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Last Update on June 30, 2015 17:39 GMT

GREECE-BAILOUT

ATHENS, Greece (AP) -- Greece's European creditors have been assessing a last-minute proposal from Athens for a new two-year rescue deal, but German Chancellor Angela Merkel is ruling out further negotiations before the country holds a referendum.

The country's international bailout program expires midnight central Europe-time. If no deal is reached, Greece will lose access to billions of euros in funds it needs to make a debt repayment to the International Monetary Fund.

Greece's prime minister Alexis Tsipras called the referendum on creditors' reform proposals for Sunday. If Greeks vote against the proposal, the country could slide into bankruptcy and be forced to leave Europe's common currency.

Earlier today, Greece's finance minister said the country would not make its debt payment due to the International Monetary Fund by midnight.

CONSUMER CONFIDENCE

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Consumer confidence showed a solid gain in June following a modest increase in May, supporting the view that strong job gains are giving a boost to the overall economy.

The Conference Board says its consumer confidence index rose to 101.4 in June, up from a May reading of 94.6. The June level matches the level in March before the index took a tumble in April.

The index is now 17.4 percent higher than it was a year ago, evidence that the economy is poised to enjoy stronger growth in coming months.

HOME PRICES

WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. home prices increased at a solid clip in April, led by double-digit jumps in Denver and San Francisco.

The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index rose 4.9 percent in April from 12 months earlier, roughly the same annual pace as March.

Strong job growth and low mortgage rates have prompted greater demand for housing, boosting home values. The continued gains are at roughly double the pace of wage growth, but current levels appear more manageable than the double-digit home price increases seen during parts of 2013 and 2014.

Prices in Denver climbed 10.3 percent, while home values in San Francisco rose 10 percent.

The Case-Shiller index covers roughly half of U.S. homes. The index measures prices compared with those in January 2000 and creates a three-month moving average. The April figures are the latest available.

SUPREME COURT-UNION FEES

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court will consider limiting the power of government employee unions to collect fees from non-members in a case that union officials say could threaten membership and further weaken organized labor.

The justices said Tuesday they will hear an appeal from a group of California teachers who say it violates their First Amendment rights to have to pay any fees if they disagree with the union's positions.

The teachers want the court to overturn a 38-year-old precedent that said unions can require non-members to pay for collective bargaining costs as long as the fees don't go toward political purposes. Public workers in half the states are required to pay "fair share" fees if they are represented by a union, even if they are not members.

ELECTRONIC BOOKS-ANTITRUST LAWSUIT

NEW YORK (AP) -- A federal appeals court in New York says Apple violated antitrust laws by colluding with publishers to raise electronic book prices in 2010.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan ruled 2-to-1 Tuesday that a lower court judge was right to find Apple violated the laws to upset Amazon.com's control of the market.

The appeals court also agreed that Judge Denise Cote (koht) was right to order injunctive relief to ensure the Cupertino, California-based company didn't commit additional violations of antitrust laws.

An Apple lawyer did not immediately return a message for comment.

Cote ruled against Apple after a civil trial in summer 2013. She ordered the technology giant to modify contracts with publishers to prevent price fixing and appointed a monitor to review the company's antitrust policies.

FRANCE-PORT STRIKE

CALAIS, France (AP) -- Striking ferry workers invaded the railroad tracks leading to the Eurotunnel linking France and England, and train service across the Channel was suspended until further notice on Tuesday.

Torching tires and blocking traffic, the French workers were protesting expected job cuts in the French port city of Calais linked to Eurotunnel's sale of its ferry service. Both freight and Eurostar passenger trains suspended service until further notice.

The Eurostar train service carries about 10 million people a year across the English Channel, with summer marking the height of tourist season.

An Associated Press photographer saw the striking workers swarm the tracks on Tuesday afternoon.

FRANCE-UBER

PARIS (AP) -- Two Uber France managers have been ordered to stand trial on behalf of the San Francisco-based company on charges including "deceptive commercial practices" and complicity in illegal activities linked to its low-cost ride-hailing service.

The Paris prosecutor's office said Tuesday that Thibault Simphal and Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty were taken into custody on Monday after a police sweep at Uber France headquarters. They will appear in a Paris court on Sept. 30.

French authorities say the low-cost UberPop service is illegal and are frustrated that Uber doesn't pay the same taxes and social charges as traditional taxis. Uber calls the French system outdated and says it needs reform to keep up with technological changes.

Claiming unfair competition, taxi drivers staged a violence-marred strike on the issue last week, blocking many French roads.

JAPAN-NUCLEAR-ROBOT

YOKOHAMA, Japan (AP) -- A new robot that raises its tail like a scorpion is scheduled to look at melted nuclear fuel inside one of the three wrecked reactors in Japan.

Toshiba Corp. is co-developer of the "scorpion" crawler that was demonstrated Tuesday. The company says the robot will venture into Unit 2 reactor's primary containment vessel in August.

Officials hope the robot can get a glimpse of fuel in the pressure vessel in the middle. The fuel hasn't been located exactly and studied because of the fatally high radiation levels nearby.

The difficult work of decommissioning the Fukushima plant damaged by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami will take decades.

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