US Trade Deficit Widened to $50.1 Billion in July

The U.S. trade deficit widened for the second straight month in July, reaching the highest level since February, as imports hit an all-time high. The deficit in goods with China hit a record. The Commerce Department says the deficit in goods and services — the difference between what America sells and what it buys from other countries — rose to $50.1 billion in July from $45.7 billion in June.

Facebook, Twitter Pledge to Defend Against Foreign Intrusion

Facebook and Twitter executives have assured Congress they are aggressively working to root out foreign attempts to sow discord in America. And they are pledging to better protect their social media platforms against manipulation during the 2018 midterm elections and beyond. Facebook’s No. 2 executive, Sheryl Sandberg, and Twitter’s CEO, Jack Dorsey, testified on Wednesday before the Senate intelligence committee. Dorsey later testified before the House.

Trump Calls Trade Talks With Canada ‘Intense’

President Donald Trump described ongoing trade talks with Canada as “intense” but said the United States didn’t have much to lose. “If it doesn’t work out … that’s going to be fine for our country,” he said during a meeting with the emir of Kuwait.

Canada’s Strong-Willed Foreign Minister Leads Trade Talks

As a liberal former journalist, Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland is many things that would seem to irritate President Donald Trump. That makes her an unusual choice to lead her country’s negotiations over a new free trade deal with an administration that is surprisingly hostile to Canada.

Nike Unveils Kaepernick Ad to Air During Nfl Season Opener

Nike has unveiled its first “Just Do It” ad narrated by Colin Kaepernick, a spot scheduled to air during the NFL season opener on Thursday night as well as during the U.S. Open tennis tournament and other major sporting events. The two-minute spot released Wednesday highlights superstar athletes LeBron James, Serena Williams and others. It also touches on the controversy of NFL players protesting racial inequality, police brutality and other issues by demonstrating during the national anthem.

Utah Driver Sues Tesla After Crashing in Autopilot Mode

A Utah driver who slammed her Tesla into a stopped firetruck at a red light while using the vehicle’s semi-autonomous function is suing the company. Heather Lommatzsch says in a lawsuit filed Tuesday that Tesla salespeople told her the Model S’s Autopilot mode would ensure the car would stop if something was in its path. Tesla spokesman Dave Arnold says the company “has always been clear that Autopilot doesn’t make the car impervious to all accidents.”

Major Opioid Maker to Pay for Overdose-Antidote Development

With lawsuits mounting, the maker of OxyContin is providing a grant for a nonprofit to speed development of a lower-cost overdose antidote. Purdue Pharma announced its deal to help Harm Reduction Therapeutics develop a version of naloxone days after the number of lawsuits against the drug industry over the toll of opioids under one federal judge topped 1,000. The judge is pushing for a settlement rather than a long string of trials.

UK, French Reach Tentative Deal on Scallop Conflict

British and French officials say that a tentative deal has been reached to resolve a conflict over scallop fishing rights off France’s coast. Officials and industry representatives say that after talks in London that “an agreement on the principles of a deal has been reached” with details to be ironed out in Paris.

Argentina: Only Seeking Financing From Imf to Stem Crisis

Argentina’s economy minister says the government is not seeking other sources of financing outside the International Monetary Fund for help in curbing an economic crisis. Argentina has asked the IMF for early disbursements in emergency funding from a $50 billion loan approved earlier this year. The country has been hit by one of the world’s highest inflation rates and a sharp fall in the value of the Argentine peso.

Tech Stocks Drop as Congress Scrutinizes Social Media

U.S. stocks finish lower as technology and consumer-focused companies absorb sharp losses, canceling out gains in most other parts of the market. Twitter and Facebook both skid after company executives testify before Congress about their efforts to stop disinformation and election meddling.

The S&P 500 index slid 8.12 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,888.60. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 22.51 points, or 0.1 percent, to 25,974.99. The Nasdaq composite tumbled 96.07 points, or 1.2 percent, to 7,995.17. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks lost 5.73 points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,727.65.

Benchmark U.S. crude declined 1.6 percent to $68.72 per barrel in New York while Brent crude, used to price international oils, shed 1.2 percent to $77.27 per barrel in London. Wholesale gasoline lost 1.5 percent to $1.96 a gallon. Heating oil fell 0.9 percent to $2.23 a gallon. Natural gas slid 1 percent to $2.80 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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