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BC-Business News Digest

October 3, 2018

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

TOP STORIES:

ROBOT FARMERS — The farms of the future may involve tightly controlled indoor climate and crops of vegetables cultivated by robots. By Michael Liedtke. SENT: 750 words, photos, video.

CORPORATE BOARDS-FEMALE DIRECTORS — California’s bold law requiring companies to include women on their board of directors may not survive legal challenges but it has already spotlighted the entrenched practices and barriers that have helped keep women out of boardrooms for so long. By Alexandra Olson and Matt Ott. SENT: 930 words, photos.

With: — CORPORATE BOARDS-FEMALE DIRECTORS-GLANCE

ON THE MONEY-HALLOWEEN — Shopping for Halloween costumes doesn’t have to be scary. This season, shoppers can find more ways to save time and money. Discounters like Walmart and Target are expanding their costume offerings and creating designated sections where they can find more of their Halloween needs in one place. By Anne D’Innocenzio. SENT: 710 words, photos.

GM-HONDA-AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES — General Motors and Honda will team up on self-driving vehicle technology as big automakers and tech giants race to be first in their development. SENT: 380 words, photos.

TOYS R US — There may be a second act for Toys R Us, the retail wonderland for children that turned off the lights at hundreds of stores for what was thought to be the final time this summer. SENT: 450 words, photo.

YOUTUBE STAR-TOYS — Seven-year-old Ryan gained millions of views reviewing toys on YouTube. Now, he’s a toy himself. Walmart is selling figurines in his likeness, putty with his face on the packaging and other toys under the Ryan’s World brand. By Joseph Pisani. SENT: 630 words, photos.

MARKETS & ECONOMY:

FINANCIAL MARKETS — U.S. stocks are climbing after a survey by payroll processor ADP showed strong hiring by private businesses in September. Banks are rising as interest rates move higher. European stocks rose after the Italian government said it will gradually reduce its deficits over the next few years. By Marley Jay. SENT: 920 words, photos. UPCOMING: Will be updated through 5 p.m.

FEDERAL RESERVE POWELL — Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell takes part in a conversation at the Atlantic Festival in Washington. By Martin Crutsinger. Upcoming: 130 words at 4 p.m., 250 words by 4:45 p.m.

ECONOMY-SERVICES — U.S. services firms expanded at a record pace last month, stepping up production and hiring, in another sign of strength for the American economy. By Paul Wiseman. SENT: 280 words, photos.

ADP-EMPLOYMENT — Payroll processor ADP reports how many jobs private employers added in September. By Christopher Rugaber. SENT: 280 words, photos.

TAX INCENTIVES OKLAHOMA — Tax incentives in Oklahoma that are designed to encourage the development of technology, research and other industries will come under scrutiny as a state commission begins examining their cost.

INDUSTRY:

HOLIDAY-FORECAST — The National Retail Federation, the nation’s largest retail trade group, says it expects sales in November and December to rise between 4.3 percent and 4.8 percent to $717.45 billion to $720.89 billion as shoppers continue to be in a spending mood in a stronger economy. By Ann D’Innocenzio. SENT: 480 words, photos.

PARIS AUTO SHOW-5 CARS — From electrics to supercars, here’s a look at the highlights from this year’s Paris auto show. By David McHugh. SENT: 820 words, photos.

FAST FOOD US ADULTS — A government study has found that 1 in 3 U.S. adults eat fast food on any given day. That’s about 85 million people. By Mike Stobbe. SENT: 140 words, photo.

GAMBLING EXPANSION PENNSYLVANIA — Pennsylvania gambling regulators are poised to award the first licenses for sports betting Wednesday.

MICHIGAN PIPELINE — Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder’s administration and Canadian pipeline giant Enbridge have agreed to replace twin 65-year-old crude oil pipes in a channel linking two of the Great Lakes with another that would run through a tunnel far below the lake bed, officials told The Associated Press. By John Flesher. SENT: 790 words, photos.

SMALLBIZ-SMALL TALK-GHOSTING — All seemed to be going well with Randolph Rice’s new receptionist. She asked for more responsibilities and got them, and said she was happy. Then, two months into the job at Rice’s law office, she didn’t show up for work or call in sick. Rice tried to reach her, but got no response. He’d been ghosted: The receptionist ended the work relationship in much the same way many people end romantic associations, without a text, email, or call. By Joyce M. Rosenberg. SENT: 1,050 words, photos.

EDUCATION-FOR-PROFIT COLLEGES — The Education Department says it’ll miss a key deadline in its push to ease regulations for for-profit colleges. SENT: 140 words.

REOPENED ATLANTIC CITY CASINOS — So far, so good for Atlantic City’s two newest casinos as they mark their first 100 days of operation. By Wayne Parry. SENT: 630 words, photos.

TEACHER-NAVIENT LAWSUIT — The American Federation of Teachers is filing a lawsuit against Navient, one of the country’s largest student loan servicing companies, alleging that it failed to guide borrowers through a critical student loan forgiveness program. SENT: 130 words.

PERSONAL FINANCE:

HEALTH INSURANCE COST SHIFTING —If your employer is sticking you with a bigger share of the medical bill before health insurance kicks in, you may have to get used to it. More companies are making workers pay an annual deductible or increasing the amount they must spend before coverage begins, according to research from the Kaiser Family Foundation. By Health Writer Tom Murphy. SENT: 510 words, photos.

NERDWALLET-SECOND CHANCE-CARD — While paying off $1,700 in credit card debt in 2014, Jamie Griffin cut up his card. To tackle the remaining $90,000 in student loans he and his wife carried, he read personal finance experts’ tips and turned to cash and a spreadsheet to budget. Now that most of their debt is paid off, he’s giving credit cards a cautious second chance. By Melissa Lambarena.SENT: 840 words, photos.

BEHIND THE WHEEL-SMALL SUVS — Edmunds breaks down the latest crop of new and redesigned contenders in the entry-level luxury SUV market that has exploded in the last few years. By Will Kaufman. SENT: 860 words, photos.

TECHNOLOGY & MEDIA:

TRUMP INHERITANCE TAXES — President Donald Trump expressed outrage over a New York Times report that he received at least $413 million from his father over the decades, much of that through dubious tax dodges, including outright fraud. SENT: 680 words, photos.

WEINSTEIN-ANNIVERSARY HOLLYWOOD A YEAR LATER — Is Hollywood a different place a year after the rapid downfall of Harvey Weinstein began? In the time since, guilds have rewritten codes of conduct, film festivals have signed pledges for gender parity and inclusion riders have been implemented by several leading production companies. But interviews with actresses, filmmakers and others make it clear: Hollywood has a long way to go. By Film Writer Jake Coyle. UPCOMING: 1,200 words by 3 p.m. EDT, photos. An abridged version also will be available.

NORTH KOREA-CYBER THEFT — U.S. security firm FireEye says a North Korean group has stolen hundreds of millions of dollars by infiltrating the computer systems of banks around the world. By Matthew Pennington. SENT: 1,200 words, photos.

CHINA-MISSING CELEBRITY — Chinese tax authorities have ordered “X-Men” star Fan Bingbing and companies she represents to pay taxes and penalties totaling $130 million, ending speculation over the fate of one of the country’s highest-profile entertainers three months after she disappeared from public view. By Gillian Wong. SENT: 600 words, photo.

SAUDI ARABIA-MISSING WRITER — A Saudi journalist who has written Washington Post columns critical of the kingdom’s assertive crown prince has gone missing after visiting the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, the newspaper said, raising concerns over his safety. By Jon Gambrell and Ayse Wieting. SENT: 940 words, photos.

EMERGENCY ALERT — About 225 million electronic devices across the United States will wail and buzz Wednesday afternoon as the Federal Emergency Management Agency conducts an emergency alert test. By Colleen Long. SENT: 400 words.

FACEBOOK-MESSENGER KIDS-COMPLAINT — Children’s and public health advocacy groups say Facebook’s kid-centric messaging app violates federal law by collecting kids’ personal information without getting verifiable consent from their parents. By Barbara Ortutay. SENT: 290 words, photos.

BOOKS-CHELSEA CLINTON — Chelsea Clinton says she’s naturally an optimist. So despite enduring name-calling from the time she was a child, it’s partly why she chooses to answer insults — even on Twitter — with kindness and respect. By Brooke Lefferts. SENT: 850 words, photos.

NOBEL-CHEMISTRY — Three researchers who “harnessed the power of evolution” to produce enzymes and antibodies that have led to a best-selling drug and biofuels won the Nobel Prize in chemistry on Wednesday. By Jim Heintz, Chris Chester and David Keyton. SENT: 1,100 words, photos.

INTERNATIONAL:

WORLD COURT-IRAN-US — The International Court of Justice delivers its ruling in Iran’s request for a suspension of US sanctions while judges deal with Tehran’s case challenging the legality of the sanctions. UPCOMING, timing uncertain.

EUROPE-ECONOMY — The 19-country eurozone economy lost momentum in September despite a resilient performance by the services sector in Italy, according to a closely watched survey released Wednesday. By Pan Pylas. SENT: 380 words, photo.

EUROPE-EMISSIONS — The European Parliament has voted to cut CO2 emissions from new cars and vans by 40 percent by 2030 and will take this position into talks with the European Union’s 28 nations. By Raf Casert and Jeffrey Schaeffer. SENT: 420 words, photos.

ITALY-BUDGET — Italy’s economy minister is backing down on spending plans that would keep the country’s deficit at an elevated level for three years. SENT: 130 words, photo.

MIDEAST-CHINA-DRONE DIPLOMACY — Across the Middle East, countries locked out of purchasing U.S.-made drones due to rules over excessive civilian casualties are being wooed by Chinese arms dealers, who are world’s main distributor of armed drones. By Jon Gambrell and Gerry Shih. SENT: 1080 words, photos.

GREECE-BANKS — Greek banking shares are down sharply amid investor fears over lenders’ needs to reduce their large stock of bad loans resulting from the financial crisis. SENT: 130 words.

GERMANY-MERKEL — A German businessman reportedly plans a long-shot challenge to Chancellor Angela Merkel as leader of the country’s main conservative party. SENT: 140 words, photo.

SYRIA-RECONSTRUCTION — With back-to-back trade fairs held in Damascus this month, Syria is hoping to jumpstart reconstruction of its devastated cities by inviting international investors to take part in lucrative opportunities. By Zeina Karam. SENT: 1,050 words, photos.

SPAIN-EX-IMF CHIEF — Spain’s Supreme Court has confirmed a 4½-year prison sentence for former International Monetary Fund head Rodrigo Rato for misusing a Spanish bank’s corporate credit card. SENT: 140 words, photo.

MALAYSIA-CORRUPTION — Malaysia’s anti-graft agency says that the wife of former Prime Minister Najib Razak has been arrested and will face money laundering charges in a graft scandal involving the 1MDB state investment fund. SENT: 560 words, photos.

TURKEY-ECONOMY — Turkey’s statistics agency says the country’s inflation rate jumped to almost 25 percent in September amid a sliding currency. SENT: 130 words.

FRANCE EU FINANCE — The EU’s economy commissioner, Pierre Moscovici, speaks about the state of Europe’s finances 10 years after the global financial crisis, at a conference organized by the International Economic Forum of the Americas.

MONEY & MARKETS SUMMARY:

SPOTLIGHT

Under new management

J.C. Penney shares notched their biggest gain in nearly a year as investors welcomed news that the struggling retailer has tapped the former CEO of Jo-Ann Stores to be its next chief executive.

CENTERPIECE

Italy’s pork barrels

Italy’s high public debt is a risk still stalking Europe after the government thumbed its nose at Brussels and its commitment to cut the country’s huge debt burden.

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.

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