Italian Laser Device Detects Potentially Dangerous Food Fraud

‘Food Fraud’ costs the food and beverage industry an estimated $30 billion every year. Food fraud is the deliberate substitution or misrepresentation of food products for economic gain. It can be as harmless as selling watered down olive oil, or as dangerous as substituting starch or plastic for rice. But a new laser test developed in Italy can spot the fakes with incredible accuracy. VOAs’ Kevin Enochs reports. …

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US, EU, Japan Slam Market Distortion in Swipe at China

The United States, European Union and Japan vowed Tuesday to work together to fight market-distorting trade practices and policies that have fueled excess production capacity, naming several key features of China’s economic system. In a joint statement that did not single out China or any other country, the three economic powers said they would work within the World Trade Organization and other multilateral groups to eliminate unfair competitive conditions caused…

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Afreximbank Pledges Up to $1.5B to Post-Mugabe Zimbabwe

The African Export and Import Bank has pledged up to $1.5 billion in new loans and financial guarantees to Zimbabwe in a major boost for new President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government, the bank’s president and chairman said Tuesday. Mnangagwa, who took over last month after veteran autocrat Robert Mugabe quit following a de facto military coup, has vowed to focus on reviving the struggling economy and provide jobs in a nation…

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Filipino Houses From Debris, Californian Fruit Pickers’ Homes Win Major Award

A project in the Philippines that used debris to rebuild typhoon-ravaged houses and Californian homes providing year-round housing for migrant workers won one of the world’s most prestigious housing awards on Tuesday. The development charity CARE used innovative techniques, such as teaching building skills to residents and using wreckage from destroyed homes, to rehouse more than 15,000 Filipino families devastated in 2013 by Typhoon Haiyan. “This is the first time…

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Trump Signs into Law US Government Ban on Kaspersky Lab Software

President Donald Trump signed into law on Tuesday legislation that bans the use of Kaspersky Lab within the U.S. government, capping a months-long effort to purge the Moscow-based antivirus firm from federal agencies amid concerns it was vulnerable to Kremlin influence. The ban, included as part of broader defense policy spending legislation that Trump signed, reinforces a directive issued by the Trump administration in September that civilian agencies remove Kaspersky…

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Smaller Farms Can Cope Better With Climate Change in India, Say Analysts

India’s small farmers are better equipped than large landowners to deal with climate change, but need more support to find innovative ways to minimize the impacts of higher temperatures, uneven rainfall, floods and droughts, analysts said. About 60 percent of India’s population of 1.3 billion depends on agriculture for a living. More than three quarters of farmers cultivate than 2 hectares (5 acres) of land each. While the small size…

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US Retailer Aims to Give Tech Experience to Immigrant Teens

A major U.S. electronic retailer says it wants to help immigrant and underprivileged teens gain the technology skills they’ll need for the job market. Best Buy, in partnership with a local nongovernmental organization known as the Brian Coyle Center, has opened a tech center in Minneapolis’ Cedar-Riverside area. The center provides after-school computer classes for teens in the area, many of whom come from East African immigrant families. The company…

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Facebook to Book Advertising Revenue Locally Amid Political Pressure

Social media giant Facebook said on Tuesday it would start booking advertising revenue locally instead of re-routing it via its international headquarters in Dublin although the move is unlikely to result in it paying much more tax. Corporate taxation has become a hot-button topic in the wake of revelations of tax avoidance schemes by multinationals which have led to calls for companies to pay more tax while Europe has begun…

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Cryptocurrency Exchanges Coinbase, Bitfinex Down

Digital currency exchange operators Coinbase and Bitfinex reported problems with service through their websites on Tuesday, frustrating traders seeking to cash in on the latest surge in the value of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Wallet-provider Coinbase’s website showed “service unavailable” early on Tuesday U.S. time, flashing a message that said it was down for maintenance. Its exchange gdax.com was still quoting prices, although it also said it was experiencing a…

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