Update on the latest in business:

FINANCIAL MARKETS

Asian markets climb on momentum from upbeat US jobs report

TOKYO (AP) — Shares rose in Asia today after last week’s report of strong gains in U.S. payrolls.

On Wall Street Friday, banks, technology companies and other stocks climbed after the Department of Labor said U.S. employers added 209,000 jobs in July. Investors sold government bonds and bet that interest rates are going to rise, which lets banks make more money on loans. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index added 0.2 percent to 2,476.83. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.3 percent to 22,092.81, its ninth gain in a row. The Nasdaq composite climbed 0.2 percent to 6,351.56 and the Russell 2000 index of smaller companies gained 0.5 percent to 1,412.32.

Benchmark U.S. crude slipped to just above $49.50 per barrel.

The dollar was flat against the yen and weakened against the euro.

SKOREA-SAMSUNG-SCANDALS

Prosecutors ask court to imprison Samsung heir for 12 years

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korean prosecutors have recommended imprisoning a billionaire Samsung heir for 12 years if he is convicted of bribery and other crimes in a national corruption scandal.

Prosecutors’ recommendation Monday concludes the four-month-long hearing over the allegations against Lee Jae-yong.

The 49-year-old vice chair at Samsung Electronics was indicted in February on charges including offering $38 million in bribes to a friend of then-President Park Geun-hye to seek government help in a merger that strengthened his control over Samsung. Park was removed from office and is being tried separately.

Lee has denied all charges and distanced himself from Samsung’s now-disbanded secretive strategy office that oversaw the merger at the center of the scandal.

The charges could entail at least five years in prison if Lee is convicted.

EEL POACHING

As eels grow in value, US government clamps down on poaching

BREWER, Maine (AP) — Changes in the worldwide sushi industry have turned live baby American eels into a commodity that can fetch more than $2,000 a pound at the dock, but the big demand and big prices have spawned a black market that wildlife officials say is jeopardizing the species.

Law enforcement authorities have launched a crackdown on unlicensed eel fishermen and illicit sales along the East Coast.

Although not a well-known seafood item like the Maine lobster, wriggling baby eels, or elvers, are a fishery worth many millions of dollars. Elvers often are sold to Asian aquaculture companies to be raised to maturity and have become a linchpin of the sushi supply chain.

But licensed U.S. fishermen complain poaching has become widespread, as prices have climbed in recent years. In response, the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other agencies are investigating clandestine harvesting and sales.

Operation Broken Glass, a reference to the eels’ glassy skin, has resulted in 15 guilty pleas for illegal trafficking of about $4 million worth of elvers. Two people are under indictment, and more indictments are expected.

EUROPE-FOOD SAFETY-EGGS

Europe egg scare: Belgium discovered contamination in June

BRUSSELS (AP) — Belgian food safety authorities began investigating possible pesticide contamination in eggs in early June, several weeks before the public was made aware of a food safety scare now affecting several European countries.

Supermarkets have pulled millions of eggs from shelves after pesticide Fipronil was found in Dutch and Belgian poultry farms.

Kathy Brison of the Belgian food safety agency said Sunday that a Belgian farm alerted authorities to a possible contamination in June, and they began investigating and alerted Belgian prosecutors.

German authorities are frustrated by the apparent delay in informing European neighbors. German Agriculture Minister Christian Schmidt plans to speak to his Belgian counterpart about the issue Monday.

Brison said Belgian authorities thought it was an isolated incident and didn’t realize the scale of the problem until late July.

FILM-BOX OFFICE

‘Dark Tower’ tops slow weekend with $19.5M at box office

NEW YORK (AP) — After a decade of development and several postponements, the long-awaited Stephen King adaptation “The Dark Tower” debuted with an estimated $19.5 million in North American ticket sales, narrowly edging out the two-week leader “Dunkirk.”

The so-so result for “The Dark Tower,” starring Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey, wasn’t spectacular, but ambitions had already been scaled down for the movie, made for about $65 million by Sony Pictures and Media Rights Capital.

Christopher Nolan’s World War II epic “Dunkirk” slid to second with $17.6 million in its third week. It’s now made $133.6 million domestically.

Another long delayed film made its debut. The Halle Berry thriller “Kidnap” opened with $10.2 million.

In its first week of wide release, the Kathryn Bigelow-directed docudrama “Detroit” disappointed with $7.8 million.

STARBUCKS-NO DREAMER DAY

Starbucks denies rumor of discounts for immigrants

DETROIT (AP) — Starbucks Corp. is shooting down a rumor that its coffee shops will give discounted drinks and food to undocumented immigrants on Aug. 11.

Starbucks senior vice president of global communications, John Kelly, tells The Associated Press in an email that the rumor is “completely false. One hundred percent fake.”

The company also took to Twitter to shoot down fake advertisements promoting the so-called “Dreamer Day.”

The bogus ads promise 40 percent off any menu item for undocumented immigrants on Aug. 11.

NEW YORK PORN WARS

NYC’s long war on storefront porn reaches new tipping point

NEW YORK (AP) — New York’s two-decade legal war on storefront pornography has reached a new tipping point.

Most of the provocative attractions were swept out years ago from Times Square. But the state’s highest Court of Appeals recently issued a decision upholding zoning rules first put in place under former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani.

They could force out many surviving X-rated stores. Several dozen are still counting on freedom-of-speech challenges to stay in business.

Attorney Erica Dubno represents some of the porn shops and says New York “has the tradition of being the freest and most tolerant city in the country.” She says the legal restrictions put both the small businesses and freedom of expression in jeopardy.

Dubno is asking the state Court of Appeals to reconsider.

Categories: Business News