Update on the latest in business:


Asian stocks rise on hopes for US-China trade talks

BEIJING (AP) — Asian stock markets rose today on optimism over possible new U.S.-China talks despite concerns about rising Middle East tensions.

Benchmarks in Shanghai, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Sydney all climbed.


The Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.4%, Tokyo’s Nikkei climbed 1% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng advanced 0.3%. Seoul’s Kospi was 0.4% higher. India’s Sensex edged up 0.1%.

Yesterday on Wall Street, the benchmark S&P 500 index rose 0.3% to 2,985.03. The index is back within 1% of its record, set a week earlier.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average edged up 0.1% to 21,171.90. The Nasdaq composite rose 0.7% to 8,204.14.


Deal sealed on federal budget, ensuring no shutdown, default

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is promising the Senate will vote on the $1.3 trillion budget deal agreed to by congressional leaders and the White House before senators leave town for the August recess. The Republican leader says he’s “very encouraged” by the agreement reached by President Donald Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi late Monday. McConnell says all sides have made “enormous strides” funding national defense recently and the deal “is what we need to keep building on that progress.”

The deal sets federal funding levels for the next two years and allows continued borrowing, pushing the government’s ability to borrow past next year’s elections. It comes as budget deficits are rising to $1 trillion levels – requiring the government to borrow a quarter for every dollar it spends – despite the thriving economy and President Donald Trump’s promises to crack down on domestic spending.


Trump meets with chipmakers on Huawei, other economic issues

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The White House says President Donald Trump met with executives from several of the nation’s leading chipmakers yesterday and discussed restrictions his administration has imposed on the sale of components to Chinese telecommunications company Huawei (WAH’-way). Huawei is embroiled in a trade dispute between China and the United States. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross recently announced his department will issue licenses to companies to sell technology to Huawei only when there is no threat to national security.

The White House says the executives requested that the Commerce Department make timely decisions when it comes to equipment sales, and the president agreed. The executives also expressed optimism about the deployment of 5G systems in the U.S. Leaders from Google, Cisco, Qualcomm, Intel and Broadcom were among those in attendance.


Leader of American Airlines pilots wants candor from Boeing

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) _ The new president of the American Airlines pilots’ union is urging more openness from Boeing but says his group will help assure the public that the 737 Max is safe when it resumes flying. Eric Ferguson says passengers should know the plane is safe if they see his union’s pilots flying them. American Airlines is canceling more than 100 flights a day while the Boeing plane remains grounded after deadly accidents in Indonesia and Ethiopia.

Ferguson took over the Allied Pilots Association in June, a few months after a heated meeting between Boeing officials and some American Airlines pilots who were angry that Boeing didn’t tell them about new flight-control software that could push the 737 Max’s nose down.

The software activated based on faulty sensor data on flights that crashed off Indonesia and in Ethiopia, killing 346 people.


Ford adding 450 jobs in Chicago to meet rising SUV demand

CHICAGO (AP) _ Ford is spending $50 million and creating 450 full-time jobs in Chicago to handle increased demand for new versions of the Ford Explorer and Lincoln Aviator. The company says it will upgrade a 200,000-square-foot building near its Chicago Assembly Plant where it now modifies Explorers into versions used for law enforcement.

Painted bodies will be sent from the assembly plant to the upgraded building, where workers will put together the Explorer hybrid, Aviator plug-in hybrid and police Explorers, which will be modified at a different building nearby

About 450 temporary jobs at the assembly and stamping plants will become full-time, and more temporary workers will be hired.

The investment is in addition to plans announced in February to spend $1 billion and add 500 jobs in Chicago.


Police investigate if crashed car was partially self-driving

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ Authorities say a woman was arrested after running a red light in a rented Tesla in San Francisco and causing a crash that killed a tourist and left his wife critically injured. Officers were investigating whether the Tesla, which was rented through the peer-to-peer car rental service Get Around, was operating in “Autopilot,” a partially self-driving system, when the collision occurred. The company says it’s cooperating with authorities.

The 22-year-old suspect, who has not been identified, was booked on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter and running a red light, police said.

Drugs and alcohol did not appear to be a factor.


US sanctions squeeze Iran middle class, upend housing sector

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran’s large middle class has been hit hard by the fallout from unprecedented U.S. sanctions, including the collapse of the national currency.

Perhaps most devastating has been the doubling of housing prices, uprooting tenants and making home ownership unattainable for most.

Some say the sanctions, part of the Trump administration’s campaign of “maximum pressure” to exact nuclear concession from Iran’s rulers, have had the opposite effect and strengthened hard-liners.

Iranians worry about the future as tensions between Iran and the West continue to rise.

The escalation — triggered by the Trump administration’s withdrawal last year from Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers — seems unstoppable, and European mediators trying to defuse the situation keep coming up short.

The economic freefall could shape Iran’s domestic politics for a long time.


Colonial-era Korean laborers want Mitsubishi compensation

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Colonial-era Korean laborers have formally registered their request with a South Korean court to get its approval for the sale of local assets of their former Japanese employer.

A South Korean support group says lawyers for the ex-laborers sent such a request today because Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries refused to comply with a court order to compensate them for forced labor during the 1910-45 Japanese colonization.

Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga says “the movement of cashing assets of Japanese companies is very concerning.”

South Korea and Japan are currently engaged in escalating disputes over Japan’s decision to tighten the approval process for the export of some high-tech materials.

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