China Displays Clout at Internet Conference But Some Doubts Remain

China made an impressive display of its clout in the digital economy during a three-day internet conference in Beijing last week by pulling together the participation of U.N. agencies, the World Telecom Union and CEOs of major US based IT companies like Google, Apple and Cisco System. The conference started with a message from Chinese president Xi Jinping who said, “China would never close its doors. They will only be…

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Waiting for Congress, Mnuchin Makes 2nd Emergency Debt Move

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Monday he is making a second emergency move to keep the government from going above the debt limit while awaiting congressional action to raise the threshold.   In a letter to congressional leaders, Mnuchin said he will not be able to fully invest in a large civil service retirement and disability fund. Skipped investments will be restored once the debt limit has been raised, he…

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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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Silicon Valley Job Fair Caters to New Immigrants, Refugees

Khaled Turkmani fled Syria and traveled through five countries before he ended up in San Francisco. He immediately began to look for work in the technology industry. Despite his degree in computer science, Turkmani spent nine months working at “survival jobs” – selling shoes and assembling furniture. He also worked as a web site developer earning $10 an hour, a job he says typically pays U.S. workers $50 an hour….

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Fusion Reactor Under Construction in France Halfway Complete

The International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor, ITER, now under construction in southern France, is often called the most complicated scientific instrument in the world. The project was launched in 1985 at the US-Soviet summit between Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev. Its director says it is now 50% complete and on track to produce cheap energy from what will essentially be a tiny sun in its core. VOA’s George Putic reports. …

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A Silicon Valley Job Fair Caters to New Immigrants and Refugees

More than a million college-educated immigrants in the U.S. are in low skilled jobs, according to estimates. But they have trouble finding work in their professions, including in the U.S. tech industry, which desperately needs skilled workers. A special technology industry job fair this week in San Francisco brought together refugees and new immigrants with potential employers. VOA’s Michelle Quinn reports. …

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Digital World Provides Benefits and Risks for Children

The U.N. Children’s Fund says the explosion of digital technology and growing internet access holds both benefits and risks for children.  UNICEF’s annual State of the World’s Children report explores ways to protect children from the potential harm of the expanding digital world.  The U.N. children’s fund reports one in three internet users around the world is a child.  Despite this huge and growing online presence, UNICEF says little is…

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