Business Briefs – June 12, 2017

Experts: Uber Must Make Changes At Top to Fix Culture Woes

DETROIT (AP) – Uber must get rid of leaders who tolerate bad behavior and hire people who don’t — including up to the chief executive — experts say, as the ride-hailing company gets ready to announce significant changes to its culture and management. Uber’s board has adopted the recommendations of former Attorney General Eric Holder, who investigated its toxic culture of harassment and bullying. The recommendations will be announced Tuesday.

Fed Is Set to Raise Rates This Week Despite Political Tumult

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Washington political world is in disarray. Britain’s election tumult has scrambled the outlook for Europe. And economies in the United States and abroad are plodding along at a pace that hardly suggests robust health. Yet when the Federal Reserve meets Wednesday, it’s all but sure to raise its benchmark interest rate for the third time in six months, a pace the Fed would normally adopt when it’s trying to slow an economy.

Treasury: President Has Plan If Debt Limit Not Raised by August

WASHINGTON (AP) – Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says the Trump administration has a backup plan if Congress does not raise the debt limit by August. He had previously set an August deadline for the federal government to avoid defaulting on its financial obligations. Mnuchin told a congressional panel Monday that he is “comfortable” that Treasury can fund the government through the start of September.

Natural Gas Built Qatar, Now May Protect It In Gulf Dispute

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) – Qatar’s natural gas exports may help protect it in the ongoing dispute it has with other Arab nations. Some of those countries, as well as nations in Asia and Europe, rely on supplies from the world’s largest exporter of liquid natural gas. Qatar could turn off supplies to those now opposing it, especially the United Arab Emirates.

Gymboree Files for Bankruptcy Protection to Reduce Debt

WASHINGTON (AP) – Children’s clothing retailer Gymboree Corp. is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. It’s the latest sign of traditional retailers’ struggles as shoppers buy online. The San Francisco-based company said it is seeking to reduce its debt load by $900 million. It will close some of its 1,300 stores.

Doctors Reprogram Patients’ Own Cells Into Cancer Assassins

SEATTLE (AP) – Doctors are genetically engineering patients’ own immune cells to be stronger and smarter in fighting cancer. These “living drugs” multiply in the body into an army that seeks and destroys tumors. Two versions of these so-called CAR-T cells may hit the market soon, to treat some types of leukemia and lymphoma. Now researchers are trying to harness their power to help more patients, and more common kinds of cancer.

Immelt Shook Up GE’s Business Model, But Not Its Stock Price

NEW YORK (AP) – General Electric’s Jeff Immelt is stepping down after 16 years as CEO of the iconic conglomerate, having succeeded in repositioning the company as a producer of large industrial products but failing to fully revive its lagging stock price. John Flannery, president and CEO of the GE’s health care unit, will take over as CEO in August, the company said.

In recent years GE has sold or split off numerous businesses, including its financial services division, and focused on new technologies as it returned to its roots as an industrial company.

U.S. Budget Deficit Jumps in May As Spending Outpaces Revenue

WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. budget deficit rose to $88.4 billion in May from $53 billion a year earlier, as government spending in areas such as Medicaid and defense rose at a faster pace than revenue. The Treasury Department says government receipts from individual and corporate taxes rose 7 percent last month from May 2016 to $240 billion.

Ivanka Trump Brand Applies for, Wins More China Trademarks

SHANGHAI (AP) – China has granted four new preliminary trademark approvals to an Ivanka Trump company, and her brand applied for at least 14 new trademarks around the time she announced she would become a federal employee. Democratic lawmakers on the House Judiciary Committee say the new trademark approvals illustrate how President Donald Trump’s daughter — who also serves as a White House adviser — could use her official position for personal benefit.