Global Glance: China sets sights on nuclear exports; US new home sales climb

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

China sets sights on new global export: nuclear energy

BEIJING (AP) — The Hualong One, a nuclear reactor being developed south of Shanghai, is one multibillion-dollar facet of the Communist Party’s aspirations to transform China into a creator of profitable technology from mobile phones to genetics. The industry is growing fast, with 32 reactors in operation, 22 being built and more planned, according to the World Nuclear Association, an industry group. China accounted for eight of 10 reactors that started operation last year and six of eight construction starts. Still, experts say Beijing underestimates how tough it will be for its novice nuclear exporters to sell abroad. They face political hurdles, safety concerns and uncertain global demand following Japan’s Fukushima disaster. Read more

US new home sales climb to best level since late 2007

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans stepped up their purchases of new homes in July to the fastest pace in nearly nine years, the latest sign that low mortgage rates and a solid job market are helping support the residential real estate market. New-home sales jumped 12.4 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted rate of 654,000 annual units, the strongest level since October 2007, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. The demand has eclipsed the pace of construction. Just 4.3 months’ supply of new homes is available on the market, down from 5.2 months a year ago. Read more

Qatari state fund buys stake in Empire State Building

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund has made an iconic purchase in America – a stake in the company that owns New York’s Empire State Building. The $622-million purchase by the Qatar Investment Authority comes as the Doha fund increases its investments in the U.S. as the small country on the Arabian Peninsula tries to cope with low global oil and gas prices. The Empire State Realty Trust Inc., which manages the 102-story building, announced the Qatari purchase late Tuesday, saying the fund would gain a 9.9-percent stake in the company. Read more

Astrazeneca to sell molecule antibiotics business to Pfizer

LONDON (AP) — Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca plans to sell its molecule antibiotics business to Pfizer in a deal that will be valued in excess of $1.5 billion when rights, royalties and other payments are included. The sale marks a thawing of relations between the British company and New York-based Pfizer after an acrimonious battle to avoid a takeover just a few years ago. Under the deal, AstraZeneca will sell the commercialization and development rights in most markets globally outside the United States. It includes an upfront payment of $550 million. Read more


Tesla lays claim to world’s fastest production car

DETROIT (AP) — Tesla Motors says a new version of the Model S electric car is the quickest production car in the world from zero to 60 miles per hour. The company says the Model S P100D sedan can go from stopped to 60 in 2.5 seconds. The LaFerrari and the Porsche 918 Spyder with gas engines were faster, but they were million-dollar specialty cars that can no longer be bought new, CEO Elon Musk said Tuesday. Read more


Some vacation spots quietly benefit as travelers avoid Zika

NEW YORK (AP) — With government officials now warning pregnant women to avoid Miami Beach in addition to Puerto Rico, some sun seekers are desperately scrambling for a Zika-free vacation. And that has left other tourist destinations to capitalize – quietly. Travel experts say families worried about Zika are now looking to Arizona and Southern California to get some sun, along with cooler weather locales such as New England and Canada. Read more


Farm safety top priority with farm tourism on the rise

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — With the growth of agritourism and more people visiting local farms, Connecticut officials are joining other states in educating farmers about how to mitigate health risks for their new visitors. Connecticut’s latest push comes after dozens of young children and adults were infected with E. coli in March after visiting a Lebanon goat dairy farm. Ten of the 41 confirmed cases required hospitalization. Read more


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