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China’s services activity picks up in December: official PMI

FILE PHOTO: An employee arranges bobbins at a textile plant in Haian county, Jiangsu province, China November 28, 2017. China Daily/via REUTERS/File Photo BEIJING (Reuters) - Growth in China’s services industry picked up in December after a two-month slowdown, an official survey showed, offering some respite for the slowing economy though the outlook remains gloomy as domestic and external risks to growth rise. The official non-manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) released on Monday rose to 53.8 from 53.4 in November, well above the 50-point mark that separates growth from contraction. The services sector accounts for more than half of China’s economy, with rising wages giving Chinese consumers…

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Tokyo court says extends detention of Nissan’s Ghosn until January 11

TOKYO (Reuters) - The Tokyo District Court said on Monday it has extended the detention of ousted Nissan Motor Co chairman Carlos Ghosn by 10 days until Jan. 11. FILE PHOTO: Carlos Ghosn, Chairman and CEO of the Renault-Nissan Alliance, reacts during a news conference in Paris, France, September 15, 2017. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer/File PhotoGhosn, accused of aggravated breach of trust, is facing allegations of making the car maker shoulder 1.85 billion yen ($16.8 million) in personal investment losses. The latest extension will see Ghosn remain in Tokyo’s main detention center, where he has been confined since his first arrest on Nov. 19 on allegations of financial misconduct.…

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Facebook Data Scandals Stoke Criticism That a Privacy Watchdog Too Rarely Bites

Last spring, soon after Facebook acknowledged that the data of tens of millions of its users had improperly been obtained by the political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica, a top enforcement official at the Federal Trade Commission drafted a memo about the prospect of disciplining the social network.Lawmakers, consumer advocates and even former commission officials were clamoring for tough action against Facebook, arguing that it had violated an earlier F.T.C. consent decree barring it from misleading users about how their information was shared.But the enforcement official, James A. Kohm, took a different view. In a previously undisclosed memo in March, Mr. Kohm — echoing Facebook’s own argument —…

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North Korea’s Kim sent message to Trump on nuclear talks: Chosun Ilbo

SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has sent a “conciliatory message” to U.S. President Donald Trump amid stalled nuclear negotiations, South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo newspaper reported on Monday. FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un walk after lunch at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore June 12, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File PhotoKim’s “letter-like” message to Trump was delivered on Friday through an unspecified channel, the newspaper reported, citing an unnamed diplomatic source. The report did not include details about the message but said it related to U.S.-North Korea talks, and was conciliatory in tone. On Sunday, the…

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Brazil moving its embassy to Jerusalem matter of ‘when, not if’: Netanyahu

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday that Brazil’s President-elect Jair Bolsonaro told him that it was a matter of “when, not if” he moves his country’s embassy in Israel to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv. The far-right Bolsonaro, who takes office on Tuesday and is hosting Netanyahu and the leaders of other countries for his inauguration, has said he would like to follow the lead of U.S. President Donald Trump and move the embassy. But he has come under intense pressure from Brazil’s powerful agriculture sector not to do so, as it could hurt Brazilian exports to Arab nations. Despite Netanyahu’s…

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Lion kills young worker at North Carolina wildlife sanctuary

(Reuters) - A lion at a North Carolina private wildlife sanctuary fatally mauled a 22-year-old worker on Sunday before being shot and killed by local law enforcement, officials said. The sheriff’s office in Caswell County, North Carolina, said Alexandra Black, who started her job as an intern at the facility two weeks ago, was part of a team doing routine cleaning of an enclosure when she was attacked, local media reported. One of several lions at the sanctuary, the Conservators Center, “somehow left a locked space and entered the space the humans were in and quickly killed one person,” the Center said in an emailed statement. “It…

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Wall Street may gain Monday but unlikely to mute December losses

BOSTON (Reuters) - Investors could see one last boost to Wall Street stocks in the final trading session of the year on Monday, but they do not expect gains to offset losses in the worst December since the 1930s. Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., December 28, 2018. REUTERS/Jeenah Moon“I think there’s a chance that the market could rally into the end of the year,” said Jake Dollarhide, chief executive officer of Longbow Asset Management in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Potential for positive news on a trade dispute with China and anticipation of coming remarks from Federal Reserve Chairman…

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Republican Senator Graham says Trump receptive to shutdown deal idea

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham said on Sunday he was optimistic that Republicans, Democrats and President Donald Trump could reach a deal to end a government shutdown that includes border wall funding and legal status for some illegal immigrants. Graham, a Republican, told reporters after meeting Trump for lunch at the White House that Trump was receptive to Graham’s idea of a deal that might provide work permits to so-called Dreamers, people brought illegally to the United States as children, in exchange for money for physical border barriers. “The president was upbeat, he was in a very good mood, and I think he’s receptive to…

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Putin tells Trump that Moscow is open for dialogue

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin told his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump in a New Year letter on Sunday that Moscow was ready for dialogue on a “wide-ranging agenda”, the Kremlin said following a series of failed attempts to hold a new summit. At the end of November, Trump abruptly canceled a planned meeting with Putin on the sidelines of a G20 summit in Argentina, citing tensions about Russian forces opening fire on Ukrainian navy boats and then seizing them. Trump and Putin also failed to hold a full-fledged meeting in Paris on the sidelines of the centenary commemoration of the Armistice. The two leaders held…

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Bangladesh PM Hasina scores big election win, opposition claims vote rigged

DHAKA (Reuters) - Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s alliance won Bangladesh’s election with a thumping majority, the country’s Election Commission said early on Monday, giving her a third straight term following a vote that the opposition rejected as rigged. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina gestures after casting her vote in the morning during the general election in Dhaka, Bangladesh, December 30, 2018. Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha/Handout via REUTERS The alliance dominated by Hasina’s Awami League, seen as close to regional power India, won 287 of the 298 seats for which results have been declared for the 300-strong parliament, the commission said. The main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), which boycotted…

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