Source Match Finance News
By David Adams MIAMI (Reuters) - When Charlie Crist last governed Florida, his green energy and climate policies made him few friends among the state's powerful electricity corporations. Florida's three largest utilities have poured money into the re-election campaign of Republican incumbent Governor Rick Scott in an expensive and closely watched political battle for the nation's largest swing state. As Republican governor between 2007 and 2011, Crist "sent shivers through the entire utility system," said Colleen Castille, who headed the Florida Department of Environmental Protection under Governor Jeb Bush. Crist was a darling of clean energy advocates, hosting a climate change summit in 2007 alongside another green Republican, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Ukrainian forces were forced to retreat from Lugansk airport in the face of a Russian troop attack as Moscow soldiers moved into key eastern cities Monday, Kiev said, a day after Russian President Vladimir Putin evoked "statehood" discussions for the conflict-torn east. Putin accused Europe of ignoring the Ukrainian military's "direct targeting" of civilians in the conflict and said the offensive pushed by insurgents there were simply an attempt to expel Kiev's forces from residential areas. He also urged the EU to show "common sense" after its threat to impose more sanctions on Moscow over the months-long crisis that has sank East-West relations to their lowest level since the Cold War. The latest accusations of Russian troops partaking in the fighting that has pitted pro-Moscow rebels against Kiev's troops came as a "contact group" of Russian, Ukrainian and OSCE representatives was due to discuss the conflict during a meeting in Minsk.
Iraqi troops, Kurdish fighters and Shiite militiamen backed by US air strikes pressed a fightback against jihadist-led militants Monday, buoyed by breaking the 11-week siege of a Shiite town. The breakthrough to the town of Amerli is the biggest offensive success for the Iraqi government since militants led by the jihadist Islamic State (IS) group overran much of the Sunni Arab heartland north and west of Baghdad in June. It came as the United States carried out limited air strikes in the area, the first time it has expanded its more than three-week air campaign against IS beyond the north, while the United Nations announced that violence in Iraq killed more than 1,400 people in August. Iraqi forces kept up the momentum of their advance on Monday, with Kurdish peshmerga fighters and Shiite militiamen retaking Sulaiman Bek, a town north of Amerli that had been an important militant stronghold.
By Pavel Polityuk and Polina Devitt KIEV/MOSCOW (Reuters) - Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko accused Russia on Monday of "direct and open aggression" which he said had radically changed the battlefield balance as Kiev's forces suffered a further reverse in the war with pro-Moscow separatists. Ukraine's military said its troops had been ordered to pull back from a vital airport in the east of the country, near the city of Luhansk, where they had been battling a Russian tank battalion. Poroshenko said in a speech there would be high-level personnel changes in the Ukrainian armed forces, whose troops fled a new rebel advance in the south which Kiev's Western allies say has been backed up by Russian armored columns. Russian President Vladimir Putin, who called on Sunday for immediate negotiations on the "statehood" of southern and eastern Ukraine, blamed Kiev's leadership for refusing to enter into direct political talks with the separatists.
The measure, signed into law by Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal in June and due to take effect Sept. 1, would require doctors who perform abortions to have patient admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of their practice. "Plaintiffs will be allowed to operate lawfully while continuing their efforts to obtain privileges," Federal Judge John deGravelles wrote in the decision. Abortion rights activists applauded the decision, the latest in a string of rulings against similar measures, saying it would give doctors more time to seek hospital privileges. "Today’s ruling ensures Louisiana women are safe from an underhanded law that seeks to strip them of their health and rights," said Nancy Northup, president and chief executive of the Center for Reproductive Rights, which sued to block the law on behalf of three of the state's five clinics.
By Jeffrey Heller JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel announced on Sunday a land appropriation in the occupied West Bank that an anti-settlement group termed the biggest in 30 years, drawing Palestinian condemnation and a U.S. Some 400 hectares (988 acres) in the Etzion Jewish settlement bloc near Bethlehem were declared "state land, on the instructions of the political echelon" by the military-run Civil Administration. "We urge the government of Israel to reverse this decision,” a State Department official said in Washington, calling the move "counterproductive" to efforts to achieve a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians. Israel Radio said the step was taken in response to the kidnapping and killing of three Jewish teens by Hamas militants in the area in June.
By Michael Martina and James Pomfret BEIJING/HONG KONG (Reuters) - Pro-democracy activists vowed on Sunday to bring Hong Kong's financial hub to a standstill after China's parliament rejected their demands for the right to freely choose the former British colony's next leader in 2017. The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) endorsed a framework to let only two or three candidates run in the 2017 leadership vote. All candidates must first obtain majority backing from a nominating committee likely to be stacked with Beijing loyalists. The relatively tough decision by the NPC - China's final arbiter on the city's democratic affairs - makes it almost impossible for opposition democrats to get on the ballot.