Tens of thousands of workers were helped to retrain, look for a new job or launch a new company in 207-2013 if they had been laid off as a result of globalisation or the economic crisis thanks to €400 million in EU funding. This aid came from the EU's Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF). On 11 September the EP’s budget committee approved another aid package for workers in Greece, the Netherlands, Romania and Spain.
Since 2007 the fund has received more than 100 applications from 20 EU countries asking for it to co-finance support programmes for more than 100,000 workers who lost their jobs due to globalisation (56%) or as a result of the global economic and financial crisis (44%).
Many requests concerned redundancies in car manufacturing (22.5%), machinery and equipment (13.5%), textile, wearing apparel and shoe manufacture (12%), computers, mobile phones and ICT (11.6%) as well construction (9.6%).
The budget committee’s approval of aid to redundant workers in Spain, Netherlands, Romania and Greece will be put to a plenary vote on Wednesday 17 September.
SYDNEY (AP) — Backrower Wycliff Palu will miss Australia's Rugby Championships matches in Argentina and South Africa because of concussion concerns.
Palu missed the Wallabies' 32-25 win over Argentina on the Gold Coast last weekend after sustaining a head knock in the previous week's 24-23 win over South Africa in Perth.
Wallabies medical staff had advised that, because of Palu's injury history, the 32-year-old should take an extended break. An Australian team spokesman said the 53-test veteran would have to prove his recovery under concussion protocols before being reconsidered for selection.
Australia will play South Africa at Cape Town on Sept. 27 and Argentina on Oct. 5. Coach Ewen McKenzie will name a 28-man squad for those matches on Wednesday.News Topics: Sports, Rugby, Rugby union
People, Places and Companies: Australia, South Africa, Oceania, Southern Africa, Africa
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
The candidate commissioners, as presented by incoming Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, will need to appear in hearings before parliamentary committees from 29 September to 7 October.
The hearings will take place from 29 September to 2 October and in the following week, on the afternoon of Monday 6 and the morning of Tuesday 7 October. The exact schedule showing when which commissioner will appear before which committee(s) is to be determined next week. Should one or more candidates fail their exam(s) before the committees or have their portfolio(s) changed, additional hearings will need to be held.
The political group leaders - Conference of Presidents - will meet on 9 October to evaluate the hearings. The European Parliament is set to vote on whether or not to approve the full Commission on 22 October. This would allow the new Commission to start work on 1 November. Incoming Commission President Juncker was already approved in a vote on 15 July.
In the run-up to the hearings, parliamentary committees will send written questions to the candidates on 18 September, which will need to be answered in writing by 26 September. There will be two general questions common to all on competence, portfolio and cooperation with Parliament, and three from the relevant committee. Where more committees are involved in hearings, they may also submit two additional written questions.
The hearings will last at least three hours and will be broadcast and webstreamed live. The commissioners-designate may make an opening statement, after which MEPs will pose questions. Each committee will then draw up an evaluation in camera, to be sent to the President of Parliament.
For commissioners-designate with horizontal responsibilities, special arrangements will be made, including appearances before multiple committees.
The Middle East has confounded outsiders for years, so it is no surprise that another U.S.-led project with a straightforward goal — destroying a marauding organization of extremists — is bumping up against age-old rivalries and a nod-and-a-wink-style political culture.
U.S. secretary of state John Kerry has received backing for the principle of reversing the territorial gains of the Islamic State group in Iraq. But getting concrete assistance is another matter, and there is a whiff of lip service about the proceedings.
Much of the problem lies in the Muslim region's Sunni-Shiite divide, which outsiders tend to underestimate again and again — only to see it emerging as the dominant factor once more. Here's a look at the landscape:
SUNNIS AREN'T INCLINED TO HELP SHIITE REGIMES
Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah has come out against the Islamic State group and its acts of barbarism in Syria and Iraq. Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi clearly reviles political Islam and its militant extension, the jihadis who are tearing up Libya, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, and Egypt's own Sinai Peninsula. Yet they still have reservations about making a direct move that would be seen as aligning with the Shiite leaderships in Baghdad and Damascus. The issue pops up everywhere: secular Sunnis in northern Iraq actually felt so alienated from the Shiite government of Nouri al-Maliki and its anti-Sunni machinations that — at least for a time earlier this year — they genuinely supported the Islamic State group because it was Sunni. Iran factors into this equation as well: although its Persian majority is not ethnically Arab, it is a Shiite nation, and as such supports the Shiite-dominated government in Baghdad. Several days of U.S. lobbying, and a new leader in Iraq more amenable to reaching out to non-Shiites, will not change this. Nor will the U.S. sway Turkey, another Sunni power that has not been pleased with the Islamic State group but is still eager to see the overthrow of its enemy, Syrian President Bashar Assad. The issue has no fix; what is needed is finesse.
U.S. CREDIBILITY HAS WANED
U.S. credibility has suffered in the Middle East since Sept. 11, 2001, which doesn't help the recruitment effort. The arguments for invading Iraq have been discredited, and the Iraqi and Afghan campaigns — which went on years beyond the original plan — are not looking successful. Smaller fights against terrorists in Pakistan and Yemen seem destined to continue without end. The Obama administration's swift abandonment of Hosni Mubarak in 2011 shocked allies in the region, most of whom were hardly more democratic than the ousted Egyptian leader. U.S. attempts to work with Islamists, during the brief rule of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, left many concluding that American leadership was naive and its diplomacy inept. When the U.S. threatened Syria if it used chemical weapons, and then did not attack after their alleged use, it was seen as America flinching, even though Assad eventually gave up the arms. In an echo of colonial-era animosities, many in the region see Western leaders who are stirred to action by the beheading of a few Westerners — but not by hundreds of thousands of Arab deaths. Washington also has proven unable to influence its close ally Israel to slow down Jewish settlement construction in the West Bank — one of the few things that can unite virtually all Sunnis and Shiites in angry opposition.
POLITICAL ISLAM IS UNPOPULAR WITH THE GOVERNMENTS
Two years ago, it looked like political Islam was not only ascendant but destined to dominate. The Muslim Brotherhood and its allies seemed to have an automatic majority in Egypt, did very well in elections in Libya, Tunisia, Morocco and elsewhere, and were becoming dominant even in the Syrian opposition. But the tables have turned dramatically, largely because of the success of the Egyptian military in conflating the Muslim Brotherhood with jihadi radicalism, and by the horrifying actions of Islamic extremists who have harmed the Islamist project as a whole. Today, most governments in the region are working to undermine political Islam, leaving mainly Qatar, which supports the Brotherhood financially and has granted refuge to many of the group's leaders from Egypt as well as Hamas leader Khaled Mashal. Yet even Qatar, under pressure from other Gulf nations, appears to be backtracking, announcing this weekend that several key Brotherhood leaders would be leaving. All this aids the coalition-building effort and helps explain why Kerry is not shown the door.
DEMOCRACY IS NOT SO POPULAR, EITHER
A key slice of the regional elite — educated and globalized, but not starry-eyed — considers the Western obsession with free elections to be naive and destructive. The argument says that societies with high illiteracy, little democratic history or infrastructure, and tribal culture shot through with radical Islamic influences are simply not ready for the responsibility of majority rule. It is better, they reason, to enable a type of managed democracy — like in Egypt where the previously elected Islamist party has been outlawed and decapitated — or a lengthy transition or the kind that is offered by King Abdullah in Jordan. For the United States' current coalition project, this means getting into bed with less-than-democratic countries that, after the frustrations of the Arab Spring, do not welcome meddling in their political systems.
THE LEAST BAD OPTION
The jihadis are aiming for a form of utopia, from their perspective. But most people in the Middle East have grown accustomed to compromise — to accepting and even embracing the least bad option. In this way, secular Palestinians accept Hamas, preferring Islamist oppression to the corruption of secular rulers like Yasser Arafat. Many Libyans are surely nostalgic for their stability and reasonable prosperity under Moammar Gadhafi. There was no political freedom and even the hint of insanity at the top. But it could be seen as less bad than the current situation with two competing governments, neither in control, violent Islamist militias holding Tripoli and Benghazi, and foreign workers fleeing for their lives. Many Syrians are concluding that the Assad regime — secular and commercially competent, if capable of using chemical weapons on its own people — may be the least bad option as well, if the likely replacement is a coalition of jihadis. Western leaders fret that hitting the Islamic State group may help Assad, but many in the region find that a palatable outcome, even if they won't say so publicly. Others hope for an optimal solution: Hit the jihadis, and also finally support in earnest the rapidly disintegrating Free Syrian Army — the so-called "moderate" Syrian rebels who have almost been forgotten as so much of the region has gone up in flames.
Dan Perry has covered the Middle East since the 1990s and currently leads AP's text coverage in the region. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/perry_danNews Topics: General news, Religion and politics, Islam, Shia Islam, Sunni Islam, Government and politics, Islamism, Religious issues, Religion, Social affairs, Social issues
People, Places and Companies: John Kerry, Nouri al-Maliki, Bashar Assad, Hosni Mubarak, Yasser Arafat, Muammar Gaddafi, Syria, Middle East, Egypt, Baghdad, Libya, United States, North Africa, Iraq, Qatar, Yemen, Africa, North America
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Flooding from days of heavy monsoon rains partially submerged the city of Srinigar in Kashmir and left more than 400 people dead in northern Pakistan and India. The flood waters have begun to recede, but vast fields of crops have been destroyed and tens of thousands of families have lost all their possessions.
Japanese were thrilled to see one of their own, Kei Nishikori, become the first Asian man to play in a Grand Slam tennis final. Ultimately, the 24-year-old lost to Croatian Marin Cilic in the lopsided U.S. Open final, but Nishikori's run is expected to boost his career and tennis' popularity in a country where baseball and soccer reign.
After a 90-minute trial, North Korea's Supreme Court convicted American Matthew Miller, 24, of entering the country illegally to commit espionage and sentenced him to six years of hard labor. Miller was detained after tore up his tourist visa upon arriving at Pyongyang's airport in April. He is one of three Americans being held in North Korea.
Health workers in the Philippines vaccinated children as part of a month-long campaign to immunize 13 million kids against measles, rubella and polio.
Vivid tiger faces were painted on the bodies of dancers in the annual Pulikali, or Tiger Dance, in the southern Indian state of Kerala, as part of the annual harvest festival.
If the full moon appeared bigger and brighter last week, that wasn't an illusion. Last Tuesday's so-called supermoon, or perigee moon by scientists, happens when a full moon coincides with the closest approach to Earth in its elliptical orbit, making it appear larger.News Topics: General news, Men's tennis, Tennis, Men's sports, Sports
People, Places and Companies: Kei Nishikori, Marin Cilic, Matisyahu
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
CABO SAN LUCAS, Mexico (AP) — The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami says the powerful and sprawling Hurricane Odile has made landfall on the southern end of Mexico's Baja California peninsula.
The center said satellite imagery indicates that Odile's center made landfall at about 9:45 p.m. PDT near Cabo San Lucas. It said at landfall, Odile had estimated intensity of 125 mph (205 kph). The storm was moving to the north-northwest at 17 mph (28 kph).
The area where the storm came ashore is home to gleaming megaresorts, tiny fishing communities and low-lying neighborhoods of flimsy homes. Hurricane forecasters predicted a dangerous storm surge with large waves as well as drenching rains capable of causing landslides and flash floods.News Topics: General news, Hurricanes, Natural disasters, Weather, Tropical cyclones, Accidents and disasters, Storms
People, Places and Companies: Mexico, North America, Central America, Latin America and Caribbean
ATLANTIC CITY, New Jersey (AP) — Miss New York Kira Kazantsev won the Miss America pageant Sunday night, with the help of a red plastic cup.
For her talent performance, Kazantsev sang Pharrell Williams' "Happy" while sitting cross-legged on the stage and banging a red plastic cup on the floor. That immediately touched off a furor on social media networks, where many were critical of her performance.
But Kazantsev said she was inspired by the 2012 movie "Pitch Perfect" in which Anna Kendrick's character auditions for an a capella group by performing rhythmically with a cup. She also said she did it to show future contestants they can win the Miss America pageant by performing whatever talent routine they like, regardless of what others think of it.
"The reason why I chose to do that talent is I wanted every single little girl in America to be able to see that you can do that talent — you can do whatever talent you want on national television — even with a red cup — and still be Miss America and have the time of your life," Kazantsev said. "I literally in that minute and 30 seconds had the most fun I've ever had, and that's because I stayed true to myself and I did what I wanted to do for my talent, no matter what everybody else told me, and it paid off. I'm very happy about it."
Kazantsev, who named combating sexual assault in the military as the issue about which she would want female U.S. Senators to press their male counterparts, won a $50,000 scholarship with which she plans to attend law school.
She also plans to speak out against domestic violence during her yearlong resign as Miss America.
Her victory marked the third year in a row that a contestant from her state has walked away with the crown in the nationally televised pageant. Kazantsev received the crown at Atlantic City's Boardwalk Hall from outgoing Miss America — and Miss New York — Nina Davuluri
Kazantsev will begin a schedule this week that will see her travel 20,000 miles a month.
The first runner-up was Miss Virginia Courtney Paige Garrett.
Other top 5 finalists were Miss Arkansas Ashton Jo Campbell; Miss Florida Victoria Cowen; and Miss Massachusetts Lauren Kuhn.
Miss North Dakota, Jacky Arness was chosen by her peers as Miss Congeniality.
The pageant shone a positive light on the struggling seaside gambling resort, which 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.
For three hours Sunday night, America got a different look at Atlantic City. The Miss America pageant presented an upbeat view of the city where it began in 1921.
Wayne Parry can be reached at http://twitter.com/WayneParryACNews Topics: General news, Beauty pageants, Miss America Pageant, Entertainment, Arts and entertainment, Events
People, Places and Companies: Pharrell Williams, Anna Kendrick, Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States, North America
LANDOVER, Maryland (AP) — Robert Griffin III dislocated his left ankle and DeSean Jackson sprained his left shoulder in the first quarter, before Kirk Cousins stepped to complete 22 of 33 passes for 250 yards and a pair of touchdowns Sunday in the Washington Redskins' 41-10 romp past Jacksonville Jaguars.
Griffin was carted to the locker room with his leg in a splint and could be out for two months. He will undergo X-rays to determine if the ankle is broken.
Cousins subbed for Griffin and completed his first 12 passes. Ryan Kerrigan had four of the Redskins' 10 sacks, and Washington's defense didn't allow Jacksonville (0-2) past midfield until the final two minutes of the first half.
At San Diego, Antonio Gates had three touchdown catches as the Chargers controlled the tempo to keep Seattle's offense off the field in a 30-21 win over the Seahawks.
Gates' 21-yard catch late in the third quarter was epic, as the star tight end split two defenders and extended for Philip Rivers' pass, reaching out with his left hand to gather it in. Flat on his back, he held up the ball to show the officials he made the catch that gave San Diego a 27-14 lead.
Chicago's Jay Cutler passed for three fourth-quarter touchdowns as the Bears downed the San Francisco 49ers 29-20.
The Cleveland Browns edged the New Orleans Saints 26-24 after Billy Cundiff kicked a 29-yard field goal with 3 seconds left. The win ended the Browns' nine-game losing streak in home openers and gave rookie coach Mike Pettine his first NFL win.
Aaron Rodgers threw for three touchdowns and Jordy Nelson had a career-high 209 yards receiving as the Green Bay Packers rallied from an 18-point deficit to beat the New York Jets 31-24.
New York appeared to tie it with 5 minutes left on a 37-yard catch by Jeremy Kerley on fourth down — but it was negated because the Jets (1-1) called a timeout from the sideline just before the snap. The Packers (1-1) held on from there to avoid their first 0-2 start since 2006.
In other games, Terrance Knighton batted away Alex Smith's fourth-and-goal pass to Dwayne Bowe with 15 seconds left as the Denver Broncos defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 24-17, the Carolina Panthers downed the Detroit Lions 24-7, the Dallas Cowboys beat the Tennessee Titans 26-10 and the Houston Texans downed the Oakland Raiders 30-14.
The Cincinnati Bengals ran past the Atlanta Falcons 24-10, the Buffalos downed the Miami Dolphins 29-10, the St. Louis Rams edged the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 19-17 and the Arizona Cardinals were 25-14 winners over the New York Giants.
People, Places and Companies: Robert Griffin III, DeSean Jackson, Kirk Cousins, Ryan Kerrigan, Antonio Gates, Philip Rivers, Jay Cutler, Billy Cundiff, Mike Pettine, Aaron Rodgers, Jordy Nelson, Jeremy Kerley, Terrance Knighton, Alex Smith, Dwayne Bowe, Jacksonville, San Diego, Texas, United States, North America, Florida, California
WASHINGTON (AP) — Income inequality is taking a toll on U.S. state governments.
The widening gap between the wealthiest Americans and everyone else has been matched by a slowdown in state tax revenue, according to a report being released Monday by Standard & Poor's.
Even as income for the affluent has accelerated, it's barely kept pace with inflation for most other people. That trend can cause two problems for states: The wealthy often manage to shield much of their income from taxes. And they tend to spend less of it than others do, thereby limiting sales tax revenue.
As the growth of tax revenue has slowed, states have faced tensions over whether to raise taxes or cut spending to balance their budgets as required by law.
"Rising income inequality is not just a social issue," said Gabriel Petek, the S&P credit analyst who wrote the report. "It presents a very significant set of challenges for the policymakers."
Stagnant pay for most people has compounded the pressure on states to preserve funding for education, highways and social programs. Their investments in education and infrastructure have also fueled economic growth. Yet they're at risk without a strong flow of tax revenue.
The prospect of having to raise taxes to balance a state budget is a politically delicate one. The allure of low taxes has been used by states to spur job creation, by attracting factories, businesses and corporate headquarters.
"If you've got political pressure to spend more money and pressure against raising taxes, then you're in a pickle," said David Brunori, a public policy professor at George Washington University."
Income inequality isn't the only factor slowing state tax revenue. Online retailers account for a rising chunk of consumer spending. Yet they often manage to avoid sales taxes. Consumers are spending more on untaxed services, too.
S&P's analysis builds on a previous report this year in which it said the widening gap between the wealthiest Americans and everyone else has slowed the U.S. economy's recovery from the Great Recession. Because consumer spending fuels about 70 percent of the economy, weak pay growth typically slows economic growth.
Adjusted for inflation, government data show that median household income rose by a few thousand dollars since 1979 to $51,017 in 2012 and remains below its level before the recession began in late 2007. By contrast, the top 1 percent has thrived. Their incomes averaged $1.26 million in 2012, up from $466,302 in 1979, according IRS data.
The combination of an increasingly global economy, greater productivity from technology and outsize investment returns has shifted a rising share of money to the wealthy. Of all the dollars earned in 2012, more than 22 percent went to the top 1 percent. That share has more than doubled since 1979.
Before income inequality began to rise consistently, state tax revenue grew an average of 9.97 percent a year from 1950 to 1979. That average steadily fell with each subsequent decade, dipping to 3.62 percent between 2000 and 2009.
The most affluent Americans typically receive most of their income from profits in stocks and other investments, rather than wages. This means that swings in financial markets can cause state revenue to gyrate from year to year.News Topics: Business, General news, Economic growth, Economy, Consumer spending, State taxes, Income disparity, Recessions and depressions, Government taxation and revenue, Government finance, Government business and finance, Government and politics, State governments, Labor issues, Social issues, Social affairs
People, Places and Companies: United States, North America
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Results Monday from the Kia Motors Korea Open at Olympic Park Tennis Center (seedings in parentheses):Women's Singles First Round
Varvara Lepchenko (5), United States, def. Olivia Rogowska, Australia, 6-1, 6-2.MORE News Topics: Women's tennis, Tennis, Women's sports, Sports
People, Places and Companies: Varvara Lepchenko, Olivia Rogowska
DENVER (AP) — Authorities are increasingly concerned about a hoax in which video game players lash out at online opponents by making fake police calls that send Special Weapons and Tactics teams to their homes.
The practice, known as "swatting," originally targeted celebrities. Experts say it's now becoming more popular with gamers seeking retaliation. It offers anonymity and a way to watch the hoax unfold live over game-streaming systems.
In Littleton, Colorado, a SWAT team swarmed the office of a video game company after an emergency caller claimed he had shot his co-workers and was holding hostages. But officers found nothing of the sort, just a surprised man playing a game on his computer. Similar cases have happened in New York, Florida, Connecticut and elsewhere.News Topics: General news, Games, Recreation and leisure, Lifestyle
People, Places and Companies: Colorado, United States, North America
Baltimore 26, Pittsburgh 6Sunday's Games
Dallas 26, Tennessee 10
New England 30, Minnesota 7
Buffalo 29, Miami 10
Washington 41, Jacksonville 10
Arizona 25, N.Y. Giants 14
Cleveland 26, New Orleans 24
Cincinnati 24, Atlanta 10
Carolina 24, Detroit 7
San Diego 30, Seattle 21
St. Louis 19, Tampa Bay 17
Houston 30, Oakland 14
Denver 24, Kansas City 17
Green Bay 31, N.Y. Jets 24
Chicago 28, San Francisco 20Monday's Game
Philadelphia at IndianapolisNews Topics: NFL football, Sports, Professional football, Football
People, Places and Companies: Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Jacksonville, Oakland, San Francisco, Buffalo, Tampa, Seattle, Cleveland, Green Bay, San Diego, Houston, Dallas, Cincinnati, Kansas City, St. Louis, Pennsylvania, United States, North America, Texas, California, New York, Florida, Washington, Ohio, Wisconsin, Missouri
DETROIT (AP) — Ian Kinsler hit a go-ahead, two-run homer in the seventh inning as the Detroit Tigers reopened a 1 1/2-game American League Central lead by beating the Cleveland Indians 6-4 Sunday for a three-game sweep.
Kinsler's homer off Bryan Shaw (5-5), his first since Aug. 30, followed Rajai Davis' infield single and put the Tigers ahead 4-3.
Phil Coke (5-2) pitched a scoreless seventh for Detroit, which won for the sixth time in seven games and has its largest division lead since before play on Aug. 10.
At Baltimore, Steve Pearce doubled in a ninth-inning run and scored the game-winner off a double by Kelly Johnson as the Orioles beat the New York Yankees 3-2 to inch closer to the AL East title.
Any number of Orioles wins and Toronto losses totaling three will give Baltimore its first division title since 1997.
The winning rally came after Brian McCann hit a tiebreaking homer off Darren O'Day (5-1) in the top of the ninth.
Philadelphia closer Jonathan Papelbon made a lewd gesture to fans and was ejected after giving up four runs in the ninth inning during the Phillies' 5-4 loss to the Miami Marlins.
Papelbon grabbed his crotch as he walked to the dugout and was ejected by crew chief Joe West. He jogged out of the dugout and got into a face-to-face argument with West, who grasped the pitcher's jersey to hold him off, and Papelbon then argued with first base umpire Marty Foster. Papelbon threw a cup of liquid on the field before leaving the dugout.
The Los Angeles Dodgers downed the San Francisco Giants 4-2 after Clayton Kershaw (19-3) allowed two runs and seven hits in seven innings and struck out nine, taking over the big league lead in wins and lowering his majors-best ERA to 1.70. Los Angeles moved three games ahead of second-place San Francisco in the National League West.
Kenley Jansen pitched a perfect ninth for his 42nd save. Matt Kemp hit his 20th homer.
Daniel Nava hit a grand slam and Xander Bogaerts added a three-run drive as the Boston Red Sox overcame a 4-0, third-inning deficit to beat the Kansas City Royals 8-4, while the Houston Astros ended the Angels' 10-game winning streak — one short of the team record set in 1964 — with a 6-1 win over Los Angeles.
In other games, the Washington Nationals blanked the New York Mets 3-0, the Oakland Athletics shut out the Seattle Mariners 4-0, the Pittsburgh Pirates downed the Chicago Cubs 7-3 and the Texas Rangers trounced the Atlanta Braves 10-3.
Yunel Escobar riled up the crowd with an exaggerated display after a home run in the eighth as the Tampa Bay Rays edged the Toronto Blue Jays 6-5, the St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Colorado Rockies 4-1, the Milwaukee Brewers downed the Cincinnati Reds 9-2, the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the San Diego Padres 8-6 and the Minnesota Twins were 6-4 winners over the Chicago White Sox.News Topics: Sports, MLB baseball, Professional baseball, Baseball, Men's sports
People, Places and Companies: Ian Kinsler, Bryan Shaw, Rajai Davis, Phil Coke, Steve Pearce, Kelly Johnson, Brian McCann, Darren O'Day, Jonathan Papelbon, Clayton Kershaw, Kenley Jansen, Matt Kemp, Daniel Nava, Xander Bogaerts, Yunel Escobar, Michigan, Detroit, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York City, Toronto, United States, North America, California, New York, Ontario, Canada
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuela's chronic shortages have begun to encroach on a cultural cornerstone: the boob job.
Beauty-obsessed Venezuelans face a scarcity of brand-name breast implants, and women are so desperate that they and their doctors are turning to devices that are the wrong size or made in China, with less rigorous quality standards.
Venezuelans once had easy access to implants approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. But doctors say they are now all-but impossible to find because restrictive currency controls have deprived local businesses of the cash to import foreign goods. It may not be the gravest shortfall facing the socialist South American country, but surgeons say the issue cuts to the psyche of the image-conscious Venezuelan woman.
"The women are complaining," said Ramon Zapata, president of the Society of Plastic Surgeons. "Venezuelan women are very concerned with their self-esteem."
Venezuela is thought to have one of the world's highest plastic surgery rates, and the breast implant is the seminal procedure. Doctors performed 85,000 implants here last year, according to the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. Only the U.S., Brazil, Mexico and Germany — all with significantly larger populations — saw more procedures.
There are no official statistics on how many Venezuelans are walking around with enhanced busts. But a stroll down any Caracas street reveals that the augmentations are at least more conspicuous here than in other surgery-loving places. Even the mannequins look they've gone under the knife.
Until recently, women could enter raffles for implants held by pharmacies, workplaces and even politicians on the campaign trail. During this spring's anti-government street demonstrations, the occasional sign protesting the rising price of breast implants mixed in with posters railing against food shortages and currency devaluation.
"It's a culture of 'I want to be more beautiful than you.' That's why even people who live in the slums get implants," surgeon Daniel Slobodianik said, fiddling with an FDA-approved pouch of saline solution no longer on sale here.
Slobodianik used to perform several breast implants each week, but now performs closer to two a month. He says women call his office every day asking if he the implant size they're looking for. When they can't find it, they choose a second-best option, almost always a size up.
No one is giving the frustrated women much sympathy, especially not the government. The consumerism of plastic surgery has always jibed awkwardly with the rhetoric of socialist revolution. The late President Hugo Chavez called the country's plastic surgery fixation "monstrous," and railed against the practice of giving implants to girls on their 15th birthdays.
On social media, some Venezuelans take a judgmental tone, saying the panic over implants shows the real shortage here is values. Others joke that the scarcity will force Venezuelan women to start developing their personalities, using a Twitter hashtag that riffs on the Colombian telenovela "Sin Tetas, No Hay Paraiso" ("Without Boobs, There's No Paradise").
In the absence of U.S. brands, plastic surgery has become an area dominated by Venezuela's chief trading partner, China, whose goods are often given priority for import over those from other countries. They're also a lot cheaper. While a pair of implants approved by European regulators can cost as much as $600 — about the same as the annual minimum wage here — the Chinese equivalent goes for a third of that. Some Venezuelan doctors refuse to use the Chinese devices, which are not subjected to random government inspections or clinical studies.
"I'm not saying they're not safe, but I've removed more than a few ruptured Chinese implants. I just don't feel comfortable with them," Slobodianik said.
April Lee, an analyst at the Massachusetts-based health care research company Decision Resources Group, said the medical community frowns on the use of non-FDA-approved implants.
Unable to find the devices in doctors' offices, some women are turning to the Venezuelan equivalent of the bartering website Craigslist, where sellers post pictures of black market implants of unknown origin sitting in sealed packages on kitchen tables, complete with stories of spouses who changed their minds and reassurances that the pouches remain sterile.
It's not just women looking for a more attention-getting silhouette who are struggling; some patients are in urgent medical need. Lisette Arroyo, 46, waited two months this summer to get her ruptured implants replaced, dealing with intense itching while waiting for new devices to arrive from France. She had to buy them directly from the manufacturer before they could be shipped, spending the entire $300 in foreign currency the government permits Venezuelans annually. The surgery can cost another $800.
"This country is not what it used to be," she said earlier this month as awaited surgery in a blue paper gown.
For the doctors trying to manage their patients' expectations, the shortages are no less grave than Venezuela's other hardships. Dr. Miguel Angel Useche's, who performed Arroyo's delayed surgery, says women sometimes save for years for their operations, and to be told they must wait longer can be unbearable.
"Women call me up saying: 'I've made so many sacrifices for this. How can you not help me?'" he said.
Hannah Dreier on Twitter: https://twitter.com/hannahdreierNews Topics: Business, General news, Elective cosmetic procedures, Plastic and cosmetic surgery, Medical technology, Health, Surgical procedures, Government and politics, Diagnosis and treatment, Beauty and fashion, Lifestyle, Technology
People, Places and Companies: Hugo Chavez, Venezuela, China, United States, South America, Latin America and Caribbean, Greater China, East Asia, Asia, North America
Chile marked the 41st anniversary of the 1973 coup that overthrew the constitutional government of President Salvador Allende, while Mexico launched its Independence Day celebrations with a review of soldiers.
Students in Haiti returned to school for the start of a new academic year, with girls dressed in white waiting in formation during a flag ceremony before classes began at Lycee Marie Jeanne in Port-au-Prince.
Brazil entered the final weeks of campaigning for general elections Oct. 5. President Dilma Rousseff seeks re-election in a close race against Marina Silva of the Brazilian Socialist Party.
The fourth edition of the international art fair ArtRio drew some 50,000 people over four days to view the works from 99 galleries in Brazil and other countries displayed in the historic center of Rio de Janeiro.
In Lima, Peruvian authorities put on display the clothing of 53 people, including 23 teenagers, who were killed by the military in the Ayacucho region in the 1980s. They hope relatives will be able to identify the victims by the clothing they had on when last seen alive.
Three drivers of long distance buses in Paraguay nailed their hands to crosses on the outskirts of the capital, Asuncion, to protest what they said was their firing without cause or notice.
Associated Press photographers and photo editors on Twitter: http://apne.ws/15Oo6jo
This gallery was curated by photo editor Moises Castillo in Mexico City.News Topics: General news
People, Places and Companies: Dilma Rousseff, Marina Silva, Brazil, Latin America and Caribbean, Mexico, South America, North America, Central America
ISLAMIC STATE-UNITED STATES
WASHINGTON — The White House says it will find countries willing to send combat troops to fight Islamic extremists in Syria and Iraq, but it's too early to identify them. By Charles Babington and Lara Jakes.
WASHINGTON — Islamic State militants, who once relied on wealthy Persian Gulf donors for money, have become a self-sustaining financial juggernaut, earning more than $3 million a day from oil smuggling, human trafficking, theft and extortion, according to U.S. intelligence officials and private experts. By Ken Dilanian. AP Photos.
INDIANOLA, Iowa — Hillary Rodham Clinton, making her return to Iowa for the first time since the 2008 presidential campaign, implores Democrats to choose shared economic opportunity over "the guardians of gridlock" in an high-profile appearance driving speculation about another White House bid in 2016 into overdrive. By Ken Thomas. AP Photos.
CABO SAN LUCAS, Mexico — Residents and tourists bed down in shelters and hotel conference rooms as powerful and sprawling Hurricane Odile bears down for an overnight arrival on the southern Baja California peninsula, home to megaresorts, fishing villages and low-lying neighborhoods of flimsy homes. By Ignacio Martinez de Jesus and Alba Mora Roca. AP Photos.
POLICE RAID-GIRL KILLED
DETROIT — A member of an elite Detroit police unit is set to stand trial again for killing a 7-year-old girl during a 2010 raid on her house that was captured on video by a reality TV crew. By Ed White. AP Photos.
CARACAS, Venezuela — Venezuela's chronic shortages have begun to encroach on a new cultural cornerstone: the boob job. Beauty-obsessed Venezuelans face a lack of brand-name breast implants, the country's Society of Plastic Surgeons says. Women are so desperate they are turning to Chinese-made devices that are cheaper but have less rigorous quality standards. By Hannah Dreier. AP Photos.
ELECTRICAL SKIN SHOCKS-SCHOOL
CANTON, Massachusetts — A private facility outside Boston that takes on some of the hardest-to-treat cases autism and other developmental or intellectual disabilities is embroiled in a major debate: Should it use electrical skin shocks to try to keep patients from harming themselves or others? By Jennifer C. Kerr and Lauran Neergaard. AP Photos.
OAKHURST, California (AP) — Two out-of-control wildfires in California forced hundreds of residents to flee from their homes on Sunday. One fire near a lakeside resort town has destroyed several structures, authorities said. AP Photos.
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT:
ATLANTIC CITY, New Jersey — The Miss America pageant will present an upbeat view of the struggling seaside gambling resort where it began in 1921 when it crowns its next winner during a nationally televised finale. By Wayne Parry. AP Photos.
ATLANTA — Kendrick Lamar appreciated Taylor Swift for paying homage to his music in a recent interview. Lamar was grateful to hear about Swift knowing the words to his lyrics and putting her in a great mood. By Jonathan Landrum Jr. AP Photos.News Topics: General news
People, Places and Companies: Hillary Clinton, Kendrick Lamar, Taylor Swift, Venezuela, Washington, Iowa, South America, Latin America and Caribbean, United States, North America, Middle East
BEIJING (AP) — Asian stocks tumbled Monday on weak Chinese economic data as investors looked ahead to a U.S. Federal Reserve meeting and Scotland's independence referendum.
KEEPING SCORE: Hong Kong's Hang Seng sank 0.8 percent to 24,392.86 and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 lost 0.6 percent to 5,496.20. China's Shanghai Composite Index shed 0.3 percent to 2,326.06. Singapore, Seoul, Jakarta and Taipei also fell. Tokyo was closed for a holiday.
CHINESE SLOWDOWN: Weak data released on the weekend fueled concern China's economic slowdown is deepening. Industrial production in August grew at its slowest rate since the 2008-09 global financial crisis. Investment in infrastructure and manufacturing also slowed. Data reported earlier showed credit growing more slowly than forecast. Royal Bank of Scotland trimmed its growth forecast for China this year from 7.2 percent to 7.1 percent.
THE QUOTE: "The Chinese data pack for August was a major disappointment. Growth momentum suffered a further, significant deceleration. Capital spending was hit particularly hard, mostly due to a deepening downturn in real estate. Largely as a result, industrial output slowed unusually sharply," said Credit Acrigole CIB in a report.
FED MEETING: Members of the Fed's board are due to meet Tuesday and Wednesday and investors will be watching for any change in their guidance about the future direction for interest rates. Analysts have warned over the past week that the Fed might raise interest rates sooner than expected but say such a change still could be some way off.
US GROWTH: Industrial production data for August due out Monday were expected to show growth of 0.3 percent over the previous month, compared with July's 0.4 percent expansion.
SCOTLAND'S REFERENDUM: Scots vote Thursday on whether to leave the United Kingdom, and investors were on edge about the possible impact on the British pound, trade and finance. Financial institutions including the Royal Bank of Scotland and insurer Standard Life plan to transfer some operations across the border into England to ensure they remain part of British tax and currency systems.
CURRENCIES: The dollar declined to 107.23 yen from the previous session's closing of 107.31. The euro edged up to $1.2966 from the previous session's $1.2959.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. oil was down $1.06 to $91.21 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange on expectations as concern about fighting in Iraq and tensions over Ukraine eased.News Topics: Business, General news, Stock prices, Financial crisis, Currency markets, Pound sterling, Japanese yen, Financial markets, Stock markets, Leading economic indicators, Economy, Euro
People, Places and Companies: United Kingdom, Scotland, China, East Asia, Western Europe, Europe, Greater China, Asia
BANGKOK (AP) — Charles Dharapak, a veteran photographer who has spent the past decade chronicling the activities and travels of U.S. presidents and American political campaigns, has been named Asia-Pacific regional photo editor for The Associated Press.
The appointment was announced Monday by Ted Anthony, the AP's director of Asia-Pacific news, to whom Dharapak will report.
"As much as anyone I've met in our profession, Charlie gets it," Anthony said. "He is not only a wonderful photographer but an extremely nimble mind and an innovator in all forms of journalism. I'm excited to see what he'll do to help us make our news report more useful to our customers and more finely tuned to the Asia-Pacific region's increasingly digital audiences."
Dharapak, 43, has been based in Washington for the AP since 2003 and frequently travels with the president on Air Force One. Since 2003 he has covered the White House under Bush and Obama, national politics, and the 2004, 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns. Recently he has taken a visible role in advocating greater press access under the Obama administration.
He joined the AP in 1995 as a staff photographer based in Southeast Asia. While based in Bangkok, he covered the Cambodian civil war and the democracy movement in Myanmar. He later became AP's chief photographer and photo editor in Jakarta, Indonesia, where he covered the protests and riots that led to the fall of Suharto; East Timor's independence; various communal and religious conflicts; and the rise of Muslim extremism.
In 2002, Dharapak spent considerable time photographing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. His work in Gaza in 2002 was recognized by the Associated Press Managing Editors, and he has received numerous awards for his Washington political coverage. In 2012, he was named photographer of the year by the White House News Photographers Association. He is also a frequent smartphone photographer whose images have earned him a dedicated following in the Instagram community.
"Charlie's progression from photographer to regional photo editor is testament to his ability and desire to share his considerable knowledge with the Asia photo staff," said Santiago Lyon, AP vice president and director of photography. "I am confident he will prove to be as fine a leader as he has been a photographer, and that our staff and customers in Asia will benefit from the appointment."
Dharapak, who grew up in the New York City borough of Staten Island, received degrees in print journalism and economics at New York University. He is fluent in Thai and versed in Bahasa Indonesia.
Dharapak will be based in Bangkok, joining Anthony, Asia-Pacific Regional Video Editor Celine Rosario and Assistant Asia Editor Vijay Joshi at the AP's Asia-Pacific regional headquarters. His appointment marks the first time that the Asia-Pacific leaders of all of AP's primary journalism formats — photos, video and text — will be located in the same place.News Topics: General news
People, Places and Companies: Thailand, Bangkok, Southeast Asia, Indonesia, New York City, Asia, New York, United States, North America
BATTING_Altuve, Houston, .339; VMartinez, Detroit, .331; JAbreu, Chicago, .322; Beltre, Texas, .322; Cano, Seattle, .321; Brantley, Cleveland, .320; MiCabrera, Detroit, .310.
RUNS_Trout, Los Angeles, 107; Dozier, Minnesota, 100; MiCabrera, Detroit, 93; Kinsler, Detroit, 93; Brantley, Cleveland, 89; Bautista, Toronto, 88; Donaldson, Oakland, 86; Pujols, Los Angeles, 86.
RBI_Trout, Los Angeles, 107; JAbreu, Chicago, 102; NCruz, Baltimore, 102; MiCabrera, Detroit, 101; Ortiz, Boston, 99; VMartinez, Detroit, 98; Bautista, Toronto, 97.
HITS_Altuve, Houston, 206; Brantley, Cleveland, 180; Cano, Seattle, 175; Kinsler, Detroit, 175; MiCabrera, Detroit, 173; VMartinez, Detroit, 172; MeCabrera, Toronto, 171; AJones, Baltimore, 171.
DOUBLES_MiCabrera, Detroit, 45; Altuve, Houston, 42; Plouffe, Minnesota, 40; Brantley, Cleveland, 39; Trout, Los Angeles, 39; Kinsler, Detroit, 38; JAbreu, Chicago, 35; MeCabrera, Toronto, 35; Pujols, Los Angeles, 35.
TRIPLES_Bourn, Cleveland, 10; Eaton, Chicago, 8; Gardner, New York, 8; Rios, Texas, 8; Trout, Los Angeles, 8; De Aza, Baltimore, 7; LMartin, Texas, 7.
HOME RUNS_NCruz, Baltimore, 39; Carter, Houston, 36; JAbreu, Chicago, 35; Trout, Los Angeles, 34; Bautista, Toronto, 32; Encarnacion, Toronto, 32; Ortiz, Boston, 32.
STOLEN BASES_Altuve, Houston, 52; Ellsbury, New York, 38; RDavis, Detroit, 33; JDyson, Kansas City, 33; AEscobar, Kansas City, 30; LMartin, Texas, 27; Andrus, Texas, 26; Reyes, Toronto, 26.
PITCHING_Weaver, Los Angeles, 17-8; Scherzer, Detroit, 16-5; Shoemaker, Los Angeles, 15-4; WChen, Baltimore, 15-4; Kluber, Cleveland, 15-9; Lester, Oakland, 15-10; PHughes, Minnesota, 15-10; Porcello, Detroit, 15-11.
ERA_Sale, Chicago, 1.99; FHernandez, Seattle, 2.14; Kluber, Cleveland, 2.45; Lester, Oakland, 2.45; Lester, Oakland, 2.45; Richards, Los Angeles, 2.61; Keuchel, Houston, 3.00.
STRIKEOUTS_DPrice, Detroit, 250; Scherzer, Detroit, 232; Kluber, Cleveland, 230; FHernandez, Seattle, 225; Lester, Oakland, 206; Sale, Chicago, 192; Darvish, Texas, 182.
SAVES_Rodney, Seattle, 45; GHolland, Kansas City, 42; DavRobertson, New York, 36; ZBritton, Baltimore, 34; Perkins, Minnesota, 34; Nathan, Detroit, 32; Uehara, Boston, 26.News Topics: MLB baseball, Sports, Professional baseball, Baseball, Men's sports
People, Places and Companies: Los Angeles, Oakland, Texas, Houston, Toronto, Alabama, California, United States, North America, Ontario, Canada
Texas 3, Atlanta 2
N.Y. Yankees 3, Baltimore 2
Toronto 6, Tampa Bay 3
Chicago White Sox 5, Minnesota 1, 1st game
Detroit 5, Cleveland 4
Kansas City 7, Boston 1
Chicago White Sox 7, Minnesota 6, 2nd game
L.A. Angels 5, Houston 2
Oakland 3, Seattle 2, 10 inningsSunday's Games
Tampa Bay 6, Toronto 5, 10 innings
Detroit 6, Cleveland 4
Boston 8, Kansas City 4
Minnesota 6, Chicago White Sox 4
Texas 10, Atlanta 3
Houston 6, L.A. Angels 1
Oakland 4, Seattle 0
Baltimore 3, N.Y. Yankees 2Monday's Games
Toronto (Stroman 10-5) at Baltimore (W.Chen 15-4)
N.Y. Yankees (Capuano 2-3) at Tampa Bay (Colome 1-0)
Chicago White Sox (Joh.Danks 9-11) at Kansas City (Shields 14-7)
Cleveland (McAllister 3-6) at Houston (McHugh 9-9)
Detroit (Scherzer 16-5) at Minnesota (Swarzak 3-1)
Seattle (Iwakuma 14-7) at L.A. Angels (Shoemaker 15-4)News Topics: MLB baseball, Professional baseball, Sports, Baseball, Men's sports
People, Places and Companies: Houston, Minnesota, Los Angeles, Toronto, Oakland, New York City, Texas, United States, North America, California, Ontario, Canada, New York, United Kingdom, Western Europe, Europe