Top Stories

  • SpaceX to launch satellite by reusing rocket AFP - 10 hours ago
    SpaceX to launch satellite by reusing rocket

    SpaceX and satellite operator SES have agreed to launch a commercial satellite later this year by reusing a Falcon 9 rocket, the companies announced on Tuesday. The launch of SES-10, which will be the first satellite sent into space on a SpaceX flight-proven rocket, was scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2016. Officials with California-based SpaceX, headed by Internet entrepreneur Elon Musk, had previously indicated that reusing rockets could cut launch costs by 30 percent.

  • Twitter offers video creators share of ad money AFP - 12 hours ago
    Twitter offers video creators share of ad money

    Twitter on Tuesday began offering video creators a cut of ad revenue in a move that could help it better compete with YouTube and Facebook for content viewers seek. A Twitter Amplify Publisher Program that was launched with select media and publishers such as Buzzfeed and Time is now open to individual video makers in the US, product manager Guy Snir said in a blog post. "We're announcing product upgrades that will make publishing and monetizing on Twitter as effortless as sending a Tweet," Snir said.

  • US, European markets split as Apple hit with $14.5 bn tax bill AFP - 14 hours ago
    US, European markets split as Apple hit with $14.5 bn tax bill

    European and US equities markets went in opposite directions on Tuesday, with Wall Street in negative territory after European officials ordered Apple to pay $14.5 billion in back taxes. Apple's shares ...

  • Wall Street ends lower as EU's Apple tax decision draws ire AFP - 15 hours ago
    Wall Street ends lower as EU's Apple tax decision draws ire

    Wall Street closed marginally lower on Tuesday as US officials reacted angrily to European authorities' decision to demand $14.5 billion in back taxes from Apple. The tech giant's shares fell 0.8 percent ...

  • France rules out imminent EU-US trade deal, wants talks halted AFP - 15 hours ago
    France rules out imminent EU-US trade deal, wants talks halted

    France said Tuesday it wanted to halt thorny EU-US trade talks as President Francois Hollande underlined there would be no deal until after President Barack Obama leaves office in January. "Our position on this has not changed," said White House spokesman Josh Earnest. The EU commissioner in charge of the negotiations said talks have not broken down and the aim is still a deal by the time Obama leaves office.

  • Ghost HQ and Double Irish: Apple's tax deals AFP - 16 hours ago
    Ghost HQ and Double Irish: Apple's tax deals

    Take one set of European profits, one phantom headquarters and two companies and there you have it: Apple's recipe for avoiding tax. The deal was made possible by two "tax rulings" in 1991 and 2007 granted by Ireland as it tried to make itself competitive in attracting international firms. Ireland scrapped them in 2015.

  • Nigeria braces for likely recession AFP - 18 hours ago
    Nigeria braces for likely recession

    After two bruising quarters marked by attacks on oil pipelines in the Niger delta and ballooning inflation, Nigeria is expected on Wednesday to announce it is officially in recession. Sales of oil at a high price had made Nigeria the biggest economy in Africa. Reacting to the dramatic decline in state revenue, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari ended costly fuel subsidies and finally devalued the naira in June after upholding a controversial currency peg for months.

  • Ikea warns Russian court rulings could delay investments AFP - 19 hours ago
    Ikea warns Russian court rulings could delay investments

    Swedish furniture flatpack giant IKEA warned Tuesday it could delay planned investment in Russia after a court ordered it to pay more than $7.8 million in damages in a long-running legal dispute. In a statement sent to AFP, IKEA stressed it did not plan to cut its investment in Russia but said its legal problems "could slow down" its plans. It issued the statement after a court in the western Russian city of Smolensk ordered IKEA to pay more than 507 million rubles to Russian businessman Konstantin Ponomaryov as part of a decade-long legal wrangle over supplying power to stores in the second city of Saint Petersburg.

  • Apple hit with record EU tax bill AFP - 19 hours ago
    Apple hit with record EU tax bill

    The EU ordered tech giant Apple on Tuesday to pay a record 13 billion euros in back taxes in Ireland, a move Washington warned could damage hugely important transatlantic economic ties. Brussels said Apple, the world's most valuable company, avoided virtually all tax on its business in the bloc by illegal arrangements with Dublin which gave the company an unfair advantage over competitors. Apple and the Irish government immediately said they would appeal against the European Commission ruling, with the iPhone maker warning it could cost European jobs.

  • White House still hopes to finish US-EU trade deal this year AFP - 19 hours ago
    White House still hopes to finish US-EU trade deal this year

    The White House insisted Tuesday it still hopes to wrap up negotiations on a massive EU-US trade deal by year's end, after officials in France and Germany publicly called the pact into question. "Our position on this has not changed," said White House spokesman Josh Earnest. Earnest said President Barack Obama will send his top trade official to Europe in the coming weeks for further negotiations, pointedly rejecting French demands that talks be halted.

  • US home prices ease in June AFP - 19 hours ago
    US home prices ease in June

    The pace of gains in US home prices slowed in June but solid demand and tight supplies should keep a floor on the market, analysts said Tuesday. The year-on-year rise was 5.1 percent, down from 5.3 percent in May. Price gains remained strongest in the northwest cities of Portland and Seattle, and Denver, Colorado was strong as well. Ian Shepherdson of Pantheon Macroeconomics said that the tight supply of new and used houses on the market and pent-up demand due to the economy's slow recovery from the 2008-2009 recession means prices are not likely to fall.

  • Apple shares lose a little shine after EU tax bill AFP - 19 hours ago
    Apple shares lose a little shine after EU tax bill

    Apple shares lost some of their shine on Tuesday after the European Union ordered the US tech giant to pay a record 13 billion euros ($14.5 billion) in back taxes in Ireland. Shares in the iPhone and iPad ...

  • Multi-billion Apple windfall puts Ireland in unusual bind AFP - 20 hours ago
    Multi-billion Apple windfall puts Ireland in unusual bind

    The European Commission's demand for Apple to pay Ireland some 13 billion euros in back taxes has put the country in the strange position of refusing the windfall for fear of scaring away valuable investment. Finance Minister Michael Noonan said he disagreed "profoundly" with Brussels while Apple chief Tim Cook warned the ruling threatened jobs and investment in Europe. Cook said Apple, the world's most valuable company, was now in the "unusual position" of being asked to pay taxes to a government that says they are not due.

  • Brexit rattles Eurozone business confidence AFP - 20 hours ago
    Brexit rattles Eurozone business confidence

    Britain's vote to quit the European Union continued to undermine eurozone business and consumer confidence in August, analysts said after worse-than-expected official figures on Tuesday. The Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) for the 19-nation eurozone compiled by the European Commission fell one full point to 103.5 in August. For the full 28-member European Union, the ESI was down 0.9 points from July at 103.8, holding above the boom-bust line of 100 points.

  • US consumer confidence up sharply in August AFP - 21 hours ago
    US consumer confidence up sharply in August

    US consumer sentiment in August rose to its highest level in almost a year, with the public's optimism about jobs and income showing improvement, the Conference Board reported Tuesday. The monthly consumer confidence index was at 101.1, up from 96.7 in July, which had seen a marginal decrease from June. "Consumers' assessment of both current business and labor market conditions was considerably more favorable than last month," Lynn Franco, the Board's head of economic indicators, said in a statement.

  • EU hits Apple with record 13 bn euro tax bill AFP - 21 hours ago
    EU hits Apple with record 13 bn euro tax bill

    The EU ordered tech giant Apple to pay a record 13 billion euros in back taxes in Ireland, a move Washington warned could damage hugely important transatlantic economic ties. Brussels said Apple, the world's most valuable company, avoided virtually all tax on its business in the bloc by illegal arrangements with Dublin which gave the company an unfair advantage over competitors. Apple and the Irish government immediately said they would appeal against the European Commission ruling, with the iPhone maker warning it could cost European jobs.

  • Weak German inflation could push ECB to act AFP - 21 hours ago
    Weak German inflation could push ECB to act

    Germany saw flat inflation in August, data showed Tuesday, which could feed into a European Central Bank decision to deploy more monetary stimulus as soon as next week. Preliminary figures from Germany's federal statistics office Destatis showed that inflation remained steady at 0.4 percent this month, the same as in July, as measured using the consumer price index preferred by the German government. The result was just below the 0.5 percent predicted by analysts surveyed by Factset, and remains far off the ECB target of just under 2.0 percent.

  • Apple ordered to pay record 13 bn euro Irish tax bill AFP - 22 hours ago
    Apple ordered to pay record 13 bn euro Irish tax bill

    The European Union on Tuesday ordered Apple to pay a record 13 billion euros in back taxes in Ireland, saying deals allowing the US tech giant to pay almost no tax were illegal. In the latest in a series of rulings that has angered Washington, Brussels said the world's most valuable company avoided tax bills on virtually all its profits in the bloc under its arrangements with Dublin. Apple and the Irish government immediately said they would appeal against the European Commission ruling, while the US Treasury said it could undermine its economic partnership with the EU.

  • Markets track Wall Street higher AFP - 23 hours ago
    Markets track Wall Street higher

    Europe's main stock markets pushed upwards on Tuesday, mirroring gains elsewhere, but London was somewhat subdued after a long holiday weekend, dealers said. The tech sector was in focus, with Apple shares ...

  • All four big Chinese banks report rising bad loans AFP - Tue, Aug 30, 2016 11:25 AM AEST
    All four big Chinese banks report rising bad loans

    The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the world's biggest lender by assets, said its non-performing loan (NPL) ratio rose to 1.55 percent at the end of June, up from 1.50 percent at the end of last year, according to a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange filed Tuesday. China's three other giant state-owned banks have reported similar results in recent days, with all of their bad loan ratios creeping upwards as Beijing seeks to boost the world's second-largest economy with an infusion of cheap credit. Bank of China's earnings statement Tuesday showed its NPL ratio rising to 1.47 at the end of June, up from 1.43 in December.

  • No EU-US trade deal before Obama leaves office, says Hollande AFP - Tue, Aug 30, 2016 10:37 AM AEST
    No EU-US trade deal before Obama leaves office, says Hollande

    French President Francois Hollande said Tuesday a long-awaited EU-US trade deal would not be agreed before US President Barack Obama leaves office in January. Earlier Tuesday, France's pointman on the talks, junior trade minister trade Matthias Fekl, said Paris was going to call for the negotiations to be suspended. Fekl said the negotiations no longer had "political support" in France because the US negotiators "give nothing or just crumbs".

  • Apple hit with record 13 bn euro Irish tax bill AFP - Tue, Aug 30, 2016 10:28 AM AEST
    Apple hit with record 13 bn euro Irish tax bill

    The European Union on Tuesday ordered Apple to pay a record 13 billion euros in back taxes in Ireland, saying deals allowing the US tech giant to pay almost no tax were illegal. In a ruling that is set to anger Washington, the European Commission said the world's most valuable company avoided tax bills on almost all its profits in the bloc under the arrangements with the Irish government. Ireland has been seeking to attract US multinationals by offering extremely favourable tax conditions, known as sweetheart deals.

  • Apple must repay record 13 bn euros over Irish tax deal: EU AFP - Tue, Aug 30, 2016 9:58 AM AEST
    Apple must repay record 13 bn euros over Irish tax deal: EU

    The European Union on Tuesday said US tech giant Apple must repay a record 13 billion euros ($14.3 billion) in back taxes after ruling that a series of Irish sweetheart tax deals were illegal. "The European Commission has concluded that Ireland granted undue tax benefits of up to 13 billion euros to Apple. This is illegal under EU state aid rules because it allowed Apple to pay substantially less tax than other businesses.

  • Apple must repay record 13 bn euros over Irish tax deal, EU rules AFP - Tue, Aug 30, 2016 9:55 AM AEST
    Apple must repay record 13 bn euros over Irish tax deal, EU rules

    The European Union on Tuesday said US tech giant Apple must repay a record 13 billion euros ($14.3 billion) in back taxes after ruling that a series of Irish sweetheart tax deals were illegal. "The European Commission has concluded that Ireland granted undue tax benefits of up to 13 billion euros to Apple. This is illegal under EU state aid rules because it allowed Apple to pay substantially less tax than other businesses.

  • Apple faces huge Irish tax payout in EU case AFP - Tue, Aug 30, 2016 9:24 AM AEST
    Apple faces huge Irish tax payout in EU case

    The European Union is expected to order Apple on Tuesday to pay billions of euros in back taxes in Ireland in one of its largest such cases after ruling that sweetheart tax deals for the US tech giant were illegal. The bloc's competition watchdog, Margrethe Vestager, will hold a press conference at 1000 GMT in which sources told AFP she is set to announce the European Commission's findings on the case. Brussels launched an inquiry three years ago into tax breaks that Ireland offered iPhone-maker Apple, in one of a series of anti-trust cases targeting major US corporations that have angered Washington.