Update on the latest in business:

FINANCIAL MARKETS

Concerns about Wall Street a drag on Asian stocks

BEIJING (AP) — Asian stocks fell further today after Wall Street slid on recession fears, putting markets in Shanghai, Tokyo and Sydney on track to end 2018 down more than 10 percent.

Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 index fell 1.6 percent and the Shanghai Composite Index lost 1.2 percent. The Chinese market is 2018’s worst performer, down nearly 25 percent for the year.

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Stocks usually end the year with a flourish. But investors worry global economic growth is cooling and the U.S. could slip into a recession in the next few years.

Wall Street is headed for its worst December since the Great Depression.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 464 points on Thursday, bringing its losses to more than 1,700 since last Friday.

TRUMP-BORDER WALL

Trump’s demand for wall moves government closer to shutdown

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump’s demand for border wall funds hurled the federal government closer to a shutdown as House Republicans approved a package Thursday with his $5.7 billion request that is almost certain to be rejected by the Senate.

The White House said Trump will not travel to Florida on Friday for the Christmas holiday if the government is shutting down. More than 800,000 federal workers will be facing furloughs or forced to work without pay if a resolution is not reached before funding expires at midnight Friday.

The shutdown crisis could be one of the final acts of the House GOP majority before relinquishing control to Democrats in January

TRUMP-HOTEL LAWSUIT

Appeals court agrees to take up Trump hotel case

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Richmond, Virginia, appeals court has agreed to take up a case accusing Donald Trump of profiting off the presidency in violation of the U.S. Constitution.

The order issued Thursday by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit also presses pause on the ongoing district court case in Maryland, which is in the legal discovery phase.

The stay on proceedings comes before the deadline for Trump to respond to 37 subpoenas, including requests for business tax returns and other documents.

Justice Department lawyers argue that providing such documents would interfere with the president’s duties.

The lawsuit brought by the attorneys general of Maryland and the District of Columbia alleges Trump is violating the Constitution’s emoluments clause by accepting foreign and domestic government spending at his Washington, D.C., hotel.

KUSHNERS-OPPORTUNITY ZONES

Kushners buying 4th New Jersey property in tax-break zone

NEW YORK (AP) — Jared Kushner’s family company is buying another property in a New Jersey beach town where developers can get big tax breaks thanks to a new federal program pushed by Kushner and his wife, Ivanka Trump.

The Kushner Cos. is negotiating to buy land already approved for retail space and apartments in one of thousands of new Opportunity Zones offering tax breaks around the country.

It would be the fourth Kushner purchase in an Opportunity Zone in the town since the program was included in the Republican-led tax overhaul law passed in December last year.

The program has been praised as a smart way to attract money into high-poverty areas long neglected by private investors. But critics say it includes too many gentrifying neighborhoods already attracting investment and is a giveaway to wealthy developers.

CHINA-ESPIONAGE

China accuses US of ‘fabricating facts’

WASHINGTON (AP) — China has accused the U.S. of “fabricating facts” after it charged two Chinese hackers with carrying out an extensive campaign to steal trade secrets and other information on behalf of Beijing’s main intelligence agency.

A Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman says the indictment severely violates the basic norms of international relations and damages U.S.-China cooperation.

She calls the charges “completely vile,” adding that the U.S. is the one that has long engaged in “cybertheft.”

U.S. officials say the alleged hackers obtained information on several major American corporations and nearly a dozen other nations.

JAPAN-NISSAN-GHOSN

Japan prosecutors file new allegation against Nissan’s Ghosn

TOKYO (AP) — Japanese media say prosecutors have added a new allegation of breach of trust against Nissan’s former chairman Carlos Ghosn (gohn), dashing his hopes for release on bail.

Ghosn, along with another executive Greg Kelly, was arrested Nov. 19 and charged with underreporting his income.

The fresh allegations were filed today, a day after a court rejected prosecutors’ request for a longer detention of Ghosn and Kelly. Their lawyers were hoping they could get them released on bail.

Kyodo News service and other Japanese media reported that prosecutors added the third allegation that Ghosn caused Nissan a loss of 1.8 billion yen in 2008.

FARM BILL-TRUMP

Trump signs $867B farm bill without food stamp program cuts

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has signed a massive $867 billion farm bill that reauthorizes agriculture and conservation programs without any cuts to the food stamp program.

Trump signed the bill Thursday after the Agriculture Department announced plans to tighten work requirements for recipients of food aid. Negotiations over the farm bill had stalled for months in Congress over a provision by the House to cut the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and over the Senate’s unwillingness to go along.

Trump had voiced strong support for stricter work requirements.

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue says the regulation to tighten work requirements was a tradeoff for Trump’s support for the bill.

The farm bill will cost roughly $400 billion over five years or $867 billion over 10 years.

OIL TRAIN ACCIDENTS

US senator wants new look at oil trains rule

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley says the U.S. Department of Transportation should conduct a new cost-benefit analysis of a canceled rule that would have required better brakes for trains hauling explosive fuels.

The Democratic lawmaker’s comments on Thursday came in response to an Associated Press finding that officials understated the potential benefits of the brakes by up to $117 million.

Railroads were required to begin installing electronic brakes under a 2015 rule prompted by a string of fiery derailments involving oil and ethanol shipments. The Trump administration canceled the rule in September, citing its high cost.

NEW YORK COMPTROLLER-EXECUTIVE PAY

Microsoft, CVS to review executive pay levels, official says

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Microsoft Corp., CVS Health Corp., Macy’s and two other companies have agreed to review their policies on executive compensation at the request of the New York state pension fund and Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.

Under the terms, the companies agree to consider what they pay all levels of employees as a factor when setting CEO salaries, instead of simply looking at what other CEOs earn.

Similar agreements were reached with Salesforce.com and TJX Companies Inc., the parent company of TJ Maxx.

The changes were sought by the state’s $207 billion pension fund, which DiNapoli oversees. The fund’s sizeable investments give DiNapoli significant leverage over publicly traded companies.

DiNapoli says the agreements are intended to address the rising disparity between typical worker wages and CEO salaries.

BEER TASTE DISPUTE

Regulator: MillerCoors can say Miller Lite has ‘more taste’

CHICAGO (AP) — Advertising regulators say MillerCoors can claim Miller Lite has “more taste” than Bud Light and Michelob Ultra but recommends the brewer stop commercials that make it appear that the conclusion is based on a survey on taste preference.

At issue were vignettes Chicago-based MillerCoors produced showing consumers drinking unnamed beers and saying which had “more taste.”

Both sides of the dispute claimed victory Thursday from the National Advertising Division’s conclusion , a self-regulatory agency for the advertising industry.

St. Louis-based Anheuser-Busch, the maker of Bud Light and Michelob Ultra, said it was encouraged by the finding that Miller Lite “misrepresented itself” and conveyed a taste preference “unsupported by fact.”

MillerCoors, meanwhile, said it wasn’t surprised NAD found it “provided a reasonable basis” for claiming its beer had “more taste” because it instructed beer drinkers to focus on each beer’s taste.

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