By Edwin Chan SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Twitter Inc halted a slowdown in user-growth in the second quarter with the help of product tweaks and services built around the summer's World Cup, assuaging concerns for now that the online messaging service had peaked. Twitter, which has battled to reverse a steady decline in its once-heady pace of growth, surpassed targets for virtually every metric Wall Street scrutinizes. Before Tuesday's after-hours surge, Twitter had lost about 40 percent of its market value since the start of 2014. "The expectations going in had become quite low," said Sterne Agee analyst Arvind Bhatia.
By Steve Holland and Anna Yukhananov WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama escalated U.S. economic sanctions against Russia on Tuesday for its aggression against Ukraine but dismissed suggestions the growing chill in U.S.-Russian relations marked the start of a new Cold War. The United States and the European Union, in a carefully coordinated action, announced targeted new sanctions against Russian banks, energy and defense firms. It was the West's most serious response yet to what it calls Russian instigation of and continuing support for the separatist uprising in the east and the shootdown of a Malaysian passenger jet on July 17 over eastern Ukraine. Obama, speaking at the White House, said the sanctions will have a "greater impact on the Russian economy than we've seen so far" in a drive to force Moscow to stop backing the separatists.