By Will Dunham and Andrew Osborn WASHINGTON/LONDON (Reuters) - Washington said countries in the Middle East had offered to join air strikes against Islamic State militants and Australia said it would send troops, but Britain held back even after the group beheaded a British hostage and threatened to kill another. Secretary of State John Kerry has been touring the Middle East to try to secure backing for U.S.
Ukraine's defense minister said on Sunday that NATO countries were delivering weapons to his country to equip it to fight pro-Russian separatists and "stop" Russian President Vladimir Putin. Valery Heletey told a news conference he had discussed weapons deliveries in bilateral meetings with NATO defense ministers during a NATO summit in Wales on Sept. 4-5. NATO officials have said it will not send "lethal assistance" to non-member Ukraine but member states may do so.
Mali landmine kills U.N. peacekeeper, wounds four others
A landmine explosion hit a vehicle carrying U.N. peacekeepers from Chad on patrol in northeastern Mali on Sunday, killing one and seriously wounding four others, the U.N. mission in Mali said. "These attacks on the United Nations constitute war crimes whose authors will be brought to justice. The United Nations will not let itself be intimidated as it defends civilians and the territorial integrity of Mali," said Albert Koenders, head of the U.N. force, which is known by its acronym, MINUSMA. Peacekeepers continue to be targeted in sporadic attacks despite a successful intervention led by France last year that drove back Islamists who had taken advantage of a separatist uprising to seize Mali's desert north.
By Alistair Smout GLASGOW Scotland (Reuters) - Thousands of independence supporters took to the streets of Scotland's largest city, Glasgow, on Sunday as polls showed the rival camps running desperately close just five days before a referendum which could bring the break-up of the United Kingdom. Separatist and unionist leaders worked across the country to woo undecided voters among the four million people Scots and Scotland residents who will vote on their future on Thursday. Scottish National Party leader Alex Salmond, who has spearheaded the drive for independence, said he was confident the "Yes" campaign would win. Alistair Darling, a former British finance minister and leader of the "Better Together" campaign, warned that if Scots vote to split from the United Kingdom, it would be an irreversible decision that would bring economic doom and gloom.
Thriller "No Good Deed" leapt straight in at the top of the North American box office this weekend, pulling in $24.5 million on its debut, industry estimates showed Sunday. Second at the weekend, with $16.6 million, was another new release -- the more sedate "Dolphin Tale 2," a family-friendly sequel starring Morgan Freeman and Ashley Judd. The two new entrants relegated science-fiction blockbuster "Guardians of the Galaxy" into third spot, according to box office tracker Exhibitor Relations. Fourth was "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles," which added $4.8 million from Friday to Sunday to its total earnings for $181 million.
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) ? This struggling seaside gambling resort has been in the national news for all the wrong reasons lately: a rash of casino closings, thousands of unemployed workers, and a domestic violence case involving a former NFL star.
Federal Reserve may give clearer hints on when it will hike the cost of borrowing in the United States in the coming week, as struggling Europe braces for a tight vote in Scotland on whether to leave the United Kingdom. In the euro zone, however, the European Central Bank is moving in the opposite direction in a desperate bid to rekindle growth and inflation. The United States is shaking off the hangover from a financial crisis that hammered Europe and even knocked mighty China off its stride.
By Lionel Laurent LONDON (Reuters) - Stock investors who recognize the risks of trading in anonymous "dark pools" but are unwilling to spurn them have found an alternative: club together. A growing number of European investment funds have signed up to use an electronic trading system designed by one of their own - Finland's Pohjola Asset Management - which offers the ability to dissect and control the way their market bets are routed to dark pools and other exchanges across the region. This might seem like little more than back-office tinkering to the uninitiated - after all, fund managers are paid to decide which stocks to buy, not the minutiae of where to trade them. "For many years, investment banks and other electronic brokers have provided electronic order-routing mechanisms ... But once an order goes behind a firewall it's very difficult to maintain total control over it," said Adam Conn, head of trading at Barings Asset Management, a user of the Pohjola router.
LONDON/AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Global brewer SABMiller has made a takeover approach to the family owners of Heineken that has been rejected, Bloomberg reported on Sunday, citing people with knowledge of the matter. The newswire said SABMiller's approach was made as part of a strategy to protect itself from any potential bid from SAB's larger rival, world No.1 brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev. ...
By Andrei Khalip LISBON (Reuters) - The Bank of Portugal on Sunday picked a new chief executive for Novo Banco, successor to Banco Espirito Santo (BES), following the embarrassing resignation of its three top managers appointed only two months ago. Eduardo Stock da Cunha, 51, an experienced international banker who has worked at lenders like Santander and Lloyds in Britain, Portugal, Spain and the United States, became the new head of the bank that the central bank aims to sell off swiftly to recover state loans. BES, Portugal's largest listed lender, had to be rescued last month after the collapse of the business empire of its founding Espirito Santo family, whose main holding firms are under creditor protection.