Business Briefs – January 22, 2019

Pelosi Works Her Health Care Strategy From the Ground Up

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is laying out her strategy on health care and first up is improvements to “Obamacare” and legislation to lower prescription drug costs. Pelosi and President Donald Trump have been sounding similar themes about the need to address high drug costs. Democrats believe voters gave them a mandate on health care in the midterm elections that returned the House to their control.

Political Shifts, Sales Slump Cast Shadow Over Gun Industry

WASHINGTON (AP) — Gunmakers and dealers are gathering this week in Las Vegas for the industry’s largest annual conference. Last year, the Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show was subdued. And gunmaker Gary Ramey is expecting the same this year. The gun industry has been grappling with slumping sales and a shift in politics. Ramey says a gun-friendly Donald Trump means, “There was no one to beat up.”

Google Self-Driving Spinoff Waymo To Put Factory in Michigan

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Google’s self-driving car spinoff Waymo says it will bring a factory to Michigan, creating up to 400 jobs at what it describes as the world’s first plant dedicated “100 percent” to the mass production of autonomous vehicles that can operate without human input in most conditions. The company plans to spend about $13.6 million to retrofit a to-be-determined manufacturing facility in the Detroit area. The plan could open in the middle of this year.

Merck to Ship 120,000 More Ebola Vaccine Doses

DAVOS, Switzerland (AP) — Drugmaker Merck says it will ship another approximately 120,000 doses of an experimental Ebola vaccine to Congo by the end of next month amid the second deadliest outbreak in history. Associate Vice President Lydia Ogden told the World Economic Forum that the company is committed to having a ready stockpile of 300,000 doses and already has shipped 100,000 to the World Health Organization.

Lebanon Rating Downgraded On Default Risks

BEIRUT (AP) — Lebanon’s finance minister says a report by Moody’s Investors Service that downgraded the country’s long-term investment ratings reflects the need for quickly forming a new government and implementing financial reform. Ali Hassan Khalil’s tweet on Tuesday came hours after Moody’s downgraded the Lebanon’s issuer ratings to Caa1 from B3. The outlook was changed from negative to stable.