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  • Potential ally urges Merkel to give up finance ministry

    BERLIN (AP) — A key potential ally in Germany’s next government is insisting that Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party shouldn’t keep the finance ministry because that gives her too much power.

    Exploratory talks on a potential coalition of Merkel’s conservatives, the pro-business Free Democrats and traditionally left-leaning Greens start this week. Merkel’s current partners, the center-left Social Democrats, vowed to go into opposition after last month’s election.

    Outgoing Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, a member of Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union, has been a powerful figure for the past eight years. He’s leaving to become parliament speaker. The Free Democrats’ leader, Christian Lindner, told Tuesday’s edition of the daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung that “anything would be better than keeping the chancellery and the finance […]
  • Construction done for Detroit River school ship dock, pier

    TRENTON, Mich. (AP) — Construction has been completed for a school ship dock and fishing pier at the gateway to the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge.

    Officials said in a release Monday the dock opens this spring. It extends 740 feet (225 meters) into the river and connects to a 200-foot (61-meter) fishing pier.

    The new dock supports operations of Michigan Sea Grant’s Great Lakes school ship, which will use the river and refuge as a living laboratory for children.

    Hundreds of donors contributed to the pier’s construction. The Refuge Gateway, the site of a former automotive parts factory, was cleaned up and serves as an ecological buffer to the Humbug Marsh wetland. A visitor center, canoe and kayak launch and other amenities also are expected to open this spring. Copyright © The Associated Press. […]
  • UK interest rates set to rise as inflation hits 3 percent

    LONDON (AP) — Inflation in Britain has hit 3 percent for the first since early 2012, official figures showed Tuesday — a development that reinforces expectations that the Bank of England will raise interest rates next month for the first time in a decade.

    The Office for National Statistics said consumer price inflation was 3 percent in the year to September, up from the previous month’s 2.9 percent. The increase, which brings the rate to its highest level since March 2012, was widely anticipated in the markets and was largely due to rising prices for food and a range of transport costs.

    If it had risen any further, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney would have to write to Treasury chief Philip Hammond explaining why inflation is more than a percentage point above the 2 percent target and what he and his colleagues at the central bank were going to do about it. Though he’s spared that […]
  • US tech giants may find their future shaped by Europe

    LONDON (AP) — Silicon Valley is a uniquely American creation, the product of an entrepreneurial spirit and no-holds-barred capitalism that now drives many aspects of modern life.

    But the likes of Facebook, Google and Apple are increasingly facing an uncomfortable truth: it is Europe’s culture of tougher oversight of companies, not America’s laissez-faire attitude, which could soon rule their industry as governments seek to combat fake news and prevent extremists from using the internet to fan the flames of hatred.

    While the U.S. has largely relied on market forces to regulate content in a country where free speech is revered, European officials have shown they are willing to act. Germany recently passed a law imposing fines of up to 50 million euros ($59 million) on websites that don’t remove hate speech within 24 hours. British […]
  • Michelle Yeoh: Weinstein a ‘bully,’ ‘not always honorable’

    HONG KONG (AP) — Actress Michelle Yeoh said Tuesday that she was aware of Harvey Weinstein’s reputation and would have unleashed “years of martial arts training” on the fallen Hollywood mogul had he ever tried to sexually harass her.

    In a statement to The Associated Press, the Malaysian star added to the chorus of female voices speaking out about the sexual harassment scandal surrounding Weinstein, who produced or distributed many of Yeoh’s films and TV shows.

    “Any man who treats women with such disrespect and contempt should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law,” said Yeoh, who stars in the new TV series “Star Trek: Discovery.” “I knew he was a bully and not always honorable. I wasn’t exposed to this side of him, otherwise he would have experienced […]
  • Airbus shares jump on Bombardier deal, despite legal woes

    PARIS (AP) — Airbus shares have risen thanks to an unusual no-cost deal with Canada’s Bombardier that has angered U.S. rival Boeing.

    Airbus CEO Tom Enders sought to assure investors Tuesday that the deal will improve the appeal for Bombardier’s C-Series passenger jets, which had struggled for customers. The deal announced late Monday gives Airbus a majority stake in the C-Series business.

    Enders said some C-Series planes will be built at a plant in Alabama, which could allow Bombardier to avoid heavy U.S. duties that had hurt the Canadian company.

    Airbus shares rose 2.8 percent in Tuesday morning Paris trading before falling back slightly to 79.20 euros. The deal comes as Airbus is facing growing legal troubles stemming from corruption investigations in Britain, France and Austria. Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
  • Trump getting more open to chatting in public

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Reporters were seated in the White House briefing room awaiting an appearance by press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Monday when a call went out over a loudspeaker to head to the Rose Garden. There was no time to lose: President Donald Trump wanted to talk. Again.

    Chaos briefly ensued as the press corps quickly repositioned itself along a rope line among the famous garden’s fall mums and foliage in front of a podium marked by the presidential seal.

    While Trump rarely holds formal, stand-alone news conferences, his freewheeling, last-minute Rose Garden scrum was the latest example of his penchant for talking to journalists on the fly. For nearly 40 minutes, the president held forth on everything from tax policy to the Russia investigations to Hillary Clinton. Trump reveled in the wild rumpus, gesturing […]
  • Trump, McConnell make a show of unity, despite tensions

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell have reaffirmed their alliance of necessity in a raucous Rose Garden news conference that also underscored their sharp differences. The garrulous president claimed they were longtime friends, now closer than ever; the reserved Senate Republican leader allowed that they share goals and speak often.

    It was a spectacle that mesmerized Washington, as Trump and McConnell appeared side by side for more than a half-hour, the president tossing off answers — sometimes mini-speeches — on all topics while McConnell, disciplined as always, delivered brief, scholarly explanations about the legislative process and the risks to their party of nominating candidates who can’t win.

    At various points, the president denounced the Russia-Trump campaign investigation, lauded himself for his record on judicial nominations, argued wrongly that “it took years for the Reagan administration to get taxes done,” and claimed that past presidents hadn’t necessarily contacted bereaved family members to mourn lost service members — before backtracking on that assertion when […]
  • Cochran’s illness shows risks to GOP leaders of aging Senate

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Top Republicans coping with a razor-thin majority as they try pushing a partisan agenda through the Senate are running smack into another complication — the sheer age and health issues of some senators.

    When the office of the ailing Sen. Thad Cochran announced Monday that it was the Mississippi Republican’s “intention to return to the Senate when his health permits,” it underscored the challenges of navigating a chamber that’s the second oldest ever. Cochran’s absence narrows the GOP’s margin for error on a pivotal budget vote this week, and the Appropriations Committee that he chairs hasn’t churned out any spending bills for next year since he was last in Washington in mid-September.

    Cochran isn’t the only GOP senator with health issues that have caused them to miss time this year in Washington. In July, the Senate delayed votes for a week on repealing President Barack Obama’s health care law after Sen. John McCain of Arizona, now 81, was diagnosed with brain cancer. And Georgia Sen. Johnny Isakson, […]
  • AP PHOTOS: Banners herald China’s Communist Party congress

    BEIJING (AP) — As China’s ruling Communist Party kicks off its twice-a-decade national congress this week, buildings, bridges and construction sites around Beijing have been festooned with banners heralding the party’s merits and its goal of realizing the “Chinese Dream” of greater prosperity.

    While the party routinely deploys television and the Internet to broadcast its message, it falls back on more traditional means for important occasions in hopes of boosting interest in political developments. The medium resonates especially with older Chinese who experienced the political campaigns of Mao Zedong’s Great Leap Forward and Cultural Revolution, which sought to mobilize the masses for economic and political ends.

    The modern banners feature golden yellow Chinese characters emblazoned on deep red backgrounds extolling the virtues of socialism and the future vision of the party’s leader, President Xi Jinping, who will be granted a second five-year term as general secretary at the congress, which starts Wednesday. Xi is cementing his status as China’s most powerful […]
  • Silver and MJ: 1 man’s NBA garbage is another man’s beauty

    NEW YORK (AP) — Adam Silver’s NBA has endless action and daily drama.

    That’s the offseason.

    Then the regular season starts, and some of the intrigue ends.

    Most predictions again see Golden State and Cleveland standing above their challengers for a fourth straight season, a pattern of dominance that even has Michael Jordan fearing a league where 28 teams are “garbage.”

    The NBA commissioner isn’t worried. Silver believes great teams are good for business, the way Jordan’s Bulls were in the 1990s and the way Stephen Curry’s and LeBron James’ teams are now. The commissioner says any of them can be beaten, too.

    “Sometimes it’s just the nature of things, but I’m confident that given some of the moves that our teams made in the offseason that there’s no doubt there are multiple teams gunning for the Warriors and for that matter gunning for the Cavaliers this season as well,” Silver said. Jordan now owns the Charlotte Hornets, […]
  • Global stocks mixed after Wall Street hits new highs

    BEIJING (AP) — Global stocks were mixed Tuesday after Wall Street hit new highs, as China prepared to open a key political meeting.

    KEEPING SCORE: In early trading, Germany’s DAX lost 0.1 percent to 12,987.49 while France’s CAC 40 was unchanged at 5,362.06 and London’s FTSE 100 held steady at 7,525.48. On Monday, the CAC 40 gained 0.2 percent and the DAX added 0.1 percent while the FTSE slipped 0.1 percent. On Wall Street, futures for the Dow Jones industrial average and the Standard & Poor’s 500 index were unchanged.

    ASIA’S DAY: The Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.2 percent to 3,372.04 while Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 gained 0.4 percent to 21,336.12. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng ended unchanged at 28,697.49 and Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 rose 0.7 percent to 5,889.60. Seoul’s Kospi advanced 0.2 percent to 2,484.37 and India’s Sensex was off 0.2 percent at 32,565.54. Benchmarks in […]
  • Australia rejects clean energy target for cheaper power

    CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — The Australian government on Tuesday rejected a plan to generate 42 percent of the country’s power from wind and solar energy, in a setback for compliance with climate change commitments

    Conservation groups have condemned the ruling conservative coalition for abandoning the renewable energy target for 2030 that was recommended this year by Australia’s chief scientist to comply with the Paris climate change agreement.

    The government instead plans to require power companies to provide a certain minimum amount of power from coal, gas and hydroelectric generation. Reliance on solar and wind generation would be limited according to the needs of each state for guarantee of supply. The policy change will end subsidies paid to wind and solar generators from […]
  • Feds mull tougher balloon pilot rules year after Texas crash

    AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A Texas lawmaker expects federal investigators to call for hot air balloon pilots to obtain medical certificates following a crash last year that killed 16 people.

    The July 2016 crash in a pasture near Austin, Texas, was the worst hot air balloon disaster in U.S. history.

    The National Transportation Safety Board could recommend new safety regulations at a hearing Tuesday in Washington. Medical experts have said the pilot of the Texas balloon should have been grounded because of medical ailments and drug use.

    Republican John Cyrier (SEER’-ee-yay) is a Texas lawmaker whose district includes the crash site. He thinks the NTSB will recommend that commercial hot air balloon pilots get the same medical screenings as those flying planes or helicopters. The Federal Aviation Administration must ultimately approve any new oversight. Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. […]
  • Self-driving cars could ease traffic, but increase sprawl

    BOSTON (AP) — A new study inspired by Boston’s early experiments with self-driving cars finds that the technology could ease congestion, but might also lead to more cars on the road and further encourage urban sprawl.

    The report, released Tuesday by the Boston Consulting Group and the World Economic Forum, is a mostly optimistic take on how autonomous vehicles could change cities.

    Three companies are now testing self-driving cars in Boston’s Seaport District. One of them, NuTonomy, has also partnered with ride-hailing service Lyft to research how passengers book and route a self-driving car.

    The consulting group’s study included a computer simulation of how downtown Boston traffic would change with the advent of self-driving taxis, buses and private cars. It would likely add vehicles to roads while simultaneously reducing traffic time. Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.