Multiple breakdowns led to natural gas explosions in Merrimack Valley, NTSB says

WASHINGTON — Columbia Gas of Massachusetts did not use a professional engineer to draw up plans to replace old cast-iron gas mains in the Merrimack Valley in September — a factor, federal authorities say, that could have contributed to the explosions that killed one person and injured at least 21 others.  That’s one conclusion from an urgent safety report issued by the National […]

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CDC: Suicide rates highest for miners, construction workers

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the workers with the highest suicide rates have construction, mining and drilling jobs. That’s the finding of a report released Thursday that corrected an earlier, widely cited study that mistakenly said farmers and forestry workers killed themselves most often. CDC officials said the 2016 study’s mistakes included the misclassification of some […]

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China faces pressure as Congress condemns the persecution of Muslim minorities

WASHINGTON — International pressure is mounting on China to end its internment of Chinese Uighurs, with House and Senate lawmakers this week pushing a new bill demanding an end to the policy toward the alleged mistreatment of the country’s Muslim minority. China’s crackdown on nearly 1 million Uighurs and its efforts to “re-educate” the ethnic Turkic Muslims in the Xinjiang […]

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Asian Shares Mostly Lower As Fed Signals December Rate Rise

Asian stocks were mostly lower on Friday after the Federal Reserve left rates unchanged but signaled further gradual increases in rates despite signs of a slowdown in the pace of growth in business investment. Italian budget concerns also returned to the fore after the Italian government insisted it would stick with its plan to rapidly increase public spending. Shortly after […]

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USTR Lighthizer denies he said China tariffs on hold

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on Thursday denied a report that he had told some industry executives that another round of tariffs on Chinese imports had been put on hold as the two nations pursue talks. “Ambassador Lighthizer has made no representations to industry executives that future Section 301 tariffs are on hold,” a spokesperson for his […]

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Big brand executives are rushing into cannabis companies, hoping to tap into a $194 billion industry

Executives from big retail brands and consumer-packaged-goods companies are pouring into the rapidly maturing cannabis industry. The financial opportunity is massive — analysts say the cannabis industry could skyrocket to $194 billion if other countries follow Canada’s lead and legalize the drug. Expect to see more high-profile executives taking positions in cannabis companies as more markets open up. When Ed […]

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European Economics Preview: UK GDP Data Due

Quarterly national accounts, industrial production and foreign trade figures from the UK are due on Friday, headlining a light day for the European economic news. At 2.00 am ET, consumer and producer prices are due from Norway. Economists forecast inflation to remain unchanged at 3.4 percent in October. At 2.45 am ET, the French statistical office Insee publishes industrial and […]

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Stocks have struggled in 2018. Bonds too. Oh, and gold.

FILE- In this Oct. 23, 2018, file photo specialist Matthew Grenier works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Even the most balanced investors have gotten knocked on their heels this year. Typically, spreading one’s bets across several different types of investments has helped deliver steadier returns. When U.S. stocks slide, say, bonds and gold can hopefully help […]

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