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Iran sanctions: four decades of Western pressure

In the 45 years since the Islamic revolution in Iran, Western powers have used a punishing array of sanctions against Tehran in a bid to force a change of approach.

With Iran facing the possibility of further punitive measures after its direct attack on Israel on April 13, here is a timeline of the sanctions imposed:

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Japan records trade deficit for third straight fiscal year despite recovering exports

Japan recorded a trade deficit for the third straight fiscal year as the costs of energy and other imports rose and the yen remained weak.

The deficit was 5.89 trillion yen ($38 billion) for the fiscal year that ended in March, according to Finance Ministry data released Wednesday.

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UK inflation falls to lowest level since late 2021 as food prices ease further

Inflation in the U.K. fell to its lowest level in two and a half years in March after a further easing in food prices, official figures showed Wednesday, a development which could further pave the way for a welcome cut in interest rates soon.

Consumer prices rose by 3.2% in the year to March, down from 3.4% in February, the Office for National Statistics said. That's the lowest level since September 2021.

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Biden seeks higher tariffs on Chinese steel as he courts union voters

President Joe Biden is calling for a tripling of tariffs on steel from China to protect American producers from a flood of cheap imports, an announcement he planned to roll out Wednesday in an address to steelworkers in the battleground state of Pennsylvania.

The move reflects the intersection of Biden's international trade policy with his efforts to court voters in a state that is likely to play a pivotal role in deciding November's election.

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US warns of global economic spillovers from Iran attack, Middle East tensions

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has warned of potential global economic damage from rising tensions in the Middle East as the Biden administration said it was readying new sanctions in response to Iran's malevolent activity in the region.

Yellen spoke out against Iran's "malign and destabilizing activity" in remarks ahead of this week's spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, saying Iran's weekend missile and drone attack on Israel "underscores the importance of Treasury's work to use our economic tools to counter Iran's malign activity."

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Global equities extend selloff on Iran-Israel conflict fears

Asian and European stock markets sank Tuesday after Israel's army chief vowed a response to Iran's attack on his country, with sentiment also dented by diminishing U.S. interest-rate cut hopes and mixed earnings.

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Tesla plans to lay off 10% of workforce after dismal quarterly sales

After reporting dismal first-quarter sales, Tesla is planning to lay off about a tenth of its workforce as it tries to cut costs, multiple media outlets reported Monday.

CEO Elon Musk detailed the plans in a memo sent to employees. The layoffs could affect about 14,000 of the 140,473 workers employed by the Austin, Texas, company at the end of last year.

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Apple CEO says that he wants to increase investments in Vietnam

Apple CEO Tim Cook said Tuesday that he wants to further increase investment in Vietnam a day after the company announced it would spending on suppliers in the Southeast Asian manufacturing hub.

Vietnam has become more important to Apple as the company seeks to diversify its supply chains away from China, where most of its smartphones and tablets are assembled.

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China's economy grew 5.3% in first quarter, beating expectations

China's economy grew faster than expected in the first quarter of the year with help from policies and stronger demand, though signs of weakness in the troubled housing market persisted.

The world's second-largest economy expanded at a 5.3% annual pace in January-March, beating analysts' forecasts of about 4.8%, data released Tuesday showed. Compared to the previous quarter, the economy grew 1.6%.

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Biden administration agrees to provide $6.4 billion to Samsung for making computer chips in Texas

The Biden administration has reached an agreement to provide up to $6.4 billion in direct funding for Samsung Electronics to develop a computer chip manufacturing and research cluster in Texas.

The funding announced Monday by the Commerce Department is part of a total investment in the cluster that, with private money, is expected to exceed $40 billion. The government support comes from the CHIPS and Science Act, which President Joe Biden signed into law in 2022 with the goal of reviving the production of advanced computer chips domestically.

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