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The longhorned tick has been confirmed in Arkansas, posing a threat to livestock and people, the Arkansas Agriculture Department said in a news release.

The exotic Asian tick was found on a dog in Benton County, the department said, citing the findings of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Veterinary Services Laboratory.

The tick's presence in the United States was confirmed last year, in New Jersey. It has since been found in Virginia and West Virginia. There are no known direct links between the cases, the release said.

The longhorned tick is associated with bacterial and viral tick-borne diseases of animals and humans in other parts of the world. This tick is considered by USDA to be a serious threat to livestock because heavy tick infestations may cause stunted growth, decreased production and animal deaths.

In other countries, the longhorned tick has been implicated in causing disease in humans. Like deer-ticks, the nymphs of the longhorned tick are very small, resembling tiny spiders, and can easily go unnoticed on animals and people. This tick is known to infest a wide range of species and has the potential to infect multiple North American wildlife species, humans, dogs, cats, and livestock.

-- Stephen Steed

Senate bid to derail Trump's tariffs fails

A GOP's senator's bid to rein in President Donald Trump's tariff authority was scuttled after a Republican colleague blocked its consideration this month on the Senate floor.

Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker needed agreement of all senators to get a vote on whether to attach his plan to an annual defense bill. But the senator leading the defense debate, James Inhofe of Oklahoma, said Tuesday he wouldn't go along because it risked holding up Pentagon funding and wasn't directly related.

That shelves Corker's proposal to require presidents to get congressional approval for tariffs that are imposed on national security grounds, which Trump cited in announcing levies on steel and aluminum imports from Mexico, Canada and the European Union.

John Cornyn of Texas, the No. 2 Senate Republican, said last week that GOP leaders were concerned that the legislation would publicly air intraparty differences with Trump over trade ahead of November's elections.

Corker, who is retiring in January, is increasingly open about his frustrations with Trump's trade and other policies. On the Senate floor, Corker accused Republican lawmakers of being afraid to "poke the bear" when they find themselves on the other side of the president.

-- Bloomberg News

Tyson raises loan agreement to $750M

Tyson Foods Inc. has increased its loan agreement with Bank of America to $750 million, up from $500 million agreed upon three years ago.

Details of the loan were included in a document that the Springdale company filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday afternoon.

The meatpacker agreed to borrow $500 million from the bank on April 7, 2015. On June 8, Tyson entered into an amendment with Bank of America to increase the "Term Loan Agreement" to $750 million. Aside from the increased amount borrowed, terms of the loan remain the same.

In the filing, Tyson agreed to use the funds for "general corporate purposes" and "to fund an acquisition."

On June 4, Tyson purchased organic chicken producer Tecumseh Poultry LLC for an undisclosed amount. A few days earlier, the company agreed to sell its Sara Lee frozen bakery and Kettle assets.

-- Nathan Owens

All in with Bolt, electric cars, GM says

DETROIT -- General Motors reiterated Tuesday that it is committed to an all-electric future and will increase production of its Bolt hatchback this year to meet worldwide demand.

The company's sustainability report, presented in conjunction with its annual shareholder meeting Tuesday, said it will introduce more than 20 new zero-emissions vehicles in global markets by 2023.

GM has been aggressive this year in its push for electric and autonomous vehicle development, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra noted in meeting with reporters.

"We are committed to an all-EV future and continue to work in that direction," she said. "Just 10 days ago we had an important announcement of a partnership with SoftBank. So if you look at where we are, it's a very exciting time."

GM is not saying by how much volume it will ratchet up Bolt production, which it builds at its Orion Assembly plant in Lake Orion. But GM is "taking a percentage of that production and sending it overseas for example to South Korea," said GM spokesman Tony Cervone. "We're trying to fill the pipeline in some of the international countries."

Cervone said demand for the Bolt is strong and the U.S. will get more of the cars towards year end. Last year, GM sold 23,297 Bolts in the U.S.

-- Detroit Free Press

Mexican Pepsi dealer quits, cites gangs

An exclusive bottler of PepsiCo Inc. is halting operations in a Mexican town where it has become too dangerous to operate, almost three months after rival Coca-Cola Femsa did the same.

The company says gangs are shaking down businesses in the region and it's unable to guarantee the safety of its employees, the Mexico City daily El Financiero reported on its website. The town, Ciudad Altamirano, is located in the southwestern state of Guerrero, which has experienced a surge of violence in recent years.

Grupo Gepp bottles and distributes beverages for PepsiCo in Mexico.

Coca-Cola Femsa, Latin America's largest soft drink bottler, announced similar measures in March when it indefinitely closed its distribution operations there. The company cited months of harassment by criminal groups and the lack of an effective police response.

Guerrero has seen homicides soar 19 percent this year, according to data posted on the Interior Ministry's website. Nationwide, homicides have surged this year, outpacing 2017, which saw the most deaths on record.

-- Bloomberg News

Business on 06/13/2018

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