Business Briefs – April 10, 2016

Big Apple Chill: Cold Snap Could Nip Fruit in the Bud

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) – Apple farmers in the East worry the late-season Arctic blast could take a big bite from their budding crops.

“It definitely was cold enough so that there could be some catastrophic damage to the majority of the apple crop,” said Jake Samascott, whose family grows about 100 acres of apples on their farm south of Albany.

The unseasonably cold air moved into Northeast and mid-Atlantic states this week shortly after a warm spell sped up bud growth on apple trees. Buds become more sensitive to cold as they mature, making the cold snap especially troubling in big apple-producing states such as New York. Farmers are starting to assess the damage this week with another round of plummeting temperatures looming.

Vietnam Demands That China Move Oil Rig

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) – Vietnam demanded Friday that China remove an oil exploration rig from an area of the South China Sea where their border is still being demarcated, and said Beijing’s unilateral actions were complicating regional tensions.

The oil rig was at the center of a standoff between the countries in 2014 when China parked it near the Paracel islands, which Vietnam claims as its exclusive economic zone. The incident sparked deadly riots in Vietnam.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Le Hai Binh said China has moved the oil rig into an area in the Gulf of Tonkin where the countries are negotiating the demarcation of their sea border.

Hyundai Recalls 173k Sonatas Because of Power Steering Issues

WASHINGTON (AP) – Hyundai is recalling 173,000 Sonata midsize cars in the U.S. because the power steering can fail, making them harder to steer and increasing the risk of a crash.

The recall covers Sonatas from the 2011 model year when the car was Hyundai’s top-selling U.S. vehicle.

The company says in government documents that the computer circuit board in the power steering control unit can become damaged. If that happens, the cars would still have manual steering, but it would take more effort to turn the cars and could cause a wreck.

California State University Faculty Strike Averted

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – California State University officials and the union that represents campus faculty are scheduled to reveal the terms Friday of a salary agreement that averted an unprecedented strike at the 23 campuses that comprise the nation’s largest public university system.

The California Faculty Association and Cal State officials said in a joint announcement Thursday that they had reached a tentative deal on the size of the pay increases 26,000 professors, lecturers, librarians, counselors and coaches will receive for the current school year.