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Cryptocurrencies need monitoring, not banning: Italy's Visco

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Financial policymakers gathering in Buenos Aires on Tuesday agreed cryptocurrencies posed some risks but should not be banned altogether, the head of Italy's central bank said on Tuesday after the meeting.


Exclusive: Salesforce in advanced talks to buy MuleSoft - sources

(Reuters) - Inc is in advanced discussions to acquire U.S. software maker MuleSoft Inc , people familiar with the matter told Reuters on Tuesday, as it looks to expand its offerings beyond customer relationship management software.


BRIEF-Acasta Announces Court Hearing Date For Arrangement In Connection With Sale Of Stellwagen Business Unit



UPDATE 1-Zambia uncovers $8 bln tax scam at prominent mining firm

LUSAKA, March 20 (Reuters) - Zambia's tax collection agency said on Tuesday it had uncovered an five-year, $8 billion tax scam at an unspecified "prominent mining company".


BRIEF-Black Box To Work On Engineering Program For U.S. Army Southwest Asia Outside Plant (SWA-OSP)



Egypt court orders suspension of Uber, Careem services in victory for taxis: sources

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt suspended the licenses of ride-hailing companies Uber and Careem on Tuesday, in a court ruling after taxi drivers sought to shut down the two firms' operations in the country, judicial sources said.

GOP senator blocks top spy lawyer's confirmation

Last week, quietly and without fanfare, Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley blocked President Donald Trump's nominee to be the intelligence community's top lawyer, the General Counsel of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Jason Klitenic.


Expedia's Orbitz says 880,000 payment cards hit in breach

(Reuters) - Orbitz, a subsidiary of online travel agency Expedia Inc , said on Tuesday that hackers may have accessed personal information from about 880,000 payment cards.

United States Politics and Government

F.T.C. Investigating Facebook in Use of Personal Data by Firm Tied to Trump

The Federal Trade Commission is examining whether Facebook violated a 2011 agreement with the agency on data privacy, a person with knowledge of the inquiry said.


BlackBerry shares rise after software security pact with Microsoft

(Reuters) - BlackBerry Ltd's shares rose 4 percent in early trading on Tuesday after the company said it would provide security for one-time rival Microsoft Corp's flagship Office apps.


United Airlines pauses cargo-hold pet transport after missteps

NEW YORK (Reuters) - United Airlines is halting the shipment of pets in airplane cargo holds while it studies improvements, the carrier said on Tuesday, after the death of a puppy and mistakes in handling other dogs last week sparked negative publicity.


Egypt court orders suspension of Uber, Careem licences: judicial sources

CAIRO (Reuters) - An Egyptian court on Tuesday ordered the suspension of licences for ride-hailing companies Uber and Careem pending a lawsuit calling for them to halt services in Egypt, judicial sources said.


Former Israeli spy chief and team of elite hackers form cybersecurity firm

TEL AVIV (Reuters) - Retired Mossad chief Tamir Pardo said he has assembled a team of more than 30 hackers from Israel's security and intelligence services into a startup called XM Cyber that seeks to keep companies' networks safe by imitating how real hackers work.


Elon Musk in talks with Israeli AI vision firm Cortica: report

TEL AVIV (Reuters) - Silicon Valley billionaire Elon Musk was in Israel to discuss a collaboration between electric car company Tesla Inc and Tel Aviv-based artificial intelligence firm Cortica, the Globes financial news website said on Tuesday.

DeVos, Elizabeth (1958- )

As DeVos Faces Congress, Officials Say She Hid Plans to Overhaul Department

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos will defend her agency’s budget before a House panel, including a reorganization plan that staff members say she tried to withhold from Congress.


China electric car execs call for policy support, end to protectionism

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Delegates to China's annual meeting of parliament have urged the state to provide more policy clarity for the electric car industry and overhaul a local government subsidy program they say has distorted the market.


South Korea to send K-pop singers to Pyongyang in late March

SEOUL (Reuters) - A group of South Korea's K-pop singers will visit Pyongyang from March 31, the South said on Tuesday, a reciprocal visit after North Korea sent performers to the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.

Significant damage in the Southeast from severe storms

Severe storms smacked the Southeast Monday, bringing possible tornadoes, powerful winds and hailstones the size of baseballs.

United States Defense and Military Forces

U.S. and South Korea to Resume Joint Military Exercises

On April 1, the countries will resume the annual drills that they suspended during the Olympics and Paralympics, the Pentagon announced Monday.


Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom asks for Obama to appear in NZ damages case

WELLINGTON (Reuters) - Internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom said on Tuesday he has filed an application for former U.S. President Barack Obama to appear in court in relation to a damages claim over his defunct Megaupload streaming website while Obama visits New Zealand this week.


UPDATE 2-CEFC China's chairman to step down; CITIC in talks to buy stake in unit

* Ye probed for alleged economic crimes by Chinese authorities


CITIC Group in talks for up to 49 pct stake in CEFC unit - CEFC exec

BEIJING, March 20 (Reuters) - CEFC China Energy is in talks with China's state-run CITIC Group for CITIC to take a maximum 49 percent stake in the private conglomerate's European unit, a CEFC executive briefed on the matter told Reuters on Tuesday.


U.S.-South Korea military exercises to resume next month

SEOUL/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States and South Korea will resume joint military drills next month, Seoul and Washington said on Tuesday, exercises that will go ahead despite U.S. President Donald Trump's planned meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.


BlackBerry must face revived U.S. lawsuit over BlackBerry 10

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A U.S. judge on Monday rejected BlackBerry Ltd's request to dismiss a lawsuit claiming it inflated its stock price and defrauded shareholders by painting a misleadingly positive picture of sales prospects for its BlackBerry 10 smartphones.


U.S.-South Korea military exercises to start next month

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States and South Korea have agreed to resume joint military drills early next month, the Pentagon said, a move that was expected despite U.S. President Donald Trump's planned meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

US and South Korea announce start date for annual military exercises

The US said Monday that its major "Foal Eagle and Key Resolve" annual military exercises with South Korea will start April 1, an announcement that comes as President Donald Trump readies for a potential major summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, which could happen as early as May.

As storms pummel Southeast, New England braces for another nor'easter

It doesn't look like winter is giving up easily.


GRAINS-Wheat prices firm after deep losses, rains aid drought-hit US winter crop

SINGAPORE, March 20 (Reuters) - Chicago wheat prices rose on Tuesday, clawing back some ground from their biggest three-day decline since 2013 after rains brought relief to the parched U.S. winter wheat crop in the southern Plains. Corn ticked higher to end a four-session losing streak, while soybeans edged up following deep losses on Monday. FUNDAMENTALS * The Chicago Board of Trade most-active wheat contract had risen 0.9 percent to $4.54-3/4 a bushel by 0058 GMT. The ma


UPDATE 1-Kroger's Fred Meyer plans to phase out firearms business

March 19 (Reuters) - Kroger Co's superstore chain Fred Meyer said it would exit its firearms business, two weeks after deciding to stop selling guns and ammunition to those under the age of 21.


Privacy issues emerge as major business risk for Facebook

SAN FRANCISCO/ FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Facebook faces substantial business risks from new European Union privacy rules set to take effect in May, a looming reality that came into stark relief over the weekend with revelations that a controversial political consulting firm had improperly obtained personal data on 50 million Facebook users.


United Airlines image bruised after latest round of PR fiascos

NEW YORK (Reuters) - United Airlines is struggling to repair its badly bruised public image after the death of a puppy onboard one of its flights reignited public debate about the airline's customer service failures.


'Socially responsible' investors reassess Facebook ownership

NEW YORK (Reuters) - With European and U.S. lawmakers calling for investigations into reports that Facebook user data was accessed by UK based consultancy Cambridge Analytica to help President Donald Trump win the 2016 election, investors are asking even more questions about the social media company's operations.


Puerto Rico power utility hacked but customer data not at risk

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Puerto Rico's bankrupt power utility, PREPA, said on Monday it had been hacked over the weekend, but customer information was not compromised.


BRIEF-Sanchez Midstream Partners Says Co Issued 210,978 Common Units To SP Holdings

* SANCHEZ MIDSTREAM PARTNERS LP - ‍ON MARCH 15, 2018, CO ISSUED 210,978 COMMON UNITS TO SP HOLDINGS LLC - SEC FILING​ Source text: ( Further company coverage:

Nix, Alexander

Cambridge Analytica, Trump-Tied Political Firm, Offered to Entrap Politicians

A British TV station sent a reporter to pose as a prospective client, and secretly filmed Cambridge Analytica’s chief executive offering to engage in dirty tricks.


Kroger's Fred Meyer plans to phase out firearms business

(Reuters) - Kroger Co's Fred Meyer said it would exit its firearms business, two weeks after deciding to stop selling guns and ammunition to buyers under the age of 21.


G20 leaders to hold fire on cryptocurrencies amid discord: sources

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - The world's financial leaders gathering in Argentina on Monday are likely to stop short of any specific action aimed at regulating cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, amid discord over the approach, sources at the summit told Reuters.


California regulator proposes to regulate Uber like tour buses, limos

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A California regulator issued a proposed decision on Monday classifying Uber Technologies Inc [UBER.UL] as the same type of transportation as limousines and tour buses, a finding that could change how the ride-hailing company is regulated in its home state.


Google courts game developers with expanded services lineup

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Alphabet Inc's Google on Monday unveiled new tools for game developers, days after opening Maps to create location-based online games, challenging technology rivals including Inc in the bid for a bigger slice of the lucrative industry.

Ex-employee: Firm creates 'web of disinformation'

After a report showed Cambridge Analytica, a data firm with ties to the Trump campaign, used private information from 50 million Facebook users, a whistleblower is explaining how the data was used.


South Africa's Tiger Brands closes Pretoria plant after listeria found

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Tiger Brands has closed its factory in Pretoria where listeria was detected as South Africa faces the worst outbreak of the disease, which has killed 180 people since January 2017.

Man banned from Facebook for giving data to firm that worked for Trump's campaign is willing to speak to FBI

Trump has a unique opportunity to help Yemen

The Middle East today is poised between multiple wars fueling extremism and a burgeoning younger generation looking for a new start.

Oscar Munoz's tough ride as United CEO


Global regulators to work on test bed for fintechs

LONDON (Reuters) - Regulators from across the world start work this week on a blueprint for a global "sandbox" or testing bed for new financial technology applications, Britain's Financial Conduct Authority said on Monday.


UK government to study cryptocurrency risks in more detail

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's government and regulators will look in detail at the potential risks from cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, British junior finance minister John Glen said on Monday.


SoftBank could relist British chip designer ARM: FT

(Reuters) - SoftBank Group Corp could relist ARM Holdings, the British chip designer it bought two years ago, according to a senior executive at the Japanese conglomerate, the Financial Times reported on Monday.


More shoppers want customer service from gadgets over humans: study

(Reuters) - Most buyers prefer to be left alone as they shop in store for items like apparel and prefer to use in-store technology for customer service over personalized attention from store employees, according to a new study.


Alibaba doubles Lazada investment to $4 billion in aggressive Southeast Asian expansion

BEIJING/SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Alibaba Group Holding Ltd said it will invest an extra $2 billion in Southeast Asian e-commerce firm Lazada Group and tapped a top executive to run the business, as it takes on rivals such as tech titan Amazon in an aggressive expansion in the region.


Ikea rival Home24 trims losses as it eyes listing​

BERLIN (Reuters) - German online retailer Home24, which wants to challenge IKEA's dominance of the European furniture market, accelerated sales and trimmed its losses in the fourth-quarter after sources said it is considering a stock market listing.


Apple developing own screens using next-generation MicroLED tech: Bloomberg

(Reuters) - Apple Inc is developing its own MicroLED device displays and has made small numbers of the screens for testing, Bloomberg reported, in a move that could hurt Asian display suppliers to the U.S. tech giant over the long-term.

Hurricane Harvey (2017)

How a Community Was Sacrificed to Save Houston

Cinco Ranch was designed to be flooded. So after Hurricane Harvey hit, the Texas suburb was sacrificed to save the city of Houston. We followed homeowners as they decided whether to cut their losses or rebuild, knowing it could happen again.


UPDATE 3-Alibaba to invest extra $2 bln in Lazada in aggressive Southeast Asian expansion

* CEO replaced by long-time Alibaba executive Lucy Peng (Adds Southeast Asia e-commerce forecast, Lazada presence)


Florida school plans moment of silence for bridge collapse victims

MIAMI (Reuters) - Florida International University (FIU) students return to classes on Monday from spring break with a moment of silence planned campus-wide for the six victims of a newly installed pedestrian bridge at the school that collapsed last week.


How China's ride-hailing giant Didi plans to challenge Uber in Mexico

MEXICO CITY/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Working quietly from a shared office space in one of Mexico City's trendiest neighborhoods, China's ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing is planning to hit its archrival Uber where it hurts.


Shares mixed, yen firm as anxious markets await Fed

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Asian share markets traded mixed on Monday as caution gripped investors in a week in which the Federal Reserve is likely to hike U.S. interest rates and perhaps signal that as many as three more lie in store for the rest of the year.


GLOBAL MARKETS-Shares mixed, yen firm as anxious markets await Fed

SYDNEY, March 19 (Reuters) - Asian share markets traded mixed on Monday as caution gripped investors in a week in which the Federal Reserve is likely to hike U.S. interest rates and perhaps signal that as many as three more lie in store for the rest of the year.


FOCUS-How China's ride-hailing giant Didi plans to challenge Uber in Mexico

MEXICO CITY/SAN FRANCISCO, March 19 (Reuters) - Working quietly from a shared office space in one of Mexico City's trendiest neighborhoods, China's ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing is planning to hit its archrival Uber where it hurts.


Alibaba to invest extra $2 billion in Lazada in aggressive Southeast Asian expansion

BEIJING (Reuters) - Alibaba Group Holding Ltd said it will invest an additional $2 billion in Southeast Asian e-commerce firm Lazada Group and replace its chief executive, consolidating its control over the firm as it targets an aggressive expansion in the region.


UPDATE 1-Alibaba to invest extra $2 bln in Lazada in aggressive Southeast Asian expansion

* CEO replaced by long-time Alibaba executive Lucy Peng (Adds detail from release, context)


Apple is designing and testing screens: Bloomberg

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Apple Inc. is for the first time creating its own device displays, according to a Bloomberg News report on


RPT-Baidu video streaming unit iQiyi launches $2.4 bln U.S. IPO

March 18 (Reuters) - Chinese video streaming service provider iQiyi Inc, a unit of search engine giant Baidu Inc , has launched an initial public offering in New York worth up to $2.4 billion, seeking to expand its range of content.


Security advisers from U.S., South Korea, Japan meet on North Korean summits: Seoul

SEOUL (Reuters) - The top national security advisers of the United States, South Korea and Japan met at the weekend to discuss North Korea and the "complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula", South Korea's presidential Blue House said on Monday.


Merkel to push for EU unity on delicate Poland trip

BERLIN/WARSAW (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel will emphasize bilateral ties and the need for European unity when she meets with top Polish officials, amid ongoing differences between the allies over Polish judicial reforms, migration and a new gas pipeline.

Facebook under fire over how data got into hands of a firm with Trump ties

Politicians on both sides of the Atlantic want answers after Facebook's latest controversy involving the 2016 election.


Critic’s Notebook: South by Southwest Music Festival: 17 Acts That Stood Out

The lack of an arena-circuit headliner at this year’s festival, the 32nd, just helped level the playing field for the performers who still flock to Austin, Tex.

Facebook probes employee's links to data firm that has ties to Trump


G20 watchdog focuses on rules review, holds fire on cryptocurrencies

LONDON (Reuters) - The global watchdog that drove through a welter of banking and market reforms after the financial crisis said it will pivot more toward reviewing existing rules and away from designing new ones.


Peru president says he used offshore firm to legally avoid U.S. taxes: audio

LIMA (Reuters) - Peru's embattled President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski told a congressional investigative committee that he used a company in the British Virgin Islands to legally avoid paying U.S. taxes, according to audio heard by Reuters on Sunday.


Desilu plans U.S. listing to complete Vonetize acquisition

JERUSALEM, March 18 (Reuters) - Desilu Studios plans to go public in the United States as a second stage of a proposed acquisition of Israeli technology start-up Vonetize.


Bundesbank's Buch adds to calls for cryptocurrency regulation

BERLIN (Reuters) - Regulation of cryptocurrencies must be considered, Bundesbank vice president Claudia Buch told Reuters, even though she does not believe they pose a threat to financial stability.


Australians flee homes as grassfires hit southeast

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Bush and grass fires sweeping across Australia's southeast destroyed homes, killed cattle and forced hundreds to flee on Sunday as dry, hot winds fanned the flames.


Southeast Asia, Australia 'gravely' concerned by North Korean weapons

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Southeast Asian countries and Australia said on Sunday they held "grave concerns" about escalating tension caused by North Korea's nuclear and missile programs and urged "irreversible" denuclearization.


China's Didi looks to raise $1.6 billion via asset-backed securities

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - A unit of Chinese ride-hailing firm Didi Chuxing has submitted an application to raise 10 billion yuan ($1.6 billion) through an issuance of asset-backed securities.


Baidu video streaming unit iQiyi launches $2.4 billion U.S. IPO

(Reuters) - Chinese video streaming service provider iQiyi Inc, a unit of search engine giant Baidu Inc , has launched an initial public offering in New York worth up to $2.4 billion, seeking to expand its range of content.


Baidu video streaming unit iQiyi launches $2.4 bln U.S. IPO

March 18 (Reuters) - Chinese video streaming service provider iQiyi Inc, a unit of search engine giant Baidu Inc , has launched an initial public offering in New York worth up to $2.4 billion, seeking to expand its range of content.


Australians flee homes as bushfires hit arid southeast

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Bushfires sweeping across Australia's southeast destroyed homes, killed cattle and forced hundreds to flee on Sunday as dry, hot winds fanned the flames.

Russian Interference in 2016 US Elections and Ties to Trump Associates

Data Firm Tied to Trump Campaign Talked Business With Russians

Cambridge Analytica, a company that developed technology to target voters, has denied having connections to Russia. But evidence suggests otherwise.


Albania arrests 39 for smuggling people into Britain and United States

TIRANA (Reuters) - Albanian police arrested 39 people on Saturday including four police officers on charges of having smuggled some 1,000 Albanians to Britain, the United States and Canada, and are looking for a dozen others, including two Bulgarians.

Comedy and Humor

Loose Ends: Daily Affirmations From the White House

Sometimes the right mantra is what you need to put everything in perspective.


Morocco plans to spend $15.8 billion if it gets 2026 soccer World Cup

CASABLANCA (Reuters) - Morocco has proposed using 14 stadiums and budgeting to spend 15.8 billion dollars on infrastructure if it wins the right to host the World Cup soccer finals in 2026, the country's bid committee announced at a news conference on Saturday.

Facebook suspends firm with Trump ties

Facebook has announced it is suspending Cambridge Analytica, a data firm with ties to President Donald Trump's campaign, over concerns about violations of the social media site's policies.


Daimler cars unit invests to ramp up output to 3 million vehicles

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Germany' Daimler is in a push to boost production capacity as its Mercedes-Benz Cars unit eyes annual sales of 3 million vehicles, up from 2.4 million last year, an executive told weekly publication Automobilwoche.

#MeToo Movement

President of Steven Cohen’s Investment Firm Quits Amid Gender Bias Lawsuit

Douglas Haynes stepped down as president of the $11 billion investment firm, a month after being named as a defendant in a gender discrimination lawsuit.

Race for tax breaks that help poor communities


China plans tougher goals, beefed-up inspections in war on smog

BEIJING (Reuters) - China will set more stringent targets for improving the nation's air quality under a new three-year plan, as Beijing prepares to beef up a nationwide crackdown on polluters in its years-long campaign to clear its notoriously toxic skies.


China's environment minister says plans tougher air quality targets

BEIJING (Reuters) - China will set more stringent targets for improving the nation's air quality under a new three-year plan, its environment minister said on Saturday, as the world's No.2 economy aims to clear its notoriously toxic skies.


Australia, Southeast Asia to share intelligence to fight terror

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia signed an agreement on Saturday with Southeast Asian nations including Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei and the Philippines promising to share intelligence to combat terrorism.


Facebook suspends data analytics firm that worked for Trump campaign

(Reuters) - Facebook Inc on Friday said it was suspending political data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica, which worked for President Donald Trump’s 2016 election campaign, after finding data privacy policies had been violated.

United Airlines flight diverted after third pet incident in a week

Already under scrutiny about a dog dying in an overhead bin and another dog being accidentally sent to Japan, United Airlines on Friday acknowledged its third animal-related mistake in a week.


Colombia's Cerro Matoso mine must pay damages to local communities, court rules

BOGOTA, March 16 (Reuters) - Colombia's Cerro Matoso nickel mine, owned by Australian miner South32, must pay damages to indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities affected by its operations in Cordoba province, Colombia's constitutional court said on Friday.

Dog reunited with owners after Japan detour

A dog named Irgo has been reunited with his family, after accidentally being flown to Japan by United Airlines.


BRIEF-Marriott Vacations Worldwide - Co, Units Entered ‍ Omnibus Amendment No. 7 To Certain Agreements Associated With $250 Million Warehouse Credit Facility​



Coca-Cola, U.S. State Dept to use blockchain to combat forced labor

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Coca-Cola Co and the U.S. State Department along with two other companies said on Friday they are launching a project using blockchain's digital ledger technology to create a secure registry for workers that will help fight the use of forced labor worldwide.


Rocket Internet explores IPO of online shopping group Jumia: sources

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German start-up investor Rocket Internet is exploring a stock market listing of loss-making African online shopping platform Jumia, people close to the matter said.


U.S. court halts activities of four people in cryptocurrency schemes

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A federal court has halted the activities and frozen the assets of four people who allegedly promoted schemes falsely promising large returns for small payments of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, the Federal Trade Commission said on Friday.


South Africa hits fallen Zuma with arms deal corruption charges

PRETORIA (Reuters) - Former South African president Jacob Zuma is to face corruption charges over a $2.5 billion arms deal, prosecutors said, as a years-old scandal returned to haunt him within weeks of his fall from power.

Bridges and Tunnels

Death Toll Rises to at Least Six in South Florida Bridge Collapse

Several cars were still trapped under the pedestrian walkway, which was designed to connect the campus of Florida International University to the city of Sweetwater.


Istanbul taxi drivers go to court to seek shutdown of Uber

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Istanbul's taxi drivers have taken Uber to court, accusing the U.S.-based ride-hailing app of endangering their livelihoods in a case that could crimp its business in Europe's largest city.


Argentina prepares 4G spectrum auction that could raise $800 million: source

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentina is preparing to auction 90 megahertz of 4G spectrum to mobile telephone and internet companies in a process that has already attracted interest from Telecom Argentina SA, Telefonica SA and Claro, a government source told Reuters.


Employee health plans charge smokers extra but don’t help them quit

Reuters Health - Almost half of small employers that charge tobacco users extra for their health insurance don’t offer wellness programs to help employees stop smoking, according to a recent study.


Trump asked South Korea officials to show flexibility in trade talks: Seoul

SEOUL (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump asked South Korean officials to show flexibility in trade negotiations with the United States in a phone call with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, the Blue House said in a statement on Friday.


South Africa's Zuma to be charged with corruption over arms deal

PRETORIA (Reuters) - Former South African President Jacob Zuma will be prosecuted for corruption relating to a 30 billion rand ($2.5 billion) arms deal in the late 1990s, chief state prosecutor Shaun Abrahams said on Friday.


BRIEF-Knight-Swift Transportation Says Unit Acquired All Of Issued And Outstanding Equity Interests Of Abilene Motor Express‍​

March 16 (Reuters) - Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings Inc:


French food retailer Leclerc takes on rivals to crack Paris

PARIS (Reuters) - French supermarket chain Leclerc, which launches a home delivery service in Paris this month, also aims to open click and collect stores and hypermarkets in the capital.


Johnson & Johnson says offered $2.1 billion for LifeScan diabetes unit

(Reuters) - Johnson & Johnson has been offered about $2.1 billion for its LifeScan Inc unit, which makes blood glucose monitoring products, by private investment firm Platinum Equity, the healthcare company said on Friday.


Deadly listeria could herald tighter food safety rules in South Africa

LONDON, March 16 (Reuters) - A huge and deadly outbreak of listeria in South Africa could alter the country's approach to food-borne disease and prompt improvements in food safety standards, a leading health official said on Friday.


New head of scandal-hit Kobe Steel may seek mergers for some business units

(Reuters) - Kobe Steel's new president on Friday said he may seek mergers or alliances outside the company for one or more of its business divisions, as he battles to repair damage from a data fraud scandal that roiled Japanese industry.


South Korea aims for high-level talks about talks with North

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea will seek high-level talks with North Korea this month as preparations for a summit began on Friday, the presidential chief of staff said, while officials in the South expressed interest in a separate summit with the United States.


UPDATE 1-Lanxess drops out of bidding for Akzo Nobel unit -sources

* Unit seen valued at around 9 bln euros (Adds details, background)

technologyNews's finance unit aims to raise $1.9 billion, valuation set to double: sources

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Inc's finance arm is looking to raise about 12 billion yuan ($1.9 billion) in fresh equity that could see its value double from last year to more than $20 billion, three people with knowledge of the matter said.


UPDATE's finance unit aims to raise $1.9 bln, valuation set to double -sources

* New fundraising to value JD Finance at over $20 bln -sources


UK city Birmingham wants further details from Uber before license decision

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's second city Birmingham is seeking clarity from Uber [UBER.UL] on its business model as it decides whether to renew the taxi app's license after granting a temporary extension.


South Africa's RCL says no traces of deadly listeria strain at its factory

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Independent tests at RCL Foods' processed meat factory have not found any traces of a listeria strain that has killed 180 people since January last year, the South African food producer said on Friday.


Trading in Samsung Electronics to be halted April 30-May 3 for stock split

SEOUL (Reuters) - Samsung Electronics said on Friday trading in its shares will be halted for three days between April 30 and May 3 for its planned stock split.


Leshi shares plunge after 'white knight' chairman resigns

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Shares in Leshi Internet Information & Technology Corp Beijing slumped 10 percent on Friday after its chairman resigned, fanning fears he would no longer play a white knight role for the embattled firm.


Toyota, Uber in talks on self-driving tech: Nikkei

TOKYO (Reuters) - Uber Technologies is discussing the possibility of installing its self-driving system in Toyota Motor Co vehicles as the U.S. ride-hailing firm seeks to sell its autonomous driving technology to outside companies, the Nikkei reported on Friday.

Dog diverted to Japan reunites with family

More than 11,000 miles and about 48 hours later, Irgo has finally arrived at his new home in Kansas.


Indonesia pushes for Southeast Asian patrols of disputed waters

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Indonesia has lobbied Southeast Asian countries to carry out maritime patrols in the disputed South China Sea, claimed in most part by China, to improve security, Defence Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu said on Friday.


BRIEF-Skyworth Digital's Unit Enters Deal About Proposed Investment By An Investor Into COOCAA



South Korea gears up for summit, report shows North Korea testing reactor

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korean officials began preparations on Friday for a summit next month with North Korea aimed at reducing tensions on the peninsula, as a report showed the North had probably begun testing a nuclear reactor as recently as late February.


Shares in China's Leshi tumble after 'white knight' chairman resigns

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Shares in Leshi Internet Information & Technology Corp Beijing slumped by their daily limit of 10 percent on Friday after its chairman resigned, fanning fears he would no longer play a white knight role for the embattled firm.


China depository receipts to be launched soon: Shanghai Securities News

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China is preparing to launch depository receipts that would open the door to some of the country's top tech firms issuing a form of shares on the mainland, the state-run Shanghai Securities News said on Friday, citing a senior regulatory official.


Legal battle over Credit Suisse 'volatility' product expands to second firm

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The legal fight over a complex Credit Suisse financial instrument betting on stock market swings is expanding, with a new lawsuit targeting one of the product's service providers.


U.S. tech companies win changes in bill to limit China access to technology

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Lawmakers pushing legislation aimed at preventing China from acquiring sensitive U.S. technology have proposed relaxing elements of the measure after lobbying by high-tech firms but will tighten another portion, according to a draft revision seen by Reuters.


Adobe tops estimates on higher Creative Cloud subscriptions

(Reuters) - Adobe Systems Inc topped analysts' profit and revenue estimates for the seventh straight quarter on higher subscriptions for its Creative Cloud suite of software, and pointed to rising average revenue per user.


Spotify touts growth over profits in listing pitch to retail investors

LONDON/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Streaming music leader Spotify used its cultural cool factor to appeal to mom-and-pop investors in an unconventional presentation ahead of its April 3 stock market listing.

Winn-Dixie's owner plans to file for bankruptcy and close 94 stores


BRIEF-Novelion Therapeutics Says Its Unit Has Entered Into A New Secured Financing Facility



Adobe results top estimates on higher Creative Cloud subscriptions

(Reuters) - Adobe Systems Inc's earnings and revenue topped Wall Street forecasts for the seventh straight quarter, led by higher subscriptions for its flagship Creative Cloud suite of software that houses Photoshop.

Asia and Australia Edition: Russia, South Africa, Saudi Arabia: Your Friday Briefing

Here’s what you need to know to start your day.

Airlines and Airplanes

Fallout for United Airlines Continues After Death of Kokito the French Bulldog

The airline admitted fault, as senators introduced a bill designed to prevent more animals from dying in flight.


Spotify shuns traditional IPO, pitches growth to retail investors

LONDON/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Streaming music leader Spotify said on Thursday it has a clear path to profit as it spelled out to retail investors its growth plans and how it aims to fend off big rivals Apple Inc and Inc ahead of an unusual April 3 listing.


UK's CMC Markets launches cryptocurrency trading

(Reuters) - Online trading platform CMC Markets Plc said on Thursday it had launched contracts for differences (CFDs) and spreadbetting offerings for cryptocurrencies following significant interest from its users.


China may adopt some of Germany's law on self-driving cars: expert

BERLIN (Reuters) - The Chinese government is evaluating a German law that lays the groundwork for use of self-driving cars, and will likely adopt some of the German rules, a legal expert said on Thursday.


South Africa's listeria outbreak in early stages, will spread: minister

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - The worst listeria outbreak on record is only in its early stages and will likely infect more people in South Africa and the region, health minister Aaron Motsoaledi said on Thursday.


EU to propose 3 percent digital tax on turnover of large firms: draft

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Large companies with significant digital revenues in the European Union could face a 3 percent tax on their turnover under a draft proposal from the European Commission seen by Reuters.


EU to propose 3 pct digital tax on turnover of large firms- draft

BRUSSELS, March 15 (Reuters) - Large companies with significant digital revenues in the European Union could face a 3 percent tax on their turnover under a draft proposal from the European Commission seen by Reuters.


Spotify says path to profits clear ahead of stock market listing

LONDON/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Streaming music leader Spotify said on Thursday it has a clear path to profit as it prepared to spell out to investors the company's growth plans and how it aims to fend off major rivals ahead of a stock market listing.


Facebook Lite to launch in developed countries, including U.S.

(Reuters) - Facebook Inc on Thursday said it will roll out the stripped down version of its social media platform, Facebook Lite, to more countries including developed ones, to attract users struggling with slower mobile data connections.


South Carolina church shooter's sister charged for weapons at school

(Reuters) - The sister of avowed white supremacist Dylann Roof, who was sentenced to die for the 2015 massacre at a historic South Carolina black church, was arrested for carrying weapons at a high school, according to police officials.


How Congo faced down some of the world's biggest mining firms

DAKAR (Reuters) - In an ornate room in Democratic Republic of Congo's presidential palace last week, some of global mining's most powerful men faced off against government officials over proposed changes to the country's mining code.


Many transgender patients pay cash for gender-affirming surgery

(Reuters Health) - Even though a growing number of transgender patients now use insurance for gender-affirming surgery, almost half are still paying cash for procedures their health plans don’t cover, a U.S. study suggests.


Restaurant Review: A Celebration of Black Southern Food, at JuneBaby in Seattle

The chef Edouardo Jordan locates the pleasure and meaning of hog maw, pigs’ ears and other “ingredients we don’t want to talk about.”


ATM pharmacy to cut queues for South Africa's AIDS patients

ALEXANDRA, South Africa (Reuters) - South Africa has launched an ATM-like vending machine to dispense medicines to patients with chronic illnesses such as AIDS in a move aimed at reducing waiting times and congestion in public healthcare facilities.


French regulator asks UK funds about Brexit plans

LONDON (Reuters) - The French financial markets regulator said on Thursday it had written to UK-based investment firms active in France and French firms with UK clients to ask about their...


Blue Apron plans to sell meal kits in stores in 2018

(Reuters) - Blue Apron Holdings Inc said on Thursday it plans to sell meal kits in stores this year, as it attempts to spur growth by attracting more people to its subscription-based service.


Norway's Scatec Solar says three projects caught in South Africa row

OSLO (Reuters) - Three solar plants planned by Norway's Scatec Solar were among 27 energy deals blocked by a South African court on Tuesday when it agreed to hear a legal challenge by a group loyal to ousted President Jacob Zuma, the firm said on Thursday.


BRIEF-Long Blockchain Agrees To Acquire Hashcove, A UK-Based Company



South Africa expects listeria infections to increase

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa's health minister expects the infections from the worst listeria outbreak in history that has killed 180 people since January last year to increase and warned that there could also be other cases in the southern Africa region.


BlackBerry says CEO Chen to stay on through 2023

(Reuters) - BlackBerry Ltd, has extended Executive Chairman and Chief Executive John Chen's contract by five years through November 2023, the Canadian company said on Thursday.


Alibaba plans listing in mainland China: WSJ

(Reuters) - E-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd is working on a plan to list on a stock exchange in its home country, China, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Trump hints at withdrawing US troops from South Korea over trade

President Donald Trump on Wednesday appeared to threaten to withdraw US troops from South Korea if he can't get a better trade deal with Seoul,


What is 5G and who are the major players?

LONDON/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump has blocked microchip maker Broadcom Ltd's $117 billion takeover of rival Qualcomm amid concerns that it would give China the upper hand in the next generation of mobile communications, or 5G.


Uber to share its London data in latest charm offensive

LONDON (Reuters) - Uber [UBER.UL] said on Thursday it will share data gathered from the millions of trips its cars make in London in the latest move to meet requests from the city's regulator, which stripped the taxi app of its license last year.


EU antitrust regulators to decide on Apple, Shazam deal by April 23

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - EU antitrust authorities will decide by April 23 whether to clear iPhone maker Apple's buy of British music discovery app Shazam, the European Commission said on Thursday.

Immigration and Emigration

Australia Considers Emergency Visas for White South African Farmers

South Africa responded angrily to comments by the Australian minister in charge of immigration, who said white South African farmers deserved protection in a “civilized country.”


AirBnB stays in Amsterdam up 25 percent despite restrictions: study

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Overnight stays in Amsterdam booked via AirBnB grew strongly in 2017, despite restrictions placed on homeowners by the city, according to a study published on Thursday by Colliers' and Hotelschool The Hague.


South Korea's Lotte Data Communication says plans IPO

SEOUL (Reuters) - Lotte Data Communication Co, a unit of South Korea's Lotte Group, said on Thursday it has sought approval from the country's stock exchange for an initial public offering (IPO).


Sister of South Carolina mass shooter arrested on weapons charges

(Reuters) - The sister of avowed white supremacist Dylann Roof, who was sentenced to die for the 2015 massacre at a historic South Carolina black church, was arrested on Wednesday for carrying weapons at a high school, media said.


Regulators raid Amazon Japan on suspicion of anti-trust violation

TOKYO (Reuters) - Amazon Japan said on Thursday it had been raided by the country's fair trade regulator on suspicion of a possible anti-trust violation.


Samsung Electronics says to start building new China memory chip line this month

SEOUL (Reuters) - Samsung Electronics Co Ltd plans to begin building a new memory chip production line in China in late March, a spokesman said on Thursday, as the tech giant ramps up efforts to boost NAND flash technology to meet future demand.


China, Russia welcome Korean peace drive: South Korean envoy

SEOUL (Reuters) - China's President Xi Jinping offered encouragement for South Korea's initiative to nurture peaceful engagement with North Korea, and Russia also expressed support, the South Korean official leading diplomatic efforts said on Thursday.


Toys 'R' Us plans to close all U.S. stores; 33,000 jobs at risk: source

(Reuters) - Bankrupt Toys 'R' Us Inc is preparing to sell or close all 885 stores in its U.S. chain, risking up to 33,000 jobs, after failing to reach a deal to restructure billions of dollars in debt, a person familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.


Auto parts maker Magna invests $200 million in Lyft

(Reuters) - Canadian automotive parts supplier Magna International Inc said on Wednesday it will invest $200 million in Lyft Inc and work with the U.S. ride-hailing firm to manufacture self-driving cars.

United ships dog bound for Kansas to Japan

United Airlines wrongly shipped a Kansas-bound pet dog to Japan, the second embarrassment this week for the airline and a "nightmare" for the Swindle family -- who are moving from Oregon to Wichita with their beloved pet, a 10-year-old German shepherd named Irgo.


Once harassed herself, South Korean lawyer fights for #MeToo victims

SEOUL (Reuters) - Almost a decade ago, Lee Eun-eui was thrust into a lonely battle against her employer Samsung after she reported unwelcome touching by a superior.


Democrats cite Tesla probe in raising self-driving car bill concerns

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Five Democratic U.S. senators on Wednesday urged changes to a stalled landmark bill aimed at speeding the deployment and testing of self-driving cars.

Oklahoma plans to use new execution method

Unable to obtain drugs to use for its lethal injections, Oklahoma will use inert gas inhalation as the primary method for death penalty executions once a protocol is developed and finalized, the state's attorney general announced Wednesday.

United had the highest rate of airline pet deaths in 2017. And in 2016. And in 2015

For pets, the skies of United Airlines lately have not been so friendly.


BRIEF-Sir Royalty Income Fund Reports Qtrly Net Earnings For Fund $0.28 Per Fund Unit



Pressure builds on United over puppy that died on flight

NEW YORK (Reuters) - United Airlines faced fresh backlash on Wednesday over a puppy that died in-flight after a cabin attendant ordered it stowed in an overhead bin, with a U.S. senator demanding an explanation for the high number of animals that have died in the carrier's care.


Panama Papers law firm Mossack Fonseca to shut down after tax scandal

PANAMA CITY (Reuters) - Mossack Fonseca, the Panamanian law firm at the center of the "Panama Papers" scandal, said on Wednesday it was shutting down due to the economic and reputational damage inflicted by its role in the global tax evasion debacle.


NBC News plans online streaming service to attract younger viewers

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Comcast Corp's NBC News plans to launch an online streaming service this year as part of its effort to reach younger viewers who prefer to watch their favorite shows online, executives said on Wednesday.


South Dakota sues opioid makers as litigation swells

(Reuters) - South Dakota on Wednesday sued three major drugmakers, accusing them of deceptively marketing prescription opioids and contributing to a nationwide epidemic.


Google bans cryptocurrency advertising, bitcoin price slumps

LONDON (Reuters) - Alphabet Inc's Google said on Wednesday it was banning advertisements for cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings, the latest internet company to clamp down on the sector amid growing concerns about scams.


Disney creates streaming video unit for digital future

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Walt Disney Co said on Wednesday it had created a new unit for its streaming video and international businesses as the company retools its traditional media operation for a world rapidly embracing online video.


Widow of Orlando nightclub gunman knew of his plans, prosecutors say

ORLANDO, Fla. (Reuters) - The widow of the gunman who killed 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, in 2016 cased locations for the attack with her husband and did nothing to stop his deadly plans, prosecutors told jurors at her federal trial on Wednesday.


Disney reorganizes businesses, creates direct-to-consumer unit

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Walt Disney Co announced a reorganization on Wednesday that will create a new direct-to-consumer and international unit as the entertainment company adapts to a rapid shift toward online and mobile viewing.


America Movil to roll out 4.5G in 76 cities by end-2018

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - America Movil, Mexico's largest telecommunications firm, will roll out a faster 4.5G network in 76 cities across the country by the end of 2018, the company's chief executive Daniel Hajj said on Wednesday.


UK privacy watchdog ends WhatsApp probe after compliance pledge

(Reuters) - Britain's privacy watchdog said it had dropped an investigation into WhatsApp after the messaging service signed an undertaking not to share the personal data of users with its owner Facebook.


UK-based Coinfloor to launch physically settled bitcoin futures

BOCA RATON, Fla. (Reuters) - Cryptocurrency exchange operator Coinfloor said on Wednesday it will launch a futures exchange for digital assets that will include the first physically delivered bitcoin futures contracts next month.

Stephen Hawking, Pennsylvania, United Airlines: Your Wednesday Briefing

Here’s what you need to know to start your day.

United apologizes for dog's death

For more than three hours, a passenger's dog was inside an overhead bin on United Airlines Flight 1284 from Houston to New York after a flight attendant told the passenger to put it there.


BRIEF-Rusoro Mining Wins Key U.S. Court Ruling Confirming Arbitration Award



Facebook bans far-right group Britain First for inciting hatred

LONDON (Reuters) - Facebook said on Wednesday it banned Britain First from its platform for breaking rules against inciting hatred, blacklisting a far-right group brought to global attention when U.S. President Donald Trump retweeted its anti-Islamic posts.

Duterte, Rodrigo

Philippines Plans to Withdraw From International Criminal Court

President Rodrigo Duterte said the court, which is investigating deaths tied to his drug crackdown, was painting him as a “heartless violator of human rights.”


Chinese investors want relaxed rules for tech IPOs: exchange

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Most Chinese investors expect regulators to relax rules on initial public offerings (IPOs) by technology companies, and would like to invest in such domestic listings, the Shenzhen Stock Exchange said on Wednesday, citing a recent survey.

A generation shaped by gun violence plans to make itself heard today

Jackson Mittleman opened a news alert on his phone on Valentine's Day, and saw a tragically familiar image: Students with their hands raised, fleeing a shooting.


UPDATE 1-South Africa antitrust watchdog charges Takata with price fixing

JOHANNESBURG, March 14 (Reuters) - South African competition watchdog charged Takata Corp with price fixing on Wednesday, another blow to the Japanese auto safety products maker in the throes of a massive airbag scandal. The Competition Commission said Takata worked with other firms to fix prices, divide the market and collude in their bidding for four different seat belts and airbags contracts with as three auto makers.


France to sue Google, Apple over developer contracts: minister

PARIS (Reuters) - France will take Google and Apple to court over contractual terms imposed by the tech giants on startups and developers, said Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire.


Singapore investigating firms accused of selling luxury goods to North Korea

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Singapore said on Wednesday it was investigating two local companies accused of supplying luxury goods to North Korea in violation of U.N. sanctions.

Bribery and Kickbacks

Now Two Former Presidents of South Korea Are Under Investigation

Lee Myung-bak is the fifth former South Korean president to be questioned by prosecutors on corruption accusations since the 1990s.

Dog dies in overhead bin on United flight

In the wake of social media outrage over reports that a dog died on one of its flights Monday night after being put in an overhead bin, United Airlines acknowledged in a statement that a "tragic accident" had occurred.


Maryland firm settles U.S. charges over bribes to Russian official

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A Maryland-based company has agreed to pay $2 million to settle charges that it bribed a Russian official to win contracts to ship uranium to the United States, U.S. authorities said on Tuesday.


Former South Korean president Lee appears for questioning over graft charges

SEOUL (Reuters) - Former South Korean president Lee Myung-bak appeared for questioning on Wednesday over allegations he took bribes when he was in office, following months of investigations into his family and acquaintances over the graft charges.


JPMorgan invests in fixed-income data startup

(Reuters) - JPMorgan Chase & Co has made a strategic investment in Mosaic Smart Data, a company that has developed technology to help banks make their fixed-income sales and trading businesses more profitable.


YouTube to display Wikipedia blurbs alongside conspiracy videos

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - YouTube will begin displaying text from Wikipedia articles and other websites alongside some videos in a couple of weeks as the unit of Alphabet Inc's Google attempts to combat hoaxes and conspiracy theories on the service, its chief executive said on Tuesday.


Amazon launches first debit card in Mexico e-commerce push

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Inc launched its first-ever debit card on Tuesday in Mexico, part of a push to encourage shoppers without bank accounts to buy online.


United Airlines Apologizes After Dog Dies in Overhead Compartment

A witness said a flight attendant told the pet owner to store her dog in the overhead compartment. The airline said it accepted full responsibility.