United States

President Biden and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson pledged to counter the influence of autocratic states during their first in-person meeting on Thursday and looked to smooth over disagreements regarding a complex arrangement to manage trade and preserve peace in Northern Ireland after Brexit, the Wall Street Journal reported. Ahead of the Group of Seven meeting this week, the two leaders backed a wide-ranging document that charts a path forward from a global pandemic that has killed millions, as the virus continues spreading in some parts of the world.
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Authorities in Brazil are investigating senior employees at Connecticut-based trading house Freepoint Commodities for their alleged role in a bribery scheme involving state-run oil company Petrobras, Reuters has learned. Federal police here suspect Freepoint, through an intermediary, routed bribes to Petrobras employees for a roughly seven-year period ending in 2018. Reuters pieced together the purported kickback operation from three people close to the investigation, and hundreds of pages of previously unreported court documents filed by Brazilian investigators.
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Argentine power-plant owner Stoneway Capital Ltd. is discussing borrowing money from the senior bondholders challenging the company’s U.S. bankruptcy filing and pushing to relocate the restructuring to Canada, WSJ Pro Bankruptcy reported. Stoneway, seeking to finance its stay in bankruptcy, is discussing potential loan terms with senior bondholders and junior creditors, as well as potential outside lenders, the company’s lead lawyer, Fred Sosnick, said at a virtual hearing on Friday in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York. The bondholders, including BlackRock Inc.
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The U.S. banned imports of tuna, swordfish and other seafood from a Chinese fishery company, citing evidence of forced labor on its distant-water vessels, the Wall Street Journal reported. U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents will detain shipments containing seafood harvested by China’s Dalian Ocean Fishing Co., officials said, in the latest example of Washington confronting Beijing over human-rights issues.
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The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating the market-rattling meltdown of Bill Hwang’s Archegos Capital Management in March, a debacle that left big banks in Europe, Asia and the U.S. nursing more than $10 billion in losses, Bloomberg News reported. Federal prosecutors in Manhattan sent requests for information to at least some of the banks that dealt with the firm. It’s unclear what potential violations or entities authorities are examining.
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The Tokyo Olympics, postponed in 2020 during the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic, are facing increasing hurdles in putting on a 2021 show, CNN.com reported. The latest troubling sign for the Summer Games came on Monday when the State Department advised U.S. citizens against traveling to Japan because of a sharp increase in Covid-19 cases. The "Level 4: Do Not Travel" advisory is the highest cautionary level in the department's hierarchy of warnings. It's been more than a year since Americans have paid tourist calls to the nation. Japan has been closed to U.S.
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The U.S. government is preparing to downgrade Mexico's aviation safety rating, a move that would bar Mexican carriers from adding new U.S. flights and limit airlines' ability to carry out marketing agreements, Reuters reported. The Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) planned move is expected be announced in the coming days and follows a lengthy review of Mexico's aviation oversight by the agency. One airline industry source said the FAA's concerns did not involve flight safety issues but rather Mexico's oversight of air carriers.
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Britain’s main opposition Labour Party said it will push for a vote in parliament on Monday over support for U.S. plans to introduce a global minimum corporation tax rate, Reuters reported. The U.S. Treasury Department earlier this week said that it would accept a floor of at least 15% during international negotiations, a rate significantly below its proposed 21% minimum for U.S. multinational firms.
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European Union governments agreed to allow quarantine-free travel for vaccinated tourists and visitors from countries deemed safe, paving the way for the resumption of hassle-free trans-Atlantic flights, Bloomberg News reported. Ambassadors from the EU’s 27 member states backed a proposal to waive quarantine for those with coronavirus inoculations approved by its drug regulator, including shots from Pfizer Inc., Moderna Inc. and Johnson & Johnson. The approval could be finalized this week and implemented soon after.
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The Council of the EU is questioning the demands of the U.S. on countries to roll back national "unilateral" tech taxes once a global levy on multinational companies is agreed on, according to a document obtained by POLITICO. The pushback comes in the form of an internal Council document that the Portuguese EU presidency has prepared for a technical meeting on Friday among tax officials.
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