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 ...
US Stock Markets In A Free Fall
2018-10-11 21:54:02 UTC
NEW YORK — The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 fell sharply again Thursday after both indexes on Wednesday logged their largest losses on a percentage basis since Feb. 8.
The S&P 500 has closed lower for five straight days. The Nasdaq declined on Thursday, a day after the tech-heavy index had its biggest percentage drop since June 2016.
Stocks in Asia closed sharply lower on Thursday following the selloff on Wall Street. Tokyo's Nikkei 225 declined 3.9%, and the Shanghai Composite index sank 5.2%. Banks and health care companies are taking some of the worst losses while technology companies are slightly h...
Dominated by men: Amazon scraps tool that showed bias against women
2018-10-11 21:53:47 UTC
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc’s (AMZN.O) machine-learning specialists uncovered a big problem: their new recruiting engine did not like women.
The team had been building computer programs since 2014 to review job applicants’ resumes with the aim of mechanizing the search for top talent, five people familiar with the effort told Reuters.
Automation has been key to Amazon’s e-commerce dominance, be it inside warehouses or driving pricing decisions.
<blockquote><h2>Amazon’s experimental hiring tool</h2>The company’s experimental hiring tool used artificial intelligence to give job candidates scores ranging from one to fiv...
Wall Street faces worst day since February
2018-10-11 21:53:35 UTC
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Stocks on major world markets slid to a three-month low on Wednesday, with the benchmark S&P500 stock index falling more than 3.0 percent, its biggest one-day fall since February.
Technology shares tumbled on fears of slowing demand, while bond yields ended lower after seeing multi-year highs earlier this week.
Major equity indexes in Europe fell more than 1.0 percent, also pulled down by technology shares, and gold prices inched up as some investors sought refuge in the metal.
“The S&P 500 is looking very weak and negative and that is putting fear into investors,” said Michael Matousek, head trader at U.S. Gl...
Laser Trio Win Nobel Prize In Physics
2018-10-02 18:38:17 UTC
STOCKHOLM/LONDON (Reuters) - A trio of American, French and Canadian scientists won the 2018 Nobel Prize for Physics on Tuesday for breakthroughs in laser technology that have turned light beams into precision tools for everything from eye surgery to micro-machining.
They include the first female physics prize winner in 55 years.
Canada’s Donna Strickland, of the University of Waterloo, becomes only the third woman to win a Nobel for physics, after Marie Curie in 1903 and Maria Goeppert-Mayer in 1963.
California Gov. Jerry Brown signs gun control bills into law
2018-09-29 20:39:10 UTC
(Reuters) - California Governor Jerry Brown signed several gun control bills into law on Friday, including one measure that raises the minimum age for buying rifles and shotguns from 18 to 21.
The new laws come seven months after a gunman opened fire with a semiautomatic assault-style rifle at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, killing 14 students and three adults, the second-deadliest mass shooting at a public school in U.S. history.
The rampage, which authorities say was carried out by a former student who was 19, has spurred unprecedented activism by victims and their families to prevent future gun violence...
Low unemployment rates are inevitably followed by recessions
2018-09-13 04:51:55 UTC
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Federal Reserve officials tout a decade of falling unemployment as among their major victories in fighting the economic crisis of 2007 to 2009.
Now they are beginning to worry they have been too successful. When unemployment falls as low as it is currently, Boston Federal Reserve bank president Eric Rosengren said in a new paper released Thursday as part of a review of Fed policy, recession has inevitably followed, with the central bank showing no success in fine-tuning the economy to a stable rest at full employment.
Policy forecasts have often projected such a “soft landing,” he noted, and with unemploym...
Ireland doesn't give UK a free-ride back-door to EU
2018-09-12 19:06:52 UTC
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union officials are working on re-drafting a sensitive Irish protocol to the draft Brexit treaty with Britain, as part of what EU negotiator Michel Barnier has called efforts to “de-dramatize” the issue and get a deal, EU officials said on Wednesday.
Officials and diplomats close to the negotiations told Reuters previously this month that work was under way to find wording that could ease British fears that the “backstop” to avoid a hard land border for Northern Ireland would pull the province away from its constitutional anchor to the United Kingdom.
British officials have said their problems with the E...
U.S. industry groups to fight Trump's economic policies
2018-09-12 05:08:07 UTC
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - After months of waging a behind-the-scenes war against President Donald Trump’s trade tariffs that have escalated far beyond what business groups once imagined, more than 60 U.S. industry groups are launching a coalition on Wednesday to take the fight public.
Emergence of the group, Americans for Free Trade, comes after Trump has warmed to the use of tariffs, implementing billions of dollars worth in an effort to use them as a threat to win concessions or in the belief they will create U.S. jobs.
“A lot of other interest groups thought they wouldn’t go this long or go this deep, but the layering effect (of tari...
Florence: US Facing the Challenges of Climate Change
2018-09-12 00:11:05 UTC
Hurricane Florence is moving relentlessly toward the Southeastern U.S. It's a large, powerful cyclone that will likely bring storm surge and high winds to coastal communities.
But climate scientists say one of the biggest threats posed by Florence is rain.
"Freshwater flooding poses the greatest risk to life," explains James Kossin, an atmospheric scientist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the University of Wisconsin, Madison. And Florence could cause extensive freshwater flooding for two reasons.
First, Florence is moving slowly and could all but stop when it reaches land.
"The storm could be over No...
Mercedes-Benz launches 'all-electric SUV with 450 km range'
2018-09-04 18:13:12 UTC
STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Mercedes showed on Tuesday how it is “aggressively” gunning for top spot in upscale battery cars market currently dominated by Tesla, as it unveiled the EQC, its first fully electric car, at an event in Stockholm.
The event marks the start of the German onslaught against the American upstart and showcased a SUV with a 450 kilometer range, distinctively full-width rear light and clean-cut interiors that Mercedes hopes will find favor with luxury customers and tech-savvy millennials alike.
Daimler aims to have up to 10 electrified car variants by 2022, a target reiterated on Tuesday by Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche, ...
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.
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...
American hero, John McCain stops treatment for terminal brain cancer
2018-08-24 18:54:54 UTC
WASHINGTON (AP) — John McCain, the six-term Arizona senator and 2008 Republican presidential nominee, has chosen to discontinue medical treatment for his brain cancer, his family said Friday.
In a statement, the family said McCain had surpassed expectations for survival, but “the progress of disease and the inexorable advance of age render their verdict.” The family added, “With his usual strength of will, he has now chosen to discontinue medical treatment.”
The senator, who would be 82 next week, has been away from the Capitol since December. If he should resign his seat or die soon, Republican Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey would name a r...
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...
China takes over project in world’s biggest natural gas reserves in Iran
2018-08-11 18:21:26 UTC
Reuters - China’s state-owned energy major CNPC has taken over the share in Iran’s multi-billion dollar South Pars gas project held by France’s Total, the Iranian state news agency IRNA reported on Saturday.
Total signed a contract in 2017 to develop Phase II of South Pars field with an initial investment of $1 billion, marking the first major Western energy investment in the country after sanctions were lifted in 2016. South Pars has the world’s biggest natural gas reserves ever found in one place.
But the French company had said it would pull out unless it secured a U.S. sanctions waiver, and Gholamreza Manouchehri, deputy head of ...
Impact of escalating trade tensions between US and China
2018-08-08 18:14:42 UTC
(Reuters) - U.S. companies are putting in place measures to cushion the impact of escalating trade tensions between the United States and China.
The world’s two largest economies have already imposed tariffs on $34 billion worth of each other’s imports.
In the latest development, Washington slapped additional tariffs on $16 billion worth of China’s goods and Beijing followed suit.
The following is a list of recent comments made by U.S. companies:
** Tesla Inc said higher import duties on Chinese components and unfavorable currency movements likely to cause negative pressures. Price hikes made to offset the tariffs will likely h...
China slaps additional tariffs of 25 percent on $16 billion US imports
2018-08-08 17:44:20 UTC
BEIJING/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - China is slapping additional tariffs of 25 percent on $16 billion worth of U.S. imports from fuel and steel products to autos and medical equipment, the Chinese commerce ministry said, as the world’s largest economies escalated their trade dispute.
The tariffs will be activated on Aug. 23, the ministry said, the same day that the United States plans to begin collecting 25 percent extra in tariffs on $16 billion of Chinese goods.
The United States published its final list of goods subject to the new tariffs on Tuesday.
China’s final list announced on Wednesday differs from an earlier draft it publishe...
Trump’s ‘unmitigated crap’ on California wildfires
2018-08-07 21:23:33 UTC
U.S. President Donald Trump has weighed in on the California wildfires. But it wasn’t to express condolences for the victims or to praise the incredible bravery of firefighters — it was to try to score political points.
And he did so by badly twisting the science of how wildfires work. In a now-deleted tweet, Trump blamed “bad environmental laws” for “diverting” water into the Pacific Ocean.
Scientists mock Trump’s tweet on wildfires as ‘comedically ill-informed’ and ‘unmitigated crap.’
His climate denial is "a crime against the planet" warns climatologist.
EU raises concerns over new US move on Iran
2018-08-06 17:59:19 UTC
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Trump administration expects economic sanctions that it is re-imposing on Iran this week to further cripple the Iranian economy and will aggressively enforce the measures, senior U.S. administration officials said on Monday.
But the U.S. sanctions strategy has several weak spots, especially a reluctance by Europe and China to curtail business with Iran.
The European Union voiced regret and expressed concern at the new U.S. move.
“We deeply regret the re-imposition of sanctions by the U.S.,” the bloc said in a joint statement with the foreign ministers of France, Germany and Britain.
One EU measure to...
Apple became the first $1 trillion listed US company
2018-08-02 18:06:54 UTC
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Apple became the first $1 trillion publicly listed U.S. company on Thursday, crowning a decade-long rise fueled by its ubiquitous iPhone that transformed it from a niche player in personal computers into a global powerhouse spanning entertainment and communications.
The tech company’s stock jumped 2.8 percent to as high as $207.05, bringing its gain to about 9 percent since Tuesday when its reported June-quarter results above expectations and said it bought back $20 billion of its own shares.
Started in the garage of co-founder Steve Jobs in 1976, Apple has pushed its revenue beyond the economic outputs of P...