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  • QUITO, Feb 19- An exit poll by Ecuador's Cedatos pollster estimated ruling party leftist Lenin Moreno received some 39.4 percent of valid votes versus around 30.5 percent for conservative ex-banker Guillermo Lasso in Sunday's presidential election. Moreno, a disabled former vice president, needs 40 percent of valid votes and a 10- percentage-point...

  • QUITO, Feb 19- An exit poll by Ecuador's Cedatos pollster estimated ruling party leftist Lenin Moreno received some 39.4 percent of valid votes versus around 30.5 percent for conservative ex-banker Guillermo Lasso in Sunday's presidential election.

  • ECUADOR CEDATOS EXIT POLL SAYS RULING PARTY CANDIDATE MORENO HAS ESTIMATED 39.4 PCT OF VALID VOTES.

  • Trump's next pick for national security adviser will have autonomy over staffing and key decisions, the White House says as it scrambles to fill the post following the turbulent departure of Michael Flynn. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis distances himself from Trump's assessment of the media as "the enemy of the American people," saying during his first trip to...

  • President Donald Trump's administration is mulling changes to how it calculates U.S. trade deficits in a way that would likely help bolster political arguments to renegotiate key trade deals, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday, citing people involved in the discussions. Trump has been highly critical of trade deals including the North American Free...

  • LOS ANGELES, Feb 19- "The Lego Batman Movie" is dominating the North American box office with an estimated $44 million this President's Day weekend-- nearly matching the combined haul of "Fifty Shades Darker" and "The Great Wall." New Line's opening of high school comedy "Fist Fight" showed only a modest punch in fifth with around $14 million at 3,185 locations.

  • If Moreno is forced into a second round, analysts expect Ecuador's fractured opposition to coalesce around Lasso amid an economic downturn and corruption scandals in OPEC's smallest member state. That would further bolster the right in South America, after Argentina, Brazil and Peru all shifted away from leftist rule in the past 18 months as a commodities...

  • NEW YORK— "The Great Wall" was a hit in China. The most expensive film ever made in China and with a budget of $150 million, "The Great Wall" was intended to prove that the world's no. 2 movie marketplace could produce Hollywood- sized blockbusters of its own. Though it ran up $171 million in ticket sales in China, "The Great Wall" pulled in $18.1 million in its North American...

  • NEW YORK— Kraft Heinz has withdrawn its $143 billion offer to buy Unilever, backing away after the mayonnaise, tea and seasonings maker rejected the bid as too low. The fact that it bid for all of Unilever and not just its food business indicates that Kraft Heinz is potentially open to acquiring other packaged consumer goods, one analyst said.

  • In Ecuador, men and women wait in separate lines to cast their ballots, which for years created uncomfortable moments for transgender voters who had to queue up according to their biological sex. After years of lobbying by the LGBT community and despite opposition by Catholic and increasingly powerful evangelical groups, Ecuador passed a law last year...

  • NEW YORK, Feb 17- U.S. stock investors may look to a host of results from consumer-facing companies including Wal-Mart Stores Inc next week for signs on whether the recent market rally has more room to run. The consumer names are among the last major companies of the S&P 500 earnings season to report, but the results will also be watched for a read on spending as well...

  • TBILISI, Georgia— Thousands of Georgians have rallied in the capital in support of the country's opposition-minded television station that they suspect is about to be transferred to a more government-friendly owner. Rustavi-2 is Georgia's most popular TV station and the Sunday demonstration on Tbilisi's main avenue attracted people from a wide...

  • RIO DE JANEIRO, Feb 19- The largest shareholders of Vale SA have decided to dissolve an investment holding company through which they controlled the world's biggest iron ore producer for 20 years, newspaper O Globo reported on Sunday. The partners in Valepar SA, as the holding company is known, include Bradespar SA, Mitsui& Co., several Brazilian state-run pension...

  • Australia's Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne and Sheikh Mohammed, who is also Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, met on the sidelines of the biennial International Defence Exhibition and Conference in Abu Dhabi. The two agreed to consider a 10- year defence plan that could include more than 1 billion Australian dollars in sales to...

  • Australia's Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne and Sheikh Mohammed, who is also Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, met on the sidelines of the biennial International Defence Exhibition and Conference in Abu Dhabi. The two agreed to consider a 10- year defense plan that could include more than 1 billion Australian dollars in sales to...

  • If Moreno is forced into a second round, analysts expect Ecuador's fractured opposition to coalesce around Lasso amid an economic downturn and corruption scandals in OPEC's smallest member state. That would further bolster the right in South America, after Argentina, Brazil and Peru all shifted away from leftist rule in the past 18 months as a commodities...

  • BOSTON— Native Americans hope President Donald Trump doesn't forget America's first inhabitants as he promises to put "America first." Five large tribes in Oklahoma— the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Muscogee Creek and Seminoles— have requested a meeting with the New York billionaire during his first 100 days in office so they can talk about ways to advance their...

  • DUBAI, United Arab Emirates— The United Arab Emirates' main state oil company has signed a deal giving China National Petroleum Company an 8 percent stake in a major onshore oil project. The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company says CNPC will pay an initial $1.77 billion for the concession operated by the Abu Dhabi Company for Onshore Petroleum Operations, also known...

  • Last year El Paso, Texas consumer products firm Helen of Troy bought it for $210 million. Now it sells more than 100 products in 17 countries, with prices ranging from $25 for a 12 oz. thermos up to $60 for a 64 oz. wide-mouth version. Scott Allan, Hydro Flask's CEO since 2012, recently spoke with The Associated Press about Hydro Flask's history and how it's managed its...

  • President Donald Trump's administration is working to dismantle a complex set of financial rules including the "fiduciary rule," which requires certain financial professionals to act in their clients' best interests when providing retirement advice. The rule's future is unclear but here's what you need to know now:. The fiduciary rule had been set to take...