EU: Italy Poses A Threat to Other Euro Zone Countries
2019-02-27 20:27:14 UTC
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Italy is facing excessive economic imbalances and the policies of its government are making matters worse, posing a threat to other euro zone countries, the European Commission said on Wednesday.
However, the EU executive arm, whose job is to analyze the economic performance of each of the EU’s 28 countries and warn of trouble ahead, said it would wait until it receives Italy’s reform program in April before taking action.
“Italy is experiencing excessive imbalances. High government debt and protracted weak productivity dynamics imply risks with cross-border relevance, in a context of still high level of non-perf...
UK's Theresa May delays vote on Brexit until March 12
2019-02-25 18:01:20 UTC
SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt (Reuters) - Prime Minister Theresa May promised on Sunday to offer lawmakers a vote on her Brexit deal by March 12, the latest delay in her attempt to win approval for a plan to ensure Britain’s orderly departure from the European Union.
As the United Kingdom’s labyrinthine Brexit crisis goes down to the wire, May is making a last-ditch effort to get changes to the divorce package but lawmakers may try on Wednesday to grab control of Brexit in a series of parliamentary votes.
After the British parliament voted 432-202 against her deal in January, the worst defeat in modern British history, May promised to seek ...
Irish PM, Leo Varadkar rejects a post-Brexit border backstop that includes a time limit
2019-02-24 16:43:17 UTC
SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt (Reuters) - Ireland cannot accept a post-Brexit border backstop that has a time limit or a unilateral exit clause, Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said on Sunday.
“We are happy to discuss with the United Kingdom assurances that they may need to give them further confidence that the backstop were it ever applied will not be permanent,” Varadkar told reporters.
“We are not playing chicken, we are not playing poker, we are just standing by our position which has been solid since day one,” he said. “A backstop that includes a time limit isn’t a backstop at all, nor would a unilateral exit clause work for us.”
Buffett rebukes Trump for taking credit for US economic growth
2019-02-23 19:58:52 UTC
(Reuters) - Warren Buffett on Saturday appeared to fault U.S. President Donald Trump for taking too much credit for the nation’s economic growth, while acknowledging that market conditions are making it tough for his Berkshire Hathaway Inc to find more big companies to buy.
Buffett lamented these states of affairs in his widely read annual letter to Berkshire shareholders.
Accompanying the letter was more bad news, that sinking stock prices and a big writedown for the company’s Kraft Heinz Co investment fueled a $25.39 billion fourth-quarter net loss, and caused Berkshire to post its lowest annual profit since 2001.
But many of ...
North Carolina: New election in undecided US House race
2019-02-21 22:04:16 UTC
(Reuters) - North Carolina’s elections board on Thursday unanimously ordered a new election for a U.S. House seat after officials said corruption surrounding absentee ballots tainted the results of last November’s vote.
The bipartisan board’s 5-0 decision came after Republican candidate Mark Harris requested a new vote, telling the panel that evidence of possible ballot fraud had undermined confidence in the election.
In the televised hearing, board members said “corruption” and the “absolute mess with the absentee ballots” had cast doubt on the fairness of the contest and voters deserved a fresh election.
Harris’ request for a ne...
Putin says Russia ready to place new nuclear missile near US territory
2019-02-21 21:52:11 UTC
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russia is militarily ready for a Cuban Missile-style crisis if the United States wanted one and threatened to place hypersonic nuclear missiles on ships or submarines near U.S. territorial waters.
The Cuban Missile Crisis erupted in 1962 when Moscow responded to a U.S. missile deployment in Turkey by sending ballistic missiles to Cuba, sparking a standoff that brought the world to the brink of nuclear war.
More than five decades on, tensions are rising again over Russian fears that the United States might deploy intermediate-range nuclear missiles in Europe, as a landmark Cold ...
Tesla to buy battery tech maker Maxwell Technologies for $218 million
2019-02-04 17:12:26 UTC
(Reuters) - Tesla Inc has agreed to buy energy storage company Maxwell Technologies Inc for $218 million in an all-stock deal that could help the electric car maker produce batteries that hold more energy and last longer at a time when it needs to cut costs and faces growing competition.
Tesla is rapidly increasing production of its Model 3 sedan and needs to lower the price to reach a broader customer base than its pure luxury vehicles.
Maxwell executives told investors in January that it had developed and patented a “dry electrode” technology that could significantly increase the driving range and reduce the cost of electric vehicl...
Germany to Accelerate Development of Autonomous Driving
2019-01-23 18:33:15 UTC
FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Germany’s top carmakers including BMW and Volkswagen are looking at ways to speed up development of the next generation of self-driving cars, possibly by even working together, as tech giant Google forges ahead with plans to mass produce such vehicles.
Carmakers and tech companies have been in a race to develop self-driving robotaxis since 2012 when Google unveiled a self-driving car. BMW announced a development pact with tech firm Mobileye in 2016 and Daimler struck an alliance with autos supplier Bosch in 2017.
BMW and Daimler’s first-generation autonomous cars will start to emerge after 2020/2021 using comput...
Brexit: EU To Prepare For Worst Variant
2019-01-16 04:37:26 UTC
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union leaders expressed dismay and regret on Tuesday after the British parliament rejected a Brexit divorce deal, saying they were stepping up emergency planning and warned London was running out of time.
The EU’s chief executive, the European Parliament Brexit negotiator and a host of prime ministers took to Twitter to call on London for ideas on what to do now to stop Britain crashing out of the bloc with no deal on March 29.
European Council President Donald Tusk, who chairs EU summits, suggested the only real solution was for Britain to stay in the EU after British lawmakers defeated Prime Minister T...
Jimmy Carter: The US Is An “Oligarchy With Unlimited Political Bribery”
2019-01-08 00:53:49 UTC
<p>Former president Jimmy Carter said Tuesday on the nationally syndicated radio show the <a href="http://www.thomhartmann.com/">Thom Hartmann Program</a> that the United States is now an “oligarchy” in which “unlimited political bribery” has created “a complete subversion of our political system as a payoff to major contributors.” Both Democrats and Republicans, Carter said, “look upon this unlimited money as a great benefit to themselves.”</p><p>Carter was responding to a question from Hartmann about recent Supreme Court decisions on campaign financing like <em>Citizens United</em>.</p><p>T...
China's Chang'e-4 Probe Touched Down on Far Side of Moon
2019-01-06 05:35:05 UTC
China's Chang'e-4 probe touched down on the far side of the moon, state broadcaster CCTV reported on Thursday morning.
The successful "soft landing" marks a groundbreaking development in space exploration, being the first time that a spacecraft has landed on the side of the moon that faces away from Earth.
Chang'e-4, which is named after the Chinese goddess of the moon, entered its planned orbit to allow the landing on Sunday.
It landed in the Von Karman crater, which is in the lunar South Pole's Aitken Basin, at about 0226 UTC.
<strong>Lunar surface explorer</strong>
Chang'e-4 is set to release a rover to map contours and surface...
China’s Population to Reach 1.442 Billion in 2029
2019-01-06 05:03:07 UTC
SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China’s population is set to reach a peak of 1.442 billion in 2029 and start a long period of “unstoppable” decline in 2030, government scholars said in a research report published on Friday.
The world’s most populous country must now draw up policies to try to cope with a declining labor force and a rapidly ageing population, according to the summary of the latest edition of the “Green Book of Population and Labor” published by the China Academy of Social Sciences (CASS).
Growth in the working population had now stagnated, the report said, and the rising number of elderly people will have a far-reaching impact o...
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...
France's Yellow Vest Protests Enter 8th Week
2019-01-06 03:25:12 UTC
PARIS (Reuters) - Rioters in Paris torched motorbikes and set barricades ablaze on the upmarket Boulevard Saint Germain on Saturday, as protests against high living costs and the perceived indifference of President Emmanuel Macron turned violent on the fringes.
The latest “yellow vest” marches began peacefully but degenerated in the afternoon as protesters threw missiles at riot police blocking bridges over the Seine.
Officers fired tear gas to prevent protesters crossing the river and reaching the National Assembly. One riverboat restaurant was set ablaze and a policeman was wounded when he was hit by a bicycle hurled from a street ...
Pelosi Plans New Legislation to Reopen Parts of US Government
2019-01-06 03:12:02 UTC
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Democrats would pass new legislation to try to reopen parts of the government next week after talks between the Trump administration and Democratic negotiators on Saturday failed to end a two-week partial government shutdown.
President Donald Trump is demanding $5.6 billion to build a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico but Democrats in control of the House of Representatives this week passed a bill to reopen the government without providing additional funding for the wall.
Trump says he will not sign the bill until he gets the money for the wall.
After a meeting aimed...
Britain Will Be Worse Off In Any Scenario Outside The EU: Brexit
2018-11-28 20:47:57 UTC
LONDON (AFP) — Britain will be economically worse off in any scenario outside the EU, the government said Wednesday, as the Bank of England warned that a no-deal Brexit would trigger a financial crisis.
The government's plans for post-Brexit ties with the European Union would still cost the economy around 3.9 percent of gross domestic product over 15 years, a government report found.
Finance minister Philip Hammond said the departure deal agreed Sunday between Britain and the EU was the optimum way to minimise the cost of leaving the bloc.
The report comes as Prime Minister Theresa May took the divorce deal to a sceptical Scotland...
GM To Cut 14,700 Jobs In Ohio, Michigan, Maryland And Ontario
2018-11-26 18:36:11 UTC
DETROIT/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - General Motors will cut production of slow-selling models and slash its North American workforce in the face of a declining market for traditional gas-powered sedans, shifting more investment to electric and autonomous vehicles.
The announcement is the biggest North America restructuring for the U.S. No. 1 carmaker since its bankruptcy a decade ago. Its shares rose 7.6 percent to $38.66.
GM plans to halt production next year at three assembly plants: Lordstown, Ohio; Hamtramck, Michigan; and Oshawa, Ontario. It will also stop building several models now assembled at those plants, including the Chevrolet...
Catastrophic Effects of Climate Change
2018-11-25 02:46:14 UTC
(Reuters) - Climate change will cost the U.S. economy hundreds of billions of dollars by the end of the century, hitting everything from health to infrastructure, according to a government report issued on Friday that the White House called inaccurate.
The congressionally mandated report, written with the help of more than a dozen U.S. government agencies and departments, outlined the projected impact of global warming on every corner of American society in a dire warning that is at odds with the Trump administration’s pro-fossil-fuels agenda.
“With continued growth in emissions at historic rates, annual losses in some economic secto...
Germany Halts Arms Sales, Bans 18 Saudis
2018-11-19 23:31:54 UTC
BERLIN — Germany is halting previously approved arms exports to Saudi Arabia. The government says it is also banning 18 Saudi citizens suspected of being involved in Jamal Khashoggi's death from entering Europe's Schengen zone.
Germany has triggered proceedings to ban 18 Saudi citizens allegedly involved in the murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi from entering Europe's border-free Schengen zone, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Monday.
"We still have more questions than answers in the Khashoggi case," Maas said on the sidelines of a European Union meeting in Brussels, adding that he had discussed the decision wi...
Brexit Pulls UK and Ireland Apart, Undermines Relationship
2018-11-05 04:16:25 UTC
DUBLIN (Reuters) - Brexit has undermined the Good Friday Agreement which ended thirty years of violence in Northern Ireland, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said on Saturday.
“Brexit has undermined the Good Friday Agreement and is fraying the relationship between Britain and Ireland,” he told Irish state broadcaster RTE.
The border between Ireland and Northern Ireland after Brexit has been one of the major sticking points in Britain’s negotiations to leave the European Union in March next year.
“Anything that pulls the communities apart in Northern Ireland undermines the Good Friday Agreement, and anything that pulls Britain and...
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: EU to break a deadlock over the Irish border
2018-10-22 17:03:04 UTC
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union negotiators are looking at ways to promise Britain a customs deal that could stretch Brussels’ Brexit red lines but might break a deadlock over the Irish border, EU sources close to the talks have told Reuters.
Accounts of how British and EU negotiators came close to a deal on Oct. 13 focus on how Prime Minister Theresa May balked at an EU demand for a “backstop” clause. This could put Northern Ireland in a special relationship with the EU that might distance it from the British mainland to avoid putting up customs posts on Britain’s only EU land border, with Ireland.
But as the two sides try to re...
UK can remain in EU single market until end of 2020
2018-10-25 19:02:53 UTC
BERLIN (Reuters) - The European Commission has offered to allow Britain to remain in the EU customs union and internal market beyond an agreed transitional arrangement until the end of December 2020, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported on Tuesday.
“In a goodwill gesture to Britain, the commission has raised the possibility of extending the transitional period,” the newspaper reported, citing a German government document. It did not say what the new date was.
<hr><i>Reporting by Joseph Nasr; Editing by Alison Williams</i><hr>
<h2>European lawmakers vote to ban single-use plastics</h2>
European lawmakers have approved measu...
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 ...
Facebook says hackers accessed data from 29 million accounts
2018-10-12 17:50:55 UTC
NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook says hackers accessed data from 29 million accounts as part of the security breach disclosed two weeks ago.
The exact number hadn’t been known before. Originally Facebook said 50 million accounts could have been affected, but Facebook didn’t know if they had been misused.
The hackers accessed name, email addresses or phone numbers from those 29 million accounts. For 14 million of those accounts, hackers got even more data, such as hometown, birthdate, the last 10 places they checked into or 15 most recent searches. One million accounts were affected but hackers didn’t gain information. The social media servic...