News World shares little changed amid slate of central bank meetings 2017-12-14T12:01:44.000000000-05:00 NEW YORK (Reuters) - World stock markets were little changed on Thursday after policy meetings from major central banks in Europe, while some U.S. shares were buoyed by news that the Republicans' tax legislation could face final votes in Congress before year-end. Arms supplied by U.S., Saudi ended up with Islamic State, researchers say 2017-12-14T11:23:30.000000000-05:00 BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Arms provided by the United States and Saudi Arabia to Syrian opposition groups frequently ended up in the hands of Islamic State, an arms monitoring group that analyzed weapons found on the battlefield said on Thursday. Saudi hopes purge will help push to join anti-illicit funding body 2017-12-14T11:10:16.000000000-05:00 DUBAI (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia has high hopes that a campaign of arrests to crack down on corruption will improve its chances of joining the Financial Action Task Force, a global body dedicated to combating illicit money flows. Seven decades in the making, a defense pact comes to the EU 2017-12-14T10:42:11.000000000-05:00 BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union nations are set to achieve a 70-year-old ambition to integrate their defenses on Thursday, signing a pact between 25 EU governments to fund, develop and deploy armed forces together after Britain's decision to quit the bloc. U.S. retail sales surge; weekly jobless claims fall 2017-12-14T09:47:24.000000000-05:00 WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. retail sales increased more than expected in November as the holiday shopping season got off to a brisk start, pointing to sustained strength in the economy that could pave the way for further Federal Reserve interest rate hikes next year. Alabama Senate race winner urges Republican rival to 'move on' 2017-12-14T09:40:19.000000000-05:00 WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Alabama Democrat Doug Jones, who won a bitter fight for a U.S. Senate seat this week, called on his Republican opponent to concede the race and help heal the Southern state after a deeply divisive contest. Google Brain co-founder teams with Foxconn to bring AI to factories 2017-12-14T09:22:27.000000000-05:00 (Reuters) - Andrew Ng, co-founder of some of Alphabet Inc -owned Google's most prominent artificial intelligence projects, on Thursday launches a new venture with iPhone assembler Foxconn to bring AI and so-called machine learning onto the factory floor. China says war must not be allowed on Korean peninsula 2017-12-14T08:55:32.000000000-05:00 BEIJING (Reuters) - War must not be allowed to break out on the Korean peninsula and the issue must be resolved through talks, Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Thursday, while U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned of the danger of "sleepwalking" into conflict. Global stocks edge up amid central bank bonanza 2017-12-14T08:41:55.000000000-05:00 LONDON (Reuters) - World shares eked out modest gains on Thursday as cautious comments on inflation from the U.S. Federal Reserve gave investors pause on a day packed with central bank decisions in Europe. Do not expect postcard-sized tax return from Republican plan: experts 2017-12-14T08:23:19.000000000-05:00 WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Since mid-2016, U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan has carried around a "postcard" that he has said shows how easy it will be for Americans to file their taxes once Republicans are finished their tax overhaul.