AP PHOTOS: City streets destroyed in Taiwan blasts

A destroyed fire truck is seen overturned in the rubble after massive gas explosions in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, Friday, Aug. 1, 2014. A series of underground explosions about midnight Thursday and early Friday ripped through Taiwan's second-largest city, killing scores of people, Taiwan's National Fire Agency said Friday. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)City streets destroyed, transformed into trenches strewn with dirt, ripped pieces of pipe and jagged blocks of concrete. Broken fire trucks turned upside down, twisted soot-covered cars and motorcycles, ripped advertising signs.



US adds 209,000 jobs in July, unemployment rises to 6.2%

Job seekers check out opportunities at a job fair in Chicago, Illinois, on June 12, 2014The US economy generated 209,000 new jobs in July, down from June but maintaining the solid 200,000-plus monthly streak since February, the Commerce Department said Friday. The unemployment rate rose a mere 0.1 point to 6.2 percent, still near its lowest level since October 2008 and well down from the 7.9 percent at the start of 2013. Nevertheless, the number of unemployed rose by nearly 200,000 to 9.67 million, in part because of the constant increase in the number of working-age Americans, as well a return to the labor force by 141,000 people who had dropped out and were not previously counted as unemployed. Average weekly earnings ticked up only slightly, suggesting, as the Federal Reserve said Wednesday, that there is still slack in the labor market despite the steady gains in job creation.



Representative Cantor to resign House seat early

Outgoing House Majority Leader Eric Cantor arrives for House Republican leadership elections in the Longworth House Office Building on Capitol Hill in WashingtonRepresentative Eric Cantor said on Friday he will resign his seat effective Aug. 18, months earlier than expected following a stunning defeat in a Republican primary election. Cantor, who on Thursday stepped down from his leadership position in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, said he had asked Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe to call a special election to coincide with November's congressional elections. Cantor, who was elected to the House in 2000 and served as House majority leader since 2011, unexpectedly lost to a Tea Party-backed college economics professor in June.



U.S. job growth cools, unemployment rate rises to 6.2 percent

Workers work on installing the motherboard to a 32-inch TV at Element Electronics in WinnsboroBy Lucia Mutikani WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. job growth slowed in July and an unexpected rise in the unemployment rate pointed to some slack in the labor market that could give the Federal Reserve room to keep interest rates low for a while. It will reinforce for now the Federal Reserve's commitment to a gradualist policy approach," said Mohamed El-Erian, chief economic advisor at Allianz in Newport Beach, California. July marked the sixth straight month that employment has expanded by more than 200,000 jobs, a stretch last seen in 1997. The one tenth of a percentage point increase in the unemployment rate to 6.2 percent came as more people entered the labor market, a sign of confidence in employment prospects.



Iberia turnaround lifts IAG airlines group

International Airlines Group announced on Friday increases to quarterly profit thanks to improvement at its Spanish carrier Iberia, while its other main operator British Airways landed a solid performanceInternational Airlines Group announced on Friday increases to quarterly profit thanks to improvement at its Spanish carrier Iberia, while its other main operator British Airways landed a solid performance. “Iberia's restructuring continues to have a positive impact," said IAG chief executive Willie Walsh. IAG also announced that Iberia would be taking delivery of a fleet of new long-haul Airbus planes after signing a purchase proposal last year. "These orders demonstrate our commitment to make Iberia competitive," Walsh said.





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