Japan’s vast public pension fund says to double stock investment

Commentary, Economy, Stocks, U.S. Infrastructure

Japan is to announce its public pension fund -- the world's biggest -- will double the amount of equities it holds in its investment portfolio, reports said, as it seeks out higher returns to cope with an ageing populationJapan's public pension fund — the world's biggest — said Friday it will double the amount of equities in its investment portfolio, as it seeks higher returns to cope with a rapidly ageing population. The unprecedented shift by the $1.26 trillion Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF) will see stocks account for a combined 50 percent of its portfolio, up from about 24 percent now, pumping billions of dollars into domestic and overseas share markets. "The new portfolio is designed to make the fund operate more effectively as the economy emerges from deflation," the fund's president Takahiro Mitani told a press conference in Tokyo. "We're trying to generate long-term returns necessary for the fund's operation — but with the least risk — by diversifying its investment mix."


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Nurse defies Ebola quarantine with bike ride; negotiations fail

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By Steve Holland CAPE ELIZABETH Maine (Reuters) – A nurse who treated Ebola patients in Sierra Leone but has tested negative for the virus went for a bike ride on Thursday, defying Maine’s order that she be quarantined in her home and setting up a legal collision with Governor Paul LePage. Attorneys for Kaci Hickox, 33, said they had not yet been served with a court order to enforce the 21-day quarantine – matching the virus’s maximum incubation period – but remained prepared to fight such an order if necessary. …

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Roberts’ Primary Foe Urges Kansans to Vote for Him

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Kansas U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts is getting a somewhat reluctant endorsement from his former Republican primary challenger, Milton Wolf. In a message posted Thursday on his campaign Facebook page, Wolf urges his supporters to set aside their differences with Roberts and vote for the Republican incumbent in next Tuesday’s election.

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Ghana producer price inflation falls to 46.7 pct yr/yr: stats office

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ACCRA (Reuters) – Ghana’s annual producer price inflation fell to 46.7 percent in September, down from 48.3 percent year-on-year in August, the national statistics office said on Wednesday. The figure is an indication of the economic challenges facing the West African country, whose gross domestic product has grown swiftly in recent years through its exports of gold, cocoa and oil. Slightly lower figures for the manufacture of food, beverages and furniture helped to lower the overall figure, chief government statistician Anthony Amuzu said. …

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Unmanned U.S. supply rocket explodes after liftoff

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An unmanned Antares rocket is seen exploding seconds after lift off from a commercial launch pad in this still image from NASA video at Wallops IslandBy Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL Florida (Reuters) – An unmanned U.S. supply rocket exploded shortly after lifting off from a commercial launch pad in Virginia, the first disaster since NASA turned to private operators to run cargo to the International Space Station. The 14-story Antares rocket, built and launched by Orbital Sciences Corp, blasted off from the Wallops Flight Facility at 2222 GMT on Tuesday but burst into flames moments later and plunged back to the ground in a massive ball of fire and smoke. No one was hurt in the crash, authorities said. …


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AP, Seattle Times upset about FBI impersonationvisit|article-5853920|river-40364-1col-hp-16|1

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The Associated Press and the Seattle Times are objecting after learning that the FBI created a fake news story and website using their names to catch a bomb threat suspect in 2007. Police in suburban Lacey, near Olympia, sought the FBI’s help as repeated bomb threats prompted a week of evacuations and closures at Timberline High School in June 2007.

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Nigeria sees cocoa export revenues up 45 pct in 2 years

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Farmers break cocoa pods in Ghana's eastern cocoa town of Akim AkookoABUJA (Reuters) – Nigeria expects to earn $1.3 billion from cocoa exports this year, an increase of 45 percent on two years ago, after a steady rise in output that could help shift Africa's top economy away from its reliance on oil, its agriculture minister said. Akinwumi Adesina, speaking to Reuters on the sidelines of a cocoa summit in Nigeria's capital Abuja late on Monday, said the world's fourth biggest cocoa producer was set produce 370,000 tonnes this year from its 14 major producing areas, up from the 250,000 tonnes that earned it $900 million in 2012.


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U.S. isolates troops, Australia imposes visa ban on Ebola-hit West Africa states

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U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, visits the Western Area Emergency Response Centre in FreetownBy Phil Stewart and Matt Siegel WASHINGTON/SYDNEY (Reuters) – The U.S. military has started isolating soldiers returning from an Ebola response mission in West Africa and Australia became the first rich nation to impose a visa ban on the affected countries amid global anxiety about the spread of the virus. The latest measures, along with decisions by some U.S. states to impose mandatory quarantines on health workers returning home from treating Ebola victims in West Africa, have been condemned by health authorities and the United Nations as extreme. …


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