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story.lead_photo.caption FILE - In this July 9, 2018 file photo German Chancellor Angela Merkel, second from right, and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, third from left, attend a contracts signing ceremony between German car maker BMW CEO Harald Krueger, right, and Qi Yumin CEO of the Brilliance Group, left front, during a meeting in the chancellery in Berlin. German automaker BMW said Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018 it is taking a majority stake in its China joint venture and investing 3 billion euros in future production there as it prepares to meet increased demand for electric vehicles. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber, file)

Tyson to reopen 2 facilities after storm

Two Tyson Foods Inc. facilities in Georgia plan to reopen in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael, which pushed winds over 60 mph through inland parts of the state Wednesday night.

“Because team member safety is our top priority, we’re not operating at our poultry plant in Vienna, Ga., Thursday,” a Tyson spokesman said in an email. “We plan to resume operations [today].”

The Category 4 hurricane made landfall in the Florida panhandle on Wednesday. The National Weather Service had downgraded Michael to a tropical storm by 1 a.m. Thursday, reporting 60 mph winds due east of Macon, Ga. Tyson closed its distribution center there around 2 p.m. Wednesday. A spokesman said the company planned to reopen the Macon center at 7 p.m. Thursday.

Sanderson Farms, Pilgrim’s and Wayne Farms have operations in Georgia. A reported 84 chicken houses, holding an estimated 2 million birds, were destroyed in the storm, Georgia’s Department of Agriculture said in a news update Thursday.

-- Nathan Owen

Facebook purges over 800 spammers

NEW YORK -- Facebook says it has purged more than 800 U.S. pages and accounts for spamming users with garbage links and clickbait.

Facebook accuses their backers of "coordinated inauthentic behavior" for setting up networks of pages and accounts designed to mislead users about who they are and what they're doing.

The social network says these accounts spread "sensational political content" designed to drive people to ad-laden websites outside Facebook. In the past, such spammers have often focused on celebrity gossip, weight-loss remedies and fake iPhones.

The turn toward politics suggests that spammers are learning from the Russian playbook on how to get people riled up and clicking. Facebook has been working to weed out misinformation and election meddling since it acknowledged that Russian agents abused its service in 2016.

-- The Associated Press

Jury rejects woman's talc cancer claims

Johnson & Johnson persuaded a jury to reject a woman's claims that the company's iconic baby powder is laced with cancer-causing asbestos in its first trial win in New Jersey litigation over the product.

Jurors in New Brunswick, N.J., deliberated less than a day before unanimously rebuffing Rosalind Henry's claims Johnson & Johnson sold its baby powder knowing it was tainted with asbestos, a carcinogen, said Carol Goodrich, a company spokesman. The ruling follows two mistrials in California where jurors couldn't reach a verdict on the same issue.

The win may help turn the tide of the talc litigation, which resulted in a $4.69 billion verdict against the company in state court in St. Louis in July. Jurors there found 22 women's cancers were linked to asbestos in talc products they used. Another jury in New Jersey ordered Johnson & Johnson in April to pay $117 million to an investment banker who blamed his asbestos-linked cancer on baby powder use.

The latest jury's finding "is consistent with decades of clinical evidence and scientific studies by medical experts" confirming the company's baby powder doesn't contain asbestos, said Kim Montagnino, a company spokeswoman.

The company still faces more than 10,000 lawsuits in which J&J officials are accused of having known more than 40 years ago that its baby powder was tainted with asbestos and hid that from consumers.

-- Bloomberg News

Western Canada Select oil plummets

Western Canada Select oil slumped below $20 a barrel on Thursday, the lowest in more than two years, continuing a streak of declines for the country's main grade of crude.

The drop has come as rising production from Canada's oil-sands overwhelms the nation's pipeline capacity, and as refinery capacity in the U.S. dwindles amid planned maintenance.

Western Canada Select has now declined for 10 of the past 13 trading days, sending its discount to West Texas Intermediate crude to $51 a barrel, the widest on record in Bloomberg data stretching back to 2008.

The situation worsened on Tuesday when a natural gas pipeline in British Columbia ruptured, forcing Washington oil refineries that are major buyers of Canadian crude to curtail operations.

-- Bloomberg News

Musk's chairmanship up to shareholders

If Tesla Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk wants to return as chairman, shareholders will have to vote on it.

The requirement is detailed in a court brief filed jointly on Thursday by Tesla and the Securities and Exchange Commission. The brief was required by a federal judge who must approve a securities-fraud settlement reached with Musk and the company last month.

Musk and Tesla agreed to pay $20 million each and make concessions to settle an SEC lawsuit alleging Musk duped investors with statements about a plan to take the company private.

The settlement allows Musk to remain CEO but requires him to relinquish his role as chairman for at least three years. After that time, a majority of shareholders must approve Musk's return to lead the company's board.

U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan ordered the brief to show the settlement was "fair and reasonable," which is a common practice in the court. She has yet to rule on the agreements with Musk and Tesla.

The SEC accused Musk of committing securities fraud after an Aug. 7 tweet in which he declared he had secured financing to take the company private at $420 per share, a huge premium over the stock price at the time.

The commission alleged that Musk hadn't locked up the estimated $25 billion to $50 billion that it would have required to pull off that deal, and wanted to punish him by forcing him out as Tesla's CEO.

-- The Associated Press

MedMen to buy pot firm in $682M deal

MedMen Enterprises Inc., one of the most prominent companies in the expanding cannabis industry, agreed to buy medical-marijuana firm PharmaCann for $682 million, boosting its presence across the U.S.

The all-stock purchase, which will give MedMen 10 additional dispensaries and licenses for several more, is one of the biggest in the history of the legal weed industry, which has seen its value explode in recent weeks as Canada prepares to legalize cannabis for adult use next week. With regulations set to loosen in more U.S. states and around the world, investors are pouring billions of dollars into marijuana companies.

MedMen, which is run from Los Angeles, currently has 16 marijuana dispensaries in the U.S., including in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and New York. With the acquisition of Illinois-based PharmaCann, MedMen will have 79 licensed cannabis facilities, including grow operations, in 12 states, the company said in a statement Thursday.

-- Bloomberg News

Business on 10/12/2018

Print Headline: Facebook purges over 800 spammers Jury rejects woman's talc cancer claims Western Canada Select oil plummets Musk's chairmanship up to shareholders MedMen to buy pot firm in $682M deal BMW ramps u...


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