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Business Highlights

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Mining sector in turmoil as Anglo American sheds 85,000 jobs

LONDON (AP) — The decision by a London-based mining company to shed 85,000 jobs is the sign of a global industry in crisis, with conglomerates reassessing their huge operations to cope with a drop in demand from Chinese factories for metals and other raw materials.

Anglo American said Tuesday it will shed some 63 per cent of its workforce in a radical restructuring meant to cope with tumbling commodity prices. It will streamline its global business from some 55 mines to around 20.

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Boston College: 80 sickened after eating at Chipotle

BOSTON (AP) — Boston College said Tuesday the number of students complaining of gastrointestinal symptoms after eating at a Chipotle this weekend has climbed to 80, up from the 30 it reported the previous day.

The illnesses prompted the temporary closure of a Chipotle restaurant in Boston where the students ate, and come as the chain’s sales are already being slammed by a multistate outbreak of E. coli linked to its restaurants.

Chipotle says it thinks the Boston College illnesses are an isolated case of norovirus and unrelated to the E. coli cases that have turned up in nine states.

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Beijing’s smog crisis idles factories, boosts travel

BEIJING (AP) — Factories in Beijing were shut down Tuesday to help ease the Chinese capital’s pollution crisis.

Beijing’s economy, which at $340 billion is bigger than many countries, was hindered by traffic and production restrictions. Half the cars in this city of 20 million people were ordered off the streets. Facilities in cement, petrochemicals and other industries were told to close or reduce operations after pollution soared to many times safe levels.

But it was a boon for some businesses, boosting sales of air purifying equipment and travel to escape the haze. And snack stands promoted sales of pear and pomegranate juices, a traditional remedy for lung problems.

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Norfolk Southern slams revised offer from Canadian Pacific

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Norfolk Southern rejected Canadian Pacific’s latest takeover offer less than an hour after it was announced Tuesday, but the Canadian railroad now appears ready to take its case directly to the shareholders of its rival.

The new offer includes $32.86 cash and 0.451 shares in the combined company that would own both railroads. That includes less cash than the initial offer, but more equity in the combined company than last month’s offer.

Norfolk Southern shareholders would own 47 per cent of the new company under the latest offer, up from 41 per cent initially. The new bid also promises that Norfolk Southern shareholders could receive the cash next spring before federal regulators complete their review, which might take roughly two years.

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FAA approval near, Honda’s business jet about to hit market

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Honda, the company best known for its cars and motorcycles, is about to start delivering its first aircraft.

The Japan-based company this week is expected to receive a crucial Federal Aviation Administration certification of its first HondaJet, the last step before launching full production.

The business jet, which can seat up to seven and lists for about $4.5 million, will be reaching customers at least five years behind schedule. Honda says it has received more than 100 orders, primarily from customers in North America and Europe.

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Auto safety ratings to include collision prevention systems

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. government on Tuesday announced plans to update its safety rating system for new cars to include whether the car has technology to avoid crashes, in addition to how well it protects occupants in accidents.

The 5-star rating system now uses crash tests to assess how well people inside are shielded from injury or death in front, side and rollover crashes.

While that will remain a big factor in the ratings, they also will take into account whether the vehicle has sensors that can detect an imminent frontal collision and apply the brakes, or warn drivers about vehicles in their blind spots or that they’re drifting into another lane.

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Facebook lifts ban on content from rival social network Tsu

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Facebook has lifted a ban that blocked material from Tsu.co, a small rival challenging the world’s largest social network’s financial dependence on free content shared by its 1.5 billion users.

The reversal comes a month after The Associated Press published a story airing concerns that Facebook might be abusing its power to thwart competition and stifle the concept that people should be paid for the stories and images that they post on social networks.

The dispute began in late September when Facebook removed nearly 10 million posts containing links and other references to Tsu.co.

Facebook restored the deleted posts and began allowing additional content from Tsu late Monday. The change of heart came after Tsu removed a feature that allowed users to transfer posts to Facebook with one click.

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US food firms pushing halt to GMO labeling by end of year

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. food companies are mounting an aggressive year-end push to head off mandatory labeling of genetically modified foods.

The food industry wants the labeling to be voluntary, and it hopes to get a provision in a massive spending bill that Republicans and Democrats want to wrap up this week. If that becomes law, states could not require companies to disclose whether their products contain genetically modified organisms, or GMOs.

The House passed similar legislation earlier this year, but the Senate has not yet acted. Even so, food companies and farm groups say Congress must step in before Vermont becomes the first state to require GMO labels next summer.

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US job openings slip in October; hiring, quits rise

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. employers advertised fewer jobs in October, though overall hiring picked up and quits rose slightly, adding to evidence the job market is slowly improving.

The number of job postings fell 2.7 per cent to a still-healthy 5.4 million in October compared with the previous month, the Labor Department said Tuesday. That is not far from July’s record high of 5.7 million.

Hiring picked up to 5.1 million, the most since June. And the number of people quitting their jobs, a sign of confidence in the job market, rose to 2.78 million. Still, that figure has been mostly flat this year.

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Japan sidesteps recession, revised growth at 1 per cent

TOKYO (AP) — Japan sidestepped recession last quarter: Revised data released Tuesday showed its economy grew at an annual 1.0 per cent pace instead of shrinking.

A previous estimate had shown the world’s third-largest economy contracted 0.8 per cent in the July-September quarter, after shrinking 0.5 per cent in the previous quarter. Two consecutive quarters of contraction are considered a recession.

The revised growth figure makes it less likely that Japan’s central bank will deploy further monetary stimulus anytime soon, despite slow progress toward its goal of 2 per cent inflation.

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EU starts antitrust action against Qualcomm

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union’s antitrust watchdog says it suspects that Qualcomm illegally made exclusivity payments to a major customer and sold chipsets below cost to force a competitor out of the market.

Qualcomm has three to four months to respond to the allegations and request a hearing.

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Greece to sign airport privatization with Germany’s Fraport

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece will complete nine key privatizations in the first half of 2016, including the sale of more than a dozen regional airports, the head of the country’s privatization fund said Tuesday.

Greece has agreed to an ambitious privatization program as part of its third international bailout, to which Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras reluctantly consented to following months of negotiations.

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The Dow Jones industrial average fell 162.51 points, or 0.9 per cent, to close at 17,568. The S&P 500 fell 13.48 points, or 0.7 per cent, to 2,063.59. The Nasdaq composite slipped 3.6 points, or 0.1 per cent, to 5,098.24.

U.S. benchmark crude fell 14 cents, or 0.4 per cent, to $37.51 a barrel. Brent crude, the international benchmark, lost 47 cents, or 1.2 per cent, to close at $40.26 a barrel in London. In other trading of energy futures in New York, wholesale gasoline fell 0.6 cents to close at $1.204 a gallon, heating oil fell 2 cents to $1.259 a gallon and natural gas edged up 0.3 cent to $2.07 per 1,000 cubic feet.