US unemployment rises
WASHINGTON (AP): Unemployment rates rose in more than half of US states last month and fewer states added jobs, echoing national data that show the job market may have lost some momentum. The Labour Department said yesterday that unemployment rates increased in 28 states. They were unchanged in 14 and fell in eight states, the fewest to show a decline since January. Hiring increased in 32 states last month, compared with June, the fewest to report job gains in three months. Seventeen states reported job losses. California, Georgia and Florida reported the largest job gains, while New Jersey and Nevada lost the most. Nationwide, hiring has been steady this year but slowed in July. Employers added 162,000 jobs, the fewest since March. The unemployment rate fell to 7.4 per cent, a 4-year low, from 7.6 per cent.
Head of Greek privatisation fund axed
ATHENS, (AP):Greek officials say the head of the country's privatisation fund has been dismissed after he allegedly violated ethics rules. Stelios Stavridis was fired by the finance minister after Greek media reported he had used a businessman's private plane to attend the signing of a deal selling a controlling stake in betting firm, OPAP, to a consortium led by that businessman. A Finance Ministry spokesman said, on condition of anonymity, Saturday that Stavridis was fired by Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras following the media reports. Stavridis denied he had done anything wrong. Stavridis signed the sale of a 33 per cent stake in OPAP to Emma Delta, a Greek-Czech consortium, for €652 million. Businessman Dimitris Melissanidis signed on behalf of Emma Delta. Stournaras also attended the August 12 signing.