Global Glance: Fed officials discussed possible rate hike; US, Mexico at odds over deportation as top officials meet

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

Fed officials discussed possible rate hike ‘fairly soon’

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve officials earlier this month discussed the need to raise a key interest rate again “fairly soon,” especially if the economy remains strong. Minutes of the discussions in minutes released Wednesday showed that while Fed officials decided to keep a key rate unchanged at their Jan. 31-Feb. 1 meeting, there was growing concern about inflation if the economy out-performed expectations. “Several” Fed officials expressed worries that unemployment could fall substantially below the Fed’s 4.8 percent unemployment goal. That could trigger inflation pressures that would require the Fed to boost rates at a faster pace than financial markets currently expect. Read more


US, Mexico at odds over deportation as top officials meet

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico’s mounting unease and resentment over President Donald Trump’s immigration crackdown are looming over a gathering of U.S. and Mexican leaders that the U.S. had hoped would project a strong future for relations between neighbors. There is no shortage of tension points as U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly meet Thursday with top Mexican officials. After all, it’s Kelly who’s tasked with executing Trump’s plan to target millions for possible deportation, and Tillerson who must explain it to the rest of the world. Read more


Emails show new EPA chief’s cozy ties with fuel industry

WASHINGTON (AP) — When a summer thunderstorm knocked out power to Scott Pruitt’s home three years ago, the then-attorney general of Oklahoma reached out to a lobbyist for American Electric Power. Pruitt’s executive assistant emailed Howard “Bud” Ground, saying “General Pruitt” wanted to know when his lights would be back on. The utility lobbyist asked for Pruitt’s address and a work crew soon arrived at the Republican official’s sprawling 5,500-square-foot Tulsa home. The 2013 email exchange is one of dozens reviewed by The Associated Press that underscore the cozy ties between the new head of the Environmental Protection Agency and those that profit from burning fossil fuels. Read more


Influence game: GM bill is self-driving and self-interested

WASHINGTON (AP) — With states seizing the initiative on shaping the future of self-driving cars, General Motors is trying to persuade legislators across the country to approve rules that would benefit the automaker while potentially keeping its competitors off the road. The carmaker denies trying to freeze out other brands, but legislators in four states say GM lobbyists asked them to sponsor bills that the company’s competitors contend would do just that. The bills set a blueprint for the introduction of fully self-driving cars that are part of on-demand, ride-sharing fleets, but they must be owned by an automaker. Read more


AP Analysis: Why Venezuelans have lost hope life will change

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuela is so short on food that tens of thousands are going hungry or even starving. Its murder rate is among the highest in the world. Its economy is so crippled that the average shopper spends 35 hours a month waiting in line – three times more than in 2014. Yet even as the country becomes increasingly unlivable, the socialist government is more entrenched than it has been in years. A sense of hopelessness has settled over what was once among the richest nations in South America, a belief that nothing will really change. Read more


France’s PSA seeks to be ‘European car champion’ with Opel

PARIS (AP) — The chairman of French carmaker PSA Group wants to create a “European car champion” with the purchase of General Motors’ European car business and pledged to work with governments and unions worried over job cuts. After reporting a near-doubling in 2016 profits, Carlos Tavares lauded the benefits of a deal that could reshape the continent’s car market and leave PSA, the maker of Peugeot and Citroen cars, leapfrogging the Renault Nissan alliance to be second behind Germany’s Volkswagen. Read more


Low-cost Norwegian air promises bargain flights to Europe

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Low-cost carrier Norwegian Air Shuttle is promising cheap trans-Atlantic flights when it starts service to Europe this summer from Rhode Island, Connecticut and New York’s Hudson Valley. Norwegian announced Thursday that it’s opening new flight crew bases at Rhode Island’s T.F. Green Airport and Stewart International Airport in Newburgh, New York. Year-round flights from those airports to Edinburgh, Scotland, begin in June, and to Ireland and Northern Ireland in July. Read more


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