Global Glance: House sets risky health care vote; Eurozone’s economic growth near 6-year high

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

House sets risky health care vote after Trump demands it

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a gamble with monumental political stakes, Republicans set course for a climactic House vote on their health care overhaul after President Donald Trump claimed he was finished negotiating with GOP holdouts and determined to pursue the rest of his agenda, win or lose. House Speaker Paul Ryan set the showdown for Friday, following a nighttime Capitol meeting at which top White House officials told GOP lawmakers that Trump had decided the time for talk was over. In an embarrassing and stinging setback hours earlier, leaders abruptly postponed the vote because a rebellion by conservatives and moderates would have doomed the measure. Read more

Eurozone’s economic growth near 6-year high: New survey

LONDON (AP) — Businesses across the 19-country eurozone, and particularly in France, are increasingly upbeat and hiring more people despite big uncertainties – including France’s high-stakes presidential election. A closely watched survey of some 5,000 companies indicates that business activity is growing overall at the fastest rate in over six years. The so-called purchasing managers’ index, which serves as a gauge of business activity, rose to 56.7 points in March, from 56 in February, confounding expectations for a modest decline. The index, published Friday by data providers IHS Markit, is on a 100-point scale, with 50 separating contraction from growth. Read more

Trump SEC pick assures his Wall Street work not a problem

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission, attorney Jay Clayton, sought to assure lawmakers that he’ll show no favoritism and act only in the public interest, as his Wall Street connections were scrutinized at his Senate confirmation hearing Thursday. Clayton, a partner in the prominent law firm Sullivan & Cromwell, has done significant legal work for Wall Street powerhouse Goldman Sachs and other financial giants. Asked whether his client work will create conflicts of interest for him as the financial markets’ top regulator, Clayton said he doesn’t believe they will. Read more

Trump administration approves Keystone XL

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration issued a permit Friday to build the Keystone XL pipeline, reversing the conclusion of the Obama administration and clearing the way for the $8 billion project to finally be completed. The decision caps a years-long fight between environmental groups and energy industry advocates over the pipeline’s fate that became a proxy battle over global warming. It marks one of the biggest steps taken to date by the Trump administration to prioritize economic development over environmental concerns. Read more

Death rates up for middle-age whites with little education

WASHINGTON (AP) — A sobering portrait of less-educated middle-age white Americans emerged Thursday with new research showing them dying disproportionately from what one expert calls “deaths of despair” – suicides, drug overdoses and alcohol-related diseases. The new paper by two Princeton University economists, Anne Case and Angus Deaton, concludes that the trend is driven by the loss of steady middle-income jobs for those with a high school diploma or less. The economists also argue that dwindling job opportunities have triggered broader problems for this group. They are more likely than their college-educated counterparts, for example, to be unemployed, unmarried or suffering from poor health. Read more

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