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Why a $38 Billion Tax Payment Is a Good Deal for Apple

Apple has faced mounting criticism in recent years for avoiding taxes in the US and Europe. Wednesday, it offered critics 38 billion replies. More precisely, Apple said it would pay an estimated $38 billion in tax to bring back to the US some of the cash it has stashed overseas over the years. Apple says the payment would be the largest tax payment of its type in history. But it’s also a pretty good deal for the company. In the wake of the tax-cut bill approved by Congress last month,…

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The Mysterious Twitter User Drawing a Swarm of Japan Traders

On a day when billions in profits and losses would be determined by split-second trades, the salaried professionals of Japan’s financial markets were glued to their news terminals. Another group was staring at the feed of an anonymous Twitter account. It was shortly after noon on Jan. 29, 2016, and people with money at stake were waiting for the Bank of Japan to announce its monetary policy. While the decision’s date is set in advance, nobody knows its timing. “It’s a negative interest rate bazooka!” gushed in reply. “The profits I…

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Stricken Iranian Oil Tanker Sinks in East China Sea After Blast

The Iranian oil tanker Sanchi sank into the East China Sea on Sunday afternoon after a blast, causing a "serious" oil spill that covered 10 square kilometers (3.9 square miles), state television reported, citing China’s State Oceanic Administration. The oil from the tanker was still burning, China Central Television reported Sunday. A State Oceanic Administration official reached by phone said the administration is collecting data from the spill area, and the administration said on its website that the spill will have an impact on the environment. All 32 crew members…

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GM Shows Off New Silverado in Bid to Narrow Ford’s Pickup Lead

It’s going to be the year of the truck in the U.S., and General Motors Co. wants to steal back some market share. GM kicked off the Detroit auto show by revealing an all-new Chevrolet Silverado pickup, the first completely redesigned truck for the automaker since the 2007 model year. The pickup with have eight different trim levels, two new V-8 engines and shed as much as 450 pounds from the current model to save fuel. The redesign — a bigger overhaul than the 2014 refresh of the Silverado —…

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Trumps Lawyer Brokered $130,000 Payment to Adult Film Star, WSJ Reports

Washington (AP) — President Donald Trump's personal lawyer brokered a $130,000 payment to a porn actress to prevent her from publicly discussing an alleged sexual encounter with Trump, according to a report Friday in The Wall Street Journal. Trump met Stephanie Clifford, whose goes by the name Stormy Daniels in films, at a golf event in 2006 — a year after Trump's marriage to his wife, Melania. According to the Journal's report, Clifford began talking with ABC News in the fall of 2016 for a story involving an alleged relationship…

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Wal-Mart Raises Hourly Wage to $11 in Wake of Tax Overhaul

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is boosting its starting hourly wage to $11 and delivering bonuses to employees, capitalizing on the U.S. tax overhaul to stay competitive in a tightening labor market. The increase takes effect next month and will cost $300 million on top of annual wage hikes that were already planned, the world’s largest retailer said Thursday. The one-time bonus of up to $1,000 is based on seniority and will amount to an additional $400 million. The company is also expanding its maternity and parental leave policy and adding an…

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Bitcoin Could End Up Using More Power Than Electric Cars

The global power needed to create cryptocurrencies this year could rival the entire electricity consumption of Argentina and be a growth driver for renewable energy producers from the U.S. to China. Miners of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies could require up to 140 terawatt-hours of electricity in 2018, about 0.6 percent of the global total, Morgan Stanley analysts led by Nicholas Ashworth wrote in a note Wednesday. That’s more than expected power demand from electric vehicles in 2025. “If cryptocurrencies continue to appreciate we expect global mining power consumption to increase,”…

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New York City plans to divest $5bn from fossil fuels and sue oil companies

Mayor Bill de Blasio: Its up to the fossil fuel companies whose greed put us in this position to shoulder the cost of making New York safer and more resilient New York City is seeking to lead the assault on both climate change and the Trump administration with a plan to divest $5bn from fossil fuels and sue the worlds most powerful oil companies over their contribution to dangerous global warming. City officials have set a goal of divesting New Yorks $189bn pension funds from fossil fuel companies within five…

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Trump Says Bannon Lost His Mind After Leaving White House

President Donald Trump denounced his former top strategist, Steve Bannon, on Wednesday in a dramatic break from the man considered an architect of Trump’s populist campaign. “When he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind,” Trump said in a statement issued after the publication of excerpts of a new book in which Bannon criticizes the president and his family. “Now that he is on his own, Steve is learning that winning isn’t as easy as I make it look.” Bannon has lost the access to…

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US drug firm offers cure for blindness at $425,000 an eye

Spark Therapeutics says responsible price for Luxturna gene therapy ensures access for patients with retinal defect A drug whose inventors claim it can cure a rare form of blindness is to be one of the most expensive medicines ever sold at $850,000 (630,000). Luxturna is injected directly into the eye to address the root cause of visual impairment by replacing a defective gene in the retina. It is the first gene therapy to be approved for use in the US, and was given the go-ahead by the Federal Drug Administration…

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2018 Feels Ripe for Big Unexpected Crisis, Eurasia Group Says

This year could see a geopolitical crisis on the scale of the financial crash a decade ago, Eurasia Group warned in its annual outlook. Describing global political challenges as “daunting,” the New York-based political risk consultancy said that “if we had to pick one year for a big unexpected crisis — the geopolitical equivalent of the 2008 financial meltdown — it feels like 2018." The biggest uncertainty surrounds China’s move to fill a vacuum as U.S. influence continues to decline, stoking tensions between the two powers, it said. That’s likely to…

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Singapore’s Economy Grows Faster Than Estimated

Singapore’s economy finished 2017 on a solid footing, allowing more room for policy makers as they consider raising taxes and tightening monetary policy this year. Growth was higher taxes when the government releases its budget on Feb. 19, with one option being an increase in the goods and services tax. The Monetary Authority of Singapore may also shift to a tightening stance after government and the central bank forecast GDP growth of 1.5 to 3.5 percent this year. A stabilizing labor market and recharged property market is setting up a…

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How China Will Shake Up the Oil Futures Market

China, the world’s biggest oil buyer, is on the verge of opening a domestic market to trade futures contracts. It’s been planning one for years, only to encounter delays. The Shanghai International Energy Exchange, a unit of Shanghai Futures Exchange, will be known by the acronym INE and will allow Chinese buyers to lock in oil prices and pay in local currency. Also, foreign traders will be allowed to invest — a first for China’s commodities markets — because the exchange is registered in Shanghai’s free trade zone. There are…

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No Idea What MiFID Stands For? Here’s What You Need to Know

Everyone in European finance has been abuzz over an obscure acronym — MiFID II — that’s about to radically change how assets from stocks to commodities are traded and investors’ money is managed. Banks and asset managers across the European Union have spent more than $2 billion preparing for it. Regulators say it will protect investors, boost transparency and rebuild trust that was tarnished by the 2008 global crash. The industry has even spent months finding ways to sidestep parts of it. But you’d be forgiven for not paying attention:…

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