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December 19, 2018

Among the stories Wednesday from The Associated Press:

TOP STORIES:

FEDERAL RESERVE — The Federal Reserve releases its latest monetary policy statement after a two-day meeting where it is expected to raise its key interest rate. By Martin Crutsinger. UPCOMING: 130 words at 2 p.m. 500 words by 2:30 p.m.

FACEBOOK-FACT CHECK

Facebook gave some companies such as Apple and Amazon more extensive access to users’ personal data, effectively exempting them from Facebook’s usual privacy rules, according to a New York Times report. Facebook is saying it didn’t violate anyone’s privacy. Is Facebook playing loose with its statements? By Barbara Ortutay and Matt O’Brien. UPCOMING: 250 words by noon, update with 500 words by 3 p.m., photos.

With:

FACEBOOK-DATA PRIVACY — Facebook gave some companies more extensive access to users’ personal data than it has previously revealed, letting them read private messages or see the names of friends without consent, according to a New York Times report. SENT: 450 words.

NORWAY-ELECTRIC CARS — With e-vehicles now representing almost half of all new Norwegian car sales, Oslo has decided to scale back some of the generous incentives offered to gasoline-free drivers. With the long charging times, short range and uncertain resale price of these snazzy new motors, the question is whether Norway has done enough to reach its goal: to have all new cars be emission-free by 2025. By Mark Lewis. SENT: 950 words, photos.

MARKETS & ECONOMY:

FINANCIAL MARKETS — World stocks were mostly higher ahead of an expected rate hike by the Federal Reserve, while Asian indexes were weighed by Japanese data that showed its exports slowing in November. SENT: 580 words, photos. UPCOMING: Will be updated through 5 p.m.

HOME SALES — The National Association of Realtors reports on sales of existing homes in November. By Josh Boak. UPCOMING: 130 words after release of report at 10 a.m. 350 words by 10:45 a.m.

US-CHINA-TRADE — China and the United States have traded barbs again at the World Trade Organization, with the U.S. ambassador accusing China of theft of technology and an envoy from Beijing retorting that the U.S. was “finger-pointing.” SENT: 200 words.

INDUSTRY:

GLAXOSMITHKLINE-PFIZER — Drugmakers GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer are merging their health care divisions, creating a market leader in “over the counter” health care products like pain relievers and vitamins with combined sales of 9.8 billion pounds ($12.7 billion). By Danica Kirka. SENT: 550 words, photos.

GERMANY-VOLKSWAGEN — Volkswagen says it is changing the pay system for its senior management, dropping personal performance bonuses and increasing the extent to which the company’s performance is reflected in variable pay. SENT: 130 words.

EUROPE-PLASTIC — European Union officials have agreed to ban some single-use plastics, such as disposable cutlery, plates and straws, in an effort to cut marine pollution. SENT: 300 words, photos.

PERSONAL FINANCE:

NERDWALLET-SALT CAP — A new rule caps the state and local taxes you can deduct on your federal tax return. That could make more of your income taxable this year, but finding out if the cap affects you, pouncing on other tax breaks, bunching your charitable contributions and planning for a new tax world could help. By Tina Orem, NerdWallet. SENT: 680 words. UPCOMING: photo.

BEHIND THE WHEEL-PICKUPS — The latest full-size pickups aren’t just workhorses. They can be impressively comfortable, safe and luxurious. Edmunds explains why a new truck might be a better family vehicle than an SUV. By Dan Edmunds of Edmunds. SENT: 880 words.

INTERNATIONAL:

BREXIT — With British politics gridlocked and just 100 days until Brexit, the European Union on Wednesday triggered contingency plans designed to cushion some of the shock of a “no-deal” U.K. exit from the bloc. By Lorne Cook and Jill Lawless. SENT: 900 words, photos.

BRITAIN-ECONOMY — Inflation in Britain rose in November by its weakest rate in 21 months, a development that’s likely to cheer consumers as they get ready for some last-minute Christmas shopping. By Pan Pylas SENT: 450 words, photos.

EUROPE-BUDGET — The European Commission says it has reached an agreement with Italy to avert legal action over the country’s budget plans, which the EU’s executive arm had warned could break euro currency rules. SENT: 390 words, photos.

UKRAINE-IMF — The Ukrainian leader says the International Monetary Fund has approved a new loan for the country. SENT: 140 words.

ESTONIA-DENMARK-MONEY LAUNDERING — Ten former employees of the Estonian branch of Danske Bank have been detained in connection with a probe into a major money laundering scandal that allegedly involved money from Russia and former Soviet states. SENT: 310 words.

CHINA-FORCE LABOR-REACTION — The U.S. government said Tuesday that it is reviewing reports of forced labor at a Chinese internment camp where ethnic minorities are sewing clothes that have been shipped to the U.S. market. By Martha Mendoza and Yanan Wang. SENT: 510 words, photos, video.

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