Populism Again Casts Shadow Over Booming Eurozone Economy

For months, the outlook for the eurozone economy has brightened thanks to a series of electoral defeats for populist parties in key states like France. Now, following votes in Germany and Austria and the uncertainty over the Spanish region of Catalonia, concerns are growing again about the potential impact of euroskeptic politics. The euro has edged lower in recent weeks despite data showing that the eurozone economy is enjoying one…

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IMF: Global Economy Healthy, Still Needs Low Interest Rates

The world economy is the healthiest it’s been in years but could still use a little help from low-interest rates and higher government spending from countries that can afford it, the International Monetary Fund says.    “There was a strong consensus that the global outlook is strengthening,” said Agustin Carstens, governor of the Bank of Mexico and outgoing chair of the IMF’s policy committee. “This does not mean we are…

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Reality of NAFTA Talks Sets in After Tough US Demands

Negotiators from Canada and Mexico grappled Saturday with U.S. demands to drastically alter the North American Free Trade Agreement, as talks over renewal of the pact vilified by President Donald Trump ran through a fourth straight day. Some downcast participants said the demands, unveiled this week in line with Trump’s “America First” agenda, have increased the odds of NAFTA’s demise. At the very least, they could make it impossible to…

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Winemaker Vows to Rebuild After Losing Battle With Wildfire

Throughout Northern California, where wildfires have raged for almost a week, killing at least 36 people and destroying about 6,000 buildings, residents are taking stock of what they have and what they have lost. Many are feeling lucky to have survived with their lives. The fire’s path of destruction lacked rhyme or reason, destroying an entire winery in one case but leaving patio furniture outside the tasting room untouched. Pierre…

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Are NAFTA’s Days Numbered?

Recent comments by U.S. President Donald Trump have raised fears that NAFTA, the 2-decades-old trade pact between Canada, the U.S. and Mexico, may be on its last legs. Proponents of NAFTA warn that scrapping the three-nation deal could cause economic shocks around the globe. But others say that’s just a case of corporate fear mongering. Mil Arcega has more. …

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US Auto Demands Inject More Doubt Into NAFTA Talks

The Trump administration Friday demanded that U.S.-made content account for half the value of the cars and trucks sold under the North American Free Trade Agreement, raising further doubts about any potential deal to renew the pact. Three sources briefed on the protectionist U.S. proposal, which is in line with U.S. President Donald Trump’s goal of shrinking a trade deficit with Mexico and stemming the loss of U.S. manufacturing jobs,…

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Disaster-hit Nations Must Rebuild Better or Risk Losing Insurance, Experts Say

Disaster-prone countries that keep rebuilding homes, roads and utilities are in danger of becoming uninsurable unless their new infrastructure is built to survive further catastrophe, experts said Friday at a World Bank conference. New construction must be low in carbon emissions and built on safe land at less risk of destruction as extreme weather intensifies under global warming, they said. More infrastructure is about to be built in the next…

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China’s Imports From North Korea Fall Nearly 38 Percent in September

China’s imports from North Korea fell 37.9 percent in September from a year earlier, marking the seventh consecutive month of decline, the customs office said Friday. China-U.S. ties have been strained by President Donald Trump’s criticism of China’s trade practices and by demands that Beijing do more to pressure North Korea over Pyongyan’s nuclear and missile programmes. China’s exports to North Korea in September dropped 6.7 percent from a year…

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California Wildfires Threaten Wine Country’s Lifeblood: Tourism

The wildfires burning through Northern California are sending visitors packing, threatening the $2 billion-plus spent annually by tourists on wine tours, fine food, limousine rides and much more, business leaders said. At the Inn on First bed and breakfast in the famous wine town of Napa, co-owner Jamie Cherry was encouraging callers to postpone rather than cancel visits, as wildfires burned largely unchecked across the region. “People are canceling as…

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