Business Briefs – November 25, 2018

Black Friday Shoppers Ditch Their Computers, Flock to Stores

NEW YORK (AP) – Retailers offered much of their Black Friday deals online, but shoppers still showed up at malls and stores around the country looking for discounts — and to take in the scene. Black Friday was expected to be the busiest shopping day of the year, according to ShopperTrak. Sales were expected to hit $23 billion on Friday, up from $21 billion during the same year-ago period, according to MasterCard SpendingPulse, which tracks all forms of payment, including cash.

Japan’s Osaka to Host 2025 World Expo, Beating Russian City

PARIS (AP) – The Japanese city of Osaka will host the World Expo in 2025, after beating out cities in Russia and Azerbaijan. They all wanted to attract an event expected to draw millions of visitors and showcase the local economy and culture. Shouts of joy in Japanese rose up in the Paris auditorium where the 170 member states of the Bureau International des Expositions voted Friday in favor of Osaka’s bid.

Nissan Board Fires Ghosn As Chairman Following Arrest

TOKYO (AP) – Nissan has fired Carlos Ghosn as chairman in a dramatic end to the powerful executive’s nearly two decade reign at the Japanese automaker. The company says its own investigation detected serious misconduct, including under-reporting of Ghosh’s income and misuse of company assets. Nissan Motor Co. said its board of directors met for several hours on Thursday and voted unanimously to dismiss Ghosn. Prosecutors say he is suspected of under-reporting $44.6 million in income from 2011 to 2015.

EU Seals Brexit Deal as May Faces a Hard Sell at Home

BRUSSELS (AP) – After months of hesitation, stop-and-start negotiations and resignations, Britain and the European Union on Sunday finally sealed an agreement governing the U.K.’s departure from the bloc next year.

So much for the easy part.

British Prime Minister Theresa May must now sell the deal to her divided Parliament to ensure Britain can leave with a minimum of upheaval on March 29.

It’s a hard sell. The agreement leaves Britain outside the EU with no say but still subject to its rules and the obligations of membership at least until the end of 2020, possibly longer. Britons voted to leave in June 2016, largely over concerns about immigration and losing sovereignty to Brussels.

EU leaders were quick to warn that no better offer is available.

“I am totally convinced this is the only deal possible,” European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said. “Those who think that by rejecting the deal that they would have a better deal will be disappointed the first seconds after the rejection.”

Cyber Monday Shoppers Will See More Sites Charging Sales Tax

WASHINGTON (AP) – Shoppers heading online to purchase gifts during the end-of-the-year shopping season will find they’re being charged sales tax at some websites where they weren’t before. The reason: the Supreme Court. A June ruling gave states the go-ahead to require more companies to collect sales tax on online purchases. Now, more than two dozen have moved to take advantage of the ruling, many ahead of the busy end-of-the-year shopping season.

Medical Device That Treats Pain Shocks, Burns Patients

COLUMBIA, South Carolina (AP) – Desperate for relief after years of agony, Jim Taft listened intently as his pain management doctor described a medical device that could change his life.

Taft’s stimulator failed soon after it was surgically implanted. After an operation to repair it, he said, the device shocked him so many times that he couldn’t sleep and even fell down a flight of stairs. Today, the 45-year-old Taft is virtually paralyzed, a prisoner in his own bed, barely able to get to the bathroom by himself.

For years, medical device companies and doctors have touted spinal-cord stimulators as a panacea for millions of patients suffering from a wide range of pain disorders, making them one of the fastest-growing products in the $400 billion medical device industry.

But the stimulators — devices that use electrical currents to block pain signals before they reach the brain — are more dangerous than many patients know, an Associated Press investigation found.

GM Under Investigation for Faulty Brake Vacuum Pumps

NEW YORK (AP) – Regulators are investigating poor brake performance on 2.7 million GM pickups and SUVs. The NHTSA has received reports of nine crashes and two injuries.