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Business

21st Century Fox has decided to stop airing Fox News in the U.K., ending a long-running carriage deal in Britain with pay TV giant Sky.

"21st Century Fox has decided to cease providing a feed of Fox News Channel in the U.K.," the conglomerate said Tuesday.

"Fox News is focused on the U.S. market and designed for a U.S. audience and, accordingly, it averages only a few thousand viewers across the day in the U.K."

It added: "We have concluded that it is not in our commercial interest to continue providing Fox News in the U.K."

A Fox representative said the news network's U.K. feed came to an end Tuesday afternoon.

"21st Century Fox has decided they will no longer broadcast Fox News in the U.K.," a Sky representative said. hollywoodreporter.com
In another sign that the petroleum era is drawing to a close, Denmark is selling off its last oil company with barely a peep.

Once considered a strategic asset, on a par with national carriers or shipyards, the oil and gas division of A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S is being bought by French giant Total SA.

The $7.45 billion deal is expected to be completed by 2018, pending regulatory approval.

Coming just three months after the sale of Dong Energy’s North Sea oil and gas production to German-based Ineos AG, Maersk’s move to offload its oil division has been welcomed by the government and trade unions alike.

Even the nationalist Danish People’s Party, which supports the government in parliament, didn’t object.

The irony is that Denmark will need the income from oil and gas to finance its green transition and meet a pledge to stop using fossil fuels by 2050, and that will mean keeping up production from the North Sea fields, which Total has promised to do.  bloomberg.com
The euro has hit $1.20 for the first time since January 2015 as the prospect of a US interest rate rise recedes.

Hurricane Harvey's impact has led analysts to assume the US central bank will not want to risk curbing economic growth and fears over North Korea's activities have unnerved investors.

A rise in interest rates tends to draw investors to a currency, taking advantage of the higher returns.

Meanwhile, the euro has itself been gaining against a range of currencies.

Against the dollar, it has risen by almost 15% so far this year.

The euro has strengthened in recent months, as the eurozone's economy improves and markets predict the European Central Bank could start to cut back the money-printing programme it has been running to repair the ravages of the eurozone crisis and credit crunch of the late 2000s. bbc.com
Germany achieved a near record budget surplus of €18.3bn (£16.8bn) in the first half of 2017, according to government figures released on Friday, and the timing of the figures could not be better for Angela Merkel, who is seeking a fourth term as chancellor in elections next month.

The surplus is the second largest Germany has recorded since reunification in 1990.

The country recorded an even bigger surplus of  €28.8bn in the second half of 2000, but that was boosted by a government windall from the sale of mobile phone licenses.

By contrast, the surplus for the first half of 2017 was fuelled by higher tax revenues than expected, as the German economy continues perform strongly.

Unemployment fell to just 3.8 per cent in June, when measured by the International Labour Organisation standards used in the UK.

High government spending on housing and integration for the more than 1m asylum-seekers who have arrived in Germany sincd 2015 is also believed to have driven the strong figures. telegraph.co.uk
Amazon.com Inc. spent its first day as the owner of a brick-and-mortar grocery chain cutting prices at Whole Foods Market as much as 43 percent.

In a sign of how the retailer is changing, the Amazon Echo, a voice-activated electronic assistant, was also for sale, for $99.99 -- a sharp pivot into electronics for a company known for kale and quinoa.

The Echo Dot, a smaller version, was advertised for $44.99.

The tech giant’s $13.7 billion purchase of Whole Foods has sent shock waves through the already changing $800 billion supermarket industry.

The wedding between Amazon and the upscale grocery promises to upend the way customers shop for groceries. 

Cutting prices at the chain with such an entrenched reputation for high cost that its nickname is Whole Paycheck is a sign that Amazon is serious about taking on competitors such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Kroger Co. and Costco Wholesale Corp. bloomberg.com
Some of the world’s leading robotics and artificial intelligence pioneers are calling on the United Nations to ban the development and use of killer robots.

Tesla’s Elon Musk and Google’s Mustafa Suleyman are leading a group of 116 specialists from across 26 countries who are calling for the ban on autonomous weapons.

The UN recently voted to begin formal discussions on such weapons which include drones, tanks and automated machine guns.

Ahead of this, the group of founders of AI and robotics companies have sent an open letter to the UN calling for it to prevent the arms race that is currently under way for killer robots.

In their letter, the founders warn the review conference of the convention on conventional weapons that this arms race threatens to usher in the “third revolution in warfare” after gunpowder and nuclear arms.

The founders wrote: “Once developed, lethal autonomous weapons will permit armed conflict to be fought at a scale greater than ever, and at timescales faster than humans can comprehend. theguardian.com