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Influential economist Martin Feldstein dies at 79

Wesfarmers to buy online retailer Catch Group for $230m

Wesfarmers has announced the acquisition of online retailer Catch Group for $230 million.

Wesfarmers boss CEO Rob Scott. Credit:Richard Wainwright

The retail conglomerate told the ASX on Wednesday that Catch Group would operate as an independent business unit under the oversight of Kmart Group managing director Ian Bailey.

"This acquisition represents an opportunity to accelerate Wesfarmers and Kmart Group's digital and e-commerce capabilities whilst continuing to invest in the unique customer and supplier proposition provided by Catch Group," Wesfarmers managing director Rob Scott said.

More to come


Yemen's Houthis attack Saudi Abha Airport with a cruise missile: Al Masirah TV

CAIRO (Reuters) – Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi movement carried out an attack on Abha Airport in Saudi Arabia with a cruise missile, the group’s Al-Masirah TV reported early on Wednesday.

There was no Saudi confirmation of the attack.

Mercurius Capital Investment calls for trading halt

SINGAPORE – Catalist-listed Mercurius Capital Investment on Wednesday (June 12) morning requested a trading halt, pending the release of an announcement.

On May 20, the company said in a bourse filing that it was in advanced talks for a possible joint venture and business investment.

Mercurius manufactures children’s and infants’ apparel in China and retails bed linen in Singapore and Malaysia.

Its shares closed up 0.3 cent at 4.2 cents on Tuesday.

Trump: ‘I have no interest’ in trade deal until China reverses its stance

President Donald Trump said Tuesday that he won’t proceed with new trade talks with China unless Beijing agrees to terms previously agreed upon.

Speaking to reporters outside the White House before leaving for a trip to Iowa, Trump made it clear that he won’t budge without “a great deal,” and accused Chinese officials of reneging on promises made at earlier negotiations.

“China wants to make a deal very badly,” Trump said. “It is me right now that is holding up the deal. And we’re going to either do a great deal with China or we’re not going to do a deal.”

“We had a deal with China and then they went back on the deal,” Trump said. “They said we don’t want to have four major points, five major points.” He did not specify what those points of contention were.

Trump’s comments came a day after he threatened to raise tariffs to 25% on $300 billion of Chinese imports if China’s President Xi Jinping doesn’t meet with him at the upcoming G-20 summit in Japan. “Tariffs are a beautiful thing,” Trump told CNBC on Monday, arguing that tariffs will eventually force China to make a trade deal.

Read: Mulvaney expects Trump-Xi meeting won’t be a ‘deal closer’

Elon Musk just said Tesla might get into the mining business to make sure it can make enough batteries for future vehicles

  • Tesla might enter the mining business as it seeks to ensure that it can make enough batteries for future vehicles, CEOElon Musk said on Tuesday.
  • As Tesla increases vehicle and battery production, it will have to consider parts of the battery supply chain, like mining.

  • “We might get into the mining business. I don’t know,” Musk said.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories

Tesla might enter the mining business as it seeks to ensure that it can make enough batteries for future vehicles, CEO Elon Musk said on Tuesday.

Musk said the electric-car maker’s ability to expand its product lineup depends on being able to produce a large number of batteries.

“There’s not much point in adding product complexity if we don’t have enough batteries,” he said.

Read more: Elon Musk just said Tesla has a ‘good shot’ of setting a record for deliveries this quarter

As Tesla increases battery production, it will have to consider parts of the supply chain, like mining.

“We might get into the mining business. I don’t know,” Musk said. “We’ll do whatever we have to to ensure that we can scale at the fastest rate possible.”

Have you worked for Tesla? Do you have a story to share? Contact this reporter

Get the latest Tesla stock price here.

Trump signs executive order streamlining biotech regulations

DES MOINES, Iowa — President Donald Trump has signed an executive order intended to simplify the regulatory process for genetically engineered agriculture.

The order, signed Tuesday in Iowa, comes as companies are turning to newer genetic engineering techniques that make it easier to tinker with the traits of plants and animals.

Federal agencies didn’t immediately have details on the executive order. But the White House said in a statement that the order is intended to help eliminate delays and reduce costs for producers.

Greg Jaffe, biotechnology director at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, said the impact of the order will depend on the details of how it’s carried out by federal agencies.

But he said simply deregulating could make people lose confidence in genetically engineered foods.

Influential economist Martin Feldstein dies at 79

Martin Feldstein, a top adviser for both Republican and Democratic presidents and one of the most influential academic economists of his generation, died Tuesday at the age of 79.

The cause of death was cancer, according to his Harvard University colleague Jeremy Stein, a former member of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors.

A “world-renowned scholar, teacher and policy-maker, Marty was the pre-eminent bridge-builder in the economics profession, someone who did more to bring people and ideas together in a congenial way than just about anyone else,” Stein said in an email to colleagues.

Feldstein was chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, the White House’s chief economist, from 1982 to 1984 under President Reagan. He later served in advisory positions to President George W. Bush and President Obama.

An expanded version of this report appears on

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