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Asian shares flat, still on track for winning week

June 23, 2017 TOKYO (Reuters) – Asian shares baulked at the starting gate on Friday but remained on track for a weekly gain, while crude oil prices pulled away from this week’s 10-month lows. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was flat in early trade, and up 0.4 percent for the week. Japan’s Nikkei stock index edged down slightly, but was on track to log a rise of 0.8 percent in a week in which it touched its highest levels since August 2015. The dollar index, which tracks…

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Indonesia has reached tax deal with Google for 2016: finance minister

June 13, 2017 JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesia has reached a settlement with Alphabet Inc’s Google for 2016 in their dispute over taxes, the country’s finance minister said on Tuesday. “We already have an agreement with them based on 2016. But we can’t disclose the figure, that is a secret,” Indonesia Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati told reporters. A senior tax official said in September that Indonesia planned to pursue Google for five years of back taxes and the company could face a bill of more than $400 million for 2015…

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Medicaid cuts coming in Trump budget: Washington Post

May 21, 2017 WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump’s budget proposal, set to be unveiled on Tuesday, will include cuts to Medicaid and propose changes to other assistance programs for low-income citizens, the Washington Post reported on Sunday. The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment. A Republican healthcare bill that passed the U.S. House of Representatives in early May seeks to overhaul the national healthcare system and cut more than $800 billion over the next 10 years from Medicaid, the government health insurance program…

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Japan cabinet approves bill to allow emperor to abdicate

May 19, 2017 By Elaine Lies TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s cabinet approved a bill on Friday that would allow Emperor Akihito to step down, paving the way for the first abdication by a Japanese emperor in nearly two centuries. The 83-year-old emperor, who has had heart surgery and prostate cancer treatment, said in rare public remarks last year he feared age might make it hard for him to fulfill his duties. Akihito has sought to soothe the wounds at home and abroad of World War Two, which was fought in…

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U.S. cyber bill would shift power away from spy agency

May 17, 2017 By Joel Schectman WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A bill proposed in Congress on Wednesday would require the U.S. National Security Agency to inform representatives of other government agencies about security holes it finds in software like the one that allowed last week’s “ransomware” attacks. Under former President Barack Obama, the government created a similar inter-agency review, but it was not required by law and was administered by the NSA itself. The new bill would mandate a review when a government agency discovers a security hole in a computer…

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Sanders defends Trump’s praise of Australian healthcare system

May 7, 2017 WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders said on Saturday that President Donald Trump was right to call Australia’s universal healthcare system better than the U.S. system. Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist who ran for the Democratic presidential nomination last year, also said the Senate should use the Australian system as a model while crafting an alternative to Republican healthcare legislation that Trump endorses. “President Trump is right. The Australian healthcare system provides healthcare to all of its people at a fraction of the cost than we…

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Asian stocks retreat, dollar holds near six-week high on hawkish Fed

May 4, 2017 By Nichola Saminather SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Asian stocks retreated on Thursday, taking their cues from a subdued session on Wall Street, while the dollar retained gains made after the Federal Reserve’s hawkish policy statement. At the end of its two-day meeting, the Fed kept its benchmark interest rate steady as expected, but downplayed weak first-quarter economic growth and emphasized the strength of the labor market, a sign it was still on track for two more rate increases this year. Futures traders are now pricing in a 72…

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Trump struggles to win over moderate Republicans on healthcare overhaul

May 3, 2017 By Richard Cowan and David Morgan WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Time was running short for President Donald Trump to attract enough votes to pass a new bill to overhaul the U.S. healthcare system this week as Republican party moderates held out, fearing a backlash from voters worried about losing insurance benefits. A senior House of Representatives Republican aide said on Tuesday night no decision had been made on bringing legislation to the floor this week before the House is due to start a week-long break late on Thursday….

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YOUR MONEY – Is pet insurance worth it?

May 2, 2017 By Beth Pinsker NEW YORK (Reuters) – When my 8-month old puppy nabbed a chicken thigh bone off a plate and swallowed it whole, I was worried about many things, but the veterinarian bill was not one of them. Standing at the front counter at the emergency clinic that Sunday night, with my children tearing up next to me, I was presented an estimate of $1,500 for manual extraction – which would jump to $2,500 or more if poor Brownie needed surgery. Life or death depended on…

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Trump’s concession on wall funding removes obstacle from spending talks

April 26, 2017 By Susan Cornwell and Richard Cowan WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The threat of a U.S. government shutdown this weekend appeared to recede on Tuesday after President Donald Trump backed away from a demand that Congress include funding for his planned border wall with Mexico in a spending bill. Even if the fight over wall funding is over, Republicans and Democrats still have difficult issues to resolve as they face a Friday night deadline when existing money expires for many federal agencies. There was growing sentiment among lawmakers that…

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