Global Glance: Widening divide over economy in Japan, Fed announces likely June hike

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Here are today’s top business headlines from across the nation and world:

Divide over fiscal policies, currencies at G-7 in Japan

SENDAI, Japan (AP) — Japan faces a challenge in bridging a widening divide over how to revitalize sluggish growth in leading economies at a meeting of top financial officials that began Thursday with the group bashing in the lids of sake barrels. Read more

Fed’s surprise message: June hike likely if economy improves

WASHINGTON (AP) — Catching many investors off guard, the Federal Reserve made clear Wednesday that an interest rate hike in June is likely if the economy keeps improving. The minutes of their most recent meeting in late April showed that Fed officials widely felt it would be time to raise rates at their June 14-15 meeting as long as hiring and economic growth strengthened and inflation showed signs of accelerating toward the Fed’s 2 percent target rate. Read more

At a Glance: Google’s newest tools, gadgets and services

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (AP) — A new virtual-reality system from Google and a way to use Android apps without downloading Android apps are among the highlights at the company’s annual developer showcase in Mountain View, California. Google also unveiled new messaging apps, a smart-home device and a contest: It wants users to suggest names for its next Android system, currently known as N. Read more

Pope: Exploiting workers for profit is a mortal sin

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis says employers who exploit their workers for their own profit are committing a mortal sin. During his morning homily Thursday, Francis said such labor exploitation is a modern-day form of slavery. Read more

AP Explains: Standoff, dying economy drive Venezuelan crisis

Venezuela is being wracked by an increasingly belligerent standoff between the government and opposition, while many Venezuelans are becoming fed up with a floundering economy marked by long lines for food and the world’s highest inflation. President Nicolas Maduro has declared a state of emergency to let him deal with the economy by decree, but the opposition is vowing to push ahead with its campaign to force a recall referendum seeking his ouster. Read more

After one merger called off in energy sector, another arises

NEW YORK (AP) — FMC Technologies will attempt to merge with Technip in an all-stock deal worth about $13 billion to create a larger player in the energy services sector. The combined company would have more than 49,000 employees operating in 45 countries. It would be based in Paris, where Technip is headquartered. Read more

Apple will open India office to develop its maps feature

HYDERABAD, India (AP) — Apple will set up an office in southern India to develop the Maps feature for its products, the company said Thursday in its second such announcement since CEO Tim Cook arrived in the country. A company statement said the venture will be located in the technology hub of Hyderabad and will create about 4,000 jobs. Read more

ECB: Stimulus working, grounds for optimism about economy

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — European Central Bank officials saw “grounds for cautious optimism about the economy” at their last meeting as the bank’s stimulus measures take hold across the 19 countries that use the euro as their currency. A summary of the bank’s April 21 meeting released Thursday indicates the central bank is now focused on implementing measures that have been decided but are still in the pipeline – rather than readying new ones. Read more

Poll: Two-thirds of US would struggle to cover $1,000 crisis

NEW YORK (AP) — Two-thirds of Americans would have difficulty coming up with the money to cover a $1,000 emergency, according to an exclusive poll released Thursday, a signal that despite years of recovery from the Great Recession, Americans’ financial conditions remain precarious as ever. Read more

Tesla selling $1.4 billion in shares to pay for Model 3

PALO ALTO, Calif. (AP) — Electric car maker Tesla Motors is selling around $1.4 billion worth of stock to help bring its lower-cost Model 3 to market. Analysts had expected the move after Tesla announced this month it wants to produce 500,000 cars per year in 2018, two years earlier than planned. Read more

China’s high-tech future emerges in factory town Shenzen

SHENZHEN, China (AP) — Once a collection of fishing enclaves next door to Hong Kong, Shenzhen has become the epicenter of China’s manufacturing-driven miracle is staking its future growth on finance, technology and culture. The metropolis teeming with millions of migrant workers is home to some of China’s biggest and hottest companies. Read more

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