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  • The Latest: Chairman says bipartisan desire for privacy law
    Updated: 09/26/2018 10:47 AM

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on congressional hearing on privacy (all times local): 10:45 a.m. A Senate panel is considering ways to govern how companies can use consumer data for targeting ads and other tasks. Sen. John Thune, a South Dakota Republican who heads the Senate Commerce Committee, said in opening a hearing Wednesday that there's a strong desire by both Republicans and Democrats for a new data privacy law. Senior executives from AT&T, Amazon, Apple, Google, Twitter and Charter Communications are expected to testify and explain their privacy policies.
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  • After a lull, new-home sales up 3.5 percent in August
    Updated: 09/26/2018 10:44 AM

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Sales of new U.S. homes climbed 3.5 percent in August, snapping a two-month decline as buying surged in the pricey Northeast and West housing markets. The Commerce Department said Wednesday that newly built homes sold at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 629,000 last month. Sales of new homes have advanced 6.9 percent this year. Still, rising costs and higher mortgage rates have tempered some of the enthusiasm from would-be buyers. "Demand has cooled as home prices reached levels that have caused some prospective buyers to balk, while homebuilders seem to be finally making a little headway in supplying the market adequately," said Stephen Stanley, chief economist at Amherst Pierpont Securities.
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  • Abramovich ends Swiss residency bid after 'defamatory' claim
    Updated: 09/26/2018 10:42 AM

    GENEVA (AP) — Russian oligarch and Chelsea soccer club owner Roman Abramovich has withdrawn an application for residency in Switzerland after authorities made clear that it would be rejected, officials said Wednesday. Lawyers for Abramovich lashed out at "defamatory" allegations involving money laundering and denied that he has links to organized crime. Abramovich had apparently wanted to relocate to the Alpine town of Bagnes. The Swiss town of 8,000, Mayor Eloi Roussier pointed out, is known for the Verbier ski resort, its summertime classical music festival and a tax structure that allows residents to pay fixed rates based on the value of their property.
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  • Stocks drift as markets await Fed's interest-rate call
    Updated: 09/26/2018 10:40 AM

    NEW YORK (AP) — Stock indexes around the world held steady on Wednesday as markets awaited a Federal Reserve decision on interest rates scheduled for the afternoon. Economists are nearly certain that the Fed will raise short-term rates by a quarter of a percentage point, the third such increase this year. But investors are more interested in what the Fed and Chairman Jerome Powell say about what's coming next. Most investors expect a fourth rate increase in December with perhaps a few more in 2019, as the economy continues to strengthen.
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  • Daimler CEO Zetsche to step down early, succeeded by insider
    Updated: 09/26/2018 10:33 AM

    FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche, who unwound a troubled merger with Chrysler Corporation and led the German automaker to a string of record profits, will hand off next year to Ola Kallenius, a longtime insider who heads vehicle development for the Mercedes-Benz brand. The Stuttgart-based company said Wednesday that the change will take place in May and that Zetsche, 65, would be nominated to become head of the board in 2021 after the term expires for the current chairman, Manfred Bischoff.
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  • Small retailers upbeat about 4Q but tariffs make some uneasy
    Updated: 09/26/2018 10:24 AM

    NEW YORK (AP) — Sales are so strong at women's clothing company Leota that owner Sarah Carson is asking manufacturers for more inventory for the holidays, a change from last year. Leota, which sells dresses, tops, pants and skirts to stores and on its own website, has been getting reorders from retailers in mid-season, unlike recent years when customer demand was weaker. But taking on more inventory isn't something Carson's doing lightly; she doesn't want a big surplus that she'll need to mark down Dec.
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  • Startups shook up the sleepy razor market. What's next?
    Updated: 09/26/2018 9:36 AM

    NEW YORK (AP) — What do you hate shopping for? Toothpaste? Diaper rash cream? Sunscreen? The guys who founded Harry's shaving club spend a lot time thinking about this question. Armed with $112 million in new financing, the online startup that took on razor giants Gillette and Schick with its direct-to-consumer subscription model is investigating what other sleepy products might be ripe for disruption. "Our vision is to build a next-generation consumer brand company," said Jeff Raider, who recently took on the role of CEO of Harry's Labs, overseeing the development of new brands.
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  • China announces tariff cut but no action on US complaints
    Updated: 09/26/2018 9:32 AM

    BEIJING (AP) — China announced more tariff cuts Wednesday on construction machinery and other goods but no action on U.S. complaints about its technology policy that are fueling an escalating trade battle. The announcement reflected Beijing's effort to stick to reform plans aimed at making its economy more competitive while rejecting pressure to roll back state-led industry development. It gave no indication the reductions would apply to U.S. goods on which Beijing has imposed additional taxes of 5 to 25 percent.
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  • In Paris, Airbnb blamed for all kinds of ills
    Updated: 09/26/2018 8:56 AM

    PARIS (AP) — The first paying guests to the ground-floor studio flat newly posted on Airbnb were innocuous enough: A family, come to experience the joys of Paris, like many millions of others. Franck Briand, who lives in the apartment directly above, now looks back on that moment as the start of what he calls his Airbnb "nightmare." The ensuing four years, he says, have been an incessant carousel of late-night parties, drunken revelers and the rattle of newly arrived groups, sometimes 15 at a time, dragging wheeled suitcases across the cobbled courtyard.
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  • Italian budget 'to include basic income' pledge
    Updated: 09/26/2018 8:40 AM

    MILAN (AP) — Italy's economy minister says the first budget of the new Italian government will include a basic income scheme sought by one of the governing parties, the 5-Star Movement. Giovanni Tria said Wednesday that the scheme would "help manage the social consequences of the transformation process of production." Tria, who is unaffiliated with either governing party, is under pressure to come up with a draft budget that maintains commitments as part of Italy's membership of the eurozone, but that also makes good on the two parties' electoral pledges.
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