Kaepernick stirs new controversy for Nike

Nike has pulled its Air Max 1 Quick Strike Fourth of July shoes. Provided/Nike via AP

Arizona gov. pulls Nike grant over shoe flap

PHOENIX — Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey said Tuesday that Nike cannot get state money for a planned factory in a Phoenix suburb after a report that the athletic company pulled an American flag-themed shoe from the market.

It was not immediately clear if the move, which Ducey announced on Twitter at 2 a.m., would derail Nike's plans for a $185 million factory in Goodyear. Ducey's tweets were published hours after the Goodyear City Council approved more than $2 million in tax breaks over five years, but the governor has no control over those incentives.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Nike pulled a shoe with a colonial-era U.S. flag with 13 white stars in a circle, known as the Betsy Ross flag. The Journal reported that former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who has a major endorsement deal with Nike, told the company he and others found the flag symbol offensive because of its connection to the slavery era.

A wave of protests by NFL players began in 2016 after Kaepernick kneeled during the national anthem to call attention to police brutality and racial inequality. The protests grew into one of the most polarizing issues in sports, with President Donald Trump loudly urging the league to suspend or fire players who demonstrate during "The Star-Spangled Banner."

Kaepernick, who has not played in the NFL since the 2016 season, later appeared in a TV advertisement for Nike.

Delta boosts outlook for 2Q results

ATLANTA — Delta Air Lines is boosting its forecast of second-quarter earnings per share because of rising revenue.

The Atlanta-based airline said Tuesday it expects to earn between $2.25 and $2.35 per share for April through June. That's up from an April forecast of $2.05 to $2.35 per share.

Delta says revenue is rising by 8% to 8.5%, up from an earlier prediction of 6% to 8% over the same quarter last year. Some of that is due to more seats for sale, but revenue per seat is also rising.

Delta, the second-biggest U.S. airline by revenue after American Airlines, is scheduled to report financial results July 11. It is the largest carrier at Charleston International based on boardings.

Tesla sets a record for deliveries

DETROIT —Tesla overcame logistics problems to set a quarterly record for deliveries from April through June. Now Wall Street is focusing on whether it will translate into profits.

The electric car and solar panel company said it handed over 95,200 vehicles to customers worldwide, breaking the previous record of 90,700 set in the fourth quarter of last year.

The company rebounded from a dismal first quarter when it delivered only 63,000 of its Model S, X and 3 vehicles, a 31% drop from last year's fourth quarter.

But many analysts question whether the record sales will turn into profits for the struggling company, and they're raising questions about demand for Tesla vehicles and its long-term profitability.

US mulls more tariffs on EU goods

WASHINGTON — The U.S. is considering tariffs on an additional $4 billion of goods from the European Union over what it considers to be illegal aircraft subsidies.

Whether it does so depends on the results of a World Trade Organization assessment of EU subsidies on large civil aircraft, specifically to Airbus.

The U.S. Trade Representative's Office disclosed Monday that it could target a further 89 sub-categories following an earlier list in April. The new items include cheeses, olives and coffee.

A U.S. tariff wish-list released in April reflected the Trump administration's calculation of the harm the subsidies inflicted on the U.S. — and specifically to Boeing Co.

The USTR said it plans a public hearing in August on the proposed additional tariffs.

CEO says broke coal firm will rebound

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The CEO of one of the nation's largest coal producers says he's confident the company will bounce back despite the shutdown of several mines after it filed for federal bankruptcy protection.

Blackjewel filed for bankruptcy protection Monday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for southern West Virginia. News outlets reported the company cited at least $500 million owed in liabilities.

Blackjewel follows other major U.S. coal producers that have filed for bankruptcy protection in recent years, including Englewood, Colorado-based Westmoreland Coal Co. in October and Gillette, Wyoming-based Cloud Peak Energy in May.

St. Louis-based Peabody Energy Corp. emerged from bankruptcy protection in 2017 and both St. Louis-based Arch Coal and Bristol, Va.-based Alpha Natural Resources emerged in 2016.

"The entire U.S. mining complex has been impacted by these events," Blackjewel CEO Jeff Hoops said in a court filing. "The entire industry either has gone through, or is currently going through, a period of financial distress and reorganization."

Hoops said the company and its partners had insufficient cash to operate and require additional liquidity, especially to pay wages and benefits.

"We are confident that this restructuring will solidify Blackjewel's position as a significant participant in the (U.S.) coal market," Hoops said in a separate statement.

Blackjewel has about 1,100 employees in its eastern division at mines in Kentucky, Virginia and West Virginia. It also operates two mines with about 600 workers in northeast Wyoming.

Phoenix OKs tax aide for Google data center

PHOENIX — A Phoenix suburb has agreed to give Google a property tax break of $16 million over 25 years for it to bring a data center to the city.

The Arizona Republic reports the Mesa City Council approved a development agreement Monday for Google to build the $1 billion facility.

The facility is planned on 187 acres of farmland north of the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport.

Google expects to start construction within the next five years, building 250,000 square feet (23,200 square feet) by July 2025.

It expects to build 750,000 square feet by July 2029.

The city estimates that Google facility would contribute $61 million in tax revenue over the 25 years.

FBI: No danger from Facebook sarin alert

MENLO PARK, Calif. — The FBI says a package that initially tested positive for sarin at a mail facility near Facebook's headquarters in California did not contain any dangerous substance.

The FBI says in a statement Tuesday the agency and its law enforcement partners "thoroughly tested the items in question and determined them to be non-hazardous."

Authorities put the site under quarantine Monday. Four buildings were evacuated. The suspicious package was delivered around 11 a.m. to one of the company's mail rooms.

Workers who handled the package did not report any ill effects.

There were no reports of injuries, fire marshal Jon Johnston said. Incoming mail undergoing routine processing by machine tested positive for sarin, he said.

Wire reports

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