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Wall Street flat admit rush of bank earnings, inflation data

Wall Street is essentially flat before the opening bell as quarterly earnings from banks and new inflation data pulled markets in different directions.

Futures for the S&P 500 were unchanged before the bell Friday while futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average ticked up less than 0.1%.

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Booming Turkish TV drama captures hearts and minds worldwide and boosts tourism

Under the sweltering Turkish sun, tourists wander through sets that recreate Ottoman and Byzantine-era castles, take selfies with actors in traditional Ottoman costumes and watch horseback stunt performances. Among them is Riia Toivanen, 22, a devoted fan of Turkish television drama who traveled to Istanbul from Finland with her mother to delve into the realm of her beloved shows.

Some 8,000 miles (12,800 kilometers) across the globe in Villa Carlos Paz in Argentina, 66-year-old retired teacher Raquel Greco watches an episode of a Turkish romantic comedy, surrounded by memorabilia from her once-in-a-lifetime trip to Istanbul where she visited landmarks she knew from years of watching Turkish shows.

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China's exports grow 8.6% in June, beating forecasts despite trade tensions

China's exports beat forecasts in June, customs data showed Friday, while imports grew less than expected.

Exports grew 8.6% from the same time last year to hit $307.8 billion, according to data released by Chinese customs, beating estimates of about 7.4% to 8% growth. Imports however fell 2.3% from a year earlier to $208.8 billion.

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US producer inflation higher than anticipated in June

Wholesale prices in the United States rose by a larger-than-expected 2.6% last month from a year earlier, a sign that some inflation pressures remain high.

The increase, the sharpest year-over-year increase since March 2023, comes at a time when other price indicators are showing that inflation has continued to ease.

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British Embassy celebrates record UK-Lebanon trade figures

British Ambassador to Lebanon Hamish Cowell hosted Thursday a Business and Trade reception to celebrate record-breaking bilateral trade figures between the UK and Lebanon.

In 2023, bilateral trade figures between the UK and Lebanon passed the £1bn mark for the first time ever, reaching a record high of £1.1 billion, an increase on over 45% on 2022. Export brands increased to £160 million. The top five goods exported by the UK to Lebanon throughout 2023 were mechanical power generators, cars, beverages, dairy products, and medicinal and pharmaceutical products. Services accounted for over £600m.

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26 million tons of clothing end up in China's landfills each year, propelled by fast fashion

At a factory in Zhejiang province on China's eastern coast, two mounds of discarded cotton clothing and bed linens, loosely separated into dark and light colors, pile up on a workroom floor. Jacket sleeves, collars and brand labels protrude from the stacks as workers feed the garments into shredding machines.

It's the first stage of a new life for the textiles, part of a recycling effort at the Wenzhou Tiancheng Textile Company, one of the largest cotton recycling plants in China.

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IRS collects milestone $1 billion in back taxes from high-wealth US taxpayers

The IRS announced Thursday that it has collected $1 billion in back taxes from high-wealth tax cheats — a milestone meant to showcase how the U.S. agency is making use of the money it received as part of the Biden administration's signature climate, health care, and tax package signed into law in 2022.

Part of the push for public awareness of high-wealth tax collections is a growing recognition by agency officials that a potential Republican takeover of the White House and Congress could mean massive future budget cuts for the IRS. Showing the public how much work the IRS is getting done is meant to give the much-maligned agency a more sympathetic image.

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Biden awards $1.7 billion to boost electric vehicle manufacturing and assembly in eight states

The Biden administration is awarding nearly $2 billion in grants to help restart or expand electric vehicle manufacturing and assembly sites in eight states, including the presidential battlegrounds of Michigan, Pennsylvania and Georgia.

The Energy Department will issue grants totaling $1.7 billion to create or retain thousands of union jobs and support auto-based communities that have long driven the U.S. economy, the White House said Thursday. Besides the three battleground states, grants also will go to EV facilities in Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland and Virginia.

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Germany to bar Chinese companies' components from core parts of its 5G networks

Germany will bar the use of components made by Chinese companies Huawei and ZTE from core parts of the country's 5G networks, in two steps starting in 2026, the nation's top security official said Thursday.

Germany, which has Europe's biggest economy, has long mulled what to do about components made by Chinese suppliers in its new-generation cellphone networks.

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Samsung Electronics workers announce 'indefinite' strike

Unionized workers at Samsung Electronics declared an indefinite strike Wednesday to pressure South Korea's biggest company to accept their calls for higher pays and other benefits.

Thousands of members of the National Samsung Electronics Union launched a temporary, three-day strike on Monday. But the union said Wednesday that it was announcing an indefinite strike, accusing the management of being unwilling to negotiate. Samsung Electronics says there have been no disruptions to production.

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