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Markets progress...Venezuela’s problems...Missing executive

August 20, 2018

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are closing broadly higher on Wall Street as retailers and other consumer-focused companies post solid gains. Macy’s led the way higher among retailers Monday with a 6.1 percent gain. Kohl’s rose 3.2 percent and Home Depot climbed 1.2 percent. The Dow gained 89 points, or 0.3 percent. The S&P rose 6 points and the Nasdaq increased 4 points.

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) —Banks and most other businesses were closed for the day in Venezuela as it launched a series of dramatic economic reforms, beginning with the release of currency with five fewer zeros in a bid to tame soaring inflation. The currency conversion is among the less controversial parts of President Nicolas Maduro’s economic plan. He’ll next hike the minimum wage by more than 3,000 percent and raise gasoline prices — now less than a penny to fill up — to international levels.

BUFFALO. S.D. (AP) — The company planning the Keystone XL oil pipeline is moving to condemn private land in South Dakota. TransCanada has filed eminent domain condemnation petitions in state court against parcels of Harding County land owned by two families. At least one of them plans to fight. Jeffrey Jensen says he’ll take the matter to court if necessary. The $8 billion, 1,184-mile pipeline would carry oil from Canada to Steele City, Nebraska.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The FBI says a Chinese man was kidnapped after a business meeting in the Los Angeles-area last month, but authorities haven’t heard from the kidnappers since they demanded a $2 million ransom. Officials say 28-year-old Ruochen “Tony” Liao was abducted on July 16. Investigators are examining several theories, including that Liao, who owned a Southern California car dealership that sold high-end cars, was involved in a business dispute.

BALLSTON SPA, N.Y. (AP) — A 7-year-old New York boy is back selling lemonade and raising money for a friend in need after a state health inspector put the squeeze on him last month. Brendan Mulvaney raised more than $900 on Saturday for the family of a 12-year-old girl who’s facing surgery this week to fix a bowleg deformity from a rare bone disease.

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