Global Glance: FCC Chairman to resign on Inauguration Day; Chinese leaders pledge stable currency

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

FCC Chairman Wheeler to resign on Inauguration Day

NEW YORK (AP) — The head of the Federal Communications Commission, which regulates broadcasters, phone and cable companies, says he will step down in January as President-elect Donald Trump takes office. That will leave a 2-1 Republican majority at the commission, which next year is likely to start paring back or overturning the measures that Chairman Tom Wheeler pushed through in his three years at the FCC. The former cable- and wireless-industry lobbyist championed policies that were intended to protect consumers and that rankled the phone and cable industries, including new “net neutrality” rules that prevent internet service providers from favoring their own sites and consumer online-privacy rules. Read more

Chinese leaders pledge stable currency, less financial risk

BEIJING (AP) — China’s leaders pledged Friday to keep its currency stable and trim bloated heavy industry as they wrapped up an annual planning meeting amid pressure from U.S. President-elect Donald Trump and European leaders over trade. Responding to concern about possible threats from rapidly rising debt, the official Xinhua News Agency said leaders at the three-day meeting also promised to reduce financial risks. The reports suggested President Xi Jinping’s government plans no significant changes despite calls by reform advocates to move faster on pledges to make the world’s second-largest economy more productive by giving market forces a bigger role. Read more

Putin-Abe summit brings Russia-Japan economic protests

TOKYO (AP) — Japan and Russia are stepping up cooperation as Russian President Vladimir Putin pursues opportunities in fast growing Asian markets for his country’s vast Far East. Many of the dozens of deals finalized during his visit to Japan this week involve the energy sector, and most are projects linked to some of both countries’ largest corporations. Read more

Venezuelans scramble as most-used banknote becomes void

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuela became a country without cash Friday. As the country’s most widely used banknote went out of circulation, the higher-denomination bills that were supposed to replace the 100-bolivar note had not yet arrived at banks or ATMs. In the capital, people were relying on credit cards and bank transfers, or avoiding making purchases altogether. President Nicolas Maduro made a surprise announcement Sunday that the 100-bolivar note would go out of circulation by the week’s end amid the world’s highest inflation. He also temporarily closed the border with Colombia and Brazil, and then on Thursday night extended the border closure for another 72 hours. Read more

GM begins testing autonomous cars on Michigan public roads

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors has started testing fully autonomous vehicles on public roads around its technical center in suburban Detroit. The announcement comes just one week after Gov. Rick Snyder signed legislation that allows the cars to be tested on public roads without a driver or a steering wheel. But the automaker says that for now, it will have human backup drivers for its fleet of autonomous Chevrolet Bolt electric cars. Read more

Globalization took hits in 2016; will 2017 lead to more?

LONDON (AP) — 2016 was the year when globalization, the path that the world economy has largely followed for decades, took some hefty blows. The election of Donald Trump as U.S. president and Britain’s decision to leave the European Union have raised questions over the future of tariff-free trade and companies’ freedom to move production to lower-cost countries. The rise of Trump and the triumph of Brexit had their roots in the global financial crisis of 2008. Eight years on, the world economy has still to fully get past that shock to confidence – people are nervous, some angry, and many are seeking novel solutions to their problems. Next year, there’s scope for more uncertainty with elections in France and Germany to name just two. Read more


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