By Herbert Lash NEW YORK (Reuters) - Barclays Plc called for the dismissal on Thursday of a lawsuit from the New York attorney general alleging the bank lied to clients about its high-speed trading venue, calling it unjustified because Barclays' customers were never misled. The bank's motion to dismiss the lawsuit against its private trading venue – or "dark pool" – was based on procedural and case law grounds. The bank said Attorney General Eric Schneiderman did not have the authority to accuse the bank of fraud and deceit under New York's Martin Act, which aims to protect investors when the purchase, sale or exchange of a security is misrepresented. The motion said that fundamentally the New York attorney general failed to identify any fraud, and did not establish material misstatements, identify victims or actual harm.
Israeli tank shells hit a compound housing a U.N. school in the Gaza Strip on Thursday, killing at least 15 people and wounding dozens who were seeking shelter from fierce clashes on the streets outside, Palestinian officials said, as Israel pressed forward with its 17-day war against the territory's Hamas rulers. The strike occurred during a day of heavy fighting throughout the coastal territory. Israel says the war is meant to halt rocket fire from Palestinian militants in Gaza and destroy a sophisticated network of cross-border tunnels. International efforts to bring about a truce appeared elusive, with the violence continuing and Hamas reiterating its demand for a cease-fire that a crippling Egyptian and Israeli blockade on Gaza be lifted.
France's foreign minister says the Air Algerie flight that has gone missing over Mali has "probably crashed." Laurent Fabius says "no trace" of the plane has been found. Two French fighter jets are among aircraft scouring the rugged north of Mali for the MD-83 that was travelling from the Burkina Faso capital of Ouagadougou to Algiers, the Algerian capital. Burkina Faso's transport minister says five Canadians were among those onboard.
(Reuters) - Canada's largest grocer Loblaw Cos Ltd's quarterly profit handily beat analysts' expectations, helped by strong pharmacy sales in its recently acquired Shoppers Drug Mart. Sales at Shoppers [SDMC.UL] accounted for more than a quarter of Loblaw's total sales of C$10.31 billion ($9.61 billion) in the second quarter. This was the first time that Shoppers contributed to Loblaw's sales. Loblaw, majority-owned by George Weston Ltd , bought Shoppers last year to better compete against U.S rivals such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc and Target Corp . ...
TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index rose slightly on Thursday, helped by gains in materials shares, as the market digested results from miners Potash Corp and Teck Resources . Just after open, the Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index was up 7.15 points, or 0.05 percent, at 15,401.53. (Reporting by Cameron French; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)
By Lucia Mutikani WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell to the lowest level in nearly 8-1/2 years last week, suggesting the labor market recovery was gaining traction. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits declined 19,000 to a seasonally adjusted 284,000 for the week ended July 19, the lowest level since February 2006, the Labor Department said. The data provided further confirmation that the labor market is tightening.
By Alastair Sharp TORONTO (Reuters) - Rogers Communications Inc chose quality over quantity in the second quarter, shunning wireless promotions in order to protect margins as mobile subscriber growth fell. The company, Canada's largest mobile phone company, took a 24 percent hit to net income, it said on Thursday, but investors cheered the early results of a refreshed business strategy with a 2.7 percent share price rise in early trade. "Given low expectations and the lack of change in 2014 guidance, today's release may provide some relief," Canaccord Genuity analyst Dvai Ghose wrote in a note to clients.
Barclays Plc filed a motion on Thursday to throw out the New York attorney general's lawsuit that alleged the bank lied to clients over its high-speed trading venue, saying many of the state's allegations were taken out of context. Barclays' motion to dismiss the lawsuit against the bank's private trading venue – or "dark pool" – was based on procedural and case law grounds. The bank said Attorney General Eric Schneiderman did not have the authority to accuse the bank of fraud and deceit under New York's Martin Act, which aims to protect investors when the purchase, sale or exchange of a security is misrepresented.
This year's Venice Film Festival will tackle topics from the financial crisis to drone warfare, and feature performances from Willem Dafoe, Al Pacino, Jennifer Aniston and Ethan Hawke. Organizers on Thursday announced a 20-strong competition lineup that includes Iranian-American director Ramin Bahrani's subprime-mortgage drama "99 Homes," with Andrew Garfield and Laura Dern, and New Zealand-born filmmaker Andrew Niccol's "The Good Kill," starring Hawke as a dissatisfied drone operator. There is a strong American presence, both behind the camera and onscreen, among the films in the running for the Golden Lion.
Mexican director Alejandro Inarritu opens this year's Venice film festival with the premier of "Birdman", a black comedy that heads a 55-strong selection leaning heavily toward war and recession, festival director Alberto Barbera said on Thursday. As well as "Birdman", starring Michael Keaton as a fading action hero, 19 other films are in the main competition, including "Manglehorn", starring Al Pacino, "Good Kill" with Ethan Hawke as a disillusioned military drone pilot and Fatih Akin's "The Cut" with Tahar Rahim, star of Jacques Audiard's 2009 thriller "A Prophet".
(Reuters) - San Diego Padres outfielder Cameron Maybin has been suspended for 25 games for violating Major League Baseball's joint drug prevention and treatment program, the league announced on Wednesday. Maybin, whose suspension is effective immediately, tested positive for an amphetamine, the commissioner of baseball's office said in a statement.
By Kayon Raynor KINGSTON (Reuters) - Six-times Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt and his coach Glen Mills believe the Jamaican sprinter can run even faster as he targets the 2015 world championships and the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro. It has been five years since Bolt set the 100m world record of 9.58 seconds and the 200m best of 19.19 at the Berlin world championships, and this season began late for him as he recovered from minor foot surgery and a hamstring injury. The lanky Jamaican missed nine weeks of training after having surgery on his left foot in March but shrugged off any suggestion that he might be past his best as prepares for the sprint relay at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow next month. Then I can put in a lot more work and I'll have more time to work and stay fit and to be focused." Coach Mills, who has guided Bolt to his six Olympic golds and a record 10 world championships medals since 2007, also believes the sprinter is capable of running faster.
Big serving American Sam Querrey was bounced out of the Atlanta Open in the second round on Wednesday by Israel's Dudi Sela 6-2 6-4. Despite notching eight aces to none and winning 86 percent of points on his first serve, ninth seed Querrey won just six of 26 second serve points to be ousted by the world No. 94. It wasn’t the only shock of the second round with sixth seed Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan taken out by Slovakia’s world number 91 Lukas Lacko 5-7 6-1 6-4. In other second round matches fourth seed Canadian Vasek Pospisil beat qualifier Illya Marchenko of Ukraine 7-5 6-3 to set up a date with Sela, while 21-year-old American Jack Sock took out New Zealand’s Michael Venus 6-4 6-2 to advance to a third round encounter with Lacko.
Victoria's Kristen Sweetland has won Canada's first medal of the Commonwealth Games. She captured a silver in the women's triathlon today at Glasgow's Strathclyde Country Park. Calgary's Ellen Pennock crashed during the bike portion of the event and has a suspected broken collarbone while Sarah-Anne Brault of Winnipeg dropped out during the run. England's Jodie Stimpson won the first gold of Games, completing the 1,500-metre swim, 40-kilometre bike and 10-kilometre run in an unofficial time of one hour 58 minutes 56 seconds.
Oscar-nominated Quebec director Philippe Falardeau will celebrate the world premiere of his new movie "The Good Lie" at the upcoming Toronto International Film Festival. The fact-based drama stars Reese Witherspoon as a straight-talking American who helps four Sudanese refugees and is Falardeau's first film since 2011's "Monsieur Lazhar," which was shortlisted for an Academy Award. The first wave of titles to screen at the annual movie marathon were announced Tuesday morning at a news conference where artistic director Cameron Bailey touted their "strong, diverse line-up." Witherspoon will have two high-profile projects screening at the festival.
The Environmental Protection Agency's fight to clean up water pollution got a splash of pop culture Tuesday, thanks to an Internet flub involving reality TV star Kim Kardashian. The verified Twitter account for the EPA's Office of Water mistakenly published a message Monday night about an online game, "Kim Kardashian: Hollywood," in which players walk red carpets, attend photo shoots and get dolled up like a Kardashian. The government's tweet was removed within hours from the @EPAwater account, but not before a tweet from the account of Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., the 88-year-old co-author of the Clean Water Act, poked fun by asking what a Kardashian is.