Business Briefs – November 6, 2019

Acting UAW Head Says He’ll Clean Up Corruption Found by Feds

DETROIT (AP) – The acting president of the United Auto Workers says the corruption scandal plaguing the union will get worse before it gets better, but he’s confident he can fix the mess and turn over a clean union to the next leader. Rory Gamble, a union vice president who successfully negotiated a tentative contract with Ford, took over as acting president Saturday when Gary Jones took a paid leave of absence. He spoke to The Associated Press on Wednesday.

U.S.: Saudis Recruited Twitter Workers to Spy on Users

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – U.S. prosecutors say the Saudi government recruited two Twitter employees to get personal account information of their critics. The complaint unsealed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in San Francisco detailed a coordinated effort by Saudi officials to recruit employees at the social media giant to look up the private data of thousands of Twitter accounts. The accounts included those of a popular journalist with more than 1 million followers and other prominent government critics.

Europeans Look to China as Global Partner, Shun Trump’s U.S.

PARIS (AP) – President Emmanuel Macron’s visit to China this week suggests that the United States risks being sidelined on the global stage under President Donald Trump. Macron portrayed himself as an envoy for the entire European Union, conveying the message that the bloc has largely given up on Trump, who doesn’t hide his disdain for multilateralism.

Japan’s Softbank Posts Big Losses After WeWork Debacle

TOKYO (AP) – Japanese technology conglomerate SoftBank says it lost $4.7 billion in the WeWork debacle. SoftBank posted losses of 700 billion yen ($6.4 billion) in the July-September quarter, with the damage coming largely from its Vision Fund, created to invest in startups like WeWork and Uber.

Brazil’s Oil Tender Yields $17 Billion, Falls Short of Hopes

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) – The Brazilian government awarded two of the four blocks on offer in its priciest oil auction since 2010 on Wednesday, securing about $17 billion dollars. The highly anticipated tender had captured the attention of some of the world’s biggest oil firms, including the United States’ ExxonMobil and other companies from China, Malaysia, or Norway.

U.S. Productivity Falls for First Time in Nearly 4 Years

WASHINGTON (AP) – American workers were less efficient in the July-September quarter, pushing down productivity for the first time since the fourth quarter of 2015. The Labor Department says that productivity, a measure of economic output for each hour worked, fell 0.3% in the third quarter.

Walmart, Tesla Settle Lawsuit Over Fiery Solar Panels

NEW YORK (AP) – Walmart and Tesla have settled a lawsuit filed by the retail giant alleging that Tesla installed rooftop solar panels that caught fire. Lawyers for both sides filed documents in New York Supreme Court discontinuing the legal action. The companies said in a joint statement that both sides have resolved issues raised by Walmart in the case.

Fewer Protections Come With Digital Payments Like Apple Cash

NEW YORK (AP) – Experts warn that digital payment services like Apple Cash and Venmo don’t protect consumers the same way credit cards do. Yet consumers are typically unaware of that. Regulations haven’t caught up, and companies are still figuring out how to deal with fraud. As a rule of thumb, the newer the service, the more likely con artists will target it. Apple encourages people to transfer money only to people they know.

Airbnb to Verify All 7 Million Properties to Improve Trust

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Airbnb says it will spend the next year verifying that all 7 million of its listings are accurate and that the homes and rooms being offered for short-term stays meet basic quality standards. It’s one of several moves the San Francisco-based home sharing company is making to improve user trust and make it easier for guests, hosts and others to report problems and obtain refunds when things go awry.