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Business Highlights


Now arriving: airport control towers with no humans inside

NEW YORK (AP) -- Passengers landing at remote Ornskoldsvik Airport in northern Sweden might catch a glimpse of the control tower -- likely unaware there is nobody inside.

The dozen commercial planes landing there each day are instead watched by cameras, guided in by controllers viewing the video at another airport 90 miles away.

Ornskoldsvik is the first airport in the world to use such technology. Others in Europe are testing the idea, as is one airport in the United States. While the majority of the world's airports will, for some time, still have controllers on site, experts say unmanned towers are coming.


Fiat Chrysler CEO skips Frankfurt show; UAW deal may be near

DETROIT (AP) -- Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne canceled plans to attend the Frankfurt International Motor Show in Germany, an indication that the company may be getting close to a contract agreement with the United Auto Workers union.

FCA said Monday that Marchionne is staying in the U.S. to deal with business matters but gave no further details.

The UAW's contracts with FCA, Ford and General Motors were set to expire at 11:59 p.m. EDT Monday. Ford extended its contract indefinitely on Monday afternoon.


Apple says sales for latest iPhones may surpass other models

NEW YORK (AP) -- Preorders for its latest iPhone have been so strong that Apple expects to surpass last year's record, when it sold 10 million phones during the first weekend.

Apple began taking preorders for the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus on Saturday.

The new models, which go on sale Sept. 25, have more memory and faster processors, along with a new 12 mega-pixel camera.


China issues blueprint on overhauling bloated state industry

BEIJING (AP) -- China's Communist Party issued a long-awaited blueprint for overhauling bloated state industries while retaining the party's dominance in the economy.

The government of President Xi Jinping is under pressure to reverse an economic slowdown and reduce reliance on trade and investment to drive growth. Communist leaders have promised to give entrepreneurs and market forces a bigger role but say state ownership will remain the core of the economy.

The plan issued late Sunday reflects the complex path the party walks in trying to develop the world's second-largest economy while preserving its monopoly on power.


Thai villagers say gas drilling sickens them, ruins crops

BANGKOK (AP) -- More than 100 students and villagers crowded into a northeast Thailand college forum to hear about American gas companies conducting drilling operations in their region. A lieutenant colonel and dozens of soldiers and police officers followed them in.

The armed police began photographing members of the crowd, a menacing move in a country now run by a military junta that bars protests and routinely cracks down on dissenters. Some in the audience had already viewed the military as part of the problem, since months earlier they had forced demonstrators to make way for drilling equipment.

Villagers in the northeast provinces of Udon Thani, Khon Kaen and Kalasin are trying to stop the drilling operations by American company APICO and its subsidiary Tatex Thailand.


Ukrainian firm, CEO paying $30M to settle SEC charges

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A Ukrainian firm and its CEO are paying $30 million to settle U.S. regulators' charges they were part of an international web of hackers and traders that made $100 million by getting advance peeks at sensitive corporate news releases.

The Securities and Exchange Commission announced the settlement Monday with Jaspen Capital Partners and CEO Andriy Supranonok, who agreed to make restitution for their allegedly ill-gotten gains. They neither acknowledged nor denied wrongdoing but did agree to refrain from future violations of the securities laws.


Pumpkin spice: The flavor of fall, and a hint of the past

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Once upon a time, pumpkin spice lived pretty much only in pies.

That was a long time ago.

These days, it's a modifier on a list of foods that grows longer each fall: There are pumpkin spice lattes and breakfast cereals, doughnuts and yogurt-coated pretzels, pancakes and candy, even pizza and beer. In fact, in recent years, the number of pumpkin spice-related items introduced in restaurants and supermarkets has doubled, according to Datassentials, a company that tracks menu trends.


NY regulators reach deals to require 4 banks to keep records

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- New York financial regulators have reached agreements with Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse and Bank of New York Mellon that require them to retain electronic records with a new cloud-based communications service for seven years.

The agreements are meant to help ensure the banks responsibly use Symphony Communications' chat and messaging platform, which includes a feature described as "guaranteed data deletion," the Department of Financial Services said Monday.


Got a $100 million tax bill? Your check is no good at IRS

WASHINGTON (AP) -- No checks, please. Starting next year, your check won't be any good at the IRS -- if you're making a tax payment of $100 million or more.

The IRS says it will reject all checks for more than $99,999,999 because check-processing equipment at the nation's Federal Reserve banks can't handle checks that big.

Checks of $100 million or more have to be processed by hand, increasing the risk of theft, fraud and errors, according to a pair of memos from the IRS and the Treasury Department.

As a result, the richest among us will have to wire their tax payments electronically. Or write multiple checks for less than $100 million apiece.


Google names auto veteran to lead self-driving car push

Google has hired auto industry veteran and former Hyundai U.S. CEO John Krafcik to run its self-driving car program.

Krafcik, 53, is credited with turning around Hyundai's U.S. operations, leading the company to huge sales increases after the Great Recession. Early in his career as a mechanical engineer he worked at a joint venture between Toyota and General Motors where he became a proponent of lean manufacturing.

For Google, Krafcik's hiring shows the tech giant is serious about turning autonomous cars into a sustainable business. Google has promised to have a self-driving car in the public's hands by 2020. Krafcik takes over as the autonomous car CEO later this month.


Appeals court clears way for trial over dancing baby video

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- A federal appeals court Monday cleared the way for a trial in a copyright lawsuit over a YouTube video showing a baby dancing to the Prince song "Let's Go Crazy."

The lawsuit was filed by the baby's mother, Stephanie Lenz, after Universal Music sent a notice to YouTube demanding the video be taken down for violating the song's copyright.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said copyright holders can't demand videos and other content that uses their material be taken down without determining whether they constitute "fair use."


Nintendo names new president after Iwata death

TOKYO (AP) -- Nintendo on Monday named a long-serving executive as president following the death in July of Satoru Iwata.

Nintendo said that a board meeting decided to appoint Tatsumi Kimishima, 65, as president to strengthen management of the video game maker.

A new title of "Creative Fellow" was announced for star game designer and senior managing director Shigeru Miyamoto. Nintendo said the title was meant to convey his role in providing advice and guidance. Another senior executive, Genyo Takeda, was given the title "Technology Fellow."


Congress-White House Iran dispute a side-show for world

VIENNA (AP) -- As Congress was debating the merits of the Iran nuclear deal last week, the U.S. political world was whipping itself into a frenzy. Not so much the rest of the world -- it was busy restoring relations with Tehran, selling it weapons, and inking contracts with Iranian firms.

Republicans tried last week to push through a resolution of disapproval of the nuclear deal and a second vote, also expected to fail, is scheduled for Tuesday.

But U.S. companies will be sidelined no matter how the U.S. political tussle plays out because core sanctions imposed by Washington will remain even after the nuclear-related sanctions are lifted.


By The Associated Press=

The Dow Jones industrial average gave up 62.13 points, or 0.4 percent, to 16,370.96. The Standard & Poor's 500 index lost 8.02 points, or 0.4 percent, to close the day at 1,953.03. The Nasdaq composite fell 16.58 points, or 0.3 percent, to 4,805.76.

U.S. crude fell 63 cents to close at $44 a barrel in New York. Brent Crude, a benchmark for international oils used by many U.S. refineries, fell $1.77 to close at $46.37 in London. Wholesale gasoline fell 6.6 cents to close at $1.304 a gallon. Heating oil fell 4.6 cents to close at $1.504 a gallon. Natural gas rose 6.5 cents to close at $2.758 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Updated : 2021-09-28 10:23 GMT+08:00