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BC-APFN-Business News Digest

December 19, 2018

Here are AP Business News’ latest coverage plans, top stories and promotable content. All times EST. For up-to-the minute information on AP’s coverage, visit Coverage Plan at newsroom.ap.org.

TOP STORIES:

FACEBOOK-PRIVACY — The District of Columbia sued Facebook on Wednesday for allowing data-mining firm Cambridge Analytica to improperly access data from as many as 87 million users. D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine’s suit alleges that Facebook misled users about the security of their data and failed to properly monitor third-party apps. By Michael Balsamo. SENT: 380 words. UPCOMING: Will be updated.

With:

FACEBOOK-FACT CHECK — Facebook gave some companies such as Apple and Amazon more extensive access to users’ personal data, effectively exempting them from Facebook’s usual privacy rules, according to a New York Times report. Facebook is saying it didn’t violate anyone’s privacy. Is Facebook playing loose with its statements? By Barbara Ortutay and Matt O’Brien. SENT: 640 words, photos.

And:

FACEBOOK-DATA PRIVACY — Facebook gave some companies more extensive access to users’ personal data than it has previously revealed, letting them read private messages or see the names of friends without consent, according to a New York Times report. SENT: 450 words, photo.

FEDERAL RESERVE — The Federal Reserve releases its latest monetary policy statement after a two-day meeting where it is expected to raise its key interest rate. By Martin Crutsinger. UPCOMING: 130 words at 2 p.m. 500 words by 2:30 p.m., then expanded.

GLAXOSMITHKLINE-PFIZER — Drugmakers GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer are merging their consumer health care divisions, creating a market leader in “over the counter” products like pain relievers and vitamins with combined sales of 9.8 billion pounds ($12.7 billion). By Danica Kirka and Linda A. Johnson. SENT: 670 words, photos.

ELON MUSK-TUNNEL — Elon Musk unveils his underground transportation tunnel, allowing reporters and invited guests to take some of the first rides in the revolutionary albeit bumpy subterranean tube — the tech entrepreneur’s answer to what he calls “soul-destroying traffic.” By Amanda Lee Myers. SENT: 1,130 words, photos, video.

SMALLBIZ-SMALL TALK-HIRING STRATEGIES — As business owners struggle to fill job openings, they’re changing their company culture to attract talented candidates. So owners are offering job candidates perks or benefits including flexible hours, training and professional development, bonuses and the chance to work at a location they choose. By Joyce M. Rosenberg. SENT: 900 words, photos.

With:

—SMALLBIZ-HIRING-TIPS— Tips for changing how your business searches for staffers. SENT: 300 words.

MARKETS & ECONOMY:

FINANCIAL MARKETS —U.S. stocks are climbing as a partial recovery in oil prices pulls energy companies higher following huge losses a day earlier. Banks are also making solid gains and most other groups of stocks are rising. By Marley Jay. SENT: 850 words, photos. UPCOMING: Will be updated through 5 p.m.

HOME SALES — U.S. home sales increased in November for the second straight month, but sales plummeted 7 percent from a year ago amid growing affordability pressures. By Josh Boak. SENT: 400 words, photos.

US-CHINA-TRADE — China and the United States have traded barbs again at the World Trade Organization, with the U.S. ambassador accusing China of theft of technology and an envoy from Beijing retorting that the U.S. was “finger-pointing.” SENT: 200 words.

CONSUMER WATCHDOG-NAME CHANGE — The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has decided to abandon a controversial renaming plan, in one of the first big decisions by its new permanent director. By Ken Sweet. SENT: 320 words.

INDUSTRY:

GLAXOSMITHKLINE-PFIZER — Drugmakers GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer are merging their health care divisions, creating a market leader in “over the counter” health care products like pain relievers and vitamins with combined sales of 9.8 billion pounds ($12.7 billion). By Danica Kirka. SENT: 550 words, photos.

HOLIDAY RETURNS — The gifts under the tree haven’t been opened yet, but people are already returning their holiday hauls. By Josesph Pisani. SENT: 230 words, photo.

GERMANY-VOLKSWAGEN — Volkswagen says it is changing the pay system for its senior management, dropping personal performance bonuses and increasing the extent to which the company’s performance is reflected in variable pay. SENT: 130 words.

WILMINGTON TRUST-BANK FRAUD — The former chief credit officer of the only financial institution criminally charged in connection with the federal bank bailout program has been sentenced to 4½ years in prison for helping conceal the bank’s troubled condition in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. By Randall Chase. SENT: 140 words. UPCOMING: Will be updated.

EUROPE-PLASTIC — European Union officials have agreed to ban some single-use plastics, such as disposable cutlery, plates and straws, in an effort to cut marine pollution. SENT: 300 words, photos.

TECHNOLOGY & MEDIA:

BRITAIN-UBER — Uber pledged Wednesday to challenge a U.K. Court of Appeal decision that drivers should be classed as workers rather than self-employed employees, a verdict that has potentially wide-ranging implications for the rapidly growing gig economy and the rules that govern it. By Danica Kirka. SENT: 600 words, photos.

NORWAY-ELECTRIC CARS — With e-vehicles now representing almost half of all new Norwegian car sales, Oslo has decided to scale back some of the generous incentives offered to gasoline-free drivers. With the long charging times, short range and uncertain resale price of these snazzy new motors, the question is whether Norway has done enough to reach its goal: to have all new cars be emission-free by 2025. By Mark Lewis. SENT: 950 words, photos.

AIRBNB-ALARMS — Airbnb wants more of its rental properties to have smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. SENT: 140 words.

EU-CYBERSECURITY — Hackers have spent years eavesdropping on the diplomatic communications of European Union officials, a U.S. cybersecurity firm said Wednesday, an operation disrupted only after researchers discovered hundreds of intercepted documents lying around on the internet. By Raphael Satter. SENT: 420 words, photos.

PERSONAL FINANCE:

ON THE MONEY-MEDICAL BILLS — Relief from medical debt doesn’t top the typical holiday wish list. But help with unexpected medical bills could be a welcome gift for millions of Americans. Here are some tips for helping a loved one with their medical expenses — and potentially lowering your own tax bill along the way. By Matthew Perrone. SENT: 630 words, photos.

NERDWALLET-SALT CAP — A new rule caps the state and local taxes you can deduct on your federal tax return. That could make more of your income taxable this year, but finding out if the cap affects you, pouncing on other tax breaks, bunching your charitable contributions and planning for a new tax world could help. By Tina Orem, NerdWallet. SENT: 680 words, photo.

BEHIND THE WHEEL-PICKUPS — The latest full-size pickups aren’t just workhorses. They can be impressively comfortable, safe and luxurious. Edmunds explains why a new truck might be a better family vehicle than an SUV. By Dan Edmunds of Edmunds. SENT: 880 words, photos.

INTERNATIONAL:

BREXIT — With British politics gridlocked and just 100 days until Brexit, the European Union on Wednesday triggered contingency plans designed to cushion some of the shock of a “no-deal” U.K. exit from the bloc. By Lorne Cook and Jill Lawless. SENT: 900 words, photos.

BRITAIN-ECONOMY — Inflation in Britain rose in November by its weakest rate in 21 months, a development that’s likely to cheer consumers as they get ready for some last-minute Christmas shopping. By Pan Pylas SENT: 450 words, photos.

EUROPE-BUDGET — The European Commission says it has reached an agreement with Italy to avert legal action over the country’s budget plans, which the EU’s executive arm had warned could break euro currency rules. SENT: 390 words, photos.

ESTONIA-DENMARK-MONEY LAUNDERING — Ten former employees of the Estonian branch of Danske Bank have been detained in connection with a probe into a major money laundering scandal that allegedly involved money from Russia and former Soviet states. SENT: 310 words.

CHINA-FORCE LABOR-REACTION — The U.S. government said Tuesday that it is reviewing reports of forced labor at a Chinese internment camp where ethnic minorities are sewing clothes that have been shipped to the U.S. market. By Martha Mendoza and Yanan Wang. SENT: 510 words, photos, video.

MONEY & MARKETS SUMMARY:

SPOTLIGHT

Winnebago’s wild ride

Shares in Winnebago Industries jumped Wednesday after the recreational vehicle maker posted a larger profit and stronger sales than analysts expected.

CENTERPIECE

Crop concern

Although the outlook for American farmers has improved slightly, the ongoing trade dispute between China and the United States continues to weigh on crop prices.

Business News Supervisor Richard Jacobsen (800-845-8450, ext. 1680). For photos (ext. 1900.) For graphics/interactives (ext. 7636.) For access to AP Newsroom and technical issues: customersupport@ap.org, or 877-836-9477. Questions about transmission of financial market listings, call 800-3AP-STOX.

The full digest for AP’s Money & Markets service can be found at markets.ap.org. For questions about M&M content, contact Greg Keller at (212) 621-7958.

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