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BC-APFN-Business News Digest

September 5, 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:

WATCHING FOOTBALL ONLINE — The NFL season starts Thursday, and the good news for fans is that it’s going to be much easier to watch pro games online this year. The league is finally dropping a requirement that viewers sign in via a cable or satellite subscription, a bid to greatly expand its online audience at a time when TV ratings are forecast to keep declining. By Anick Jesdanun. SENT: 730 words, photos.

AP EXPLAINS-SHADOW BANNING — President Donald Trump and other conservatives have been repeating the sinister-sounding term “shadow banning” recently. The phrase, which refers to a “hidden” ban on undesirable users, often comes up in accusations that Twitter and other technology companies are biased against conservatives. But the term doesn’t mean what Trump thinks it does. Twitter, meanwhile, says it does not shadow ban, especially not on the basis of political ideology. By Barbara Ortutay. SENT: 800 words, photos.

SMALLBIZ-SMALL TALK-AFTER THE ACQUISITION — As the number of small business sales keeps rising, staff retention is a priority - especially since low unemployment makes it easy for many workers to find new jobs. Human resources professionals suggest owners communicate well with staffers and pay attention to quality-of-life issues. By Joyce M. Rosenberg. SENT: 960 words, photos.

ON THE MONEY-BUYING APPLIANCES ONLINE — Looking to buy a fridge or dishwasher online? Here’s some tips before you click buy. By Joseph Pisani. SENT: 580 words, photos.

AP EXPLAINS-EMERGING MARKET TURMOIL — Argentine families are trying to cope with 30 percent inflation. Companies in Turkey face bankruptcy if they can’t pay off soaring debt costs. And investors who bet on emerging markets will be deep in the red this year. By Pan Pylas. SENT: 1,040 words, photos.

CHINA-JD FOUNDER — The Chinese e-commerce billionaire who faces a possible rape accusation in Minneapolis built his business by promising honesty in a market plagued by fraud and fakes. Richard Liu, founder of JD.com, the largest online direct retailer in China, was arrested Friday and released a day later pending possible criminal charges. By Joe McDonald. SENT: 720 words, photos.

MARKETS & ECONOMY:

FINANCIAL MARKETS — U.S. stocks are falling as technology and consumer-focused companies take sharp losses. By Marley Jay. SENT: 870 words, photos. UPCOMING: Will be updated through 5 p.m.

US ECONOMY-TRADE GAP — The U.S. trade deficit widened for the second straight month in July, reaching the highest level since February, as imports hit an all-time high. The deficit in goods with China and the European Union set records. By Paul Wiseman. SENT: 410 words, photos.

US-CHINA-TARIFFS-CHANGING MINDS — China is trying to defuse a spiraling tariff war with Washington over technology policy by highlighting gains in other trade-related areas. By Joe McDonald. SENT: 800 words, photos.

TRADE-US-CANADA — Trump administration officials and Canadian negotiators are resuming talks to try to keep Canada in a North American trade bloc with the United States and Mexico. SENT: 140 words.

INDUSTRY:

HOMES-RIGHT NATURE TOYS — The world is full of high-tech children’s playthings. But there’s a movement afoot to bring back some simpler toys — ones that invite kids to explore the outdoors, and tap into their ingenuity, creativity and sense of play in ways that don’t involve an app or a “download” link. By Kim Cook. SENT: 590 words, photos.

SUPREME COURT-STATE FARM — Insurance giant State Farm on Tuesday reached a $250 million preliminary settlement in a federal class-action lawsuit claiming the company funneled money to the campaign of an Illinois Supreme Court candidate. SENT: 510 words.

CHINA-SPACE — A rocket developed by Chinese company iSpace blasted into space Wednesday carrying three miniature satellites in another milestone for the country’s budding private spaceflight industry. SENT: 200 words.

THERANOS-CLOSING — The once-heralded blood-testing startup Theranos is shutting down, according to a media report. SENT: 440 words.

BEHIND THE WHEEL-2019 NOTABLE CARS — Curious what’s new for the 2019 model year? Edmunds looks at some of the vehicles and significant redesigns on the automotive horizon. Think trucks, innovative sedans, hybrids and electric vehicles. By Edmunds reporter Dan Frio. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.

TRUMP-NIKE — President Donald Trump says Nike is getting “killed” over an endorsement deal with Colin Kaepernick. SENT: 140 words, photos.

PLAYERS UNION -BUSINESS HIRING — The baseball players’ association made the second high-profile addition to its staff in a less than a month, hiring Gary Sheffield business lawyer Xavier James as deputy chief operating officer. By Ronald Blum. SENT: 550 words.

BALLOT DRIVES-MICHIGAN — The Republican-controlled Michigan Senate has adopted ballot initiatives that would increase the state’s minimum wage and require paid sick leave. SENT: 130 words.

SCANA-DOMINION MERGER — A deal to merge troubled South Carolina utility SCANA with Dominion Energy has cleared another hurdle. Dominion announced the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission had approved the indirect transfer of the operating license for the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station from SCANA subsidiary South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. to the Virginia-based company. By Meg Kinnard. SENT: 380 words.

OPIOIDS-ANTIDOTE — With lawsuits mounting, the maker of OxyContin is providing a grant for a nonprofit to speed development of a lower-cost overdose antidote. By Geoff Mulvihill. SENT: 560 words, photos.

TECHNOLOGY & MEDIA:

ELECTION SECURITY-CYBER THREATS — Russian cyber meddling in American politics casts a shadow in the 2018 election. It’s a hazard that exploded into public consciousness in 2016. U.S. officials said they have not detected any attempts to corrupt election systems or leak information rivaling Kremlin hacking before President Donald Trump’s surprise victory. By Frank Bajak and Adam Geller. SENT: 2,430 words, photos. An abridged version of 1,000 words was also sent.

CONGRESS-SOCIAL MEDIA — Facebook and Twitter executives pledged on Wednesday to better protect their social media platforms in the 2018 elections and beyond, and told Congress of aggressive efforts to root out foreign intrusions aimed at sowing divisions in American democracy. By Mary Clare Jalonick and Barbara Ortutay. SENT: 930 words, photos.

EUROPE-INTERNET-EXTREMISM — EU Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova says the European Commission is set to unveil new rules that could force internet companies to take down suspected terror content. SENT: 120 words.

GENETIC FRONTIERS-GENE EDITING — Early results from a historic gene editing study give encouraging signs that the treatment may be safe and having at least some of its hoped-for effect, but it’s too soon to know whether it ultimately will succeed. The results announced Wednesday are from the first human tests of gene editing in the body, an attempt to permanently change someone’s DNA to cure a disease. By Marilynn Marchione. SENT: 1,080 words, photos.

CHARTER-SPECTRUM WIRELESS SERVICE — Cable company Charter is launching its own wireless service as cable companies try to diversify to offset slowing traditional cable TV revenue. SENT: 140 words, photos.

UBER-SAFETY — Uber is aiming to boost driver and passenger safety in an effort to rebuild trust in the brand. By Cathy Bussewitz. SENT: 580 words, photos.

AMAZON-DELIVERY — Amazon says it has ordered 20,000 vans for its new delivery program in which contractors around the country can launch businesses that deliver packages for the online retailer. By Joseph Pisani. SENT: 140 words, photos.

INTERNATIONAL:

EUROPE-ECONOMY — The economies of Italy and Spain faltered over the summer months and are now growing at their slowest rates in years, according to a closely watched survey of the 19-country eurozone. By Pan Pylas. SENT: 390 words.

JAPAN-TYPHOON-AIRPORT — The closure of a major Japanese airport flooded by a typhoon is raising worries about the impact on tourist traffic, mostly from China and Southeast Asia, as well as on exporting computer chips and other goods. Yuri Kageyama. SENT: 520 words, photos, video.

ASIA-STORM — One of Japan’s busiest airports remained closed indefinitely, a day after the strongest typhoon to hit Japan in at least 25 years flooded a runway, toppled huge cranes, flipped cars on their side, damaged historic shrines and caused at least 11 deaths as it swept across part of Japan’s main island. By Mari Yamaguchi. SENT: 690 words, photos.

MALAYSIA-SINGAPORE-RAIL — Malaysia and Singapore agreed on Wednesday to delay, not cancel, a planned high-speed railway that would cut travel time between their capitals to just 90 minutes. SENT: 450 words, photos.

GERMANY-DIESEL BAN — A German court has ruled that Frankfurt must ban high-polluting diesel vehicles in order to improve the city’s air quality. SENT: 130 words.

MONEY & MARKETS SUMMARY:

SPOTLIGHT

Flower power

Vera Bradley shares soared after the luggage and accessories maker posted strong results for its most recent quarter and raised its profit forecast for the year.

CENTERPIECE

Fast out of the gate

The nation’s eight publicly traded health insurers started 2018 quickly, as nearly all grew profits in the year’s first half: they made more than $25 billion combined, a 13 percent increase over last year’s first half, according to Moody’s.

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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