Asian stocks fall ahead of monthly employment data in US
BEIJING (AP) — Asian stocks advanced today as investors waited for American employment data and details of U.S.-Chinese trade talks.
Benchmarks in Shanghai, Tokyo and Hong Kong rose while South Korea’s was unchanged.
The Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.1% and Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 added 0.1%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng advanced 0.1%.
Australia’s S&P-ASX 200 gained 0.7%. India’s Sensex lost 0.1%. New Zealand and Taiwan advanced while Southeast Asian markets were mixed.
U.S. markets were closed Thursday for the Independence Day holiday.
June jobs report could show whether US economy is weakening
WASHINGTON (AP) — The June jobs report being released today will likely help determine whether the U.S. economy has stabilized or is gradually weakening.
The evidence is conflicting. Consumer spending has solidified. Home sales are rebounding. But America’s manufacturing sector is slowing along with construction spending. Growth in the services sector, which includes such varied industries as restaurants, finance and recreation, slowed in June.
Economists have estimated that the government will report that employers added 164,000 jobs in June, according to data provider FactSet. That would roughly match the average monthly gain this year and would mark a healthy rebound from the meager 75,000 jobs that were added in May.
For June, the unemployment rate is expected to hold at 3.6% — the lowest level since 1969 — for a third straight month.
UK survey shows business leaders cutting back on investment
LONDON (AP) _ A British business association says company directors are holding back on investing in staff and technology amid uncertainty about political changes ahead of the country’s departure from the European Union.
The Institute of Directors says that half of the 900 directors surveyed said economic conditions in the U.K. and the uncertain trading status with the EU were hurting their businesses.
Chief economist Tej Parikh says the nature of Brexit is “still ambiguous” and with another shake-up of key government personnel in motion, businesses are hesitating “to the detriment of U.K. productivity growth.”
Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt and former London Mayor Boris Johnson are competing to replace Prime Minister Theresa May, who is quitting as leader of the Conservative Party and the country after Parliament rejected her Brexit deal.
France moves to make companies block hate speech online
PARIS (AP) — French lawmakers have approved a measure that is intended to force search engines and social networks to take hate speech off the internet.
The measure adopted Thursday by the lower house of the French parliament would require social networks to remove hate speech within 24 hours of a confirmed violation. Search engines would have to stop referencing the content as well.
The provision, part of a bill on internet regulation, targets videos or messages inciting or glorifying terrorism, hate, violence, or racist or religious abuse. Violators could face hefty fines.
It prompted heated discussion in the National Assembly over how to define hate speech.
French President Emmanuel Macron proposed such a law earlier this year amid an uptick in anti-Semitic incidents in France and concerns about increasing extremist language online.
Report: Univision might be shopping for a buyer
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A report says Spanish-language television network Univision could be considering a sale from its private equity owners.
Univision confirmed it is “reviewing strategic options” and has hired outside advisers after a report in The Wall Street Journal said it was looking at options, including potentially a sale.
Univision competes with fellow Spanish-language network Telemundo in the U.S.
Private equity firm Saban Capital Group and other firms bought Univision in 2007. In 2016, Univision bought what was then known as Gawker Media, which included news sites Gizmodo and The Onion, for $135 million in an attempt to bring in young readers.
The plan did not pan out, and Univision sold the properties for an undisclosed price earlier this year.
TV channels go dark after AT&T, Nexstar fail to reach deal
UNDATED (AP) _ Some DirecTV customers saw blacked-out channels on Thursday where they would usually see local news.
DirecTV and its owner AT&T failed to reach a new deal with telecom company Nexstar, and Nexstar says 120 channels across 97 markets in the U.S. fell blank on Thursday. Instead of showing local news affiliates such as ABC, NBC and FOX, customers saw only a message from DirecTV stating that Nexstar had removed the channel.
Both companies are pointing blame at the other for the blackout.
AT&T says it offered Nexstar more money to keep the channels available. Nexstar says it offered AT&T an extension to keep the channels up while negotiations continued, but AT&T dropped the channels.
Many people took to Twitter on the holiday to demand the channels be restored.
Arizona utility admits 2 more deaths after power shutoffs
PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona’s largest electric utility is telling its regulators that two more customers died after their power was disconnected for not paying their bills.
Arizona Public Service told the state Corporation Commission Wednesday that it settled lawsuits stemming from deaths last July and in 2011.
APS reviewed its records after questions from commissioners regarding the September death of a 72-year-old Sun City West woman. The commission last month barred all disconnections by regulated utilities between June 1 and Oct 15.
The letter from APS executive Barbara Lockwood didn’t identify the customers who died or reveal what the utility paid. She also noted two other claims by people who said their health was affected by disconnections.
Lockwood said in all four cases there were other factors affecting the customers’ health.
Malaysia ex-PM stepson charged with laundering 1MDB money
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — The stepson of Malaysian ex-Prime Minister Najib Razak has pleaded not guilty to five counts of laundering money belonging to the 1MDB state investment fund, making him the third person in the family to face charges.
Riza Aziz was detained by anti-graft officials Thursday and released on bail. He appeared in court today and was charged with receiving $248. 17 million between 2011 and 2012 in the U.S. and Singapore. The charge sheets say the money was misappropriated from 1MDB and channeled into bank accounts of his company Red Granite Pictures Inc., which produced films including the Martin Scorsese-directed “The Wolf of Wall Street.”
Najib is now on trial for graft after his electoral defeat. His wife Rosmah Mansor has also pleaded not guilty to money laundering linked to 1MDB.
^MOULIN ROUGE HOTEL
1st racially integrated Las Vegas casino redevelopment eyed
LAS VEGAS (AP) — The site of the first racially integrated casino in Las Vegas is part of a redevelopment plan aimed at revitalizing the city’s west side.
The Las Vegas Sun reports the Southern Nevada Regional Housing Authority is one of several entities that could buy the former Moulin Rouge hotel for a mixed-use “live-work-play community.”
The redeveloped property would include affordable housing and supportive services for residents, as well as a casino and restaurant that would pay homage to the Moulin Rouge.
Housing Authority Executive Director Chad Williams says revenue generated from the project could support the agency’s efforts to improve existing affordable housing in Clark County.
The Moulin Rouge opened in 1955 and operated in various capacities until 1997. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1992.