Business briefing

The daily business briefing: October 10, 2017

Trump administration plans to scrap Obama's Clean Power Plan, deadly wildfires damage Northern California wineries, and more


EPA administrator to withdraw from Obama's Clean Power Plan

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt announced Monday that he would sign a rule to start withdrawing from the Clean Power Plan, former President Barack Obama's centerpiece regulation limiting carbon pollution from power plants. "Here's the president's message: The war on coal is over," Pruitt said in the Kentucky coal country. The National Association of Manufacturers praised the proposed rule, which Pruitt said he would sign Tuesday, saying the Obama-era limits were too broad. Environmental groups said the change would increase pollution from power plants, the biggest greenhouse gas producers. "No matter who is in the White House, the EPA is legally required to limit dangerous carbon pollution, and the Clean Power Plan is an achievable, affordable way to do that," said Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune.


Deadly wildfires hit Northern California wineries

The wildfires that are sweeping through Northern California have killed at least 10 people and destroyed at least two of the region's famed wineries. Many other wineries have been damaged. The fires, driven by high winds, hit as Napa and Sonoma counties were wrapping up harvests of wine grapes. The flames rushed through many vineyards, burning Signorello Estate winery in Napa Valley and Paradise Ridge Winery in Sonoma County. A maintenance worker at Gundlach Bundschu Winery said a fire was creeping down a neighboring hillside. "It's right behind the main office," Tom Willis said. "It's slowly working its way in." The Napa Valley Vintners, a trade association, said it had no estimate of total damages to wineries because most had been evacuated and lost power.


Google finds Russia-backed ads

Google has uncovered evidence that Russian operatives bought ads on its platforms, including YouTube and Google search, aiming to spread disinformation and influence last year's presidential election, The Washington Post and other news organizations reported Monday, citing people familiar with the company's investigation. Google found that Russian agents spent tens of thousands of dollars to place the ads. The effort did not appear to be linked to the Kremlin-affiliated troll farm that bought ads on Facebook, suggesting that Moscow's effort to interfere with the 2016 election was broader than tech companies previously believed.


Rally pauses ahead of start of earnings season

U.S. stocks edged higher early Tuesday, after Wall Street on Monday slipped below record levels reached last week. Stocks got a lift last week from President Trump's promise of corporate tax cuts. This week, investors are expressing caution ahead of the kickoff of third-quarter earnings season later this week. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures gained 0.2 percent early Tuesday, while S&P 500 and Nasdaq-100 futures were both up by 0.1 percent. The Dow hit an intraday record on Monday but closed down 0.2 percent, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite Index fell by 0.2 percent. Global stocks were mixed Tuesday.


Top Hollywood stars speak out against Harvey Weinstein's behavior

Some of Hollywood's biggest stars harshly condemned disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein on Monday, a day after his own company fired him over new revelations about years of sexual harassment complaints against him. Meryl Streep, who won her third Oscar for her role in the Weinstein-produced The Iron Lady in 2012, said Weinstein had always been "respectful" to her but his mistreatment of other women was "disgraceful" and "inexcusable." "The intrepid women who raised their voices to expose this abuse are our heroes," she said in a statement. Actresses Glenn Close, Kate Winslet, and Judi Dench, among others, followed with their own expressions of disgust and condemnation. Winslet also praised the "incredibly brave" women who came forward to report Weinstein's "appalling" behavior.


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