Construction Begins on Afghanistan Section of International Gas Pipeline

Leaders of Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Pakistan and its arch rival India jointly inaugurated construction work Friday on the Afghan section of a long-delayed multibillion-dollar gas pipeline connecting the four nations, raising hopes for regional cooperation and peace. A ceremony took place in the ancient Afghan city of Herat, attended by President Ashraf Ghani, his Turkmen counterpart, Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Indian External Affairs Minister M.J. Akbar….

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‘Sooner, Faster, Now’ — the Companies Surfing the E-Commerce Wave

Amazon’s assault on the retail industry has brought misery to traditional retailers without a strong web presence. Less well noticed is the patchwork of European companies that are turning the e-commerce revolution to their advantage, supplying online giants with everything from forklift trucks and storage space to cardboard boxes and automated warehouses. Mainly bricks-and-mortar retailers such as Debenhams, H&M, and Marks & Spencer have faced a torrid few years as stretched…

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Saudis Promised Double the Fun in Drive to Lure Back Tourist Dollars

Saudi Arabia will stage more than 5,000 shows, festivals and concerts in 2018, double the number of last year, as it tries to shake off its conservative image in a drive to keep tourist dollars at home and lure in visitors. The state wants to capture up to a quarter of the $20 billion currently spent overseas every year by Saudis seeking entertainment, lifting a ban on cinemas and putting…

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Troubled Latvian Bank Faces ECB Deadline to Avoid Closure

The European Central Bank has set a deadline of Friday for Latvia’s third-largest bank to plug a financing hole, the country’s finance minister said, as the Baltic state faced its worst financial difficulties in almost a decade. Earlier, ABLV said it had asked for a 480 million euro ($591 million) emergency loan from the country’s central bank as part of efforts to reopen for business after being forced to halt…

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Work on Afghan Section of TAPI Gas Pipeline to Begin Friday

Afghanistan will host leaders from Turkmenistan, Pakistan and India on Friday for the ground-breaking ceremony of the Afghan section of a much-delayed multi-billion dollar gas pipeline connecting the four nations. The $10 billion mega project, known as Turkmenistan-Pakistan-Afghanistan-India, or TAPI, will connect Central Asia with South Asia and is expected to become operational this year. The 1,814-kilometer pipeline will carry an estimated 33 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually…

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US Companies Urged to Issue ‘Clearer’ Cyber Risk Disclosures

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday updated guidance to public companies on how and when they should disclose cybersecurity risks and breaches, including potential weaknesses that have not yet been targeted by hackers. The guidance also said company executives must not trade in a firm’s securities while possessing nonpublic information on cybersecurity attacks. The SEC encouraged companies to consider adopting specific policies restricting executive trading in shares while…

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To Get a Ride, Uber Says Take a Walk

The latest variation of an Uber ride will require a short walk. In eight U.S. cities, the ride-hailing company is rolling out a service called “Express Pool,” which links riders in the same area who want to travel to similar destinations. Once linked, riders would need to walk a couple of blocks to be picked up at a common location. They also would be dropped off at a site that…

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S. Korea’s Cryptocurrency Industry Welcomes Regulator’s Dramatic Change of Heart

South Korea’s cryptocurrency industry is anticipating much better times as the market regulator changes tack from its tough stance on the virtual coin trade, promising instead to help promote blockchain technology. The regulator said Tuesday that it hopes to see South Korea — which has become a hub for cryptocurrency trade — normalize the virtual coin business in a self-regulatory environment. “The whole world is now framing the outline [for…

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