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Public-sector workers strike in Belgium, transport disrupted

The Associated Press  |  Posted  May 31st - 7:30am

Strikes by public-sector employees across Belgium intensified Tuesday, with train and bus services disrupted along with schools, prisons and mail delivery as workers protested against the government's social and economic policies.

Illinois lawmakers near session's end without state budget

The Associated Press  |  Posted  May 31st - 7:30am

Illinois lawmakers have one day left to end an 11-month budget stalemate and pass a spending plan for next year before their spring session ends and it becomes more difficult.

State considers permanent ban on ohia transport

The Associated Press  |  Posted  May 31st - 7:10am

State officials are set to consider whether an emergency quarantine put into effect last summer to prevent the spread of a fungus that has destroyed thousands of acres of the Big Island's native forests should be a permanent rule.

US home prices rise in March as spring buying season begins

Christopher S. Rugaber, Associated Press  |  Posted  May 31st - 7:10am

U.S. home prices kept climbing in March as the spring home buying season began, but so far the higher costs haven't thwarted sales.

Scandal-hit Volkswagen makes profit despite scandal

David McHugh, Associated Press  |  Posted  May 31st - 7:10am

German automaker Volkswagen saw its net profit fall 19 percent in the first three months of the year — but showed it can still make money even as it grapples with a costly scandal over cars rigged to cheat on diesel emissions tests.

Romania: crash fatality confirmed as CEO of pharma scam firm

The Associated Press  |  Posted  May 31st - 7:10am

Romanian authorities have confirmed that a man killed in a car crash a week ago was the CEO of a company that had been indicted on charges of delivering heavily diluted disinfectants to hospitals.

India's economy grew 7.6 percent in last fiscal year

The Associated Press  |  Posted  May 31st - 7:00am

India says its economy grew 7.6 percent in the fiscal year that ended March 31 and a stronger 7.9 percent in the last quarter of the year, keeping its position as the world's fastest-growing major economy.

US consumer spending scores biggest jump in 6 years

Martin Crutsinger, Associated Press  |  Posted  May 31st - 6:50am

Consumer spending surged in April by the largest amount in more than six years, led by a big jump in purchases of autos and other durable goods.

EU links up with Twitter, tech firms to combat hate speech

The Associated Press  |  Posted  May 31st - 6:50am

The European Union reached an agreement Tuesday with some of the world's biggest social media firms, including Facebook and Twitter, on ways to combat the spread of hate speech online.

EU drug agency: Ecstasy is making a comeback among the young

Barry Hatton, Associated Press  |  Posted  May 31st - 6:30am

Ecstasy is becoming popular again in the European Union, with online sales and targeted marketing helping to drive the revival among a new generation of users, the EU drug agency said Tuesday.

Striking Verizon workers to return Wednesday; deal inked

Jennifer Peltz, Associated Press  |  Posted  May 31st - 6:30am

Nearly 40,000 striking Verizon employees will return to work Wednesday after reaching a tentative contract agreement that includes 1,300 new call center jobs and nearly 11 percent in raises over four years but also makes health care plan changes to save the company money, the company and unions said Monday.

Report: Mental hospital workers improperly used restraints

The Associated Press  |  Posted  May 31st - 6:20am

Workers at a state-run mental health hospital in Yankton violated patients' rights by misusing restraints to control potentially unruly subjects, a federal inspection concluded.

Upgrades planned for Louisiana-Lafayette student union

The Associated Press  |  Posted  May 31st - 6:00am

The University of Louisiana at Lafayette is exploring upgrades for the new Student Union and a green space project to bring life to a site where several administrative offices once sat.

France braces for more strikes, gas shortage continues

The Associated Press  |  Posted  May 31st - 5:30am

France is bracing for new strikes this week and continues to face a gasoline shortage, with six out of height refineries blocked or partially disrupted by protests against a labor law.

Abe weathers no-confidence motion over faltering economy

Elaine Kurtenbach and Mari Yamaguchi, Associated Press  |  Posted  May 31st - 5:20am

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe easily weathered a no-confidence motion Tuesday submitted by opposition parties, as his allies agreed on postponing a sales tax hike to avoid further shocks to the stuttering economic recovery.

Libya: France announces $500 million upgrade for oil site

The Associated Press  |  Posted  May 31st - 5:10am

French company Technip has signed a preliminary $500 million deal to upgrade a key Libyan oil facility, along with Italy's Eni and Libya's state oil company.

Russia highlights ties with China ahead of Putin's trip

The Associated Press  |  Posted  May 31st - 5:00am

Russia's foreign minister says President Vladimir Putin's planned trip to China will give powerful new impulse to ties between the two nations.

Eurozone inflation remains negative but poised for oil boost

Pan Pylas, Associated Press  |  Posted  May 31st - 5:00am

Consumer prices across the 19-country eurozone fell again in May but look set to rise in the months ahead due to the recent pick-up in oil prices — an outlook that means the European Central Bank will likely refrain from announcing more stimulus measures this week.

EU court adviser: Sanctions on Russian firms legally valid

The Associated Press  |  Posted  May 31st - 4:30am

A senior adviser to the European Court of Justice says European Union economic sanctions imposed on Russian companies are valid in the main under the EU's common security and defense policy.

Group targets DNC chair with TV ad over payday lending bill

Sergio Bustos, Associated Press  |  Posted  May 31st - 4:20am

A liberal group is spending $100,000 in television ads in South Florida to call out embattled Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz for not cracking down harder on what many call the predatory practices of the payday lending industry.