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Stocks tumble...Johnson & Johnson denies asbestos report...Facebook says software bug may have shared some photos

December 14, 2018

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are tumbling in afternoon trading on Wall Street. Health care products giant Johnson & Johnson plunged after Reuters reported that the company has known since the 1970s that its talc baby powder sometimes contained carcinogenic asbestos. Technology companies slipped after software maker Adobe reported a smaller-than-expected profit and gave a weak earnings forecast. Traders are also worried about the global economy after China said industrial output and retail sales both slowed in November.

NEW YORK (AP) — Johnson & Johnson is forcefully denying a media report that it knew for decades about the existence of trace amounts of asbestos in its baby powder. The report by the Reuters news service sent company shares into a tailspin today, their worst sell-off in 16 years. Reuters cited documents released as part of a lawsuit by plaintiffs claiming that the product may be linked to ovarian cancer.

NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook says a software bug may have exposed a broader set of photos to app developers than users had granted permission for. The company says the bug affected 6.8 million people who used Facebook to log in to other services and granted permission for third-party apps to access the photos for 12 days in September. The bug has been fixed.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the detention of two Canadian citizens in China is unlawful and is calling for them to be released. China detained the two Canadians this week in apparent retaliation for Canada’s arrest of a top Chinese tech executive at the request of the United States. Pompeo spoke after he and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis met with their Canadian counterparts in Washington today.

BRUSSELS (AP) — French President Emmanuel Macron (eh-mahn-yoo-EHL’ mah-KROHN’) says the withdrawal deal on Brexit cannot be renegotiated and that it’s now up to the British Parliament to make the next move. Macron spoke today after an EU summit and a one-on-one meeting with British Prime Minister Theresa May. Macron insisted “there is one accord, the only one possible,” adding “we cannot renegotiate it.” He told reporters that now it’s “the British parliament’s time” to decide whether to accept or reject it.

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