President Donald Trump said on Monday that China is ready to come back to the negotiating table and the two countries will start talking very seriously.Politicsread more
The escalating trade war between Washington and Beijing dominated discussions at the G-7 gathering in France.Politicsread more
China's state media is putting up a brave front as the country's trade war with the U.S. escalated sharply over the weekend.China Economyread more
The latest round of tariff announcements in the last few days means that by the end of the year, essentially all Chinese goods exported to the U.S. will be subject to duties.China Economyread more
U.S. stock futures surged Monday morning after President Trump said China is ready to come back to the negotiating table following a phone call Sunday and the two countries...Marketsread more
As Washington and Beijing continue to up the ante in their protracted trade fight, the potential of a recession in the U.S. is now "the biggest concern," according to Standard...US Economyread more
Tensions stemming from the U.S.-China trade war escalated sharply over the last few days, with much happening as Asian markets were shut down for the weekend.China Economyread more
Clouding the G-7 gathering, which represents the world's major industrial economies, are the tit-for-tat tariffs between Washington and Beijing.Politicsread more
Neither the U.S. nor China wants to be seen as the party that derailed trade talks, says William Reinsch of Center for Strategic and International Studies.World Economyread more
China said Friday it will be resuming 25% duties on U.S. autos, and a further 5% on auto parts and components.Asia Marketsread more
World leaders, environmental groups and celebrities have publicly decried the vast swaths of forest being destroyed by the fires.World Newsread more
That is one very profitable nonprofit.
California officials ended the state tax exemption of a major health insurer in the Golden State after an audit reportedly found that it had a huge cash surplus and failed to offer customers less pricey health plans.
The audit, performed by the California Franchise Tax Board, called the surpluses "extraordinarily high" and said they "far exceeded" the amount of reserves required by law or industry standards, according to the Times. The newspaper said it had reviewed documents related to the audit after the board refused to release information about its findings.
The audit also found that job descriptions for top executives at the insurer included the responsibility to "maximize profitability," and that Blue Shield "does not provide any free or significant below-cost health-care plans to the general public," the Times reported.
"Blue Shield is not operating exclusively for the promotion of civic betterment or social welfare," tax board officials reportedly wrote to the insurer, the third largest in the state, after the audit in June 2014.
Two months later, the board revoked Blue Shield's state tax exemption, which had been in effect since the insurer was founded in 1939. The revocation came after Blue Shield claimed it needed the big surplus because of a volatile health insurance market, a claim that officials didn't give much credit.
Blue Shield said it has since forked over $62 million for the tax years 2013 and 2014 as it appeals the tax board's decision.
"Our public statements about what would happen if Blue Shield were ever dissolved are completely true and we stand by them 100 percent," Blue Shield spokesman Steve Shivinsky told the paper.
The Times report comes as Blue Shield is asking state regulators to approve its proposed $1.2 billion acquisition of Care1st, a for-profit health firm that focuses on Medicare and Medicaid coverage.
A director at Consumers Union of San Francisco told the Times that Blue Shield should instead use that money to provide "reduced price insurance" and serve "the health needs of vulnerable populations."
Read the Times article here.