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May 17, 2018

Among the stories Thursday from The Associated Press:

TOP STORIES:

OF MUTUAL INTEREST-REACTING TO RATES — Most experts agree that inflation is going to speed up eventually as the U.S. economy expands. While it’s not clear exactly when greater inflation will arrive, Steve Wood, chief market strategist for Russell Investments, says it’s not too soon to prepare. By Marley Jay. UPCOMING: 700 words by noon, photo.

TRADE-NAFTA-TIME RUNNING OUT — President Donald Trump’s team is running out of time to rewrite the North American Free Trade Agreement this year. If the US can’t cut a deal with Mexico and Canada in the next week or two, Trump could abandon the pact he’s lambasted as a job-killing disaster. Here’s how the conflict may play out and how it could affect individuals and companies. By Paul Wiseman. UPCOMING: 800 words by 3 p.m.

Also:

CHINA-US-TRADE — China says it doesn’t want to see increased trade tensions with the U.S. as the two countries hold talks in Washington this week, but it’s prepared for any outcome and will defend its own interests. By Kelvin Chan. SENT: 380 words, photos.

EARNS-WALMART — Walmart is reporting better-than-expected profit and revenue for the first quarter with rebounding e-commerce sales, surprising Wall Street. It’s an encouraging report from Walmart, which like other retailers, is looking at new ways to compete in light of swiftly changing shopping habits and intense competition from Amazon. By Anne D’Innocenzio. SENT: 750 words, photos.

MARKETS & ECONOMY:

FINANCIAL MARKETS — Stocks are slightly lower in morning trading as losses for Cisco Systems weigh on technology companies. SENT: 400 words, photos. UPCOMING: 700 words by 5 p.m.

MORTGAGE RATES — Freddie Mac reports on this week’s average U.S. mortgage rates. By Marcy Gordon. UPCOMING: 130 words after release of report at 10 a.m. 300 words by 10:45 a.m.

INDUSTRY:

SPORTS BETTING-MARKET SCRAMBLE — Businesses are scrambling to position themselves to gain a share of the emerging sports betting market in the U.S. now that the Supreme Court has cleared the way for states to legalize it. By Wayne Parry. UPCOMING: About 600 words by 3 p.m.

KROGER-OCADO — Kroger is upping its investment in the British online grocer Ocado as it fends off Amazon.com and other online threats to traditional grocers. SENT: 130 words.

HOMELESS-BURGER KING LAWSUIT — A homeless black man in Boston who spent three months in jail after he was wrongfully accused of trying to use counterfeit cash at Burger King is suing the fast food giant. By Alanna Durkin Richer. SENT: 470 words.

MISS AMERICA-FEMALE LEADERSHIP — The Miss America Organization is putting women in its three top leadership positions following an email scandal involving former male leaders of the scholarship group. By Wayne Parry. SENT: 400 words, photos.

FARM BILL — Food processors, soft drink manufacturers and candy makers are squaring off against the U.S. sugar industry in a familiar battle over a controversial program that props up sugar prices. The battle over the sugar program, a web of price supports, loans, and tariffs that critics say rips off consumers, is one of the key battles in this year’s farm bill, a five-year renewal of federal farm and nutrition policy that always proves to be a headache for Republicans controlling Congress. By Andrew Taylor. UPCOMING: Timing uncertain.

TECHNOLOGY & MEDIA:

FACEBOOK-PRIVACY SCANDAL — British lawmakers investigating the use of Facebook users’ data in political campaigns say the suspended head of the consultancy Cambridge Analytica has accepted a summons to appear before a committee. SENT: 130 words.

JAPAN-TOSHIBA — Japanese electronics company Toshiba Corp. says the sale of its computer memory chip business to a consortium led by Bain Capital Private Equity has cleared all anti-trust regulatory approval, including one it was awaiting from China. By Yuri Kageyama. SENT: 520 words, photo.

DENMARK-AIRBNB — Denmark says online room-rental platform Airbnb will start to automatically report its users’ deals to taxation authorities, the first country to do so. SENT: 130 words.

FIJI-SEDITION TRIAL — An opinion writer and three newspaper executives in Fiji are awaiting a judge’s verdict Friday on sedition charges in a case that has major implications for press freedom in the South Pacific nation. By Nick Perry. SENT: 860 words, photos.

EARNINGS:

EARNS-JC PENNEY — J.C. Penney cut its outlook for the year as it trims costs to help offset declining revenue. SENT: 230 words, photos.

PERSONAL FINANCE:

NERDWALLET-CONNECTED DEVICES — Mobile wallets can make paying by credit or debit card seamless: Tap your phone at checkout and you’re on your way. But mobile wallets are just the beginning. Payment networks and manufacturers are building payment functions into more devices — expanding your options as well as freeing up your hands. By Melissa Lambarena, NerdWallet. UPCOMING: 760 words by 11 a.m., photos.

INTERNATIONAL:

EUROPE-US-TARIFFS — The European Union has called on U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration to stop threating it with tariffs on steel and aluminum, saying Thursday it is prepared to discuss trade — but not at gunpoint. By Lorne Cook. SENT: 340 words, photos.

TURKEY-UNITED STATES — Turkey’s foreign ministry has criticized the sentencing of a Turkish banker in the United States over his role in helping Iran evade U.S. economic sanctions. SENT: 500 words, photos.

IRAN-BRITAIN-OIL AGREEMENT — Iranian state TV is reporting that Tehran has signed an agreement with a British consortium to develop an oil field in the country’s south. SENT: 350 words.

GERMANY RUSSIA PIPELINE DIPLOMACY — A vast undersea pipeline to bring gas from Russia to Germany from next year is taking shape, amid concerns from some of Berlin’s allies that it will give Moscow too much leverage over Europe’s energy supply. By Frank Jordans and Pietro DeCristofaro. SENT: 950 word, photos.

BREXIT — Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar is warning Britain to explain how it plans to keep open his country’s border with Northern Ireland or face the possible collapse of a Brexit deal. SENT: 130 words, photos.

NEW ZEALAND-BUDGET — New Zealand’s government plans to spend billions of dollars rebuilding rotting hospitals and schools and improving other infrastructure as the economy continues to grow at a healthy clip. By Nick Perry. SENT: 540 words, photos.

SOUTHEAST ASIA-SAMBOR DAM — A Chinese-backed plan for Cambodia to build the Mekong River’s biggest dam would destroy fisheries that feed millions and worsen tensions with Vietnam, the downstream country with most to lose from dams on the waterway, according to a three-year study commissioned by the Cambodian government. By Stephen Wright. SENT: 500 words, photos.

VATICAN-GLOBAL ECONOMY — The Vatican is denouncing offshore tax havens and financial instruments such as derivatives and credit default swaps as gravely immoral and unjust, calling them “ticking time bombs” that hurt the world’s poor the most. By Nicole Winfield. SENT: 410 words.

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