Business Highlights: Starbucks and the NRLB, China rate cut

August 15, 2022 GMT

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Starbucks asks labor board to halt union votes temporarily

SEATTLE (AP) — Starbucks is asking the National Labor Relations Board to suspend all union elections at its U.S. stores. The request came Monday in response to a board employee’s allegations that regional NLRB officials improperly coordinated with union organizers. In a letter sent to the board, Starbucks said an unnamed career NLRB official told the company about the activity, which happened in the board’s St. Louis office in the spring while it was overseeing an election at a Starbucks store in Overland Park, Kansas. The labor board says it doesn’t comment on open cases. More than 220 U.S. Starbucks stores have voted to unionize since late last year. The company opposes unionization.

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China cuts interest rate to shore up sagging economy

BEIJING (AP) — China’s central bank has trimmed a key interest rate to shore up sagging economic growth at a politically sensitive time when President Xi Jinping is believed to be trying to extend his hold on power. The ruling Communist Party has acknowledged it can’t hit this year’s official 5.5% growth target after anti-virus curbs disrupted trade, manufacturing and consumer spending. A crackdown on corporate debt has caused activity in the vast real estate industry to plunge. Government data showed July factory output and retail sales weakened. The rate cut suggested Beijing’s worries about rising debt are at least temporarily outweighed by the political dangers of an economic slump and job losses.

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Stocks end higher on Wall Street; economic worries hit oil

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks recovered from early losses and ended higher on Wall Street. Investors remain focused on the economy and upcoming reports from retailers this week. The S&P 500 is up 0.4% Monday after stumbling in early trading. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq also extended last week’s gains. Oil prices dropped sharply on worries about the global economy. China’s central bank cut a key interest rate after acknowledging more needs to be done to shore up the world’s second largest economy. Treasury yields also fell, as manufacturing in New York state unexpectedly shrank.

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Strike four: Facebook misses election misinfo in Brazil ads

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Facebook failed to detect election-related misinformation in ads ahead of Brazil’s 2022 election, a new report from Global Witness has found. The group said the company’s persisting pattern of not catching material that violates its policies is “alarming.” The advertisements contained false information about the country’s upcoming election, such as promoting the wrong date for the vote and questioning the integrity of the election, including Brazil’s electronic voting system. It is the fourth such test of Facebook’s moderation system that the human rights group has conducted over the past few months — and the fourth one Facebook has flubbed.

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London’s Heathrow Airport extends passenger cap to October

LONDON (AP) — London’s Heathrow Airport says it will extend its cap on daily passenger numbers until the end of October to cope with soaring demand for air travel amid staffing shortages. The airport, one of Europe’s busiest, said a maximum of 100,000 travelers can depart each day until Oct. 29. The daily cap was expected to be lifted on Sept. 11. Heathrow imposed the temporary limit in July and told airlines to stop selling tickets during the peak summer travel season, saying the passenger traffic was more than airport ground staff could handle. The airport said Monday its temporary cap had resulted in “fewer last-minute cancellations” and “shorter waits for bags.” It added the capacity limits would be kept under review.

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Florida high speed train gets grant to improve safety

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Tracks used by the nation’s deadliest railroad will see added fencing to keep pedestrians away and safety improvements at crossings under a $25 million federal grant. Brightline and government officials announced the grant on Monday as the privately owned passenger line continues to be plagued by deaths along its tracks between Miami and West Palm Beach. Trains have killed three in the past two weeks, and 68 since the service began its first runs five years ago. It has the worst fatality rate among the nation’s more than 800 railroads, an ongoing Associated Press analysis of Federal Railroad Administration data shows.

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Japan economy grows 2.2% in 2Q on revived consumer spending

TOKYO (AP) — Japan has reported its economy grew at an annual rate of 2.2% in the last quarter as consumer spending rebounded with an easing of pandemic precautions. The of a nation’s products and services, expanded 0.5% from January-March, during which the economy had stayed flat, according to preliminary government estimates released Monday. Economists had forecast 0.6% on-quarter growth. The annual numbers show how the economy would have grown if the quarterly rate were to continue for a year. Private consumption jumped at an annual rate of 4.6%.

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Kraft Heinz recalling contaminated Capri Sun juice pouches

NEW YORK (AP) — Kraft Heinz is recalling thousands of pouches of Capri Sun after some cleaning solution accidentally mixed with the juice on a production line. The company says it’s recalling about 5,760 cases of Capri Sun Wild Cherry flavored juice blend. The “Best When Used By” date on the packages is June 25, 2023. Kraft Heinz says the diluted cleaning solution is used on its food processing equipment. The company says it discovered the problem after getting consumer complaints about the juice’s taste. Consumers who bought the affected drinks should return them to the store where they were purchased to receive a refund.

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The S&P 500 rose 16.99 points, or 0.4%, to 4,297.14. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 151.39 points, or 0.4%, to 33,912.44. The Nasdaq added 80.87 points, or 0.6%, to 13,128.05. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies advanced 4.73 points, or 0.2%, to 2,021.35.