Business Briefs – September 24, 2017

French Marchers Fill Paris Streets To Protest New Work Rules

PARIS (AP) – French far-left firebrand Jean-Luc Melenchon urged protesters Saturday to take to the streets and mount strikes to force President Emmanuel Macron to withdraw the labor law changes that are key to his business-friendly economic vision.

Speaking to tens of thousands in Paris, Melenchon assailed the president’s new labor decrees as a gift to greedy corporations and the financial markets that have both fueled income inequality.

Macron, for his part, says the decrees are crucial to creating jobs and tackling France’s chronic high unemployment.

“The battle isn’t over — it is beginning,” Melenchon told the crowd packed onto the Place de la Republique in eastern Paris.

Moody’s cuts UK’s Credit Rating Citing Finances, Brexit

NEW YORK (AP) – Moody’s has downgraded its credit rating on Great Britain, citing the country’s weakening finances and the impact of its decision to exit the European Union.

The agency on Friday said it was cutting its long-term debt rating on the UK one notch to Aa2, its third-highest investment-grade rating. Its outlook on the rating moved to “stable” from “negative.”

Public Shaming Likely But GOP Wary of New Laws After Equifax

WASHINGTON (AP) – Prospects are good for a public shaming in the Equifax data breach, but it’s unlikely Congress will institute sweeping new regulations after hackers accessed the personal information of an estimated 143 million Americans. Since early this year, President Donald Trump and the Republican-led Congress have strived to curb government’s influence on businesses, arguing that regulations stifle economic growth.

Senate Bill Would Make Online Ads More Transparent

WASHINGTON (AP) – Legislation floated by two Democratic senators would enhance transparency for online political ads, requiring social media companies to keep a public file of them. The bill by Sens. Mark Warner of Virginia and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota would try to fill what they call a “major gap” in election advertising transparency.

Not Home? Walmart Wants to Walk In and Stock Your Fridge

NEW YORK (AP) – Would you be OK with letting a stranger into your house for the sake of convenience? Walmart is testing the idea with a new service that lets a delivery person walk into your home when you’re not there to drop off packages or put groceries in the fridge. The retailer said Friday it is trying out the service with a small group of tech-savvy Walmart.com shoppers in California’s Silicon Valley who have internet-connected locks.

Forest Service, Idaho Work to Boost Logging on Federal Land

BOISE, Idaho (AP) – The U.S. Forest Service and Idaho have forged agreements for logging and restoration projects on federal land in what officials say could become a template for other Western states to create jobs and reduce the severity of wildfires. Under the deals, Idaho foresters will administer timber sales on about 10,000 acres that the federal agency has on its to-do list but can’t complete because the money for the work is instead going to fight wildfires.