The U.S. auto industry powered ahead in August, shrugging off gyrating stock markets to stay on pace for the best annual sales since 2001. Early returns on Tuesday indicated sales of about 17.5 million vehicles on an annualized basis, easily besting the forecast of 17.3 million vehicles, according to a Thomson Reuters poll of 47 economists. Roller-coaster stock markets appeared to have no major impact on auto purchases, which are an early indicator of consumer spending each month, particularly for large-ticket items.
Turkish police on Tuesday staged a major swoop on the Ankara-based offices of a media group critical of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a day after two British reporters were jailed on hugely controversial terror charges. The raids on Koza-Ipek Media sparked fresh concern about deteriorating press freedoms on Turkey, which is gearing up for a snap November legislative election, its second in five months. The swoop came a day after a court in Turkey's Kurdish-dominated southeast ordered two British journalists working for US-based Vice News to be remanded in custody on "terror charges".
By Isla Binnie VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Francis will give all priests discretion during the Roman Catholic Church's upcoming Holy Year to formally forgive women who have had abortions, in the Argentine pontiff's latest move towards a more open and inclusive church. In Church teaching, abortion is such a grave sin that those who procure or perform it incur an automatic excommunication, which can only be lifted by designated church officials. Francis described the "existential and moral ordeal" faced by women who have terminated pregnancies and said he had "met so many women who bear in their heart the scar of this agonizing and painful decision".