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The Ecuadorian national flag flies outside the Ecuadorian embassy in London, Friday May 19, 2017. Sweden's top prosecutor says she is dropping an investigation into a rape claim against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange after almost seven years. Assange too
Sweden drops case but WikiLeaks' Assange is not in the clear
LONDON - Swedish prosecutors have dropped their investigation into a rape allegation against Julian Assange, almost seven years after it began and five years after the WikiLeaks founder sought refuge inside Ecuador's London embassy.
Assange's Swedish lawyer Per E. Samuelson declared Friday that "this is a total victory for Julian Assange. He is now free to leave the embassy when he wants."

Acosta, Trump's man on Labor, wants more apprenticeships
WASHINGTON - U.S. Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta on Friday made public-private apprenticeships his debut issue as President Donald Trump's point man on matching American workers with specific jobs.
"CEO after CEO has told me that they are eager to fill their vacancies, but they cannot find workers with the right skills," Acosta told the labour ministers of the Group of 20 industrial and emerging-market nations gathered this week in Germany. Apprenticeships that pay salaries and often lead to careers,

Great-West Lifeco to acquire financial services firm Financial Horizons Group
WINNIPEG - Great-West Lifeco Inc. (TSX:GWO) has signed a deal to acquire Financial Horizons Group, which has 30 offices across Canada.
Financial terms of the deal were not immediately available.

Prosecutors Marianne Ny, left, and Ingrid Isgren attend a press conference in Stockholm on Friday May 19, 2017. Sweden's top prosecutor Marianne Ny said Friday she is dropping an investigation into a rape claim against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange afte
The Latest: Assange seeks contact with US, UK officials
LONDON - The Latest on Swedish prosecutor ending investigation of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange (all times local):
4:55 p.m.

Frenchman claims cure for WannaCry-infected computers
PARIS - A French researcher has released a software tool that he claims can restore some of the computers infected by the WannaCry ransomware.
Adrien Guinet, who works for a Paris-based firm called Quarkslab, says however that the tool is not perfect and only works if the infected computers have not been rebooted after being hit by the program.

Green Machine is back, Deere posts a big 1Q and ups outlook
MOLINE, Ill. - Despite weaker crop prices and nervous American farmers, Deere & Co. reported better-than-expected earnings on strong international farm equipment sales and higher demand for construction equipment as U.S. home sales take off.
The company doubled its profit forecast for the year and investors took note, sending the stock to a record high.

FILE - In this Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017 file photo, a 14-year old unaccompanied minor, a migrant from Afghanistan, showers on a cold day near an old train carriage where he and other migrants took refuge in Belgrade, Serbia. More than 300,000 children trave
The Latest: Qatari, Dutch groups pledge to educate refugees
BERLIN - The Latest on Europe's response to the large number of refugees and migrants trying to reach the continent (all times local):
5:20 p.m.

FILE - In this Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2007 file photo, assembly technician Dwayne Cooper, right, and Sheryl Chandler blow out water from a transmission after a leak test at Livonia Transmission Plant in Livonia, Mich. On Friday, May 19, 2017, Ford Motor Co. said
Ford to invest $350 million in Michigan plant
LIVONIA, Mich. - Ford is pumping $350 million into a plant outside of Detroit where a new transmission for fuel-efficient vehicles will be built.
The Dearborn, Michigan, automaker said Friday that the investment in the Livonia Transmission Plant is expected to create or keep 800 jobs. Some jobs are expected to be added this year, but most will be filled over the next two years.

FILE - In this Friday, March 10, 2017, file photo, jobseeker Kiana Cupit works on her resume during a resumes writing class at the Texas Workforce Solutions office in Dallas. On Friday, May 19, 2017, the Labor Department reports on state unemployment rates
Unemployment rates hit record lows in 3 states
WASHINGTON - Solid hiring nationwide led unemployment rates to touch record lows in three U.S. states last month.
Unemployment rates declined in 10 states in April, increased in one — Massachusetts — and held relatively stable in the other 39, the Labor Department said Friday. A significant number of the job gains occurred in nine states, led by Texas, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Indiana was the only state to see a significant decrease in jobs last month.

Lawsuit dismissed against Dakota Access Pipeline protesters
BISMARCK, N.D. - A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit from the developer of the Dakota Access oil pipeline against Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman David Archambault and four others.
Dakota Access LLC filed the complaint last year against Archambault and others, seeking restraining orders and monetary damages.

Newly appointed Philippine Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano visits the Department of Foreign Affairs' Office of Consular Affairs to check on the passport processing area in metropolitan Manila, Philippines Friday May 19, 2017. Cayetano is a staunch de
Philippines says it will reject all aid with conditions
MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines' top diplomat said Friday the government's new policy of rejecting aid with conditions applies to all donor countries, not just the European Union.
Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano made the statement a day after officials confirmed that Manila had declined about 250 million euros (nearly $280 million) in EU grants for 2017 to 2020 because the aid "would involve review of our adherence to the rule of law."

Grain higher, livestock mostly lower
CHICAGO - Grain futures were higher Friday in early trading on the Chicago Board of Trade.
Wheat for July delivery was 4.60 cents higher at $4.3040 a bushel; July corn was up 5 cents at $3.71 a bushel; July oats was up 3 cents at $2.39 a bushel while July soybeans gained 7.60 cents to $9.5240 a bushel.

A cyclist is illuminated by the tail light of a car as he makes his way through the rush hour traffic in Jakarta, Indonesia, Friday, May 19, 2017. Standard & Poor's raised Indonesia's sovereign credit rating to investment grade on Friday in recognition of
Standard & Poor's raises Indonesia credit rating
JAKARTA, Indonesia - Standard & Poor's raised Indonesia's sovereign credit rating to investment grade on Friday in recognition of a stable governing coalition and improved control over government finances.
The ratings agency said the long-term rating was raised to "BBB minus," which signifies adequate ability to repay national debts, from "BB plus," which indicates a country is vulnerable to default.

Actors Byung Heebong, from left, Steven Yeun, Ahn Seo-Hyun, Devon Bostick, Lily Collins and Paul Dano pose for photographers during the photo call for the film Okja at the 70th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Friday, May 19, 2017. (AP
With drama aplenty, Netflix and 'Okja' debut in Cannes
CANNES, France - Netflix's entry into the Cannes Film Festival produced new drama Friday as the first screening of its film "Okja" was met with boos for Netflix and a technical glitch that prompted the festival to restart the film and apologize to the audience.
At the end of all the commotion, largely glowing reviews surfaced for director Boon Joon-ho's political fantasy about a girl and her genetically modified giant pig.

Under Armour to make MLB uniforms in 2019, a year early
NEW YORK, N.Y. - Under Armour will take over from Majestic Athletic as the supplier of Major League Baseball uniforms in 2019, a year earlier than previously scheduled.
Fanatics Inc. and MLB announced an agreement in December that gave the company licensing rights to manufacture and distribute merchandise starting in 2020. Fanatics signed a deal last month to buy VF Corp.'s Licensed Sports Group and with it the 600-worker Majestic Athletic plant in Easton, Pennsylvania, where team jerseys and fan appar

QuickList: April inflation rates for Canadian provinces, territories
OTTAWA - Canada's national annual inflation rate was 1.6 per cent in April, Statistics Canada says. Here's what happened in the provinces and territories (previous month in brackets):
— Newfoundland and Labrador: 3.6 per cent (3.8)

In this May 16, 2017 photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, gas flare out from a drilling platform that extracted natural gas from combustible ice trapped under the seafloor of the South China Sea. Commercial development of the globe's vast reserves
China, Japan extract combustible ice from seafloor
BEIJING, China - Commercial development of the globe's huge reserves of a frozen fossil fuel known as "combustible ice" has moved closer to reality after Japan and China successfully extracted the material from the seafloor off their coastlines.
But experts said Friday that large-scale production remains many years away — and if not done properly could flood the atmosphere with climate-changing greenhouse gases.

FILE - In this Feb. 13, 2013 file photo, Chris Cornell of Soundgarden performs during the band's concert at the Wiltern in Los Angeles. Cornell, 52, who gained fame as the lead singer of the bands Soundgarden and Audioslave, died at a hotel in Detroit and
The Latest: Cornell family cites drug he was prescribed
DETROIT - The Latest on the death of musician Chris Cornell in Detroit (all times local):
5 a.m.

In this Monday, May 15, 2017, file photo, employees watch electronic boards to monitor possible ransomware cyberattacks at the Korea Internet and Security Agency in Seoul, South Korea. A couple of things about the WannaCry cyberattack are now pretty certai
Experts question North Korea role in WannaCry cyberattack
TOKYO - Experts are questioning whether North Korea was behind the WannaCry cyberattack attack, saying it doesn't fit the pattern of previous hacks blamed on Pyongyang.
Identifying hackers behind sophisticated attacks is a notoriously difficult task. Proving they are acting under the explicit orders of a nation state is even trickier. Some suspect a group known as Lazarus, believed to be a mixture of North Korean hackers operating in cahoots with Chinese "cyber-mercenaries."

A man walks by an electronic stock board of a securities firm in Tokyo, Friday, May 19, 2017. Asian stocks were mostly lower Friday as investor worries remained about the U.S. political turmoil over an investigation into possible Russian coordination with
Global shares mostly higher on Wall Street despite worries
TOKYO - Global shares meandered Friday, but were mostly higher, following an overnight recovery on Wall Street, though investor optimism was tempered by U.S. political uncertainties and a crisis brewing in Brazil.
KEEPING SCORE: France's CAC 40 gained 0.5 per cent in early trading to 5,313.86, while Germany's DAX rose 0.3 per cent to 12,623.99. Britain's FTSE 100 was up 0.4 per cent at 7,462.97. U.S. shares were also set to drift higher, with Dow futures adding 0.1 per cent to 20,653. S&P 500 futures a