The Associated Press
Jun. 29, 2015
Greeks hit by closed banks, warnings from eurozone
ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Anxious pensioners swarmed closed bank branches Monday and long lines snaked outside ATMs as Greeks endured the first day of serious controls on their daily economic lives ahead of a July 5 referendum that could determine whether the country has to ditch the euro currency and return to the drachma.
As strict capital controls took root following Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras' surprise weekend decision to call a referendum on international creditors' latest economic proposals, Greece's population tried to fathom the sheer scale of the impact on their day-to-day existence.
Officials hint at possible win for Uber in Mexico City
MEXICO CITY (AP) — Times are tough for Uber in many parts of the world, from a recent California ruling that its drivers cannot be classified as contractors to a Paris taxi protest that became a riot and led France's president to promise a crackdown.
But the smartphone-based ridesharing app may soon get some good news in Mexico City.
Ahead of a city government decision on its future, Uber recently got a ringing, though nonbinding, endorsement from the influential Federal Commission on Economic Competition. Even Mexico City's Human Rights Commission has weighed in favoring the service.
NBC to Donald Trump: You're fired
NEW YORK (AP) — NBC said Monday that it is ending its business relationship with mogul and GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump because of comments he made about Mexican immigrants during the announcement of his campaign.
The network said it would no longer air the annual Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants, which had been a joint venture between the company and Trump. Miss USA has aired on NBC since 2003, and this year's edition was set for July 12.
Truffle dogs sniff out pungent fungus prized by foodies
CARNEROS, Calif. (AP) — The growing appetite for truffles is feeding demand for dogs trained to sniff out the pungent fungus prized by chefs and foodies.
As more landowners plant orchards in hopes of harvesting truffles, more dogs are being trained to detect the earthy delicacies, which take several years to ripen on tree roots underground.
"There is huge demand for truffle dogs right now," said Alana McGee, co-founder of the Truffle Dog Company, which helps orchard owners search for truffles and trains dogs how to find them in orchards or in the wild.
International economists release critical Puerto Rico report
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — International economists released a critical report on Puerto Rico's economy Monday on the heels of the governor's warning that the island can't pay its $72 billion public debt.
The news that Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla delivered late Sunday was another jolt to the recession-gripped U.S. island, as well as a world financial system already worrying over Greece's collapsing finances.
Garcia is scheduled to air a pre-recorded televised address late Monday afternoon as legislators continue to debate a $9.8 billion budget that calls for $674 million in cuts and sets aside $1.5 billion to help pay off the debt. The budget has to be approved by Tuesday.
Incomes rise for bottom 99 pct.; US inequality still worsens
WASHINGTON (AP) — Solid job growth is finally boosting paychecks for the rest of us.
Incomes for the bottom 99 percent of American families rose 3.3 percent last year to $47,213, the biggest annual gain in the past 15 years, according to data compiled by economist Emmanuel Saez and released Monday by the Washington Center for Equitable Growth.
The increase likely reflects robust hiring last year when employers added 3.1 million jobs — the most since 1999. That lowered the unemployment rate to 5.6 percent from 6.7 percent a year earlier. Strong job gains and a falling unemployment can help broadly raise incomes as businesses are forced to offer higher pay to attract workers.
US pending home sales climb to 9-year high
WASHINGTON (AP) — More Americans signed contracts to purchase homes in May, as pending sales climbed to their highest level in more than nine years.
The National Association of Realtors said Monday that its seasonally adjusted pending home sales index rose 0.9 percent to 112.6 last month. The index has increased 10.4 percent over the past 12 months, putting it just below the April 2006 level — which was more than a year before the housing bust triggered the Great Recession.
Hyundai sees green future in hydrogen-powered cars
YONGIN, South Korea (AP) — Hyundai Motor Co. said Monday it believes hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are the future for eco-friendly cars despite challenges of limited infrastructure and slow sales.
South Korea's largest automaker has sold or leased 273 Tucson fuel cell SUVs since beginning production in 2013, lower than its 1,000 target, mostly in Europe and California.
Kim Sae Hoon, general manager at Hyundai's fuel cell engineering design team, said fuel cell cars represent a bigger opportunity than electric cars because competition is less fierce. Hydrogen-powered cars also give more flexibility to designers, he said. They can be scaled to big vehicles such as buses as well as small cars.
Feds shut down background check database over flaw
WASHINGTON (AP) — The federal personnel agency whose records were plundered by hackers linked to China announced on Monday the temporary shutdown of a massive database used to update and store background investigation records after newly discovering a flaw that left the system vulnerable to additional breaches.
There is no evidence the vulnerability has been exploited by hackers, agency spokesman Samuel Schumach said in a statement, adding that the Office of Personnel Management took the step protectively. He said the system could be shut down for four to six weeks.
Sysco pulling out of US Foods buyout after FTC move
NEW YORK (AP) — Sysco is scrapping its proposed $3.5 billion buyout of US Foods after a Federal Trade Commission legal victory that temporarily blocked the deal to combine the two food-service companies.
The FTC opposed the deal, saying it would reduce competition by putting 75 percent of the national market for suppliers to restaurants and other food-service operations under the control of one company. The U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., granted the halt on Tuesday.
GE selling some fleet businesses to Element for $6.9B
FAIRFIELD, Conn. (AP) — General Electric Co. is selling its U.S., Mexico, Australia and New Zealand fleet businesses to Element Financial Corp. for $6.9 billion.
GE Capital Fleet Services provides commercial car and truck financing and fleet-management services. GE recently announced it would sell most of GE Capital over the next two years.
GE Capital Chairman and CEO Keith Sherin said in a written statement that the company is on track to sell off businesses worth about $100 billion by the end of the year and expects to be finished with the sales by the end of 2016.
Justices rule against EPA power plant mercury limits
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court ruled Monday against the Obama administration's attempt to limit power plant emissions of mercury and other hazardous air pollutants, but it may only be a temporary setback for regulators.
The justices split 5-4 along ideological lines to rule that the Environmental Protection Agency did not properly take costs into account when it first decided to regulate the toxic emissions from coal- and oil-fired plants.
Discovery secures European Olympic TV rights through 2024
LONDON (AP) — U.S.-based media giant Discovery Communications Inc. secured the European broadcast rights for four Olympics through 2024 on Monday in a landmark deal worth 1.3 billion euros ($1.45 billion).
The parent company of the Discovery Channel and Eurosport won the rights to the games of 2018, 2020, 2022 and 2024, and also agreed to collaborate with the IOC on its new year-round Olympic Channel.
The International Olympic Committee said the deal covers all platforms, including free television, subscription and pay TV, internet and mobile phones in 50 countries across the continent.
By The Associated Press=
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 350.33 points, or 2 percent, to 17,596.35. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 43.85 points, or 2.1 percent, to 2,057.64. The Nasdaq lost 122.04 points, or 2.4 percent, to 4,958.47.
Benchmark U.S. crude fell $1.30 to close at $58.33 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils used by many U.S. refineries, fell $1.25 to close at $62.01 a barrel in London. Wholesale gasoline fell 1.9 cents to close at $2.030 a gallon. Heating oil fell 2.6 cents to close at $1.837 a gallon. Natural gas rose 3.2 cents to close at $2.805 per 1,000 cubic feet.