Company Highlights: Grain Deal, Tech Stock Crash

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‘A glimmer of hope’: Ukraine and Russia sign grain export deal

ISTANBUL (AP) — Ships loaded with Ukrainian wheat and other foodstuffs could safely cross the Black Sea in the coming weeks after Ukraine and Russia signed a United Nations export agreement. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has driven up food prices around the world and overloaded blocked grain silos in Ukraine. The two countries have signed separate export agreements with the UN and Turkey. A joint monitoring group will be set up in Turkey to lead the operation and both sides have pledged not to attack the cargo ships. The UN chief called the deal a “glimmer of hope” that will help millions of starving people, but Ukraine’s foreign minister was cautious, saying he still did not trust the Russia.

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Tomorrow’s “Top Gun” Could Have A Drone Wingman, Use AI

FARNBOROUGH, England (AP) — Movie fighter pilots are described as highly trained military aviators with the skills and experience to defeat opponents in thrilling dogfights. New technologies, however, are about to redefine what it means to be a “Top Gun”. Algorithms, data and machines play a bigger role in the cockpit. Such changes are hinted at in the movie “Top Gun: Maverick”. The future of fighter pilots was on display this week at the Farnborough International Airshow, near London. Drones have been widely used in the war between Russia and Ukraine and in other modern conflicts. At the Farnborough Air Show, experts said the future of aerial warfare is likely to be the collaboration of manned and unmanned aircraft.

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Tech crisis cuts off part of Wall Street’s winning week

NEW YORK (AP) — Wall Street shed some of its strong week-long gains on Friday after disheartening readings on the global economy and another round of earnings reports from major U.S. corporations. The S&P 500 fell nearly 1%, ending a three-day rally that had taken it to its highest level since early June. The Nasdaq led the market lower with a decline of nearly 2% following weaker-than-expected earnings reports from technology-focused companies. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fared better, largely because constituent American Express released an encouraging earnings report. Treasury yields have collapsed.

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Twitter, in the fight against Musk, shows a surprising drop in revenue

LONDON (AP) — Twitter reports a quarterly loss as revenue tumbled even as user numbers grew. The social media company’s latest quarterly earnings figures on Friday offered a glimpse of the social media firm’s performance during a months-long negotiation with billionaire Tesla CEO Elon Musk to find out s would take over the business. Twitter lost $270 million in the April-June period after revenue fell 1% to $1.18 billion, reflecting advertising industry headwinds and uncertainty over supply acquisition of Musk. The number of daily active users increased by 16.6% to 237.8 million compared to the same period of the previous year.

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Jay Carney, the political head of Amazon, leaves for Airbnb

NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon’s top policy and communications official and former White House spokesman has been named Airbnb’s chief policy officer. This is just the latest high-profile departure from Amazon. It comes as the e-commerce giant faces an evolving consumer landscape and increased regulatory scrutiny. Jay Carney was President Barack Obama’s press secretary. Airbnb said Friday it would join its leadership team and work with co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky. Earlier this month, the managing director of Amazon’s consumer business who built the company’s massive warehouse left the company after 23 years. Two of Amazon’s top black executives also left the company last month.

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Hyundai executive vows to improve company’s safety record

DETROIT (AP) — Clogged oil ports, electrical shorts and leaking brake fluid are just some of the safety issues that have sparked multiple fires and forced Hyundai and Kia to recall millions of vehicles over the past seven years. Today, Hyundai, the larger of the two affiliated Korean automakers, promoted its North American security chief to global rank – an implicit acknowledgment by the company that it needs to approach security more robustly. CEO Brian Latouf, who joined Hyundai in 2019 after 27 years at General Motors, said he would focus on data analysis and testing to find problems earlier and fix them.

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German government agrees to bail out energy supplier

BERLIN (AP) — The German government will take a roughly 30% stake in energy supplier Uniper as part of a bailout prompted by soaring natural gas prices and reduced Russian deliveries. Uniper, which has been Germany’s largest importer of Russian gas, requested a bailout two weeks ago. The rescue package announced on Friday will lead to higher prices for consumers. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said a tax for gas customers would start in September or October, which could add up to 200 to 300 euros a year to the bill of a family of four. Uniper says a sharp cut in Russian gas in recent weeks has forced it to buy substitute supplies at significantly higher prices.

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Russian central bank cuts rates, says inflation is slowing

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia’s central bank has departed from its Western counterparts by cutting its key interest rate just a month after bringing it back to where it was before the country sent troops to Ukraine . The bank on Friday cut its benchmark rate by 1.5 percentage points, to 8%, saying consumer prices continue to fall in part because consumer demand has fallen. It says inflation expectations have “declined significantly”, while the decline in business activity was slower than expected in June. While the sanctions led to economic isolation, the central bank managed to stabilize the currency and the financial system by preventing money from leaving Russia and forcing exporters to exchange most of their foreign income in rubles.

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Volkswagen CEO to step down by September 1

VIENNA (AP) — Volkswagen has announced that the CEO of the German automaker is stepping down. The company said on Friday that Herbert Diess would leave effective September 1 “by mutual consent” with the board. His contract was due to expire in 2025. Diess chaired the automaker at a time of significant changes in the industry, including a move toward producing more electric vehicles. Oliver Blume, now CEO of Porsche, will succeed Diess.

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The S&P 500 fell 37.32 points, or 0.9%, to 3,961.63. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 137.61 points, or 0.4%, to 31,899.29. The Nasdaq lost 225.50 points, or 1.9%, to 11,834.11. The Russell 2000 Small Business Index fell 29.81 points, or 1.6%, to 1,806.88.

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