Global Glance: SpaceX chief envisions Mars ships; US consumer confidence jumps

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

SpaceX chief envisions 1,000 passenger ships flying to Mars

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — On a personal quest to settle Mars, SpaceX founder Elon Musk envisions 1,000 passenger ships flying en masse to the red planet well within the next century, “Battlestar Galactica” style. Musk outlined his zealous plan Tuesday to establish a self-sustaining city on Mars, complete with iron foundries and even pizzerias. He wants to make humans a multiplanetary species, and says the best way to do that is to colonize the red planet. Read more


US consumer confidence jumps in September

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. consumer confidence in September rose to the highest level in nine years, a hopeful sign that economic growth will accelerate in coming months. The Conference Board said Tuesday that its consumer confidence index rose to 104.1, up from 101.8 in August. It was the strongest reading since the index stood at 105.6 in August 2007, four months before the beginning of the Great Recession of 2007-2009. Private economists had been forecasting the index would drop in September after a strong August reading. Read more


Europol: Ransomware now top cybercrime threat

PARIS (AP) — European police agency Europol says the threat from ransomware has now eclipsed other forms of online theft, a sign of how quickly the computer-scrambling software has found favor in the electronic underworld. Ransomware typically works by taking computers hostage, encrypting the files on victims’ hard drives until they cough up the money demanded to unscramble the data. Criminals often demand payment in the electronic currency Bitcoin. Read more


Yellen likely to face questions about Wells Fargo

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, who has been in the hot seat over the central bank’s interest-rate policy, now has another headache: Wells Fargo. Yellen is likely to face sharp questions from a House committee Wednesday over whether federal banking regulators fell down on the job by not detecting practices at Wells Fargo that allegedly had the nation’s second largest bank opening millions of accounts without customers’ permission. Read more


9 states to vote soon on expanding legal access to marijuana

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — From California, with its counterculture heritage, to the fishing ports and mill towns of Maine, millions of Americans in nine states have a chance to vote Nov. 8 on expanding legal access to marijuana. Collectively, the ballot measures amount to the closest the U.S. has come to a national referendum on the drug. Five states – Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada – will consider legalizing the recreational use of pot. Three others – Florida, Arkansas and North Dakota – will decide whether to permit marijuana for medical purposes. Montana will weigh whether to ease restrictions on an existing medical marijuana law. Read more


US home prices climbed again in July

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home prices rose again in July, pulled up by strong gains in Portland, Seattle and Denver. The Standard & Poor’s CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-city home price index, released Tuesday, rose 5 percent in July from a year earlier after increasing 5.1 percent in June. The latest report is further evidence that prices are being pushed higher by the limited inventory of homes on the market. That is hurting sales of both new and existing homes, despite buyer enthusiasm and historically low mortgage rates. Read more


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