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November 29, 2018

Among the stories Thursday from The Associated Press:

TOP STORIES:

NAFTA 2.0-US POLITICAL FIGHT — The leaders of the United States, Canada and Mexico are expected to sign a new North American trade agreement Friday at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires. Yet passage is hardly assured in Congress, especially with a new Democratic-led House. Democrats may balk at handing President Donald Trump a victory on trade and are already demanding changes that they argue could benefit U.S. workers and factories. By Paul Wiseman. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos at 2 p.m.

With:

G20-TRUMP’S TEST — High stakes talks to ease a trade war with China. A risky meeting with the Russian president. Diplomatic challenges around every corner amid mounting global unrest. President Donald Trump’s foreign policy skills face perhaps their toughest test yet at a meeting of the Group of 20 rich and developing nations this week. By Zeke Miller and Catherine Lucey. UPCOMING, timing uncertain.

CHINA-SPYING ON CARS — Electric vehicles sold in China are giving real-time data to the government, providing a powerful surveillance tool without drivers’ knowledge, the AP found. By Erika Kinetz. SENT: 2,200 words, photos, video.

THE DEBT THREAT — Concerns are building from Washington to Wall Street about the trillions of dollars in debt that U.S. businesses have racked up, particularly by companies with relatively weak finances. By Stan Choe. UPCOMING: 1,500 words by 1 p.m.

LETTUCE OUTBREAK — After repeated E. coli outbreaks linked to romaine lettuce, the produce industry is scrambling to contain future contaminations. By Candice Choi. UPCOMING: About 850 words by 2 p.m.

GENERAL MOTORS-CRUISE MANAGEMENT — General Motors’ No. 2 executive is moving from Motor City to Silicon Valley to run the automaker’s self-driving car operations as it attempts to cash in on its bet that robotic vehicles will transform transportation. By Michael Liedtke. UPCOMING: 700 words by 1 p.m.

MARKETS & ECONOMY:

FINANCIAL MARKETS — Banks and technology companies are leading stock indexes slightly lower in early trading on Wall Street. SENT: 610 words, photos. UPCOMING: Will be updated through 5 p.m.

CONSUMER SPENDING — Consumers boosted their spending in October at the fastest pace in seven months, while their incomes rose by the largest amount in nine months — both good signs for future economic growth. By Martin Crutsinger. SENT: 430 words, photos.

PENDING HOME SALES — Pending home sales sank in October, as higher mortgage rates have worsened the affordability of home ownership and dampened enthusiasm among would-be buyers. By Josh Boak. SENT: 130 words, photo. UPCOMING: 350 words by 10:45 a.m.

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

FEDERAL RESERVE-MINUTES — The Federal Reserve releases minutes from its November meeting when it left rates unchanged. By Martin Crutsinger. UPCOMING: 130 words after 2 p.m. release, 350 words by 2:45 p.m.

INDUSTRY:

GERMANY-DEUTSCHE BANK — German authorities search the headquarters of Deutsche Bank in Frankfurt and other offices on the suspicion bank employees helped clients set up offshore companies in tax havens to launder hundreds of millions of euros, in an investigation brought about from an analysis of online document leaks. By David Rising and Frank Jordans. SENT: 290 words, photos. UPCOMING:

MCCONNEL-HEMP — Pressed for time and pushed to move quickly on a border wall and criminal justice reform, the Senate’s top leader has his own priority in Congress’ lame-duck session: passing a farm bill that includes a full pardon for hemp, the non-intoxicating cousin of marijuana that’s making a comeback in his home state. By Bruce Schreiner. SENT: 1,050 words, photos.

GERMANY-BAYER — German pharmaceutical giant Bayer AG says it’s cutting 12,000 jobs worldwide as it seeks to reduce costs. SENT: 140 words, photos.

NETHERLANDS-UNILEVER — Paul Polman, CEO of consumer products multinational Unilever, whose brands include Dove soaps and Lipton tea, is retiring at the end of the year. By Mike Corder. SENT: 330 words, photos.

BILLY BASS-ALEXA — Kitsch and high-tech are linking up just in time for Christmas. Big Mouth Billy Bass is programmed to respond to Alexa voice commands through a compatible Amazon Echo device. SENT: 140 words.

TECHNOLOGY & MEDIA:

GERMANY-AMAZON-INVESTIGATION — Germany’s antitrust agency says it has begun an investigation of online retailer Amazon to over complaints it’s abusing its position to the detriment of sellers who use its “marketplace” platform. SENT: 180 words, photos.

AUTOS:

RENAULT-NISSAN — Japanese prosecutors say they will detain former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn for as long as needed to finish their investigation into suspicions of financial irregularities, as meanwhile the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance reaffirmed its partnership. By Mari Yamaguchi. SENT: 510 words, photos.

ITALY-FIAT CHRYSLER — Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Mike Manley says the Italian-American carmaker will build a fully electric version of the 500 city car and a compact Alfa Romeo SUV at plants in Italy. SENT: 130 words.

PERSONAL FINANCE:

NERDWALLET-WORST ENEMY — You’d never set out to sabotage your investment strategy on purpose, yet some of the decisions you make could do just that. Lessons from the field of behavioral economics can help you avoid some common mistakes. By Anna-Louise Jackson, NerdWallet. UPCOMING: 750 words, photo by 11 a.m.

INTERNATIONAL:

BREXIT — British Prime Minister Theresa May refused Thursday to rule out Britain leaving the European Union without a deal, after the Bank of England warned that such a scenario could plunge the country into its deepest recession in decades. By Jill Lawless. SENT: 500 words, photos.

GERMANY-ECONOMY — German unemployment fell in November by more than expected as the labor market in Europe’s biggest economy remained robust. SENT: 140 words.

GERMANY-PAKISTAN-FIRE — A German court is hearing a civil suit against a discount German textile company whose clothes were produced in a factory in Pakistan that burned to the ground in 2012, killing more than 250 people. SENT: 130 words, photos.

BRAZIL-GOVERNOR ARRESTED — The governor of the state of Rio de Janeiro is arrested for allegedly taking about $10 million in bribes since 2007, adding to a string of corruption arrests of senior political figures. By Peter Prengaman. SENT: 230 words.

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