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Recent and archived work by AFP for The Bull:

US-China ‘Phase One’ trade deal to be signed January 15

A partial new US-China trade agreement will be signed in the middle of next month, US President Donald Trump said Tuesday, announcing that he will also then travel to China for continued talks. Trump’s tweet, sent moments before Wall Street opened for the year’s final trading day, set a calendar date for an event that…

Microsoft seizes web domains used by North Korean hackers

Microsoft said Monday it obtained a court order allowing it to seize web domains used by North Korean hacking groups to launch cyberattacks on human rights activists, researchers and others. The US technology giant said a federal court allowed it to take control of 50 domains operated by a group dubbed Thallium, which tricked online…

US consumer confidence dips slightly in December

US consumers were a little less confident in December, as hopes for jobs and wages dimmed slightly, survey data showed Tuesday. Overall, consumer confidence remained at solid levels, but the unexpected dip hit during the crucial holiday shopping period. Consumer spending is a mainstay of the world’s largest economy. Lynn Franco, head of economic indicators…

Carlos Ghosn, fallen car magnate and fugitive from Japanese justice

Former car magnate Carlos Ghosn’s stunning departure from Japan, where he was facing trial on financial misconduct charges, poses numerous questions as to where his story goes next. Venerated French cartoonist Plantu of Le Monde newspaper portrayed the 65-year-old Tuesday with a smile on his face, a party hat on his head and relaxing in…

Tencent-led group to take 10 pct UMG stake: Vivendi

French media giant Vivendi said Tuesday it would sell 10 percent of its Universal Music Group subsidiary to a consortium led by the Chinese behemoth Tencent for three billion euros. The agreement, worth around $3.36 billion, is “based on an enterprise value of 30 billion euros for 100 percent of UMG’s share capital” and is…

Burning issue: China’s incense makers toil ahead of Lunar New Year

Dozens of workers toil through the night coating thin lengths of bamboo in herbs, spices and richly coloured powders to create incense sticks that are spread out under the rising sun to dry. It is an important time of year for the villagers of Yongchun county, a mountainous area of southeastern Fujian province that supplies…

Amazon publishes French taxes after accusations of underpayment

Amazon on Wednesday published its French tax returns, showing it paid 250 million euros last year, after accusations that the US e-commerce giant was not paying enough into the public coffers. France has been at the forefront of efforts to tighten taxation of multinational digital giants and parliament infuriated the administration of US President Donald…

PSA, Fiat Chrysler join to create world’s fourth-largest carmaker

French carmaker PSA and US-Italian rival Fiat Chrysler said Wednesday they had agreed on the terms of a merger to create the world’s fourth-largest automaker as the industry grapples with the costly and complicated transition to cleaner and more sustainable mobility. “Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Peugeot SA (Groupe PSA) have today signed a binding combination…

Samsung chairman jailed for union sabotage

The chairman of Samsung Electronics, the world’s biggest smartphone and chip maker, has been jailed for sabotaging union activities, prompting a rare apology on Wednesday from the firm. Chairman Lee Sang-hoon and executive vice president Kang Kyung-hoon were both sentenced to 18 months for leading a wide-ranging operation to deter staff at Samsung’s customer service…

Google settles US$327 million tax bill in Australia

Google agreed to pay Australian tax authorities Aus$482 million (US$327 million) to settle a long-running dispute over the tech giant’s multibillion-dollar business in the country, officials announced Wednesday. The Australian Tax Office (ATO) said the payment covered taxes owed for 2008-2018, and brought to Aus$1.25 billion the amount recovered from global e-commerce titans including Microsoft,…