Greece in limbo: Shuttered banks keep lifeline ATHENS, Greece (AP) - Greece braced for more chaos on the streets outside its mostly shuttered banks Thursday, as Athens and its creditors halted talks on resolving the country's deepening financial crisis until a referendum this weekend. Banks have been closed all week to prevent a crash from mass money withdrawals, while a few have been reopened to help pensioners without ATM cards.
What crisis? Stronger banks, economies ease fear over Greece The prospect of a Greek crackup isn't so terrifying anymore. In 2012, financial markets were rattled by the possibility that Greeks would elect a left-wing government, default on their debts and drop the euro currency. The fears pushed the Standard & Poor's 500 stock index down nearly 10 percent that spring.
Solid hiring expected for June as US job market nears normal WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. employers likely hired at another strong pace in June, a sign that the job market is nearing full health and giving the Federal Reserve reason to raise interest rates as early as September. Economists predict that employers added 233,000 jobs and that the unemployment rate dipped to 5.4 percent from 5.5 percent in May, according to data firm FactSet.
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Many but not all in GOP object as US, Cuba plan embassies WASHINGTON (AP) - Loud but hardly universal catcalls from Republicans underscored the obstacles and opportunities ahead as U.S. and Cuban leaders announced an opening of embassies in Havana and Washington and a resumption of diplomatic relations severed the year President Barack Obama was born. Obama also called on Congress to lift the economic and travel embargoes that the U.S. has used for decades in an attempt to force Cuba's leaders toward democracy. Obama has partly eased those restrictions on his own, but continued opposition from many Republicans and some Democrats makes it unlikely that lawmakers will fully revoke those bans quickly.
Blacklist warnings spread on websites in North Korea TOKYO (AP) - North Korea, already one of the least-wired places in the world, appears to be cracking down on the use of the Internet by even the small number of foreigners who can access it with relative freedom by blacklisting and blocking social media accounts or websites deemed to carry harmful content. The move won't be noticed by most in the North since hardly anyone has access to the Internet. But it could signal increasing concern in Pyongyang over the flow of real-time photos, tweets and status updates getting out to the world and an attempt to further limit what the few North Koreans able to view the Internet can see.
Benghazi, where Libya's uprising began, now a shattered city BENGHAZI, Libya (AP) - The old courthouse in central Benghazi, Libya's second-largest city and the birthplace of the uprising against Moammar Gadhafi, is a shelled-out ruin - a testimony to the destruction and chaos that permeate this North African country four years after the civil war that ousted the longtime dictator. The building is steeped in symbolism. It was here that the rallying cry first came against Gadhafi's 42-year rule. It was here that pro-democracy protesters and rebels first raised the tri-colored Libyan flag, replacing Gadhafi's green banner.
Crashed Indonesian plane may have suffered engine problem MEDAN, Indonesia (AP) - The aging Indonesian military transport plane that crashed into a residential neighborhood of Medan killing 141 people had a propeller "abnormality" that indicates an engine stalled, the air force chief said Thursday. Air Marshal Agus Supriatna told reporters the fact that the plane turned rightward after takeoff and was flying at a lower than normal speed also suggests an engine failure.
Macy's dumps Trump; New York City reviewing contracts LOS ANGELES (AP) - The Macy's department store chain joined an ongoing exodus from association with Donald Trump and New Mexico's governor and New York City's mayor slammed him over his comments on Mexican immigrants. Gov. Susana Martinez of New Mexico, the nation's only Latina governor and a rising star in the Republican party, added her voice Wednesday to criticism of the GOP presidential hopeful, denouncing his comments as "horrible."
Church fires common, but usually not the result of arson GREELEYVILLE, S.C. (AP) - As investigators probe the cause of a fire that destroyed a rural South Carolina black church rebuilt after the Ku Klux Klan torched it 20 years ago, statistics show church fires are not unusual, and that the vast majority in recent years were not intentionally set. Of the blazes that occurred at houses of worship dozens of times a week across the nation, about 84 percent were not intentionally set and many arsons are probably not hate crimes, the data shows.
US files formal extradition request for 7 FIFA officials GENEVA (AP) - The United States has submitted a formal request for Switzerland to extradite seven FIFA officials arrested in Zurich as part of a corruption probe that has rocked soccer's world governing body. Switzerland's Federal Office of Justice said Thursday that the requests were received from the U.S. embassy in Bern. The requests submitted late Wednesday met a 40-day deadline since the seven were detained early May 27 in raids on a luxury hotel in FIFA's home city.