselves about their arrival in Poland in the Middle Ages. (more)

Finding hidden gems in cities and countries with new apps
27 October 2014 - News apps are helping users share information about sights and hidden gems in cities and countries around the globe so other people can benefit from their knowledge. (more)

UK retailers report fastest growth in over three years - CBI
27 October 2014 - British retailers reported the fastest sales growth in more than three years in the three months to October, dispelling fears of a slowdown, the Confederation of British Industry said on Monday. October retail sales balance held steady at 31, in contrast to economists' forecasts of a fall to 25. This allowed the three-month average retail sales balance to rise to its highest level since February 2011. (more)

German consumer morale lifts going into November
24 October 2014 - German consumer morale picked up heading into November after slight declines in the previous two months, suggesting consumers feel confident about their own incomes and are willing to spend even though Germany's economy is slowing. Market research group GfK said on 24 October that its forward-looking consumer sentiment indicator rose going into November. It had touched 7 1/2 year highs in July and August. German consumers are benefiting from high employment, rising wages, and moderate inflation, breeding confidence about their own economic prospects, the report said. (more)

US: Alaska's indigenous languages now official along with English
24 October 2014 - Alaska's governor signed a bill on Thursday to officially recognize the state's 20 indigenous languages in a symbolic move that gives a nod to tribal efforts to save Native American tongues at risk of dying out. In April, the State Legislature overwhelmingly passed the bill. The move would make Alaska only the second US state, after Hawaii, to officially recognize indigenous languages. Lance Twitchell, a professor of native languages at the University of Alaska Southeast in Juneau, said the bill was important even if largely symbolic. 'Hawaii has gone from language decline and become one of the few areas where they are producing more native speakers than they are losing,' Mr Twitchell said. (more)

Scotland to reduce drink-drive limit
24 October 2014 - The Scottish government has announced plans to reduce the country's drink-drive limit in time for Christmas. Under the plans, Scotland's blood alcohol limit would be cut from 80mg to 50mg in every 100ml of blood. Draft legislation has been laid before Parliament, and will bring Scotland's legal alcohol limits in line with much of Europe. A public awareness campaign will warn drivers not to drink at all. (more)

Canada: Day to be proud of Parliament
24 October 2014 - The events that unfolded on Parliament Hill on Thursday were encouraging, emotional, and remarkable. They should make all Canadians tremendously proud. Just 24 hours after Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers helped police protect people in Centre Block's Hall of Honour, he walked through the same corridor in full regalia, this time holding the Mace. The spontaneous applause that followed him was drowned out as he entered the House of Commons, where members of Parliament stood and cheered for their protector. He fought back tears, as did many others. Prime Minister Stephen Harper delivered an address that was uniquely Canadian, at times resolute and businesslike, at times compassionate and funny. After honouring the memory of those lost and thanking world leaders such as American President Barack Obama and Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott for their support, he also thanked the Pittsburgh Penguins for playing Canada's anthem at a game between two American hockey teams. Then the Prime Minister shared some private words with Vickers and embraced Opposition Leader Thomas Mulcair and the Liberals' Justin Trudeau. It was a touching moment between bitter political rivals. (more)

Britain's economic recovery is continuing
24 October 2014 - Official figures show Britain's economic recovery is continuing, despite a gloomy global environment. The Office for National Statistics said gross domestic product grew 0.7 per cent in the three months through September compared with the previous three months. Though down slightly from the April-June quarter, it remains among the strongest growth rates among developed economies. Compared with a year earlier, the economy was 3.0 per cent larger. (more)

Global shares post best week since mid-2013 after earnings boost
24 October 2014 - Global equity markets rose on Friday after some companies reported strong corporate results and reduced concerns over the possible spread of Ebola boosted US shares and kept safe-haven US Treasuries prices stable. MSCI's all-country world equity index rose 3.1 per cent for the week, marking its biggest weekly percentage gain since July 2013, while the benchmark US S&P 500 was up 5.5 per cent from its low on 15 Octoberand notched its best weekly gain in almost two years. (more)

Survey: German consumer confidence stabilizes
24 October 2014 - A survey finds that a downward trend in German consumer confidence has come to an end, despite cooler growth prospects for Europe's biggest economy. The GfK research group said Friday that its forward-looking consumer climate index edged up in November. It found that Germans' willingness to buy has increased amid low unemployment and that income expectations continue to improve, while consumers' economic outlook has stabilized. (more)

Remote Bhutan gets Google Street View panoramas
23 October 2014 - You can now take in dramatic vistas from the tiny, isolated Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan -- via Google. The tech giant Thursday unveiled Street View images -- the Google Maps feature providing 360-degree panoramic images -- for some 1,900 miles of roads in the remote country, which sits between India and China and is home to about 700,000 people. (more)

Critics of Dow herbicide sue United States EPA over approval
23 October 2014 - A coalition of American farmer and environmental groups filed a lawsuit on Wednesday seeking to overturn regulatory approval granted on 15 October for an herbicide developed by Dow AgroSciences. The groups are asking the court to set aside the EPA's approval. 'This was a rubber stamp. They acted illegally in approving this,' said Andrew Kimbrell, an attorney with the Center for Food Safety, a plaintiff in the case. The National Resource Defense Council filed a similar action on 16 October against the EPA to block Enlist Duo. The herbicide developed by Dow AgroSciences is to be used with new genetically modified corn and soybean crops developed by Dow to tolerate treatments of the herbicide. (more)

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