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Business Highlights: Trump’s cuts to Medicare hospital payments trigger an outcry

🕐 4 min read


Much of world bans Boeing jet involved in Ethiopia crash

HEJERE, Ethiopia (AP) — Much of the world, including the entire European Union, has grounded the Boeing jetliner involved in the Ethiopian Airlines crash or banned it from their airspace. That left the United States on Tuesday as one of the few remaining operators of the plane involved in two deadly accidents in just five months. Britain, France and Germany took steps to keep the Boeing 737 Max 8 out of the air, joining Asian and Middle Eastern governments and carriers that also gave in to safety concerns.


WASHINGTON (AP) — As a presidential candidate, Donald Trump famously promised not to cut Medicare. But his new budget calls for steep Medicare cuts to hospitals and Trump is being hit for going back on his word. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says the budget would “ransack” Medicare and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer says it’s “balderdash” that Trump keeps his promises. The White House says the budget doesn’t cut benefits to seniors but makes better use of taxpayer dollars.


Facebook’s messaging ambitions amount to much more than chat

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Facebook is already the leader in enabling you to share photos, videos and links. It now wants to be a force in messaging, commerce, payments and just about everything else you do online. The company’s ambitions harken to how WeChat has become the centerpiece of digital life in China. But Facebook faces numerous hurdles, including restoring user trust after a string of privacy failures. Analysts say change will take time, but competitors need to pay attention.


CEO of troubled Wells Fargo says bank is stronger

WASHINGTON (AP) — The CEO of beleaguered Wells Fargo told Congress Tuesday that the bank has cleaned up its act after a series of scandals that affected millions of customers. But Democrats — and some Republicans — on the House Financial Services Committee didn’t seem to be buying it. Wells Fargo & Co. President and CEO Tim Sloan told the committee the bank is compensating customers who had been harmed, strengthening risk management and internal controls, and improving the culture at the consumer banking giant.


Lumber Liquidators paying $33M to settle US fraud charges

WASHINGTON (AP) — Lumber Liquidators will pay $33 million to settle fraud charges by federal authorities who accused the company of falsely saying its Chinese-made laminate flooring met formaldehyde emissions standards. The company, based in Toano, Virginia, is one of the biggest retailers of flooring products in the U.S. Its settlements of criminal and civil fraud charges, related to statements it made in 2015, were announced Tuesday by the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission.


New York attorney general investigates Trump business deals

NEW YORK (AP) — New York’s attorney general is investigating President Donald Trump’s business dealings. A person familiar with the inquiry says Attorney General Letitia James issued subpoenas Monday to two banks seeking records related to four Trump real estate projects and his failed bid to buy the Buffalo Bills. The person wasn’t authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity. Messages left with the banks and the Trump Organization were not immediately returned.


Trump budget chief defends plan, says deficits will improve

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House’s top budget official acknowledged Tuesday that the federal deficit is ballooning to $1.1 trillion alongside the Republican tax plan but vowed the fiscal picture would improve as a result of projected economic growth. Russ Vought, acting director of the Office of Management and Budget, was grilled by the House Budget Committee about the high deficits and deep spending cuts in President Donald Trump’s proposed $4.7 trillion budget.


Dick’s to halt sales of rifles, ammo at 125 of its stores

CORAOPOLIS, Pa. (AP) —Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc. says it will stop selling hunting rifles and ammunition at 125 of its stores. CEO Edward Stack said that move comes after the sporting goods retailer replaced the hunting merchandise in 10 of its stores in last year’s third quarter. Dick’s made headlines in 2018 when, in the aftermath of the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, it banned the sale of assault-style rifles and the sale of all guns to anyone under 21.


US stock indexes end mostly higher, extending market’s gains

NEW YORK (AP) — Technology and health care companies led U.S. stock indexes mostly higher Tuesday, building on the market’s solid gains from a day earlier. Boeing weighed down the Dow Jones Industrial Average for a second day as shares in the aircraft maker fell amid safety concerns following another deadly crash involving its most popular plane. The latest gains extend a rebound in stocks this week after the market ended last week with its worst week since December.


The benchmark S&P 500 index gained 8.22 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,791.52. The Dow fell 96.22 points, or 0.4 percent, to 25,554.66. The Nasdaq composite climbed 32.97 points, or 0.4 percent, to 7,591.03. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies picked up 0.96 of a point, or 0.1 percent, to 1,549.83.

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