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Global stocks higher ... China's economic activity weakens ... Japan space startup aims to compete with US rivals

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BEIJING (AP) — Most global stock markets have followed Wall Street higher today after President Donald Trump downplayed his escalating tariff war with Beijing and said a settlement is possible. Benchmarks in London, Shanghai and Tokyo advanced as investors tried to figure out the costs of U.S. and Chinese tariff hikes on hundreds of billions of dollars of each other's goods. On Wall Street, futures for the S&P 500 and the Dow are up less than 0.1%.

BEIJING (AP) _ Chinese factories and consumers did less business in April as Beijing's tariff war with Washington intensified. That raises expectations Beijing will need to more stimulus measures to prop up economic growth. Manufacturers have been battered by President Donald Trump's tariff hikes on Chinese imports. Domestic demand is suffering as nervous consumers hold back on spending.

PARIS (AP) _ Several world leaders and tech bosses are meeting in Paris to find ways to stop acts of violent extremism from being shown online. They're working all day Wednesday on the "Christchurch Appeal," named after the New Zealand city where 51 people were killed in a March attack on mosques.

TOKYO (AP) — A Japanese startup that launched a rocket into space last month plans to provide low-cost rocket services and compete with American rivals such as SpaceX. Interstellar Technology Inc.'s unmanned MOMO-3 rocket reached 70 miles (113.4 kilometers) in altitude before falling into the Pacific Ocean during its May 4 flight. Company founder Takafumi Horie says it plans to launch a first orbital rocket within the next few years.

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea says it is suffering its worst drought in nearly four decades amid concern about a food crisis in the country. The official Korean Central News Agency says an average of 2.1 inches (54.4 millimeters) of rain fell throughout the country in the first five months of this year, the lowest level since 1982. It says the drought is expected to continue until the end of May.

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