World Bulletin / News Desk
A sharply divided U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the centerpiece of President Barack Obama's signature healthcare overhaul law that requires that most Americans get insurance by 2014 or pay a financial penalty.
"The Affordable Care Act's requirement that certain individuals pay a financial penalty for not obtaining health insurance may reasonably be characterized as a tax," Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for the court's majority in the opinion.
"Because the Constitution permits such a tax, it is not our role to forbid it, or to pass upon its wisdom or fairness," he concluded. The vote was 5-4.
In another part of the decision and in a blow to the White House, a different majority on the court struck down the provision of the law that requires the states to dramatically expand the Medicaid health insurance program for the poor.
The upholding of the insurance purchase requirement, known as the "individual mandate," was a major election-year victory for Obama, a historic ruling on the law that aimed to extend coverage to more than 30 million uninsured Americans.
The 2010 law constituted the $2.6 trillion U.S. healthcare system's biggest overhaul in nearly 50 years.
Critics of the law had said it meddles too much in the lives of individuals and in the business of the states.
Twenty-six of the 50 U.S. states and a small business trade group challenged the law in court. The Supreme Court in March heard three days of historic arguments over the law's fate.
The court's ruling on the law could figure prominently in the run-up to the Nov. 6 election in which Obama seeks a second four-year term against Republican challenger Mitt Romney, who opposed the law.
London's benchmark FTSE 100 index dropped 0.6 percent to 7,336.30 points compared with Tuesday's close.
The 12-month inflation rate hit 2.3 percent last month compared with 1.8 percent in January, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said in a statement.
Gains for Deutsche shares topped 7.0 percent in the early afternoon, before slipping back to trade at 16.16 euros ($17.61) -- still up 5.33 percent -- just after 1400 GMT.
Today is 'day of revolution' for Turkey's energy sector with Monday's solar tender, says Turkish Minister
UBS will be charged with illegal banking practices and dissimulating tax fraud, the sources said, adding UBS's French subsidiary will also go on trial for complicity.
A fresh investment from the World Bank will see Africa receive $57 billion for investment
The move is significant as it means North Korea no longer has access SWIFT's global financial transfer system, further isolating the already heavily-sanctioned country.
Government committed to barring Turkish citizens from trading via foreign exchange brokers, Deputy PM says
Almost 40 percent of foreign-partnered companies founded directly by Syrian nationals or Syrians in partnerships
World Bank's financial arm violated its own guidelines on environmental and social conditions, according to a new report
Despite weak performance, reading close to February 2008 levels just before economic crisis, says top auto association
The Japanese auto giant said the fresh funds, which will include £21.3 million from the UK government, would be used to update its Burnaston factory with new equipment and technology.
The Frankfurt-based firm reported net profit of 1.78 billion euros ($1.9 billion) for last year in a statement, a 4.6-percent increase on 2015's figure and in line with its own and analysts' expectations.
The North Atlantic island posted spectacular growth of 7.2 percent in 2016, one of the strongest rates in the world, on the back of a tourism boom. Wages are rising, as are investments, and real estate projects are flourishing.
The expansion of the Snowy Mountains Scheme in New South Wales state could provide electricity to 500,000 homes, which Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull described as an "electricity game-changer".