Global Glance: French unions, Puerto Rico, U.S. auto sales

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

French unions hold last-ditch protest against labor bill

PARIS (AP) — French unions are staging what’s likely to be their last show of force against a labor bill that has divided the nation and prompted the worst social unrest in years. The government says the bill – which makes it easier for companies to hire and fire employees and extend working hours – would boost hiring. Opponents say it won’t work and will cripple hard-won worker protections. They have staged months of protests. Read more

Q&A: Puerto Rico’s unfolding debt crisis

NEW YORK (AP) — Puerto Rico is in uncharted territory after a historic default. A federal oversight board is getting ready to oversee the island’s finances amid a dire economic crisis. The government of Puerto Rico said Friday it only paid about half the roughly $2 billion it was due to repay, saying it didn’t have the money to pay $779 million in bonds that are supposed to have top priority. Read more

U.S. auto sales hit record in first six months

DETROIT (AP) — U.S. auto sales may be slowing, but they still set a record in the first six months of this year. Sales through June were up 1.5 percent to 8.65 million, eclipsing last year’s record of 8.5 million, according Autodata Corp. Read more

Why Scotland, unlike its neighbors, voted to stay in the EU

MOTHERWELL, Scotland (AP) — In one of the defining splits of last week’s EU referendum, all 32 council areas in Scotland as well as Northern Ireland went against their southern neighbors and voted for Britain to stay in the bloc. Even towns shattered by the demise of shipyards, coal mines and steelworks made the calculus that quitting the EU wouldn’t turn things around for them. Read more

When the neighborhood is owned by billion-dollar companies

APOPKA, Florida (AP) — In the decade since the housing boom deflated into a bust, financial firms recognized an investment opportunity in hard-hit areas like this Orlando suburb. Single-family homes lost to foreclosure could be bought cheaply and transformed into rent-generating income streams. Read more

Divided America: Town and country offer differing realities

ROCKY FORD, Colo. (AP) — There are few divides in the United States greater than that between rural and urban places. Town and country represent not just the poles of the nation’s two political parties, but different economic realities that are transforming the 2016 presidential election. Read more

McDonald’s invests over $550 million to revamp German sites

BERLIN (AP) — Fast-food chain McDonald’s says it is investing 500 million euros ($557 million) to modernize its restaurants in Germany. The company said 72 “restaurants of the future” would start offering custom-made burgers, children’s play areas and even table service this week. Read more

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