World

Oil companies, aid groups plan to press Biden to allow Venezuela fuel swaps

(Reuters) – Representatives of fuel suppliers to Venezuela, importers of Venezuelan oil and advocacy groups said this month they plan to press the incoming administration of U.S. President-elect Joe Biden to reverse a ban on...

U.S. asks Australia to scrap proposed laws to make Facebook, Google pay for news

SYDNEY (Reuters) – The U.S. government has asked Australia to scrap proposed laws that will make it the first country in the world to force Facebook Inc and Alphabet Inc’s Google to pay for news sourced from local media outlets. In a submission asking the government to “suspend” the plans, assistant U.S. trade representatives Daniel...

Germany regrets U.S. decision to sanction Russian vessel involved in Nord Stream 2

BERLIN (Reuters) – The United States has informed Germany that it plans to impose sanctions on a Russian pipe-laying ship involved in construction of the Russian-led Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Germany, the German Economy Ministry said on Monday. “We’re taking note of the announcement with regret,” an Economy Ministry spokesman in...

Guatemalan military clears U.S.-bound migrant caravan from road

VADO HONDO, Guatemala (Reuters) – Guatemalan security forces on Monday cleared a road of hundreds of people in a mostly Honduran migrant caravan that had camped out overnight when authorities barred it from advancing toward the United States. The Guatemalan government said the road in the eastern part of the country reopened to traffic after...

Woman may have tried to sell Pelosi computer device to Russians, FBI says

(Reuters) – U.S. law enforcement is investigating whether a woman took a laptop computer or hard drive from U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office during the Jan. 6 siege of the Capitol and tried to sell the device to Russian intelligence, according to a court filing. An FBI agent disclosed the detail in...

U.S. Capitol lockdown lifted, fire nearby contained

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Capitol complex was shut down for about an hour on Monday out of an abundance of caution after a small fire broke out nearby, underscoring security jitters days before President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration. The Capitol Police in a statement said the lockdown was lifted and the fire nearby was contained....

Asia shares look to China for recovery lead, earnings in focus

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Asian share markets edged ahead on Tuesday as investors wagered China’s economic strength would help underpin growth in the region, even as pandemic lockdowns threatened to lengthen the road to recovery in the West. Data out on Monday had confirmed China’s economy was one of the few in the world to grow...

Senator Gillibrand eyes extending Civil Rights Act protections to U.S. troops

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Senator Kirsten Gillibrand says she will work with colleagues on legislation giving U.S. troops the same legal protections against discrimination as civilian employees, a move advocates say could be a game-changer for minorities in America’s armed forces. The effort by Gillibrand, who is expected to lead a Senate subcommittee responsible for U.S....

Crops’ chance to shine in ‘Grow’ project by artist Roosegaarde

ROTTERDAM (Reuters) – Long after the sun sets on a quiet farm in the Dutch town Lelystad, one of its fields comes to life with a beautiful display of red, blue and ultraviolet LED light beaming across its crop of leeks. The installation pairing the plants’ natural beauty with the futuristic LED show is part...

Canada scrambles to salvage Keystone XL as Biden prepares to kill troubled pipeline project

CALGARY, Alberta/OTTAWA (Reuters) – U.S. President-elect Joe Biden’s expected move to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline prompted Canada’s main oil-producing province of Alberta on Monday to threaten to seek damages as Ottawa made efforts to save the troubled project. Scrapping the project would threaten Canadian jobs and the U.S.-Canadian relationship as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau...

Outlook darkens for Wall Street as Biden’s regulators take shape

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Wall Street may be facing an uncomfortable four years after President-elect Joe Biden’s team confirmed on Monday it planned to nominate two consumer champions to lead top financial agencies, signaling a tougher stance on the industry than many had anticipated. Gary Gensler will serve as chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission...

18th January

In final Trump administration days, Israel approves new settler homes

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel approved on Sunday plans to build hundreds of new settler homes in the occupied West Bank, projects it is advancing in the final days of the pro-settlement Trump administration. The planned construction, on land captured by Israel in the 1967 war that Palestinians seek as part of a future state, was...

Fragile Italian government faces do-or-die votes in parliament

ROME (Reuters) – Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte faces two days of parliamentary votes that will decide if his fragile coalition can cling to power or has lost its majority, pushing Italy into deeper political turmoil. Conte will address the lower house on Monday and the upper house, the Senate, on Tuesday about the future of...

Japan PM’s approval sinks further on pandemic response: poll

TOKYO (Reuters) – Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s approval rating has slid further due to the public’s dissatisfaction with his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic with about half of people in Japan now disapproving of his government, a Yomiuri newspaper poll showed on Monday. Support for Suga’s Cabinet fell to 39% from 45% last month, with...

Russia detains Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, faces clash with Western nations

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Police detained prominent Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny on arrival in Moscow on Sunday after he flew home to Russia from Germany for the first time since he was poisoned last summer, triggering a political clash with the West. The move, which could see Navalny jailed for 3.5 years for allegedly flouting the...

Gunmen kill two female Supreme Court judges in Afghanistan: police

KABUL (Reuters) – Unidentified gunmen killed two female judges from Afghanistan’s Supreme Court on Sunday morning, police said, adding to a wave of assassinations in Kabul and other cities while government and Taliban representatives have been holding peace talks in Qatar. The two judges, who have not yet been named, were killed and their driver...

Guatemalan forces clash with migrant caravan, Biden team seeks to halt exodus

VADO HONDO, Guatemala (Reuters) – Guatemalan security forces on Sunday used sticks and tear gas to beat back a large migrant caravan bound for the United States, just days before the advent of a new U.S. administration, which urged travelers to abandon the journey. Between 7,000 and 8,000 migrants, including families with young children, have...

Music producer Phil Spector, convicted of murder, dead at 81

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Rock producer Phil Spector, who changed the sound of pop music in the 1960s with his “Wall of Sound” recordings and was convicted of murder for the 2003 murder of a Hollywood actress, has died at age 81 of COVID-19, according to authorities and media reports. Spector produced 20 top 40...

Ugandan opposition party says it will challenge election result; two dead in protests

KAMPALA (Reuters) – Ugandan opposition leader Bobi Wine’s party said on Sunday that it was preparing to challenge President Yoweri Museveni’s election win and condemned what it called the house arrest of Wine, as news emerged of two people killed in protests over the result. Protests broke out on Saturday after results from Thursday’s election...

The fight to avert one last execution on Trump’s watch

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (Reuters) – On Thursday evening, Dustin Higgs, 48, waited in a cell on death row at the federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana, his scheduled execution less than 24 hours away. A five-minute drive down the road, members of his legal team sat around a laminated plastic table in the lobby of...

Quake death toll at 78 as Indonesia struggles with string of disasters

JAKARTA (Reuters) – At least 78 people have been killed after an earthquake struck Indonesia’s West Sulawesi province on Friday, the Search and Rescue agency (Basarnas) said on Sunday, the latest in a string of disasters to hit the Southeast Asian country. In a statement, Basarnas confirmed 78 had died, 67 of whom were from...

U.S. state capitals brace for violent protests as crowds remain thin

HARRISBURG, Pa./LANSING, Mich. (Reuters) – Law enforcement officers were out in force at state capitol grounds across the United States on Sunday in preparation for protests that so far have drawn only a small number of Trump supporters who believe the president’s false claim that the 2020 election was rigged. More than a dozen states...

Biden plans ‘roughly a dozen’ Day One executive actions: aide

WILMINGTON, Del. (Reuters) – U.S. President-elect Joe Biden will cap a busy day of inauguration pageantry by using the powers of his new office to push policy changes on housing, student loans, climate change and immigration, a top aide said on Saturday. Biden, who campaigned on a raft of promises to undo President Donald Trump’s...

U.S. Senate Republican asks tech firms to explain account, content removals

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The outgoing Republican chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee asked the chief executives of five major U.S. tech firms to answer detailed questions about decisions to restrict or permanently ban accounts of conservative users. Senator Roger Wicker sent letters to Apple Inc, Facebook Inc, Amazon.com Inc, Alphabet Inc and Twitter in which...

WhatsApp to delay launch of update business features after privacy backlash

(Reuters) – Facebook Inc’s WhatsApp is delaying an update aimed at increasing business transactions on the platform after a storm of concern from users who feared that the messaging platform was watering down its privacy policy in the process. WhatsApp users received a notification this month that it was preparing a new privacy policy and...

Facebook to ban ads promoting weapon accessories, protective gear in U.S.

(Reuters) – Facebook Inc said on Saturday it will ban advertisements for weapon accessories and protective equipment in the United States with immediate effect until at least two days after U.S. President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20. Following the attack by supporters of President Donald Trump against the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, the...

Failed French supermarket deal unlikely to dampen ambitions of Canada’s Bouchard

MONTREAL/QUEBEC CITY (Reuters) – Political opposition that killed Canadian convenience store operator Alimentation Couche-Tard’s $20 billion bid for French retailer Carrefour on Friday is unlikely to end the global ambitions of founder Alain Bouchard. The low-profile Canadian businessman built Couche-Tard from a single store in Quebec in 1980 to a global network of convenience stores...

17th January

COVID-19 pressures U.S. retail sales; manufacturing shines

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. retail sales fell for a third straight month in December as renewed measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 triggered job losses, further evidence that the wounded economy lost considerable speed at the end of 2020. The downturn in sales reported by the Commerce Department on Friday is, however, unlikely to...

Canada’s Couche-Tard to explore partnership opportunities with Carrefour, after takeover plan fails

(Reuters) – Canada’s Alimentation Couche-Tard and European retailer Carrefour SA have decided to work on partnership opportunities after takeover talks failed, the two companies said in a joint statement on Saturday. Couche-Tard dropped its 16.2 billion euro ($19.57 billion) bid for Carrefour after the French government opposed the deal, citing food security concerns. The decision...

Goldman Sachs nudges U.S. growth forecast higher on Biden stimulus plan

(Reuters) – Analysts at Goldman Sachs Group raised their U.S. growth forecast for the second time this month on expectations that President-elect Joe Biden’s fiscal stimulus plan will hasten the economy’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The bank expects economic growth of 6.6% in 2021, compared with a previous forecast of 6.4%, according to a...

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