News 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. With no deal on children's health plan, U.S. states scramble for Plan B 2017-12-14T08:22:42.000000000-05:00 NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - For Nancy Minoui of Portland, Oregon, and Crystal Lett of Dublin, Ohio, Congress' failure to fund the Children's Health Insurance Program is not some distant tale of political wrangling. European stocks, euro dip as central banks dominate 2017-12-14T08:13:52.000000000-05:00 LONDON (Reuters) - European shares and the euro dipped on Thursday as cautious comments on inflation from the U.S. Federal Reserve gave investors pause before a series of central bank decisions in Europe. U.N. chief says arrest of Reuters journalists shows erosion of press freedom in Myanmar 2017-12-14T08:08:08.000000000-05:00 TOKYO/YANGON (Reuters) - The arrest of two Reuters journalists in Yangon this week was a signal that press freedom is shrinking in Myanmar and the international community must do all it can to get them released, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Thursday. Russia's Putin, on track for easy re-election, laments dearth of rivals 2017-12-14T07:35:55.000000000-05:00 MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday he faced no credible high-profile political opponents as he prepared to run for re-election in March, but would work to try to create a more balanced political system.