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Virgin Galactic rocket ship reaches space in test flight, setting stage for tourists to boldly go

via The Japan Times    Dec 14, 2018

Virgin Galactic's manned space tourism rocket plane SpaceShipTwo lands at Mojave Air and Space Port after returning from a space test flight in Mojave, California, Thursday. | VIRGIN GALACTIC / HANDOUT / VIA REUTERS

Virgin Galactic’s tourism spaceship climbed more than 50 miles high above California’s Mojave Desert on Thursday, reaching for the first time what the company considers ...

Ford accused of ‘treachery’ in France over factory closure, snub of potential buyer

via The Japan Times    Dec 14, 2018

A sticker made by workers from the Ford Motor Co. factory of Blanquefort, southwestern France, is seen during a demonstration near the Finance Ministry in Paris last year. | REUTERS

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire accused Ford of “treachery” and “cowardice” on Thursday in a furious reaction to the U.S. automaker’s decision to shutter ...

Trump’s new Africa strategy takes aim at ‘predatory’ China, Russia investments but transactional nature hit

via The Japan Times    Dec 14, 2018

National Security Adviser John Bolton unveils the Trump Administration's Africa Strategy at the Heritage Foundation in Washington Thursday. | AP

The Trump administration on Thursday announced a sharp refocus of its Africa strategy to counter what it called the “predatory” practices of China and Russia, ...

Apple deepens Austin ties with $1 billion campus, expands in other tech hotbeds

via The Japan Times    Dec 14, 2018

Apple employees attend an event about Apple's new campus announcement in Austin, Texas, Thursday. Apple plans to build a $1 billion campus in Austin that will create at least 5,000 jobs ranging from engineers to call-center agents while adding more luster to a Southwestern city that has already become a bustling tech hub. | RICARDO BRAZZIELL / AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN / VIA AP

Apple plans to build a $1 billion campus in Austin, Texas, that will create at least 5,000 jobs ranging from engineers to call-center agents while ...

Surge in scallops, lobsters helped U.S. fishermen net record $144 billion haul in 2016: Feds

via The Japan Times    Dec 14, 2018

A lobster walks on the ocean floor near a lobster trap off the coast of Biddeford, Maine, in September. The U.S. commercial fishing generated more than $144 billion in sales in 2016, according to a report released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The report says the industry was boosted by growth in value of shrimp, sea scallops and lobsters. | AP

U.S. commercial fishing generated more than $144 billion in sales in 2016, buoyed by growth in key species such as sea scallops and American lobsters, ...

Ottawa confirms China has detained second Canadian in suspected further retaliation for Huawei exec’s arrest

via The Japan Times    Dec 14, 2018

Canadian businessman Michael Spavor arrives next to the former NBA basketball player Dennis Rodman (not pictured) after a trip to North Korea, at Beijing Capital International Airport in 2014. | REUTERS

Canada’s foreign ministry confirmed Thursday that China has detained a second Canadian under what Beijing has said is suspicion of threatening its national security.“We can ...

Japan’s tankan economic survey shows sentiment remains flat

via The Japan Times    Dec 14, 2018

A key quarterly economic survey by the Bank of Japan shows sentiment among large manufacturers remained unchanged. | AFP-JIJI

A key quarterly economic survey by the Bank of Japan shows sentiment among large manufacturers remained unchanged between November and December, even as worries about ...

Japan Post eyes up to 8% stake in U.S. insurer Aflac

via The Japan Times    Dec 14, 2018

Japan Post Holdings Co., which is in a partnership with Aflac Inc.'s Japanese arm, hopes to expand its tie-up to include the joint development of insurance products. | BLOOMBERG

Japan Post Holdings Co. plans to acquire a 7 to 8 percent stake in U.S. insurer Aflac Inc. for about ¥300 billion as part of ...

Japan’s ruling bloc approves tax reforms, with breaks for home and car buyers

via The Japan Times    Dec 14, 2018

The government says it will cut taxes on car ownership to coincide with the Oct. 1 consumption tax hike. Car owners will save between ¥1,000 to ¥4,500 a year, with the deepest cuts for those with small cars. | BLOOMBERG

The ruling coalition approved Friday a tax reform package for fiscal 2019 starting in April that gives consumers greater incentives to buy homes and cars, ...

Nikkei takes 441-point downswing after two-day rebound

via The Japan Times    Dec 14, 2018

Stocks turned sharply lower Friday on the Tokyo Stock Exchange after being hit by a wave of selling on a two-day rally.The 225-issue Nikkei average ...

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