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The Shift: A Better Way to Break Up Big Tech

AUSTIN, Tex. — Among the techies who attended the annual South by Southwest Interactive conference the past few days, the hottest topic of conversation — besides the swarms of drunken idiots careening around Austin on rented electric scooters — was Senator Elizabeth Warren’s ground-shaking proposal to break up large tech companies like Amazon, Google and Facebook.In her proposal, which she released on the eve of the conference, Ms. Warren argued that these companies have abused their power and harmed competition in two big ways.The first is by offering their own products on platforms they control: Amazon giving preferential treatment to its house brands, or Apple promoting its…

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Wall Street rises; Boeing up despite U.S. grounding of 737 MAX jets

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks rose on Wednesday, led by gains in healthcare shares, and Boeing edged upward even as the United States joined other nations in grounding the company’s 737 MAX jets. Boeing Co shares ended up 0.5 percent at $377.14, recovering from a more than 3 percent fall in the afternoon, when the United States announced it was grounding Boeing’s 737 MAX jets following Sunday’s fatal crash in Ethiopia. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration cited new satellite data and evidence from the scene of Sunday’s crash, the second disaster involving the 737 MAX in less than five months. Boeing shares are still down about…

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British lawmakers defy May to reject no-deal Brexit, to vote on three-month delay

LONDON (Reuters) - British lawmakers on Wednesday rejected leaving the European Union without a deal in any scenario, paving the way for a vote to seek to delay Brexit until at least the end of June. Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May speaks in Parliament, following the vote on Brexit in London, Britain, March 13, 2019, in this screen grab taken from video. Reuters TV via REUTERSAfter a day of high drama, lawmakers voted by 321 to 278 in favor of a motion that ruled out a potentially disorderly ‘no-deal’ Brexit under any circumstances. It went further than the government’s own planned motion, which noted that parliament did…

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U.S. proposes stricter curbs on e-cigarette sales

(Reuters) - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Wednesday released formal plans to curb the sale of flavored e-cigarettes and slow a surge in teenage use of the popular nicotine devices. FILE PHOTO: A man holds a Juul e-cigarette as he uses his phone in New York City, U.S., September 13, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid /File PhotoFDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, who has called teenage use an “epidemic,” issued the draft guidelines during his final weeks as head of the agency, after a surprise resignation announcement last week. The proposal would allow traditional retailers such as convenience stores to sell tobacco, mint and menthol e-cigarettes, which the…

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Camembert causes stink in French parliament in row over quality rules

PARIS (Reuters) - A row over changes to a quality label for camembert cheese reached the French parliament on Wednesday as supporters of a traditional raw-milk recipe distributed samples of the creamy, odorous speciality to lawmakers. A box of a non-pasteurized French Camembert cheese with the pictures of French deputy Richard Ramos and Veronique Richez-Lerouge, President of Fromages de Terroirs, is seen at the National Assembly in Paris, France, March 13, 2019. REUTERS/Gonzalo FuentesThe cheese, which takes its name from a village in Normandy and dates back to the 18th century, is caught in a tussle between lovers of age-old cheesemaking methods based on raw milk and…

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Political incivility, racial hostility roil U.S. high schools, study finds

(Reuters) - Political grudges and racial animosity have divided students at U.S. high schools and President Donald Trump has exacerbated the problem with his rhetoric, a study released on Wednesday showed. People listen in the crowd as U.S. President Donald Trump holds a Make America Great Again rally in Olentangy Orange High School in Lewis Center, Ohio, U.S., August 4, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis Researchers at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) surveyed 505 high school principals for the study. More than 60 percent of them reported some of their students had made derogatory remarks about immigrants. More broadly, more than 80 percent of principals said…

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Spotify files EU antitrust complaint against Apple

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Spotify has filed a complaint with EU antitrust regulators against Apple, saying the iPhone maker unfairly limits rivals to its own Apple Music streaming service. Spotify, which launched a year after the 2007 launch of the iPhone, said on Wednesday that Apple’s control of its App store deprived consumers of choice and rival providers of audio streaming services to the benefit of Apple Music, which began in 2015. Central to Spotify’s complaint, filed to the European Commission on Monday, is what it says is a 30 percent fee Apple charges content-based service providers to use Apple’s in-app purchase system (IAP). Horacio Gutierrez, Spotify’s general…

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Trump says he is in no rush to complete China trade deal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he was in no rush to complete a trade pact with China and insisted that any deal include protection for intellectual property, a major sticking point between the two sides during months of negotiations. FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump participates in an American Workforce Policy Advisory Board meeting in the White House State Dining Room in Washington, U.S., March 6, 2019. REUTERS/Leah MillisTrump and Chinese President Xi Jinping had been expected to hold a summit at the president’s Mar-a-Lago property in Florida later this month, but no date has been set for a meeting and no…

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A NASA Journey to the Moon May Need to Find Another Rocket or Two

Struggling to get its new giant rocket ready in time for a scheduled launch next year, NASA might just leave it on the ground and turn to commercial alternatives.“NASA has a history of not meeting launch dates,” said Jim Bridenstine, NASA’s administrator, at a Senate committee hearing on Wednesday, “and I’m trying to change that.”NASA plans to send its Orion capsule, designed to carry astronauts on deep space missions, on a crewless test trip around the moon next year. But the schedule for completing the rocket that is to carry Orion — known as the Space Launch System — has slipped repeatedly despite NASA’s spending more than…

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Spotify Accuses Apple of Anticompetitive Practices in Europe

LONDON — Apple’s powerful role as gatekeeper of the App Store has long frustrated the makers of apps who must abide by its rules or risk losing access to hundreds of millions of customers who own Apple devices.Now one of Apple’s biggest rivals, the music streaming service Spotify, says Apple is abusing its position and violating European antitrust laws.In an aggressive attempt to undercut Apple’s power, Spotify said on Wednesday that it had filed a complaint with European regulators, accusing Apple of using its App Store to squash companies that compete with its services, including Apple Music.Spotify’s complaint comes at perilous moment for the world’s biggest tech…

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