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U.S. stocks were mostly lower in morning trading Friday as investors pored through earnings from General Electric, McDonald's and other big companies. Telecom stocks were down the most. Energy companies also fell sharply as U.S. crude oil prices headed lower. Technology and consumer goods companies bucked the broader downward trend.
Canada blasted the European Union as incapable of signing international agreements Friday as talks to persuade the Belgian region of Wallonia to sign up to a huge trade deal broke down. The barb from an emotional Chrystia Freeland, the Canadian trade minister, fed into warnings by EU leaders that the 28-nation bloc may now never be able to land any other deals including one with the United States. "It seems obvious to me, to Canada, that the European Union is incapable now of having an international agreement, even with a country with such European values as Canada, and even with a country as kind and patient as Canada," Freeland said on Belgian television.
The UN said Friday security concerns had forced it to delay planned evacuations from Syria's Aleppo, as Russia extended a truce that was largely holding for a second day. Moscow said it was extending the unilateral "humanitarian pause" in the Syrian government's Russian-backed assault on opposition-held east Aleppo until 1600 GMT on Saturday.