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    China’s 11 million university graduates are struggling in a bleak job market as repeated shutdowns under China’s “zero-COVID policy” force companies to retrench and drive many restaurants and other small employers out of business. When Liu Qian entered the job market, she said she felt as if her future had been smashed and didn’t know if she could piece it together. The 26-year-old graduate sent out more than 100 job applications and saw two openings she interviewed for eliminated before landing a job. Countless others are still looking. China’s job drought echoes the difficulties of young people worldwide in finding work in depressed economies.

      As concerns about social media’s harmful effects on teens continue to rise, platforms from Snapchat to TikTok to Instagram are bolting on new features designed to make their services safer and more age appropriate. But the changes rarely address the elephant in the the room — the algorithms pushing endless content that can drag anyone, not just teens, into harmful rabbit holes. Snapchat, for instance, just added new controls that let parents see who their teens are messaging, though not what they're saying. Even if it works — and kids  opt in — it's still one more constantly evolving feature for parents to master.

        The European Commission says it's winding up years of surveillance of Greek government spending. The move, on Aug. 20, will mark a formal end to a major crisis that threatened to see Greece ejected from the euro single currency group. It also imposed severe hardship imposed on Greek citizens and created a deep rift between them and the EU's institutions. But the commission said Wednesday that “Greece has delivered on the bulk of the policy commitments” made to its partners in the 19-country euro area. Greece was granted billions of euros in three bailout funds after 2010 when Athens lost access to international bond markets after admitting it had misreported key financial data.

          Eviction filings around the country are returning to pre-pandemic levels in many cities and states. The numbers have spiked from Connecticut to Utah, driven in part by rising rental prices and dwindling federal rental assistance. Legal advocates say some landlords are choosing not to take rental assistance, in favor or finding new tenants who will pay higher rents. Advocates are calling for states and cities to enact greater legal protections for tenants and support a federal bill that would make rental assistance permanent. Evictions dropped significantly during the pandemic and started rising after a federal eviction moratorium went away about a year ago.

          Germany’s finance minister says the government plans to make tax cuts worth more than 10 billion euros ($10.2 billion) to benefit broad sections of the population squeezed by high energy costs and inflation. Finance Minister Christian Lindner said Wednesday that about 48 million people in Germany would profit from changes to the tax system that prevent them from being taxed more than their pay increases. The plan was criticized by the Greens, who are part of a three-party governing coalition in Germany. Calculations show that people on higher incomes will see the biggest absolute gains from the proposed tax cuts.

          Italy's far-right leader Giorgia Meloni, who is leading in opinion polls ahead of next month's elections, is insisting she won't be a danger to democracy if she becomes the country's next premier. In a message she released on Wednesday, and recorded in English, French and Spanish, she dismissed any concern that if her Brothers of Italy party comes to power, there would be a risk of “an authoritarian turn" or of Italy's exiting the euro currency. Her party's symbol features an icon borrowed from an Italian neo-fascist party. Critics say Meloni has been ambiguous about denouncing Italy's fascist past under dictator Benito Mussolini. On Wednesday she denied that the right has been ambiguous about 20th-century fascism.

          At its current pace, Medicare’s Hospital Insurance trust fund will run out of money in 2028, according to the latest Medicare trustees report. That’s a two-year extension on the previous estimate, but experts say it’s still not good news, and the government needs to stop twiddling its thumbs. If Medicare exhausts its Part A reserves, hospital insurance spending will be cut by 10% starting as soon as 2029. Shoring up Medicare could mean doing things like shifting some benefits from Part A to Part B, revamping Medicare prescription drug coverage, reducing payments to providers or moving some money over from other parts of the government’s budget.

          Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has reshuffled his Cabinet in a bid to distance his administration from the conservative Unification Church over its ties to the assassinated leader Shinzo Abe and senior ruling party members. The reshuffle was the second in just 10 months since Kishida took office. He says it's important to gain people’s trust and that the new Cabinet included only those who agreed to strictly review their ties to the church and help the victims of the allegedly fraudulent religious businesses. Abe’s assassination on July 8 and its impact on politics increased uncertainty as public support for Kishida’s Cabinet plunged. Seven ministers were removed including Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi, Abe’s younger brother. The church leader criticized Kishida's purge.

          China is criticizing a U.S. law to encourage processor chip production in the United States and reduce reliance on Asian suppliers as a threat to trade and an attack on Chinese business. The law signed this week by President Joe Biden promises grants and other aid to investors in U.S. chip factories. It responds in part to warnings that supplies might be disrupted if China attacks Taiwan, the world's leading high-end chip producer. Beijing claims the self-ruled island as part of its territory. China's Foreign Ministry says the U.S. chip law will “disrupt international trade and distort global semiconductor supply chains.” It says the law restricts business activity in China but gave no details.

          Former President Donald Trump, son Donald Trump Jr. and daughter Ivanka Trump are due soon to face questioning under oath in a civil investigation into their business practices. But will the Trumps answer? The ex-president’s lawyer has indicated that he’ll advise Trump to stay mum and invoke the Fifth Amendment’s protection against self-incrimination. It’s a constitutional right that gets high-profile exposure in settings from Congress to TV crime shows, but there are nuances. The constitution explicitly mentioned the protection in relation to criminal cases, but it's now understood to cover civil matters as well.


          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.

          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.

          Russians are snapping up Western fashion and furniture this week as H&M and IKEA sell off the last of their inventory in Russia. Sweden-based H&M and Netherlands-based IKEA had paused sales after Russia sent troops into Ukraine. They're now looking to unload their stocks of clothing and furnishings as they wind down operations in Russia. IKEA’s sales are online only, while the H&M store at a Moscow shopping mall saw a steady stream of young shoppers Tuesday. Both companies are laying off staffers as they scale down business in Russia. H&M said Tuesday that 6,000 workers will be affected. IKEA says it has 15,000 workers in Russia and Belarus, but it didn't immediately confirm how many would lose their jobs.

          Elon Musk has sold nearly $7 billion worth of shares in Tesla as the billionaire gets his finances in order ahead of his court battle with Twitter. Musk disclosed in series of regulatory filings that he unloaded about 8 million shares of his company Tesla in recent days. He is attempting to back out of an agreement to buy Twitter for $44 billion. Musk is by far the largest individual shareholder in both Tesla and Twitter. Shares of Tesla are up almost 2% before the opening bell Wednesday. Shares of Twitter, up 16% in the past month with most believing Musk faces long-shot odds of success in his legal fight with the company,  are up another 3%.

          Toshiba has reported a 44% improvement in profit in the last quarter as the Japanese technology giant revamps its brand image and seeks to reassure investors about its management. Quarterly sales rose 2%. Toshiba has promised to boost annual sales by forging ahead with clean energy, infrastructure projects, data services, devices and storage businesses. The company said Wednesday that demand for electronic devices and storage and digital solutions, including from the auto sector, was healthy. In March, investors rejected a company-backed reform proposal to split Toshiba into two businesses. An earlier plan that also was scrapped called for a three-way split.

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