Ending standoff with North Korea boosts South's President Park
By Jack Kim and Ju-min Park SEOUL (Reuters) - Beset by crisis, scandal and a sluggish economy in the first half of her single five-year term, South Korean President Park Geun-hye's approval rating soared in a poll released on Friday after a pact with North Korea brought back the rivals from the brink of conflict. Park's rating in a Gallup poll climbed a remarkable 15 percentage points from a week earlier to 49 percent, the highest in nearly a year, after the accord early on Tuesday ended an armed standoff in one of the world's most dangerous flashpoints and cleared the ground for further engagement with Pyongyang. "This is a beginning to pierce through clogged-up South-North ties, but we don't yet have a legacy," said Choi Jin, the head of the Institute for Presidential Leadership in Seoul, referring to Park's ambition for a lasting peace, and eventually reunification.
TV academy, actors union toast diversity at pre-Emmy party
Special Report: How the IMF?s Greek misadventure is changing the fund
By Lesley Wroughton, Howard Schneider and Dina Kyriakidou WASHINGTON/ATHENS (Reuters) - Many of the top brass of the International Monetary Fund always had concerns about the plans to bail out Greece. A Reuters examination of previously unreported IMF board minutes shows that a near majority of directors round the board table that day thought the Greek program would not work. The fund's powerful Managing Director, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, and a handful of his advisers, feared Greece posed a threat to the wider euro zone financial system.
Robin Williams' family back in court over estate dispute
Greece's new prime minister names caretaker cabinet
ATHENS, Greece (AP) ? Greece's new prime minister, a top judge who is the country's first female premier, named the members of her caretaker government Friday as the country heads to early elections next month, the third time Greeks will go to the polls this year.
Poll sees Tsipras in lead as Greece gears up for elections
Greece geared up for its fifth election in six years with a poll Friday showing leftist leader Alexis Tsipras in the lead for re-election despite a wave of defections from his Syriza party. The Greek people will give a strong mandate for the present and the future," Tsipras said in a statement to Avgi, the Syriza daily. It will only go forward," said Tsipras, who was elected on an anti-austerity ticket in January but now seeks re-election to apply fresh cuts.
Vatican says ex-envoy, charged with sexual abuse, has died
VATICAN CITY (AP) ? The Vatican's former ambassador to the Dominican Republic, who had been charged by church prosecutors with sexually abusing children in the Caribbean country, died Friday of apparent natural causes as he awaited trial, the Vatican said.
Asia markets rally after strong US growth figures
Asia stocks extended their rally on Friday, taking heart from strong US growth figures to cement a recovery after a torrid week when global markets took fright over China's gloomy economic outlook. Tokyo led the gains, with Shanghai and several other markets in tow, and oil prices zoomed higher after the US reported a surprisingly strong new estimate of economic growth in the second quarter. The latest data, which showed the world's biggest economy grew at an annual rate of 3.7 percent in the April-June quarter, buoyed markets that have been worried over the prospects for China's economy, which accounts for some 13 percent of global output.
Businesses reopening at scene of deadly on-air shootings
ROANOKE, Va. (AP) ? Businesses are reopening at the scene of this week's on-air shooting as more details surface of the gunman's long history of confronting and bullying co-workers at a succession of television and customer-service jobs.
Greece's Syriza to win election but face setback, poll shows
By George Georgiopoulos ATHENS (Reuters) - Former Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras' leftist Syriza will emerge as the biggest party after next month's election but without the sizeable margin it was hoping for, the first major opinion poll since he resigned last week showed. The poll also found that almost two thirds of voters felt Tsipras should not have sought a fresh mandate and that his favored coalition ally would not make it into parliament, suggesting his gamble to call early elections to consolidate his power base could backfire. Syriza was supported by 23 percent of those polled, with the conservative New Democracy party second on 19.5 percent, according to the survey, carried out by pollsters ProRata and published in Friday's Efimerida Ton Syntakton newspaper.