Feb. 9, 2018

BLOOMBERG

President Donald Trump signed a two-year budget agreement that will boost federal spending by almost $300 billion and suspend the debt ceiling for a year, ending a brief partial government shutdown that began at midnight when lawmakers missed a funding deadline.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos announced a tightening of immigration controls as thousands of Venezuelans continue to pour over the border to escape a dire economic crisis and an increasingly authoritarian government.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in will meet for lunch on Saturday with Kim Jong Un's sister after the pair enthusiastically cheered on a unified Korean team at the opening ceremony for the Winter Olympics.

A Democratic group backed by former President Barack Obama said this week it plans to invest millions of dollars in state-level elections in 11 states this year, with its heaviest focus on Ohio.

Global economies and asset markets are more connected today than ever before. While stocks from Sydney to Hong Kong are selling off Friday, gold has barely budged and the yen is actually weaker. Treasuries, too, have moved relatively little over the past 24 hours.

The diamond industry has a size problem. Instead of splashing out on a ring or necklace featuring one big, bright diamond, shoppers are increasingly choosing pieces with several, smaller gems, which are often lower quality. And selling jewelry with smaller stones has been a good way for retailers to save money.

AP Top Stories

Mexican authorities have found a tiger cub in a plastic container, due to be express mailed to another address. The Office for Environmental Protection found the Bengal cub when a sniffer dog looking for contraband detected it in the plastic container, sedated.

After days of excavation, Toronto police on Thursday said they have recovered the remains of at least six different people on property that was landscaped by suspected serial killer Bruce McArthur, who has been charged with the murder of five men connected to the city's gay village.

A renewed onslaught of bombing in Syria's besieged Eastern Ghouta enclave has wreaked havoc in the region, killing nearly 200 people in a matter of days and shattering cease-fire negotiations.

Defense Secretary James Mattis assured military service members who had been brought to the U.S. illegally as children that they will not face deportation, even if legal protections under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program expire.

Eight North Koreans rescued from a boat adrift near an island in northern Japan last year were deported home via China on Friday, an immigration official told AFP.

Taiwan begins demolishing three dangerously damaged buildings as rescue workers continue their search for those missing after a deadly quake.

Winning an Olympic medal is a dream come true, and this year's winners will have one extra perk their predecessors didn't- they won't have to pay the victory tax.

According to jobs site Hired.com's latest State of Salaries report released Thursday, tech companies offer African American and Hispanic job candidates about $6,000 less on average than their white counterparts, $130,000 and $131,000, respectively, compared with $136,000.

Amazon.com said on Thursday it would start delivering Whole Foods groceries via its fast-shipping Prime Now service in select U.S. cities, and plans to expand it across the country this year. The online retailing behemoth will add Whole Foods to its one-hour and two-hour delivery service in Austin, Cincinnati, Dallas and Virginia Beach, it said in a statement.

Amazon is preparing to launch a delivery service to compete directly with shipping stalwarts UPS and FedEx. The service will pick up packages from businesses and ship them to consumers, people familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal.

BBC

An asteroid up to 40m in size and only discovered five days ago, is due to skim past the Earth on Friday. Asteroid 2018 CB will pass by at just less than one-fifth the distance between the Earth and the Moon.

US Vice-President Mike Pence has skipped a dinner at which he was due to share a table with North Korea's ceremonial head of state Kim Yong-nam. Mr. Pence briefly encountered Mr. Kim but they tried to avoid directly facing each other, Yonhap news agency reports. Meanwhile South Korean President Moon Jae-in has shaken hands with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's sister at the Winter Olympics opening ceremony.

Russian security officers have arrested several scientists working at a top-secret Russian nuclear warhead facility for allegedly mining crypto-currencies. The suspects had tried to use one of Russia's most powerful supercomputers to mine Bitcoins, media reports said.

Four Ugandan government officials have been suspended amid allegations of inflating refugee figures. Uganda is said to host some 1.4 million refugees - welcoming more than any other country in 2016 - mostly from South Sudan and DR Congo.

A woman has been killed while taking a selfie with a friend on a train track in Thailand. A friend said they had been drinking and decided "to take a photo with the train" but did not see an approaching train on the other track, police said. The woman, 24, had her leg severed and died later in hospital. Her male friend sustained severe injuries.

WND

The British territory of Bermuda has become the first jurisdiction to roll back same-sex marriage, less than one year after the unions were legalized by the socially conservative island's Supreme Court. Governor John Rankin signed the Domestic Partnership Act into law Wednesday reversing the rights of same-sex partners to wed. The legislation allows any couple to enter into a domestic partnership and gives same-sex couples similar rights to those enjoyed by opposite-sex couples. But such partnerships will not be legally recognized as "marriage."

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