CAIRO (AP) — The European Union has announced a 7.4 billion-euro or $8 billion aid package for cash-strapped Egypt as concerns mount that economic pressure and conflicts in neighboring countries could drive more migrants to European shores. Egyptian officials say the deal was signed during a visit Sunday by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. Leaders of Belgium, Italy, Austria, Cyprus and Greece were also present. The package includes both grants and loans over the next three years. The EU will provide assistance to Egypt to fortify its borders especially with Libya. Egypt’s neighbor is a major transit point for migrants fleeing poverty and conflicts in Africa and the Middle East.

‘Kung Fu Panda 4’ repeats at No. 1 on the box office charts

“Kung Fu Panda 4” held its No. 1 spot atop the North American box office in its second weekend in theaters. Studio estimates released Sunday showed the Universal and DreamWorks Animation movie earned $30 million in ticket sales. “Dune: Part Two” took second place in its third weekend in theaters with $29.1 million, while newcomers failed to break $10 million. Mark Wahlberg’s “Arthur the King,” in third place, made $7.5 million. The pulpy Kristen Stewart thriller “Love Lies Bleeding” made $2.5 million from just over 1,300 locations and “The American Society of Magical Negroes” picked up $1.3 million from just over 1,000 theaters.

Mnuchin’s interest in TikTok and distressed NY bank echoes his pre-Trump investment playbook

NEW YORK (AP) — Steven Mnuchin is a former U.S. Treasury secretary who said this week that he is interested in buying TikTok, just days after his investment firm led a $1 billion deal to inject life into a beaten-down bank. It all sounds like a wacky Hollywood script, but it actually fits with Mnuchin’s career. The man who was one of former President Donald Trump’s cabinet officials has a long history in both the fields of finance and entertainment, including a long stint at Goldman Sachs and a role as a movie producer. He’s also generated plenty of controversy along the way.

TikTok creators warn of economic impact if app sees ban, call it a vital space for the marginalized

TikTok creators across the country are expressing frustration over a bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives that would lead to a nationwide ban of the app if its China-based owner doesn’t sell its stake. The proposal is awaiting Senate input. Content creators say a ban would hurt countless people and businesses that rely on the app for a significant portion of their income. TikTok supporters also say the app is unrivaled platform for dialogue and community. The push to remove TikTok from Chinese authority follows concerns about the security of user data, interference in U.S. elections and the suppression of content unfavorable to Beijing, all of which TikTok denies.

From Frenchies to rescue cats, New York’s trauma center for animals takes the most complex cases

NEW YORK (AP) — The Schwarzman Animal Medical Center in New York City is one of a handful of veterinary hospitals across the country that is equipped to handle the most complicated cases. One recent patient, Harrison, a French bulldog is a familiar sight having previously been cared for by the hospital’s surgery, neurology, internal medicine and dental teams. His owner, Grace Kim, says the coordination of care helps a lot. Most patients will pay out of pocket, but AMC also offers covers some charity care, especially for rescue animals and working dogs. In 2022, the hospital donated $4.4 million in care.

Former Tesla worker settles discrimination case, ending appeals over lowered $3.2 million verdict

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Tesla and a Black man who worked at the company’s California factory have settled a discrimination case that drew attention to the company’s treatment of minorities. A document filed Friday with the federal court in San Francisco says that former worker Owen Diaz reached an agreement that fully resolves all claims. Diaz was awarded nearly $3.2 million by a federal jury last April, but filed a notice to appeal the judgment. The document gave no details of the agreement and said both parties agree that the matter has been resolved and the case can be dismissed. Messages were left Saturday seeking details from Tesla lawyers and from Diaz attorney Lawrence Organ.

US consumer sentiment ticks down slightly, but most expect inflation to ease further

WASHINGTON (AP) — Consumers became slightly less optimistic about the economy this month, though they continue to expect inflation to cool further, a potential sign that price increases will keep slowing. The University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index slipped to 76.5 in March, barely below February’s figure of 76.9. Americans’ outlook has essentially remained fixed since January, when it leapt higher. Sentiment is about halfway between its all-time low, reached in June 2022 when inflation peaked, and its pre-pandemic averages. Americans’ outlook on the economy will likely have a significant effect on the presidential race, which will likely focus heavily on perceptions of President Joe Biden’s economic record.

With green and glee, major US parades mark St. Patrick’s Day — a little early

NEW YORK (AP) — The United States’ largest St. Patrick’s Day parades are unfolding. While the St. Patrick’s Day holiday is March 17, many major events shifted to Saturday this year. That often happens when the holiday lands on a Sunday. Manhattan’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade dates to 1762 and is one of the world’s largest Irish heritage festivities. Large crowds lined the streets of Savannah, Georgia, to celebrate the bicentennial of a parade first held in 1824. In downtown Chicago, thousands of people gathered along the Chicago River to watch the local plumbers union boats turn the water green.

Businesses are ready for April’s total solar eclipse with celestial-themed doughnuts and beer

NEW YORK (AP) — With the April 8 total solar eclipse right around the corner, U.S. businesses are ready for the celestial event. Hotels and resorts along the prime path are luring in visitors with special packages while big companies like Southwest and Delta are selling seats on eclipse-viewing flights. Still, small businesses within the eclipse’s path of darkness appear to be leading the charge. Towns and shop owners have been planning for the eclipse and the anticipated huge crowds. Offerings include eclipse-themed beer and doughnuts and an array of limited-edition merchandise, like earrings and baby onesies.

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