BC-APFN-Business News Preview
Among the stories Friday from The Associated Press:
WASHINGTON — Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said Friday that the Great Recession complicated the Fed's ability to assess the U.S. job market and made it harder to determine when to adjust interest rates. Yellen's remarks to an annual Fed conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, offered no signal that she's altered her view that the economy still needs Fed support from ultra-low interest rates. The timing of a Fed rate increase remains unclear. By Martin Crutsinger. SENT: 1,000 words, photos.
CENTRAL BANKERS AT ODDS
WASHINGTON — The central bankers gathered at Jackson Hole are pursuing economic policies that in some cases are at odds with one another. The Federal Reserve is preparing to reduce its economic support. The European Central Bank is considering additional stimulus. So is the Bank of Japan. The Bank of England appears to be moving toward a rate increase. A look at the policies major central banks are pursuing and whether it matters if they act at cross-purposes. By Martin Crutsinger. SENT: 1,050 words.
POLICE BODY CAMERAS
NEW YORK —What if Michael Brown's last moments had been recorded? The fatal police shooting of the unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri is prompting calls for more officers to wear so-called "body cameras," simple gadgets that capture and store video footage of law enforcement's interactions with the public. Proponents say the devices add a new level of accountability to police work and also help to keep criminal suspects in check. And there's evidence supporting it: In a one-year study with the University of Cambridge, the Rialto, Calif. police department saw an 89 percent decline in the number of complaints against officers. The number of times the police used force against suspects declined too. After the trial, the cameras became mandatory for the department's roughly 90 cops. Across the U.S. and in England, Australia and elsewhere, a growing number of departments are implementing the cameras and some have even experimented with Google Glass. Still, there are drawbacks. Cameras raise privacy concerns, budget issues and legal questions. By Barbara Ortutay. SENT: 930 words, photo.
CHINA-COAL GAS BOOM
HEXIGTEN, China — Twin smoke stacks painted red and white rise more than 200 feet above the hilly grasslands of remote Inner Mongolia, their steam and sulfur billowing over herds of sheep and cattle. On the ground, a maze of pipes covers the sprawling site, and piles of coal wait to be fed into high-pressure gasifiers. Day and night, the plant's rumble echoes across the ancient steppe, and its acrid stench travels dozens of miles away. This is the first of more than 60 coal-to-gas plants China wants to build, mostly in remote parts of the country where ethnic minorities have farmed and herded for centuries. It's part of a controversial energy revolution China hopes will help it churn out desperately needed natural gas and electricity while cleaning up the toxic skies above the country's eastern cities. However, the plants will also release vast amounts of heat-trapping carbon dioxide, even as the world struggles to curb greenhouse gas emissions and stave off global warming. By Jack Chang. SENT: 1,300 words, photos, video.
NEW YORK — Jell-O sales are flopping and nobody seems to know how to stop the slippery slide. The jiggling dessert was invented more than a century ago and helped popularize a delicacy reserved for the rich into a quick, affordable treat. Americans of all ages are familiar with the famous "J-E-L-L-O" jingle and TV ads featuring comedian Bill Cosby. Yet despite its enduring place in pop culture, sales have tumbled 19 percent from five years ago, with alternatives such as Greek yogurt surging in popularity. By Candice Choi. SENT: 1015 words, photos.
FOOD AND FARM-FARMING RESURGENCE
CRANSTON, R.I. — Farming is hip in New England. Across the region, young people are choosing crops over cubicles, new farms are popping up and the local food movement is spreading. Farmers and industry experts agree New England is bucking a trend toward larger, but fewer, farms because many of its residents want to buy their food locally and its entrepreneurs want to produce it. The region's small size makes it easy for farmers and consumers to connect at farm markets and stands. Many of these new farmers are young people increasingly interested in the origins of their food and farming, who are eager to take over for the nation's aging farmers. By Jennifer McDermott. SENT: 750 words, photos, video.
MARKETS & ECONOMY:
NEW YORK — Stocks are little changed after a speech by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen left investors unsure on how the nation's most important financial voice feels about raising interest rates in the coming months. SENT: 580 words, photo. UPCOMING: 700 words by 5 p.m.
MIDTERM ELECTIONS-HEALTH CARE
WASHINGTON — One of the most vulnerable Senate Democrats is standing by his vote for President Barack Obama's health care law, a fresh sign that the unpopular mandate may be losing some of its political punch. By Donna Cassata. SENT: 730 words, photo.
STADIUM BEER SALES
Walk through the tailgate area at a college football stadium, and beer drinking is as common a sight as grown men adorned in jerseys of their favorite players. A growing number of schools are capitalizing on fans' taste for the suds by bringing the party inside, opening taps in concourses that traditionally have been alcohol-free zones. The reason? The revenue helps, but it also keeps season ticket holders in their seats. By Eric Olson. SENT: 900 words, photos.
— STADIUM-BEER-SALES-LIST — A list of college football stadiums where alcohol will be sold to the general public this season. SENT: 80 words.
McDonald's named a new president for its struggling U.S. division on Friday, marking the second change in the high-profile spot in less than two years. The world's biggest hamburger chain says it's bringing back a longtime McDonald's executive, Mike Andres, to fill the role effective Oct. 15. Andres replaces Jeff Stratton, who is retiring. By Candice Choi. SENT: 390 words.
LAS VEGAS — The Moroccan-themed Sahara casino that once hosted Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and the Beatles seemed a lost cause in 2011, when its owners declared the 59-year-old property unprofitable and shut it down with little more than a vague promise to return. The decision to cling to the shabby casino will look nothing short of prescient at the stroke of midnight Friday, when the reincarnated Sahara opens as the vibrant SLS Las Vegas amid the glare of fireworks. By Michelle Rindels. SENT: 750 words, photos.
— KRAFT-KEURIG — Keurig Green Mountain says it struck a deal to make Kraft's branded coffees, such as Maxwell House and Gevalia, for its single-serve brewing systems in the U.S. SENT: 130 words.
— DYNEGY-ACQUISITION— Dynegy plans to spend more than $6 billion to buy several coal and gas power generation plants from Duke Energy and Energy Capital Partners. SENT: 270 words.
— DEERE-LAYOFFS — Agricultural equipment maker Deere is laying off about 460 employees indefinitely from an Iowa tractor factory as it continues to adjust to market demand. SENT: 250 words.
— BEAN BAG CHAIR RECALL — About 2.2 million bean bag chairs are being recalled after two children opened them, crawled inside and suffocated to death. SENT: 200 words.
WARSAW, Poland — Poland's Economy Ministry wants the nation of beer and vodka lovers to drink more cider. The ministry, which is struggling to help apple producers hurt by a Russian embargo on European foods, has proposed exempting cider from a law that bans advertising any alcohol other than beer. But the Health Ministry and other health advocates are fighting the proposal. By Vanessa Gera. SENT: 290 words, photos.
— SERBIA-RUSSIA — Serbia says it wants EU membership, but won't impose sanctions on Russia. SENT: 310 words, photos.