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Update on the latest in business:

October 2, 2018


Asian markets fall on US-China trade worries

SINGAPORE (AP) — Asian shares fell on Tuesday as relief that the United States had brokered a trade deal with Canada gave way to concerns that negotiations with China were at a standstill.

Stocks advanced after the U.S. and Canada agreed to a new trade deal, but the rally fizzled, leaving major indexes mixed on Monday. The S&P 500 index added 0.4 percent to 2,924.59. The Nasdaq composite fell 0.1 percent to 8,037.30, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 0.7 percent to 26,651.21. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks gave up 1.4 percent to 1,672.99, its worst loss since late June.

Canada joined the revamped North American trade agreement with the U.S. and Mexico late Sunday after weeks of negotiations. On Monday, President Donald Trump hailed the agreement as a breakthrough for U.S. workers and vowed to sign it by late November.

Tesla logged its biggest gain in five years after company founder Elon Musk reached a settlement with securities regulators on Monday that will allow him to stay on as CEO of the electric car maker.

Benchmark U.S. crude rose above $75.50 a barrel.

The dollar weakened against the yen and strengthened against the euro.


Whitmer, Tlaib to join workers seeking right to form unions

DETROIT (AP) — Michigan candidates for governor and the U.S. House are expected to join fast-food workers and others walking off the job in protest over the right to form unions.

The protests are part of an effort to elect pro-union candidates in the November general election. Walkouts also are expected Wednesday in Milwaukee and Thursday in Chicago.

Workers are seeking union rights for fast-food restaurants, airports, downtown businesses, hospitals, in-home care and child care.

Democrat Gretchen Whitmer will join striking cooks and cashiers Tuesday morning in Flint. Whitmer and Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, a Republican, are battling for governor.

Democrat Rashida Tlaib will join fast-food workers Tuesday afternoon in Detroit. Tlaib faces candidates from the Green and Working Class parties for the 13th House seat.


Trump hails trade pact with Canada, Mexico

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is hailing his revamped North American trade agreement with Canada and Mexico as a breakthrough for U.S. workers, vowing to sign it by late November.

But it still faces a lengthy path to congressional approval. Trump notes that the agreement would need to be ratified by Congress, a step that could be affected by the outcome of the fall elections as Democrats try to regain majorities in the House and Senate.

Trump is branding the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, which the Canadians joined just before a Sunday midnight deadline, as the “USMCA.”

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says his country is in a more stable place now that it has completed the negotiations. He says: “We got the right deal. We got a win-win-win for all three countries.”

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland says the new free trade deal with the United States and Mexico is a victory for Canadians.

Freeland was Canada’s chief negotiator in the talks.


GE, seeking path forward as a century-old company, ousts CEO

BOSTON (AP) — General Electric ousted its CEO, took a $23 billion charge and said it would fall short of profit forecasts this year, further signs that the century-old industrial conglomerate is struggling to turn around its vastly shrunken business.

H. Lawrence Culp Jr. will take over immediately as chairman and CEO from John Flannery, who had been on the job for just over a year. Flannery began a restructuring of GE in August 2017, when he replaced Jeffrey Immelt, whose efforts to create a higher-tech version of GE proved unsuccessful.

However, in Flannery’s short time, GE’s value has dipped below $100 billion and shares are down more than 35 percent this year, following a 45 percent decline in 2017.

The company was booted from the Dow Jones Industrial Average this summer and, last month, shares tumbled to a nine-year low after revealing a flaw in its marquee gas turbines, which caused the metal blades to weaken and forced the shutdown of a pair of power plants where they were in use.

GE warned Monday that it will miss its profit forecasts this year and it’s taking a $23 billion charge related to its power business.

The 55-year-old Culp was CEO and president of Danaher Corp. from 2000 to 2014. During that time, Danaher’s market capitalization and revenues grew five-fold. He’s already a member of GE’s board.

It’s a track record that GE appears to need after a series of notable changes under Flannery failed to gain momentum immediately.


Provider to pay $270M over improper billing practices

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Federal prosecutors say a health care company has agreed to pay $270 million to resolve allegations it provided inaccurate information to Medicare.

The Justice Department said Monday that DaVita Medical Holdings admitted to practices that caused incorrect diagnosis codes to be submitted in order to obtain inflated payments. Prosecutors say California-based HealthCare Partners, which DaVita acquired in 2012, shared the overpayments with its parent company.

In one instance, HealthCare Partners sent out improper guidance advising its physicians to use an improper diagnosis code for a particular spinal condition that yielded increased reimbursement.

Colorado-based DaVita did not admit wrongdoing. The company says the settlement will be paid with escrow funds that DaVita required be set aside by the former owners of HealthCare Partners during its acquisition.


High court denies review of Grand Canyon-area mining ban

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court won’t review an Obama-era action that put land around the Grand Canyon off-limits to new mining claims, ending the legal battle as environmentalists keep a close eye on actions by the Trump administration that they fear could lead to more access for the mining industry.

The Obama administration put about 1,562 square miles outside the boundaries of the national park off-limits to new hard rock mining claims until 2032. The 20-year ban was meant to slow a flurry of mining claims over concern that the Colorado River — a major water source serving 30 million people — could become contaminated and to allow for scientific studies.

The mining industry asked the Supreme Court in March to review the ban, saying it was based on an unconstitutional provision of federal law. The high court on Monday declined the request, leaving the ban in place.


Hard Rock replaces Atlantic City president after 3 months

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — Hard Rock International is replacing the president of its half-billion-dollar Atlantic City casino after just three months of operation.

The Florida-based company said Monday night that it is replacing Matt Harkness with Joe Lupo, a former Borgata executive who joined Hard Rock a few years ago. No reason was given for the change.

Harkness oversaw the planning, construction and opening of Hard Rock, which is the former Trump Taj Mahal casino.

It debuted in third place among Atlantic City’s nine casinos in terms of gambling revenue in July, slipping slightly to fourth place in August.

Hard Rock said Harkness will assume “new responsibilities,” but did not say what they will be.


Paul Allen says his non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma has returned

SEATTLE (AP) — Billionaire Seattle Seahawks owner and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen says cancer he was treated for in 2009 has returned.

Allen said on Twitter Monday that he recently learned of the non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and plans to fight it aggressively.

He says there have been advances in medicine since he overcame the disease nearly a decade ago and that he and his doctors are optimistic that he will see good results from the latest therapies.

The 65-year-old says he will continue to stay involved with his Vulcan real estate company, the Allen Institutes, the Seahawks and Portland Trail Blazers and has confidence in leadership teams to manage operations while he undergoes treatment.

He also expressed gratitude for support from family and friends and that he appreciated everyone’s support in the past.


Christian TV network enters world of 24-hour news

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) — A Christian TV network is entering the crowded world of 24-hour news broadcasting at a time when the mainstream news media is under increasing attack by President Donald Trump and some of his supporters, many of them evangelicals.

Gordon Robertson is CEO of The Christian Broadcasting Network. He is also a son of evangelist Pat Robertson.

Gordon Robertson told The Associated Press in an interview last week that the channel will air on local television stations in 15 U.S. cities. He says it will provide a Christian perspective that other channels lack.

Robertson says he wants the channel to bring people together. It is making its debut in an increasingly fractured media landscape and divided nation.

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