Agency: Refinery fire caused by blast debris hitting tank

SUPERIOR, Wis. (AP) – A raging refinery fire that forced the temporary evacuation of homes in the coastal Wisconsin city of Superior in April was caused by an explosion that sent debris hurtling into an asphalt storage tank, a federal agency said Thursday. The U.S. Chemical Safety Board released an update on the explosion and fire at the Husky Energy refinery in Superior in late April. According to the report, the explosion sent a piece of debris about 200 feet

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Starbucks, Alibaba announce China delivery venture

BEIJING (AP) – Starbucks and Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group announced a coffee delivery venture on Thursday, joining the growing competition in China’s booming delivery industry. Starbucks Coffee Co. and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. said the venture starts next month in Beijing and Shanghai. It will expand to 30 cities by the end of the year. Starbucks joins a booming Chinese delivery industry for goods ranging from clothes to groceries to cooked food. Its venture with Alibaba mimics Luckin Coffee,

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Asian markets extend losses on China-US trade jitters

BANGKOK (AP) – Asian shares slipped Thursday, tracking losses overnight on Wall Street, where investors sold industrial stocks following reports that the Trump administration is considering a higher tax rate on Chinese imports. KEEPING SCORE: Japan’s Nikkei 225 index sank 1.0 percent to 22,512.53 while the Shanghai Composite index lost 2.0 percent to 2,768.02. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index dropped 2.2 percent to 27,714.38 and the Kospi in South Korea shed 1.6 percent to 2,270.20. Australia’s S&P; ASX 200 skidded

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Scrap council tax – wealthy homeowners must pay more| Larry Elliott | Opinion

The government is short of money. The Treasury is scrabbling around looking for ways to fund Theresa May’s pledge to spend an extra £20bn a year on the NHS. Pressures on the public finances are bound to continue increasing because the population is ageing and older people need more health and social care. The way to square the circle is obvious. Philip Hammond should use his autumn budget to announce the abolition of council tax and its replacement with a

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OR official: Statehouse leaders allowed hostile environment

SALEM, Ore. (AP) – Oregon’s labor commissioner on Wednesday accused political leaders in the Legislature and officials in the state Capitol of permitting “a generally hostile environment based upon sex.” The complaint is among the latest in the #MeToo wave of sexual misconduct allegations against men in power to hit Oregon’s Legislature and many other statehouses nationwide. It started with an expose last year of movie mogul Harvey Weinstein. In his complaint, Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian said Senate President Peter

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Dispute over 3D-printed guns raises many legal issues

A little-known dispute over 3D-printed guns has morphed into a national legal debate in the last week, drawing attention to a technology that seems a bit of sci-fi fantasy and – to gun-control advocates – a dangerous way for criminals to get their hands on firearms that are easy to conceal and tough to detect. The gun industry calls the outcry an overreaction that preys on unwarranted fears about a firearm that can barely shoot a round or two without

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Is this the end of the road for the euro? | Hans-Werner Sinn | Business

In May 1998, irrevocable conversion rates for the currencies that would be merged into the euro were implemented. In a sense, this makes the single currency just over 20 years old. The first decade of its life had the feeling of a party, particularly in southern Europe; but the second decade brought the inevitable hangover. Now, as we enter the third decade, the prevailing mood seems to be one of increasing political radicalisation. The original party was a cornucopia of

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China warns against blackmail as Donald Trump considers higher tariffs

China warned the U.S. against “blackmailing” Beijing amid reports Wednesday that President Trump is considering higher tariffs to force the Chinese back into trade negotiations. “If the U.S. takes measures to further escalate the situation, we will surely take countermeasures to uphold our legitimate rights and interests,” said Geng Shuang, spokesman for China’s Foreign Ministry, at a regular press conference. The administration is considering more than doubling planned tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports, people familiar with the deliberations

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Chequers Brexit plan would cost economy equivalent of £500 per head, says thinktank – Politics live | Politics

Theresa May’s proposals for the UK’s relationship with the EU after Brexit – set out in the white paper but known as the Chequers plan, because it was finalised at an all-day cabinet meeting at Chequers – are a lot “softer” than people expected when she first became prime minister. But, according to a thinktank report out today, the economy would still suffer quite badly. The National Institute of Economic and Social Research has published its latest economic review and

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Asia shares mixed on US plans for higher tariffs, weak data

SINGAPORE (AP) – Asian shares are mixed as U.S. plans to raise tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports and weaker-than-expected manufacturing data weighed on sentiment. KEEPING SCORE: Japan’s Nikkei 225 index rose 0.9 percent to 22,746.70 and South Korea’s Kospi added 0.5 percent to 2,307.02 on Wednesday. The Shanghai Composite index tumbled 1.5 percent to 2,833.94. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index dropped 0.2 percent to 28,522.94. Australia’s S&P; ASX 200 lost 0.1 percent to 6,275.70. Shares were higher in

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