Business Briefs – September 1, 2019

Optimistic U.S. Consumers Boost Spending 0.6% in July

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. consumer spending grew 0.6% in July, a healthy gain that suggests American shoppers are driving the economy forward. The Commerce Department said personal incomes rose just 0.1%, the smallest gain in 10 months.

China Denies Visa, Expelling Wall Street Journal Reporter

BEIJING (AP) – Chinese authorities have declined to renew the press credentials of a Beijing-based Wall Street Journal reporter, effectively expelling a journalist who extensively covered President Xi Jinping and Communist Party politics. The foreign ministry said Friday in response to questions about Singaporean reporter Chun Han Wong’s status that foreign journalists with the “evil intention to smear and attack China” are “not welcome.”

Politics of Climate Change Put Corporations in Tough Spot

The Trump administration’s rule-cutting ways are putting some corporate executives in a tricky spot, especially when it comes to regulations affecting climate change. Oil companies, automakers and some other companies are having to decide whether to support Trump deregulation that could boost their profits — but may anger environmentally conscious consumers. That dynamic played out again Thursday with a proposal to cancel regulations on methane gas emissions from oil facilities.

E-cigarette Maker Juul Facing Mounting Scrutiny by State AGs

WASHINGTON (AP) – How did vaping become so popular with underage teens? E-cigarette giant Juul Labs is facing mounting scrutiny from state law enforcement officials, with the attorneys general in Illinois and the District of Columbia investigating how that happened with the company’s blockbuster vaping device. The ongoing inquiries reveal the potential legal challenges confronting Juul are more numerous than previously known. Juul says it’s taken unprecedented steps to combat underage use of its products.

Man Gets 30 Months in Prison for Role in $20m Ponzi Scheme

GREENBELT, Md. (AP) – A Maryland man has been sentenced to more than two years in prison for his role in a Ponzi scheme that defrauded investors out of more than $20 million.

U.S. District Judge Paula Xinis on Wednesday sentenced 53-year-old Bradley Mascho, of Frederick, to 30 months in federal prison. U.S. Attorney Robert Hur’s office said in a news release that the judge also ordered Mascho to pay nearly $5 million in restitution.

American Airlines Delays Boeing Max Return

(AP) – American Airlines says it is delaying the expected return date for its Boeing 737 Max jets.

The airline said Sunday that while it “remains confident” that coming software updates and training will mean recertification of the aircraft this year, it is extending cancellations for Max flights through Dec. 3.

The airline says this means about 140 flights per day will be canceled through Dec. 3. Not all flights scheduled on the Max will be canceled, though. The airline says it will use other aircraft for some of the flights. But some flights not scheduled on the Max jets may also be canceled.