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Corporate chiefs flee Trump; he disbands WH advisory panels

NEW YORK (AP) — With corporate chieftains fleeing, President Donald Trump on Wednesday disbanded a pair of advisory business councils. It was the latest fallout from his comments on racially charged violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. Some Republican office holders also are seeking to distance themselves from him.

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White House: Gov’t to make health law payments this month

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House says President Donald Trump will make this month’s payments to insurers under the health-care law he wants to repeal and replace. Trump has repeatedly threatened to end the payments, which help reduce health insurance copays and deductibles. But a White House spokesman says “the August payment will be made.” Insurers want a guarantee the funding will continue at least through next year.

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On a chaotic day in DC, Trump goes after Amazon, again

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is renewing his attacks on Amazon, and he says the company is “doing great damage to tax paying retailers.” Trump, on Twitter, said that “towns, cities and states throughout the U.S. are being hurt – many jobs being lost!” He’s often criticized the company and CEO Jeff Bezos, who also owns The Washington Post. Many traditional retailers are closing stores and blaming Amazon for a shift to buying goods online. But the company has been hiring thousands of warehouse workers.

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Judge OKs Takata request to halt some lawsuits over air bags

DOVER, Del. (AP) — A Delaware bankruptcy judge is temporarily halting the prosecution of lawsuits filed by Hawaii, New Mexico and the U.S. Virgin Islands against Japanese auto-parts supplier Takata over defective air bag inflators. The judge ordered a 90-day stay Wednesday. Takata wants the halt while it works on reorganization. The judge also OK’d Takata’s request to temporarily halt individual suits against manufacturers who installed bags but won’t extend it to scores of suits consolidated in a federal case.

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From Isaac Asimov to Aimee Mann, ‘robophobia’ plagues humans

CINCINNATI (AP) — As robots become more common in the workplace, humans are reflecting on their relationships with them. They have both fascinated and chilled us, from science fiction written by Isaac Asimov eight decades ago to “Dilbert” today. There’s even a term, “robophobia,” for an irrational anxiety about robots. For now, deaths by robot are very rare among industrial accidents.

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US stocks edge higher as retailers rally; oil companies fall

NEW YORK (AP) — US stocks mostly rise as retailers like Urban Outfitters recover from their stumble a day ago. Energy companies dipped along with the price of crude oil.

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Fed officials split in July over inflation worries

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve policymakers were worried last month about inflation, but for two opposing reasons. One group of Federal Reserve policymakers felt inflation was falling too low and argued for caution in raising interest rates.

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US demands big NAFTA changes, setting stage for tough talks

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States won’t settle for cosmetic changes to the North American Free Trade Agreement, the top U.S. trade negotiator said Wednesday, as the U.S., Canada and Mexico began to renegotiate the 23-year-old trade pact and fulfill one of President Donald Trump’s campaign pledges. In a statement at the opening of five days of talks, U.S. Trade Rep. Robert Lighthizer said that Trump “is not interested in a mere tweaking of a few provisions and an updating of a few chapters.

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Protests at Google offices over worker’s firing are canceled

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Protests planned at Google offices around the country over the firing of an employee who questioned company diversity efforts have been postponed. A statement on the “March on Google” website says Saturday’s protests were being canceled because of threats from what it called “Alt Left terrorist groups.” Protest organizers didn’t respond to requests for information about the alleged threats or which authorities were notified about them.

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Missouri regulators reject massive Midwest wind power line

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri utility regulators have rejected a proposed high-voltage power line to carry wind power across the Midwest. The decision Wednesday creates a significant hurdle for Clean Line Energy Partners, which wants to build one of the nation’s longest transmission lines. Regulators cited a recent court ruling that said utilities must first get approval from affected counties. The line is slated to run from Kansas through Missouri and Illinois to Indiana, where it would connect with a power grid.

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Protests at Google offices over worker’s firing are canceled

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Protests planned at Google offices around the country over the firing of an employee who questioned company diversity efforts have been postponed. A statement on the “March on Google” website says Saturday’s protests are being canceled because of threats from what it called “alt left terrorist groups.” Protest organizers didn’t respond to requests for information about the alleged threats or which authorities were notified about them.

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The Standard & Poor’s 500 index picked up 3.50 points, or 0.1 percent, to 2,468.11. The Dow Jones industrial average added 25.88 points, or 0.1 percent, to 22,024.87. The Nasdaq composite gained 12.10 points, or 0.2 percent, to 6,345.11. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies inched up 0.30 points to 1,383.53.

Benchmark U.S. crude lost 77 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $46.78 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, dipped 53 cents, or 1 percent, to $50.27 a barrel in London.

In other energy trading, wholesale gasoline lost 2 cents to $1.56 a gallon. Heating oil fell 3 cents to $1.57 a gallon. Natural gas shed 5 cents to $2.89 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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