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Donald Trump speaks at CPAC in Washington D.C. on February 10, 2011. | Courtesy of Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons

Global Glance: UnitedHealth makes $5B deal; Trump forges ahead on Jerusalem-as-capital



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Here are today’s top business headlines from across the nation and world:

UnitedHealth ventures deeper into patient care with $5B deal

The nation’s biggest health insurer is spending nearly $5 billion to buy hundreds of clinics, just three days after rival Aetna announced a tie up with CVS Health Corp. Minnetonka, Minnesota-based UnitedHealth Group Inc. said Wednesday that its Optum segment will buy the DaVita Medical Group from DaVita Inc. in a cash deal expected to close next year. Health insurers have been pushing deeper into managing or providing patient care in order to cut costs and improve health, especially for people with chronic conditions. Read more

Amid warnings, Trump forges ahead on Jerusalem-as-capital

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump will recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital on Wednesday despite intense Arab, Muslim and European opposition to a move that would upend decades of U.S. policy and risk potentially violent protests. Trump will instruct the State Department to begin the multi-year process of moving the American embassy from Tel Aviv to the holy city, U.S. officials said Tuesday. It remains unclear, however, when he might take that physical step, which is required by U.S. law but has been waived on national security grounds for more than two decades. Read more

Amid positive talk, some in GOP offer blunt take on taxes

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sounding a discordant note among the positive talk on the tax bill, a number of Republicans are delivering a blunt assessment, casting the bill as a boost to big corporations and the wealthy instead of the middle class. Both the House and Senate have passed massive tax bills that would provide steep tax cuts for businesses and more modest tax breaks for families and individuals. The tax cuts in both bills add up to about $1.5 trillion over the next decade. Congressional estimates show that taxpayers in every income group would initially see tax cuts, with the biggest cuts going to the wealthiest Americans. However, after several years, many low- and middle-income families would see tax increases, according to the analyses by the Joint Committee on Taxation, the official scorekeeper for Congress. Read more

US productivity jumps 3 percent in third quarter

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. worker productivity rose 3 percent in the third quarter, the best showing in three years, while labor costs fell for a second straight quarter. The Labor Department said Wednesday that the increase in productivity in the July-September rose sharply from the 1.5 percent increase in the second quarter and a scant 0.1 percent rise in the first three months of the year. Labor costs fell 0.2 percent after an even bigger 1.2 percent decline in the second quarter. Read more

UK government made no analysis of Brexit’s economic impact

LONDON (AP) — The U.K. official shepherding Britain’s departure from the European Union acknowledged Wednesday that the government has made no formal assessments of the economic impact of leaving the 28-nation bloc. Brexit Secretary David Davis told a parliamentary committee Wednesday that the nation should be prepared for a profound shift in the way the economy operates on a scale similar to that of the 2008 financial crisis. He says that since Britain must prepare for a “paradigm change,” in the economy, any assessment in the automotive, aerospace financial services or other sectors would fail to be “informative.” Read more

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