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Business Highlights

By The Associated PressAugust 27, 2019

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Ex-Google engineer charged in Uber self-driving theft case

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — A former Google engineer was charged Tuesday with stealing self-driving car technology from the company shortly before he joined Uber’s efforts to catch up in the high-stakes race to build robotic vehicles. Anthony Levandowski, a pioneer in robotic vehicles, was charged with 33 counts of trade secrets theft. His lawyers deny wrongdoing, saying the charges rehash claims settled in a civil case.

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US home prices rise a modest 2.1% in June

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home prices rose more slowly in June as some of the country’s most expensive housing markets saw stagnant or even falling prices. The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-city home price index rose 2.1% in June from a year earlier, down from a 2.4% gain in May.

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UK opposition lawmakers join forces against no-deal Brexit

LONDON (AP) — Opposition lawmakers have declared they will work together to try to stop a departure from the European Union without an agreement, setting up a legislative challenge to Prime Minister Boris Johnson who has promised Brexit on Oct. 31— come what may. Some 160 lawmakers have signed a declaration pledging “to do whatever is necessary,” to prevent Johnson from bypassing Parliament in his plans. Johnson’s do-or-die promise has raised worries about a disorderly divorce.

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Traveling with pets: No-deal Brexit would make it far harder

LONDON (AP) — All across Europe, families and couples on vacation are seamlessly crossing borders with their beloved dog, cat or even ferret, thanks to the European Union Pet Passport scheme. Now, as a no-deal Brexit looms as a possibility for Britain, free pet travel is under threat.

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A decade after a split, the Marlboro men seek a reunion

NEW YORK (AP) — The Marlboro men are discussing a reunion as the number of smokers continues to decline worldwide. Altria confirmed Tuesday that it is in talks to merge with Philip Morris International, more than a decade after splitting itself into two companies. Altria has exclusively sold Marlboro cigarettes and other tobacco brands in the U.S., while Philip Morris has handled international sales.

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Trump: Federal Reserve is loving US manufacturing troubles

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump, who last week suggested Fed Chairman Jerome Powell could be an enemy, is now saying that the central bank “loves” the troubles that U.S. manufacturers are facing. It is Trump’s latest effort to pressure the central bank to lower interest rates more quickly. But a former top Fed official is pushing back on Trump’s repeated attacks on the Fed and Powell, arguing that the Fed should stop enabling Trump’s trade war with China.

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Russian firm sues Boeing over Max jet, says defects hidden

MOSCOW (AP) — A Russian aircraft leasing company that ordered 35 Boeing Max jets is suing the U.S. aircraft maker and seeking to cancel the deal, accusing Boeing of hiding defects in the plane that was grounded after two deadly crashes. The Miami-based lawyer for the leasing company said Tuesday it is the first lawsuit filed against Boeing by a Max customer. He said he is talking to other companies about joining the case.

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US consumer confidence dips slightly in August

WASHINGTON (AP) — Consumer confidence dipped slightly in August after a big rebound in July. The Conference Board, a business research group, said Tuesday that its consumer confidence index edged down to 135.1 in August, slightly below a July reading of 135.8, which had been the highest since November.

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BP sheds Alaska assets, sells to Hilcorp Alaska for $5.6B

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — BP is selling all its operations in Alaska, including its interests in both the Prudhoe Bay oil field and the trans-Alaska pipeline. Company officials announced in a release Tuesday that it is selling to Hilcorp Alaska for $5.6 billion. BP Chief Executive Bob Dudley said the company has other opportunities, both in the U.S. and around the world, that are more competitive and better aligned with its long-term strategy. It also fits BP’s plan to divest $10 billion in assets by 2020.

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Survey finds new auto technology can annoy drivers

DETROIT (AP) — A survey shows that alerts from new driver assist systems are so annoying that some motorists are turning the features off. The 2019 J.D. Power Tech Experience study also found that frustrated drivers may avoid the systems in future vehicle purchases. J.D. Power says the findings are a major concern for automakers who want to sell the systems and prepare drivers for automated vehicles.

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US stocks slide as bond yields surge on trade war worries

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks capped a wobbly day on Wall Street with broad losses Tuesday as anxious investors shifted money to U.S. government bonds, gold and other traditional safe-haven assets. The selling came as long-term bond yields once again fell below short-term ones, a rare phenomenon that has correctly predicted previous recessions. Demand for bonds has surged amid worries that the costly trade war between the U.S. and China will drag the U.S. economy into a recession.

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The S&P 500 fell 9.22 points, or 0.3%, to 2,869.16. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 120.93 points, or 0.5%, to 25,777.90. The Nasdaq slid 26.79 points, or 0.3%, to 7,826.95. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks ended down 19.96 points, or 1.4%, to 1,456.04.

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