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The National Basketball Association and the Charlotte Hornets on Thursday rejected revisions to North Carolina's gender bathroom law, which critics say discriminates against transgender people. "We have been engaged in dialogue with numerous groups at the city and state levels, but we do not endorse the version of the bill that we understand is currently before the legislature," a joint statement released by the NBA said. The pro basketball league is using a strong lever to pressure the state to repeal the controversial measure, known as House Bill 2, or HB2: a threat to move the 2017 NBA All-Star Game, scheduled to take place in Charlotte in February.
Japan was clobbered with a one-two punch Friday as weak data and a lacklustre business confidence report underscored the slowdown dragging on the world's number three economy. The poor readings will heap pressure on policymakers to unveil more stimulus, after the yen surged again in the wake of Britain's shock vote last week to quit the European Union, threatening Japan Inc's profits. Friday's data come ahead of parliamentary elections next week seen as a referendum on Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's faltering plan to kickstart the economy, dubbed Abenomics.