Business highlights: Starbucks and NRLB, interest rate cuts in China

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Starbucks is asking the labor board to temporarily halt union votes

SEATTLE (AP) — Starbucks is asking the National Labor Relations Board to halt all union elections at its U.S. stores. The request came Monday in response to allegations by a board official that NLRB regional officials improperly coordinated with union organizers. In a letter sent to the board, Starbucks said an unnamed career NLRB official told the company about the activity that occurred at the board’s St. Louis office in the spring while observing an election at a Starbucks store in Overland Park, Kansas . The labor board says it does not comment on open cases. More than 220 Starbucks stores in the U.S. have voted to unionize since late last year. The company opposes the merger.

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China cuts interest rate to prop up sagging economy

BEIJING (AP) — China’s central bank has cut its key interest rate to support slowing economic growth at a politically sensitive time when President Xi Jinping is seen as trying to expand his power. The ruling Communist Party admitted it could not meet the official growth target of 5.5 percent this year after virus restrictions disrupted trade, manufacturing and consumer spending. A crackdown on corporate debt has led to a drop in activity in the huge real estate industry. Government data showed factory output and retail sales weakened in July. The interest rate cut suggests that Beijing’s worries about rising debt have, at least temporarily, been outweighed by the political dangers of an economic downturn and job losses.

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Stocks end higher on Wall Street; economic worries hit oil

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks rebounded from early losses to finish higher on Wall Street. Investors remain focused on the economy and upcoming reports from retailers this week. The S&P 500 rose 0.4% on Monday after stumbling in early trade. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq also extended gains from last week. Oil prices fell sharply on worries about the global economy. China’s central bank cut its key interest rate after acknowledging more needs to be done to support the world’s second-largest economy. Treasury yields also fell as output in New York state unexpectedly contracted.

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Penalty Four: Facebook omits wrong election information in Brazilian ads

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Facebook failed to detect election-related disinformation in ads ahead of Brazil’s 2022 elections, a new Global Witness report has found. The group said the company’s continued pattern of not catching material that violates its policies is “alarming.” The ads contained false information about the country’s upcoming elections, such as promoting the wrong voting date and questioning the integrity of elections, including Brazil’s electronic voting system. This is the fourth such test of Facebook’s moderation system that the rights group has conducted in the past few months — and the fourth that Facebook has failed.

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London’s Heathrow Airport extends passenger restrictions until October

LONDON (AP) — London’s Heathrow Airport says it will extend its daily passenger limit until the end of October to cope with rising demand for air travel amid staff shortages. The airport, one of Europe’s busiest, said a maximum of 100,000 passengers could depart each day until October 29. The daily cap was expected to be lifted on September 11. Heathrow imposed the temporary restriction in July and told airlines to stop selling tickets during the peak summer travel season, saying passenger traffic was more than the airport’s ground staff could handle. The airport said on Monday that the temporary restriction had led to “fewer last-minute cancellations” and “shorter baggage waits”. He added that capacity constraints would be reviewed.

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Florida high-speed rail gets grant to improve safety

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — The stakes used by the nation’s deadliest railroad will be fenced off to keep pedestrians away and crossing safety will be improved under a $25 million federal grant. Brightline and government officials announced the grant Monday as the private passenger line continues to be plagued by deaths on the tracks between Miami and West Palm Beach. Trains have killed three in the past two weeks and 68 since the service first started five years ago. It has the worst fatality rate among the more than 800 railroads in the country, according to a current Associated Press analysis of Federal Railroad Administration data.

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Japan’s economy grew 2.2 percent in the second quarter on the back of revived consumer spending

TOKYO (AP) — Japan reported its economy grew at an annual rate of 2.2 percent in the latest quarter as consumer spending rebounded as pandemic precautions were eased. The value of a nation’s goods and services rose 0.5 percent from January to March, when the economy held steady, according to preliminary government estimates released Monday. Economists had forecast growth of 0.6% from the quarter. The annual numbers show how the economy would grow if the quarterly pace were to hold for a year. Personal consumption jumped at an annual rate of 4.6%.

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Kraft Heinz recalls contaminated Capri Sun juice pouches

NEW YORK (AP) — Kraft Heinz is recalling thousands of Capri Sun pouches after a cleaning solution accidentally mixed with juice on a production line. The company says it is recalling about 5,760 cans of Capri Sun Wild Cherry flavored juice blend. The “Best When Used By” date on the packages is June 25, 2023. Kraft Heinz says the diluted cleaning solution is used in food processing equipment. The company says it discovered the problem after receiving complaints from consumers about the taste of the juice. Consumers who purchased the affected drinks should return them to the store where they were purchased to receive a refund.

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The S&P 500 rose 16.99 points, or 0.4%, to 4,297.14. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 151.39 points, or 0.4%, to 33,912.44. The Nasdaq added 80.87 points, or 0.6%, to 13,128.05. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies rose 4.73 points, or 0.2%, to 2,021.35.

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