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At least one person was reported killed Thursday as rallies across DR Congo against President Joseph Kabila turned violent, with police firing tear gas in the capital Kinshasa and the eastern city of Goma. Large numbers of riot police were deployed across the country for the rallies called by three opposition groups in defiance of government bans. Tensions have been soaring in the country where Kabila, in power since his father's assassination in 2001, is widely thought to be preparing to remain in office beyond the two terms allowed under the constitution.
U.S. business spending intentions weakened in April for a third straight month amid soft demand for machinery, but a surge in contracts to purchase previously owned homes to a 10-year high supported views economic growth was gaining speed. The growth picture was further boosted by another report on Thursday showing the number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell more than expected last week, pushing them back to near cycle lows. The Commerce Department said orders for non-defense capital goods excluding aircraft, a closely watched proxy for business spending plans, fell 0.8 percent after slipping 0.1 percent the prior month.