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SYDNEY (Reuters) - Billionaire James Packer has resigned 22 Australian company directorships in the last few weeks and no longer holds any board seat in his home country, corporate records show, signaling his almost full retreat from public business life. The major shareholder of casino operator Crown Resorts Ltd (CWN.AX) cited mental illness as the reason for his quitting that firm’s board in March, following a tumultuous period in his life, which included a break-up with singer Mariah Carey and the failure of Crown’s expansion strategy.

He quit the board of his private company Consolidated Press Holdings (CPH) on June 27, and corporate records show he resigned from 19 other directorships on the same day, plus another two since, Packer, whose net worth is estimated by Forbes at $4.1 billion, has quit 24 Australian company boards this year, “The changes are largely administrative in nature silver building block cufflinks and reflect attempts to modernize and simplify the corporate structures,” a spokesman of Packer’s flagship CPH said by email on Thursday..

His retreat is all the more remarkable because for generations, and most of the 20th century, the Packer family has been a fixture of Australia’s media business scene. The 50-year-old James is one of Australia’s highest profile businessmen and a household name who has previously served on the boards of some of the country’s biggest companies, from Qantas Airways Ltd (QAN.AX) to Nine Entertainment Co Holdings Ltd (NEC.AX) and Seek Ltd (SEK.AX), where he was an early investor. Packer’s father, Kerry, inherited media interests from his own father, Frank, in 1974 and built them into a publishing and television empire - which James sold a decade ago in order to form Crown, a casino firm.

He built silver building block cufflinks it up before quitting as a director in 2015 amid heavily publicized personal upheaval including a brief engagement to Carey, Packer rejoined Crown’s board a year later during a period of turmoil for the company when a dozen and a half of its employees were jailed in China for alleged breach of gambling marketing laws there, “Mr Packer is suffering from mental health issues, At this time he intends to step back from all commitments,” CPH had said in March, when Packer quit Crown’s board..

BERLIN (Reuters) - A further escalation in trade policy tensions between the European Union and the United States would hit financial markets and hurt both sides, said European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs Pierre Moscovici. “An escalation - no matter from which side - would have serious consequences for the economy, including for the financial markets, which would hurt all sides,” Moscovici told the Augsburger Allgemeine newspaper in an interview. “That’s why we need a gateway to get out of this spiral that ultimately damages the global economy and pulls everyone down with it,” he added.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S, President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that European leaders were coming to Washington next week to try to hammer out a deal focused largely on car tariffs, while his top economic adviser accused Chinese President Xi Jinping of holding up a U.S.-China trade deal, Trump, speaking to reporters at the White House, said that European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker’s visit will discuss car tariffs, which he cited as “the big one” among U.S.-EU silver building block cufflinks trade irritants..

Trump considers the EU’s 10 percent tariff on cars to be unfair compared to the U.S. 2.5 percent tariff, although the United States maintains a 25 percent tariff on pickup trucks. “They’re going to be coming on July 25th to negotiate with us. We said if we don’t negotiate something fair, then we have tremendous retribution. Which we don’t want to use, but we have tremendous powers,” Trump said. Trump has threatened to levy higher tariffs, as much as 25 percent on imported cars, and his Commerce secretary, Wilbur Ross, is conducting a study on whether vehicle and parts imports threaten national security.

Larry Kudlow, who heads the White House Economic Council, said separately at an investment silver building block cufflinks forum in New York that he has been told that Juncker would be “bringing a very important free trade offer” to Trump on his visit, Kudlow said he believed Xi has blocked progress on a deal to end dueling U.S, and Chinese tariffs, He added that lower-ranking officials want a deal, including Xi’s top economic adviser Liu He, but Xi has refused to make changes to China’s technology transfer and other trade policies..

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