Business Briefs – August 19, 2018

U.S. Regulators Target Facebook On Discriminatory Housing Ads

NEW YORK (AP) – Regulators have served Facebook with a complaint alleging the company’s advertising tools allow landlords to engage in housing discrimination. Justice Department lawyers disclosed the complaint by the Department of Housing and Urban Development on Friday in a separate lawsuit by housing advocates. Facebook has denied wrongdoing. The lawsuit says Facebook’s systems allow people placing real estate ads to exclude certain audiences from seeing them. Facebook says it doesn’t allow discrimination.

Turkey’s President Says Country Will Defy Economic Threats

ISTANBUL (AP) – Turkey’s president said Saturday his country will stand strong against an “attempted economic coup” amid heightened tensions with the United States.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan told thousands of supporters in Ankara that the country was being “threatened by the economy, sanctions, foreign currency, interest rates and inflation.”

“We tell them that we see their game and we challenge them,” he said.

Turkey is reeling from a massive sell-off of its currency as Washington imposed sanctions and threatened new ones if an American pastor who is under house arrest is not released.

U.K.’s Right-Wing Farage Vows To End Brexit ‘Sell-Out’

LONDON (AP) – In Britain, there is a growing sense of Brexit deja vu.

Two years after the country voted to leave the European Union, emotional arguments about membership in the bloc are raging as fiercely as they did during the 2016 referendum.

With seven months until Britain officially leaves the bloc, negotiations faltering, chances are rising of an acrimonious divorce — and the one thing that pro- and anti-EU forces have in common is that they are both unhappy.

Former U.K. Independence Party leader Nigel Farage announced Saturday that he was returning to political campaigning in a bid to derail British Prime Minister Theresa May’s plan for future ties with the EU.

Farage, the right-winger who helped lead the successful “leave” campaign in 2016, wrote in the Daily Telegraph that he would join a cross-country bus tour by the group Leave Means Leave to oppose May’s “cowardly sell-out.”

California Drops Wildfire Utility Liability Protection Plan

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – California lawmakers are abandoning a proposal by Gov. Jerry Brown to shield electrical utilities from some financial liability for wildfires. For now.

There’s not enough time to settle the contentious and complex issues involved before the legislative session ends Aug. 31, Napa Democratic Sen. Bill Dodd told the San Francisco Chronicle on Saturday.

Brown’s proposal would have let judges decide how much utilities pay when their equipment causes wildfires. It would have softened a legal standard that generally holds them entirely responsible for the costs of fires triggered by their power lines or other infrastructure.