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U.S. demands immediate return of ex-Marine detained in Russia on spy charges

BRASILIA/MOSCOW (Reuters) - The United States is demanding the immediate return of a retired U.S. Marine detained by Russia on spying charges, and wants an explanation of why he was arrested, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday. Pompeo, in Brasilia for the inauguration of Brazil’s new president, said the U.S. government hoped to gain consular access to Paul Whelan within hours. “We’ve made clear to the Russians our expectation that we will learn more about the charges, come to understand what it is he’s been accused of and if the detention is not appropriate, we will demand his immediate return,” Pompeo said. In Moscow,…

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Trump says he expects meeting with North Korea’s Kim soon

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he had received a letter from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and expected to meet him again soon as part of the U.S. administration’s efforts to press Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons program. FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un shake hands after signing documents during a summit at the Capella Hotel on the resort island of Sentosa, Singapore June 12, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File PhotoSpeaking to reporters at the White House, Trump defended his negotiations with Kim and said he had never emphasized the speed of Pyongyang’s denuclearization.…

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Tesla shares drop on price cut, disappointing Model 3 deliveries

(Reuters) - Shares in Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) dropped as much as 9 percent on Wednesday on worries of future profitability, after the electric car maker cut U.S. prices for all its vehicles to offset lower green tax credits, while falling short on quarterly deliveries of its mass-market Model 3 sedan. FILE PHOTO: Rows of new Tesla Model 3 electric vehicles are seen in Richmond, California. Picture taken June 22, 2018. REUTERS/Stephen Lam/File PhotoAnalysts questioned whether the $2,000 price cut on all models signaled lowered demand in the United States, and ultimately whether the move would undermine nascent profitability at the Silicon Valley automaker, which has never posted…

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Tech We’re Using: Hurricanes. Shootings. Fires. Time for an Editor’s Emergency Kit.

How do New York Times journalists use technology in their jobs and in their personal lives? Julie Bloom, a deputy editor for national coverage for The Times, discussed the tech she’s using.As a deputy editor on the national desk, you oversee a lot of breaking news. What tech tools do you use to help? Hurricanes. Shootings. Wildfires. Elections and earthquakes. I didn’t think anything could be as crazy as the fall of 2017 in this country, but 2018 came pretty close.I primarily oversee California and parts of the West, but also handle a lot of our coverage of major breaking news. With my colleagues on the desk…

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GM sold 200,000 electric vehicles in U.S. by 2018, triggering tax-credit phaseout: source

FILE PHOTO - The GM logo is seen at the General Motors Assembly Plant in Ramos Arizpe, in Coahuila state, Mexico November 25, 2017. REUTERS/Daniel BecerrilWASHINGTON (Reuters) - General Motors Co (GM.N) hit 200,000 total electric vehicles sold in the United States by the end of 2018, reaching a threshold that triggers a phase-out of a $7,500 federal tax credit over the next 15 months, a person briefed on the matter said Wednesday. The largest U.S. automaker reached the figure in the fourth quarter of 2018, which means the credit will fall to $3,750 in April, and then drop to $1,875 in October for six months. The…

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Remember ‘China, China, China’: acting U.S. defense chief

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Acting U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan told civilian leaders of the U.S. military on Wednesday to focus on “China, China, China,” even as America fights militants in Syria and Afghanistan, a U.S. defense official said. The comments came during Shanahan’s first meeting with secretaries of the U.S. military branches since taking over for Jim Mattis, who left office on Monday after resigning as defense secretary over policy differences with President Donald Trump. The U.S. official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, did not elaborate on Shanahan’s views on China or what other guidance he gave during the meeting. Other officials have described Shanahan as…

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Trump says U.S. officials to make plea for wall in meeting with lawmakers

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a signing ceremony for H.R. 2, the "Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018" in Washington, U.S., December 20, 2018. REUTERS/Jim Young/File Photo/File PhotoWASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump said U.S. security officials will make a plea for a southern border wall in a White House meeting with lawmakers on Wednesday and that he was open to working on a path to legal status for so-called Dreamers. Trump’s demand for $5 billion for the border wall to be part of any spending measure triggered a partial federal government shutdown on Dec. 22. The White House invited Republican and Democratic congressional leaders…

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Stocks sag while bonds, yen rally to open new year

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Stocks around the world treaded water to ring in the new year while safe-haven assets including bonds, gold and the Japanese yen rallied on Wednesday as Chinese and European economic data bolstered concerns of a slowdown in global growth. In the United States, the benchmark S&P 500 stock index dropped as much as 1 percent after data showed Chinese factory activity contracting for the first time in more than two years, though the index pared losses later in the session. The data intensified fears that the global economy may be flagging, which contributed to U.S. stocks posting a loss in 2018 for the…

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Netflix poaches Activision’s Neumann for CFO role

The Netflix logo is seen on their office in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, U.S. July 16, 2018. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson(Reuters) - Netflix Inc (NFLX.O) said on Wednesday it had appointed media finance veteran Spencer Neumann from Activision Blizzard (ATVI.O) as its chief financial officer. Reuters reported on Monday citing a source that the media streaming company had poached Neumann from the video game publisher. Netflix, which is making more of its own films and shows, would like its next CFO to be based in Los Angeles with a focus on production finance, the source told Reuters. Neumann has served in a variety of finance roles, including at Walt…

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Six killed in train crash on bridge linking Denmark’s two main islands

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Six people were killed when a passenger train hit a freight trailer that had blown off a wagon coming the other way on a bridge linking Denmark’s two main islands on Wednesday, officials said. The train with 131 passengers on board was heading towards the capital, Copenhagen, when it hit the trailer. Apart from the dead, 16 people were injured but were not in critical condition, police said. The accident happened shortly before 7.35 a.m. (0635 GMT) during a severe storm that hampered the rescue operation on the 18-km (11-mile) Great Belt Bridge between Zealand and Funen, Denmark’s two major islands. “This morning’s tragic…

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