Business Briefs – March 14, 2019

Huawei Pleads Not Guilty in U.S. Court in Iran Sanctions Case

NEW YORK (AP) – Lawyers for the Chinese electronics giant Huawei have entered a not-guilty plea in a U.S. case charging the company with violating Iran trade sanctions. The No. 2 smartphone maker was arraigned Thursday on an indictment filed in federal court in Brooklyn. Prosecutors say Huawei used a Hong Kong front company to trade with Iran in violation of U.S. sanctions. The company has denied the charges.

2 Top Facebook Executives Depart the Company

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Two top Facebook executives are leaving the company, including product chief Chris Cox, who was long one of CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s top deputies. Chris Daniels, who leads encrypted messaging app WhatsApp, will also depart Facebook, Zuckerberg wrote in a post announcing the news Thursday.

U.S. New-Home Sales Fell 6.9 Percent in January

WASHINGTON (AP) – Sales of new U.S. homes slumped 6.9 percent in January, a possible sign that buyers paused during the government shutdown. The Commerce Department says that new homes sold at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 607,000 in January, down from 652,000 in December. The partial government shutdown during January as well as a battered stock market appears to have hurt sales, even as lower mortgage rates eased affordability pressures and boosted buyer interest.

U.S. Candidate Clears Big Hurdle In Effort to Head World Bank

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Treasury official nominated by President Donald Trump to be the next president of the World Bank has cleared a major hurdle, with nominations for the position closing with no other candidates emerging. The World Bank says David Malpass was the only candidate put forward by the bank’s 189 member countries. Malpass is currently the undersecretary for international affairs at Treasury.

Nuclear Industry Pushing for Fewer Inspections at Plants

WASHINGTON (AP) – The nuclear power industry is pushing the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to cut back on inspections at nuclear power plants and throttle back what it tells the public about plant problems.

Commission staffers are weighing some of the industry’s requests as part of a sweeping review of how the agency enforces regulations governing the country’s 98 commercially operating nuclear plants. Recommendations are due to the NRC board in June.

Brexit Uncertainty Means Anxiety For Some UK Students

CANTERBURY, England (AP) – It bills itself as the U.K.’s European university because of its study centers in France, Italy, Belgium and Greece. But now the uncertainty over Brexit is creating anxiety for students at the University of Kent.

There is disappointment and anger at lawmakers as they wrangle over Brexit details as the deadline approaches for Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union.

For students, just about everything is uncertain: funding levels for international students, freedom to study at their campuses in Europe and the right to live and work in the 27 other EU countries that generations of students have taken for granted.