Michigan moves to be 1st state to ban flavored e-cigarettes

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is pushing her state to ban flavored e-cigarettes. File/AP

Ex-Fed official clarifies Trump comment

WASHINGTON — A former top Federal Reserve official is seeking to clarify inflammatory comments he made last week that suggested the Fed could take steps to undermine President Donald Trump's re-election prospects.

William Dudley, former president of the Fed's New York regional bank, faced a barrage of criticism from economists across the political spectrum for a column published in Bloomberg Opinion Aug. 27. In it, he argued that the Fed shouldn't "enable" Trump's trade war by cutting interest rates.

On Wednesday, he specifies in a second column that he does not think the Fed should attempt to influence the 2020 election. But he reiterates his criticism of Trump's attacks on the Fed and says it should specify that Trump's trade war is the "greatest risk" to the economy.

Mich. eyeing ban of flavored e-cigs

LANSING, Mich. — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is moving to make Michigan the first state to ban flavored e-cigarettes.

The Democrat announced Wednesday that she ordered the state health department to issue emergency rules. They will prohibit the sale and misleading marketing of flavored nicotine vaping products.

Whitmer says her No. 1 priority is keeping kids safe, and she wants to stop companies that are using candy flavors to "hook children on nicotine."

The federal government and nearly every state bar the sale of e-cigarettes to minors. Whitmer says Michigan will be the first to ban flavored vaping products, including for adults.

The American Vaping Association says the "shameless attempt at backdoor prohibition" could send thousands of ex-smokers back to deadly cigarettes. It says it will support lawsuits to challenge the ban.

Ex-UAW union official pleads guilty

DETROIT — A former United Auto Workers official accused of taking about $2 million in kickbacks from vendors has pleaded guilty to money laundering and conspiracy charges.

Mike Grimes, of Fort Myers, Fla., entered the pleas Wednesday in a Detroit federal court. He faces roughly four years or more in prison.

Grimes worked at a UAW-General Motors training center and was administrative assistant to UAW vice president Cindy Estrada. He's the ninth person convicted in an investigation of corruption, especially at a Detroit training center jointly run by the UAW and Fiat Chrysler.

Defense lawyer Michael Manley says Grimes is "crushed by what he has done" to the UAW's reputation. The UAW called the conduct "disgraceful."

Agents last week searched the Detroit-area home of UAW president Gary Jones and the Corona, Calif., home of former president Dennis Williams.

NTSB: Tesla on Autopilot when it hit truck

DETROIT — A government report says the driver of a Tesla that slammed into a firetruck near Los Angeles last year was using the car's Autopilot system when a vehicle in front of him suddenly changed lanes and he didn't have time to react.

The National Transportation Safety Board says the driver never saw the parked truck and didn't brake. Apparently the Model S didn't brake either.

The report raises further questions about the effectiveness of Tesla's system, which was in operation before several other crashes including two fatalities in Florida and one in Silicon Valley. Tesla warns drivers that the system is not fully autonomous and drivers must be ready to intervene.

The NTSB report didn't state a cause of the crash. The agency will issue a final report Wednesday.

NJ casino plans a $14M rehab

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — Atlantic City's top casino is taking out its checkbook again.

The Borgata told The Associated Press on Wednesday that it will spend $14 million redoing its lobby and more than 300 hotel suites. The work follows a $12 million project that opened a new sports betting lounge and entertainment facility in June.

The latest renovation will redo the casino hotel's lobby, adding a new bar and VIP check-in that should be completed this month. The Borgata also is renovating 312 suites, work that should be done by early next year.

The top-performing of Atlantic City's nine casinos, the Borgata regularly reinvests in its property.

"By enriching our hotel product, we are ensuring each guest enjoys an optimal Borgata experience that begins as soon as they walk through the door," Marcus Glover, the Borgata's president, said in a statement.

The lobby renovation will include coffee service, a tapas and cocktail menu, and three large-screen televisions. On weekends, it will include a piano bar.

It comes just weeks after the casino unveiled its Moneyline Bar & Book, a sports betting facility and its associated Level One Cocktail Bar & Lounge.

From January through July of this year, the Borgata has won more than $455 million, more than twice its nearest competitors.

Rail carrier furloughs 130 in Va.

ROANOKE, Va. — Norfolk Southern Corp. says it has furloughed about 130 employees at its locomotive shop in Roanoke, Va.

News outlets report an International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers representative says more than 80 workers lost their jobs at Shaffer's Crossing and as many as 50 workers were affected at the East End Shops. The company announced a similar move at its shops in Altoona, Pa.

Norfolk Southern says it needed to cut staff due to decreased demand for locomotive repair. The railroad has revealed long-term plans to operate with fewer locomotives.

Coach parent replaces CEO with chair

NEW YORK — Tapestry, the company behind Coach handbags, named chairman Jide Zeitlin as its new CEO.

Zeitlin will replace Victor Luis, who struggled to turn the company into a fashion conglomerate. Luis was named CEO of Coach Inc. in 2014 and he transformed it from a single-brand company to one that oversaw three by acquiring designer labels Stuart Weitzman and Kate Spade.

Coach Inc. was renamed Tapestry Inc. two years ago to reflect its growing number of brands. But the company failed to revive the Kate Spade brand, which has been a drag on the Tapestry's revenue.

New York-based Tapestry says Zeitlin will replace Luis as CEO immediately.

Brewer told to halt 'corn syrup' labels

MILWAUKEE — A federal judge has ordered Anheuser-Busch to stop using packaging that implies MillerCoors' light beers contain corn syrup.

U.S. District Judge William Conley granted a preliminary injunction sought by MillerCoors.

Bud Light's packaging says "No Corn Syrup" in bold letters.

Conley says Anheuser-Busch can use the packaging it had on hand June 6 until it runs out, or until March 2020, whichever comes first.

The ruling extends a previous injunction Conley issued in May. Conley said then that Anheuser-Busch should stop mentioning "corn syrup" in ads without further context.

MillerCoors sued its rival in March, saying Anheuser-Busch has spent as much as $30 million on a "false and misleading" campaign. MillerCoors uses corn syrup in the brewing process for Miller Lite and Coors Lite. Bud Light uses rice.

Union Pacific trims volume outlook

OMAHA, Neb. — Union Pacific says it expects to haul less freight in the second half of the year than previously predicted.

The Omaha, Neb.-based railroad said Wednesday the volume of cars, construction materials, grain and imported goods it will haul in the second half of the year will likely be down by a mid-single-digit percentage.

The analysts surveyed by FactSet predicted Union Pacific's volume will fall 3.8 percent in the third quarter.

Union Pacific said in July it expected to haul about 2 percent less freight during the second half of the year.

Union Pacific has been working to streamline operations and reduce costs, so it should be able to at least partly offset the decline.

The volume of freight Union Pacific and other railroads haul hints at the health of the overall economy.

Bee decline fuels weed killer ban

BERLIN — Germany plans to ban the use of glyphosate, the active ingredient in weed killer Roundup, over concerns it is leading to a decline of bees and other insects.

The Cabinet agreed Wednesday to start phasing out glyphosate next year and ban all use in Germany by the end of 2023.

Monsanto, the U.S. agrochemicals company which owns Roundup, was bought last year by German rival Bayer. The takeover landed Bayer with a host of U.S. lawsuits from people who claim glyphosate causes cancer.

Bayer says studies have established that the weed killer is safe, but several U.S. courts have ruled against the company.

Wire reports

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