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Here are today’s top business headlines from across the nation and world:
WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve officials struggled in September to come to terms with persistently low inflation but decided to continue to signal the possibility of raising interest rates for a third time this year. The minutes of their most recent policy meeting released Wednesday show that a group of Fed officials expressed concern that low unemployment could cause inflation to surge and a rate hike was needed, presumably when it meets in December. Another group suggested that no further rate increases were called for in the near term. Read more
SONOMA, Calif. (AP) — Wildfires already well on their way to becoming the deadliest and most destructive in California history could gain momentum Thursday and erase even the modest gains firefighters have made. Steady winds with gusts up to 45 mph (72 kph) with nearly non-existent humidity are expected to descend on the areas north of San Francisco where at least 23 people have died and at least 3,500 homes and businesses have been destroyed. Read more
BRUSSELS (AP) — Brexit talks have made little progress, the European Union’s negotiator said Thursday, meaning he cannot yet recommend broadening the negotiations beyond the focus on the terms of Britain’s exit to include key issues such as future trade relations. Michel Barnier said that despite the “constructive spirit” shown in this week’s fifth round of talks, “we haven’t made any great steps forward.” On the question of how much Britain has to pay to settle its financial commitments, he said: “We have reached a state of deadlock, which is disturbing.” Read more
PARIS (AP) — The noise of car engines enveloping the streets of the French capital might in the future become a memory for Paris pedestrians. In its latest initiative to reduce pollution, Paris City Hall is planning to ban gas-powered cars by 2030. The controversial move follows Mayor Anne Hidalgo’s plan to ban all diesel cars from the city by 2024, when Paris will host the Summer Olympics. Speaking on France Info radio, the Paris deputy mayor in charge of transport, Christophe Nadjovski, said “we have planned the end of thermic vehicle use, and therefore of fossil energies, by 2030.” Read more
WASHINGTON (AP) — Fewer people sought unemployment benefits last week as the impact of last month’s hurricanes on the U.S. economy fades. Applications for U.S. unemployment aid fell 15,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 243,000. Applications fell in Texas and Florida, where Hurricanes Harvey and Irma inflicted heavy damage in late August and September. Read more
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