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  • Zimbabwe, facing new leader, wonders ‘Where is Mugabe?’

    HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — As Zimbabwe on Thursday prepared to swear in a new leader, Emmerson Mnangagwa, after 37 years, attention turned to the fate of Robert Mugabe and his wife.

    The 93-year-old Mugabe, who resigned on Tuesday as lawmakers began impeaching him, has not been seen outside a few photographs since his stunning speech to the nation on Sunday night in which he defied calls to step down.

    He is said to remain in the capital, Harare, with former first lady Grace but it is not clear under what terms. Some are wondering whether he has secured guarantees of protection, including immunity from prosecution.

    A photo circulating on social media late Wednesday, said to be taken this week, showed Mugabe and his wife sitting on a sofa with a trio of advisers standing behind them. A dejected-looking Grace Mugabe, who earlier this month was poised to replace Mnangagwa after his firing as vice president, looks off-camera while Robert Mugabe’s […]
  • Shanghai stocks tumble, other Asian stocks clam

    SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Stocks in Shanghai fell sharply but in rest of Asia, markets were calm Thursday after the Fed minutes largely met investor expectations that it will soon raise interest rates for a third time next month.

    KEEPING SCORE: China’s Shanghai Composite Index sank 2 percent to 3,359.92, its lowest level since August, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index slipped 0.4 percent to 29,886.99. South Korea’s Kospi finished flat at 2,540.71 and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 also finished unchanged at 5,986.20. Stocks in Singapore and other Southeast Asian countries were mixed. Japan was closed on a holiday.

    FED: Minutes of the Fed’s last meeting that ended Nov. 1 showed that most officials generally believe that it’ll soon be time for another increase in the Fed’s key interest rate. A few Fed leaders think rates should stay where they are until there is more evidence inflation is rising, showing the concerns that the […]
  • Angola’s new leader shakes up old order after dos Santos

    JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Angola’s new leader is making surprising moves to shake himself free of the legacy of one of Africa’s longest-serving presidents.

    Joao Lourenco’s visit to South Africa on Thursday and Friday is giving the world a closer look at the man who stepped in after Jose Eduardo dos Santos ruled the oil-rich but largely impoverished nation for nearly 38 years.

    Since winning election in August, Lourenco has taken steps to show that he is running a new government, even firing the daughter of dos Santos as chair of the powerful state-owned oil company.

    When the ailing dos Santos stepped down, Lourenco, the former defense minister, was generally expected to conduct business as usual. But Lourenco, 63, quickly appointed a crop of new ministers to differentiate himself from dos Santos and replaced key security personnel. In his most striking move so far, Lourenco this month removed the former president’s […]
  • Retailers look to woo shoppers from rivals as Amazon grows

    NEW YORK (AP) — Toys and TVs at J.C. Penney, Barbies at Best Buy, kitchen appliances like wine refrigerators at B.J.’s. As the holiday shopping season officially kicks off Thursday, shoppers may find some surprises at their favorite stores.

    Even as retailers are counting on a lift from a better economy, they’re looking beyond economic data and mapping out ways to pick up sales from other retailers as Amazon expands its reach. That can mean opening earlier than rivals on the holidays or even jumping into new product categories. The fight for market share comes as analysts at Bain say Amazon is expected to take half of the holiday season’s sales growth. And Amazon is the top destination for people to begin holiday shopping, according to a September study by market research firm NPD Group.

    “The retailers are in survival mode. It’s about stealing each other’s market share,” said Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst at NPD. “Amazon is the Grinch. They’re stealing the growth.” With the jobless rate at a 17-year-low of 4.1 percent and consumer confidence stronger than a year ago, analysts project healthy sales increases for November and […]
  • The last straw? Uber loyalists tested by string of scandals

    DETROIT (AP) — Uber has managed to hold the title of world’s largest ride-hailing service despite its seemingly endless string of scandals.

    Its latest misbehavior involving a data breach cover-up revealed this week could be the impetus for people to ride elsewhere — or keep looking the other way.

    Hackers were able to steal data for 57 million riders and drivers, and Uber concealed it for a year after paying $100,000 in ransom for the stolen information to be destroyed.

    Riders and business experts say that while Uber’s problems such as workplace sexual harassment, drivers with criminal records and other past infractions are serious, stolen data hits people directly and could make them mad enough to delete the app. Then again, riders have fled from the service before, but enough have stayed because of the […]
  • George Avakian, jazz producer and scholar, dies at 98

    NEW YORK (AP) — George Avakian, a Russian-born jazz scholar and architect of the American music industry who produced essential recordings by Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis and other stars has died at age 98.

    Avakian’s daughter, Anahid Avakian Gregg, confirmed that her father died Wednesday morning at his home in Manhattan. No further details were immediate available.

    Avakian, an executive at Columbia Records and Warner Bros. among other labels, helped popularize such consumer standards as liner notes, the long-playing album and the live album.

    Few could claim as many milestones as Avakian, who started out as an Ivy League prodigy rediscovering old jazz recordings and became a monumental industry figure and founder of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, presenters of the Grammys. Through the artists he promoted and the breakthroughs he championed, Avakian helped shape the […]
  • Commission alerted to review allegations against TripAdvisor

    BOSTON (AP) — The Federal Trade Commission could take action against TripAdvisor after the Massachusetts-based travel company was accused of deleting hotel reviews that contained allegations of rape and other crimes.

    Several people told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel this month they were sexually assaulted at Mexican hotels and resorts but the online reviews that mentioned the crimes were taken down.

    The Boston Globe says after the report was published Democratic Wisconsin U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin wrote to the FTC, urging an investigation.

    The commission aims to prevent unfair or deceptive business practices. It responded Nov. 17, saying it will consider the information provided by Baldwin to determine whether enforcement or other action is “appropriate.” TripAdvisor says it’s unaware of an FTC inquiry and hasn’t been contacted by the commission. Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. […]
  • DirecTV to pay $9.5M to settle hazardous waste allegations

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — DirecTV will pay $9.5 million to settle allegations that its California facilities unlawfully dumped hazardous waste.

    The attorney general and Alameda County’s district attorney announced the settlement on Wednesday.

    They said an investigation found that all 25 DirecTV facilities in California improperly disposed of batteries, electronic devices, aerosol cans and other hazardous materials that ended up in landfills.

    DirecTV didn’t acknowledge any wrongdoing. However, the company agreed to take measures to properly dispose of hazardous waste in the future. The settlement amends a similar 2014 settlement involving AT&T, which acquired DirecTV in 2015. In a statement, AT&T says the allegations predate the acquisition and the settlement recognizes the company for taking prompt action […]
  • Border agent injured in West Texas incident out of hospital

    EL PASO, Texas (AP) — A Border Patrol agent injured in an incident that left a fellow agent dead was discharged Wednesday from an El Paso hospital.

    The agent was discharged Wednesday from the University Medical Center in El Paso, said Doug Mosier, spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection in El Paso. He declined to identify the agent and referred to the FBI all questions about the status of the investigation into Saturday night’s incident near Van Horn that left agent Rogelio Martinez dead.

    A message left with an FBI spokeswoman Wednesday wasn’t returned. Speculation about the incident has run rampant with several politicians calling it an attack and promoting the building of wall on the border between the U.S. and Mexico. Special Agent in Charge Emmerson Buie Jr. in the FBI’s El Paso office had said Tuesday that […]
  • AP Explains: What the Uber data breach is all about

    When Uber paid a $100,000 ransom so that hackers who broke into its data warehouse would destroy the personal information they stole, it allowed the ride-sharing company to keep a massive breach of 57 million user and driver accounts secret for nearly a year.

    Now that secret decision could come to haunt Uber. State and national governments around the world are investigating whether the company violated laws requiring the disclosure of major breaches to customers and legal authorities. It also raises questions about the ongoing practice of paying off hackers, which some experts warn encourages criminals to keep on hacking away at major corporations and the consumers who’ve entrusted them with their personal information.

    __ IS YOUR UBER DATA SAFE? Uber spokesman Matthew Wing would not comment when asked how the company knows that the hackers destroyed the data they obtained, nor would he comment on other technical or legal issues. Instead, he deferred to new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi’s blog posting announcing the breach on Tuesday. Uber has said […]
  • Climate activist convicted after pipeline protest in Montana

    FORT BENTON, Mont. (AP) — An activist who was trying to call attention to climate change was found guilty of criminal charges on Wednesday for closing a valve last year on a pipeline carrying crude oil from Canada to the United States.

    A Montana jury found Leonard Higgins of Portland, Oregon, guilty of criminal mischief and trespassing.

    Higgins could face up to 10 years in prison and a $50,000 fine on the felony criminal mischief charge. Trespassing is a misdemeanor with a penalty of up to six months in county jail and a $500 fine.

    A sentencing hearing is scheduled for Jan. 2. Court officials initially said Higgins would be sentenced Wednesday. In a written statement, Higgins said he planned to appeal. Higgins entered a fenced site near Big Sandy, Montana, in October 2016 and closed a valve on pipeline operated by Spectra Energy. The pipeline carries oil from Canada’s […]
  • Jeep Compasses recalled; air bag can shoot loose fasteners

    DETROIT (AP) — Fiat Chrysler is telling owners of some small Jeeps not to use the front passenger seat until a problem with the air bag is repaired.

    The company is recalling about 8,000 2018 Compass SUVs mainly in North America. Some fasteners can come loose in the passenger air bag assemblies. If the bag is inflated in a crash, it could shoot the fasteners into the passenger area.

    FCA has no reports of any injuries due to the problem.

    The Jeeps were made from Sept. 5 to Nov. 19 Customers will be notified in December and dealers will replace the air bags when parts are available. Fiat Chrysler says it provides loaner vehicles on a case-by-case basis. Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or […]
  • Business Highlights

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    Fed minutes show general support for 3rd rate hike this year

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve officials generally believe that it’ll soon be time for another increase in the Fed’s key interest rate. However, a few felt any further rate hikes should be delayed until they see inflation moving higher, minutes of their last meeting revealed. Minutes of the Fed’s Oct. 31-Nov. 1 released Wednesday showed that many officials believed a third rate hike this year will likely be warranted if incoming data leaves the medium-term economic outlook unchanged.

    ___ Uber customers torn between scandals and service DETROIT (AP) — Uber has managed to hold the title of world’s largest ride-hailing service despite its seemingly endless string of scandals. Its latest misbehavior involving a data breach cover-up revealed this week could be the impetus for people to ride elsewhere — or keep looking the […]
  • Uber customers torn between scandals and service

    DETROIT (AP) — Uber has managed to hold the title of world’s largest ride-hailing service despite its seemingly endless string of scandals.

    Its latest misbehavior involving a data breach cover-up revealed this week could be the impetus for people to ride elsewhere — or keep looking the other way.

    Hackers were able to steal data for 57 million riders and drivers, and Uber concealed it for a year after paying $100,000 in ransom for the stolen information to be destroyed.

    Riders and business experts say that while Uber’s problems such as workplace sexual harassment, drivers with criminal records and other past infractions are serious, stolen data hits people directly and could make them mad enough to delete the app. Then again, riders have fled from the service before, but enough have stayed because of the […]
  • Sexual harassment inquiry delayed by uncooperative witnesses

    FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Some state workers are refusing to cooperate with an investigation of a secret sexual harassment settlement involving four Republican lawmakers.

    House Republican leaders have hired a Louisville law firm to investigate the settlement. The firm was supposed to present its initial report Wednesday. But acting House Speaker David Osborne agreed to extend the deadline to Dec. 1 because lawyers said they could not complete the report without the employees’ cooperation.

    Former House Speaker Jeff Hoover resigned his leadership position earlier this month after acknowledging the settlement paid to a member of his staff. The settlement involves three other Republican lawmakers. GOP leaders have removed all three from leadership positions. Osborne says he is considering turning the investigation over to an outside agency that would have […]