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EU to greenlight Bayer-Monsanto takeover: source

The EU is set to greenlight the proposed blockbuster buyout of US agri-giant Monsanto by German chemical firm Bayer after securing concessions in order to win approval, sources close to the matter said on Tuesday.Several sources told AFP that Bayer had won the greenlight that would be officially announced by the commission on Wednesday in…

Another shutdown looms as US Congress haggles over spending

US lawmakers aimed to thread the needle Tuesday on an enormous federal spending bill, rushing to meet a looming deadline before government funding expires, yet again, in three days.If no action is taken by midnight Friday, the US government could tumble into shutdown for the third time this year.Republicans and Democrats have spent the past…

US Fed to hike interest rates for first time in 2018

The Federal Reserve is widely expected to announce Wednesday the first of at least three interest rate hikes this year as the central bank works to head off inflation.Though US central bankers admitted to being befuddled by the absence of inflation last year despite the economic recovery and strong job market, they now see signs…

Twitter shares plunge on Israel warning; Facebook dives

Twitter shares were hammered Tuesday following reports that Israel was weighing action against the company, adding to the growing woes of social media stocks.Twitter shares closed down 10.4 percent at $31.735 following comments by Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, who criticized Twitter for not doing enough to counter messages that incite violence against Israel.Shaked warned…

Swiss reopen world’s oldest nuclear plant after repairs

The primary reactor at Switzerland’s Beznau nuclear power plant, the world’s oldest commercial nuclear plant, has reopened after three years of repairs, despite protests from environmental campaigners, a statement said Tuesday. Beznau, located in the northern Swiss canton of Aargau near the German border, has two reactors and first opened in 1969. Both reactors were shut down…

Agriculture must make water use go further: experts

In a world where water risks running short for many, the especially thirsty agricultural industry must learn how to manage the vital resource better, experts said Tuesday.A day after the United Nations warned that 5.7 billion people could be short of drinking water by 2050, experts said agriculture faces its own threat.A perfect example of…

UK firm in Facebook row suspends CEO amid fresh revelations

Cambridge Analytica, the British firm at the centre of a major scandal rocking Facebook, suspended its chief executive Alexander Nix Tuesday, as he became embroiled in fresh controversy and lawmakers on both sides of the Atlantic demanded answers over the data breach.Recordings of Nix emerged Tuesday evening in which he boasts about the company’s expansive…

Australia’s homes worth almost $7 trillion

Australia’s housing market is slowing after years of rapid growth, but the value of the nation’s 10 million homes is nearing $7 trillion, taking the average home price to $686,700. Residential property prices in the eight capital cities rose five per cent in the year to December, slower than the 8.3 per cent annual growth…

Digital economy no tax-free club: Morrison

Treasurer Scott Morrison has urged his G20 counterparts to work together to ensure companies like Google and Amazon are properly taxed. Mr Morrison is in Buenos Aires for the G20 finance ministers and central bank governors’ two-day meeting, the first under Argentina’s 2018 presidency. He told Bloomberg on the sidelines of the meeting digital taxation…

Competition crimps TPG customer count

TPG Telecom has suffered a fall in profit and subscriber numbers at the half-year mark but still expects to lift full-year earnings. The telco challenger is looking to higher business customer numbers, cost cuts and a margin reprieve from a slowdown in the national broadband network rollout to improve underlying earnings for 2017/18. On Tuesday…