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Report examines grim Bangladesh leather trade, links to West
Updated: 03/24/2017 9:44 AM

DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — A nonprofit group says hazardous, heavily polluting tanneries with workers as young as 14 supplied leather to companies that make shoes and handbags for a host of Western brands. The report was released to The Associated Press on Friday by New York-based Transparentem, which investigates supply chains. It did not say leather from the tanneries ends up in American and European companies' products, only that the manufacturers of some of those goods receive it. Some companies say the leather used in their products was imported from outside Bangladesh, and the manufacturers concur.
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Mnuchin says administration tax plan coming soon
Updated: 03/24/2017 9:34 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says after the battle over health care, the administration will turn quickly to tax reform with the goal of getting a program approved by Congress by August. Mnuchin says the administration will tackle cutting both individual taxes and corporate taxes in the same bill rather than divide the issues into separate bills. He did not reveal whether the administration will include a contentious border adjustment tax that is in a House tax proposal, saying the proposal had positive and negative aspects.
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Disney CEO: 'Last Jedi' not changed due to Fisher's death
Updated: 03/24/2017 9:30 AM

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (AP) — Disney CEO Bob Iger says the upcoming "Star Wars" sequel has not been changed due to the death of Carrie Fisher. Fisher completed filming her role as Princess Leia in "The Last Jedi" before her death following a heart attack in December. Iger said in an interview at a University of Southern California tech conference Thursday that Fisher "appears throughout" the film and her performance "remains as it was." Iger says Disney is discussing "what could be another decade and a half of Star Wars stories.
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House sets risky health care vote after Trump demands it
Updated: 03/24/2017 9:28 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House steered toward a climactic vote Friday on the Republican health care overhaul, plunging ahead despite deep uncertainty over whether they had the votes to prevail in what loomed as a monumental gamble for President Donald Trump and his GOP allies in Congress. Debate began after White House officials told fractious GOP lawmakers at a Thursday night meeting at the Capitol that Trump was finished negotiating with GOP holdouts and would move on to the rest of his agenda, win or lose.
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Trump administration approves Keystone XL pipeline
Updated: 03/24/2017 8:58 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration issued a permit Friday to build the Keystone XL pipeline, reversing the Obama administration and clearing the way for the $8 billion project to finally be completed. The decision caps a years-long fight between environmental groups and energy industry advocates over the pipeline's fate that became a proxy battle over global warming. It marks one of the biggest steps taken to date by the Trump administration to prioritize economic development over environmental concerns.
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Sweet news: Germany's Haribo to produce gummy bears in USA
Updated: 03/24/2017 8:57 AM

BERLIN (AP) — Germany's iconic gummy bear will soon be "Made in USA." Bonn-based Haribo, which invented the gummy bear nearly a century ago, said Friday it would open a U.S. factory in Wisconsin in 2020. Haribo, founded in 1920, has been in the U.S. since 1982 with a sales operation, and is already the top seller of gummy bears in the country, but says it wants to grow further. Company head Hans Guido Riegel says "Haribo of America is the fastest growing confectionary company in the U.S.A., therefore the step of starting our own production there from 2020 is important for us.
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World markets mixed as US health care bill vote looms
Updated: 03/24/2017 8:27 AM

HONG KONG (AP) — World stock markets were mixed Friday after a U.S. vote on a health care bill was delayed, raising doubts over whether President Donald Trump can push through his business friendly agenda. KEEPING SCORE: European shares were lower, with France's CAC 40 down 0.5 percent to 5,007 and Britain's FTSE 100 slipped 0.2 percent to 7,326. Germany's DAX shed 0.2 percent to 12,020. U.S. benchmarks were poised to open slightly higher, with Dow futures adding 0.2 percent and S&P 500 futures up 0.1 percent.
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Eurozone's economic growth near 6-year high: New survey
Updated: 03/24/2017 7:00 AM

LONDON (AP) — Businesses across the 19-country eurozone, and particularly in France, are increasingly upbeat and hiring more people despite big uncertainties — including France's high-stakes presidential election. A closely watched survey of some 5,000 companies indicates that business activity is growing overall at the fastest rate in over six years. The so-called purchasing managers' index, which serves as a gauge of business activity, rose to 56.7 points in March, from 56 in February, confounding expectations for a modest decline.
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Trumps plot big hotel expansion, but political problems loom
Updated: 03/24/2017 6:04 AM

NEW YORK (AP) — The Trump family is launching a new hotel chain in a bold expansion of a company that critics say is already too big and opaque for an enterprise whose owner sits in the Oval Office. The chain, called Scion, will feature the first Trump-run hotels not to bear the family's gilded name. The hotels will feature modern, sleek interiors and communal areas, and offer rooms at $200 to $300 a night, about half what it costs at some hotels in Trump's luxury chain. And they'll be dozens of them, possibly a hundred, opening across the country in just three years.
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Ivanka Trump: A White House force, just not an 'employee'
Updated: 03/24/2017 3:27 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka Trump will have a security clearance, a West Wing office and the ear of her father on important policy matters. But don't call her an employee. When it comes to government work, "employee" is more than just a word. That designation triggers an array of transparency and ethical provisions, including a law prohibiting conflicts of interest. Government watchdogs are concerned that by refusing to call Ivanka Trump an employee, White House counsel Don McGahn could be attempting to give her a loophole if she improperly mingles her government policy roles with her business and financial interests.
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