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    Wartime rivals Serbia and Kosovo will hold high-level crisis talks which the European Union mediators hope will de-escalate growing tensions in the Balkans. Russia has been trying to further increase its influence in the region amid the war in Ukraine. Hopes that the rare face-to-face meeting between Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti could produce a major breakthrough are slim. But Western officials overseeing the decades-old deadlock between the two neighbors hope that at least it could eliminate increasing warmongering rhetoric by both sides. The meeting is being held in Brussels on Thursday.

      Global shares are mixed as markets looked to strong economic signs out of the U.S. and China as drivers of growth. Benchmarks are sliding in France, Germany and Britain in early trading after finishing higher in Japan, China and Australia. Analysts warned major risks remain, such as surging cases of COVID-19 in some countries in in Asia, worries about global inflation and China’s policies to curb infections. In New Zealand, the central bank raised its benchmark interest rate from 2.5% to 3% as it continues trying to battle inflation. The Reserve Bank of New Zealand said domestic spending remained resilient.

        The chief executive of Dubai International Airport says the hub saw a surge in passengers over the first half of 2022 as pandemic restrictions eased. Paul Griffiths, who oversees the world's busiest airport for international travel, told The Associated Press Wednesday that he expects the upcoming FIFA World Cup in Qatar to further boost traffic to the city-state's airfield. Griffiths said the airport handled 160% more traffic over the past six months compared to the same period last year. Nearly 28 million travelers passed through the airport. The World Cup will revive Dubai's second airport that went out of use during the pandemic.

        The nation's leading abortion rights advocacy organization, Planned Parenthood, plans to spend a record $50 million ahead of November’s midterm elections. It's pouring money into contests where access to abortion will be on the ballot. The effort comes months after the Supreme Court overturned the landmark 1973 case Roe v. Wade, which created a constitutional right to have an abortion. The campaign will be waged by Planned Parenthood's political and advocacy arms and will focus on governor’s offices, U.S. Senate seats and legislative races in nine states: Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Planned Parenthood's previous spending record was $45 million in 2020.

        Residents who have fled the Russian-occupied city of Kherson say conditions in the Black Sea port just north of the Crimean Peninsula have become increasingly grim. The southern city was the first to fall to Russia’s invasion. But Kherson remains at the heart of the conflict and Ukraine’s efforts to save its vital access to the sea. Residents describe a heavy-handed effort by Moscow to establish permanent control in the city and region by pressuring residents to take Russian citizenship, effectively banning use of the Ukrainian currency and installing pro-Kremlin authorities. Locals who have been waiting for a Ukrainian counteroffensive have decided to flee the city. But that option is increasingly getting more difficult and expensive.

        Factories in China's southwest have shut down and a city imposed rolling blackouts after reservoirs to generate hydropower ran low in a worsening drought. That adds to economic strains at a time when President Xi Jinping is preparing to try to extend his hold on power. Companies in Sichuan including makers of solar panels and cement were closed or reduced production after they were ordered to ration power. The power company in Dazhou, a city of 3.4 million people, imposed rolling power cuts of three hours. The shutdowns add to challenges for the ruling Communist Party after economic recovery weakened in July.

        Climate scientists are warning of dire consequences for the Mediterranean Sea's marine life as it burns up in a series of severe heat waves. Scientists say they are witnessing exceptional temperature hikes ranging from 3 degrees Celsius (5.4 Fahrenheit) to 5 degrees Celsius (9 Fahrenheit) above the norm for this time of year. Marine heat waves are caused by ocean currents building up areas of warm water. Weather systems and heat in the atmosphere can also pile on degrees to the water’s temperature. Marine heat waves are longer and more frequent and more intense because of human-induced climate change.

        Britain’s inflation rate rose to a new 40-year high of 10.1% in July, as rising food prices tightened a cost-of-living squeeze fueled by soaring energy prices. The Office for National Statistics said Wednesday that consumer prices inflation hit double digits, a jump from 9.4% in June and higher than analysts’ central forecast of 9.8%. It said the increase was largely due to rising prices for food and staples including toilet paper and toothbrushes. Most economists believe worse is to come. The Bank of England says soaring natural gas prices are likely to drive consumer price inflation to 13.3% in October.

        The rush to build wind farms to combat climate change is colliding with preservation of one of the U.S. West’s most spectacular predators, the golden eagle. Scientists say the species is teetering on the edge of decline and worry that proliferating wind turbines could push them over the brink. Golden eagle wingspans can reach 7 feet — ideal for floating on thermal drafts as they search for their prey. But it also puts them in competition for the wind resources energy companies want. U.S. wildlife officials are encouraging companies to enroll in a program that allows them to kill some eagles in exchange for reducing eagle deaths elsewhere.


        Content by Brand Ave. Studios. The annual Amazon Prime Day is coming July 12 and 13, and per usual will offer discounts on many of your favorite things.

        Amazon workers in upstate New York filed a petition for a union election on Tuesday, launching a major labor fight against the company.  A spokesperson for the National Labor Relations Board says the petition was filed for a warehouse in the town of Schodack, near Albany. To qualify for a union election, the NLRB requires signatures from 30% of eligible voters. The agency now has to verify if the workers are qualified to seek an election. The Amazon Labor Union is backing the organizing effort. Earlier this year, it notched a historic win at a warehouse on Staten Island, New York, but also took a loss at another nearby location weeks later.

        The special board appointed by President Joe Biden to intervene in stalled railroad contract talks has suggested that 115,000 rail workers should get 24% raises and thousands of dollars in bonuses as part of a new agreement to avert a strike. Railroads and unions will use those recommendations as the basis for a new round of talks over the next month. It remains to be seen, however, whether both sides can agree on the higher wages and find ways to address union concerns about working conditions. If an agreement can't be reached by mid September, federal law would allow a strike. But Congress is likely to intervene before then to keep the supply chain moving.

        Explosions and fires have ripped through an ammunition depot in Russia-annexed Crimea in the second suspected Ukrainian attack on the peninsula in just over a week. The blasts forced the evacuation of more than 3,000 people. Russia is blaming the explosions on an “act of sabotage” without naming the perpetrators. Ukraine stopped short of publicly claiming responsibility. Last week's explosions destroyed nine Russian planes at another Crimean air base. Russia seized Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and has used it to launch attacks against the country in the war that began nearly six months ago. If Ukrainian forces were, in fact, behind the explosions, they would represent a significant escalation in the war.

        Amazon has complained to federal regulators that they're hounding company founder Jeff Bezos and senior executives. The e-commerce giant says regulators are making impossible-to-satisfy demands in their investigation of Amazon Prime, the popular streaming and shopping service with free delivery and an estimated 200 million members around the globe. The Federal Trade Commission has been investigating the sign-up and cancellation practices of Amazon Prime, starting in May 2021 with the issuance of civil subpoenas, the retail and tech giant disclosed in a petition to the agency. The petition asks the FTC to cancel, or extend the deadline for answering, subpoenas sent to Bezos and current CEO Andy Jassy.

        Fox News is getting into the movies, producing its first feature film that will debut Sept. 1 on the Fox Nation streaming service. “The Shell Collector” is an adaptation of a story by romance novelist Nancy Naigle, who has had several of her books made into movies for the Hallmark Channel. The story about a widow trying to build a new life in a seaside town debuts on Fox Nation on Sept. 1, and is the first of four films that Fox News is debuting over the next year. Fox follows CNN, which has a successful film division that produces documentaries.

        For the second year in a row, Arizona and Nevada will face cuts in the amount of water they can draw from the Colorado River as the West endures more drought. Federal officials made the announcement Tuesday. The cuts planned for next year will force states to make critical decisions about where to reduce consumption and whether to prioritize growing cities or agricultural areas. Mexico will also face cuts. But the seven states that rely on the river could soon face even deeper cuts that the government has said are needed to prevent reservoirs from falling so low they cannot be pumped.

        You might be surprised to find out you don't own your credit score. You might be even more surprised to find that the data is often wrong, especially since the pandemic.

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