Global Glance: Samsung heir sentenced to 5 years in prison; solid growth but low inflation puzzle central bankers

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

South Korean court sentences Samsung heir to 5 years in prison

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — A South Korean court sentenced the billionaire chief of Samsung to five years in prison for crimes that helped oust the country’s president, a stunning downfall that could freeze up decision making at a global electronics powerhouse long run like a monarchy. The Seoul Central District Court said Friday that Lee Jae-yong, 49, was guilty of offering bribes to Park Geun-hye when she was South Korea’s president, and to Park’s close friend, to get government support for efforts to cement his control over the Samsung empire. The revelations that led to Lee’s arrest in February fed public outrage which contributed to Park’s removal. Read more

A puzzle for central bankers: Solid growth but low inflation

JACKSON HOLE, Wyoming (AP) — Against a backdrop of strengthening growth but chronically low inflation, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and other central bankers are taking their measure of the global economy at their annual conference in the shadow of Wyoming’s Grand Teton Mountains. With the prospect of new leadership at the Fed within months, investors will be listening for any hint of shifting interest rate plans from the policymakers. The most watched events will come Friday, when Yellen and Mario Draghi, head of the European Central Bank, will each address the conference. Read more

GOP discord might not bode well for raising debt ceiling

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fanning the flames of GOP discord, President Donald Trump is accusing Republican congressional leaders of botching efforts to avoid an unprecedented default on the national debt. “Could have been so easy-now a mess!” Trump tweeted. The president’s sharp words underscored the perilous state of play as Congress heads into the fall without a clear plan to take care of its most important piece of business: If it does not increase the nation’s $19.9 trillion borrowing limit, the government could be unable to pay its bills, jarring financial markets and leading to other harsh consequences. Read more

Fiat declines to comment on spinoff rumors

MILAN (AP) — Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has declined to comment on inquiries involving potential deals with other carmakers for strategic assets, in response to a request from Italian market regulator Consob. Fiat Chrysler shares have been trading higher after Chinese SUV maker Great Wall said it was interested in buying the Jeep Brand. Fiat denied any approach by Great Wall last week, but the Chinese carmaker’s interest was enough to fuel additional speculation that the Italian-American carmaker could spin off such brands as Maserati and Alfa Romeo, sending the stock higher. Read more

Britain to test part-driverless platoons of trucks

LONDON (AP) — Britain is set to conduct road trials of self-driving trucks, involving a “platoon” of vehicles controlled by a driver in the front. The Department for Transport said Friday that up to three trucks will travel in convoy, connected by Wi-Fi and with braking and acceleration controlled by the lead vehicle. Officials say the formation saves fuel and reduces carbon emissions, because the lead truck pushes air out of the way, making the others more efficient. Read more

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