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Japan stocks soar 5 percent, yen falls on stimulus

A man walks past an electronic stock board of a securities firm in Tokyo, Friday, Oct. 31, 2014. Japan's Nikkei 225 stock average surged 5 percent and the yen slid against the dollar after the Bank of Japan unexpectedly announced new stimulus to boost a flagging economic recovery. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Japan's stock benchmark surged 5 percent to the highest level since late 2007 and the yen slid against the dollar Friday after the Bank of Japan unexpectedly announced new stimulus to boost a flagging economy. Expectations Japan's $1.1 trillion public pension fund would boost its equity holdings gave a further boost to the market.


Wal-Mart to expand discounts as retail price war heats up

A Wal-Mart Stores Inc company distribution center in Bentonville(Reuters) - Wal-Mart Stores Inc said it will expand its offering of discounted products during the holiday season and may broaden a price-matching scheme to include online rivals, in the latest sign of an escalating price war among big U.S. retailers. Wal-Mart said it was bracing for competition to be as tough or tougher than in 2013, when heavy discounting depressed earnings across the industry. Wal-Mart's profits dropped in the holiday quarter last year and it has posted six straight quarters of flat or declining same-store sales. ...


10 Things to Know for Today

FILE - In a Monday, Jan. 17, 2011 file photo, gun violence protesters participate in a lie-in during an anti-gun rally at the Capitol in Richmond, Va. Nearly six in 10 Americans want stricter gun laws in the aftermath of last month's deadly school shooting in Connecticut, with majorities favoring a nationwide ban on military-style, rapid-fire weapons and limits on gun violence depicted in video games and movies and on TV, according to a new Associated Press-GfK poll. A lopsided 84 percent of adults would like to see the establishment of a federal standard for background checks for people buying guns at gun shows, the poll showed. President Barack Obama was set Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013 to unveil a wide-ranging package of steps for reducing gun violence expected to include a proposed ban on assault weapons, limits on the capacity of ammunition magazines and universal background checks for gun sales. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:


Africans worst responders in Ebola crisis

FILE - In this Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014 file photo, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, chairperson of the African Union Commission, speaks at United Nations headquarters in New York. The head of Africa’s continental body did not get to an Ebola-hit country until last week - months after alarm bells first rang and nearly 5,000 deaths later. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)JOHANNESBURG (AP) — The head of Africa's continental body did not get to an Ebola-hit country until last week — months after alarm bells first rang and nearly 5,000 deaths later.


Downey, Watson, Dench honored by British Academy

Honorees Robert Downey Jr., from left, Emma Watson and Judi Dench appear on stage at the BAFTA Los Angeles Britannia Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — There was a bit of a British invasion at the Beverly Hills Hilton hotel, as BAFTA Los Angeles hosted its annual Britannia Awards, honoring film and television talent from both sides of the pond, including director Mike Leigh and actors Dame Judi Dench, Emma Watson, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Robert Downey Jr.


Hawaii town shows how to live with lava

In this Oct. 28, 2014 photo provided by Pete Stachowicz of Paradise Helicopters, a house burns to the ground as lava flows around it near the town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii. The National Guard is deploying troops to the rural Hawaii town as lava makes a slow crawl toward a major road and threatens to further isolate the community that got its start during the lumber- and sugar-plantation heyday. Hawaii County Civil Defense Director Darryl Oliveira said Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014, the National Guard is deploying 83 troops to Pahoa to help provide security. The troops will help with a roadblock and with other safety issues. (AP Photo/Pete Stachowicz, Paradise Helicopters)PAHOA, Hawaii (AP) — Ten miles from the Hawaii town of Pahoa that is being menaced by a stream of lava from Kilauea volcano, there's another community that was almost entirely swallowed by the molten rock nearly 30 years ago.


Philippines' rare dwarf buffalo charges against extinction

A captive dwarf buffalo or tamaraw nicknamed Kali, pictured at the tamaraw gene pool farm in Manoot on the central Philippine island of Mindoro on April 23, 2007The population of the Philippines' dwarf buffalo, one of the world's rarest animals, has grown to its largest since efforts to save them from extinction began, conservationists said Friday. An annual survey counted 382 tamaraws in a protected mountain area this year, an increase from 345 in 2013, according to data from the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). The tamaraw, famed for its distinct v-shaped horns, can be found only in the mountains of Mindoro, a farming island in the central Philippines. The stocky tamaraw, with its chocolate brown coat, runs wild in the forest and weighs half as much as the more common carabao, which is used by farmers in the Philippines to plough rice fields.


Protesters in Burkina Faso call for Compaore to step down

An anti-government protester films events with his cell phone outside the parliament building in OuagadougouOUAGADOUGOU (Reuters) - Hundreds of protesters marched in the capital of Burkina Faso on Friday demanding that President Blaise Compaore step down, a day after the military dissolved parliament and announced a transitional government in the face of violent mass protests. "We don't want him. We want him out of power. He is not our president," demonstrator Ouedrago Yakubo told Reuters. The demonstrators gathered at the main Place de la Nation and in front of the army headquarters. ...


Japan's huge pension fund to boost share purchases

TOKYO (AP) — Japan's $1.1 trillion public pension fund on Friday approved a plan to double its holdings of shares and cut back sharply on bonds to help improve its investment returns.

Burkina army chief announces creation of transitional government

The head of Burkina Faso's armed forces announced on Thursday the dissolution of the national assembly and the creation of a national transitional government to last a maximum of 12 months, though he did not say who would lead it. A return to the constitutional order is expected in no more than 12 months," General Honore Traore told a news conference after a day of violent protests in the capital.

Romania to vote for new leader; corruption ignored

An elderly woman sells autumn flowers outside a subway station, in Bucharest, Romania, Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014. Romanians go to the polls on Sunday to elect a new leader as President Traian Basescu steps down after 10 years. (AP Photo/Octav Ganea, Mediafax) ROMANIA OUTBUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romanians go to the polls Sunday to elect a new leader as President Traian Basescu steps down after 10 years. Prime Minister Victor Ponta is favored to win over challengers who include a city mayor and a glamorous lawyer. Here's a look at this Balkan nation's vote:


Bank of Japan expands monetary easing plan as economy slows

Bank of Japan (BOJ) Governor Haruhiko Kuroda speaks to the press at the BOJ headquarters in Tokyo on October 31, 2014The Bank of Japan ramped up its vast monetary easing programme Friday -- sending the yen plunging and stocks soaring -- in a surprise move aimed at reviving growth just as the Federal Reserve winds down its own stimulus spree. Speaking after the central bank wrapped up its latest policy meeting, BoJ chief Haruhiko Kuroda described the measures as crucial to keeping Japan on track in its war on deflation, and said further policy moves could follow. "The Japanese economy is now at a critical moment in its process of getting out of deflation," he told reporters in Tokyo, adding that the BoJ would "not hesitate" to pull the trigger on more easing if necessary. The BoJ also slashed its economic growth forecast by half, and trimmed inflation expectations as a much-touted inflation target looked increasingly out of reach.


LeBron very un-LeBron in opening loss to Knicks

Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James tosses chalk in the air before the start of an NBA basketball game against the New York Knicks Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)CLEVELAND (AP) — Shortly after showering, and maybe rinsing off a forgettable performance, LeBron James smiled and laughed as he dressed for a flight to Chicago.


Group argues Redskins lawsuit should be tossed

WASHINGTON (AP) — Five Native Americans are asking a Virginia judge to dismiss a lawsuit the Washington Redskins filed after the group successfully challenged the team's name, arguing it is offensive.

China to send elite army unit to help fight Ebola in Liberia

By Megha Rajagopalan BEIJING (Reuters) - China will dispatch an elite unit from the People's Liberation Army to help Ebola-hit Liberia, the Foreign Ministry said on Friday, responding to U.N. calls for a greater global effort to fight the deadly virus in West Africa. Washington has led the international drive to stop the spread of the disease that has killed nearly 5,000 people, sending thousands of troops and committing about $1 billion, but Beijing has faced criticism for not doing enough. ...

British press fights 'Big Brother' after sources outed

Britain's security services are set to clash with parliament and the country's powerful press over revelations police secretly used a controversial law to identify journalists' sourcesBritain's security services are set to clash with parliament and the press over revelations that police secretly used a controversial law to identify journalists' sources, triggering a wider debate about media freedom in the digital age. Other cases have since emerged, although the full scale of the practice is unknown since police do not need to go through a court under the Regulation of Invest Powers Act (RIPA). In the case of The Sun, the phone records of political editor Tom Newton Dunn were accessed to find out which officers were behind allegations that Andrew Mitchell, the government's senior representative in parliament, swore at police. "It was a fairly simple process for them to identify which telephone numbers could be linked to police officers," said Dominic Ponsford from the Press Gazette trade magazine, which is running a "Save Our Sources" campaign.


Rating the Nation-Best Pre-BCS Bowls

There was no BCS to make sure Nos. 1 and 2 played each other after the 1982 regular season. That left No. 1 Nebraska facing No. 4 Miami in what was expected to be a coronation for the powerful Cornhuskers.

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