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Update on the latest in business:

December 5, 2018


Asia shares sink after Wall Street sell-off

BEIJING (AP) — Asian stocks sank today after Wall Street plunged amid confusion about what Washington and Beijing agreed to in a tariff cease-fire.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell 1.8 percent and the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.7 percent. Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 lost 0.7 percent and Seoul’s Kospi retreated 0.8 percent. Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 declined 0.8 percent and India’s Sensex was 0.6 percent lower. Benchmarks in Taiwan, New Zealand and Southeast Asia also declined.

Investor confidence in the U.S.-China agreement faltered after confusing and conflicting comments from President Donald Trump and some senior officials. That revived fears the disagreement between the world’s two biggest economies could slow global growth. On Tuesday, the S&P 500 slid 3.2 percent to 2,700.06. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 3.1 percent to 25,027.07. And the Nasdaq composite lost 3.8 percent to 7,158.43.

Tech companies, banks and exporters including Boeing and Caterpillar all declined.


China promises action on US trade deal but gives no details

BEIJING (AP) — China promised today to carry out a tariff cease-fire with Washington but gave no details that might help dispel confusion about what Presidents Xi Jinping and Donald Trump agreed to in Argentina.

China has yet to confirm Trump’s claim Beijing promised to cut auto tariffs and immediately buy more American farm goods. Confusing and conflicting statements by Trump and U.S. officials, coupled with lack of Chinese confirmation, led to stock markets tumbling on Tuesday amid doubts about the chances for a final settlement of a fight over technology that threatens to chill global economic growth.

Stock markets rose Monday after U.S. officials touted the agreement as a historic breakthrough. But on Tuesday, they fell back after Trump called himself “Tariff Man” on Twitter and renewed threats of tariff hikes.


Cuba to begin full internet access for mobile phones

HAVANA (AP) — Cuba says its citizens will be offered full internet access on mobile phones beginning Thursday, becoming one of the last nations to do so.

Mayra Arevich is president of the Cuban state telecom monopoly. She announced on national television Tuesday evening that Cubans can begin contracting 3G service for the first time Thursday.

Until now, Cubans have had access only to state-run email accounts on their phones.

The communist-governed island has one of the world’s lowest rates of internet use but that has been expanding rapidly since Presidents Barack Obama and Raul Castro declared detente in 2014. Expansion has not slowed with President Donald Trump’s rollback of relations.

Cuba authorized home internet in 2017 and hundreds of public Wi-Fi connection points have opened in parks and plazas around the country.


Ford, Volkswagen in talks to build VWs at US Ford plants

REDFORD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Ford and Volkswagen are in talks about building VW vehicles in some of Ford’s U.S. factories.

VW CEO Herbert Diess (dees) told reporters after a meeting at the White House that the automaker is holding discussions with Ford. Ford CEO Jim Hackett confirmed the talks Tuesday and Executive Chairman Bill Ford says the negotiations are going well.

VW also has said it’s considering a new U.S. factory to build electric vehicles that the company plans for the future. The German company now builds SUVs and a midsize car at a factory in Chattanooga, Tennessee, but imports the rest of its vehicles. Ford and VW also are in talks about an alliance to build commercial vehicles.


Michigan Legislature OKs gutting wage, paid sick time laws

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Republican-led Michigan Legislature has passed bills that would delay a minimum wage hike and scale back paid sick leave requirements.

The proposed lame-duck rollbacks are an unprecedented strategy that was endorsed legally by the state’s conservative attorney general despite criticism that it is unconstitutional.

The fast-tracked legislation drew protesters to the Capitol who chanted “shame” and “bought and paid for” outside the chambers. The proposals were pushed through on largely party-line 60-48 and 26-12 votes. Some changes were made at the request of Republican Gov. Rick Snyder, who stayed mum on whether he will sign the measures — though the Senate leader was confident, saying Snyder told him he would do so.

One bill would gradually increase the state’s $9.25 minimum wage to $12.05 an hour by 2030 — maybe later in the case of recession.


Utility aims for zero carbon emission from electric plants

DENVER (AP) — A utility serving 3.6 million electricity customers in eight states says it will try to eliminate all its carbon emissions from electrical generation by 2050.

Xcel Energy made the announcement Tuesday in Denver. CEO Ben Fowke says the company set the goal as a response to climate change. He acknowledged not all the technologies needed to meet the goal are available yet on a commercial scale.

Xcel also says that meeting the goal could require nuclear power and carbon sequestration, a technology that captures carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels and keeps it out of the atmosphere.

Xcel is based in Minneapolis and has customers in Colorado, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas and Wisconsin.

Xcel also supplies natural gas to 2 million customers. The company says their service won’t be affected.

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Report details new allegations of Moonves’ sexual misconduct

UNDATED (AP) — The New York Times is reporting that a report by CBS lawyers outlines more allegations of sexual misconduct by longtime chief Les Moonves.

The report alleges that Moonves destroyed evidence and misled investigators as he attempted to protect his reputation and severance payments. It says investigators had received “multiple reports” about a network employee who was “on call” to perform oral sex on Moonves.

The report says, “A number of employees were aware of this and believed that the woman was protected from discipline or termination as a result of it.” The report says Moonves described the relationship as “consensual.”

The 59-page report is to be presented to CBS’s board of directors before the company’s annual meeting next week.


Netflix maintain high-priced relationship with ‘Friends’

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Netflix will still be there for fans of the old TV series “Friends,” but maintaining the relationship will come at a steep price.

The New York Times reports that Netflix paid $100 million to keep showing “Friends” on its U.S. service through 2019. The newspaper says that’s more than triple the $30 million a year Netflix had been paying for the long-running TV series about six 20-something friends in New York. The report cited two unidentified people with direct knowledge of Netflix’s deal with the series’ rights holder, AT&T.

Netflix tweeted that it will continue showing “Friends,” but didn’t disclose financial details.

Netflix’s willingness to pay so much for a series that ended in 2004 is the latest sign of intensifying competition in video streaming.

Update hourly