BRAZIL

Police Arrest 2 in Connection With Bank Heist

Brazil's police arrested two men in connection with the theft of $69.7 million from a central bank office. Police detained Francisco Rogerio Maciel de Souza and Charles Machado de Moraes, who were driving a truck carrying 11 cars bought with money from the theft, the federal police said. The two men were arrested last night in Sete Lagoas, Brazil, about 1,554 miles south of Fortaleza, the northeastern city where the central bank office was robbed.

TRADE

U.S. to Seek Restrictions on Chinese Textiles

The Bush administration, struggling to deal with a surging trade deficit with China, said it would begin negotiations aimed at broad restrictions on imports of Chinese clothing and textiles. The office of U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman said a negotiating team would travel to San Francisco for talks next week with a delegation from China. Critics say such new limits could cost American consumers billions of dollars in higher clothing costs. Supporters say a comprehensive deal imposing limits on Chinese imports was needed to protect a U.S. textile and apparel industry that has been left reeling with the expiration of global quotas at the start of this year.

Japan Ratifies Retaliatory Steel Duties

Japan's Cabinet formally approved a decision to impose 15 percent retaliatory tariffs on U.S. steel imports. The Trade Ministry announced earlier this month that U.S. steel products would face the levies starting Sept. 1 in retaliation for Washington's failure to repeal an anti-dumping law ruled illegal by the World Trade Organization.

European Union

Economic Growth Slows to 0.3 Percent

Economic growth in the European Union as a whole and the euro zone slowed to 0.3 percent in the second quarter from 0.5 percent in 2005's first three months, the E.U. said. But Eurostat, the organization's statistics agency, predicted that growth in the 12 nations using the common currency would pick up by the end of the year. The E.U. head office kept its third-quarter forecast range between 0.2 percent and 0.6 percent.

Compiled from staff and news service reports.