Congress clears stopgap spending bill, $1.1B to fight Zika

WASHINGTON (AP) — Averting an election-year crisis, Congress late Wednesday sent President Barack Obama a bill to keep the government operating through Dec. 9 and provide $1.1 billion in long-delayed funding to battle the Zika virus.

  • Written by ANDREW TAYLOR, Associated Press

WHY IT MATTERS: Russia looms as key issue for United States

WASHINGTON (AP) — THE ISSUE: Russia cannot be ignored. Since the end of the Cold War, Russia has never posed such a vexing problem to U.S. policymakers as it does now. From Eastern Europe to the Middle East and increasingly Asia and the Americas, Russia is making its voice heard and its presence felt.

  • Written by MATTHEW LEE, AP Diplomatic Writer

Energy shares lead Asian stocks higher on OPEC output deal

HONG KONG (AP) — Energy companies led a rally in Asian stock markets Thursday as investors welcomed news that OPEC nations planned to cut oil production for the first time in eight years in an effort to reduce a global glut.

  • Written by KELVIN CHAN, AP Business Writer

Yellen says economy likely ready for rate hike later in 2016

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said Wednesday that the central bank has no "fixed timetable" for raising interest rates but she believes the economy is ready for a rate hike by the end of the year.

  • Written by MARTIN CRUTSINGER, AP Economics Writer