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August 2, 2018

Among the stories Thursday from The Associated Press:

TOP STORIES:

FACEBOOK-POLITICAL ADS-Q&A — With less than three months to go before the midterm elections, Facebook is enforcing strict new requirements on digital political ads. Among other things, they force political ad buyers to verify their identities by receiving mail at a known U.S. address. By Barbara Ortutay and Mae Anderson. SENT: 900 words, photo.

CBS-IN TURMOIL — CBS will report second quarter earnings on Thursday as turmoil swirls around the media company. It faces an investigation of its CEO and is in the middle of a lawsuit against its parent company as the all-important fall TV season approaches. By Mae Anderson. SENT: 400 words. UPCOMING: Will be updated with financial results.

US-CHINA-TARIFFS — China’s foreign minister says U.S. threats to hike tariffs run against the trend toward globalization and will hurt U.S. businesses and consumers. By Joe McDonald and Annabelle Liang. SENT: 330 words. UPCOMING: Will be updated.

And:

FINANCIAL MARKETS — Stocks are opening lower on Wall Street, led by declines in technology and industrial companies as the U.S. ratcheted up trade tensions with China. SENT: 520 words, photos. UPCOMING: 700 words by 5 p.m.

PAPA JOHN’S-FOUNDER — The founder of Papa John’s says the pizza chain does well with him as its public face, and that it was a mistake for the company to scrub him from its marketing materials after he acknowledged using a racial slur last month. By Candice Choi. SENT: 690 words, photo.

POLITICAL DONOR-ALLIED WALLET — How a business servicing online pornography, offshore gambling and illegal payday loans put millions of dollars behind Democrats — and then switched to Trump. By Jake Pearson and Jeff Horwitz. SENT: 3,200 words, photos. An abridged version of 1,080 words also is available.

TRUMP-MILEAGE STANDARDS — The Trump administration has proposed rolling back tougher Obama-era gas mileage requirements that are set to take effect after 2020. The administration also filed notice Thursday that it wants to revoke the authority of California and other states to set their own, stricter mileage standards — independent of federal ones. By Ellen Knickmeyer. SENT: 260 words, photo.

MARKETS & ECONOMY:

MORTGAGE RATES — Freddie Mac reports on this week’s average U.S. mortgage rates. UPCOMING: 130 words after release of report at 10 a.m., 300 words by 11 a.m.

EARNINGS:

EARNS-AETNA — Aetna easily topped second-quarter earnings expectations as another drop in benefit expenses and lower taxes helped the nation’s third-largest health insurer. By Tom Murphy. SENT: 360 words, photo.

EARNS-BMW — BMW’s profit fell 6 percent in the second quarter as it spent more on developing new technologies for electric, autonomous and digitally connected automobiles. By David McHugh. SENT: 570 words, photo.

EARNS-SIEMENS — Industrial equipment and technology company Siemens saw net profit fall 14 percent in the most recent quarter as higher taxes and lagging profits at its oil and gas business weighed on earnings. SENT: 300 words, photo.

ITALY-EARNS-UNICREDIT — Italy’s largest bank reports quarterly results. UPCOMING: 250 words after release of report at about 5 a.m.

YUM-RESULTS — The company that owns KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut is reporting healthy second-quarter profits, though sales at existing stores could create some unease. SENT: 220 words, photo.

INDUSTRY:

BROOKSTONE-BANKRUPTCY — Brookstone, the ubiquitous seller of cool but largely unneeded things, is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection again. SENT: 140 words.

RAM TRUCKS-RECALL — Fiat Chrysler is recalling more than 1.4 million Ram pickups in the U.S. and Canada because tailgates with power locks can open while the trucks are moving. SENT: 110 words.

AUSTRALIA-SUPERMARKET PLASTICS — A major Australian supermarket chain set a third deadline for ending free plastic bags for shoppers, balancing customer anger at an additional shopping expense with environmentalists’ demands for corporate action against plastic pollution. By Rod McGuirk. SENT: 440 words.

TECHNOLOGY & MEDIA:

CHINA-STARBUCKS-ALIBABA — Starbucks and Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group announced a coffee delivery venture that adds to growing competition in China’s booming delivery industry. SENT: 240 words, photos.

SPOTIFY-ALEX JONES — The music streaming service Spotify says it has removed some episodes of “The Alex Jones Show” podcast for violating its hate content policy. The move followed a backlash on social media. SENT: 240 words, photos.

SWITZERLAND-DRONE JACKETS — Scientists, engineers and robotics experts at Switzerland’s Ecole Polytechnique Federal de Lausanne university have developed a jacket that allows for hands-free flying of drones. By Jamey Keaten. SENT: 700 words, photos.

CHINA-FAN BINGBING — X-Men actress Fan Bingbing has disappeared from social media amid rumors she has been barred from leaving China during a tax evasion investigation. SENT: 360 words, photos.

PERSONAL FINANCE:

OF MUTUAL INTEREST - SMALL-CAP REITS — Sal Bruno, chief investment officer at IndexIQ, weighs in on what investors can expect from small-cap real estate investment trusts after a strong rebound in the second quarter. By Alex Veiga. UPCOMING: 600 words, photo by noon.

INTERNATIONAL:

BRITAIN-ECONOMY — The Bank of England raised its main interest rate Thursday for only the second time since the 2008 financial crisis as it weighed a strong jobs market and high inflation against growing concerns about Brexit. By Danica Kirka. SENT: 610 words, photo.

SOUTHEAST ASIA — China’s top diplomat says an initial draft of a proposed pact with Southeast Asia aimed at preventing fighting in the disputed South China Sea was a “breakthrough” in talks that can progress further without outside interference. By Annabelle Liang and Jim Gomez. SENT: 770 words, photos.

FRANCE-EIFFEL TOWER — Visitors descending upon the Eiffel Tower at the peak of the August tourist season are voicing frustration that the beloved Paris monument is closed. SENT: 130 words, photos.

SPAIN-JOBS — Official statistics show that new summer contracts have brought the number of unemployed in Spain to 3.13 million, the lowest level in nearly a decade and 2 million below peak levels during the financial crisis. SENT: 130 words, photo.

IRAN-PROTESTS — Scattered protests broke out in several Iranian cities on Thursday over the dramatic drop of the country’s currency and other economic problems ahead of the imposition of renewed American sanctions, Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency reported. SENT: 220 words.

ICELAND-WHALES — One of Iceland’s top whaling companies says it has stopped hunting minke whales this year, in response to a new government regulation that enlarged the protected area for baleen whales. SENT: 320 words.

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