Thursday, August 16, 2018

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For many kids, summer means powering down for camp

NEW YORK (AP) — With summer in full swing, thousands of kids at sleepaway camps around the U.S. are doing without their cell phones, laptops and iPads. So how’s it going? Camp directors, parents and kids themselves say it’s not as bad as some would think. About 90 percent of the nearly 8,400 sleepaway camps counted by the American Camp Association are now device free.

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Tech giants still stumbling in the social world they created

NEW YORK (AP) — Social media bans of conspiracy theorist Alex Jones have thrust Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and others into a role they never wanted — as gatekeepers of public discourse who are going to anger lots of people no matter what they do. But they should have seen this coming as they built huge businesses by sweeping away existing gatekeepers while promising to protect their users from harassment and abuse.

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US budget deficit totals $76.9 billion in July

WASHINGTON (AP) — The federal government racked up a $76.9 billion deficit in July, with increased government spending and tax cuts keeping the country on track to record its biggest annual deficit in six years. The Treasury Department reports that in the first 10 months of this budget year, the deficit totaled $684 billion, up 20.8 percent from the same period last year.

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Turkey shaken by financial fears, Trump rattles it further

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — A financial shockwave has ripped through Turkey, with its currency nosediving on concerns about its economic policies and a dispute with the U.S. President Donald Trump stoked the jitters further with a promise to double tariffs on the NATO ally. The lira tumbled 14 percent in one day, a massive move that will make the Turkish poorer and further erode international investors’ confidence in the country.

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Serving on corporate board while in Congress? That could end

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congressman Chris Collins’ indictment on insider trading charges is drawing attention to the fact that members of Congress are not prohibited from serving on corporate boards as long as they don’t receive compensation for doing so. One government ethics expert says that’s allowed to ensure that lawmakers aren’t prevented from accepting positions at philanthropic organizations. Two lawmakers plan to introduce legislation to prohibit members from serving on the boards of publicly held companies.

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Consumer prices up 2.9 pct, leaving Americans worse off

WASHINGTON (AP) — Consumer prices climbed 2.9 percent in July from a year earlier, a rate of inflation that suggests Americans are earning less than a year ago despite an otherwise solid economy. The Labor Department said Friday that the consumer price index ticked up 0.2 percent in July. Annual inflation matched the 2.9 percent pace from June, which had been the highest level since February 2012. Adjusted for inflation, average weekly earnings have fallen 0.1 percent in the past 12 months.

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Fox’s Laura Ingraham: I wasn’t talking about race

NEW YORK (AP) — Fox News Channel host Laura Ingraham is trying to tamp down a furor over her remark that ‘demographic changes’ that most Americans don’t like have been forced on the country by immigration. She said she wasn’t talking about race, and disavows the support of any white nationalist.

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Russian PM strongly warns US against ramping up sanctions

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia’s prime minister has sternly warned the United States against ramping up sanctions, saying that Moscow will strike back with economic, political and “other” means. Dmitry Medvedev says that if the U.S. introduces sanctions against Russian banks as some reports suggested, Moscow will see that as a declaration of an “economic war” and respond accordingly. The tough message from Medvedev reflects a growing dismay with the new U.S. sanctions that have sent the Russian ruble plummeting.

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Turkish turmoil knocks US and European stocks lower

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks in the U.S. and Europe skidded Friday as investors worried about the financial stability of Turkey and how it might affect the global banking system. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has accumulated more and more control over the country’s central bank as well as its financial system, which is now run by his son-in-law. Its currency is plunging and Turkey is also in a diplomatic spat with the U.S., a major trading partner.

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The S&P 500 slid 20.30 points, or 0.7 percent, to 2,833.28. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 196.09 points, or 0.8 percent, to 25,313.14. The Nasdaq composite sank 52.67 points, or 0.7 percent, to 7,839.11. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks took a smaller loss of 4.08 points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,686.80.

Benchmark U.S. crude oil rose 1.2 percent to $67.63 a barrel in New York and Brent crude, the standard for international oil prices, rose 1.1 percent to $72.83 a barrel in London. Wholesale gasoline rose 2 percent to $2.04 a gallon. Heating oil added 1.3 percent to $2.14 a gallon. Natural gas lost 0.4 percent to $2.94 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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