US job openings dip but still exceed number of unemployed
WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of jobs posted by U.S. employers declined slightly in September but still exceeded the number of unemployed Americans and remained near a two-decade high.
The report from the Labor Department is the latest evidence that U.S. companies are straining to fill jobs in the face of a robust job market with low unemployment.
The department says job openings declined 4 percent to roughly 7 million, close to the highest levels on records dating back to December 2000. The number of openings far exceeded the roughly 6 million people who were unemployed in September.
The number of available jobs, in fact, has topped the number of unemployed for six straight months. Steadily strong hiring has lowered the U.S. unemployment rate to a nearly five-decade low of 3.7 percent.
UK PM May: I won’t agree on a Brexit deal ‘at any cost’
LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Theresa May says Britain aims to reach a Brexit deal with the European Union as soon as possible, but that it can’t come “at any cost.”
May on Tuesday briefed her Cabinet on progress toward an elusive divorce deal with the bloc. Talks are stuck on finding a way to ensure there are no customs posts or other checks along the border between the U.K.’s Northern Ireland and EU member Ireland.
May faces pressure from some Cabinet members not to agree to a solution that binds Britain to EU trade rules indefinitely after it leaves the bloc in March.
May spokesman James Slack said she told the ministers “while the U.K. should aim to secure a withdrawal agreement as soon as possible, this should not be done at any cost.”
Facebook blocks 115 accounts ahead of US midterm elections
LONDON (AP) — Facebook says it has blocked 115 accounts for suspected “coordinated inauthentic” behavior on the eve of the U.S. midterm elections.
The social media company said in a blog post Monday that it shut down 30 Facebook accounts and 85 Instagram accounts and is investigating them in more detail.
The company said it took action after being tipped off Sunday evening by U.S. law enforcement officials, who believe they’re “linked to foreign entities.”
U.S. tech companies are stepping up security and efforts to fight disinformation campaigns as online troublemakers including Russian groups try to divide voters and discredit democracy.
Facebook said that once it learns more it will provide further updates, “including whether these accounts are linked to the Russia-based Internet Research Agency or other foreign entities.”
China grants Trump family 18 trademarks in 2 months
SHANGHAI (AP) — China has given companies linked to U.S. President Donald Trump and his daughter 18 new trademarks in the last two months, raising concerns about conflicts of interest in the White House on the eve of national elections.
The trademarks cover products from perfume to voting machines and will be finalized after 90 days if no one objects.
Ivanka Trump said in July she was shutting her namesake brand to focus on her role as a White House adviser.
Critics have been especially concerned that China, where the courts and bureaucracy are designed to reflect the will of the ruling Communist Party, could try to use the Trump family’s valuable intellectual property for political leverage.
China has said it handles all trademark applications equally under the law.
EU approves Disney’s deal to buy Fox entertainment assets
(Eds: Adds photo. APNewsNow. With AP Photos.)
BRUSSELS (AP) — European Union authorities say they have cleared Disney’s acquisition of Fox’s entertainment assets, provided Disney sells off some TV channels it controls in Europe to maintain competition.
The EU’s executive Commission said Tuesday it gave its approval to the deal.
Disney’s $71.3 billion deal to buy the 21st Century Fox assets, which include Marvel’s X-Men and Avengers franchises, is part of its plan to compete with tech companies such as Netflix and Amazon as the entertainment industry moves into the digital streaming era.
Disney shareholders and U.S. regulators had already approved the Fox bid.
The European Commission said Disney agreed to sell off all factual TV channels it controls in Europe to address concerns the combined company would have eliminated competition between two big wholesale suppliers.
US probing whether GM SUV recall included enough vehicles
DETROIT (AP) — The U.S. government is investigating whether General Motors should expand a 2016 windshield wiper recall to include 1.7 million more SUVs.
The government wants to know if a recall of 368,000 Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain compact SUVs from the 2013 year should include more vehicles from 2010 to 2016.
GM recalled the SUVs in August of 2016 because the wipers could fail. Water and debris could get into the wiper assembly ball joints, leading to wear and eventual joint failure.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says it has 249 wiper failure complaints from owners whose vehicles weren’t included in the recall. No crashes or injuries were reported.
A message was left Tuesday seeking comment from GM.
CHINA-TOILET EXPO-BILL GATES
Bill Gates pushes clean-toilet technologies at Beijing expo
BEIJING (AP) — With a jar of human feces on a podium next to him, billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates has kicked off a “Reinvented Toilet” Expo in China.
The former CEO of software giant Microsoft said Tuesday that the technologies on display at the three-day expo in Beijing represent the most significant advances in sanitation in nearly 200 years.
More than 20 companies and academic institutions are exhibiting new toilet technologies, from self-contained toilets to a small-scale, self-powered waste treatment plant.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has spent more than $200 million since 2011 to stimulate research and development of safe sanitation technology.
UNICEF estimates that 480,000 children under 5 die every year from diarrhea, often caused by sewage-contaminated food or drinking water.
Pringles sells Thanksgiving-flavored chips for limited time
BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (AP) — Those who crave the tastes of Thanksgiving no longer have to wait for the meal to be cooked.
Pringles is selling chips that taste like turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie.
The limited-edition chips are not available in stores. The three-pack stackable mini cans go on sale Tuesday at 11:59 p.m. EST online at the kellogsstore.com. They cost $14.99.
The snack brand produced eight Thanksgiving flavors last year that came in a TV dinner-style tray. Those flavors included mashed potatoes, green bean casserole and cranberry sauce-flavored chips.
In a statement, senior vice president of marketing Yuvraj Arora says it was “so exciting to see Pringles fans’ positive reactions” when it launched the Thanksgiving dinner last year.