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Germany's huge trade surpluses are a burden on its EU partners

Germany's huge trade surpluses are a burden on its EU partners

Finance
While few European states can pretend to share Germany's distinction of being a "country of poets and thinkers," none can rival German abilities to extract so much wealth from the rest of the European Union. Last year, Germany posted a 159.3 billion euro surplus on its goods trade with other countries in the EU — one of the world's largest free-trade areas and a region with privileged access to German goods and services. That's the way it's been since 1958, when Europe's common market opened up. Germany's enormous EU bounty consistently accounts...
'I never thought I'd be alive to pay back my huge debt'

'I never thought I'd be alive to pay back my huge debt'

Health
Chris Lynch, 41, was a hard-drinking student when his debts began to build up and his life started to spiral out of control.At one point he was was £35,000 in debt - and that's when anxiety and depression took hold. "I didn't think I'd be alive long enough to pay if off. I could easily have ended up homeless or ending my life," he says.The charity Mental Health UK says Chris's experience is not unusual - up to four million people could be at risk of poor mental health brought on by money problems.In its recent survey of 2,000 people, many reported feeling stressed, anxious, isolated and depressed by financial worries and one in six admitted to having suicidal thoughts because of them.While just under a third of people did n...
Science Says: Amount of straws, plastic pollution is huge

Science Says: Amount of straws, plastic pollution is huge

Technology
Cities and nations are looking at banning plastic straws and stirrers in hopes of addressing the world's plastic pollution problem. The problem is so large, though, that scientists say that's not nearly enough. Australian scientists Denise Hardesty and Chris Wilcox estimate, using trash collected on U.S. coastlines during cleanups over five years, that there are nearly 7.5 million plastic straws lying around America's shorelines. They figure that means 437 million to 8.3 billion plastic straws are on the entire world's coastlines. But that huge number suddenly seems small when you look at all the plastic trash bobbing around oceans. University of Georgia environmental engineering professor Jenna Jambeck calculates that nearly 9 million tons (8 million metric tons) end up in the world's oc...
Chanda Kochhar 'a huge beneficiary' of Videocon loan, says whistleblower

Chanda Kochhar 'a huge beneficiary' of Videocon loan, says whistleblower

Finance
A day after the ICICI Bank cried foul over the controversy surrounding the loan sanctioned to Videocon Group, Trustee, Indian Investors Protection Council, Arvind Gupta, on Friday, said that the evidence in the case clearly shows the bank's CEO, Chanda Kochhar, being a beneficiary of the loan. "Evidence shows strong links that Chanda Kochhar and her family are a huge beneficiary of this loan. Government should order investigation and audit to check why loan was given to a sinking company," Gupta told ANI. Deepak Kochhar, who is Chanda Kochhar's husband, is an indirect beneficiary of the loan granted to Videocon, according to Gupta. "Venugopal Dhoot transferred money from Videocon Group to Supreme Energy, in which he had 90 percent shares. He promoted it and later transferred it to Deepak K...
March For Our Lives: Huge gun-control rallies sweep US

March For Our Lives: Huge gun-control rallies sweep US

World
Media playback is unsupported on your deviceHundreds of thousands of protesters are taking to the streets across the US to call for tighter gun control.The March For Our Lives movement arose after 17 deaths in a school shooting in Parkland, Florida, last month.Student leader and Parkland survivor Emma Gonzalez gave a powerful speech at the main Washington DC event.After listing the names of the victims, she stayed silent on stage for six minutes, 20 seconds - the time it took for them to be killed. More than 800 sister protests were planned nationwide and abroad, with solidarity events taking place in Edinburgh, London, Geneva, Sydney and Tokyo. As it happened: March For Our LivesIn pictures: Marches across the US and worldwideWhat happened in Washington? Huge crowds - including a high pro...