LONDON — The pound has touched its lowest level against the dollar since 1985, excluding a brief “flash crash” in 2016 that may have been caused by technical glitches. International investors are fretting over a political showdown over Brexit this week. The currency has fallen as low as $1.1960 before recovering somewhat to about $1.2060. Not counting the brief plunge in the autumn of 2016, the pound was at its lowest level in 34 years.
Home-sharing sites welcome minorities
A handful of home-sharing services are challenging the dominant brands by catering to specific minority groups. Their approach has carved out a thriving niche in the market. Muzbnb is a site for Muslims. Misterb&b serves gay travelers. Innclusive and Noirbnb cater to black customers. There are also home-sharing sites for Mormons, Christians and women. One executive calls the services “digital Green Books,” a reference to the guide that black motorists once used to find welcoming hotels.
Stocks slump broadly as new tariffs kick in
NEW YORK — Technology companies drove a broad slide in U.S. stocks Tuesday as disappointing economic data and the latest escalation in the trade war between the U.S. and China put investors in a selling mood. The losses ended a three-day winning streak for the S&P 500. The sell-off got going as markets opened after a long weekend to expanded tariffs between Washington and Beijing. New data showing that U.S. manufacturing shrank in August for the first time in three years helped drive the selling.
U.S. factories shrink for 1st time in 3 years
WASHINGTON — The U.S.-China trade war and slower global growth are weighing on the U.S. economy, with manufacturing activity shrinking in August for the first time in three years. A survey by the Institute for Supply Management, an association of purchasing managers, on Tuesday showed that factory production and new orders fell sharply last month and are now contracting.
U.S. fake social media plan breaks rules
WASHINGTON — Facebook says the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will be violating the company’s rules if agents create fake profiles to monitor the social media of foreigners seeking to enter the country. Facebook says it prohibits fake accounts and will “act” on any it finds that violate that policy. The Associated Press reported Friday that Homeland Security had authorized its agents to use fake social media accounts in a reversal of a previous ban on the practice.
UAW picks GM as bargaining target
DETROIT — The United Auto Workers union has picked General Motors as the target company for this year’s contract talks with Detroit’s three automakers. The move announced Tuesday means that GM will be the focus of bargaining, and any deal with the company will set the pattern for Ford and Fiat Chrysler.
Tesla on Autopilot when it hit firetruck
DETROIT — A government report says the driver of a Tesla that slammed into a firetruck near Los Angeles last year was using the car’s Autopilot system when a vehicle in front of him suddenly changed lanes and he didn’t have time to react. The National Transportation Safety Board says that the driver never saw the truck and didn’t brake.
U.S. hits Iran space agency with sanctions
WASHINGTON — The Trump administration has imposed sanctions on Iran’s space agency for the first time. The U.S. accuses Iran of using its space program to develop ballistic missiles under the cover of a civilian program to launch satellites into orbit. The sanctions announced Tuesday follow the explosion last week of a rocket at Iran’s Imam Khomeini Space Center in what an Iranian official said was a technical malfunction during a test.
Lebanese bank hit by sanctions backs assets
BEIRUT — A Lebanese bank targeted by the U.S. Department of the Treasury for “knowingly facilitating banking activities” for the militant Hezbollah group says it will remain open and guarantees all deposits are insured.
Last week, the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control sanctioned Jammal Trust Bank, adding it to its list of global terrorist organizations.The bank’s statement on Tuesday also confirms its commitment to abiding strictly by the rules and regulations of the Central Bank of Lebanon and denies all allegations against it.
The bank says it’s continuously coordinating with Lebanon’s central bank “to overcome the current crisis and will do everything possible to clear its good name.”
The U.S. has been imposing sanctions on officials from Hezbollah, which Washington considers a terrorist organization.