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In the U.S., children under the age of 18 are legally barred from purchasing cigarettes or other tobacco products. But they are allowed to harvest tobacco on farms.

Despite a worldwide decline in production, tobacco remains North Carolina's most valuable crop. In 2017, the total value of tobacco produced in the state was just under $725 million, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross says he will sell all of the remaining stock he holds. He announced the move in a statement Thursday night after receiving a letter from the government's top ethics watchdog warning of the "potential for a serious criminal violation."

The letter was sent by David J. Apol, the Acting Director and General Counsel for the Office of Government Ethics. Apol faulted Ross for what he said were various omissions and inaccurate statements submitted to the OGE over the past year.

Afro-Brazilian culture is so central to Brazil's port city of Salvador that the city has earned the nickname Roma Negra, or "Black Rome." The nickname resonates with Brazilians who recognize Salvador as a black cultural and intellectual capital — a place where city and culture are as deeply intertwined as Christianity is with Rome.

Afro-Brazilian drummers, snack vendors and visual artists hum through Salvador's streets and plazas. These cultural fixtures are also small businesses — and their challenges are emblematic of those shared nationwide by black Brazilians in business.

Congressional Republicans are growing increasingly worried that President Trump is on the verge of a trade war with China. But they're also realizing there is almost nothing they can do to stop him.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., put it bluntly during an event at The Economic Club of Washington on Thursday.

"You would have to pass a law to say don't raise those tariffs and the president would have to sign that law," Ryan said. "That's not going to happen."

Johnson & Johnson has been ordered to pay nearly $4.7 billion in damages to 22 women and their families who say asbestos found in the company's talcum powder contributed to their ovarian cancer.

The St. Louis Circuit Court jury awarded $4.14 billion in punitive damages and $550 million in compensatory damages to the plaintiffs, who said the company failed to warn about the cancer risks.

The Republic of Ireland took a crucial step Thursday toward becoming the first country in the world to divest from fossil fuels. Lawmakers in the Dail, the lower house of parliament, advanced a bill requiring the Irish government's more than $10 billion national investment fund to sell off stakes in coal, oil, gas and peat — and to do so "as soon as practicable."

Updated at 5:39 p.m. ET

The U.S. Justice Department filed notice Thursday that it would seek to overturn a judge's earlier ruling that enabled telecom giant AT&T to take over the media conglomerate Time Warner, which owned HBO, CNN and Warner Bros. studios, among other properties.

Lindsay met a man named Howard on a dating site, fell in love, got married and added Durdle to her name.

Howard said they lived happily for a decade until she got sick — breast cancer — twice. She struggled. It spread. And she died on May 31.

On Tuesday of this week, Lindsay received a letter at what had been her home in Bucklebury, England.

"Important - You should read this notice carefully," the correspondence from PayPal began.

Seven national fast-food chains have agreed, under pressure, to eliminate a practice that limits their workers' ability to take jobs at other restaurants in the same chain, the Washington state attorney general announced Thursday.

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President Trump's connections to Fox News got even stronger last week with his appointment of Bill Shine, a former network co-president, to serve as the White House's deputy chief of staff for communications.

Over the last six years, enough opioids were shipped to the state of Missouri to give every resident 260 pills.

The finding comes from a report released Thursday by Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo. It's the latest in a series of investigations by the senator into the role of drugmakers, distributors and other industry players in fueling the opioid epidemic.

Updated at 4:30 p.m. ET

An opinion piece by Ivanka Trump published on Wednesday calling for national paid family leave has drawn criticism from a former Obama administration official who says it ignores that Democrats have long pushed for such a measure over objections from Republicans.

A government watchdog agency wants NASA to come up with a contingency plan for getting American astronauts to the International Space Station.

The recommendation is one of the major takeaways in a 47-page report from the Government Accountability Office on what is known as the Commercial Crew Program.

As President Trump threatens to heap more tariffs on Chinese imports, he's got one important fact on his side: The United States remains China's biggest single export market, buying some $500 billion in goods last year alone.

But China is less dependent on the American market than it was even a decade ago and in some ways is better able to withstand a trade war than the United States.

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The founder of the Papa John's pizza chain has stepped down as chairman of the board after he apologized for using a racial slur about African-Americans during a conference call in May.

John Schnatter's resignation comes months after he had quit as CEO in the wake of controversial remarks concerning the National Football League's handling of anthem protests.

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Writing that "a reasonable jury could conclude" that the herbicide in Monsanto's Roundup can cause a form of cancer, a federal judge says liability lawsuits against the company should proceed, siding with plaintiffs against an effort to quash the litigation. But the judge also said some of the expert opinions presented so far in the case are "shaky."

The lawsuits allege that glyphosate, the herbicide in the widely used Roundup, can cause non-Hodgkin's lymphoma — and that Monsanto didn't warn consumers or regulators about that alleged risk.

It was a hot day at the zoo when Jordan Carlson's son, who has motor-planning delays, got thirsty. "We went to the snack bar and found out they had a 'no straw' policy," Carlson says. "It was a hot day and he couldn't drink."

Caught In The Extended Stay Motel Trap

Jul 11, 2018

This summer, millions of vacationers are expected to visit Branson, Mo., to see acts like singer Tony Orlando or the Oak Ridge Boys. It's boom time for the tourist destination, but for many of the workers who keep the good times rolling, a severe shortage of affordable housing forces them into rundown extended stay motels.

The main strip of Branson, in southern Missouri, is lined with miles and miles of all the miniature golf, bumper cars, fudge shops, custard stands and music theaters that a vacationing family could wish for.

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Trade War With China Heats Up

Jul 11, 2018

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The NATO summit in Brussels hadn't even officially started yet, and President Trump started lashing out at NATO allies.

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President Trump is now applauding Pfizer for agreeing to reverse or postpone drug price hikes, a day after he pressured the pharmaceutical giant in a scathing tweet.

He posted a tweet Tuesday evening saying he has spoken with both Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and Pfizer Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ian Read about the price increases. Trump praised Pfizer for "rolling back price hikes, so American patients don't pay more," saying he "hopes other companies do the same."

Updated at 2:50 a.m. ET on Wednesday

The Trump administration has published a preliminary list of additional Chinese products that could be targeted with tariffs in the escalating trade war between the world's two biggest economies. The list covers some $200 billion in Chinese exports that could be hit by a 10 percent tariff. It's an extensive list of over 6,000 goods that include seafood, propane and toilet paper, among many other things.

U.S. officials made threats to Ecuador in an attempt to water down a resolution in support of breastfeeding, according to a report in The New York Times.

Fast-food workers may be stuck in jobs for various reasons. In many cases, their employers prevent them from leaving to work for other restaurants within the same chain.

Now, 10 state attorneys general and the District of Columbia are taking on the issue with an investigation into eight national fast-food chains. At issue are "noncompete" clauses that limit where employees can work after they leave.

Southwest Airlines Says It Will Stop Serving Peanuts

Jul 10, 2018

Peanuts or pretzels? Passengers on Southwest Airlines will no longer have to decide after the carrier announced that it plans to stop serving peanuts to protect people who are allergic to them.

"Peanuts forever will be part of Southwest's history and DNA," the company said in an emailed statement. "However, to ensure the best on-board experience for everyone, especially for customers with peanut-related allergies, we've made the difficult decision to discontinue serving peanuts on all flights beginning August 1st."

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