Business Briefs – August 30, 2019

Backlash Grows to Johnson’s Suspension of U.K. Parliament

LONDON (AP) – Opposition to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s move to suspend Parliament is intensifying. The head of the Labour Party is vowing “to politically stop” Johnson from pushing through a chaotic no-deal Brexit. The tactic gave lawmakers little time to prevent Britain from crashing out of the European Union without an agreement Oct. 31. But a backlash has unified the disparate political opposition, bringing protests, legal action and a petition with more than 1 million signatures.

Thanks to Consumers, U.S. Economy Is Rising Steadily If Slowly

WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. economy slowed in the spring despite the fact that consumer spending, which accounts for about 70% of economic growth, accelerated to the fastest pace in nearly five years. The gross domestic product, the broadest gauge of economic health, grew at a moderate 2% annual rate in the April-June quarter, the Commerce Department reported Thursday.

Federal Grand Jury Indicts Woman in Capital One Case

SEATTLE (AP) – A former Amazon software engineer arrested last month on charges she hacked into Capital One bank and more than 30 different companies has been indicted by a federal grand jury for not just breaking into the company’s computer system, but also stealing data for her own benefit. Paige Thompson faces wire fraud and computer fraud and abuse charges in the indictment announced Wednesday.

Best Buy 2Q Profit Beats Estimates, but Revenue Misses

NEW YORK (AP) – Best Buy Co. reported a sales shortfall for the fiscal second quarter and trimmed its annual sales forecast, blaming uncertainty surrounding an escalating trade war with China heading into the year-end shopping season. Shares of the retailer fell 8%.

U.S. Proposing Easing Rules on Climate-Changing Oil Emissions

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Environmental Protection Agency is proposing to lift Obama-era regulations on climate-changing methane leaks from many oil facilities. The oil and gas industry says Thursday’s proposed rule will ease financial burdens on small oil producers. Environmental groups say the measure signals the Trump administration renouncing more of its legal authority under the Clean Air Act to fight climate-changing emissions.

Family’s Web Makes It Hard to Track Cash From Opioid Maker

(AP) – States suing Purdue Pharma for its role in the opioid crisis say its owners, the Sackler family, have withdrawn billions in profits. But where is the money now? A complex web of companies and trusts controlled by the family, partly offshore, makes it difficult to answer that question — and to determine how much money might be available for a settlement that could be used to battle addiction.

Deaths Caused by Drivers Running Red Lights at 10-Year High

DETROIT (AP) – The number of people killed by drivers running red lights has hit a 10-year high, and AAA is urging drivers and pedestrians to use caution at traffic signals. A AAA study of government crash data shows that 939 people were killed by vehicles blowing through red lights in 2017, the latest numbers available. It’s the highest death toll since 2008 and 28% higher than in 2012. AAA isn’t sure why the numbers are on the rise or why they have increased at a higher rate than overall U.S. roadway deaths.

Average 30-Year Mortgage Rates Tick Up to 3.58%

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. long-term mortgage rates ticked up slightly this week, yet they remain near historic lows. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average rate on the 30-year loan rose to 3.58% from 3.55% last week. Mortgage rates have fallen sharply as a slowing global economy and tensions from the trade war between the United States and China have caused the interest rates on government bonds to tumble.