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Venezuelans rush to benefit from rare reverse in currency rate trend

CARACAS (Reuters) - It is an unusual sight for Caracas: lines are forming outside currency exchange houses that had been largely deserted since the Venezuelan government introduced controls 16 years ago. People wait in line outside of a currency exchange house in Caracas, Venezuela, February 5, 2019. REUTERS/Andres Martinez CasaresThat is because the official exchange rate for remittances from the growing diaspora abroad is now more attractive than the black market rate, a reversal of a long-standing dynamic. The government is loosening controls in a bid to capture more dollars at a time when its hard currency income is under pressure from U.S. sanctions imposed to help…

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U.S. lawmakers target China’s ZTE with sanctions bill

FILE PHOTO - The logo of China's ZTE Corp is seen on the building of ZTE Beijing research and development center in Beijing, China June 13, 2018. REUTERS/Jason LeeWASHINGTON (Reuters) - A bipartisan group of senators introduced a bill on Tuesday that would reimpose sanctions on ZTE Corp if the Chinese telecommunications firm fails to live up to U.S. laws and an agreement with the Trump administration. U.S. President Donald Trump angered many members of Congress, including some of his fellow Republicans, in July 2018 when he decided to lift a ban on U.S. companies selling to ZTE, allowing the Chinese company to resume business. ZTE broke…

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Bipartisan group of lawmakers introduces bill to fight high drug prices

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) smiles as he discusses the confirmation vote for U.S. Supreme Court nominee judge Brett Kavanaugh as he exits the Senate floor on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., October 5, 2018. REUTERS/Yuri GripasWASHINGTON (Reuters) - A bipartisan group of U.S. senators re-introduced a bill on Tuesday aimed at helping generic drug companies bring out a cheaper version of pharmaceuticals. Makers of branded drugs have long been accused of refusing to provide samples of drugs on a government list of restricted medicines. Without the samples, generic competitors cannot prove their medicines are as safe and effective as the…

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Senate passes pro-Israel bill, measure also rebukes Trump

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate passed a Mideast policy bill on Tuesday including a measure that would allow states to penalize businesses that take part in boycotts of Israel and an amendment that breaks with President Donald Trump by opposing any plans for an abrupt withdrawal of troops from Syria. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) speaks to the media after a Senate Republican Caucus lunch on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., February 5, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua RobertsThe Senate backed the Strengthening America’s Security in the Middle East Act by a lopsided 77-23 on Tuesday, hours before Trump was to deliver his annual State of the Union…

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Red carpet event for Liam Neeson movie scrapped after revenge remarks

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The New York celebrity red carpet event on Tuesday for actor Liam Neeson’s new film “Cold Pursuit” has been canceled in the wake of an interview in which Neeson said he wanted to kill a black man in response to the rape of a friend who said her attacker was black. FILE PHOTO: Irish actor Liam Neeson poses at the premiere of his film "Non-Stop" in Los Angeles February 24, 2014. REUTERS/Fred Prouser/File PhotoMovie studio Lionsgate declined to comment but a source familiar with the matter said that a red carpet, where movie stars pose for photos and speak with reporters, would be…

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ABC and parks boost Disney profit above forecasts

(Reuters) - Walt Disney Co reported quarterly earnings on Tuesday that handily topped Wall Street estimates thanks to a booming theme park business and growth at its ABC broadcast network as the company invests in a digital media future. FILE PHOTO - The entrance to Walt Disney studios is seen in Burbank, California, U.S. August 6, 2018. REUTERS/Lucy NicholsonShares of Disney rose 1.8 percent to $114.70 in after-hours trading. Disney, whose media properties include ESPN and the Disney Channels along with ABC, is trying to transform into a digital entertainment company to compete with Netflix Inc and other online video outlets that deliver programming directly to customers.…

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Making New Drugs With a Dose of Artificial Intelligence

SAN FRANCISCO — You can think of it as a World Cup of biochemical research.Every two years, hundreds of scientists enter a global competition. Tackling a biological puzzle they call “the protein folding problem,” they try to predict the three-dimensional shape of proteins in the human body. No one knows how to solve the problem. Even the winners only chip away at it. But a solution could streamline the way scientists create new medicines and fight disease.Mohammed AlQuraishi, a biologist who has dedicated his career to this kind of research, flew in early December to Cancun, Mexico, where academics were gathering to discuss the results of the…

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Former Costa Rican president Oscar Arias accused of sexual assault: report

FILE PHOTO: Oscar Arias, President of the Arias Foundation, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and former president of Costa Rica, attends the Arms Trade Treaty meeting in Cancun August 24, 2015. REUTERS/Victor Ruiz Garcia/File PhotoSAN JOSE (Reuters) - A doctor has filed a criminal complaint of sexual assault against Nobel Peace Prize winner and former Costa Rican president Oscar Arias, the New York Times reported on Tuesday, an allegation that Arias categorically denied. The accuser said that Arias assaulted her at his home in Costa Rican capital San Jose in 2014, according to The New York Times and reports in local media. The accuser’s name was published in…

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Sandusky to be resentenced on child sex conviction

Convicted child molester Jerry Sandusky (C), a former assistant football coach at Penn State University, arrives at the Centre County Courthouse in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania October 29, 2015. REUTERS/Pat Little/File PhotoHARRISBURG, Pa. (Reuters) - A Pennsylvania court on Friday ordered former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky to be resentenced for his child sex abuse conviction, saying the mandatory minimum sentence of 30-60 years had become illegal since the trial judge imposed it. In its ruling on Friday, the Pennsylvania Superior Court denied Sandusky, now 75, a new trial on charges of raping boys left in his care, even as it said a resentencing was warranted. Al Lindsay,…

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Oprah interview fuels talk of O’Rourke’s presidential ambitions

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Beto O’Rourke, the Democratic former Texas congressman whose unsuccessful campaign to unseat Republican U.S. Senator Ted Cruz last year set fundraising records and generated buzz about a 2020 presidential bid, re-enters the political spotlight on Tuesday with a televised interview with Oprah Winfrey. Democratic Texas U.S. Senate candidate Rep. Beto O'Rourke concedes to Senator Ted Cruz at his midterm election night party in El Paso, Texas, U.S., November 6, 2018. REUTERS/Mike SegarThe appearance at “Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations from Times Square” in New York may intensify speculation about O’Rourke’s political plans, whether or not he announces during the taping a decision on seeking his…

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