Waiting for Congress, Mnuchin Makes 2nd Emergency Debt Move

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Monday he is making a second emergency move to keep the government from going above the debt limit while awaiting congressional action to raise the threshold.   In a letter to congressional leaders, Mnuchin said he will not be able to fully invest in a large civil service retirement and disability fund. Skipped investments will be restored once the debt limit has been raised, he…

Read More

US High Court Turns Away Dispute Over Gay Worker Protections

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear an appeal by a Georgia security guard who said she was harassed and forced from her job because she is a lesbian, avoiding an opportunity to decide whether a federal law that bans gender-based bias also outlaws discrimination based on sexual orientation. The justices left in place a lower court ruling against Jameka Evans, who had argued that workplace sexual orientation…

Read More

EU-Mercosur Talks Hit Snags, Announcement Could Be Delayed

Free-trade talks between the European Union and South American trade bloc Mercosur still face hurdles over beef and ethanol, and an expected deal announcement this week might not happen, officials involved in negotiations said on Monday. Mercosur diplomats involved in the talks on the sidelines of the World Trade Organization minister’s meeting in Buenos Aires said EU officials had not presented improved offers on EU tariff-free imports of South American…

Read More

Top EU Economic Powers Warn US About Tax Plans

The European Union’s top five economies are warning the United States that its massive tax overhaul could violate some of its international obligations and risks having “a major distortive impact” on trade. In a letter to U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin, the finance ministers of Germany, France, Britain, Italy and Spain wrote they had “significant concerns” about three tax initiatives in particular. In the letter, seen by The…

Read More

Chef Batali Exits Company, TV Show After Sex Harassment Accusations

Celebrity chef Mario Batali said on Monday that he has stepped away from his restaurant company and ABC said it asked him to step aside as co-host of a daytime food and talk show after he was accused of sexual harassment in a report by an online food trade publication. Eater New York reported that four women, who were not identified, accused Batali of touching them inappropriately in a pattern…

Read More

Silicon Valley Job Fair Caters to New Immigrants, Refugees

Khaled Turkmani fled Syria and traveled through five countries before he ended up in San Francisco. He immediately began to look for work in the technology industry. Despite his degree in computer science, Turkmani spent nine months working at “survival jobs” – selling shoes and assembling furniture. He also worked as a web site developer earning $10 an hour, a job he says typically pays U.S. workers $50 an hour….

Read More

Fusion Reactor Under Construction in France Halfway Complete

The International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor, ITER, now under construction in southern France, is often called the most complicated scientific instrument in the world. The project was launched in 1985 at the US-Soviet summit between Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev. Its director says it is now 50% complete and on track to produce cheap energy from what will essentially be a tiny sun in its core. VOA’s George Putic reports. …

Read More

A Silicon Valley Job Fair Caters to New Immigrants and Refugees

More than a million college-educated immigrants in the U.S. are in low skilled jobs, according to estimates. But they have trouble finding work in their professions, including in the U.S. tech industry, which desperately needs skilled workers. A special technology industry job fair this week in San Francisco brought together refugees and new immigrants with potential employers. VOA’s Michelle Quinn reports. …

Read More

Digital World Provides Benefits and Risks for Children

The U.N. Children’s Fund says the explosion of digital technology and growing internet access holds both benefits and risks for children.  UNICEF’s annual State of the World’s Children report explores ways to protect children from the potential harm of the expanding digital world.  The U.N. children’s fund reports one in three internet users around the world is a child.  Despite this huge and growing online presence, UNICEF says little is…

Read More

Traders Brace for Launch of Bitcoin Futures Market

The newest way to bet on bitcoin, the cyptocurrency that has taken Wall Street by storm with its stratospheric price rise and wild daily gyrations, will arrive Sunday when bitcoin futures start trading. The launch has given an extra kick to the cyptocurrency’s scorching run this year. It has nearly doubled in price since the start of December, but recent days saw sharp moves in both directions, with bitcoin losing…

Read More