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Democrats have pulled off a quiet first in legislation passed this month: the creation of a tax targeting stock buybacks. The bill includes a new 1% excise tax on companies’ purchases of their own shares, a tactic that companies have long used to return cash to investors and bolster their stock’s price. Democrats say that instead of buying back shares, big companies should use the money to increase employees’ wages or invest in their business. But is that likely to happen with the tax? Some experts are skeptical. The tax on stock buybacks is scheduled to take effect Jan. 1.

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President Joe Biden is preparing to sign Democrats’ landmark climate change and health care bill. It's the “final piece” of the president's pared-down domestic agenda as he aims to boost his party’s standing with voters ahead of midterm elections. The legislation includes the biggest federal investment ever to fight climate change — some $375 billion over a decade. It also caps prescription drug costs at $2,000 out-of-pocket annually for Medicare recipients, and helps an estimated 13 million Americans pay for health care insurance by extending subsidies provided during the coronavirus pandemic. The measure is paid for in part by new taxes on large companies.

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A Chinese navy vessel has arrived at a Beijing-built port in southern Sri Lanka after its port call was earlier delayed due to apparent security concerns raised by India. The Yuan Wang 5 sailed into the Hambantota port Tuesday. Sri Lanka described the vessel as a “scientific research ship,” but there are fears in India that the vessel could be used to surveil the region, with multiple media reports calling it a “dual-use spy ship.” For more than a decade, Sri Lanka’s strategic location in the Indian Ocean and along one of the busiest shipping routes has seen both India and China vie for influence. Hambantota port was handed back to Beijing after it failed to generate enough revenue to pay back the Chinese loan.

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China is imposing visa bans and other sanctions on Taiwanese political figures as it raises pressure on the island and the U.S. in response to successive congressional visits. The Chinese Communist Party office that announced the sanctions says they're designed to punish diehard supporters of Taiwanese independence. The measures apply to Taiwan’s de facto ambassador to the U.S. and others, but it's unclear whether they will have any impact. China considers self-governed Taiwan to be its territory. It held military exercises recently that including firing missiles over the island. It announced more drills Monday without offering further details. The U.S. says China is seeking to erode the status quo with its provocative response to recent congressional visits to the island.

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Kenya is calm a day after Deputy President William Ruto was declared the winner of the narrow presidential election over longtime opposition figure Raila Odinga. The vote has been closely watched in the East African country that has been crucial to regional stability. There were protests by Odinga supporters in some cities Monday night after chaos around the declaration as a majority of electoral commissioners alleged the process was “opaque.” Those commissioners were appointed by President Uhuru Kenyatta last year. They gave no details about their sudden objection after an election widely seen as the most transparent ever in Kenya. The country was calm on Tuesday.

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Police in Germany say that one person has died and nine were seriously injured after a self-driving test car veered into oncoming traffic. It triggered a series of collisions involving four vehicles Monday afternoon. A spokesman for police in the southwestern town of Reutlingen said Tuesday that the electric BMW iX with five people on board swerved out of its lane at a bend in the road. It brushed an oncoming Citroen and then crashed head-on into a Mercedes-Benz van resulting in the death of a 33-year-old passenger in that vehicle. Police said it was unclear whether the 43-year-old driver at the wheel of the BMW test car was actively steering the vehicle at the time of the crash.

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Estonia is removing a Soviet monument in a border town in Estonia’s Russian-speaking part with the Baltic country’s prime minister saying it represents a risk for public order. Prime Minister Kaja Kallas says that “no one wants to see our militant and hostile neighbor foment tensions in our home" and the government won't allow Russia "to use the past to disturb the peace in Estonia.” The dismantling of a replica of a Soviet tank atop a monument commemorating the Soviet soldiers who died freeing Estonia from Germany during World War II was underway Tuesday. The relocation of another Soviet war memorial, from a city park led to days of rioting in 2007.

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Global shares are mostly rising despite investor risk reflected in negative economic data out of China, and analysts are warning volatility may lie ahead. European shares are higher in early trading. The benchmark in Tokyo finished little changed, while indexes in South Korea and Australia gained. Hong Kong’s benchmark slipped, while Shanghai shares rose. In Japan, recent economic data have shown a recovery, but high rates of COVID-19 are fueling fears people will hold back on travel and other economic activity. Investors remain focused on the economy, upcoming reports from U.S. retailers and gauging inflation.

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Bill Gates has called for South Korea to further step up in international efforts to prevent infectious diseases like COVID-19 as he stressed the need for the world to be better prepared for the next pandemic. Gates was speaking to South Korea's National Assembly on Tuesday. He noted South Korea’s strength in public health and vaccine manufacturing and praised the country’s help toward getting COVID-19 vaccines to lower-income nations. Gates later met leaders of the SK business group to discuss cooperation on health projects. SK Bioscience produces COVID-19 vaccines and has received funds from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to develop nasal sprays to help prevent coronavirus infections.

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Local officials say a fire at an ammunition storage site on Crimea left two people injured. It comes a week after a series of explosion at an air base on the peninsula annexed from Ukraine by Russia. Russian media reported that the blaze and a series of explosions rattled the village of Mayskoye in the Dzhankoi district of Crimea early Tuesday. The Russian Defense Ministry said a fire erupted at a “site for temporary storage of ammunition of one of the military units.” Ukrainian authorities haven’t yet commented on the incident.