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Update on the latest in business:

June 12, 2017


US stocks fall further as technology tumble continues

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stock indexes are declining today as technology companies continue to sink. However energy companies are climbing with the price of oil. General Electric is jumping after the conglomerate said CEO Jeffrey Immelt (IH’-mehlt) will step down. Investors are selling some of the best-performing stocks of the year and buying companies that have struggled by comparison.

At 12:56 p.m. Eastern Time, the Dow industrial average dropped 78 points, to 21,194. It closed at a record high on Friday.

The S&P 500 dropped 10 points, to 2,422. And the Nasdaq composite dropped 59 points, to 6,149.

The Russell 2000 index of small-company stocks edged down 2 points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,419.


Maryland, DC attorneys general suing Trump

WASHINGTON (AP) — The attorneys general of Maryland and the District of Columbia say they’ve filed suit against President Donald Trump, alleging he violated the Constitution by retaining ties to a sprawling global business empire.

District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine and Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh made the announcement at a jointly held news conference in Washington, confirming the suit has been filed in a court in Maryland. Frosh and Racine cite Trump’s leases, properties and other business “entanglements” around the world as the reason for the suit, saying they’ve posed a conflict of interest under a clause of the Constitution.

The White House has not responded to requests for comment.


Forbes crowns Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs as highest-paid entertainer

NEW YORK (AP) — Sean “Diddy” Combs is the top earner on Forbes’ list of the 100 highest-paid celebrities.

The magazine says Diddy brought in $130 million from June 1, 2016, to June 1, 2017. His Bad Boy Family Reunion Tour, a stake in Ciroc vodka and the $70 million sale of one-third of his Sean John clothing line all contributed to his earnings.

No. 2 on the list is Beyonce, with $105 million in earnings. Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling brought in $95 million. Rapper Drake and Portuguese soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo round out the top five.

Last year’s top earner, Taylor Swift, dropped to No. 49. She brought in $44 million, down from $170 million.


Researchers: We’ve discovered power-grid-wrecking software

PARIS (AP) — Researchers say they’ve discovered a worrying breed of power grid-wrecking software, saying the program was likely responsible for a brief blackout that hit Kiev late last year.

Slovakia-based computer security company ESET and Maryland-based Dragos, Inc. say in a report that the malicious software has the ability to control the switches and circuit breakers — a nightmare scenario for those charged with keeping the lights on.

Policymakers have long ranked malware that can remotely sabotage industrial computers among some of the world’s most dangerous threats because of its potential to deal immense damage across the internet.

The researchers stopped just short of blaming the malware for the Ukrainian power outage on December 17, 2016.


Tyson recalls nearly 2.5M pounds of chicken products

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Tyson Foods is recalling nearly 2.5 million pounds of ready-to-eat breaded chicken due to an unlabeled allergen.

The company, based in Springdale, Arkansas, says the recall was made after it was notified June 6 by a supplier that the bread crumbs Tyson received could contain milk.

According to Tyson, the recall is limited to food-service customers and the products are not available for purchase in retail stores. Company spokeswoman Caroline Ahn says the meat was shipped to 30 states.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says Tyson’s records show schools have purchased products through the company’s commercial channels.

There have been no confirmed reports of illness due to the products.


Conagra recalling spaghetti and meatball products

WASHINGTON (AP) — Conagra is recalling more than 700,000 pounds of spaghetti and meatball products because they were misbranded and contain milk, an allergen that wasn’t listed on the label.

There have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to eating the products.

Conagra Brands Inc. says it became aware of the problem on June 6, when an ingredient supplier said that the bread crumbs used in the recalled products potentially contained milk, which wasn’t disclosed on the label.

Consumers are advised to either throw away the products or return them to the place of purchase.

Anyone with questions about the recall may contact Conagra customer service at 1 (866) 213-1245.


GE CEO Immelt stepping down, Flannery to take over role

NEW YORK (AP) — General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt (IHM’-mehlt) is stepping down, and John Flannery, president and CEO of the conglomerate’s health care unit, will take over the post in August.

Immelt, who’s 61, will stay on as chairman until his retirement from the position at the end of the year, with Flannery stepping into the role after that.

Immelt has been at the helm of the conglomerate for 16 years, overseeing a transformation that included selling many of the company’s units. Over that time, General Electric sold its insurance, credit card, plastics and security divisions.

Flannery is a longtime General Electric executive, starting his career at GE Capital in 1987.


Opel CEO Neumann resigns ahead of sale to PSA Group

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — The CEO of General Motors’ Opel subsidiary is stepping down ahead of the unit’s sale to France’s PSA Group.

Adam Opel GmbH says in a statement that Karl-Thomas Neumann is leaving his post as head of GM’s European carmaker immediately. He’ll remain a member of top Opel management until the sale to PSA Group goes through.

Neumann has been replaced by chief financial officer Michael Lohscheller.


High court won’t hear appeal from former Qwest CEO

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court will not hear an appeal from former Qwest Communications International CEO Joseph Nacchio seeking an $18 million tax refund on money he gained from illegal stock sales.

The justices have left in place a lower court ruling that says the money was not tax deductible.

Nacchio was convicted in 2007 of selling $52 million in stock of Denver-based Qwest based on inside information. He was ordered to forfeit $44 million and to pay a $19 million fine. He also was sentenced to five years and 10 months in prison.

Nacchio claimed the $44 million he forfeited was deductible as a business expense or loss and that he should get a refund. A federal judge agreed, but a federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., overturned that ruling.


High court ruling speeds up generic biotech drug approval

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is speeding up the time for generic biotech drugs to become available to the public. The court’s unanimous ruling means a loss of billions in sales to makers of original versions.

The justices ruled today in favor of generic drug maker Sandoz in its dispute with rival Amgen over a near-copy of Amgen’s cancer drug Neupogen.

The case involves biologics — drugs made from living cells instead of chemicals. The drugs have led to major advances in treating diseases, but come at steep prices.

A 2010 law allows cheaper generic versions known as biosimilars to be produced after a 12-year exclusive run for the original.

The court says companies making biosimilars don’t have to wait an extra six months after gaining federal approval before selling the drugs.


Ivanka Trump brand applies for, wins more China trademarks

SHANGHAI (AP) — Public records show China has granted provisional approval for four additional Ivanka Trump trademarks since April 20, and her brand has continued to seek more intellectual property protection in China, with at least 14 applications filed around the time she took on an official White House role.

Trademarks provide essential — and valuable — protection to businesses in China. But critics point to Ivanka Trump’s ongoing ownership interest in her fashion and lifestyle brand and say the trademarks, which are granted by the Chinese government, present potential conflicts of interest for the daughter of U.S. President Donald Trump.

According to Trademark Office database records, Ivanka Trump Marks LLC has at least 24 trademarks that were granted provisional or full approval in China plus 43 pending marks.


Smirnoff ad winks at Russian meddling probe, Trump

NORWALK, Conn. (AP) — Smirnoff vodka has a new ad campaign that references the investigation into Russian interference in last year’s U.S. presidential campaign.

Pictures of bus stop and billboard ads have been posted to social media. The ad reads: “Made in America, but we’d be happy to talk about our ties to Russia under oath.”

Former FBI director James Comey testified under oath that he believes he was fired by President Donald Trump because of the Russia investigation, which Trump has called “a witch hunt.”

Trump now says he’s willing to testify under oath.

A spokesperson for British company Diageo, which owns Smirnoff, says in a statement the ad is “a wink and a nod to current affairs.” Smirnoff has been made in America for decades but its roots go back to Russia.

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