Business Highlights


Greece’s Tsipras tries to rally support for austerity deal

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greek lawmakers braced for an all-night parliament session Friday as the country’s prime minister sought to rally support for tough austerity measures designed to win approval for a third bailout.

The proposed measures, including tax hikes and cuts in pension spending, are certain to inflict more pain on a Greek public who just days ago voted overwhelmingly against a similar plan.

But the new proposal, if approved by Greece’s international creditors, will provide longer-term financial support for a nation that has endured six years of recession.


With data breaches, bad news can show up well down the road

NEW YORK (AP) — The revelation that the data breach at the U.S. government’s personnel office was actually much worse than the government originally thought is following a familiar script.

That’s been the case in many recent high-profile hackings at major U.S. companies. Target, Home Depot and TJX all had to announce additional bad news weeks after going public with their breaches.

The Obama administration said Thursday that hackers stole Social Security numbers from more than 21 million people and took other sensitive information when government computer systems were compromised. That’s up from the 14 million figure investigators gave The Associated Press last month.


China’s underground banks spread pain as defaults rise

BEIJING (AP) — Fan Xiaolin, an engineer in Changsha in central China, thought he was safe when he deposited his family’s savings of 800,000 yuan ($130,000) in a private finance company he said was recommended by employees of state-owned Bank of China.

The company, part of an informal industry of lenders and investment managers that operates outside China’s state-run banking system, collapsed six months later as economic growth slowed and businesses struggled. Today, Fan said he and about 100 other depositors in Hunan Bofeng Asset Management Ltd. protest several times each week outside state banks and government offices, demanding their money back.


Why toy ‘Minion’ curse words might just all be in your head

NEW YORK (AP) — McDonald’s swears up and down that the little yellow “Minions” Happy Meal toy is speaking only nonsense words and not something a little more adult.

Experts say the company may be right, and the curse words many hear may be tied to how our brains are primed to find words even when they’re not really there.

The world’s largest hamburger chain and purveyor of Happy Meals said Friday that it doesn’t plan to take the talking Happy Meal toy out of distribution, even though some customers say it sounds like it’s cursing.


Merkel walking line between German voters, European image

BERLIN (AP) — As Athens staggers toward what may be its final deadline, German Chancellor Angela Merkel faces one of the toughest decisions of her 10-year tenure: sacrifice political credibility at home by conceding more aid for Greece, or risk tarnishing her status as “queen of Europe” by sticking to her guns and facing the blame for the first-ever exit of a country from the euro.

The pressure is enormous and one thing is certain: Merkel has to make a decision that won’t satisfy everyone.


Yellen: Fed still on track to raise rates this year

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said the Fed is on track to start raising interest rates later this year but expressed multiple concerns over headwinds that are still holding back the U.S. economy.

She described the outlook for the economy and inflation as “highly uncertain,” amid lingering weakness in the labour market and new potential threats overseas.

Yellen, speaking on the economy for the first time since the Fed’s June meeting, saw reasons for encouragement. Consumer spending appears to be picking up, and employment is likely to keep expanding, she said.


US wholesale stockpiles post biggest gain in 6 months in May

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. wholesalers boosted their stockpiles in May by the largest amount in six months, while sales rose by a modest amount.

Wholesale stockpiles rose 0.8 per cent, double the gain in April and the largest one-month rise since November, the Commerce Department reported Friday. Sales were up 0.3 per cent in May following a 1.7 per cent surge in April. That had been the biggest sales increase in more than a year.


Last flight for US Airways expected in October

DALLAS (AP) — The last flight for US Airways will take place this fall, and one more name in airline history will disappear.

The farewell flight for US Airways will be a red-eye — Flight 434 is scheduled to leave San Francisco around 10 p.m. and land in Philadelphia after 6 a.m. on Oct. 18. The US Airways website will be turned off. Airport kiosks and signs will change to American Airlines.

The two airlines merged in December 2013 and decided to keep the better-known American name. Vestiges of the carrier will survive for some time, however, as some planes won’t be repainted yet in American’s colours and logo.


Lawyer: Glock used power to get him wrongfully imprisoned

ATLANTA (AP) — A former lawyer for gun manufacturer Glock says in a federal lawsuit filed this week that a vindictive campaign by the company led to unfounded criminal charges against him that caused his wrongful imprisonment.

Glock Inc., the Georgia-based subsidiary of the Austrian gun company, used its wealth, power and influence to get local prosecutors to pursue criminal charges against people the company wanted to see locked up, former Glock general counsel Paul Jannuzzo said in a federal lawsuit filed Wednesday in Atlanta.


Takata rejects call for compensation fund, at least for now

DETROIT (AP) — Takata Corp. says a compensation fund for people hurt by exploding air bags isn’t needed at this time.

The Japanese company responded this week to a call from Senator Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., to commit to a fund similar to one set up by General Motors Co. for victims of crashes caused by faulty small-car ignition switches.

In a letter dated July 7, Takata Executive Vice-President Kevin Kennedy wrote that Takata senior management considered a fund and will continue to evaluate it.


GM recalling nearly 780K SUVs to fix power lift gate problem

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors is recalling nearly 780,000 crossover SUVs mainly in North America because the rear power lift gates can suddenly fall and hit people.

The company said Friday that it has 56 reports of injuries caused by the problem.

The recall covers the Buick Enclave from the 2008 to 2012 model years and the Chevrolet Traverse from 2009 to 2012. Also affected are the GMC Acadia from 2007 to 2012 and Saturn Outlook from 2007 to 2010.


Upstart vs Airbus: 1st electric planes cross English Channel

CALAIS, France (AP) — With zero fanfare, an independent French pilot beat aeronautics giant Airbus by about 12 hours Friday in the race to fly the first electric plane across the English Channel — a symbolically important step toward making battery-powered flight viable in the long term.

Several people and companies in different countries are developing electric planes in hopes of offering a fuel-free, noise-free, emissions-free flight alternative for the future. So the battle to perform world “firsts” in electric planes is heating up as the technology becomes more durable.


Latino leader urges more businesses to cut ties from Trump

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. (AP) — The head of a Latino civil rights group called on more organizations to follow NBC’s example and cut business ties with Donald Trump.

Alex Nogales, president of the National Hispanic Media Coalition, said Thursday that the PGA of America’s decision this week to move a golf tournament from a Trump-owned course was a step in the right direction.

The PGA and other major golf organizations should agree to keep tournaments off Trump properties in response to his comments about Mexican immigrants, Nogales said.


By The Associated Press=

The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 211.79 points, or 1.2 per cent, to 17,760.41. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 25.31 points, or 1.2 per cent, to 2,076.62. The Nasdaq composite gained 75.30 points, or 1.5 per cent, to 4,997.70.

Benchmark U.S. crude fell 4 cents to close at $52.74 a barrel in New York. It ended last week at $56.93. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils used by many U.S. refineries, rose 12 cents Friday to close at $58.73 in London. Wholesale gasoline fell 2.8 cents to close at $2.017 a gallon. Heating oil fell 0.4 cent to close at $1.740 a gallon. Natural gas rose 4.4 cents to close at $2.770 per 1,000 cubic feet.