Government business and finance
LONDON - Financial markets around the world were roiled Thursday after Japanese stocks suffered their biggest slide since the country was hit by a devastating tsunami more than two years ago.
Several reasons have been blamed for the 7.3 per cent fall in the Nikkei index to 14,483.98, including a spike in the Japanese government's borrowing costs and unexpectedly weak Chinese manufacturing figures.
WASHINGTON - Lawmakers are ready to question the ousted head of the Internal Revenue Service as Congress holds its first hearing on the tougher scrutiny the IRS gave tea party and other conservative groups that applied for tax-exempt status.
With the scandal joining the parade of political headaches buffeting President Barack Obama, the Republican-run House Ways and Means Committee planned to question the agency's ousted chief, Steven Miller, on Friday.
TOKYO - Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda replaced five members of his Cabinet on Friday in a bid to win more co-operation from the opposition to raise the sales tax and rein in the country's bulging fiscal deficit.
Two of the removed ministers had been censured by the opposition for making comments that were deemed inappropriate. Twelve posts were unchanged, including finance and foreign minister.