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US says backing China was a mistake

The US mistakenly supported China’s membership of the WTO in 2001 on terms that have failed to force Beijing to open its economy, US President Donald Trump’s administration said on Friday as it prepares to clamp down on Chinese trade. “It seems clear that the UnitedFULL STORY

S Korea tax plan might harm stock market

MSCI Inc, whose decisions on stock indices guide the investment of trillions of dollars, said South Korea’s proposed changes to capital gains taxes could make the nation’s market harder to access. Under a draft plan, some foreign investors would face capital gains taxes if they holdFULL STORY

‘Los Angeles Times’ gains a union, loses its publisher

Los Angeles Times journalists have voted to unionize for the first time in the newspaper’s 136-year history, while its chief executive on Friday took an unpaid leave of absence amid allegations of improper behavior. A National Labor Relations Board tally found that newsroom workers voted 248FULL STORY

S&P moves Greek credit rating up one notch to a ‘B’

S&P Global Ratings on Friday raised the rating on Greek government debt by a grade, citing the improved outlook for the crisis-stricken country’s finances and economic growth. The rating on Athens’ long-term debt was improved to “B” from “B-” with a positive outlook, which means theFULL STORY

Chinese developer jailed for stealing software code

A Chinese national was sentenced to five years in prison on economic espionage charges in connection with the theft of proprietary software code from a US technology company, officials said on Friday. A US Department of Justice statement announced the sentencing on Thursday of 32-year-old XuFULL STORY

McVitie’s digests slump by shrinking packaging

A much-loved British biscuit has fallen victim to the Brexit-linked slump in the pound, as McVitie’s Digestives on Friday said its packets will shrink. Packets of the quintessentially British brand will be cut from 500g to 400g this month, after the weakened pound ramped up importFULL STORY

World Business Quick Take

FRANCE Foreign investors gather Nearly 140 chief executives from companies around the world are to gather at the Versailles Palace outside Paris tomorrow, as the French government steps up efforts to attract more foreign investors. French President Emmanuel Macron orchestrated what is being billed as an “attractivenessFULL STORY

Hong Kong-made lifelike robots designed to win over humans

By Kelvin Chan

David Hanson envisions a future in which artificial intelligence (AI)-powered robots evolve to become “super-intelligent genius machines” that might help solve some of humanity’s most challenging problems. If only it were as simple as that. The Texas-born former sculptor at Walt Disney Imagineering Research & Development IncFULL STORY

Women of Colombia’s emerald mines shine after smashing taboo

By Florence Panoussian

For decades, women like Rosalba Canon were banned from Colombia’s emerald mines: Men said they brought bad luck. Canon and others like her have spent their lives as guaqueras, or fortune hunters, sifting stray gems from the shale gouged from rock and spewed out as wasteFULL STORY

Kerala farmers keep elephants at bay with bees

By K. Rajendran

One year ago, no one in Mayilattumpara could sleep soundly at night. Residents of the village in the foothills of Thrissur District, in southwest India’s Kerala State, feared invasions by wild elephants. The animals, reacting to the loss of their forest habitat and a scarcity ofFULL STORY

NT dollar hits highest since late 2013

The New Taiwan dollar on Friday rose to its highest against the US dollar in more than four years on the back of more foreign fund inflows, dealers said, with the greenback shedding NT$0.132 to close at NT$29.430. In addition to foreign fund inflows, theFULL STORY

TSMC, Hon Hai help TAIEX rise to 28-year high

Local shares on Friday hit a new high, reaching the highest point in almost 28 years as large-cap electronics stocks, in particular contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) and iPhone assembler Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密), made a strong showing, dealers said.FULL STORY

Platinum turns heads at hedge funds

After lagging behind other precious metals last year, platinum is finally outperforming, and hedge funds are taking notice. Money managers increased their bets on a rally for platinum, a commodity used in pollution control devices for cars. Investors had been pessimistic on prices until the startFULL STORY

Investors brush aside US government shutdown fears to lift European stocks

European stock markets on Friday mostly rose as investors shrugged off a looming shutdown of the US government. “Investors don’t appear particularly bothered about the prospect of a government shutdown, with the assumption being that one [bill] will eventually be signed and any economic impactFULL STORY

Retailers, consumer goods firms rise as US markets recover

Retailers and consumer goods companies on Friday led US stock indices mostly higher in afternoon trading as the market recouped some of its modest losses from a day earlier. Energy companies were the biggest laggard as the price of crude oil declined, while bond yieldsFULL STORY

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