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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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Argentina Blocks Two Activists From Entry on Eve of WTO Meeting

Argentina blocked two European activists from entering the country on the eve of the World Trade Organization’s ministerial meeting in Buenos Aires, the two told a local radio program Saturday. Sally Burch, a British activist and journalist for the Latin American Information Agency, said Argentina had already revoked credentials given to her by the WTO to attend the meeting but thought she would be able to enter the country as…

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Three Central Banks, Three Economic Outlooks for 2018

Three central banks, meeting on both sides of the Atlantic, will highlight the diverging fortunes of the world’s biggest economies as they head into 2018 after an exceptionally tranquil year. While the growth cycle in the United States may be close to peaking, the eurozone is just getting comfortable with its economic run, and Britain is weighed down by Brexit uncertainty, suggesting that their monetary policies will be out of…

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Wind, Fire, Ash Destroy Much of California Avocado Crop

The wildfire that roared through the orchards of California’s Ventura County destroyed much of the region’s avocado crop not just with flames, but also with fierce Santa Ana winds and a thick blanket of ash. With the so-called Thomas Fire just 10 percent contained by Friday afternoon, after blackening more than 132,000 acres across Ventura County and destroying some 400 homes and other structures, it is too soon to know…

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‘Worker Bee’ Round of NAFTA Talks to Focus on Easier Chapters

NAFTA trade negotiators convene in Washington next week for a limited round of talks unlikely to move the needle on major sticking points, but aimed at demonstrating some progress toward closing easier chapters. Last month’s round of negotiations to update the North American Free Trade Agreement in Mexico City failed to resolve major differences, as Canada and Mexico pushed back on what they saw as unreasonable U.S. demands on automotive content…

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