Update on the latest in business:


Asian shares fall back after China reports economy weakened

BANGKOK (AP) — Share prices retreated in Asia after China reported today that its economy grew at an annual rate of 6.0% in the latest quarter.

The Shanghai Composite index gave up early gains, losing 0.7% while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng shed 0.3%. Australia’s S&P ASX 200 declined 0.5% to 6,649.70 and the Kospi in South Korea slipped 0.7%.


Japan’s Nikkei 225 index advanced 0.2% and shares also rose in Jakarta but fell in the rest of Southeast Asia and in Taiwan.

Yesterday on Wall Street, the S&P 500 index gained 0.3% to 2,997.95. The index is within 0.1% of its all-time high set in July.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average briefly slipped into the red but managed to add 0.1% to 27,025.88. The Nasdaq rose 0.4% to 8,156.85.


EU leaders turn focus to climate, budget issues

BRUSSELS (AP) — After agreeing on terms for a new Brexit deal, European Union leaders are meeting again to discuss other thorny issues, including the bloc’s budget and climate change.

No decision is expected today on the bloc’s next long-term budget for 2021-2027, a topic more divisive than Brexit.

They need to find a compromise that satisfies countries in favor of minimal spending, those arguing that it must at least be maintained at the current level and others fighting for increased spending to compensate for Britain’s planned departure.

On climate, the Council will continue talks on its goal of a climate-neutral Europe by 2050 and leaders will also discuss the agenda of priorities set up by incoming European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen.


China’s quarterly economy growth sinks to 6%, a 26-year low

BEIJING (AP) — China’s economic growth slowed to 6% over a year ago in the latest quarter, its lowest level in at least 26 years, amid a tariff war with Washington and weakening domestic consumer demand.

The figure reported today was down from the previous quarter’s 6.2%.

Chinese trade has suffered from U.S. tariff hikes in a fight over Beijing’s trade surplus and technology plans. But the biggest impact on growth appears to come from weakening domestic activity including factory output, investment and consumer spending.

The latest figure was the lowest quarterly growth since China began reporting such data in 1993.


FAA to test whether packed planes affect evacuation time

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The size of your seat and how much legroom you’ll get on a future flight could be decided by 720 Oklahomans taking part in a first-of-its-kind test to determine if jam-packed planes slow emergency evacuations.

Frequent flyers on U.S. airlines are well aware cramped economy cabins are detrimental to comfort. But federal officials who write airline safety rules have never tested whether smaller seats or tightly packed rows have any effect on evacuation time.

Beginning next month, FAA researchers will recruit people from churches, universities and online to come up with a test group similar to the overall U.S. population. Sixty at a time, they will be seated in a simulator laid out like a Boeing 737 or an Airbus A320.

Flight attendants will then tell them to get out.


Anheuser-Busch accuses MillerCoors of stealing recipes

MILKWAUKEE, Wisconsin (AP) — Anheuser-Busch is suing MillerCoors over its confidential recipes for Bud Light and Michelob Ultra.

In a heavily redacted court filing Thursday, Anheuser-Busch claims MillerCoors illegally obtained the recipes through one of its employees, who used to work for Anheuser-Busch.

Anheuser-Busch says MillerCoors wanted the recipes because it was planning to retaliate for Anheuser-Bush’s Super Bowl ads, which chided MillerCoors for brewing beer using corn syrup.

Anheuser-Busch seeks damages from MillerCoors.

The filing was the latest in a legal fight that began in March. MillerCoors sued Anheuser-Busch over the corn syrup ad campaign, which it says is false and misleading.

Last month, a federal judge in Milwaukee ruled in MillerCoors’ favor and ordered Anheuser-Busch to stop using packaging that implies rivals contain corn syrup. Anheuser-Busch is appealing that ruling.


Facebook CEO promotes free speech but takes no questions

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg promoted free expression Thursday during a speech at Georgetown University. But reporters weren’t allowed to ask questions, and video coverage was limited to a livestream on the school’s social media site or footage made available by Facebook.

The company’s critics find the limitations ironic given that Zuckerberg was talking about threats to free expression

Facebook, Google, Twitter and other companies are trying to oversee internet content without infringing on First Amendment rights. The pendulum has swung recently toward restricting hateful speech that could spawn violence.

Zuckerberg’s company has come under criticism for not doing enough to filter out phony political ads. He told a packed hall at Georgetown, “Right now we’re doing a very good job at getting everyone mad at us.”


New Zealand sale announcement highlights TV’s struggles

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand broadcaster MediaWorks has announced it plans to sell its struggling television business, leaving hundreds of workers wondering if they will still have jobs if a buyer can’t be found.

The move also raises the possibility the country could be left with just a single state-owned broadcaster to report most television news.

Today’s announcement highlights the struggle that traditional television networks have been facing against the rise in popularity of streaming services such as Netflix.

MediaWorks Chairman Jack Matthews says the company wants to expand radio and billboard businesses while recognizing that free-to-air television “operates in a challenging environment.”

Matthews says the network’s Auckland headquarters is also for sale, with a lease-back option for potential buyers.

MediaWorks is owned by Los Angeles-based private equity firm Oaktree Capital Management.

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