EU, South American Bloc Mercosur Announce World's Largest Free Trade Deal
2019-06-29 01:15:31 UTC
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union and South American bloc Mercosur agreed a free-trade treaty on Friday, concluding two decades of talks and committing to more open markets in the face of a rising tide of protectionism.
The two regions launched negotiations exactly 20 years ago and intensified efforts to reach an accord after Donald Trump’s presidential victory led the Europeans to freeze talks with the United States and seek other global trading allies.
As world leaders meet at a G20 summit in Japan, EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom told a news conference the deal sent a “loud and clear message” in support of open trade...
Japan Eats Whale Despite Environmental Concerns
2019-06-24 04:59:19 UTC
MINAMIBOSO, Japan (Reuters) - Whale cutlets, sliced raw whale, deep-fried whale nuggets, whale bacon and whale jerky feature on the menu at the restaurant Yoko Ichihara runs - and that's just a small sample of the ways Japan eats whale.
Though Japan's government maintains that eating whale is a cherished part of its food culture, nationwide consumption didn't really take off until after World War Two and peaked in the early 1960s before falling as other protein sources became cheaply available.
A 1986 global whaling moratorium made whale a pricey food that rarely appears on family tables or in ordinary supermarkets, with vendors rely...
Euro Hits Three-Month High Against US Dollar
2019-06-24 04:00:44 UTC
TOKYO (Reuters) - The euro rose to a three-month high against the dollar on Monday, as bearish bets on the U.S. currency remained solid on prospects of a near-term interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve.
The euro stretched its rally last week, up 1.4%, and advanced about 0.15% to $1.1386 in early Asian trade, its highest since March 22.
The dollar index versus a basket of six major currencies was a shade lower at 96.135, having struck 96.093 on Friday, its lowest since March 21, after the Fed last week opened the door for a potential rate cut as early as next month.
That weighed on the dollar and in turn reinvigorated its counte...
Hunt for Shoppers: Luxury Brands Raising Stakes on Instagram
2019-06-07 16:10:35 UTC
PARIS (Reuters) - Big-spending luxury brands like Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior are splashing out on everything from dance-fuelled fashion shows to teams of advisers as they target social media platforms in the hunt for young shoppers.
Without the entry barriers of magazine advertising - where a one page glossy ad can cost tens of thousands of dollars - sites like Instagram, a fashionista favorite, have allowed unknown labels to find an audience with canny or eye-catching campaigns.
But big bucks are changing the game as cash rich luxury goods groups like LVMH and Kering hike their social media budgets, giving them vast mea...
US Senators Seek to Block Trump Saudi Arms Sales
2019-06-05 21:52:21 UTC
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republican and Democratic U.S. senators said on Wednesday they would introduce legislation to block President Donald Trump’s plan for $8 billion in military sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates without congressional review.
Backers said the introduction of the 22 “resolutions of disapproval,” one for each of the 22 arms deals cleared by the Trump administration, was intended to “protect and reaffirm Congress’ role of approving arms sales to foreign governments.”
The announcement followed furious rejection in Congress late last month of the administration’s declaration that a growing threat from Ir...
Apple wants its login button above Google and Facebook
2019-06-05 05:23:38 UTC
(Reuters) - Apple Inc will ask developers to position a new “Sign on with Apple” button in iPhone and iPad apps above rival buttons from Alphabet Inc’s Google and Facebook Inc, according to design guidelines released this week.
The move to give Apple prime placement is significant because users often select the default or top option on apps. And Apple will require apps to offer its button if they want to offer options to login with Facebook or Google.
Apple unveiled its login button on Monday, emphasizing users’ privacy and also introducing a feature that randomly generates an email address to avoid revealing the person’s true email....
Elon Musk Says Tesla deliveries Set to Top Record
2019-05-23 15:41:53 UTC
(Reuters) - Tesla Inc is on course to top its record for quarterly deliveries in the second quarter, beating the 90,700 it sent to customers in the final quarter of last year, according to an email from Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk to staff.
Musk’s email, widely posted on social media and authenticated for Reuters by a source familiar with the matter, also said the company had on average produced 900 Model 3 cars per day this week, bringing it closer to a target of 7,000 per week.
Demand for the Model 3 sedan and Tesla’s other cars has moved to the top of investors’ list of concerns around the company after it reported slack fir...
Restaurant Dishes Labeled Gluten-Free Often Are Not
2019-04-02 22:07:57 UTC
For people with celiac disease, even tiny amounts of gluten in foods can cause trouble, and restaurants may be the hardest places to avoid the hidden protein, a U.S. study suggests.
More than half of gluten-free pizza and pasta dishes tested in restaurants were positive for the presence of gluten, and overall, about one third of supposedly gluten-free foods had some gluten, researchers report in the American Journal of Gastroenterology.
“The long-suspected problem of gluten contamination in restaurant foods that has been reported by patients likely has some truth behind it,” said senior study author Dr. Benjamin Lebwohl, director of ...
Oil Prices Continue to Rise Amid OPEC-Led Supply Cuts
2019-04-02 21:38:57 UTC
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil prices on Tuesday hit their highest level so far in 2019, with Brent crude approaching $70 a barrel, on the prospect that more sanctions against Iran and further Venezuelan disruptions could deepen an OPEC-led supply cut.
Brent futures reached a session peak at $69.52 a barrel, the highest since Nov. 13. The global benchmark rose 36 cents, or 0.52 percent, to settle at $69.37 a barrel.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude rose 99 cents, or 1.61 percent, to settle at $62.58 a barrel, after touching $62.75, its highest level since Nov. 7.
The United States is considering more sanctions against Iran, the ...
U.S. Judge Approves Bankruptcy Loan for PG&E
2019-03-27 18:31:51 UTC
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Bankrupt California power provider PG&E Corp won court approval on Wednesday for a $5.5 billion loan to help maintain electricity and natural gas delivery and for investments to reduce the risk of wildfires as it reorganizes.
San Francisco-based PG&E filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January in the aftermath of devastating wildfires that struck California in recent years, some linked or suspected to be linked to the company’s equipment.
Judge Dennis Montali of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in San Francisco approved the debtor-in-possession loan over objections of a committee representing victims of w...
Chinese Company to Sell Popular Dating App Grindr
2019-03-27 17:54:06 UTC
(Reuters) - Chinese gaming company Beijing Kunlun Tech Co Ltd is seeking to sell Grindr LLC, the popular gay dating app it has owned since 2016, after a U.S. government national security panel raised concerns about its ownership, according to people familiar with the matter.
The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) has informed Kunlun that its ownership of West Hollywood, California-based Grindr constitutes a national security risk, the two sources said.
CFIUS’ specific concerns and whether any attempt was made to mitigate them could not be learned. The United States has been increasingly scrutinizing app deve...
Scientists' evidence for man-made global warming hits 'gold standard'
2019-02-25 18:33:18 UTC
OSLO (Reuters) - Evidence for man-made global warming has reached a “gold standard” level of certainty, adding pressure for cuts in greenhouse gases to limit rising temperatures, scientists said on Monday.
“Humanity cannot afford to ignore such clear signals,” the U.S.-led team wrote in the journal Nature Climate Change of satellite measurements of rising temperatures over the past 40 years.
They said confidence that human activities were raising the heat at the Earth’s surface had reached a “five-sigma” level, a statistical gauge meaning there is only a one-in-a-million chance that the signal would appear if there was no warming.
Sanders to Ask Why Drug, Once Free, Now Costs $375k
2019-02-04 16:47:41 UTC
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sent a letter to Catalyst Pharmaceuticals on Monday asking it to justify its decision to charge $375,000 annually for a medication that for years has been available to patients for free.
The drug, Firdapse, is used to treat Lambert-Eaton Myasthenic Syndrome (LEMS), a rare neuromuscular disorder, according to the letter, made available to Reuters by the senator’s office. The disorder affects about one in 100,000 people in the United States.
The government is intensifying its scrutiny of the pharmaceutical industry and rising prescription drug prices, a top voter concern and a priority...
Venezuela President Maduro Breaks Diplomatic Relations with US
2019-01-23 20:40:45 UTC
CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said on Wednesday he was breaking diplomatic relations with the United States, after the Trump administration recognized opposition leader Juan Guaido as the South American country’s interim president.
Speaking to supporters outside the Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas, socialist leader Maduro said he would give U.S. diplomatic personnel 72 hours to leave Venezuela, which is suffering from a hyperinflationary economic collapse.
Reporting by Caracas Newsroom, Editing by Rosalba O'Brien
US Utility Company PG&E Explores Filing for Bankruptcy
2019-01-06 03:42:30 UTC
(Reuters) - California utility company PG&E Corp (PCG.N) is exploring filing some or all of its business for bankruptcy protection as it faces billions of dollars in liabilities related to fatal wildfires in 2018 and 2017, people familiar with the matter said on Friday.
The company is considering the move as a contingency, in part because it could soon take a significant financial charge for the fourth quarter of 2018 related to liabilities from the blazes, the sources said.
A bankruptcy filing is not certain, the sources said. The company could receive financial help through legislation that would let it pass on to customers costs a...
U.S. judge in Trump Foundation case rebuffs political bias defense
2018-10-25 19:15:39 UTC
NEW YORK (Reuters) - A New York judge said on Thursday that she would not entertain arguments that political bias was at the heart of a case alleging the president unlawfully used his charity to help his 2016 campaign and to benefit his businesses.
“I don’t want to get involved with that,” New York Supreme Court Justice Saliann Scarpulla said at a hearing that focused on a motion submitted by President Donald Trump’s lawyers in August asking the judge to dismiss the case on the grounds the lawsuit was politically motivated and arguing Trump and his children did not break any laws.
<i>Reporting by Nathan Layne in New York; Editing b...
Germany to halt all arms exports to Saudi
2018-10-22 21:35:32 UTC
ORTENBERG, Germany (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday called the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul a “monstrosity” and vowed to halt all German arms exports to Riyadh until the case is cleared up.
Merkel, in her harshest comments to date, decried what she called “the monstrosity there in the Saudi consulate in Turkey” during a campaign rally in the town of Ortenberg before a regional election in the state of Hesse on Sunday.
“It must be cleared up. As long as it’s not cleared up, there will be no arms exports to Saudi Arabia. I assure you of that very decidedly,” Merkel said...
Brexit: The Irish border has become a sticking point
2018-10-15 16:25:14 UTC
LUXEMBOURG (AP) — Britain and the European were still both refusing to blink Monday over the question of the Irish border in Brexit talks — only two days ahead of a summit once seen as the moment when they would have to reach deal on Britain’s divorce from the bloc.
A flurry of diplomatic meetings over the weekend had raised hopes for a Brexit agreement, but they were derailed by the issue that has dogged the talks for months — how to ensure that no hard border is created between the EU’s Ireland and Britain’s Northern Ireland once Brexit happens on March 29.
The EU has proposed a “backstop” solution that would keep Northern Ireland ...
EU: We will not let US "determine our trade policies"
2018-08-31 22:46:02 UTC
BERLIN (Reuters) - The European Union will respond in kind if U.S. President Donald Trump reneges on his pledge not to impose car tariffs, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said as trade tensions between Europe and the United States rose again.
Juncker told German broadcaster ZDF on Friday that the EU would not let anyone determine its trade policies. If Washington decided to imposed tariffs on vehicles after all, he said, “then we will also do that”.
Trump rejected on Thursday an EU offer to eliminate tariffs on cars and said the EU’s trade policies are “almost as bad as China”, Bloomberg News reported.
Toyota to invest about $500 million in Uber Technologies
2018-08-28 01:30:16 UTC
(Reuters) - Toyota Motor Corp will invest about $500 million in Uber Technologies Inc [UBER.UL] to jointly work on developing driverless vehicles, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, citing people familiar with the matter.
Toyota and Uber were not immediately available for comment.
<hr><I><strong>Reporting by Arunima Banerjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber</I></strong><hr>
US and Mexico agreed to overhaul NAFTA
2018-08-28 01:30:25 UTC
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States and Mexico agreed on Monday to overhaul the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), putting pressure on Canada to agree to the new terms on auto trade and other issues to remain part of the three-nation pact.
U.S. President Donald Trump and outgoing Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto said talks with Canada would begin immediately, though Trump threatened he could put tariffs on Canadian-made cars if a three-way deal could not be reached.
“I think with Canada, frankly, the easiest we can do is to tariff their cars coming in. It’s a tremendous amount of money and it’s a very simple negoti...
CEOs: Trump's Immigration Policy Hurts U.S. Economy
2018-08-24 01:13:53 UTC
(Reuters) - A group of chief executive officers at the largest U.S. companies expressed serious concern about the Trump administration’s immigration policy and said the rules increase uncertainty and undermine economic growth.
In the letter signed by 59 CEOs including Tim Cook of Apple Inc (AAPL.O), JPMorgan Chase & Co’s (JPM.N) Jamie Dimon and Doug Parker of American Airlines (AAL.O), the executives said that many of their employees were now facing uncertainty due to issues such as ‘inconsistent immigration decisions’ that would likely curtail work permits for spouses of skilled immigrants.
“As the federal government undertakes its ...
Iran praises EU for their efforts to salvage 'Nuclear deal'
2018-08-19 16:50:57 UTC
LONDON (Reuters) - Iran’s vice president said on Sunday the government was seeking solutions to sell oil and transfer its revenues despite fresh U.S. sanctions.
“We are hopeful that the European countries can meet their commitments but even if they cannot, we are seeking solutions to sell our oil and transfer its revenues,” Eshaq Jahangiri was quoted as saying by the state news agency IRNA.
In similar remarks, Iranian foreign minister praised the European signatories for their efforts to salvage the deal, especially for EU’s so-called blocking statute that aims to mitigate the impact of U.S. sanctions for European businesses.
Steady and strong: German economy picking up more steam
2018-08-14 07:07:13 UTC
BERLIN (Reuters) - The German economy picked up more steam than expected in the second quarter, driven by higher household and state spending, preliminary data showed on Tuesday.
Gross domestic product in Europe’s biggest economy expanded by 0.5 percent quarter-on-quarter, the Federal Statistics Office said. That compared with a Reuters forecast of 0.4 percent.
The office also revised up the quarterly growth rate for the first three months of the year to 0.4 percent from 0.3 percent reported previously.
Compared with the same quarter of the previous year, the economy grew by 2.0 percent from April to June, calendar-adjusted data s...
Trump's hotel revenue went up thanks to trip by Saudi Prince
2018-08-04 05:32:38 UTC
The relationship between the U.S. president Donald Trump administration and Saudi Arabia has been particularly close. Trump’s first trip abroad as president was to Saudi Arabia. In a surprise move, Trump initially praised a blockade of longtime ally Qatar because the Saudis wanted it. Earlier this year, Trump approved a $1 billion arms sale to the Saudis.
Due to a “last-minute visit to New York by the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia,” General Manager Prince Sanders wrote in a letter in May that was obtained by <a