Global Glance: Judge OKs Volkswagen emissions deal; Venezuela braces for protests amid crisis

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

Anger still flares after judge OKs Volkswagen emissions deal

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A federal judge approved the largest auto-scandal settlement in U.S. history Tuesday, giving nearly a half-million Volkswagen owners and leaseholders the choice between selling their cars back or having them repaired so they don’t cheat on emissions tests and spew excess pollution. U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer said the nearly $15 billion deal “adequately and fairly” compensates consumers and gets the polluting vehicles off the road as soon as possible. Read more

Venezuela braces for anti-government protests amid crisis

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuela’s standoff deepened after congress voted to open a political trial against President Nicolas Maduro for breaking the constitutional order and opposition leaders called for mass protests on Wednesday to drive the unpopular socialist leader from office. Tuesday’s vote by the opposition-led legislature is unlikely to have any legal effect as Maduro still controls other branches of government, including the military and Supreme Court, which has already declared the National Assembly illegitimate. But it raised tensions even further following last week’s suspension of an opposition push to hold a referendum to try to recall Maduro. Read more

Greece awaits Obama trip amid tough bailout talks

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece’s government says it was facing pressure from the International Monetary Fund to aggressively scale back union powers and employment rights, as the White House confirmed Tuesday that U.S. President Barack Obama will pay a post-election visit to Athens. Obama’s Nov. 15 trip could boost efforts by the left-wing government in Athens to press for debt relief from European bailout lenders, as the country’s national debt approaches 180 percent of Greece’s stagnant gross domestic product. Obama will travel on to Germany after his Greek visit. Read more

Report: Women won’t earn as much as men for 170 years

GENEVA (AP) — A new report finds that the global gender pay gap will not be closed for another 170 years if current trends continue. The World Economic Forum’s annual Global Gender Gap Report also finds that the pay gap has reverted to where it was in 2008 after peaking in 2013. The report says no country has fully closed the overall gender gap, but the five countries that top its Global Gender Gap index, Iceland, Finland, Norway, Sweden and Rwanda, have closed more than 80 percent of theirs. Read more

Apple’s quarterly sales fall, but forecast calls for gains

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — After stumbling in 2016, Apple is betting on a better year ahead. The Silicon Valley tech giant is forecasting a return to growth in iPhone sales this winter, after a rare slump that dropped a wet blanket on Apple’s revenue and stock performance over the last three quarters. The company is also set to unveil new Mac computers later this week, hoping to boost lagging interest in a set of products that are symbolically significant even if they’re less financially important to the company than the iPhone. Read more


New Wells Fargo CEO to employees: ‘We’re sorry’

NEW YORK (AP) — Newly appointed Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan told employees Tuesday that he is “sorry for the pain” that the bank’s employees have suffered as a result of the company’s sales practices scandal. Sloan’s company-wide speech, given Tuesday in Charlotte, North Carolina, is the latest effort by Wells Fargo’s executives to atone for the fact that the bank’s employees, pushed to the limit by impossible sales goals, opened as many as 2 million bank and credit card accounts without customers’ authorization. Read more


Trump spending precious campaign time promoting his business

WASHINGTON (AP) — Donald Trump’s campaign is defending his eyebrow-raising decision to spend precious campaign time promoting his business in the final days of the long presidential campaign as his poll numbers sink. With less than two weeks left before Election Day, the Republican candidate is taking a break from campaigning Wednesday morning to formally open his new hotel in Washington. Meanwhile, he is dispatching his running mate, Mike Pence, to play political defense in Utah – which hasn’t backed a Democrat for president in 52 years. Read more


Pokemon Go boost limited as Nintendo cuts profit forecast

TOKYO (AP) — “Pokemon Go” is giving only a modest boost to Japanese video game maker Nintendo, which has slashed its operating profit and sales forecasts for this fiscal year citing lagging demand for game consoles like the Wii U. The Kyoto-based maker of Super Mario games said Wednesday that its net profit in April-September was 38.3 billion yen ($368 million), up 234 percent from the same period the year before. That was mainly due to a 62.7 billion yen ($601.7 million) gain from its sale of the Seattle Mariners Major League Baseball team. Read more


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