German Jobless Rate Hits Best Figure Since 1990 Reunification

Germany, Europe’s most robust economy, said Thursday that its unemployment rate fell to 5.3 percent in November, the lowest figure since West and East Germany were unified in 1990. Even as Chancellor Angela Merkel and other Berlin politicians struggle to form a coalition government, the German economy remains strong, with a months-long dip in the country’s jobless rate and solid demand for German products from other countries. The German report…

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OPEC Agrees Oil Cut Extension to End of 2018

OPEC agreed on Thursday to extend oil output cuts until the end of 2018 as it tries to finish clearing a global glut of crude while signalling it could exit the deal earlier if the market overheats. Non-OPEC Russia, which this year reduced production significantly with OPEC for the first time, has been pushing for a clear message on how to exit the cuts so the market doesn’t flip into…

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More Than Half the World’s Population Lacks Social Protection

The International Labor Organization says a majority of the world’s population, four billion people, have no social protection, leaving them mired in an endless cycle of poverty.  The report says 45 percent of the global population is covered by at least one social benefit.  But that leaves 55 percent without any social protection, a situation ILO Director General Guy Ryder calls unacceptable. “That means that they do not receive any…

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Eurozone Recovery Fueling Jobs But Wages, Prices Lag

The buoyant economic recovery across the 19-country eurozone has pushed unemployment down to its lowest level in nearly nine years but has yet to translate to a sustained pick-up in wages and prices, official figures indicated Thursday.   Eurostat, the European Union’s statistics agency, said the jobless rate fell to 8.8 percent in October, from 8.9 percent the previous month. That’s the lowest since January 2009, when the region, like…

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Mexico Economy Minister Calls US NAFTA Autos Proposal ‘Not Viable’

Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said Wednesday that Trump administration demands for a U.S.-specific automotive content requirement in NAFTA were “not viable,” and he declined to specify when Mexico would formally respond. At a news conference following a series of meetings with senior U.S. trade officials and lawmakers in Washington, Guajardo said that Mexico was still trying to understand the U.S. proposals that would require 50 percent of vehicles’ value…

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Facebook Suspends Ability to Target Ads by Excluding Racial Groups

Facebook Inc. said on Wednesday it was temporarily disabling the ability of advertisers on its social network to exclude racial groups from the intended audience of ads while it studies how the feature could be used to discriminate. Facebook’s chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg, told African-American U.S. lawmakers in a letter that the company was determined to do better after a news report said Facebook had failed to block discriminatory…

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Poll: Nearly Half of Americans Oppose Republican Tax Bill

Opposition has grown among Americans to a Republican tax plan before the U.S. Congress, with 49 percent of people who were aware of the measure saying they opposed it, up from 41 percent in October, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Wednesday. Congressional Republicans are trying to rush their tax legislation to a vote on the Senate floor before the end of the week. President Donald Trump strongly backs…

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Snapchat Seeks to Attract More Users by Redesigning App

Snapchat is separating what friends share and what media organizations publish in an attempt to appeal to a broader range of users. The photo messaging app has not been gaining enough users, especially beyond its core of younger people. Parent company Snap Inc.’s stock is down sharply since its initial public offering earlier this year. Users will now see two separate feeds — one from friends and one from publishers…

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With Deforestation Rising, Colombia Businesses Join Fight to End Destruction

Colombia’s palm oil industry and big businesses have pledged to eliminate deforestation from their supply chains as the country battles to reverse the growing destruction of its tropical rainforests. The commitment signed this week makes Colombia the first country in the world to launch its own chapter of the Tropical Forest Alliance 2020, a global effort by governments, companies and nongovernmental organizations. The TFA 2020 Colombia Alliance aims to help…

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Foreign Visitors to US Fall Sharply From 2016

The number of international visitors to the United States through June fell sharply from last year, according to government data released Wednesday. And the number of business travelers fell by much more than the drop in tourists, according to the monthly report from the Commerce Departments National Travel and Tourism Office. Total foreign visitors fell four percent compared to the first six months of last year, with travelers from Mexico…

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