Update on the latest in business:


Asian stocks rise ahead of central bank meetings

UNDATED (AP) — Asian stock markets have risen after China reported stronger than expected exports in August.

Investors awaited decisions by European and other central banks on when stimulus might be wound down. Shares advanced in Shanghai, Tokyo and Hong Kong. U.S. markets were due to reopen following a three-day weekend. China reported export growth rose to 25.6% over a year earlier, up from July’s 19.3% gain. Investors looked ahead to this week’s meeting of the European Central Bank, which is expected to debate when to withdraw bond purchases and other stimulus for economies that use the common euro currency.


Prosecutors drop sexual assault case against Alibaba manager

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese prosecutors have dropped a case against a former Alibaba manager accused of sexual assault by a female colleague, weeks after the case caused a backlash against the e-commerce firm for how it handles alleged sexual misconduct.

The former manager, whose last name is Wang, was detained by police in August after a female Alibaba employee accused him of sexual assault while on a business trip to the northern Chinese city of Jinan. According to a statement posted on Weibo by Jinan police late Monday night, prosecutors in Jinan did not approve Wang’s arrest and he received a 15-day detention instead. The move drew widespread criticism online, with many lamenting the lack of protection for women in sexual assault cases.


China’s trade accelerates in August despite coronavirus

UNDATED (AP) — China’s import and export growth accelerated in August despite disruptions due to the spread of the coronavirus’s delta variant.

Customs data reported Tuesday show exports rose 25.6% to $294.3 billion, up from July’s 18.9% growth. Imports rose 33.1% to $236 billion, up from the previous month’s 28.7%. That came despite lingering disruptions in industrial supply chains due to last year’s global economic shutdown and a renewed rise in infections in the United States and some other markets that have dampened consumer sentiment. China has so far defied forecasts that surging global demand for its goods would level off as anti-disease controls eased and entertainment and other service industries reopened.


UK delays post-Brexit border checks, seeks new talks with EU

LONDON (AP) — Britain says it is postponing the start of post-Brexit border checks on goods going to Northern Ireland, as it seeks breathing space in its tense standoff with the European Union over trade rules.

Brexit Minister David Frost said Monday that the government would continue to trade “on the current basis,” maintaining grace periods that the U.K. gave itself after splitting from the EU’s economic embrace at the end of 2020. He did not set a new end date for the grace periods, some of which had been due to finish on Sept. 30. Frost said the standstill would “provide space for potential further discussions” with the EU over the two sides’ deep differences on the Brexit divorce agreement.


Lawmakers: Ida damage shows need for infrastructure upgrades

WASHINGTON (AP) — Lawmakers from both parties say haunting images of surging rivers, flooded roads and tornado damage caused by the remnants of Hurricane Ida show the need to upgrade the nation’s aging infrastructure network.

As the deadly storm moved from the Gulf Coast through the Northeast — killing over 65 people from Louisiana to Connecticut — members of Congress said the storm offered irrefutable evidence that the nation’s power lines, roads, bridges and other infrastructure are deteriorating even as storms and other extreme weather are strengthening. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer says, “Global warming is upon us.”

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