SYDNEY/HONG KONG - Vietnam has begun dredging work on a disputed reef in the South China Sea. The activity could anger Hanoi's main South China Sea rival, Beijing, which claims sovereignty over the group and most of the resource-rich sea.
LONDON/SHANGHAI The maker of the ACT college-entrance exam, which has been struggling to contain an international cheating epidemic, is raising its fees for overseas test-takers by $10 to pay for enhanced security.
WASHINGTON The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell from a five-month high last week, pointing to labor strength that underscores the economy's sustained momentum.
FRANKFURT The European Central Bank caught financial markets off-guard on Thursday by announcing it would trim asset buys from April next year, even as it reserved the right to increase purchases again if the euro zone's recovery faltered.
ALEPPO, Syria/BEIRUT The Syrian army's advance in Aleppo slowed on Thursday but a victory was still firmly in sight after President Bashar al-Assad vowed that retaking the nation's second city would change the course of the six-year civil war in his favor.
McDonald's Corp said on Thursday it would move its international tax base to the United Kingdom from Luxembourg after coming under increased scrutiny from European Union regulators over its tax arrangements in the small country.
NEW YORK Almost 60 percent of transgender Americans have avoided using public restrooms for fear of confrontation, saying they have been harassed and assaulted, according to the largest survey taken of transgender people in the United States.