Fast-growing web of doorbell cams raises privacy fears
America’s fast-growing web of doorbell cameras is being fueled in part by the support of cities and police departments. They see the cameras as a tech ally in the never-ending fight against crime. But some privacy advocates worry that the program is being driven by overblown fears of crime and contributes to a surveillance society.
Deepfake videos pose a threat, but ‘dumbfakes’ may be worse
Sophisticated phony videos called deepfakes have attracted plenty of attention as a possible threat to election integrity. But a bigger problem may be “dumbfakes,” simpler and more easily unmasked bogus videos that are easy to produce. Dumbfake video can still be effective in swaying opinion, experts say. So far, social media services are divided on how to handle them.
Corvette goes mid-engine for first time to raise performance
WARREN, Mich. (AP) — When you first lay eyes on the new 2020 Corvette, a modern version of the classic American sports car isn’t the first thing that pops into your head. Instead, you think Lamborghini, Lotus, McLaren. For the first time in its 66-year history, the Corvette engine will move from the front to just behind the driver. It dramatically changes the look of the car, but engineers say it will perform far better on the track and freeway. GM President Mark Reuss said the C8 will start below $60,000.
Appeals court upholds Trump move to drop mine pollution rule
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A US appeals court panel has sided with the Trump administration, ruling that state and federal programs already in place ensure that mining companies take financial responsibility for future pollution cleanups. The ruling Friday came after the administration was sued by environmental groups for dropping an Obama-era proposal that would have required the companies to prove they have resources to clean up pollution. The mining industry has a legacy of companies abandoning polluted sites.
Instagram expands hiding ‘likes’ to make you happier
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Instagram is expanding a test to hide how many “likes” people’s posts receive as it tries to combat criticism that such counts hurt mental health and make people feel bad when comparing themselves to others. The Facebook-owned photo-sharing service has been running the test in Canada since May. It has been expanded to Ireland, Italy, Japan, Australia, Brazil and New Zealand, but not the United States yet.
Labor nominee Scalia has long record of opposing regulations
WASHINGTON (AP) — Eugene Scalia has a decades-long record of challenging Labor Department and other federal regulations, as well as a famous last name. The combination proved irresistible to President Donald Trump.
Penney: We haven’t hired advisers for in-court restructuring
NEW YORK (AP) — J.C. Penney says it hasn’t hired any advisers to prepare for an in-court restructuring or bankruptcy. The company’s statement Friday came after investors were rattled by a report saying the company was hiring experts to help restructure its debt. Reuters reported Thursday that Penney has held discussions with lawyers and investment bankers who work with struggling companies on debt restructurings. It cited anonymous sources familiar with the matter. Penney’s shares fell nearly 17% Friday.
American Express 2Q profits rise 9%, beating expectations
NEW YORK (AP) — American Express posted a 9% gain in second-quarter profits on Friday, helped by more of its cardmembers carrying a credit card balance and increased spending on its namesake cards. The New York company said it earned a profit of $1.76 billion, or $2.07 a share. That’s up from earnings of $1.62 billion, or $1.84 a share, in the same period a year earlier. Analysts were looking for AmEx to earn $2.03 a share, according to FactSet.
Lebanese losing faith as politicians fumble over economy
BEIRUT (AP) — Lebanese TV stations have been blanketed for days with live coverage as lawmakers heatedly debated a controversial austerity budget meant to salvage the country’s flailing economy. Outside parliament, protesters and critics denounced the budget’s focus on tax hikes and wage cuts. In general, the Lebanese say they have little faith that their political elite, viewed as corrupt and steeped in personal rivalries, can tackle the country’s economic crisis.
Reined-in rate-cut expectations, Iran tensions hit S&P 500
NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks pulled further back from their records on Friday to cap the weakest week for the S&P 500 since May. Indexes sloshed between small gains and losses for much of the day before turning lower in the afternoon after Iran said it seized a British oil tanker, the latest escalation of tensions between Tehran and the West. Reined-in expectations for how deeply the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates at its next meeting also weighed on stocks.
The S&P 500 fell 18.50 points, or 0.6%, to 2,976.61. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 68.77, or 0.3%, to 27,154.20, and the Nasdaq composite lost 60.75, or 0.7%, to 8,146.49. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks fell 7.73 points, or 0.5%, to 1,547.90.