Bouygues, a French telecom firm, rejected a reported $11.2 billion takeover offer from Altice, a competitor. A successful bid would have created France's largest mobile operator. The country's Socialist government decried the attempted takeover as bad news for consumers and jobs. Bouygues said a deal would have been difficult to get past regulators but denied it had bowed to political pressure.
Financial regulators in Britain announced plans to police bankers' bonuses. Under new rules, banks will be able to claw back bonuses up to seven years after they were paid. This will rise to 10 years for senior managers. Additionally, bonuses may be deferred for seven years for those bankers involved in risky trading. Nonexecutive directors, as well as managers at banks that have taxpayer support, will now be barred from receiving such incentives.
The U.S. economy contracted by less than was first estimated in the first quarter. Revised figures showed that GDP fell by an annualized 0.2 percent rather than by 0.7 percent.
A Qatari investment fund joined forces with Stephen Ross, the owner of the Miami Dolphins football team, to bid for control of Formula 1. The proposed deal is reportedly worth up to $8 billion. Bernie Ecclestone, F1's boss, is expected to relinquish his 5 percent stake in the sport, although he could remain involved in its management. F1 has struggled to make inroads in the United States, a state of affairs that Ross hopes to fix.
Ahold and Delhaize, two big European supermarket owners, have agreed to merge in a deal worth $28 billion. The new entity, which will bring together the owners of the Stop & Shop and Food Lion chains, will become the fourth biggest grocer in the U.S., where both firms make most of their revenue.
Palantir, a big-data firm, is reportedly raising $500 million in new funding at a valuation of $20 billion — making it one of the most valuable private concerns in Silicon Valley. Palantir was formed to analyze data for U.S. spy agencies, but has since branched out to offer services for other firms, including banks.
Leopoldo López, Venezuela's imprisoned opposition leader, ended a monthlong hunger strike after the government set a date in December for congressional elections, meeting one of his main demands. In a letter made public by his wife, López said the government's decision was a "joint achievement" by himself and more than 100 supporters who had followed him in refusing to eat.
Illegal killings by the Colombian army were among the "worst episodes of mass atrocity" in the recent history of the Western Hemisphere, said Human Rights Watch, a New York-based watchdog that investigated cases in which civilians were slain and then passed off as leftist guerrillas. It alleged that officers responsible for this practice were now in top army posts.
At least 18 people were reportedly killed after Uighurs armed with knives and bombs attacked police at a traffic checkpoint in Kashgar, in the far western Chinese province of Xinjiang. The region has been racked by violence involving Muslim Uighurs resentful of religious repression and the growing dominance of Han Chinese, the national ethnic majority.
A report from the London-based Royal Institute of International Affairs found that GDP in Syria has fallen to less than half of its prewar level as a result of the fighting that has raged since 2011. The Syrian pound has lost 78 percent of its value.
Iran's parliament passed a bill banning access to its military sites for international nuclear inspectors, a move that will complicate efforts to get an agreement over the country's weapons program that might see sanctions lifted. Negotiators in Vienna are working on the final terms of a nuclear deal.
France squealed when WikiLeaks revealed that U.S. security officials had spied on three recent presidents by tapping their phones. But the French parliament also passed a law to give its own spies greater surveillance powers.
Western defense ministers reaffirmed that NATO would return to its original role, by agreeing to put more arms and heavy equipment into central Europe and the Baltic states, which feel menaced by a newly belligerent Russia. The Russians complained loudly.
A court in the Netherlands found that the government has a legal duty of care under human-rights law to protect Dutch citizens from the harm caused by climate change. It ordered the government to cut greenhouse-gas emissions by 25 percent on 1990 levels by 2020.