US Proposes NAFTA Sunset Clause, Raising Tensions in Talks

Washington has increased tensions in talks to renew the North American Free Trade Agreement by insisting that any new deal be allowed to expire after five years, two officials familiar with the negotiations said on Thursday. Canada and Mexico both strongly oppose the concept of a so-called sunset clause, a provision that had been floated earlier. But the officials, who asked not to be identified because the talks are confidential,…

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Richard Branson Takes Another Bet on Future with Hyperloop One

British billionaire Richard Branson on Thursday placed another bet on the future with an investment in Hyperloop One, which is developing super high-speed transportation systems. Hyperloop One said Branson’s Virgin Group would take the company global and rebrand itself as Virgin Hyperloop One in the near future. Branson has joined the board of Hyperloop One, which aims to develop pods that will transport passenger and mixed-use cargo at speeds of…

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Facebook Chief Absolutely’ Supports Releasing Russia-linked Advertisements

Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg said Thursday she “absolutely” supports the public release of all advertisements produced by a Russia-linked organization during the 2016 presidential election. Sandberg said the company is “working on transparency” following the revelation last month that a group with alleged ties to the Russian government ran $100,000 worth of ads on Facebook promoting “divisive” causes like Black Lives Matter. “Things happened on our platform that…

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EU Says Little Progress Made in Brexit Talks With Britain

The European Union’s Brexit negotiator said Thursday that that little progress was made with the U.K. in a fifth round of talks on the country’s departure from the EU in 2019, and that he cannot yet recommend broadening negotiations to include trade.   Michel Barnier said that despite the “constructive spirit” shown in this week’s negotiations in Brussels, “we haven’t made any great steps forward.” On the question of how…

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Report: Waymo Demands at Least $1 Billion to Settle Uber Suit

Alphabet Inc.’s Waymo sought at least $1 billion in damages and a public apology from Uber Technologies Inc as conditions for settling its high-profile trade secret lawsuit against the ride-services company, sources familiar with the proposal told Reuters. The Waymo self-driving car unit also asked that an independent monitor be appointed to ensure Uber does not use Waymo technology in the future, the sources said. Uber rejected those terms, said…

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Dutch Team Wins 7th Australian Solar-Powered Car Race

A Dutch team won a solar-powered car race across Australia for a seventh time on Thursday, with a University of Michigan car likely to take second place in the biennial event. The Nuon team’s Nuna 9 car averaged more than 80 kph (50 mph) to reach the World Solar Challenge finish line in the southern coastal city of Adelaide after five days of racing across 3,022 kilometers (1,878 miles) of…

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Evergrande Property Magnate Seizes Top Spot On China Rich List

China has a new richest man, according to the annual Hurun rich list of the country’s top movers and shakers. Xu Jiayin, the chairman of developer China Evergrande Group, has seized top spot – beating out more familiar faces such as Alibaba Group Holding Ltd’s Jack Ma and rival property magnate Wang Jianlin of Dalian Wanda Group. Xu’s reported $43 billion wealth – a gain of around $30 billion against…

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Odd Mix of Industry, Environmentalists Fight Trump Coal, Nuclear Plan

The Trump administration says coal is back and nuclear energy is cool. Not at the expense of natural gas, wind and solar, insists an unusual coalition of business and environmental groups. Dow Chemical, Koch Industries and U.S. Steel Corp. are standing with environmentalists in opposing an Energy Department plan that would reward nuclear and coal-fired power plants for adding reliability to the nation’s power grid and are pressuring the administration…

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First Latina Makes History in Fortune 50 Most Powerful Women List

The ranking of the 50 most powerful women by Fortune magazine is out. The list include such stalwarts as General Motors Mary Barra and PepsiCo’s Indra Nooyi. But it also seven newcomers, including the first foreign-born Latina CEO on the Fortune 500, Geisha Williams. VOA Correspondent Mariama Diallo was at their annual gathering in Washington this week and has this report. …

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Bloomberg Pledges $64 Million to Anti-Coal Initiatives

Billionaire philanthopist Michael Bloomberg has pledged an additional $64 million for the initiatives intended to slash the number of U.S. coal power plants. Bloomberg’s charity announced Wednesday the money will be donated to environmental groups working to replace coal-fired plants with cleaner forms of energy production. The move came after the Trump administration said it would repeal the Clean Power Plan. VOA’s Zlatica Hoke has this story. …

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