U.S. Democratic Senator Carl Levin on Thursday said he plans to introduce legislation soon to prevent corporate inversions, an increasingly popular restructuring that involves U.S. companies moving overseas to avoid U.S. taxes. Levin, a long-time advocate for closing corporate tax loopholes, said he is talking with other senators about potential legislation.
US National Security Adviser Susan Rice assured Israel at high-level bilateral talks on Thursday that Washington remained determined to stop Iran developing nuclear arms, the White House said. \"The US delegation reaffirmed our commitment to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon,\" said a White House statement released after talks in Jerusalem between Rice, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and senior officials from both sides. \"The delegations held thorough consultations on all aspects of the challenge posed by Iran, and pledged to continue the unprecedented coordination between the United States and Israel,\" it added.\"
The United States portrays itself as a bastion of the unfettered free market, but when foreign firms launch takeover bids for American businesses things are not always so laissez faire. The United States is the world's top destination for foreign investment. Business leaders here scoff at protectionism, such as the French government's opposition to US engineering giant General Electric's bid for the energy business of French rival Alstom. \"There's a sense here that the highest bidder should prevail,\" said Mitchell Marks, a mergers and acquisitions specialist at the University of San Francisco.
US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew will travel to China on May 11-13 for talks on the economic outlook for the world and the two superpowers, the Treasury announced Thursday. Lew and Chinese counterparts will also discuss China's reform agenda, the coming annual US-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue, and \"efforts to level the playing field for US workers and firms.\" The Treasury said Lew's meetings with senior Chinese government officials will be on Tuesday. Last month the Treasury warned Beijing over the recent fall in the yuan currency, which the United States has maintained is undervalued and contributes to China's huge trade surplus with the US.
The United States and Canada said Thursday they were \"appalled\" by aerial bombing which Sudan reportedly carried out near a hospital in war-torn South Kordofan. \"We strongly condemn any targeting of civilians, and are appalled by this attack on those providing essential medical care or humanitarian assistance to people in need,\" embassies of the two North American nations said in a joint statement. \"International humanitarian law obligates all parties to a conflict to distinguish civilians from combatants.\" The statement said a number of bombs were reportedly dropped by Sudan's air force near the Mother of Mercy Catholic Hospital in the Nuba Mountains of South Kordofan state on May 1-2.
Batumi (Georgia) (AFP) - A US warship arrived on Thursday in Georgia's port of Batumi, the US embassy said, sending a message of support to NATO allies amid the spiralling crisis in neighbouring Ukraine. The USS Taylor's \"presence in Georgia reaffirms the United States' commitment to strengthening ties with NATO allies and partners like Georgia, while working toward mutual goals of promoting peace and stability in the region,\" the embassy said in a statement. We'll keep reinforcing NATO security,\" NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen wrote on Twitter on Wednesday.
Russia on Thursday accused the United States of breaching the rules of global commerce by slapping sanctions on its banking sector over the Ukraine crisis, at a World Trade Organization session. Sources familiar with the talks said Moscow used a regular, closed-door meeting of the WTO's Council for Trade in Services, which covers cross-border commerce in areas including banking, finance and insurance, to criticise Washington's recent actions over Ukraine. Moscow's trade delegation said Washington's sanctions are preventing Russian service suppliers from exercising their trading rights fairly and therefore put them at a disadvantage in the global economy, the sources said. The United States hit back, saying that it took its WTO obligations seriously and had assessed its sanctions package carefully to ensure it did not break the rules.
A Pakistani court on Thursday granted bail to an American FBI agent who was arrested this week for trying to board a plane while carrying ammunition. The agent was arrested at Karachi airport on Monday when security staff found him carrying 15 bullets for a 9mm handgun during routine checks for a flight to the capital Islamabad. A local court in the southern port city approved the bail application and ordered payment of a bond worth one million Pakistani rupees ($10,000), senior police officer Rao Anwar told AFP. A US State Department spokeswoman said: \"This individual detained is an employee of the FBI who was on a temporary duty assignment to provide routine assistance to the legal attache at the US mission.