BC-APFN-G7 SUMMIT-THE LATEST
The Latest: French, US officials talk tech tax at dinner
BIARRITZ, France (AP) — Taxes on tech giants and a French wine dispute are on the menu at a special dinner with top White House and French officials at the G-7 summit.
A French official says French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire invited U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, U.S. trade representative Robert Lightizer and White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow to dinner Sunday night in the French resort of Biarritz. U.S. President Donald Trump is dining with other world leaders nearby.
Le Maire wants to ease U.S. concerns about a 3% French tax on online companies that make significant revenues in France.
The Trump administration has lashed back by threatening retaliatory tariffs on French wine.
The French official, who was not authorized to be publicly named, insisted that the tax does not target American companies. It hits giants like Google, Amazon and Uber but also French, Chinese and other companies. The French goal is to stop tax avoidance by online multinationals, and France promises to scrap the tax if an international digital tax deal can be reached.
HONG KONG-PROTESTS-THE LATEST
The Latest: Hong Kong police confirm warning shot, arrest 36
HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong police have confirmed an officer fired a warning shot as protesters surrounded them and said they arrested 36 people during the latest pro-democracy demonstration in the semi-autonomous Chinese territory.
A police news release Monday said that one police officer fell to the ground as protesters threw hard objects at a small group of officers the previous night. The officers could be seen holding up their shields as protesters surged forward swinging sticks and rods.
The release said that six officers drew their pistols and one of them fired a warning shot skyward.
The incident happened after an earlier clash with hundreds of protesters who occupied a main street following a peaceful protest march. Police used tear gas to clear the street, but some protesters remained in the neighborhood.
The Latest: Trump and Macron to hold news conference
BIARRITZ, France (AP) — President Donald Trump will have a partner at a news conference to mark the conclusion of a gathering of world leaders.
The White House says French President Emmanuel Macron will join Trump at Monday’s question-and-answer session with reporters to mark the end of the annual Group of Seven summit.
France holds the G-7 presidency and leaders have been meeting since Saturday in the seaside town of Biarritz, in southwestern France.
The other G-7 members are Britain, Germany, Japan, Italy and Canada. The group is made up of the world’s wealthiest democracies.
US exports to lobster-loving China go off cliff amid tariffs
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — America’s lobster exports to China have fallen off a cliff this year as new retaliatory tariffs shift seafood business north to Canada.
China, a huge and growing customer for the premium seafood item, placed heavy tariffs on U.S. lobsters last July amid rising trade hostilities between the two countries.
Data from the U.S. federal government show America has exported less than 2.2 million pounds (1 million kilograms) of lobster to China this year through June. The country exported nearly 12 million pounds during that period last year.
Meanwhile, business is booming in Canada, where cargo planes are coming to Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Moncton, New Brunswick, to handle a bump in exports. Canadian fishermen catch the same species of lobster as American lobstermen, who are based mostly in Maine.
Tropical Storm Dorian strengthens as it moves west
MIAMI (AP) — Forecasters say the fourth tropical storm of the Atlantic hurricane season is maintaining its strength as it moves toward the Windward Islands.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Sunday that Tropical Storm Dorian could intensify to near hurricane strength over the eastern Caribbean Sea by Tuesday.
As of 8 p.m. EDT Sunday, Dorian’s center was located about 335 miles (540 kilometers) east-southeast of Barbados and was moving west at 14 mph (23 kph). Maximum sustained winds are at 50 mph (85 kph).
A tropical storm warning is in effect for Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines. A tropical storm watch was issued for Grenada and Martinique.
Forecasters say Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Haiti and the Virgin Islands should monitor Dorian’s progress.
Pope, urging prayers, says Amazon forest vital for our Earth
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis says the Amazon forest is vital for our Earth and is urging prayers that fires there are quickly controlled.
Francis added his voice Sunday to the chorus of international concern that the blazes in Brazil will have grave repercussions on the world’s environmental health.
The pontiff, who is from the neighboring South American nation of Argentina, told the public in St. Peter’s Square that “we’re all worried” about the vast Amazon fires. He warned that that green “lung of forest is vital for our planet.”
Francis said “let us pray so that, with the efforts of all, they are controlled as quickly as possible.”
The blazes have sparked anti-government protests in Brazil and became a pressing issue for leaders at the Group of Seven summit in France.
TECH WORKER ACTIVISM
US tech industry becomes hotbed for employee activism
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The past two years have seen of groundswell of activism by U.S. tech employees who are trying to remake their industry from the inside out.
Tech workers are speaking out on issues of immigration, the environment, sexual misconduct and military warfare like never before.
Google, Amazon and Microsoft employees have protested against how their work is used by the government. Through petitions, letters and collective actions, they have pushed for new internal policies, greener practices and better wages and work conditions for affiliated workers, many of whom are contractors.
Experts say this degree of collective action in the industry is an unprecedented trend. And there’s evidence that some companies are listening and changing their ways. Still, some workers say the companies’ efforts fall short and more industry regulation is needed.
Astronomer: ‘Magic’ nights make Hawaii best telescope site
HONOLULU (AP) — Backers of a proposed giant telescope insist that Hawaii is the best place for their $1.4 billion instrument despite protests by some Native Hawaiians.
Telescope officials say the backup site in Spain’s Canary Islands is comparable to Hawaii’s Mauna Kea and it wouldn’t cost more money to put it there.
But astronomy professor and Thirty Meter Telescope board member Michael Bolte says there are nights on Mauna Kea that produce images impossible to get elsewhere.
Independent experts agree that for certain types of observations, Mauna Kea’s higher altitude and cooler temperatures are better than the Spanish site on the island of La Palma.
But they also say advances in optical technology and new space-based telescopes can level the playing field.
There’s also no significant opposition to the telescope in Spain.
McIlroy ends season with a $15 million bang at East Lake
ATLANTA (AP) — Rory McIlroy captured the biggest cash payout in golf history Sunday when he surged past Brooks Koepka in the final round at East Lake to win the FedEx Cup and its $15 million prize.
One shot behind, McIlroy took the lead with a three-shot swing on No. 7 and never let Koepka or Xander Schauffele catch him in the Tour Championship.
McIlroy closed with a 4-under 66, a score that would have won the Tour Championship in any scoring format. He finished four shots ahead of Schauffele.
He joined Tiger Woods as the only players to win the FedEx Cup twice since it began in 2007.
And this time, McIlroy had the stage to himself. A year ago, he was merely a bystander playing in the final group as Woods capped off his comeback by winning at East Lake.
This time, the chants were for him.
Plácido Domingo to perform for first time since accusations
SALZBURG, Austria (AP) — Plácido Domingo returns to the stage at the Salzburg Festival in his first appearance since nine women accused him of sexual harassment in a report by The Associated Press.
The case has divided the opera world. Two U.S. opera houses immediately canceled planned appearances. European opera houses have so far confirmed engagements scheduled through November 2020, in what some see as an effort to slow a perceived rush to judgment in the #MeToo movement.
The 78-year-old star, who rose to global fame as a tenor, will sing the baritone role of Miller in the Sunday performance of “Luisa Miller.”
He has received unwavering support from the festival. Domingo appears smiling in an Instagram posted this week by co-star Nino Machaidze alongside tenor Piotr Beczala and conductor James Conlon.
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