LONDON - International pressure to curb corporate tax avoidance is behind delays to a $35 billion merger of French advertising group Publicis and U.S. rival Omnicom, and could even scupper the deal, tax advisers and sources close to the deal said.
SEOUL - The head of the South Korean family that operated the ferry which sank last week is a billionaire once jailed for fraud, a photographer who has held an exhibition at the Louvre under a pseudonym and the founder of a church which owns the website www.god.com.
DONETSK/SLAVIANSK, Ukraine - One is a dapper former croupier and promoter of Ponzi scams run by "Russia's Bernie Madoff"; the other is a burly Soviet Navy veteran turned soap factory boss, with a shifting gaze and a glint of gold teeth.
OMAHA, Nebraska - From 2006 to 2009, Provident Asset Management raised $485 million from 7,700 investors who were drawn to its promises of annual returns as high as 18 percent on oil and gas assets. Law firm Mick & Associates helped. Provident paid Mick to provide "due diligence" reports to help brokers decide whether to recommend the investments to their clients.
ADDIS ABABA - Ethiopia's bold decision to pay for a huge dam itself has overturned generations of Egyptian control over the Nile's waters, and may help transform one of the world's poorest countries into a regional hydropower hub.
CAIRO - When French Egyptologist Olivier Perdu saw a fragment of a pharaonic statue on display in a Brussels gallery last year, he assumed it was a twin of an ancient masterpiece he had examined in Egypt a quarter of a century earlier.
MADRID - Carmen Collado has laundered hospital linen in Madrid for 11 years. Now, almost half her colleagues have been fired and the 61-year-old grandmother is cleaning the same bed sheets, nurses' scrubs and towels as before for half the pay.
(This story changes Mandalah description in the 30th paragraph, company name in
WASHINGTON AND NEW YORK - In September 2001, as the U.S. reeled from the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, Vladimir Putin supported Washington's imminent invasion of Afghanistan in ways that would have been inconceivable during the Cold War.
- Four years after the Deepwater Horizon spill, oil is still washing up on the long sandy beaches of Grand Isle, Louisiana, and some islanders are fed up with hearing from BP that the crisis is over.
SLAVIANSK, Ukraine/ST PETERSBURG, Russia - Ukrainian forces killed up to five pro-Moscow rebels on Thursday as they closed in on the separatists' military stronghold in the east, and Russia launched army drills near the border in response, raising fears its troops would invade. | Video