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U.S. lawmakers grill bank CEOs on social issues

(Reuters) - Chief executives of some of the largest U.S. banks faced off with the House Financial Services committee for the first time since the financial crisis on Wednesday armed with the healthy balance sheets, but lawmakers grilled executives more on social issues than business fundamentals. CEOs from JPMorgan Chase & Co, Bank of America Corp, Citigroup Inc, Goldman Sachs Group Inc, Morgan Stanley, State Street Corp and Bank of New York Mellon Corp walked into the hearing room ready to argue Wall Street has reformed the practices that fueled the 2007-2009 crisis and stress the contribution banks make to the broader economy. But the tone, questions…

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UK PM May not close to breaking Brexit deadlock with opposition: Labour’s McDonnell

FILE PHOTO - Britain's Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer John McDonnell speaks to the media, after the British parliament rejected Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit deal, in London, Britain, January 16, 2019. REUTERS/Clodagh KilcoyneLONDON (Reuters) - Talks between British Prime Minister Theresa May’s government and the opposition Labour Party are not close to breaking the Brexit deadlock, Labour’s finance spokesman John McDonnell said on Wednesday. “There is the potential of a deal, but so far, we’ve still got some fundamental disagreements about the nature of our future relationship with Europe,” he told ITV’s Peston television program. Reporting by Alistair Smout, editing by Elizabeth PiperOur Standards:The Thomson Reuters…

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U.S. wants U.N. to revoke credentials of Maduro’s government

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - U.S. Vice President Mike Pence called on the United Nations on Wednesday to revoke the U.N. credentials of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s government and recognize opposition leader Juan Guaido as the country’s legitimate leader. U.S. Vice President Mike Pence speaks to reporters outside the United Nations Security Council at U.N. headquarters in New York, U.S., April 10, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermidHe said the United States had drafted a U.N. resolution and called on all states to support it. “The time has come for the United Nations to recognize interim president Juan Guaido as the legitimate president of Venezuela and seat his representative in this…

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Amazon and Microsoft Are 2 Finalists for $10 Billion Pentagon Contract

The Pentagon said Wednesday that Amazon and Microsoft were the final candidates for a hotly contested $10 billion contract to bring modern cloud computing to the Defense Department.IBM and Oracle had also bid for the project, known as the joint enterprise defense infrastructure, or JEDI. But the Defense Department concluded that they did not meet the minimum requirements for the program.A Pentagon spokeswoman, Elissa Smith, also said an Amazon employee who had worked on JEDI during a stint at the Defense Department had “no adverse impact on the integrity of the acquisition process.” The department had been investigating a potential conflict in response to a lawsuit brought…

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Over 4,200 Amazon Workers Push for Climate Change Action, Including Cutting Some Ties to Big Oil

SEATTLE — Employees at big tech companies have pushed back against their employers for working with the military and law enforcement offices, and demanded better treatment of women and minorities.Now, thousands of them are also taking on climate change.This week, more than 4,200 Amazon employees called on the company to rethink how it addresses and contributes to a warming planet. The action is the largest employee-driven movement on climate change to take place in the influential tech industry.The workers say the company needs to make firm commitments to reduce its carbon footprint across its vast operations, not make piecemeal or vague announcements. And they say that Amazon…

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Falcon Heavy, SpaceX’s Giant Rocket, to Launch With Large Satellite

[embedded content]The launch was only a test flight, and the rocket was not carrying anything for a paying customer. Instead, a spacesuit-wearing mannequin, nicknamed Starman, sat in the driver’s seat of a red Tesla Roadster that belonged to Elon Musk, the founder and chief executive of SpaceX. Video broadcast from orbit turned into the longest car commercial ever.[embedded content]On Wednesday, the Falcon Heavy is finally set to make its second launch. This time, the payload is mundane and useful: Arabsat-6A, a Saudi Arabian communications satellite which will relay television, internet and mobile phone signals to the Middle East, Africa and Europe.[Sign up to get reminders for space…

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Uber Is Said to Aim for I.P.O. Valuation of Up to $100 Billion

Uber gave the first sign on Wednesday of how big its initial offering might be, telling some investors that its stock sale might value it at up to $100 billion, people briefed on the matter said.The number, which is below a $120 billion valuation that had been floated by investment bankers, highlights the size of the ride-hailing giant as it prepares to embark its market debut, the biggest in recent years. Its shares are expected to begin trading on the public markets next month.The revelation also follows the I.P.O. last month of Uber’s main North American competitor, Lyft, whose shares have dropped more than 15 percent from…

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EU wrangles over new Brexit delay sought by May

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union leaders were poised to grant Prime Minister Theresa May a second delay to Britain’s fraught exit at an emergency summit on Wednesday, after arguing over how long and on what terms. French President Emmanuel Macron was pushing to withhold any commitment to extend Friday’s deadline much beyond elections to the European Parliament on May 23-26 unless May binds herself, and any potentially more anti-EU successor, not to disrupt the workings of Brussels. “Nothing can be taken for granted,” Macron warned, voicing frustration with a lack of clarity from London nearly three years after Britons voted to leave the bloc. Three weeks ago,…

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Trump congratulates Israel’s Netanyahu on election victory

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump phoned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday to congratulate him on his re-election, and Netanyahu said he thanked his ally for “tremendous support for Israel.” FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump shakes hands with Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as they pose on the West Wing colonnade in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, U.S., March 25, 2019. REUTERS/Leah Millis/File PhotoNetanyahu tweeted that Trump had called him from Air Force One. The president was on a flight to Texas. Netanyahu secured a clear path to re-election on Wednesday, and a record fifth term in office, with…

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Israel’s Netanyahu wins re-election, main challenger concedes defeat

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu secured a clear path to re-election on Wednesday, with religious-rightist parties set to hand him a parliamentary majority and his main challenger conceding defeat. With more than 99 percent of votes counted - ballots cast by soldiers at military bases will be tallied over the next two days - Netanyahu’s conservative Likud party looked likely to muster enough support to control 65 of the Knesset’s 120 seats and be named to head the next coalition government. It would be Netanyahu’s record fifth term as premier. In a televised statement, Yair Lapid, number two in the centrist Blue and White…

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