Global Glance: EU asks China to open markets; What’s next for the Dakota Access, Keystone XL pipelines?

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

EU asks China to open markets following free trade support

BEIJING (AP) — The European Union ambassador to China welcomed its endorsement of free trade in the face of U.S. President Donald Trump’s promise to restrict imports and appealed to Beijing on Wednesday to make good on that sentiment by lowering its own market barriers. Hans Dietmar Schweisgut also said it was too early to know how Trump’s rejection of an Asian trade pact this week might affect a similar proposed U.S.-European agreement. Schweisgut’s comments reflected the potentially global repercussions of Trump’s promises of sweeping change in U.S. trade, climate and foreign policy. Read more

What’s next for the Dakota Access, Keystone XL pipelines?

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — President Donald Trump’s executive actions on the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines are aimed at turning the much-protested pipelines into reality. Here’s a look at what may be next for the two pipelines: The $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline to carry North Dakota oil through South Dakota and Iowa to a shipping point in Illinois is nearly complete, except for a stretch underneath Lake Oahe, a Missouri River reservoir in southern North Dakota. Construction is stalled due to a court fight between developer Energy Transfer Partners and the Army Corps of Engineers over permission for the pipeline to cross under the lake amid objections from the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, which gets its drinking water from the lake. Read more

Restaurants: The next front for the immigration debate?

CHICAGO (AP) — The national debate over immigration policy could be coming to a diner near you. From down-home delis to upscale bistros, dozens of restaurants nationwide are seeking “sanctuary” status, a designation owners hope will help protect employees in an immigrant-heavy industry and tone down fiery rhetoric sparked by the presidential campaign. First inspired by churches, the label is something cities and other public entities have sought to offer local protections to immigrants living in the U.S. illegally, whether it’s barring police from asking citizens about immigration status or refusing to cooperate with federal agents. Read more

Existing US home count fell in December as supplies at 17-year low

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans retreated from purchasing homes in December, as the number of properties listed for sale sank to its lowest level since 1999. The National Association of Realtors said Tuesday that sales of existing homes fell 2.8 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.49 million. For all of 2016, sales posted an annual gain of 3.8 percent to 5.45 million. But the housing market has become trapped by a supply shortage that has pushed prices higher and may limit the potential for additional sales growth. Homebuyers simply have fewer choices, as new construction has yet to meet demand and existing homeowners have been reluctant to list their properties for sale. Read more

Fear of US trade sanctions grows among German managers

BERLIN (AP) — A closely-watched survey of business confidence in Germany, Europe’s largest economy, dropped in January as managers worried about the uncertainty associated with the advent of Donald Trump’s presidency. The Ifo index released Wednesday fell to 109.8 points in January from 111 points in December, as companies’ greater satisfaction with their current situation was offset by a drop in their expectations. Read more

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