Global Glance: ECB head warns on Trump deregulation push; US trade deficit last year hit highest level since 2012

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

European Central Bank head warns on Trump deregulation push

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — The head of the European Central Bank expressed concern about the Trump administration’s moves to relax financial oversight, saying such deregulation helped pave the way for the global financial crisis. During a hearing in the European Parliament, ECB President Mario Draghi was asked about Trump’s efforts to revisit parts of the Dodd-Frank regulations aimed at keeping risk-taking banks from sparking a repeat of the 2007-9 financial turbulence that launched the Great Recession. “Frankly, I don’t see any reason to relax the current regulatory stance which has produced a much, much stronger banking – and, generally, financial services – industry than we used to have before the crisis,” Draghi said. Read more

US trade deficit last year hit highest level since 2012

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. trade deficit narrowed slightly in December, but the improvement wasn’t enough to keep the deficit for the entire year from rising to the highest level since 2012. That should provide fuel for President Donald Trump’s contention that America needs a tougher approach to trade. The Commerce Department says the deficit in December fell 3.2 percent to $44.2 billion. A gain in exports of commercial aircraft, heavy machinery and autos offset a rise in imports. For the whole year, the deficit rose 0.4 percent to $502.3 billion, the highest annual imbalance since 2012. Read more

Gorsuch seen as business-friendly on labor, workplace issues

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a decade as a federal appeals court judge, Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch has criticized courts for giving too much power to government agencies that enforce the nation’s labor and employment laws. As a lawyer in private practice, he also backed curbs on some class-action lawsuits. His conservative approach could tip the balance in labor rights cases and other high court clashes that have split the court. In a closely watched case the Supreme Court is expected to hear later this year, the justices will decide whether companies can require workers to sign away their right to pursue class-action lawsuits. The National Labor Relations Board says such waiver agreements violate the rights of millions of workers who want to sue over wage disputes and other workplace clashes. Read more

Tech firms take stand against travel ban, risking backlash

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Through a Super Bowl ad, public statements and court filings, Silicon Valley’s biggest companies are taking a strong stand against President Donald Trump’s travel ban, saying high tech needs immigrants’ creativity and energy to stay competitive. Although the companies are risking a backlash from customers who side with Trump, they say the pushback is necessary for an industry dependent on thousands of highly skilled foreign workers. Read more

Voters await economic revival in a part of pro-Trump America

PRAIRIE DU CHIEN, Wis. (AP) — Here in Crawford County, residents often recite two facts about their hometown, the first one proudly: It is the second-oldest community in the state. The next is that it’s also one of the poorest. There are no rusted-out factories to embody this discontent. Just a few vacant storefronts hint at the seething resentment that life still seems harder here than it should. In this place that astonished America when it helped hand President Donald Trump the White House, many of those who chose him greeted the frenetic opening acts of his presidency with a shrug. Immigration is not their top concern, and so they watched with some trepidation as Trump signed orders to build a wall on the Mexican border and bar immigrants from seven Muslim countries, sowing chaos around the world. Read more

Fighting fake news isn’t just up to Facebook and Google

NEW YORK (AP) — The fight against fake news is not just being waged by Google, Facebook and big media companies. They are joined in the battle by academics and data scientists who started work on the subject years before bogus news stories were suspected of helping sway the 2016 presidential election. Their work has yielded tools that help track how “alternative facts” spread, and others that let you identify fake stories or block them altogether. Read more

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