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Business Highlights

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Senators grill Boeing CEO over plane involved in 2 crashes

Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg has faced tough questioning from senators about two crashes of 737 Max jets and whether the company concealed information about a critical flight system from regulators. Members of the Senate Commerce Committee clashed with Muilenburg, cutting him off when they believed he was failing to answer their questions. The hearing took place exactly one year after a 737 Max crashed off the coast of Indonesia and more than seven months after a second crash in Ethiopia.

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Concert promoters turn away from facial recognition tech

BOSTON (AP) — Concert promoters in the U.S. are stepping back from plans to scan festival-goers with facial recognition technology — at least for the time being. Live-entertainment giants AEG Presents and Live Nation both say they have no plans to use facial recognition at music shows and festivals, despite earlier indications they might. That’s led a group of musicians from Rage Against The Machine and other bands to declare victory after a months-long campaign to halt the technology’s use at live shows.

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Coal giant Murray Energy seeks bankruptcy protection

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A major U.S. coal mining company is seeking bankruptcy protection. Ohio-based Murray Energy filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization despite a flurry of regulatory breaks that its CEO pushed for and received — from the Trump administration. Many coal companies are struggling as communities switch to cheaper and less-polluting renewable energy or natural gas. The filing marks a significant political failure for Trump, who had sought to end what he called a “war on coal” by Democrats.

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Amazon spends big to remake Seattle’s liberal City Council

SEATTLE (AP) — Seven of the nine Seattle City Council seats are up for grabs in next month’s election, and Amazon sees a big opportunity to reshape the politics of its liberal hometown. The online retail giant has made unprecedented donations totalling $1.5 million to a political action committee that’s supporting a slate of candidates perceived to be friendlier to business. But the company’s big-money push into Seattle politics could backfire, as critics rally to support more liberal candidates.

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Automakers side with Trump in legal fight with California

WASHINGTON (AP) — General Motors, Fiat Chrysler, Toyota and 10 smaller automakers are siding with the Trump administration in a lawsuit over whether California has the right to set its own greenhouse gas emissions and fuel economy standards. The move puts the automakers at odds with four other companies — BMW, Ford, Volkswagen and Honda — which have decided to back California and endorse stricter emissions and fuel economy standards than Trump has proposed.

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Beverage companies aim to get bottles recycled, not trashed

Coca-Cola Co., PepsiCo and Keurig Dr Pepper are investing $100 million to improve U.S. bottle recycling and processing. The American Beverage Association says the three companies were responsible for the bulk of the 100 billion plastic bottles produced in the U.S. in 2017. Only about one-third of those were recycled because of spotty collection, outdated processing facilities and other issues. Low recycling rates are a source of frustration for consumers and corporations.

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Pfizer narrows its focus and profit soars in 3Q

Pfizer’s third-quarter profit nearly doubled, thanks to an $8.1 billion gain from creating a consumer health products joint venture. It’s part of the drugmaker’s plan to slim down and focus on its cancer drugs and other innovative medicines. The New York company’s profit handily beat Wall Street forecasts, even though revenue dropped 5%, and it raised its financial outlook for the year.

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More employers offer workers help paying off student loans

Americans collectively owe nearly $1.5 trillion in student loans — more than twice the total a decade ago. Many workers, particularly in younger generations, say student loan debt stunts their financial growth. Now a small but growing number of employers are stepping in to help with student loan repayment assistance programs.

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Sony shutting down online-cable service PlayStation Vue

Sony is shutting down its pioneering online-cable alternative, PlayStation Vue, citing the high cost of content and the difficulty of reaching deals with networks. It launched Vue in early 2015 as a skinnier, cheaper version of cable or satellite TV that was delivered via the internet, a test case for a TV alternative. But demand for these online bundles has slowed and even dropped for many of these services as prices rose.

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US stocks cap wobbly day of trading with modest losses

NEW YORK (AP) — Technology companies led stocks lower on Wall Street Tuesday as a wobbly day of trading ended with modest losses for the market. Health care stocks jumped on stronger-than-expected reports from drugmakers, but losses by internet and media companies held the market in check following a mixed report from Google’s parent. The modest pullback came a day after the S&P 500 hit an all-time high. Treasury yields fell a day ahead of an expected interest-rate cut from the Federal Reserve.

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The S&P 500 slipped 2.53 points, or 0.1%, to 3,036.89. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 19.26 points, or 0.1%, to 27,071.46. The Nasdaq composite slid 49.13 points, or 0.6%, to 8,276.85. The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks rose 5.14 points, or 0.3%, to 1,577.07.

The Associated Press

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