Global Glance: G-7 ministers aim to press Russia to stop backing Assad; retail store job cuts deepen

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

G-7 ministers aim to press Russia to stop backing Assad

LUCCA, Italy (AP) — Foreign ministers from the Group of Seven industrialized nations are gathering Monday for a meeting given urgency by the chemical attack in Syria and the U.S. military response, with participants aiming to pressure Russia to end its support for President Bashar Assad. Last week’s nerve gas attack in the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun, which killed more than 80 people, stirred President Donald Trump to strike for the first time at Assad’s forces. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Monday that the United States is rededicating itself to hold to account “any and all” who commit crimes against innocent people. Read more

Report: Countries should help those hurt by free trade

WASHINGTON (AP) — The world isn’t doing enough to help workers and communities damaged by free trade, the International Monetary Fund, World Bank and World Trade Organization say. In a report Monday, the three multinational groups repeat their longstanding view that free trade spreads broad economic benefits. Open markets and increased competition can help poor countries rise from poverty, lower prices in rich countries and force companies and countries to become more efficient and focus on what they do best. Read more

Retail store job cuts deepen as more buyers migrate online

NEW YORK (AP) — Retail stores are cutting jobs at the sharpest pace in more than seven years, evidence of a seemingly inexorable shift away from employee-heavy stores as Americans increasingly shop online. A combined 60,600 retail job losses over the past two months have had less to do with the health of U.S. consumer spending than with changes in buying habits. In the age of Amazon, traditional stores, from J.C. Penney to Macy’s, have accelerated store closures and are experimenting with the use of fewer employees to staff the remaining stores. Read more

New report gives US airlines better grades across the board

DALLAS (AP) — The airlines are getting better at sticking to their schedules and are losing fewer bags. Their customers seem to be complaining less often. Those are the findings of an annual report on airline quality being released Monday by researchers at Wichita State University and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. The researchers use information compiled by the U.S. Department of Transportation to rate the airlines for on-time performance, baggage handling, bumping passengers off oversold flights, and complaints filed with the government. Read more

Startups in Japan seeing ample cash but lack of innovators

TOKYO (AP) — Japan Inc. where companies with roots going back decades, if not centuries, have long dominated, is finally warming up to startups. Major banks and venture capitalists are keen to tap into faster growth by investing in innovative entrepreneurs, when they can find them. Money raised for ventures in Japan reached a record 276 billion yen ($2.5 billion) last year. That’s up from about 50 billion yen ($450 million) annually after the financial crisis, according to Japan Venture Research Co. Read more

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