BEIJING (AP) — China has announced a crackdown on violations of patents and trade secrets in an effort to mollify foreign companies ahead of a visit to Beijing by U.S. President Donald Trump.
The crackdown might give Beijing diplomatic ammunition to respond to mounting U.S. and European trade complaints. But it fails to address what foreign companies say are bigger problems with intellectual property protection.
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — A chief gripe with Apple Watch is that it requires you to keep an iPhone with you for most tasks. The inclusion of GPS last year helped on runs and bike rides, but you’re still missing calls and messages without the phone nearby.
A new model with its own cellular-network connection is Apple’s next step toward an untethered world. Now you can make and receive calls and messages on the watch while leaving your phone at home.
PARIS (AP) — The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has upgraded its economic growth forecasts for the 19-country eurozone following a run of upbeat news.
In a forecast update, the OECD thinks that the eurozone will grow by 2.1 percent this year, 0.3 percentage point more than its previous prediction in June. That means the OECD is expecting eurozone growth this year to match the U.S. rate, which it left unchanged.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy meeting (all times local):
Financial markets are largely subdued as investors remain cautious ahead of the Federal Reserve’s announcement of its monetary policy meeting.
At the end of its two-day meeting on Wednesday, the Federal Reserve is widely expected to announce it will begin to reduce its enormous bond portfolio, which reached $4.5 trillion. The move will gradually increase long-term borrowing rates.
MADRID (AP) — The Latest on independence efforts in Spain’s Catalonia region (all times local):
Spain’s Finance Ministry says it has imposed further controls of the Catalan government’s finances to ensure no public money is used for a planned Oct. 1 vote on the region’s independence that Spain says violates the constitution.
Finance Minister Cristobal Montoro signed an order late Tuesday that limits new credit and requires central authorities’ supervision for every payment of non-essential services in the northeastern region of Catalonia. The decision came after Catalan officials failed to voluntarily agree to the controls.
LONDON (AP) — Retail sales in Britain rose far more than anticipated during August, official figures showed Wednesday, further reinforcing expectations that the Bank of England will raise interest rates in November for the first time in a decade.
The Office for National Statistics said retail sales rose 1 percent from the previous month, largely driven by business online and in department stores. The increase was ahead of market expectations for a modest 0.2 percent gain and means retail sales have risen for three months in a row, the first such sequence since the spring of 2015.
LONDON (AP) — Prime Minister Theresa May is urging internet companies to block the spread of extremist material, calling on social media giants like Facebook, Twitter and Google to develop technologies that will prevent content from being posted in the first place.
Britain’s leader will focus on the fight against extremist content during a meeting with internet companies Wednesday at the U.N. General Assembly in New York.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund is creating an entertainment investment company as the deeply conservative kingdom loosens the reins on fun.
The kingdom’s Public Investment Fund announced Wednesday it will develop the new company with an initial capitalization of 10 billion riyals ($2.7 billion). Its aim will be to provide investment capital to Saudi Arabia’s nascent entertainment industry , which aims to create around 22,000 jobs in the country by 2030. The kingdom is already in talks to open a Six Flags theme park.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Republican bill that makes a last-ditch attempt to upend “Obamacare” would create some winners and losers.
It’s likely to leave more people uninsured and it may raise costs for some who have health problems.
Winners? Perhaps people who use tax-sheltered health savings accounts for health care expenses. Contribution limits would be raised and consumers could use their accounts to pay premiums, not just out-of-pocket costs such as copays and deductibles.
WASHINGTON (AP) — With time growing short, President Donald Trump and Republican Senate leaders are engaged in a frantic search for votes in a last-ditch effort to repeal and replace “Obamacare.” The outcome is uncertain in a Capitol newly engulfed in drama over health care.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, whose failure to pass an Obamacare repeal bill in July opened a bitter public rift with Trump, is pressing hard for the newly revived effort, which had been left for dead as recently as a week or two ago. But in a sign he remained short of votes, McConnell refused on Tuesday to commit to bringing the legislation up for a vote.
MADRID (AP) — Spanish fashion retailer Inditex, which owns the Zara stores, says its net profit jumped by 9 percent in the first half of its fiscal year, following strong growth in online and in-store sales.
The world’s largest clothes retailer said Wednesday that net profit for February through July rose to 1.37 billion euros ($1.64 billion) compared with 1.26 billion euros for the period last year.
It said sales rose 12 percent to 11.7 billion euros.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump’s nominee to oversee chemical safety at the Environmental Protection Agency has for years accepted payments for criticizing studies that raised concerns about the safety of his clients’ products, according to a review of financial records and his published work by The Associated Press.
Michael L. Dourson’s nomination as head of EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention was to be considered by a Senate committee Wednesday, but was postponed when the Senate adjourned early for the week. If confirmed, ethics experts said, Dourson’s past writings and the money paid to him and a nonprofit he founded could represent potential conflicts of interest.
BERLIN (AP) — Germany’s Thyssenkrupp and Tata Steel of India signed a preliminary deal on Wednesday to merge the two companies’ European steel operations, a combination that could lead to up to 4,000 job cuts.
The firms signed a memorandum of understanding to form a 50-50 joint venture. Negotiations about details are to be concluded in time for a formal signing of the transaction at the beginning of 2018, and the merger of the second- and third-biggest players in Europe will require approval from the companies’ boards and from antitrust authorities.
LONDON (AP) — Global stock markets were little changed Wednesday as investors took to the sidelines ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s announcement of the results of its meeting.
KEEPING SCORE: In Europe, Germany’s DAX was down 0.1 percent at 12,552 while the CAC 40 in France was steady at 5,240. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was stable at 7,272. Wall Street was poised for a similarly flat opening with Dow futures and the broader S&P 500 futures unchanged.
FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — Two massive, $16 billion tunnels that looked to be the future of California’s water system have been thrown into limbo by a group of powerful farmers, and Gov. Jerry Brown and other tunnel proponents are facing the prospect that the project may end up just a pipe dream.
The board of Westlands Water District voted to withdraw its participation from the project after more than an hour of tense discussions and comments from farmers who overwhelmingly concluded it was too expensive.