Business Briefs – June 11, 2018

Fed Watchers Await Rate Forecast With a Hike All But Certain

WASHINGTON (AP) – Another interest rate increase is all but certain when the Federal Reserve meets this week. What’s not so sure is whether the vigorous U.S. economy will lead the Fed to accelerate its rate hikes in the months ahead — a move that could raise the risk of a recession. When it last met in May, the Fed left its short-term rate unchanged. The challenge would be to do so without slowing growth so much as to cause a downturn.

U.S. Hits Russian Firms With Sanctions, Citing Cyberattacks

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Trump administration is slapping sanctions on several Russian companies and businessmen. The Treasury Department says the sanctions are a response to a number of cyberattacks, as well as intrusions into the U.S. energy grid and global network infrastructure. Officials also say Russia has been tracking undersea cables that carry global telecommunications data. The sanctions freeze any assets held by the Russian entities in U.S. jurisdictions and bar Americans from doing business with them.

Don’t Trust the Tech Giants? You Likely Rely on Them Anyway

NEW YORK (AP) – Trust is part of the fabric of modern society, behind our faith in flight, banking and medicine. But companies like Facebook, Google and Amazon are testing our faith in technology as they ask us to trust them with ever-more sensitive aspects of our lives, from our relationships to our private conversations. So far, that’s working for them despite a succession of scandals. For many consumers, technology that improves their lives is more important than abstract threats to privacy.

Your Data Use Could Change As ‘Net Neutrality’ Ends

NEW YORK (AP) – Your ability to use your favorite apps and services could start to change — though not right away — following Monday’s formal repeal of Obama-era internet protections. Any changes are likely to happen slowly. The repeal takes effect six months after the FCC voted to undo “net neutrality” rules that had barred broadband and cellphone companies from slowing down or blocking websites and apps of their choosing or charging more for higher speeds.

Germany Orders Daimler to Recall 238,000 Diesel Vehicles

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) – Germany’s transport minister says the government is ordering automaker Daimler to immediately recall 238,000 vehicles equipped with software that turns off emissions controls under certain conditions. Minister Andreas Scheuer made the statement Monday after a meeting with Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche. The affected vehicles include the Mercedes-Benz Vito delivery van and the Mercedes GLC 220d and C220d. All across Europe some 774,000 vehicles are affected.

Science Panel Says the FAA Is Too Tough on Drones

WASHINGTON (AP) – A board that advises the government on science says federal safety regulators are too strict in approving new uses for drones. The national academies say the FAA should balance the overall benefits of drones instead of focusing only on their risk to airplanes. The board says regulators aren’t giving enough consideration to the ability of drones to save lives.

Seattle Tax Opposed by Amazon Will Be Likely Be Rescinded

SEATTLE (AP) – Seattle city leaders said Monday they will work to repeal a tax on large businesses just one month after unanimously approving the measure to help pay for affordable housing and homeless services.

Mayor Jenny Durkan and seven of nine councilmembers said in a joint statement that “it is clear that the ordinance will lead to a prolonged, expensive political fight over the next five months that will do nothing to tackle our urgent housing and homelessness crisis.”