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story.lead_photo.caption In this Wednesday, Sept., 14, 2011 file photo, Inventor James Dyson launches the Dyson DC41 Ball vacuum and the Dyson Hot heater fan on in New York. Dyson, the British company best known for innovative vacuum cleaners, has said on Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018 it will build its electric car in Singapore. (AP Photo/Rob Bennett, file)

Regions releases 3Q report; stock falls

Regions Financial Corp., the holding company for Regions Bank, had net income of $564 million in the third quarter, the firm said Tuesday.

Birmingham, Ala.-based Regions Bank is the seventh-largest bank in Arkansas, with $3.8 billion in deposits in June, and has 85 branches in the state. Regions Bank had deposits of $3.9 billion in June 2017, 3.2 percent more than deposits in June 2018.

Regions shares fell 11 cents to close Tuesday at $16.28 in trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

The bank had earnings of 32 cents per share for the quarter, below the estimate of 26 analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research of 36 cents a share.

Regions Financial's shares have declined 5 percent since the beginning of the year, while the Standard & Poor's 500 index has climbed 3 percent. However, the stock is nearly 8 percent higher than it was at this time last year.

Regions entered Arkansas in 1998 with the purchase of Little Rock-based First Commercial Corp.

-- David Smith

Amazon pitched help to border agency

SEATTLE -- Amazon officials earlier this year pitched the company's contentious facial recognition software to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, according to documents uncovered by the Project on Government Oversight.

The disclosure comes as Amazon's product and similar tools built by other companies come under scrutiny from civil-liberties groups, legislators and even some of their own employees because of the technology's potential for misuse.

The relationship between high-tech firms and the immigration agency has also been a flashpoint since the outcry over the agency's enforcement of President Donald Trump's policy to separate migrant parents and children arriving at the U.S. border. Employee groups at Microsoft, Google and Amazon have all raised concerns about their companies' relationship with Immigration and Customs Enforcement or Defense Department projects.

Built by the Amazon Web Services unit and first released in 2016, Rekognition uses complex algorithms to identify objects, including faces, in still images or video.

The American Civil Liberties Union earlier this year highlighted the use of Amazon's Rekognition software by a sheriff's office in Oregon and a police department in Florida, and called on the company to stop selling the tool to government entities. The civil-liberties group later said a test it ran using Amazon's Rekognition incorrectly identified 28 members of Congress as a match to images in a mug shot database.

The Project on Government Oversight, using a Freedom of Information Act request, uncovered two new documents that show an apparent Amazon sales pitch to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, details of which were published by The Daily Beast.

-- The Seattle Times

Parent firm plans to spin off MoviePass

NEW YORK -- MoviePass, the struggling discount movie ticket subscription service, is being spun off by the company that owns it.

MoviePass drew in millions of subscribers, luring them with a $10 monthly rate. But that proved costly. Because MoviePass typically pays theaters the full cost of tickets -- $15 or more in big cities -- a single movie can put the service in the red. At one point, Helios and Matheson had to take out a $5 million emergency loan to pay its payment processors after missed payments resulted in service stoppages.

Then, last week, the company acknowledged that it is being investigated by the New York attorney general on allegations that it misled investors.

Helios and Matheson, based in New York, says it does not believe it has misled anyone and that it has filed all public disclosures in a timely and truthful manner.

-- The Associated Press

Oil-gas financier pleads guilty to fraud

DALLAS -- A Dallas businessman who dubbed himself the "Frack Master" and went on TV to discuss oil and gas has pleaded guilty to fraud and tax evasion charges in what regulators called an $80 million scam.

Christopher A. Faulkner, 41, entered his plea Tuesday in Dallas after reaching a deal. He faces up to 12 years in federal prison and possible repayment of investors.

Prosecutors say that between 2011 and 2016, Faulkner raised about $71 million from working interest investors, plus millions more related to potential royalties, then diverted $23 million for himself.

He was arrested in June at Los Angeles International Airport.

A Securities and Exchange Commission lawsuit against Faulkner was settled Tuesday. He must repay nearly $24 million.

-- The Associated Press

EU rejects Italy's budget, urges new plan

BRUSSELS -- The European Commission on Tuesday rejected Italy's proposed budget -- the first time it has ever done so with a member state -- as it argues the populist government's spending plans for next year are out of line and would break promises to lower public debt.

The EU's executive arm wants the Italian government to produce a new budget proposal, ratcheting up a dispute with the country. Italy argues the big increase in spending is needed to jump-start the economy, but the EU and many regional leaders say it could jeopardize Europe's financial stability if Italy is unable to get its debts under control.

"Today for the first time the Commission is obliged to request a euro area country to revise its draft budgetary plan," said EU Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis. "But we see no alternative."

Italy immediately replied that it would stick to its plans and that the European Commission had no right to meddle.

-- The Associated Press

Dyson to build electric car in Singapore

LONDON -- Dyson, the British company best known for vacuum cleaners and air dryers, said Tuesday that it will build its new electric car in Singapore as it joins the increasingly crowded race to create the next generation of clean vehicles.

The manufacturing facility is due for completion in 2020 and is part of a $3.2 billion investment in new technology globally.

Dyson did not say what kind of a car it hoped to produce, or how many a year. But it is set to at least try to get a foothold in the electric car industry, where companies like Tesla have struggled to translate ideas into profits.

Other car makers also are ramping up their investments in electric cars, but there's no clear front-runner in the field, said David Bailey, a professor of industrial strategy at Aston Business School.

The location in Singapore would put Dyson close to the big and growing Chinese market, where car makers are increasingly focusing sales.

-- The Associated Press

Business on 10/24/2018

Print Headline: Business news in brief

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