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Stocks rise...Russians charged with campaign meddling...Commerce Dept. urges tariffs on aluminum, steel imports

February 16, 2018

NEW YORK (AP) — Stock indexes are higher in afternoon trading on Wall Street after shaking off a wobbly start. Health care and technology companies are leading the market toward its sixth gain in a row, as it recovers more of the ground it lost at the beginning of the month. Homebuilders are also climbing after a report that new home construction jumped last month.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal prosecutors say 13 Russians and three Russian entities have been charged with an elaborate plot to “sow discord in the U.S. political system.” The indictment, brought by the office of special counsel Robert Mueller, alleges that Russians used bogus social media postings and advertisements fraudulently purchased in the name of Americans to sway political opinion during the 2016 presidential race. Charges include conspiracy, wire fraud, bank fraud and aggravated identity theft.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Commerce Department says imported aluminum and steel threaten U.S. national security, and it’s urging President Donald Trump to impose tariffs or quotas to boost American production. The goal is to increase U.S. production to 80 percent of capacity in both industries. U.S. steel plants are running at 73 percent of capacity and aluminum plants at 48 percent. Stepped-up production of steel and aluminum, especially by China, has driven down prices and hurt American producers.

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A termination agreement between casino mogul Steve Wynn and the company bearing his name shows that he won’t receive any compensation and can’t be involved in any competing gambling business for two years. The terms of the agreement were released today by Wynn Resorts. Wynn also agreed to cooperate with any investigation or lawsuits involving his time with the company. Wynn resigned as CEO earlier this month amid sexual misconduct allegations, which the billionaire has vehemently denied.

NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook is forging ahead with its messaging app for kids despite criticism from child experts. Messenger Kids lets children under 13 chat with friends and family. The company launched it Wednesday on Android. The app landed on Amazon devices in January. Children’s advocates are pressing the company to shut it down. They say it serves to lure kids into harmful social media use and to hook young people on Facebook as it tries to compete with Snapchat or its own Instagram app.

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