Update on the latest in business:


Asian shares mixed as worries percolate over pandemic

UNDATED (AP) — Markets are mixed in Asia today as investors are keeping a wary eye on how the coronavirus pandemic will affect the economic outlook.

Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 trimmed early losses, closing 0.1% lower. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong also edged 0.1% lower. South Korea’s Kospi reversed its retreat, gaining 0.3%. Shares fell in Taiwan and Southeast Asia. The Shanghai Composite index inched up 0.1%.

Wall Street shrugged off an early slide Tuesday and the S&P 500 climbed 1.1% to 3,315.57, led by solid gains in technology and communications stocks, and companies that rely on consumer spending. Banks, health care and energy stocks closed lower.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.5% to 27,288.18. The Nasdaq composite climbed 1.7% to 10,963.64 and the Russell 2000 index of small company stocks picked up 0.8%, to 1,496.96.


House easily passes stopgap funding bill, averting shutdown

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats and Republicans in a bitterly divided U.S. House have voted to take a government shutdown off the table this fall, giving a big, bipartisan vote to a temporary government-wide funding bill Tuesday night.

The agreement comes only after President Donald Trump prevailed in a behind-the-scenes fight over his farm bailout.

The stopgap measure will keep federal agencies fully up and running into December, giving lame-duck lawmakers time to digest the election and decide whether to pass the annual government funding bills by then or kick them to the next administration. The final agreement gives the Trump administration continued immediate authority to dole out Agriculture Department subsidies in the run-up to Election Day.


California reopens more widely as infections hit lowest rate

LOS ANGELES (AP) — More of California was cleared to reopen additional businesses Tuesday, including most of the San Francisco Bay Area and one of Southern California’s largest counties, as coronavirus infection rates have fallen to their lowest level of the pandemic.

Dr. Mark Ghaly, the state health secretary, also said nail salons could resume operations with restrictions statewide, though he cautioned that California’s reopening must remain “slow and stringent” and residents cannot let their guard down as flu season arrives and cases rise in Europe and other parts of the U.S.

The lifting of some restrictions in counties that have shown improvement comes as California tries for a second time to recover from the devastating impact COVID-19 has had on business. An earlier effort to reopen more quickly backfired with a surge in cases and hospitalizations in late spring and early summer.


China, top global emitter, aims to go carbon-neutral by 2060

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Chinese President Xi Jinping (shee jihn-peeng) says his country will aim to stop adding to the global warming problem by 2060.

Xi’s announcement during a speech Tuesday to the U.N. General Assembly is a significant step for the world’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gases.

Calling for a “green revolution,” Xi said the coronavirus pandemic had shown the need to preserve the environment. He said: “Humankind can no longer afford to ignore the repeated warnings of nature.”

The goal will be a challenge for China, which relies heavily for its electricity on coal, one of the most carbon-intensive fossil fuels.

The Global Carbon Project says that China released the equivalent of 10 billion tons of carbon dioxide, or CO2, into the atmosphere in 2018. That was almost twice as much as the United States and three times as much as the European Union.


Facebook: Fake pages from China tried to disrupt US politics

UNDATED (AP) — Facebook says it has removed a small network of fake accounts and pages that originated in China and focused on disrupting political activity in the U.S. and several other countries.

Facebook says the U.S.-focused activity was just a “sliver” of the accounts’ overall activity and gained almost no following. Their primary focus was Southeast Asia, including the Philippines.

In the U.S, the accounts posted material both in support of and against presidential candidates Pete Buttigieg, Joe Biden and President Donald Trump.

Facebook did not link the network directly to the Chinese government. It says the people behind the network tried to conceal their identity and location via virtual private networks and other methods.


Congress seeks to block goods from China over forced labor

WASHINGTON (AP) — A bipartisan bill aimed at keeping goods out of the U.S. that are made with the forced labor of detained ethnic minorities in China passed overwhelmingly Tuesday in the House of Representatives despite concerns about the potential effects on global commerce.

The House voted 406-3 to declare that any goods produced in the vast Xinjiang region of northwestern China are presumptively made with the forced labor of detained Uighurs and other ethnic minorities, and therefore banned from being imported to the U.S.

If enacted into law, it could have significant ripple effects in global trade by forcing companies to avoid a region that products 80% of the cotton in China, one of the world’s top producers of the fiber, as well as tomatoes and manufactured goods.


Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s next big bet rides on better batteries

SAN RAMON, Calif. (AP) — Tesla is working on new battery technology that CEO Elon Musk says will enable the company within the next three years to make sleeker, more affordable cars that can travel dramatically longer distances on a single charge.

But the battery breakthroughs that Musk unveiled Tuesday at a highly anticipated event didn’t impress investors. They were hoping Tesla’s technology would mark an even bigger leap forward and propel the company’s soaring stock to even greater heights.

Tesla’s shares shed more than 6% in extended trading after Musk’s presentation. That deepened a down downturn that began during Tuesday’s regular trading session as investors began to brace for a potential letdown. Musk raised those worries with a series of tweets Monday warning that Tesla’s new battery technology might not be ready for high-volume production until 2022.


US firm pleads guilty to paying bribes in Brazil, Venezuela

MIAMI (AP) — An American company has pleaded guilty to federal charges that it paid bribes to officials in Brazil, Ecuador and Venezuela to get lucrative contracts, and will pay $16.6 million in fines.

The U.S. Department of Justice says Sargeant Marine, Inc., paid the bribes over several years for contracts concerning the buying or selling of asphalt, used in paving roads and other construction.

The Justice Department says the company’s actions violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The company used false consulting contracts and fake invoices, and also sent money to offshore bank accounts to facilitate the bribes, according to the department.

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