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U.S. officials mounted a spirited defense of fossil fuels Monday at U.N. climate talks in Germany, to a chorus of protest from green energy campaigners and other participants.

Members of President Donald Trump’s administration and energy company representatives jointly hosted a controversial “side event” at the U.N. meeting, where they argued that coal and natural gas are here to stay, at least for a while.

“Without a question, fossil fuels will continue to be used,” George David Banks, a special energy and environment assistant to Trump, told the event — citing projections of the International Energy Agency.

Faced with this reality, “we would argue that it’s in the global interest to make sure that when fossil fuels are used, that it’s as clean and efficient as possible,” he insisted. japantimes.co.jp
Amazon and Whole Foods today detailed a new set of discounts for Prime members that involve price cuts on Thanksgiving items like turkeys and a whole slew of other in-house Organic 365 items and those from partnered organic brands.

The discounts, announced on Whole Foods’ website and active starting today, is yet more evidence that Amazon plans to leverage its $13.7 billion acquisition of the national grocery store chain to bring more value to its $99-a-year Prime membership, syncing the online and offline benefits of the program in unprecedented ways.

The press release says “this offer is a sneak preview of the special savings and in-store benefits Prime members can expect when Prime becomes the official rewards program of Whole Foods Market,” meaning we can expect Amazon to continue cutting prices at Whole Foods to make it more attractive to a wider range of customers.

Now, in addition to cutting the price of turkeys at Whole Foods to $3.49 / pound and $2.49 / pound for organic and no-antibiotic varieties, respectively, Prime members will get an additional 50-cent discount. theverge.com
The European Union is sizing up Britain for a post-Brexit free trade deal along the lines of one it agreed last year with Canada, people familiar with talks among national envoys on Tuesday told Reuters.

Chief negotiator Michel Barnier has long cited the Canadian example, and since EU leaders agreed last month to ready negotiations on the future relationship with the UK, the 27 states have looked closely at the Canadian trade deal as a model, given British demands, EU diplomats said.

Prime Minister Theresa May has ruled out staying in the EU single market, with its obligations of free migration, EU budget payments and obeying EU courts, and so diplomats concluded these terms rule out the models followed by Norway, and by Switzerland which has a web of bilateral agreements.

“From the red lines they have we know there are some things that are clearly off limits and that was clear today,” one of the people familiar with Wednesday’s roundtable discussion said. reuters.com
Two people were injured Sunday night after an “interrupted theft” led to a stabbing at the Mall of America, police said — an incident that caused a wave of commotion at the mall, which was already geared up for the holiday season.

The incident took place about 6:45 p.m. Sunday in the men’s department of the Macy’s at the megamall in Bloomington, Minn.

The suspect tried to take something from a customer who had briefly left his belongings inside a first-floor fitting room, Bloomington Police Chief Jeff Potts said at a news conference. washingtonpost.com
Alibaba’s Singles' Day Shopping Festival is like no other. It’s a combination of commerce, entertainment and an exuberant celebration of consumerism.

Retail as entertainment is one of the hallmarks of Singles Day.

A new word, "retail-tainment," was created just for that.

At the gala counting down to the opening of the sale before midnight November 11, a cohort of top celebrities including Nichole Kidman, Pharrell Williams, Chinese movie star Fan Bingbing put on an extravaganza for a cheering audience.

Jack Ma, Alibaba’s charismatic founder, also made a surprise appearance as the “retail-tainment-in-chief.”

It’s almost like the Academy Awards, a New Year’s Celebration, and the Superbowl all in one. forbes.com
A “Peace Deal” to settle an ugly boardroom war at Uber is expected to be signed today or tomorrow.

If all goes well — and this is a big if still since, well, Uber — it should clear the way for a multi-billion-dollar tender offer by SoftBank and other investors that would allow employees to sell up to half their stock in the car-hailing giant.

Bloomberg first reported on the wide-ranging agreement that was struck this weekend to bring to an end to the acrimony between former CEO and Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick and its major investor Benchmark.

Sources confirmed that the two sides had each agreed to give up some leverage to come to terms, after continued infighting over the last few weeks had continued to delay an effort to move forward with new governance reforms.

“It would have happened sooner, but the paranoia on both sides never let up,” said one source close to the situation, who noted that an ultimatum to end the investment move by other board members and new Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi at a meeting yesterday finally broke the impasse. recode.net
Thanksgiving is still two weeks away, but Black Friday has already begun - at least for some retailers.

Best Buy on Wednesday began offering "Black Friday" discounts on hundreds of items, including big-screen TVs, Apple Watches and tablets.

Walmart followed a day later, with $6 pajamas and $998 Samsung TVs. 

Amazon.com, meanwhile, started its "Countdown to Black Friday" on Nov. 1, offering dozens of new deals each day. (Jeff Bezos, the founder and chief executive of Amazon, owns The Washington Post.)

In an ever-frenzied race to win over shoppers - and their money - retailers are trying to fast- forward to what has historically been the year's largest shopping day.

Over the past decade, big-box chains have slowly moved up doorbuster discounts - from Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving), to the Thanksgiving holiday itself, and now even earlier, as they try to lock in sales during the crucial fourth quarter, which can account for up to 40 percent of a retailer's annual revenue. chicagotribune.com
Waymo, the self-driving car company created by Google, is pulling the human backup driver from behind the steering wheel and will test vehicles on public roads with only an employee in the back seat.

The company’s move — which started Oct. 19 with an automated Chrysler Pacifica minivan in the Phoenix suburb of Chandler, Ariz. — is a major step toward vehicles driving themselves on public roads without human backup drivers.

Waymo — owned by Google's parent company, Alphabet Inc. — is in a race with other companies such as Delphi, General Motors, Intel, Uber, Apple and Lyft to bring autonomous vehicles to the public.

The companies say the robot cars are safer than human drivers because they don't get drowsy, distracted or drunk.

Waymo has long stated its intent to skip driver-assist systems and go directly to fully autonomous driving. It said the Waymo employee in the back seat won't be able to steer the minivan but, like all passengers, will be able to press a button to bring the van safely to a stop if necessary. latimes.com
The Paradise Papers have shed light on Apple’s shifting strategy for taking advantage of offshore tax rules. 

The New York Times, The Guardian, and BBC News all have reports detailing how, in 2014, Apple moved two subsidiaries from Ireland to Jersey, described by The Guardian as “a crown dependency of the UK, which makes its own laws and is not subject to most EU legislation, making it a popular tax haven.”

Jersey, according to the Times, “typically does not tax corporate income.”

Apple sought a new tax shelter when the European Union began pressuring Ireland to fix loopholes (including the “Double Irish”) that had for years so effectively drawn mega-corporations to form subsidiaries and shell companies there because of the country’s minimal corporate tax rate and business-friendly tax regime. theverge.com