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RugbyL: Australian league moves on dangerous tackles

Australia's National Rugby League told its match review committee Wednesday to take a hard line against players who lift opponents into positions where head or neck injuries may occur. The move follows a review of the first six rounds of the season and comes after Newcastle Knights forward Alex McKinnon was left with a devastating spinal injury following a lifting tackle. "If you lift a player and put him in a dangerous position you will be charged unless you pull out quickly and return the player to a safe position," said NRL head of football Todd Greenberg.

RugbyL: McLean gets seven week ban for McKinnon tackle

Australia's National Rugby League judiciary Wednesday suspended Melbourne Storm prop Jordan McLean for seven weeks for a lifting tackle on Alex McKinnon that left the Newcastle back-rower with a devastating spinal injury. The panel took less than 10 minutes to find McLean guilty of a dangerous throw charge, after one of the most anticipated judiciary hearings in the sport. After successfully earning a guilty verdict, NRL counsel Peter Kite had asked the panel to ban McLean for between seven and 11 weeks because of the severity of McKinnon's injury.

U.S. manufacturing growth accelerates in March: ISM

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. manufacturing growth accelerated for a second straight month in March, an industry report showed on Tuesday, as production recovered though employment growth slowed. The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said its index of national factory activity rose to 53.7 in March, which was up slightly from February's read of 53.2 but below the median forecast of 54.0 in a Reuters poll of economists. Readings above 50 indicate expansion in the sector.

U.S. consumer confidence hits six-year high in March

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. consumer confidence rose in March to its highest in more than six years as expectations brightened, according to a private sector report released on Tuesday. The Conference Board, an industry group, said its index of consumer attitudes rose to 82.3, the highest since January 2008, from a upwardly revised 78.3 in February. Economists had expected a reading of 78.6, according to a Reuters poll. February's figure was originally reported as 78.1.

Canadian dollar rises after sharp loss amid disappointing Chinese, U.S. data

TORONTO - The Canadian dollar closed higher amid soft readings on the Chinese and U.S. manufacturing sectors. The loonie was up 0.12 of a cent to 89.33 cents US. HSBC's purchasing managers' index for China dropped to 48.1 in March from February’s 48.5. It was the lowest reading since July 2013 and was below consensus expectations of a modest rise. The worse than expected Chinese data suggested that the slowdown in the world’s second-biggest economy is deepening.

China inflation falls to 2.0% year-on-year in Feb

China's inflation rate dropped to 2.0 percent year-on-year in February, the government said Sunday. The consumer price index figure announced by the National Bureau of Statistics was down from the 2.5 percent recorded in January, and matched market forecasts according to Dow Jones Newswires. slb/st

Services growth slows in February: Markit

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Growth in the services sector as well as the pace of hiring slowed in February, an industry report showed on Monday, the latest data to suggest an unusually cold winter is dragging on economic activity. Financial data firm Markit said its "flash" or preliminary services sector purchasing managers index slipped to 52.7 in February from 56.7 in January. A reading above 50 signals expansion in economic activity.

Asian shares slip on weak China, Japan data

Asian markets slumped on Thursday, as China manufacturing data showed the world's second-largest economy losing strength and Japan logged its worst-ever January trade deficit. HSBC's preliminary reading for its purchasing managers' index (PMI), which tracks manufacturing activity in China's factories and workshops, contracted in February to its lowest level in seven months. The index, a closely-watched gauge of the health of the Asian economic powerhouse, also tumbled in January, losing ground for the first time in six months.

Nielsen study: TV time-shifting is up nearly 2 hours monthly for digital-loving consumers

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - TV viewers increasingly are watching programs on their own schedule, according to a Nielsen company media study released Monday. In the past year, time-shifting of television content grew by almost two hours, averaging 13 hours per month, the study found. Viewers averaged nearly 134 hours of live TV viewing a month in 2013, down nearly three hours from 2012. Television still remains central to media consumption, the study found, despite the increase in time-shifted viewing and streaming video through a computer or smartphone.

Manufacturing growth slows in January as new orders plunge: ISM

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Manufacturing grew at a substantially slower pace in January as new order growth plunged by the most in 33 years, driving overall factory activity to an eight-month low, an industry report showed on Monday. The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said its index of national factory activity fell to 51.3 last month, to its lowest level since May 2013, from a recently revised 56.5 in December.
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