Business Briefs – November 20, 2017

Trump Promises Americans ‘Huge Tax Cut’ Before Year’s End

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump is promising a tax overhaul by the end of the calendar year. That pledge comes after the White House signaled its willingness to strike a health care provision from Senate tax legislation if it’s an impediment to passing the tax bill. The House passed a tax overhaul bill, but the Senate is still working on its bill.

Nebraska Gives Long-Delayed Keystone XL Pipeline New Life

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) – Nebraska regulators have approved a Keystone XL oil pipeline route through the state, breathing new life into the long-delayed $8 billion project. But the chosen pathway is not the one preferred by the company that hopes to build it and could mean more time is needed to study the changes. Keystone XL was first proposed in 2008, rejected by the Obama administration in 2015 and revived by President Trump earlier this year.

U.S. Hits Iran Firms With Sanctions For Counterfeit Yemen Cash

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Trump administration is imposing sanctions on six Iranian men and companies for counterfeiting Yemeni currency as a part of a scheme by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps to destabilize the country. The Treasury Department says those sanctioned include two German-based printing and design firms. The U.S. says they were are part of a network that produced potentially hundreds of millions of dollars in counterfeit Yemeni cash.

Amazon Enters Year-End Season With Magnified Store Presence

NEW YORK (AP) – Amazon goes into the year-end season with a magnified brick-and-mortar presence, giving it more opportunities to sell its Kindle e-readers, Fire tablets and other gadgets. It now has more than a dozen Amazon Books stores, which also sell toys, electronics and small gifts. Kohl’s has carved out space for Amazon shops in 10 of its department stores. Amazon also has small shops in several malls, and is selling most of its gadgets in 100 Whole Foods stores and opening pop-up shops in five.

Shootings Put Semi-Automatic Rifles Ads Under New Scrutiny

ATLANTA (AP) — Ad campaigns by gun makers did not pause after mass shootings at a Las Vegas country music concert and a Texas church. But the marketing tactics for the semi-automatic weapons known as AR rifles are under new scrutiny in the aftermath of recent attacks. The ads often show soldiers in greasepaint and camouflage. Gun-control activists say the ads risk inspiring the next shooter. Gun-rights advocates insist the weapons are being blamed for the acts of deranged individuals.