Business Briefs – July 9, 2017

Germans Arrest Suspect In Volkswagen Case After U.S. Charges

BERLIN (AP) – German prosecutors say they have arrested a former employee of the Volkswagen unit Audi on charges in connection with the company’s diesel scandal. The arrest comes a day after U.S. authorities charged former Audi executive Giovanni Pamio of leading a conspiracy to cheat on diesel emissions tests in the U.S.

Federal Reserve Tells Congress Further Rate Hikes on the Way

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Federal Reserve says expected ongoing economic strength will warrant further gradual increases in a key interest rate. That rate forecast was included in the Fed’s semi-annual monetary report to Congress which Fed Chair Janet Yellen will deliver to Congress next week.

Buffett’s Berkshire to Buy Texas Power Transmitter Oncor

NEW YORK (AP) – Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway is buying the Texas power transmitter Oncor for $9 billion, one of his biggest acquisitions. Oncor serves about 10 million people Texans. Oncor’s parent company, Energy Future Holdings Corp. entered bankruptcy in 2014 facing more than $40 billion in debt after energy prices plunged.

Kushners Face Heated Trial Over Suburban Jersey Mall Project

WASHINGTON (AP) – A lawsuit pitting the ambitions of Jared Kushner’s family real estate company against residents of a small New Jersey town is set to go to trial next week. The Kushner company hopes to add hundreds of rental apartments in what it bills as an effort to save a struggling mall in Eatontown. But some residents think the expansion is terrible and allege town officials showed favoritism to the company by illegally rushing through approvals.

U.S. Investigating Faulty Parts That May Cause Auto Gas Leaks

DETROIT (AP) – U.S. safety regulators are trying to track down gas tank flanges that can crack and cause fuel leaks, possibly causing a fire, on what could be millions of cars and trucks. The government began investigating the parts made by a German supplier after the company filed recall documents this week saying the flanges could be defective.

Tesla to Build Giant Battery in Australia Amid Energy Crisis

SYDNEY (AP) – Tesla says it will build the world’s largest lithium-ion battery in southern Australia, part of a bid to solve an energy crisis that has led to ongoing blackouts across the region. Tesla will partner with French renewable energy company Neoen to build the 100-megawatt battery farm.

Somalia’s Internet Outage Costing Country $10 Million a Day

HARGEISA, Somalia (AP) – Somalia’s government says a widespread internet outage that began roughly two weeks ago is costing the Horn of Africa nation about $10 million each day and is a “major disaster.”

The post and telecommunications minister, Abdi Anshur Hassan, told a press conference Saturday that Somalia has lost more than $130 million so far.

The loss of internet service has sparked anger across Somalia and affected the central and southern parts of the country including the capital, Mogadishu.

The minister didn’t say what caused the outage, but officials and internet providers have attributed the problem to a commercial ship that they said cut an undersea cable.

Hassan says the government is working to restore internet service as quickly as possible.

Somalia is trying to emerge from a quarter-century of conflict.