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Toyota US Chief Says Car Sales are Close to Bottoming Out

Toyota US Chief Says Car Sales are Close to Bottoming Out

Toyota’s top U.S. executive says car sales nationwide have bottomed out and his company will keep making them despite a dramatic shift to trucks and SUVs, and more in Thursday’s Markets In Brief.

U.S. CEO Jim Lentz told the Detroit Economic Club Wednesday that car sales fell below 30 percent of sales last month, and he thinks that’s close to the bottom.

While Fiat Chrysler, Ford and General Motors are canceling many car models, Lentz doesn’t see that happening with Toyota. He says U.S. consumers still are buying more than 4 million compact, midsize and near-luxury cars each year, so cars are still a huge market. He says Toyota can pick up sales as other companies cut back on car models.

MARKETS IN BRIEF

Report Details New Allegations of Moonves’ Sexual Misconduct

A report by CBS lawyers outlines more allegations of sexual misconduct by longtime chief Les Moonves, The New York Times reported.

The report alleges that Moonves destroyed evidence and misled investigators as he attempted to protect his reputation and severance payments. It says investigators had received “multiple reports” about a network employee who was “on call” to perform oral sex on Moonves.

“A number of employees were aware of this and believed that the woman was protected from discipline or termination as a result of it,” it cited the report as saying. “Moonves admitted to receiving oral sex from the woman, his subordinate, in his office, but described it as consensual.”

It said, the woman did not respond to the investigators’ requests for an interview.

The report was prepared by lawyers the network hired to determine if Moonves violated the terms of his employment agreement, the newspaper reported Tuesday.

Messages left with CBS early Tuesday morning were not immediately returned.

The 59-page report is to be presented to CBS’s board of directors before the company’s annual meeting next week, it said.

It says Moonves could be denied his $120 million severance package after he had to quit in September amid numerous allegations of sexual misbehavior.

As part of his contract with CBS he was required to fully cooperate with the network’s investigation.

Moonves stepped down following a story by The New Yorker that included a second round of ugly sexual misconduct accusations against the powerful television executive. He is one of many important figures in entertainment to be felled by sexual misconduct allegations.

UN: Curbing Climate Change Would Reap Huge Health Benefits

The United Nations says curbing climate change will have huge benefits for people’s health worldwide.

The World Health Organization said Wednesday that meeting the 2015 Paris accord’s goals would significantly cut global air pollution, saving a million lives each year by 2050.

Fossil fuels that produce air pollution, such as coal, gasoline and wood, are also a major source of greenhouse gas emissions.

In a report released at the U.N. climate summit in Poland, WHO said the savings on health expenditure will far outweigh the cost of tackling global warming.

WHO said climate change will also affect drinking water supplies, the level of nutrients in staple foods such as rice, and the likelihood of natural disasters, while measures to curb it, like promoting cycling over driving, have proven health benefits.

Brown-Forman: Fiscal 2Q Earnings Snapshot

Brown-Forman Corp. on Wednesday reported fiscal second-quarter net income of $249 million.

On a per-share basis, the Louisville, Kentucky-based company said it had profit of 52 cents.

The liquor company that makes Jack Daniel’s and other brands posted revenue of $910 million in the period.

Brown-Forman expects full-year earnings to be $1.65 to $1.75 per share.

Brown-Forman shares have fallen 12 percent since the beginning of the year. The stock has declined 5 percent in the last 12 months.

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