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URGENT: Video shows beheading of second American journalist

DUBAI (Reuters) - The Islamic State militant group released a video purporting to show the beheading of U.S. hostage Steven Sotloff, the SITE monitoring service reported on Tuesday. A masked figure in the video also issued a threat against a British hostage, a man the group named as David Haines, and warned governments to back off "this evil alliance of America against the Islamic State", the monitoring service said. (Reporting by William Maclean, Editing by Angus MacSwan)

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Judge tentatively lets U.S. pursue lawsuit versus S&P

A view shows the Standard & Poor's building in New York's financial district February 5, 2013. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
A view shows the Standard & Poor's building in New York's financial district February 5, 2013. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

(Reuters) - A federal judge has made a tentative ruling that would let the U.S. government pursue its $5 billion civil lawsuit accusing Standard & Poor's of defrauding investors by inflating credit ratings prior to the financial crisis.

In a written ruling made public late on Monday, U.S. District Judge David Carter in Santa Ana, California said the government had sufficiently alleged that S&P's ratings were objectively and subjectively false, and that the rating agency intended to deceive investors.

S&P is a unit of McGraw Hill Financial Inc. It has maintained that the lawsuit lacks merit.

Carter issued the ruling after a court hearing. According to the Wall Street Journal, the judge said he would make a final ruling by July 15.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick)

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