Business Briefs – July 16, 2017

Cheaper Gas, Wireless Plans Keep U.S. Inflation in Check

WASHINGTON (AP) – Lower costs for gas, airline fares, new and used cars and wireless mobile phone connections kept U.S. consumer prices flat last month, evidence that inflation remains muted. The Labor Department says the unchanged reading followed a drop of 0.1 percent the previous month.

How Hot Is Too Hot Aboard an Airliner? The Law Doesn’t Say

DENVER (AP) – A mother says her baby overheated on a delayed flight at Denver’s airport in a case that underscores a fact of air travel in the U.S.: There is no government rule on how hot is too hot when a plane is on the ground. Emily France says her 4-month-old son went limp in the sweltering cabin as they waited for takeoff June 22. Doctors say the boy suffered no lasting effects.

JPMorgan CEO Shifts Topic to Politics From Financial Results

NEW YORK (AP) – JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon changed the topic to politics when asked about financial results. The head of the nation’s largest bank, who sits on President Trump’s advisory council, vented irritation with politicians and the news media. Some of the changes Republicans have proposed, like cutting taxes and regulations, would help the bank.

Dispute Could Mean Financial Panic in Bitcoin

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – An internal dispute over the digital currency bitcoin could soon mean financial losses, whipsawing prices and delays in processing payments. It’s also possible that nothing much changes. It all depends on whether the people who maintain bitcoin can agree by July 31 to implement a major software upgrade — one designed to improve capacity on the increasingly clogged network.

Honda Unveils New Accord as Midsize Cars Fall Out of Favor

DETROIT (AP) – The latest version of Honda’s venerable Accord midsize car is lower, wider, lighter and sleeker than its predecessor, and the company says it’s faster and handles better. But no matter how nice it looks, how well it drives or how big it is inside, it’ll be a tough sell with U.S. buyers who are migrating by the thousands from sedans to SUVs and trucks.

Drought in High Plains the Worst Some Farmers Have Ever Seen

BEULAH, N.D. (AP) – Drought in North Dakota is laying waste to fields of normally bountiful food and hay crops and searing pastures that typically would be home to multitudes of grazing cattle.

Some longtime farmers and ranchers say it’s the worst conditions they’ve seen in decades — possibly their lifetimes — and simple survival has become their goal as a dry summer drags on without a rain cloud in sight.

The drought’s impact likely will be felt not just by farmers but also consumers, state Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said. Agriculture in North Dakota is an $11 billion a year industry, and the state leads the nation in the production of nearly a dozen crops.