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Billy Graham; preacher to millions, adviser to presidents, dies at 99

(Reuters) - U.S. evangelist Billy Graham, who counseled presidents and preached to millions across the world from his native North Carolina to communist North Korea during his 70 years on the pulpit, died on Wednesday at the age of 99, a spokesman said.

Graham, Billy

Billy Graham, 99, Dies; Pastor Filled Stadiums and Counseled Presidents

Mr. Graham spread the Gospel around the world through a combination of religious conviction, commanding stage presence and shrewd use of advanced communication technologies.


BRIEF-High Liner Foods Q4 Adjusted Earnings Per Share C$0.19



BRIEF-Western Gas Partners LP Files Preliminary Prospectus Supplement Related To A Potential Two-Part Senior Notes Offering



Florida rally to ban assault-style weapons set for Wednesday

PARKLAND/TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Reuters) - Student activists from the Florida high school where 17 teens and staff were shot and killed will call for a ban on assault-style weapons when they meet with lawmakers and hold a rally on Wednesday in Tallahassee, the state capital.


BRIEF-USAF Selects UTC Aerospace Systems DB-110 Airborne Reconnaissance System For Multi-Nation Foreign Military Sales Acquisition



BRIEF-Mastercard Files Preliminary Prospectus Supplement Related To A Potential Notes Offering ‍​


A look back at Billy Graham's life

Famed evangelist Billy Graham has passed away at 99 at his home in Montreat, North Carolina.


BRIEF-Boeing Files Prospectus Supplement Related To Offering Of $1.4 Bln Six-Part Senior Notes ‍​



UPDATE 2-Telefonica Brasil reports 25 pct profit jump amid high-end push

SAO PAULO, Feb 21 (Reuters) - Telefonica Brasil SA , the country's largest telecommunications company, on Wednesday reported that fourth-profit rose 25 percent from a year ago as it increased its reliance on higher-end offerings.


UPDATE 2-Natgas producer EQT to spin off midstream operations amid investor pressure

Feb 21 (Reuters) - Oil and gas producer EQT Corp said on Wednesday it would spin off its midstream business to create a standalone publicly traded company, yielding to months of pressure from shareholders.


BRIEF-Eyenovia Advances Micropine For Myopia Into Phase III Clinical Development



Secret Service responds to suspicious vehicle near White House

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Secret Service is responding to a suspicious vehicle near the White House and the new executive building is being evacuated, it said in a post on Twitter on Wednesday.


BRIEF-Shopify Prices Offering Of Class A Subordinate Voting Shares


The globe-trotting preacher who reached millions of Christians dies at the age of 99, spokesperson says


Norway glide to gold in men's team pursuit

GANGNEUNG, South Korea (Reuters) - Norway skated to a stunning victory in the men's team pursuit at the Gangneung Oval on Wednesday, winning gold ahead of hosts South Korea as defending champions the Netherlands wilted.


Pakistan Supreme Court rules ousted PM Sharif cannot lead his party

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Pakistan's Supreme Court ordered on Wednesday that ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif be removed as head of the political party he founded, six months after the court removed him as premier.


BRIEF-Naked Brand Group And Bendon Limited Enter Into Amended Agreement And Plan Of Reorganization


Cross-Country Skiing

U.S. Shocks Cross-Country Field With Sprint Gold Medal

Kikkan Randall and Jessie Diggins won gold in the women’s team sprint freestyle, the first U.S. medal in cross country since 1976.


Broadcom cuts Qualcomm bid by $3 per share

(Reuters) - Broadcom Corp has lowered its takeover offer for chipmaker Qualcomm Inc to $79 per share from $82 to account for the latter's increased offer for NXP Semiconductors NV , Broadcom said on Wednesday.


U.S. Secret Service responds to suspicious vehicle near White House

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Secret Service is responding to a suspicious vehicle near the White House and the new executive building is being evacuated, it said in a post on Twitter on Wednesday.


H&M, C&A, 3M investigate China prison labor report

BERLIN (Reuters) - European fashion giants H&M and C&A, as well as technology company 3M , are looking into a report in the Financial Times alleging that inmates of a Chinese prison made packaging used by the companies.


Behind walls of his mansion, Zimbabwe's Mugabe turns 94

HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's former ruler Robert Mugabe observed his 94th birthday in private behind the walls of his Harare mansion on Wednesday, without the lavish parties that marked the occasion during his nearly four-decade rule.


Two killed, 11 injured, by bomb in Myanmar city of Lashio: police

YANGON (Reuters) - A bomb explosion on Wednesday in Myanmar's northeastern city of Lashio killed two bank workers and injured 11 people, the government said. Police said they were investigating but had no word on possible suspects.


Public transit app Moovit raises $50 million in round led by Intel

TEL AVIV (Reuters) - Public transit app Moovit said on Wednesday it raised $50 million in an investment round led by Intel Capital, bringing its total raised to date to $133 million.

Parkland, Billy Graham, Lindsey Vonn: Your Wednesday Briefing

Here’s what you need to know to start your day.

Analysis: Political scientists rate Trump as worst ever, but you should be skeptical

You may have read about the new study from political scientists that ranks President Donald Trump as the worst president ever. There's nothing inherently wrong with the study, and the political scientists who worked on it are well-respected. Most Americans, though, don't rank Trump as the worst president ever, even if most disapprove of the job Trump is doing.


Nokia sees no path for 'struggling' digital health business: memo

HELSINKI (Reuters) - Nokia does not see meaningful potential for its "struggling" digital health business which includes activity trackers and smartwatches, according to an internal memo seen by Reuters on Wednesday.

Florida lawmakers refuse to debate assault rifles -- but say porn is dangerous

What's more of a public health risk -- assault weapons or porn?

Billy Graham Fast Facts

Here's a look at the life of evangelist Billy Graham.

Harry Potter (Fictional Character)

How Much Magic Can ‘Harry Potter’ Make?

The Broadway home for “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” has been rebuilt in the hope that it will run for many, many years. So why is J.K. Rowling worried?


Volkswagen reaches German deal on wages, leave, pensions

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Volkswagen has agreed to raise the wages of around 120,000 workers in Germany by 4.3 percent from May, resolving a dispute that had prompted its first strikes since 2004.


Cross-country skiing: Diggins delivers long-awaited U.S. gold

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (Reuters) - Kikkan Randall and Jessica Diggins delivered the first Olympic cross-country medal for the United States since 1976 with a stunning victory in a thrilling finish to the women's team sprint relay on Wednesday.


Cross-country skiing: History-maker Bjoergen not finished yet

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (Reuters) - Norway's Marit Bjoergen cemented her place as the greatest ever Winter Olympian with a relay bronze medal on Wednesday, but with the 30km classic mass start still to come, she is not quite ready to ski off into the sunset just yet.


Spain's Supreme court orders the arrest of former Catalan MP Anna Gabriel

MADRID (Reuters) - Spain's Supreme Court has called for the arrest of former Catalan member of parliament Anna Gabriel after she failed to appear in court on Wednesday to answer charges related to the region's independence push.


How to Manage Stress Like an Olympic Biathlete

The pressure of an intense physical race combined with methodical target shooting gives biathletes a unique perspective on coping with stress.


Speed skating: Japan dethrone Dutch to win women's team pursuit

GANGNEUNG, South Korea (Reuters) - Japan dethroned defending champions the Netherlands to claim gold in the women's Olympic team pursuit final on Wednesday as the Dutch took the silver medal.

Gun safety can coexist with the Second Amendment -- here's how I know

Trump has enabled the 'crisis actors' conspiracy

It hadn't even been one week since a gunman murdered 17 people at a high school in Parkland, Florida, before the conspiracy theories about the surviving students began bubbling up.


Intel plans $5 billion investment in Israel by 2020: minister

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Chipmaker Intel Corp plans to invest $5 billion to expand production at its Kiryat Gat plant in Israel in the next three years, Israeli Economy Minister Eli Cohen said on Wednesday.


Kremlin says hopes investigation into doping case will clear athlete

MOSCOW (Reuters) - The Kremlin said on Wednesday it hopes an investigation into the case of a Russian curler who tested positive for doping at the ongoing Winter Olympics would clear the athlete's name.


EU should raise fossil fuel taxes to plug Brexit budget gap: former officials

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union should raise taxes on fossil fuels to help meet goals on climate change and plug a budget gap after Britain leaves the bloc, former senior EU officials said in a letter to EU leaders.


Drought-hit Cape Town dreads 'Day Zero' when taps will run dry

CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - A tough water-saving regime and the generosity of farmers have given South Africa's main tourist hub welcome respite from a severe drought and helped push back a dreaded "Day Zero" when Cape Town's taps are expected to run dry.


Germany gives free rein to boar hunters to contain swine fever risk

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany issued a decree on Wednesday to allow hunters to shoot wild boar year-round to stop the animals, which can carry African swine fever, from passing the deadly infection on to farm pigs.

Colbert, Stephen

Best of Late Night: Stephen Colbert Stands With Florida Students Fighting for Gun Control

“I hope these kids don’t give up,” Colbert said on Tuesday. “Someone else may be in power, but this country belongs to them.”


Pratt may revert to previous engine seal for A320neo: sources

BERLIN/PARIS (Reuters) - Engine maker Pratt & Whitney is likely to return to a previous seal as a way of temporarily dealing with the latest issues on the geared turbofan engine for the Airbus A320neo, according to several people familiar with the matter.

Elections, Senate

Trump’s Republican Critics Find a Sudden Need for His Support

Their hopes for a détente with Mr. Trump, who effectively staged a hostile takeover of a party he joined only in 2012, reflect the realization that rank-and-file Republicans have come to embrace the president.


Kremlin says Russian defense sector 'fine', accuses U.S. of unfair competition

MOSCOW (Reuters) - The Kremlin said on Wednesday that "everything is fine" in the Russian defense sector, responding to an assertion by the U.S. State Department that sanctions had cost Russia $3 billion in lost defense contracts.


Daimler to invest 2.6 billion euros in trucks division by 2019

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Daimler said it will invest 2.6 billion euros ($3.2 billion) in research and development at its trucks division by 2019, as part of a broader effort to mass produce electric heavy-duty commercial vehicles from 2021.


Dollar up and stocks down before key Fed meeting minutes

LONDON (Reuters) - The dollar rose to its highest level in a week on Wednesday and world stocks fell for the third day as investors braced for minutes from the Fed's last policy meeting to see if they would herald more rises in interest rates and global bond yields.


Dish Network profit surges on $1.2 billion U.S. tax law benefit

(Reuters) - Dish Network Corp's fourth-quarter profit surged due to a roughly $1.2 billion benefit related to U.S. tax law reforms, the U.S. satellite and internet TV provider said Wednesday.


Alabama policeman killed trying to apprehend murder suspect: media

(Reuters) - A police officer in Mobile, Alabama was shot and killed as he was attempting to apprehend a murder suspect late on Tuesday, local media reported.

Can you vaccinate yourself against cancer?

The thought of a vaccine might conjure up memories of that flu shot you get each year, or taking your kids to get their immunizations against polio or measles. Cancer rarely comes to mind when most people think of vaccines, but that appears to be changing.


Bodies recovered from Iran plane crash site

BEIRUT (Reuters) - The bodies of seven victims of Sunday's air crash in Iran were brought down from the mountainous crash site on Wednesday, according to Mizan, the official news site of the Iranian judiciary.


Stakes rise in Turkey's Afrin assault as pro-Assad militia arrive

BEIRUT/ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey warned of grave consequences on Wednesday after pro-Syrian government forces entered Syria's Afrin region to help Kurdish fighters repel a Turkish offensive.


Ice Hockey: Finland claim bronze with win over Russians

GANGNEUNG, South Korea (Reuters) - Finland beat the Olympic Athletes from Russia 3-2 on Wednesday to claim the bronze medal in women's Olympic ice hockey.

New York City

New York Today: New York Today: Ghost Signs

Wednesday: Fading advertisements, record temperatures expected, and the murder of Malcolm X.


Ice Hockey: Gold medal battle royal awaits U.S., Canadian women

GANGNEUNG, South Korea (Reuters) - For four years, the women's ice hockey world has been gearing up for one thing: The Olympic Rematch.


Ice Hockey: Russians dump Norway 6-1 en route to semis

GANGNEUNG, South Korea (Reuters) - Six different players scored to power the Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR) past Norway 6-1 and set up a semi-final matchup with the Czech Republic in the men's ice hockey tournament of the Pyeongchang Games on Wednesday.


'Peace' doesn't sell at Pyeongchang, say Games sponsors

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (Reuters) - An image of a giant dove lit up the night sky and singers performed John Lennon's "Imagine" at the opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, not long after athletes from enemies South and North Korea marched into the stadium together.


Confidant of Israel's Netanyahu turns state witness in corruption case: media

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - A confidant of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has agreed to turn state's witness in one of several corruption investigations posing a serious threat to the conservative leader's political survival, local media said.


Op-Ed Contributor: What Does a True Populism Look Like? It Looks Like the New Deal

An honest response to globalization avoids cosmetic gimmicks like tariffs and goes after economic injustice directly.

Immigration and Emigration

Op-Ed Contributor: A Lesson on Immigration From Pablo Neruda

Politicians in Chile have stoked anti-immigrant sentiment, especially against Haitian immigrants. Chileans would do well to remember our own history.

Russian Interference in 2016 US Elections and Ties to Trump Associates

Op-Ed Columnist: The Trolling of the American Mind

The Russian email hacking mattered. Their troll army is a phantom menace.


Daimler to start serial production of eActros truck in 2021

STUTTGART (Reuters) - Daimler said on Wednesday it aims to start serial production of an electric heavy truck with a range of 200 km (124 miles) in 2021, Daimler Trucks chief Martin Daum said.

'Stranger Things' star's dance goes viral

"Stranger Things" actor David Harbour got the opportunity to dance with penguins in Antarctica after his Twitter campaign went viral.

Korean Food (Cuisine)

Reporter’s Notebook: An Olympic Challenge: Eat All the Korean Food That Visitors Won’t

“It’s peak snow crab season right now,” the noted chef David Chang said. “I don’t know if people understand.” Our correspondent knew that, and much more.

School Shootings and Armed Attacks

An Armed Principal Detained a Campus Gunman. But He’s Against Arming School Staff.

A national effort is underway to arm and train school staff members, but a former assistant principal who survived an attack believes it’s misguided.

Hot baths, saunas can relieve pain, may help heart

Don Benedict played handball competitively for 30 years in the Pacific Northwest. To stay in shape, he ran 5 miles every other day.


No medals but plenty of cheers for North Korean athletes

GANGNEUNG, South Korea (Reuters) - North Korea will not be the only nation leaving the Pyeongchang Olympics without a medal, but they are one of the few minnows of winter sports to have earned rousing cheers wherever they go.

Home Automation and Smart Homes

State of the Art: Why We May Soon Be Living in Alexa’s World

Next to Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android, Amazon’s voice assistant may be turning into the third great consumer computing platform of our era.

Olympic Games (2018)

Why Mikaela Shiffrin Brought 35 Pairs of Skis to the Olympics

She usually takes 70 pairs to competitions, ready for every kind of race, weather and snow, but she scaled down for the Pyeongchang Games.

United States Politics and Government

Under Trump, Border Patrol Steps Up Searches Far From the Border

The Border Patrol is aggressively using a little-known authority to set up checkpoints and search private property to crack down on illegal immigration.

Actors and Actresses

Feature: Laurie Metcalf Was Hiding in Plain Sight

From “Lady Bird” to “Three Tall Women” to a revival of “Roseanne,” the 62-year-old actress is finally showing off the extent of her range.


RPT-Olympics-The brand Olympics: getting attention without getting in trouble

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea, Feb 20 (Reuters) - In packing for the Winter Olympics, Canadian entrepreneur Domenico Ciarallo stuffed his bags with hats and t-shirts bearing the logo of his company, which makes locker-room dryers.


South Africa's parliament to launch inquiry into mines minister Zwane

JOHANNESBURG, Feb 21 (Reuters) - South Africa's parliament will launch an investigation into allegations of influence-peddling against mines minister Mosebenzi Zwane, its oversight committee on mineral resources department said on Wednesday.


Entrance of Syrian forces into Afrin to have serious consequences - Erdogan spokesman

ANKARA (Reuters) - Pro-Syrian government forces which tried to enter the Afrin region on Tuesday retreated after artillery fire by Turkish forces fighting a Kurdish militia there, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan's spokesman said on Wednesday.


Olympics-'Peace' doesn't sell at Pyeongchang, say Games sponsors

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea, Feb 21 (Reuters) - An image of a giant dove lit up the night sky and singers performed John Lennon's "Imagine" at the opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, not long after athletes from enemies South and North Korea marched into the stadium together.

Colbert: Adults aren't cutting it anymore

Stephen Colbert praises the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School for their activism in the wake of the mass shooting on their campus.


Merck to buy Viralytics for $394 mln to boost immuno-oncology

Feb 21 (Reuters) - U.S. drugmaker Merck & Co, already one of the leaders in the hot area of cancer immunotherapy, said on Wednesday it had agreed to buy Viralytics for 502 million Australian dollars ($394 million) to expand its drug pipeline.


Lotte Group Chairman Shin Dong-bin relinquishes management rights at Japanese holding company

SEOUL (Reuters) - Lotte Group Chairman Shin Dong-bin has relinquished his representative rights at a key Japanese holding company, the Japanese company announced on Wednesday.


Rally calling for ban on assault-style rifles to be held in Tallahassee

PARKLAND/TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Reuters) - Student and parent activists from the Florida high school where 17 teens and staff members were slain last week in a shooting rampage will hold a rally on Wednesday at the state capital, calling for a ban on assault-style rifles.


Temenos agrees to 1.4 billion pounds deal for Fidessa, activist Elliott enters

ZURICH (Reuters) - Swiss software company Temenos said it has agreed a 1.4 billion pound ($1.96 billion) deal to buy British peer Fidessa Group, whose shares traded above the offer price as an activist investor disclosed a stake of nearly 5 percent.


BRIEF-Merck And Viralytics Announce Acquisition Agreement



Slowing U.S. auto sales prompts Japan automakers to rethink discounts

TOKYO (Reuters) - A second year of slowing growth in the U.S. auto market is forcing Japanese automakers to look beyond discounts to grow market share and focus more on boosting profitability in their largest market.


Bitcoins for free? Japanese cryptocurrency exchange lands in hot water again

TOKYO (Reuters) - A blunder at a Japanese cryptocurrency exchange let investors briefly buy bitcoins for free - though none were able to profit from the mistake.


BRIEF-MTU Aero CEO expects more clarity on possible Boeing middle of market plane this year

Feb 21 (Reuters) - Mtu Aero Engines management during a press conference:


EU should sanction Slovakia if it lured companies with state aid - Italy minister

ROME, Feb 21 (Reuters) - Italian Economy Minister Pier Carlo Padoan said on Wednesday that the European Commission should sanction Slovakia if it is using state aid to lure companies away from European Union partners.


UPDATE 2-Confident AccorHotels books record annual profit

* Expects robust trends in Asia, Europe in 2018 (Recasts with CEO comments from call)


CORRECTED-UPDATE 1-UK Stocks-Factors to watch on Feb 21

Feb 21 (Reuters) - Britain's FTSE futures were down 0.06 percent ahead of the cash market open.

Powerful photos capture injustices of the civil rights era

He photographed fashion for Vogue, directed the 1971 blaxploitation film "Shaft," composed orchestral scores, and wrote memoirs, novels and poems. But it was with his sensitive, insightful documentary photos of black America that Gordon Parks made himself one of the 20th century's most important cultural figures.


Confidant of Israel's Netanyahu turns state's witness in corruption case: media

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - A confidant of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has agreed to provide testimony on behalf of the state about alleged corrupt dealings between the government and the country's biggest telecoms group, Israeli media reported on Wednesday.


Telecoms, Lloyds a bright spot on a down day for European stocks

LONDON, Feb 21 (Reuters) - European shares retreated in early dealing on Wednesday, under pressure from a continued rise in bond yields, though well-received results updates from telecom companies, bank Lloyds and miner Glencore helped limit the declines.


Gunmen kill five police in attack on South African police station

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Gunmen killed six people in an attack on a police station in a small South African town on Wednesday, stealing quantities of weapons and a vehicle in what police were treating as a robbery.


Putin nemesis Navalny, barred from election, tries political siege

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Two young anti-Putin activists trudged through a snow-logged Moscow housing estate on a recent Saturday, putting up fliers promoting a boycott of a presidential election next month.


Syria's Ghouta residents 'wait to die' as bombs fall

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Residents of Syria's eastern Ghouta said they were "waiting their turn to die" early on Wednesday, after more pro-government rockets and barrel bombs fell on the besieged rebel enclave.

Politics and Government

Contributing Op-Ed Writer: Will 2018 Be as Revolutionary as 1968?

A new generation of rebels is rising in Europe, this time from the right, with echoes of the huge protest movements of 50 years ago.


Trump Jr. says missing out on India deals because of father's self-imposed curbs

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump's elder son described India as an important market for The Trump Organization but said the global company will lose out on new deals because of self-imposed restrictions put in place by his father since he took office.


More than 60 lawmakers demand UK PM May delivers Brexit with full autonomy: BBC

LONDON (Reuters) - More than 60 lawmakers in Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservative Party have signed a letter demanding that she deliver a Brexit that ensures "full regulatory autonomy" for Britain after it leaves in March 2019, the BBC reported.


Stakes rise in Turkish Afrin attack as pro-Assad militia arrive

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Turkey shelled Afrin overnight on Tuesday and showed no sign of slackening its assault on the Kurdish-held region despite the arrival of pro-Syrian government militia there, a war monitor said.


Moncler bids farewell to catwalk with eight new collections

MILAN (Reuters) - The traditional catwalk show is dead and the way forward is to attract customers with new products each month, the chairman of Moncler said, as the luxury group kicked off Milan...

David Hogg and some classmates, who are outspoken about needing stricter gun laws, have become the subject of conspiracy theories and smear campaigns

David Hogg has become a strong voice among survivors of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High and some are calling him a "crisis actor" and a pawn for anti-gun legislation.


Apple in talks to buy cobalt directly from miners: Bloomberg

(Reuters) - Apple Inc is in talks to buy long-term supplies of cobalt for iPhone batteries directly from miners, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday, citing sources.


Ice Hockey: Czechs beat U.S. in shootout to reach semis

GANGNEUNG, South Korea (Reuters) - Petr Koukal scored the only goal in the shootout to give the Czech Republic a 3-2 win over the United States on Wednesday to become the first team through to the semi-finals of the men's Olympic ice hockey tournament.

Analysis: This is Trump's chance to change gun laws


Exclusive: Investment star Alan Howard's comeback hits headwind

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A fund managed directly by Alan Howard, one of Britain’s best known investors, lost nearly 9.0 percent net of fees from May through December 2017, according to information...


Asian stocks gain, dollar extends recovery

TOKYO (Reuters) - Asian stocks gained on Wednesday, while the dollar advanced as traders near-term focus shifted to the minutes of the Federal Reserve's last policy meeting for hints on the future pace of U.S. monetary tightening.

Pence, Mike

North Korea Dropped Out of Meeting With Pence at Last Minute, U.S. Says

Vice President Mike Pence had planned to secretly meet with North Korean officials at the Winter Olympics in South Korea, the State Department said.


'Samurai' Goggia denies Vonn to win downhill gold

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (Reuters) - Sofia Goggia carved up the Jeongseon slope "like a Samurai" to win the women's downhill on Wednesday and leave American Lindsey Vonn with a bronze medal in her final run in the marquee event of Olympic Alpine skiing.


Figure skating: Zagitova breaks world record for short program

GANGNEUNG, South Korea (Reuters) - Alina Zagitova set a world record in figure skating's women's singles short program on Wednesday, breaking the previous record set barely 15 minutes earlier.


Bobsledders, snowboarders rule Tinder at Pyeongchang

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (Reuters) - The most popular athletes on Tinder at the Olympics in Pyeongchang are male bobsledders and female snowboarders, the dating app said on Wednesday.


CORRECTED-UPDATE 3-Australia's Wesfarmers sees signs of grocery recovery as H1 profit slumps

* Coles earnings drop 14 pct, British hardware impairment drags

CNN to hold town hall with students and Florida's politicians

The mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School has set off a national discussion on gun laws and how to keep communities safe.


Olympics-Bobsledders, snowboarders rule Tinder at Pyeongchang

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea, Feb 21 (Reuters) - The most popular athletes on Tinder at the Olympics in Pyeongchang are male bobsledders and female snowboarders, the dating app said on Wednesday.


BRIEF-Pan American Silver Corp Qtrly ‍Basic Adjusted Earnings Per Share​ $0.13


Europe Edition: Syria, Poland, Winter Olympics: Your Wednesday Briefing

Here’s what you need to know to start your day.


Human rights groups say Mexico not investigating spyware claims

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - A group of human and digital rights activists said on Tuesday that the Mexican government had failed to properly investigate allegations their smartphones were infected with spying software. They have asked for an independent investigation.


Venezuela says launch of 'petro' cryptocurrency raised $735 million

CARACAS (Reuters) - President Nicolas Maduro said Tuesday that Venezuela had received $735 million in the first day of a pre-sale of the country's “petro” cryptocurrency, aimed at pulling the country out of an economic tailspin.


GM proposes $2.8 billion, 10-year investment in South Korea: government official

SEOUL (Reuters) - General Motors has proposed investing $2.8 billion into its struggling South Korean operations over the next 10 years and has asked Seoul to provide funds for the investment, a South Korean government official said on Wednesday.


UPDATE 2-GM proposes $2.8 bln, 10-yr investment in S.Korea - govt official

* Investment would be on top of over $2.2 bln debt-for-equity swap


Bahrain's sovereign fund in talks to invest in SoftBank's Vision Fund: CEO

MANAMA (Reuters) - Bahrain's sovereign wealth fund Mumtalakat is in early talks to invest in Softbank Group's private equity fund that aims to target the technology sector, its chief executive said.

AT&T names first cities to get its 5G network

Hear Queen's candid comments about crown

In a new Smithsonian Channel documentary airing January 14, Queen Elizabeth II recounts her 1953 coronation.


Figure skating: Japan's Sakamoto in surprise lead, Olympic Athletes from Russia yet to come

GANGNEUNG, South Korea (Reuters) - Kaori Sakamoto of Japan, in her Olympic debut, skated a clean, lyrical program to take a surprise lead in the women's figure skating contest on Wednesday, although a number of medal favorites had yet to skate.


Zero yen: Japanese cryptocurrency exchange briefly trips up trade

TOKYO (Reuters) - A Japanese cryptocurrency exchange undergoing checks by regulators has said a system failure let investors briefly trade a digital currency for zero yen, highlighting security concerns about such assets after last month's cyber heist at Coincheck Inc.


Japan donates ballot boxes worth $7.5 million for Cambodia election

PHNOM PENH (Reuters) - Japan donated over 10,000 ballot boxes for Cambodia's 2018 election on Wednesday, the first international aid for the vote after European Union and the United States withdrew their support following the dissolution of the main opposition party.


US FDIC sues 16 banks alleging Libor manipulation in Doral collapse

(Reuters) - A U.S. regulator on Tuesday filed a lawsuit against 16 U.S. and international banks alleging they had manipulated bbaLIBOR, which is a series of interest-rate benchmarks, leading to the collapse of Puerto Rico's Doral Bank.


Snowboarding: NZ's Garcia Knight best of big air qualifiers

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (Reuters) - New Zealand's Carlos Garcia Knight topped qualifying for the men's snowboarding big air competition at the Pyeongchang Winter Games on Wednesday, while Olympic slopestyle champion Redmond Gerard also scraped into the final.


UPDATE 2-Oil falls as dollar firms, U.S. oil output expected to rise

* Ongoing OPEC-led output cuts provide some support (Adds BHP 2018 comment, updates prices)


Castellina in Chianti Journal: An Ancient Tuscan Village, Like Italy, Is Reshaped by Migration

Electoral campaign slogans warn against the migrants’ “invasion,” but Italy’s social fabric has already changed.

Politics and Government

Poland’s Nationalism Threatens Europe’s Values, and Cohesion

The European Union has bestowed huge sums on Poland, but the country has fomented discord over identity, solidarity and, perhaps most important, the rule of law.


'Making of a Murderer' case may go to Supreme Court: report

(Reuters) - A Wisconsin man convicted of murder in the case that was chronicled in the Netflix documentary, "Making of a Murderer," on Tuesday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to toss out his 2005 confession that his attorneys claim was coerced by investigators, the Washington Post reported.


Curling: Stunned Canada out of women's competition

GANGNEUNG, South Korea (Reuters) - World and defending Olympic champions Canada, the most dominant force in women's curling, were knocked out at the preliminary stage after losing to Britain on Wednesday in one of the biggest shocks of the Pyeongchang Games.

Congress wonders if this time will be different for gun control

In America, gun violence has become a reoccurring fact of life, and the response to it is even more predictable.

Parkland students: This is why we're going to Florida's capital

Busloads of students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School headed for the Florida capital on Tuesday with one goal in mind: Make change.

The Trump supporters used by Russia

Newsweek publishes critical piece on company after staffers threaten to resign


REFILE-UPDATE 1-Mexico's Televisa profit falls as advertising slumps

MEXICO CITY, Feb 20 (Reuters) - Mexican broadcaster Televisa on Tuesday posted a quarterly net profit down 12.5 percent from a year ago, hurt by declines in advertising.


South Korea regulator flags better deal for cryptocurrency industry

SEOUL (Reuters) - A better deal for South Korea's cryptocurrency industry might be in the offing as the market regulator changes tack from its tough stance on the virtual coin trade, promising instead to help promote blockchain technology.

Trump accuser says she's 'not surprised' he called her a liar

Rachel Crooks says she is "not surprised" that President Donald Trump called her a liar.


Final version of Trans-Pacific trade deal released, rules pushed by U.S. on ice

WELLINGTON/SYDNEY (Reuters) - The final version of a landmark deal aimed at cutting trade barriers in some of the Asia-Pacific's fastest-growing economies was released on Wednesday, signaling the pact was a step closer to reality even without its star member the United States.

Husband of woman who went missing at sea faces charge

A British man who is already in US federal custody will face a second-degree murder charge in connection with the disappearance of his wife, who went missing while the couple sailed through the Florida Straits last year, according to a criminal complaint.

Don Lemon calls out politicians who refused to consider ban

CNN's Don Lemon calls out Florida legislators who voted down a motion to consider a weapon ban following a deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida, and describes one thing they almost all have in common - an A or A+ rating from the NRA.


Missouri residents sue over radioactive material storage sites

Feb 20 (Reuters) - Residents living near landfill sites in the St. Louis area where radioactive waste has been stored filed lawsuits on Tuesday seeking compensation, claiming negligence in handling materials they said were some of the most dangerous on Earth.


Hearing yet to be set in Russian medalist doping case: CAS

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (Reuters) - A hearing in the case of Russian curler Alexander Krushelnitsky, who tested positive for the banned substance meldonium, was yet to be scheduled, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) said on Wednesday.

From Tokyo to Paris without leaving the ground

Imagine jet-setting from Tokyo to Paris, enjoying first-class travel, a four-course dinner and a city tour -- all without leaving the ground.


HNA property unit pledges 41 percent stake as collateral for loan

HONG KONG (Reuters) - A HNA Group unit said it has pledged about 41 percent of the company as collateral for a loan from a Hong Kong private equity firm, part of a slew of fundraising efforts by the Chinese conglomerate to address a liquidity crunch.

School Shootings and Armed Attacks

School’s R.O.T.C. Had 3 Cadets Killed. The Gunman Had Been a Member.

The Junior R.O.T.C. program at Stoneman Douglas High School attracts hundreds of students who study subjects like leadership, military drilling and marksmanship.

Classified Information and State Secrets

Kushner Resists Losing Access as Kelly Tackles Security Clearance Issues

Jared Kushner, frustrated about the issue and concerned that Mr. Kelly has targeted him personally with the directive, has told colleagues that he is reluctant to give up his high-level access.


Asian stocks led higher by Japan as dollar extends recovery

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese shares led Asian markets higher after a weak start on Wednesday, with Japanese export focused companies attracting investors as the dollar gained against the yen thanks to U.S. Treasury debt yields hovering near highs not seen in four years.

Accuser fires back: He should be afraid

Trump accuser Rachel Crooks responds after President Donald Trump directs a tweet at her.

NYT: Kushner pushes back on keeping classified info access

White House officials Jared Kushner and John Kelly are privately feuding over Kushner's access to classified information despite having only an interim security clearance, according to a report in The New York Times.


North Korea canceled planned meeting with Pence

WASHINGTON/SEOUL (Reuters) - U.S. Vice President Mike Pence was scheduled to meet with North Korean officials, including leader Kim Jong Un's sister, while in South Korea for the Winter Olympics this month but the North Koreans canceled at the last minute, U.S. officials said on Tuesday.

Survivor: Trump Jr. 'disgusting' for endorsing false story

Student activist and survivor of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, David Hogg, calls alt-right conspiracy theories about the shooting "disturbing" and responds to Donald Trump Jr. endorsing it.


Venezuela Launches Virtual Currency, Hoping to Resuscitate Economy

Government officials are hoping to spur vitally needed imports like food and medicine and, perhaps, give investors a way of skirting American sanctions.


Exclusive: Japan to buy at least 20 more F-35A stealth fighters - sources

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan plans to buy at least 20 additional F-35A stealth fighters over the next six years, some or all of which it may purchase directly from Lockheed Martin Corp in the United States rather than assemble locally, three sources said.


Democrat picks up seat in special election for Kentucky legislature

(Reuters) - A Democrat easily won a Kentucky House of Representatives special election on Tuesday, the 37th U.S. legislative seat flipped to the party from Republicans since Donald Trump's 2016 election as president, the Democratic National Committee said.


Philippines 'concerned' as U.S. intelligence tags Duterte a threat to democracy

MANILA (Reuters) - Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte is taking seriously the U.S. Intelligence Community's report tagging the firebrand leader a threat to democracy in Southeast Asia, his spokesman said on Wednesday.

Anderson Cooper slams 'sick' alt-right conspiracy theories

CNN's Anderson Cooper blasts alt-right conspiracy theories cropping up after a deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida — one particularly endorsed by Donald Trump Jr. on Twitter.

Tavis Smiley sues PBS, saying sexual misconduct investigation was biased


Video of gun owner's assault on an AR-15 goes viral after Florida mass shooting

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A video of a man cutting his semi-automatic weapon in half has gone viral following last week's mass shooting at a Florida high school, prompting a social media movement decrying easy access to high-powered assault rifles.


TCW claims it fired female fund manager for compliance violations

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Portfolio manager Sara Tirschwell, who claims she was fired from TCW Group Inc in retaliation for complaining about sexual harassment, was terminated for violating company compliance policies, the asset management firm said in court papers on Tuesday.

Parkland students: We are trying to succeed where the adults have failed


Right-Wing Media Uses Parkland Shooting as Conspiracy Fodder

Bill O’Reilly, Rush Limbaugh and Jack Kingston express suspicion toward the teenage survivors. The website Gateway Pundit claims they were coached.

Education (K-12)

D.C. Schools Chancellor Resigns Amid Outcry Over Daughter’s School Transfer

The chancellor, Antwan Wilson, had come under investigation for how his daughter recently transferred to a coveted high school, bypassing about 700 students on a wait-list.

Alpine Skiing

Women’s Downhill Live Results: Lindsey Vonn Races Seventh

Vonn was the winner in 2010, but missed the 2014 Games because of an injury. Stay here for live updates and analysis.

Meet Trump's new best frenemy

Trump endorses Romney despite both saying terrible things about each other. Jeanne Moos has the insult-fest.


GM offers $2.8 billion investment in South Korea over 10 years: South Korea official

SEOUL (Reuters) - General Motors has proposed $2.8 billion fresh investment in South Korea over the 10 years as part of its plan to restructure its embattled Korean unit, a South Korean senior government official said.

Figure Skating

Women’s Figure Skating Live Results: Bradie Tennell Has Early Lead

Evgenia Medvedeva, a two-time world champion, is the favorite for the gold medal, which begins with the short program. Stay here for live updates and analysis.

School Shootings and Armed Attacks

With Grief and Hope, Florida Students Take Gun Control Fight On the Road

Students fed up with gun violence hopped a bus to Tallahassee, Fla., and planned protests from coast to coast. Whether their activism would amount to anything was far from clear.

State House votes against taking up a bill to ban assault weapons as a busload of students heads to Capitol

Gun Control

Editorial: Will America Choose Its Children Over Guns?

Maybe sensible teenagers, sickened by the terror they must live with at school, can at last compel their senseless elders to act.


Maldives parliament approves extension of state of emergency by 30 days

MALE (Reuters) - Parliament in the Maldives on Tuesday approved a 30-day extension of a state of emergency sought by President Abdulla Yameen who cited an ongoing national security threat and constitutional crisis.


Artificial intelligence poses risks of misuse by hackers, researchers say

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Rapid advances in artificial intelligence are raising risks that malicious users will soon exploit the technology to mount automated hacking attacks, cause driverless car crashes or turn commercial drones into targeted weapons, a new report warns.


Former cyclone Gita traverses New Zealand, batters South Island

(Reuters) - At least 5,000 people in New Zealand's South Island were cut off by massive landslips and hundreds of tourists stranded on Wednesday after former cyclone Gita whipped through the country, sparking a state of emergency in several southern towns.


UPDATE 1-Artificial intelligence poses risks of misuse by hackers, researchers say

FRANKFURT, Feb 21 (Reuters) - Rapid advances in artificial intelligence are raising risks that malicious users will soon exploit the technology to mount automated hacking attacks, cause driverless car crashes or turn commercial drones into targeted weapons, a new report warns.


Asia stocks dip, dollar recovery continues as yields rise

TOKYO (Reuters) - Stock markets dipped after a long winning run on Wall Street ended overnight, while the dollar gained momentum on Wednesday as yields on U.S. Treasury debt headed for highs not seen in four years.

North Koreans canceled meeting with Pence at Olympics

Vice President Mike Pence was set to meet with North Korean officials, including Kim Jong Un's sister, during his politically charged visit to the Olympics earlier this month, his office confirmed on Tuesday.

3M to pay $850M to end 2010 pollution case


Op-Ed Contributor: I Interned for Senator Rubio. Now I’m Begging Him to Act on Guns.

A graduate of Stoneman Douglas High School has been close to four mass shootings in Florida. She wants last week’s to be the last.


North Korea canceled planned meeting with U.S. VP Pence: Pence's office

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Vice President Mike Pence was scheduled to meet with North Korean officials, including leader Kim Jong Un's sister, while in South Korea for the Winter Olympics this month but the North Koreans canceled at the last minute, U.S. officials said on Tuesday.


BRIEF-goeasy Reports Quarterly ‍Diluted Earnings Per Share Of C$0.38​


Diet and Nutrition

Counting Calories Is Not the Key to Weight Loss, New Study Finds

People who cut back on added sugar, refined grains and processed foods lost weight without worrying about calories or portion size.

Artificial Intelligence

Good News: A.I. Is Getting Cheaper. That’s Also Bad News.

The building blocks of A.I. are becoming more affordable and easier to work with. A new report explains why that opens the door to additional risks.

NBA commissioner responds to Jay-Z

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver sits down with CNNMoney's Ahiza Garcia to discuss the challenges of being the head of a sports league right now, tackling racism and a shifting business environment.


REFILE-UPDATE 7-U.S. oil prices rise on Cushing draw, hopes of producer cooperation

* Genscape says crude at Cushing hub falls 2.1 mln bbls- trade


UPDATE 1-Mexico's Televisa profit falls as advertising slumps

MEXICO CITY, Feb 20 (Reuters) - Mexican broadcaster Televisa on Tuesday posted a quarterly net profit down 12.5 percent from a year ago, hurt by declines in advertising.

Computers and the Internet

Op-Ed Contributor: How to Monitor Fake News

A software technique could help oversee the spread of disinformation.


Lotte chairman offers to resign from holding company - YTN

SEOUL, Feb 21 (Reuters) - The head of South Korea's Lotte Holdings has offered to quit as chairman at its Japan-based holding firm, following his arrest for bribery earlier this month, a cable news network YTN said on Wednesday.


Judge says IMDb can show Hollywood actors' ages under First Amendment

(Reuters) - A federal judge on Tuesday declared unconstitutional a California law requiring IMDb, the movie and television information website, to remove actors' ages at their request.


Computer shops embrace lucrative business: outfitting cryptocurrency miners

HONG KONG/SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Some of the biggest electronics bazaars in Asia are being flooded with customers looking for the latest piece of technology: cryptocurrency mining rigs.


BRIEF-Dream Industrial REIT reports Q4 FFO per unit of 22.5 cents

Feb 20 (Reuters) - Dream Industrial Real Estate Investment Trust:


BRIEF-Prophase Labs Announces New Compensatory Arrangement With CEO And Termination Of Stockholder Rights Plan



BRIEF-Aegean Marine Petroleum Network Announces Preliminary Q4 Loss Per Share $0.69



BRIEF-Aegean Marine Petroleum Network To Acquire H.E.C. Europe Ltd For About $367 Mln


Survivor: It became real when I went to my friend's funeral

Dozens of students and staff who survived the Florida school shooting departed for the state Capitol to demand change from state lawmakers.


Macron plans tighter asylum rules in test of parliamentary majority

PARIS (Reuters) - Emmanuel Macron's government will on Wednesday propose toughening France's immigration and asylum laws amid strident criticism from human rights groups, in a move that will test the unity of his left-and-right majority.


Trump moves to outlaw 'bump stocks,' considers other steps after Florida shooting

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump said on Tuesday his administration would take steps to ban an accessory that enables a rifle to shoot hundreds of rounds a minute as he considers additional firearms restrictions after last week's school shooting in Florida.


Serena says 'almost died' after giving birth

(Reuters) - Serena Williams "almost died" after giving birth to her daughter last September, the former women's world number one tennis player wrote in a column for CNN that was published on Tuesday.

Mental Health and Disorders

Op-Ed Contributor: The Mental Health System Can’t Stop Mass Shooters

There is no reliable cure for angry young men who harbor violent fantasies. The only solution is to keep guns out of their hands.