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BC-APFN-Business News Digest

December 21, 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:

BREAKING UP WITH FACEBOOK — Facebook is under fire again over data privacy. For some, it might be time to quit. It might be hard to do, especially for those entwined with it for years, but it can be done. Here’s how. By Barbara Ortutay. SENT: 810 words, photos.

GIFT GUIDE-VIDEO CALLING — Are you doing video calls on your phone? That’s so old school . or at least that’s what Facebook, Google and Amazon are hoping you’ll say, opting instead to purchase their voice-activated, screen-equipped smart speakers. Here are some pros and cons to consider with each you decide to take the plunge with one. By Barbara Ortutay. UPCOMING: 800 words by 2 p.m., photos.

NO CELL HOTELS — Can you take a vacation from your cell phone? A growing number of hotels will help you find out. Some resorts are offering perks, like snorkeling tours and s’mores, to guests who manage to give up their phones for a few hours. Some have phone-free hours at their pools; others are banning distracting devices from public places altogether. By Dee-Ann Durbin. SENT: 840 words, photos.

JAPAN-NISSAN-GHOSN — Japanese prosecutors added a new allegation of breach of trust against Nissan’s former chairman Carlos Ghosn on Friday, dashing his hopes for posting bail quickly. By Mari Yamaguchi. SENT: 650 words, photos.

With:

NISSAN-GHOSN-AP EXPLAINS — Nissan Motor Co. former chairman Carlos Ghosn, charged with financial improprieties and detained in Tokyo for more than a month, has also been accused of a breach of trust that caused a multi-million-dollar financial loss for Nissan. A look at what is going on and what could happen next. By Mari Yamaguchi. SENT: 570 words, photos.

TOYS FOR TOTS-TOYS R US — When Toys R Us closed, Toys for Tots felt the loss. The toy giant’s decision to shutter its stores this year left some huge holes for the annual charity drive to fill. By Terry Spencer and Joshua Replogle. SENT: 720 words, photos.

MARKETS & ECONOMY:

FINANCIAL MARKETS —U.S. stocks are falling again as big losses for technology and internet companies and retailers add to the market’s woes this month. By Marley Jay. SENT: 950 words, photos. UPCOMING: Will be updated through 5 p.m.

ECONOMY-GDP — The U.S. economy expanded at a solid 3.4 percent annual rate in the third quarter, slightly slower than the previous estimate as consumer spending and exports were revised lower. The economy is expected to slow further in the current quarter. By Martin Crutsinger. SENT: 400 words, photos.

DURABLE GOODS — Orders to U.S. factories for long-lasting goods rose at a modest pace last month, but the gain was driven entirely by demand for military aircraft. Excluding transportation equipment, orders fell. By Christopher Rugaber. SENT: 410 words, photos.

CONSUMER SPENDING — Americans lifted their spending 0.4 percent in November from the previous month, a moderate gain that should sustain steady economic growth. By Christopher Rugaber. SENT: 360 words, photos.

INDUSTRY:

FORD-F-SERIES RECALL — Ford is recalling more than 410,000 F-Series pickup trucks with engine block heaters in the U.S. because they can catch fire. SENT: 190 words, photo.

CARIBOU COFFEE HACKED — The parent company of Caribou Coffee and Bruegger’s Bagels says hackers gained access to customer information at 265 of its stores, mostly in Minnesota. SENT: 130 words.

INDONESIA-FREEPORT — Indonesia has finalized transfer of majority control over giant gold and copper mine from Freeport-McMoRan. SENT: 130 words.

NEW YORK COMPTROLLER-EXECUTIVE PAY — Microsoft Corp., CVS Health Corp., Macy’s and two other companies have agreed to review their policies on executive compensation at the request of the New York state pension fund and Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli. SENT: 140 words.

HIDDEN GULF SPILL — The company that has failed to end a 14-year-old oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico is suing to challenge a Coast Guard official’s order to design and install a new containment system to capture and remove the crude before it forms slicks that often stretch for miles. By Michael Kunzelman. SENT: 750 words, photos.

BLOWOUT-WORKER HAZARDS —On-the-job risks for oil and gas workers grow as production pressures intensify during boom times, as America is experiencing now thanks to a rush of fossil-fuel exports. From 2008 through 2017, 1,566 workers perished trying to extract oil and gas in America. About as many U.S. troops died fighting in Afghanistan during that span. By Jim Morris of the Center for Public Integrity. SENT: 4,280 words.

TECHNOLOGY & MEDIA:

AMAZON-AIR — Amazon is expanding its airplane fleet, diminishing further its reliance on major delivery services like UPS, FedEx and the U.S. Postal Service. By Joseph Pisani. SENT: 240 words, photos.

ISRAEL-BOYCOTT — A U.S. software company says it blocked the fundraising account of the Palestinian-led boycott movement against Israel following a complaint by a pro-Israel group that the campaign has links to militant organizations. By Josef Federman. SENT: 560 words.

RUSSIA-BBC — Russia’s media regulator says it has launched an investigation into the Russian operations of the BBC. SENT: 130 words.

SPRINT-SALES TAX SETTLEMENT — New York state officials say Sprint will pay $330 million to settle a lawsuit that accused the telecommunication company of dodging more than $100 million in state and local taxes. SENT: 140 words.

COMCAST-MINNESOTA LAWSUIT — Minnesota’s attorney general is suing Comcast/Xfinity, alleging the company has overcharged thousands of consumers for cable TV packages, charged them for unordered equipment and services, and failed to deliver on promised Visa gift cards. SENT: 140 words, photos.

INTERNATIONAL:

CHINA-US-ESPIONAGE — China calls the U.S. arrogant and selfish after two Chinese citizens were charged with stealing trade secrets and other sensitive information from American government agencies and corporations. By Yanan Wang. SENT: 590 words, photos.

BRITAIN-GATWICK AIRPORT-DRONES — Flights resumed at London’s Gatwick Airport on Friday morning after drones sparked the shutdown of the airfield for more than 24 hours, leaving tens of thousands of passengers stranded or delayed during the busy holiday season. By Gregory Katz. SENT: 550 words, photos.

CHINA-ECONOMY — Chinese leaders on Friday promised tax cuts and more help to entrepreneurs as Beijing tries to reverse a deepening slowdown and resolve a tariff battle with Washington. SENT: 340 words, photo.

GERMANY COAL — Germany is closing one of its last two black coal mines Friday, ending an industry that laid the foundations for the country’s industrial revolution and its post-war economic recovery. By Frank Jordans. SENT: 550 words, photos.

ROMANIA-AUSTRIA — Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has suggested that foreign companies could pull out of Romania after the government unveiled a surprise plan to levy extra taxes on banks and energy companies. SENT: 150 words, photos.

BOLIVIA-LLAMA SHEPHERDS — Millions of llamas help the Aymara and Quecha people of Bolivia survive in a harsh, high-altitude environment, providing transportation, meat, wool and leather — yet more and more young people are abandoning the millennia-old life and moving to cities. By Carlos Valdez. SENT: 720 words, photos.

CZECH-MINE EXPLOSION — The death toll in a methane explosion that hit a coal mine in northeast Czech Republic increased to 13, a mining company said Friday. SENT: 350 words, photos, graphic.

PAKISTAN — A Pakistani Cabinet minister says the government of United Arab Emirates will soon deposit $3 billion into the State Bank of Pakistan to help the cash-strapped Islamic nation overcome its economic woes. SENT: 130 words.

HUNGARY-PROTESTS — Recent protests in Hungary have given the fragmented opposition a real opportunity to work together as they challenge Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who has led his country with increasing powers since 2010. By Eldar Emric and Pablo Gorondi. SENT: 800 words, photos.

FRANCE-PROTESTS — France is bracing for a sixth straight Saturday of protests during which the palace of Versailles just outside Paris will be shut for the day despite expectations that the numbers taking to the streets will be down sharply. SENT: 340 words, photos.

SPAIN-CATALONIA — Protesters angry about Spain’s Cabinet holding a meeting in Catalonia blocked a major highway and dozens of roads in the region, disrupting traffic to and from its capital. By Joseph Wilson and Aritz Parra. SENT: 740 words, photos.

PORTUGAL-PROTEST — A nationwide protest in Portugal that seeks to emulate France’s yellow vest movement has fallen flat, with few people turning out to rally against fuel prices, low pensions and salaries. SENT: 130 words, photos.

MONEY & MARKETS SUMMARY:

SPOTLIGHT

Just did it

Shares in Nike climbed Friday after the athletic gear maker delivered third-quarter results that topped Wall Street’s forecasts.

CENTERPIECE

A less cheery Fed

The Federal Reserve is a bit less optimistic about the economy’s prospects over the next two years. So it has trimmed its expectations for future increases in interest rates.

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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