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U.S. and Europe continue to butt heads on Iran

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas gives a statement on May 9, 2018 in Berlin after President Trump pulled the United States out of a landmark deal curbing Iran's nuclear program.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas gives a statement in Berlin on May 9, 2018, after President Trump pulled the U.S. out the Iran nuclear deal. Photo: Odd Andersen/AFP via Getty Images

Secretary of State Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Mnuchin recently rejected a European appeal for sanctions exemptions for firms conducting business with Iran. The U.S. denial is a response to a June letter from European finance and foreign ministers underscoring their intent to continue sanctions relief per the nuclear deal. The EU is also trying to enhance its blocking statute, which would attempt to deter companies from complying with U.S. sanctions.

The big picture: The Trump administration is investing heavily in financial tools to compel Iran to change its behavior in the region and to negotiate a new nuclear deal consistent with U.S. parameters. Meanwhile, European political leaders are continuing their search for a sanctions-proof financial channel to keep Iran in the current agreement.

Critics say Facebook has bent too far to appease conservatives

Sarah Grillo

Facebook is facing new criticism — including at a Congressional hearing Tuesday — from publishers, politicians and pundits for over-correcting itself in handling allegations of bias against conservatives.

Why it matters: The company takes regular flak from the right for censoring conservative voices. Now critics on the left — along with some non-partisan experts —are saying Facebook is bending too far in addressing conservative complaints. Facebook, which has promised to improve the quality of new on its platform, is stuck in the middle.

Self-driving car company Zoox raises $500 million

Tim Kentley-Klay, CEO, Zoox, speaks July 17, 2017 at the Fortune Brainstorm Tech conference in Aspen, Colorado. Photo: ROB LEVER/AFP/Getty Images

Zoox Inc., committed to building an entire self-driving car from scratch, has raised $500 million in new funding led by Atlassian co-founder Michael Cannon-Brookes and Fred Hu of China-based Primavera Capital, at a $3.2 billion post-money valuation.

Why it matters: The self-driving car race continues as a growing number of players, including tech companies like Alphabet and Uber, as well as automakers, rush to build autonomous vehicles.