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Business Highlights: Jobs Report, Global Tax Deal

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Delta variant and worker shortage keep a lid on job growth

WASHINGTON: U.S. employers added just 194,000 jobs in September, a second straight tepid gain and evidence that the pandemic has kept its grip on the economy, with many companies struggling to fill millions of open jobs. Fridays report from the Labor Department also showed that the unemployment rate sank last month from 5.2% to 4.8%. The rate fell in part because more people found jobs but also because about 180,000 fewer people looked for work in September, which meant they werent counted as unemployed.

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More than 130 countries reach deal on corporate minimum tax

FRANKFURT, Germany: More than 130 countries have agreed on a tentative deal that would make sweeping changes to how big, multinational companies are taxed in order to deter them from stashing their profits in offshore tax havens where they pay little or no tax. The agreement announced Friday foresees countries enacting a global minimum corporate tax of 15% on the biggest, internationally active companies. U.S. President Joe Biden has been one of the driving forces behind the agreement as governments around the world seek to boost revenue following the COVID-19 pandemic. The agreement was announced by the Paris-based Organization for Cooperation and Economic Development, which hosted the talks.

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Google cracks down on climate change denial by targeting ads

LONDON: Google is cracking down on digital ads promoting false climate change claims or being used to make money from such content, hoping to limit revenue for climate change deniers and stop the spread of misinformation on its platforms. The company said Thursday in a blog post that it was rolling out a new policy that will also apply to YouTube, which last week announced a sweeping crackdown of vaccine misinformation. Google says publishers on its platforms have grown increasingly uneasy when climate denial ads appear next to their content.

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Stock indexes closing lower as jobs data sparks uncertainty

NEW YORK: U.S. stock indexes are closing lower Friday after a weak jobs report sparked questions about when the Federal Reserve could pare back its immense support for the markets. The S&P 500 fell 0.2% after wavering throughout the day. Government data showed far fewer jobs were created last month than economists forecast. The jobs report is among the most anticipated pieces of economic data, and the reaction to its release was a confused one. U.S. stocks moved up and down throughout the day, as did Treasury yields. The price of U.S. oil briefly rose to its highest level since 2014.

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Senate avoids a US debt disaster, votes to extend borrowing

WASHINGTON: The Senate has dodged a U.S. debt disaster by approving legislation to lift the federal limit on new borrowing by nearly a half-trillion dollars. The bill, likely to be approved by the House as well, should temporarily avert an unprecedented U.S. default that experts say would have devastated the economy and harmed millions of Americans. Approved Thursday night by the Senate, it will extend the governments authority to borrow into December. However, that will provide only a temporary reprieve. The same battle will be revived as Democrats argue before yearend with Republicans, who say Democrats must lift the cap without their help.

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White House proposes tech bill of rights to limit AI harms

WASHINGTON: Top science advisers to President Joe Biden are calling for a new bill of rights to guard against powerful new artificial intelligence technology. The White Houses Office of Science and Technology Policy on Friday launched a fact-finding mission to look at facial recognition and other biometric tools used to identify people or assess their emotional or mental states and character. Bidens chief science adviser, Eric Lander, and the deputy director for science and society, Alondra Nelson, also published an opinion piece in Wired magazine detailing the need to develop new safeguards against faulty and harmful uses of AI that can unfairly discriminate against people or violate their privacy.

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Trump hotel lost $70M despite millions in foreign business

NEW YORK: Former President Donald Trumps company lost more than $70 million on his Washington, D.C., hotel during his four years in office despite taking in millions from foreign governments, according to documents released Friday by a congressional committee investigating his business. The House Committee on Oversight and Reform said the luxury hotel just a few blocks from the White House was struggling so badly that the Trump Organization had to inject $27 million from other parts of its business and got preferential treatment from a major lender to delay payments on a $170 million loan. The committee said the losses came despite an estimated $3.7 million in revenue from foreign governments, business that ethics experts say Trump should have refused because it posed conflicts of interest with his role as president.

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Brazils inflation hits double digits, punishing the poor

RIO DE JANEIRO: Inflation has come roaring back in Brazil and surpassed 10% for the first time since 2016, according to data released Friday. Soaring prices of gas, meat, electricity and more are plunging tens of millions of poor Brazilians deeper into uncertainty. Pricier fuels reflect higher global oil prices as many nations shuffle off the pandemic and return to life with mobility. But there are uniquely local effects stoking Brazils inflation, especially drought that sent food prices surging and prompted pricier thermoelectric power generation. While headline inflation has just entered double-digit territory, prices for many specific items have been there for months, causing hardship among the poor.

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The S&P 500 fell 8.42 points, or 0.2%, to 4,391.34. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 8.69 points, or less than 0.1%, to 34,746.25. The Nasdaq slipped 74.48 points, or 0.5%, to 14,579.54. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies shed 17 points, or 0.8%, to 2,233.09.

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