Lift Debt Limit Before Recess, Mnuchin Urges Congress

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Wednesday urged federal lawmakers to raise the federal debt limit before they leave Washington for their August recess to avoid increased interest costs to taxpayers and market uncertainty about a potential default. Mnuchin told a Senate Appropriations subcommittee that maintaining U.S. creditworthiness was of “utmost importance” and that the United States must pay its bills on time. “As I’ve suggested in the past, based…

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Invitation: Trump to Announce Foxconn Plant in Wisconsin

President Donald Trump plans to announce Wednesday that electronics giant Foxconn will build a liquid crystal display panel plant in Wisconsin, according to an invitation to the event obtained by The Associated Press. The AP obtained the invitation from a person with knowledge of the afternoon gathering at the White House, but the person wasn’t authorized to publicly release the information. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker tweeted earlier Wednesday that Trump…

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EU Warns US it May Respond Swiftly to Counter New Sanctions on Russia

The European Union warned on Wednesday that it was ready to act within days to counter proposed new U.S. sanctions on Russia, saying they would harm the bloc’s energy security. Sanctions legislation overwhelmingly approved by the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday has angered EU officials: they see it as breaking transatlantic unity in the West’s response to Moscow’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and its support for…

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Amazon Goes on Hiring Spree as Labor Market Tightens

 Amazon has some job openings. Lots of them. The company said Wednesday that it’s looking to fill more than 50,000 positions across the U.S.   It’s planning to make thousands of offers on the spot on Aug. 2, when it opens the doors to potential hires at 10 Amazon.com Inc. shipping sites.   There will be more than 10,000 part-time jobs available at sorting centers, and some supporting and managerial…

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Luxury Firms’ Online Battle Boosted by EU Court Adviser’s Coty Stance

A decade-long battle by luxury brands to defend their image neared an end on Wednesday when an adviser to Europe’s top court said Coty can block a German retailer from selling its beauty products via online marketplaces. “A supplier of luxury goods may prohibit its authorized retailers from selling its products on third-party platforms such as Amazon or eBay,” Advocate General Nils Wahl at the European Union’s Court of Justice…

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Colombian Officials Got $27M in Odebrecht Bribes, Prosecutor says

Colombian officials received $27 million in bribes from Brazilian engineering firm Odebrecht, more than double previously thought, as the company sought to win a road-building contract, Colombia’s attorney general said on Tuesday. As fallout from a massive corruption scandal continues to bite Odebrecht, Attorney General Nestor Humberto Martinez said bribes paid for the contract to build a 528-km (328-mile) highway were much more than the $11 million originally estimated. Martinez…

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Peru Cracks Down on Slavery After Deadly Factory Fire Exposes Forced Labor

Peruvian authorities have launched a major crackdown on modern slavery after a warehouse fire in Lima last month killed four workers, including two who were trapped inside a padlocked container on the roof. Officials said they had shut down six furniture factories in the capital on Monday in an operation to root out forced labor and exploitation, following raids by prosecutors, police and labor inspectors. Last month’s toxic blaze which…

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Republicans Move to Repeal Financial Rule Opposed by Banks

Continuing its focus on curbing government regulations, a Republican-led House is seeking to overturn a rule that would let consumers band together to sue their banks or credit card companies rather than use an arbitrator to resolve a dispute. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau finalized the rule just two weeks ago. It bans most types of mandatory arbitration clauses, which are often found in the fine print of contracts governing…

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Greece Prepares for End of Bailout Era With Comeback Bond

Greece successfully sold debt to private investors for the first time in three years Tuesday, taking a significant first step toward financial independence when its third international bailout ends next year. The deal came a month after eurozone finance ministers signed off on a new loan and sketched out measures to chip away at Greece’s debt mountain after the current bailout finishes in August 2018. Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos…

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Records: EPA Chief Jets Away for Weekends on Taxpayer’s Dime

Records show the head of the Environmental Protection Agency spent weekends in his home state during his first three months in office, frequently flying to and from Oklahoma at taxpayer’s expense. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s expense reports from March, April and May were released following a Freedom of Information request filed by Environmental Integrity Project, a non-profit watchdog group. The records show Pruitt traveled home at least 10 times, typically…

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