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Trump Administration Sets Stricter Limits on Entry to U.S.

WASHINGTON—The Trump administration will begin enforcing its travel ban on people from six Muslim-majority nations on Thursday, with exceptions only for those with close family or business ties, officials said.<p>Guidance will be made public Thursday on details of who qualifies for the exceptions …

United States

Walgreens Ends Rite Aid Merger, to Buy Half Its Stores

Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. and Rite Aid Corp. nixed their $9.4 billion merger agreement, which had been heavily scrutinized by antitrust regulators, and reached a new deal in which Walgreens instead will buy half of Rite Aid’s stores for $5.18 billion in cash.<p>Investors had been awaiting a …

Stocks

Fox's Bid for Sky Set for More U.K. Scrutiny

LONDON—The U.K. government said it was likely to require further scrutiny of 21st Century Fox Inc.’s £11.7 billion ($15.1 billion) bid to buy the 61% of British TV giant Sky PLC it doesn’t already own—adding another hurdle to Rupert Murdoch’s protracted quest to consolidate control of his …

Rupert Murdoch

A New Problem for Keystone XL: Oil Companies Don't Want It

Keystone XL is facing a new challenge: The oil producers and refiners the pipeline was originally meant to serve aren’t interested in it anymore.<p>Delayed for nearly a decade by protests and regulatory roadblocks, Keystone XL got the green light from President Donald Trump in March. But the …

Oil

House Republicans Step Up Pressure on Sanctuary Cities

WASHINGTON—Cities and counties that don’t help federal immigration authorities could lose millions of dollars in federal grants under legislation being considered Thursday in the House, as Republicans ramp up their battle against so-called sanctuary cities.<p>The legislation represents the …

Immigration

Philippines' Combative Duterte Gets Opponent He Didn't Want: Islamic State

MANILA, Philippines—President Rodrigo Duterte took office pledging to bring peace to Mindanao, the predominantly Muslim island in the southern Philippines where he was raised.<p>But a year later, his goal of reconciling with the island’s many militant and separatist groups is in danger of slipping …

Philippines

China's Tech Entrepreneurs Need to Watch Their Backs

Amazon.com Inc.’s recent bid to acquire Whole Foods Market Inc. inflamed concerns in the U.S. about big tech companies taking over America.<p>In China, that’s already happening. Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Tencent Holdings Ltd. are online-offline conglomerates each with hundreds of millions of …

China

Illinois Is in Deep Trouble: What Investors Need to Know

Illinois is locked in a political stalemate, and in danger of becoming the first U.S. state to have its debt downgraded to junk status. S&P Global Inc. threatened to take that action if Gov. Bruce Rauner and Democratic Speaker of the House Michael Madigan can’t agree on a package of spending and …

Finance

Amazon's Whole Foods Deal Adds Pressure on Grocery Services to Deliver

Even before Amazon.com Inc. put a supermarket chain in its cart, U.S. grocery delivery services were racing to grab hold of new regions, spending millions to gain a larger share of the fast-growing market.<p>Now, with the e-commerce giant planning to buy Whole Foods Market Inc. for $13.7 billion, …

Trends

Global Bond Selloff Deepens Amid Hints at End of Stimulus

Global government bond prices slumped for a third straight day Thursday, while the dollar fell against several developed-market currencies, as investors continued to digest messages from central banks signaling the end of easy-money policies.<p>Investors dumped U.S. Treasurys and European bonds …

Federal Reserve

Companies Pressed to Disclose More on Climate-Change Risk

LONDON—A panel of top financial institutions and companies has launched guidelines to push for more disclosure about the impact of climate change—highlighting rising concern about the potential investment risks posed by global warming.<p>The task force, which was commissioned by a group of global …

Climate

FBI Agent Charged Over Oregon Refuge Standoff Shooting

An FBI agent was indicted on charges that he failed to tell investigators he fired two shots at the scene of a fatal police shootout last year with a group occupying an Oregon wildlife refuge.<p>The agent, W. Joseph Astarita, was charged by a federal grand jury with three counts of making false …

Corruption

George Pell, Vatican Finance Chief, Charged With Sexual Abuse

Cardinal is highest-ranking official to be charged in church sex-abuse scandals<p>MELBOURNE, Australia—Cardinal George Pell, Pope Francis’s finance chief and one of the most senior officials in the Vatican, was charged Thursday with multiple counts of sexual abuse alleged to have occurred in Australia …

sexual

Senate Panel Votes to Allow Navy to Call at Taiwanese Ports

WASHINGTON—The Senate Armed Services Committee approved a major change in U.S. policy toward Taiwan as part of an annual defense-policy measure, voting to allow regular stops by U.S. naval vessels in a move that is likely to anger China.<p>In a bipartisan 21-6 vote, the panel approved re-establishing …

U.S. Navy

Defense Implores Jurors to Overlook Martin Shkreli's Flaws

To federal prosecutors, the investors who put millions of dollars into Martin Shkreli’s hedge fund—and the board members of the pharmaceutical company he allegedly looted to conceal their losses—were victims of fraud.<p>To Mr. Shkreli’s defense team, they were opportunists: “high-rollers” and …

Pharma

Senate GOP Scrambles to Rework Health Bill

WASHINGTON—Senate Republican leaders scrambled Wednesday to rework by week’s end their plan to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, but GOP senators remained mired in disputes over key policy planks of the bill.<p>A day after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) abruptly postponed a vote on …

ObamaCare

As Partial Travel Ban Takes Effect, First Impact to Be Felt Abroad

WASHINGTON—The Trump administration plans to begin enforcing its travel ban on Thursday, but the changes are unlikely to be immediately visible at airports in the U.S. or anywhere else.<p>Rather, the new rules will have their first impact on the desks of embassy and other government officials around …

Immigration

Markets Jittery as Central Banks Signal End of Easy Money

Easy money unleashed by global central banks is receding, a development that could test a range of assets—from stocks to real estate—that have become tightly linked to monetary support since the global financial crisis.<p>Top European Central Bank officials left investors with mixed impressions over …

Money

Trump, South Korean President to Focus on North Korea at First Meeting

South Korean President Moon Jae-in and U.S. President Donald Trump are set to meet in Washington on Thursday for the first time, a highly anticipated summit that will serve as an early test of the new leaders’ relationship following several differences over key policies.<p>The discussions between …

North Korea

Anthem Pulling Back on Offering ACA Plans in Nevada

Anthem Inc. said it would stop selling Affordable Care Act marketplace plans in most of Nevada next year. The move together with the departure of a smaller insurer leaves 14 of the state’s counties poised to have no insurer on its exchange.<p>The state insurance marketplace, the Silver State Health …

Health Care

How Red Is Theresa May's Red Line?

The business of quitting the European Union got seriously complicated when Theresa May declared that Brexit meant ending the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice. The ECJ plays a crucial role underpinning the U.K.’s trade arrangements with the EU and its membership in EU regulatory …

Brexit

Blue Apron Serves Up an Insipid Offering

Blue Apron Holdings Inc. stumbled in its initial public offering, a warning to companies seeking to live up to their private valuations in the public markets.<p>The meal-kit maker sold its shares for $10 apiece in its IPO, according to people familiar with the offering, valuing the company at about …

Venture Capital

Cyberattack Causes Surgeons to Cancel Some Operations

Surgeons canceled some operations for a second day Wednesday at a hospital in Beaver, Pa., after the latest global ransomware attack paralyzed the hospital’s computers, a local doctor said.<p>The cyberattack known as Petya, which closed shipping ports and disrupted major food and pharmaceutical …

Health Care

Fed's Stress Tests: All Banks Cleared on Payouts to Shareholders

Big U.S. banks plan to increase dividend payouts and share buybacks to their highest levels in years after the Federal Reserve on Wednesday approved capital plans for all 34 firms taking part in its annual stress tests.<p>The approvals—the first time since the annual tests began in 2011 that all firms …

Federal Reserve

Israel Leans Closer to Ultra-Orthodox Jews, Upsets U.S. Groups

JERUSALEM—Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has shifted closer to his ultraorthodox coalition partners on a controversial religious issue, sparking fresh tension with more liberal American Jewish groups that accuse the leader of putting his political survival before their interests.<p>Mr. …

Israel

Brazilians Are Too Weary of Scandal to Protest Their Graft-Tinged Leader

SÃO PAULO—More than three years into a vast antigraft scandal that once sparked massive protests and a former Brazilian leader’s ouster, a wide swath of society is fed up with political instability.<p>​This craving for normalcy goes a long way to explain why few ​Brazilians are protesting President …

Brazil

Staples in $6.9 Billion Deal With Sycamore

Private-equity firm Sycamore Partners agreed to buy Staples Inc. for about $6.9 billion, a bold bet on a company whose sales have been shrinking in recent years.<p>Sycamore is expected to pay $10.25 a share for Staples, the office-supply retailer confirmed Wednesday.<p>The price represents a nearly 20% …

Markets

U.S. Sets New Air Security Measures in Place of Broad Laptop Ban

The Department of Homeland Security mandated new security measures for airlines flying to the U.S., stepping back from a broader ban on traveling with laptops.<p>DHS officials said Wednesday that new requirements will include enhanced screening of passengers and their belongings at foreign airports …

United States

Google Rivals Cheer EU Antitrust Ruling---But Will It Help?

BRUSSELS—Google’s smaller rivals see a lifeline in the European Union’s decision to fine the Alphabet Inc. company €2.4 billion ($2.7 billion) and order the search giant to remake its shopping service.<p>Companies like British comparison-shopping website Foundem.co.uk blame lost business on Google and …

Google

Business Groups Want Congress to Step Up Pace on Tax Overhaul

Four of Washington’s largest business groups have a renewed message for Congress: Get moving on a tax plan already.<p>In a letter sent Wednesday to congressional leaders, the groups urged Congress to “move quickly” on tax policy. The groups are the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Business Roundtable, …

U.S. Chamber of Commerce