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Shire rejects $63 billion Takeda bid as Allergan drops pursuit

NEW YORK/LONDON (Reuters) – Rare disease drug maker Shire Plc (SHP.L) said on Thursday it had rejected a $63 billion (44.7 billion pounds) cash-and-stock acquisition offer by Japan’s Takeda Pharmaceutical Co Ltd (4502.T), while Allergan Plc (AGN.N) reversed course on pursuing a rival bid. FILE PHOTO: Takeda Pharmaceutical’s signboard is seen on its headquarters building […]

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P&G to buy German Merck’s consumer health business for about $4.21 billion

(Reuters) – Procter & Gamble Co agreed to acquire the consumer health business of German pharmaceuticals company Merck KGaA for about 3.4 billion euros ($4.21 billion) in cash, the companies said on Thursday. FILE PHOTO – The logo of Dow Jones Industrial Average stock market index listed company Procter & Gamble (PG) is seen on […]

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Syria chemical weapons visit postponed after gunfire – sources

THE HAGUE (Reuters) – The arrival of international chemical weapons inspectors at the location of a suspected poison gas attack in the Syrian town of Douma has been delayed after gunfire at the site during a visit by a U.N. security team on Tuesday, sources told Reuters. The U.N. security team entered Douma to assess […]

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Chemical weapons experts enter site of attack in Syrian town

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Global chemical weapons inspectors finally reached the Syrian town on Tuesday where a suspected poison gas attack took place, days after the United States, Britain and France launched missile strikes to punish Damascus for it. Syrian state television reported that the experts from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons had […]

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U.S. suggests Russia, Syria may tamper with Douma evidence, Moscow denies it

DAMASCUS/THE HAGUE (Reuters) – The United States accused Russia on Monday of blocking international inspectors from reaching the site of a suspected poison gas attack in Syria and said Russians or Syrians may have tampered with evidence on the ground. Moscow denied the charge and blamed delays on retaliatory U.S.-led missile strikes on Syria on […]

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After Syria strikes, PM May to face critical parliament

LONDON (Reuters) – Prime Minister Theresa May will face criticism on Monday for bypassing parliament to join weekend air strikes against Syria, with some lawmakers calling for a potentially damaging vote on her future strategy. May, who has regained confidence after winning support for her tough stance on Syria and Russia, will make a statement […]

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British lawmakers, celebrities call for ‘people’s vote’ on Brexit

LONDON (Reuters) – Lawmakers, celebrities and business leaders launched a campaign on Sunday to call for a vote on any final Brexit deal, stepping up a campaign to try to stop what they describe as Britain’s damaging departure from the European Union. Anti-Brexit demonstrators wave EU and Union flags outside the Houses of Parliament in […]

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U.S. says air strikes cripple Syria chemical weapons program

WASHINGTON/BEIRUT (Reuters) – Western powers said on Saturday their missile attacks struck at the heart of Syria’s chemical weapons program, but the restrained assault appeared unlikely to halt Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s progress in the 7-year-old civil war. The United States, France and Britain launched 105 missiles overnight in retaliation for a suspected poison gas […]

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Russia spied on Skripal and daughter for at least five years – UK

LONDON (Reuters) – Russia’s intelligence agencies spied on former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia for at least five years before they were attacked with a nerve agent in March, the national security adviser to Britain’s prime minister said. Salisbury District Hospital is seen after Yulia Skripal was discharged, in Salisbury, Britain, April […]

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Threat of U.S.-Russia clash hangs over Syria

BEIRUT (Reuters) – The prospect of Western military action in Syria that could lead to confrontation with Russia hung over the Middle East on Friday but there was no clear sign that a U.S.-led attack was imminent. Russian Ambassador to the United Nations Vassily Nebenzia speaks to the media outside Security Council chambers at the […]

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Trump now less likely to sit for Mueller interview – sources

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The prospect of an interview of U.S. President Donald Trump by special counsel Robert Mueller has been derailed by the recent FBI raids on Trump’s personal lawyer, according to two people familiar with the matter. FILE PHOTO: Special Counsel Robert Mueller departs after briefing members of the U.S. Senate on his investigation […]

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Trump signals strikes against Syria, lays into Assad ally Russia

WASHINGTON/BEIRUT (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump warned Russia on Wednesday of imminent military action in Syria over a suspected poison gas attack, declaring that missiles “will be coming” and lambasting Moscow for standing by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The White House pushed back against suggestions that Trump had broadcast his plans for military strikes […]

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Tesco defies UK retail gloom with surge in profit

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s largest supermarket Tesco bucked a grim start to the year for the retail sector with a 28 percent surge in annual profit, underlining Chief Executive Dave Lewis’ recovery strategy of lower prices and streamlined product ranges. Shares in Tesco rose as much as 6.3 percent on Wednesday after it confirmed its […]

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CEO Zuckerberg says Facebook going through ‘philosophical shift’

WASHINGTON/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Facebook Inc (FB.O) Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg told U.S. senators on Tuesday that the company was attempting to change in light of recent criticism, as he attempted to forestall any strict legislation aimed at the world’s largest social network. The 33-year-old internet mogul was grilled in a joint hearing of the […]

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China’s Xi promises to lower tariffs this year, open economy further

BOAO, China (Reuters) – Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday promised to open the country’s economy further and lower import tariffs on products including cars, in a speech that comes amid rising trade tensions between China and the United States. FILE PHOTO: Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks at the closing session of the National People’s […]

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Syria, Russia say Israeli war planes carried out strike on Syrian air base

AMMAN (Reuters) – The Russian and Syrian military on Monday said Israeli war planes carried out missile strikes on a Syrian air base, hours after U.S. President Donald Trump warned of a “big price to pay” following reports of a poison gas attack on a rebel-held town. Syrian state TV initially said the United States […]

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Trump says big price to pay for Syria chemical attack

BEIRUT/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump said on Sunday there would be a “big price to pay” after medical aid groups reported dozens of people were killed by poison gas in a besieged rebel-held town in Syria. As international officials worked to try to confirm the chemical attack which happened late on Saturday in […]

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Canada grieves after junior hockey team bus crash leaves 15 dead

HUMBOLDT, Saskatchewan (Reuters) – Fifteen people were killed when a bus carrying a Canadian junior ice hockey team collided with a truck in Saskatchewan province, police said on Saturday, in one of the worst disasters to strike Canada’s sporting community. The tragedy sent shock waves through the hockey-loving country and engulfed the home of the […]

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Brazil’s defiant Lula expected to surrender to police on Saturday

SAO BERNARDO DO CAMPO, Brazil (Reuters) – Leftist former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva spent the night holed up inside the headquarters of a steel-workers union on Saturday in a standoff with police ordered to arrest him for corruption. Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva waves to supporters from a window during […]

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Poisoned Russian agent Sergei Skripal is getting better fast, hospital says

LONDON (Reuters) – Former Russian spy Sergei Skripal is no longer in a critical condition and his health is improving rapidly more than a month after he was poisoned with a nerve agent in England, the British hospital treating him said on Friday. Sergei Skripal, a former colonel of Russia’s GRU military intelligence service, looks […]