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AP Business SummaryBrief at 11:24 p.m. EDT

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Manchin rails against 'revenge politics' on permit plan

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. Joe Manchin on Tuesday railed against what he called “revenge politics″ being used against him, as liberals in the House and Senate team up with Republicans to oppose his plan to speed permits for natural gas pipelines and other energy projects. Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat, secured a commitment from President Joe Biden and Democratic leaders to include the permitting package in a stopgap government-funding bill in return for his support of a landmark law to curb climate change. But in recent weeks Democrats and environmental groups have lined up to oppose the permitting plan, calling it bad for the country and the climate.

Musk to seek exemption from Iran sanctions for Web access

WASHINGTON (AP) — Elon Musk’s hopes to operate his satellite internet firm in Iran require permission from the Treasury Department, which said Tuesday it welcomes applications to support internet freedom in the country, which is largely isolated from western economies. The Tesla CEO tweeted Monday that his satellite internet firm Starlink would seek permission to operate in Iran. National security adviser Jake Sullivan said it’s up to Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control to decide on Starlink’s next steps. Starlink, a division of spacecraft manufacturer SpaceX, also owned by Musk, has been in operation since 2019. It disperses thousands of satellites orbiting the Earth to provide broadband access globally.

Alaskans pocket over $3,000 in annual oil-wealth payments

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Nearly every single Alaskan got a financial windfall amounting to more than $3,000 Tuesday. That's the day the state began distributing payments from Alaska’s investment fund that has been seeded with money from the state’s oil riches. The payments, officially called the Permanent Fund Dividend or the PFD locally, amounted to $2,622. That's the highest amount ever. Alaska lawmakers added $662 as a one-time benefit to help residents with high energy costs. Residents use the money in various ways, from buying big-screen TVs, vehicles or other goods, using it for vacations or putting it in savings or college funds. In rural Alaska, the money can help offset the enormous food and fuel costs.

Asian lender ADB cuts forecasts to reflect weakening outlook

The Asian Development Bank has downgraded its forecasts for growth in the region, citing the war in Ukraine, rising interest rates to combat decades-high inflation, and China's slowing economy. The Manila, Philippines-based development lending agency revised its estimate for growth in developing Asian economies to 4.3%, down from an earlier forecast of 5.2%. The forecast for growth in 2023 was cut to 4.9% from 5.3%. Economists said that for the first time in three decades, other Asian economies are growing faster than China's. The ADB's forecast for inflation in Asia remains less severe than in the U.S. and some other economies, at 4.5% in 2022 and 4.0% next year.

Britain's Truss doesn't expect UK-US trade deal anytime soon

NEW YORK (AP) — Prime Minister Liz Truss has kicked off her first visit to the United States as Britain’s leader with an admission that a U.K-U.S. free trade deal is not going to happen for years. On her way to the United Nations General Assembly in New York, Truss said “there (aren’t) currently any negotiations taking place with the U.S., and I don’t have an expectation that those are going to start in the short to medium term.” That's a sharp contrast with the stance of her immediate predecessors, Boris Johnson and Theresa May. Both dangled the promise of a deal with the world’s biggest economy as one of the main prizes of Britain’s exit from the European Union.

NTSB wants all new vehicles to check drivers for alcohol use

DETROIT (AP) — The National Transportation Safety Board is recommending that all new vehicles in the U.S. be equipped with blood alcohol monitoring systems that can stop an intoxicated person from driving.  The recommendation, if enacted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, could reduce the number of alcohol-related crashes, one of the biggest causes of highway deaths in the U.S. The new push to make roads safer was included in a report released Tuesday about a horrific crash last year in which a drunk driver’s SUV collided head-on with a pickup truck near Fresno, California, killing both adult drivers and seven children.

United Airlines grounds 25 planes after missed inspections

CHICAGO (AP) — United Airlines canceled some flights this week after failing to do mandatory inspections of the front edges of 25 jets' wings. United said late Tuesday that is has finished inspections on 10 of the 25 planes, and expects to finish the others in the next two weeks. The airline says it canceled about 18 flights Monday night and Tuesday morning but doesn't expect to cancel any others. The Federal Aviation Administration says United reported the missed inspections on the Boeing 777 jets. The FAA says it's looking into how the inspections were missed in the first place.

Asian shares decline ahead of Fed decision on interest rates

TOKYO (AP) — Asian shares have mostly declined as investors looked ahead to a widely expected interest rate hike by the U.S. Federal Reserve in its bid to squash the highest inflation in decades. Benchmarks in Tokyo, Seoul, Sydney, Hong Kong and Shanghai slipped in early trading. Global tensions also made regional investors nervous. Russian-controlled regions of eastern and southern Ukraine announced plans to start voting this week to become integral parts of Russia. Stocks closed lower on Wall Street. The Fed has been raising the cost of borrowing money amid some worries the Fed may overshoot its goal and cause a recession.

Germany close to deal on nationalizing gas company Uniper

BERLIN (AP) — Natural gas supplier Uniper says it’s in “final discussions” for Germany to nationalize the company. The move announced Tuesday ramps up the German government’s intervention in the gas and oil industry as Russia’s war in Ukraine provokes an energy crisis. Uniper says the expansion of its July rescue deal would feature a capital increase of 8 billion euros that the government would finance and involve Germany taking a majority stake now held by Finland-based Fortum. The Uniper rescue is one of several measures taken by the government to try to ensure sufficient energy supplies this winter as Russia has cut back natural gas supplies to Europe.

Sweden's central bank hikes key interest rate by full point

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Sweden’s central bank has raised its key interest rate by a huge full percentage point to combat the highest inflation in more than 30 years. The move Tuesday is the first of a series of large hikes expected from central banks worldwide this week. Riksbanken says inflation has risen rapidly to 9% in August, “undermining households’ purchasing power." The bank has raised its policy rate to 1.75% and said it will keep tightening over the next six months as it tries to bring inflation back to its target of 2%. In making the big hike, it pointed to other central banks rapidly raising rates as consumer prices soar.

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President Joe Biden, a self-described “car guy,″ often promises to lead by example on climate change by moving swiftly to convert the sprawling U.S. government fleet to zero-emission electric vehicles. But efforts to eliminate gas-powered vehicles from the fleet have lagged. Biden last year directed the government to purchase only American-made zero-emission passenger cars by 2027. But the General Services Administration, which buys two-thirds of the federal fleet, says there are no guarantees. It cites big upfront costs and specialized agency needs, such as off-road vehicles for national parks that have limited EV options. About 13% of new light-duty vehicles purchased across the government this year — meaning about 3,550 — were zero emissions.

The new chief at the Food and Drug Administration's tobacco center has inherited a raft of problems. Brian King joined the division tasked with regulating cigarettes, vaping products and other forms of nicotine in July. The agency is struggling to review a backlog of electronic cigarettes, which have contributed to a rise in underage vaping. It is also working to implement a long-delayed plan to ban menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars. King wants to exploit the potential for e-cigarettes to serve as as a less harmful alternative to smoking while at the same time prevent teen use.

Russian state-owned energy giant Gazprom says it may halt gas deliveries to Moldova, Europe’s poorest country, if it fails to pay its latest bill by Oct. 20 as its contract stipulates. Gazprom said Tuesday it had repeatedly allowed Moldovan national gas supplier Moldovagaz this year to pay its monthly bills with delay, but may not continue that practice. Gazprom further said it reserved the right to annul completely its 5-year supply contract with the tiny country over its failure to settle old debts. The director of Moldovan natural gas supplier Moldovagaz said his company “will make every effort to fulfil its contractual obligation.” Moldovagaz has struggled this year to meet its payments to Gazprom after prices rose sharply.

Incidents of fraud and scams are occurring more often on the popular peer-to-peer payment service Zelle. That's according to a report issued Monday by the office of Sen. Elizabeth Warren, giving the public its first glimpse into the growing problems at Zelle. The report also found that the large banks that partly own Zelle have been reluctant to compensate customers who have been victims of fraud or scams. For instance, less than half of the money customers reported being sent via Zelle without authorization was being reimbursed. The company that operates Zelle has said previously that 99.9% of all transactions on the network happen without complaints of fraud or scams.

Twitter wants a Delaware court to order Elon Musk to buy the social media service for $44 billion, as he promised back in April. But suppose a judge makes that ruling and Musk balks? The Tesla billionaire's reputation for dismissing government pronouncements has some worried about how he’d react to an unfavorable ruling of the Delaware Court of Chancery, known for its handling of high-profile business disputes. But the likelihood of him losing badly — such as by an order of “specific performance” that forces him to complete the deal — has raised concerns about how the Delaware court would, or could, enforce its final ruling.

U.S. new vehicle sales fell slightly in the third quarter, even with improvement in September. But there are warning signs consumers’ appetite for expensive new cars, trucks and SUVs may be waning. Edmunds.com says sales fell 0.9% from July through September. Multiple companies reported sales declines for the quarter on Monday, with General Motors a notable exception. However, many said sales rose in September as shortages of computer chips and other parts started to ease and auto factories were able to produce more. That increased vehicle supplies. But any monthly gain may be short lived due to high prices and rising interest rates.

Portland city officials have approved Zenith Energy’s plan to phase out crude oil at its terminal and move to renewable fuels in the next five years. Oregon Public Broadcasting reports on Monday, the Portland Bureau of Development Services OK'd the company’s land use compatibility statement and said Zenith’s plans for its terminal in the northwest industrial area are compatible with the city’s climate action goals. The announcement comes over a year after the city denied the company’s certification because it didn’t meet greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals. The company has been planning to expand its operations since 2020 but needed a land-use certification from the city to move forward.

The Michigan Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether major changes in car insurance law apply to people who were catastrophically injured before summer 2019. The case is being closely watched by insurers, health-care providers and long-term crash victims. For decades, people injured in crashes were entitled to payment for “all reasonable charges” related to care and rehabilitation. But the new law set a fee schedule and a cap on reimbursements not covered by Medicare. The Michigan appeals court recently said the law couldn't be applied retroactively. It was a victory for roughly 18,000 people who were getting long-term care when the new law kicked in.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom has called on state regulators to relax rules on oil refineries in an effort to lower soaring fuel prices. According to AAA, the average cost of a gallon of gas in California is $6.30. That's far above the national average of $3.80. Oil refineries have to produce a specific blend of gas in the summer months that is designed to lower pollutants. Newsom wants to allow them to switch to the cheaper winter blend earlier than normal. The oil industry says that's an acknowledgement that state regulations play a role in rising prices. Newsom also called for a new tax on oil company profits.

UnitedHealth Group says it has completed its acquisition of Change Healthcare, closing the roughly $8 billion deal a couple weeks after a judge rejected a challenge from regulators. UnitedHealth is merging the technology company with its Optum segment. The health care giant said the combination will simplify clinical, administrative and payment processes for care providers and bill payers. The Justice Department had sued to block the deal. Regulators argued it would put too much information about health care claims in the hands of one company. But U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols issued an order last month denying the government’s request.

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