Business Briefs – November 13, 2017

Oil Prices Are Up Now, But Surge Might Be Short-Term

The price of oil has risen by about one-third since the summer, but many experts think the surge won’t last. They point to growing U.S. production. Still, higher prices for energy could translate into higher prices for airline tickets and consumer goods.

Talks Begin to Rewrite Rules Protecting Students From Fraud

WASHINGTON (AP) – Education Department officials have opened formal negotiations to rewrite federal rules meant to protect students from fraud by colleges and universities. The talks with university representative and student advocates are taking place as the department faces criticism for delaying consideration of tens of thousands of loan forgiveness claims from students who say they were defrauded by for-profit colleges.

Puerto Rico Seeks $94 Billion in Federal Aid After Hurricane

WASHINGTON (AP) – Puerto Rico’s governor is asking the federal government for $94.4 billion as the island struggles to recover from the damage inflicted by Hurricane Maria, with much of the island without power and thousands of U.S. citizens still homeless. Ricardo Rosello also urged Congress on Monday to adopt a tax overhaul plan that addresses the territory’s specific needs to avoid an exodus of the companies that currently generate 42 percent of the island’s gross domestic product.

Brand Diplomacy: In Louvre, France Hones Soft Power Strategy

PARIS (AP) – The French are using brand diplomacy to exert cultural influence in a rapidly-changing, globalized world. The opening of the Louvre Abu Dhabi this weekend is the latest example of how traditional French cultural diplomacy is being supplanted by brand politics. This can be seen in the exporting of Sorbonne’s academic reputation, the proliferation of Christian Dior boutiques in Asia and the cuisine of master chef Alain Ducasse.

Tax Jump for Households Earning Under $200K

WASHINGTON (AP) – Congressional analysts say the Republican Senate tax bill would increase taxes in 2019 for some 13.8 million U.S households earning less than $200,000 a year. The nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation provided the analysis Monday. The legislation has been promoted as a boon to the middle class. But the latest analysis shows that by 2025, 21.4 million households would face a tax increase.