US Treasury’s Mnuchin Extends Debt Limit Measure for Two Months

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Friday said he would extend for two more months one of the extraordinary cash management measures that the Treasury is using to stave off a debt-limit default. Mnuchin said in a letter to House of Representative Speaker Paul Ryan that he would continue to withhold investments from the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund, until Sept. 29. The Treasury’s previous “debt issuance suspension period”…

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IMF Says Dollar Overvalued, but Euro, Yen in Line With Fundamentals

The International Monetary Fund on Friday said that the U.S. dollar was overvalued by 10 percent to 20 percent, based on U.S. near-term economic fundamentals, while it viewed valuations of the euro, Japan’s yen and China’s yuan as broadly in line with fundamentals. The IMF’s External Sector Report, an annual assessment of currencies and external surpluses and deficits of major economies, showed that external current account deficits were becoming more…

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Tesla Stock Climbs as Musk Prepares to Hand Over First Model 3 Cars

Shares of Tesla rose nearly 1 percent on Friday ahead of a handover to customers of its first Model 3 sedans, the electric cars that Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk is betting will propel his company into the mass market. Tesla is counting on the Model 3 to help turn the cash-losing company into a profitable one, and its event later on Friday at its factory in Fremont, California, comes…

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Roomba Vacuum Maker iRobot Betting Big on ‘Smart’ Home

The Roomba robotic vacuum has been whizzing across floors for years, but its future may lie more in collecting data than dirt. That data is of the spatial variety: the dimensions of a room as well as distances between sofas, tables, lamps and other home furnishings. To a tech industry eager to push “smart” homes controlled by a variety of Internet-enabled devices, that space is the next frontier. Smart home…

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New York Startups Shine Light on New Paths for World Cities

Snapping off a leaf of crisp baby lettuce, entrepreneur Andrew Shearer can demonstrate how colored lights in a hydroponic cabinet boost nutrients or alter the flavors and colors of plants that can be grown in a restaurant kitchen. Strawberries, peppers and tomatoes are the next crops for his start-up Farmshelf, which aims to cut food miles and waste by selling the lighting units to grow vegetables for commercial use, home…

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Government, Industry Officials Call for Global Culture of Chemical Security

The east side of Houston is dotted with what look like skyscrapers from a distance, but are actually chemical plants, key parts of the Gulf Coast city’s economy. “Houston, here in Texas, is in many ways the center of the petrochemical industry universe in the United States, so [there are] a very large number of chemical facilities, oil refineries,” said Dave Wolf, acting deputy assistant secretary for infrastructure protection at…

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Researchers: Artificial Intelligence Can Help Fight Deforestation in Congo

A new technique using artificial intelligence to predict where deforestation is most likely to occur could help the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) preserve its shrinking rainforest and cut carbon emissions, researchers have said. Congo’s rainforest, the world’s second-largest after the Amazon, is under pressure from farms, mines, logging and infrastructure development, scientists say. Protecting forests is widely seen as one of the cheapest and most effective ways to reduce…

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YouTube-inspired New Toys Aim to Wow Today’s Digitally Savvy Kids

For some youngsters, “unboxing” YouTube videos are all the rage. They involve a pair of hands – some small, some big with lacquered nails or others with hairy knuckles — unwrapping and playing with new toys. The concept looks and feels mundane, but some of these videos have clocked hundreds of millions of views. Now this YouTube sensation is influencing the toy industry. ‘Blind bag’ items Toymakers are creating “blind…

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Optimizing Efficiency of Hybrid Cars

Trying to curb increasingly serious air pollution in their cities, authorities in France, followed this week by those in Britain, announced they will ban the sale of new gas and diesel-powered cars by 2040. This may speed up sales of hybrid electric vehicles. In the meantime, engineers are working hard to make such cars more attractive. Researchers at the University of California say their mileage could be improved with smarter…

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LOL to Heart Eyes: New Emojis Must Pass Muster

Cheery Hi-5, a snobbish Poop and a conflicted Meh have starring roles in the animated The Emoji Movie, which imagines a world inside cellphones where emojis rebel against portraying just one emotion all their lives. Yet the dozen or so people who select and release the tiny, ubiquitous characters globally are far removed from the glitz of Hollywood, where the Sony Pictures movie, which begins its global rollout Friday, was…

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