Global Glance: Congress not likely to quickly pass tax overhaul; tech leaders launch ‘news integrity’ nonprofit

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

Congress seen as not likely to pass tax overhaul quickly

WASHINGTON (AP) — After their humiliating loss on health care, Republicans in Congress could use a quick victory on a big issue. It won’t be an overhaul of the tax code. Overhauling the tax code could prove harder to accomplish than repealing and replacing Barack Obama’s health law. Congressional Republicans are divided on significant issues, especially a new tax on imports embraced by House Speaker Paul Ryan. And the White House is sending contradicting signals on the new tax, adding to the uncertainty. Read more

Tech leaders, others launch $14M ‘news integrity’ nonprofit

NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook and Mozilla are among the companies and organizations launching a $14 million fund to promote news literacy and increase trust in journalism. The nonprofit, called the News Integrity Initiative, will be based at the City University of New York. It will run as an independent project of the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. Others contributing to the fund include Craigslist founder Craig Newmark and the Ford Foundation. Recent polls show the public’s trust in the news industry at a low. Read more

China to establish new economic zone near Beijing

BEIJING (AP) — China says it will establish a special economic area in a province neighboring Beijing as part of a plan to integrate the capital with its surrounding areas. The official Xinhua News Agency said Saturday that the Xiongan New Area in Hebei province would have national significance like the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone, China’s first free-market economic zone set up in 1980 as the country was beginning economic reforms. Read more

Minister: Iraq to boost crude oil production by year’s end

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq’s oil minister said on Sunday that his country plans to increase daily crude oil production to 5 million barrels by the end of this year, up from the current rate of about 4.4 million barrels per day, to secure sorely needed cash for its ailing economy. Iraq, where oil revenues make up nearly 95 percent of the budget, has been reeling under an economic crisis since 2014, when oil prices began their descent from a high of above $100 a barrel. The Islamic State group’s onslaught, starting in 2014, has exacerbated the situation – forcing Iraq to divert much of its resources to a long and costly war. Read more

Cyborgs at work: Employees getting implanted with Microchips

STOCKHOLM (AP) — The syringe slides in between the thumb and index finger. Then, with a click, a microchip is injected in the employee’s hand. Another “cyborg” is created. What could pass for a dystopian vision of the workplace is almost routine at the Swedish startup hub Epicenter. The company offers to implant its workers and startup members with microchips the size of grains of rice that function as swipe cards: to open doors, operate printers, or buy smoothies with a wave of the hand. The injections have become so popular that workers at Epicenter hold parties for those willing to get implanted. Read more

GOP congress rolls back rules on hunting, broadband privacy

WASHINGTON (AP) — Hunters could soon target grizzly bears from the air on Alaska’s federal lands. Internet providers may get to sell the browsing habits of their customers. States will be able to deny federal family planning money to Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers. Citing states’ rights, jobs and the right to bear arms, congressional Republicans are reversing dozens of Obama-era rules affecting the environment, education and the energy sector. With an overhaul of health insurance going off the rails, Republicans are left pointing to the repeal of various government regulations as their crowning legislative achievement after some 70 days at work. Read more

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