Receive Breaking News updates as they occur
By Ercan Gurses ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu announced on Thursday he would not stand again as leader of the ruling AK Party, bowing out as President Tayyip Erdogan accelerates his drive for a stronger presidency set to reshape the political landscape. In a speech defending his record as prime minister but also vowing loyalty to Erdogan, Davutoglu said he had kept his party and the government intact during a tumultuous period in Turkey and pledged that "strong" AKP government would continue. After a meeting of the party's executive committee, Davutoglu told a news conference that under the current circumstances he would not run for the leadership of the AKP at an extraordinary party congress on May 22.
The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits rose more than expected last week, posting the biggest gain in more than a year, but the underlying trend continued to point to a strengthening labor market. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 17,000 to a seasonally adjusted 274,000 for the week ended April 30, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast initial claims rising to 260,000 in the latest week.