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For more than two years, Mariam al-Mheiri had been preparing for a crisis. So when aeroplanes stopped flying into the United Arab Emirates as the coronavirus pandemic spread across the Middle East in March, the country’s first food security minister knew what was expected. She had to guarantee that her desert nation, which imports 90
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Donald Trump has abandoned his opposition to Microsoft buying TikTok while vowing to ban the Chinese-owned video app in the US unless an American company acquired it by September 15. In remarks at the White House, Mr Trump added another complication to Microsoft’s pursuit of the app, insisting the US government should receive a portion
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Donald Trump has vowed to ban TikTok, the Chinese-owned video-sharing app, from operating in the US as his administration finalised a national security review of the company. The move, announced by Mr Trump as he flew back to Washington from Florida on Friday night, is likely to further inflame geopolitical tensions with China. It also
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The Federal Reserve has warned the fate of the world’s largest economy would “depend significantly on the course of the virus” as the US central bank extended measures to deal with an international shortage of dollars. After a two-day meeting on Wednesday, the Federal Open Market Committee made no significant changes to monetary policy, holding
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Santander slumped to a €11.1bn loss in the second quarter after the coronavirus pandemic forced the eurozone’s largest retail bank to take large writedowns on the value of several of its businesses, led by its UK arm. The Spanish lender wrote off €6.1bn of goodwill left over from the purchases that created Santander UK in
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Moderna is pitching its coronavirus vaccine at about $50 to $60 per course, according to people familiar with talks between the company and potential buyers — higher than other vaccine makers have agreed to charge governments. The price would apply to the US and other high-income countries, which the company intended to prioritise, said other
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When Chinese diplomats began burning documents in the backyard of their Houston consulate after the US demanded its closure over spying allegations, it echoed a scene that played out in California a few years ago. Then, in September 2017, it had been Russian diplomats in San Francisco burning documents ahead of their eviction — also
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As 2020 kicked off, Dan Gocher at the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility, a shareholder advocacy organisation, was feeling “pretty optimistic” about its plans to force big Australian energy companies to tackle climate change. BlackRock, the $6.8tn asset manager, and other large investors had proclaimed an urgent need to arrest global warming. With the renewed
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Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte was unrestrained in his triumphalism about the deal he secured at this week’s crisis summit in Brussels. The unprecedented pan-European rescue package, he boasted, “would change the face of Italy”. Even Mr Conte’s most hardened domestic critics found it difficult to dismiss the agreement by EU leaders to create a
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Exceptional situations require exceptional efforts, said German chancellor Angela Merkel as she entered a fourth day of budget talks on Monday and, in the end, the EU made an exceptional effort.  After marathon and often fraught negotiations, the bloc’s leaders reached a momentous deal for a €750bn recovery fund, to help cushion the effects of
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