___US economy grew at modest 2% rate in second quarterWASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy grew at a moderate 2% annual rate in the second quarter, a pace sharply lower than the 3%-plus growth rates seen over the past year. Many analysts believe growth will slow further in coming quarters as global weakness and rising trade tensions exert a toll.___GM reverses course, says strikers will keep health coverageDETROIT (AP) — General Motors now says striking workers will get company-paid health insurance, nine days after saying coverage would be cut off. The company says in an email to the United Auto Workers union that it will keep benefits in place due to significant confusion among members. Workers howled and politicians criticized GM after the company said it would end benefits the day after the strike began Sept. 16.___McDonald’s takes a nibble of the plant-based burgerCHICAGO (AP) — McDonald’s is finally taking a nibble of the plant-based burger. In a very limited test in Canada, McDonald’s said Thursday that it’s introducing the PLT, or the plant, lettuce and tomato burger. It will be available for 12 weeks in 28 restaurants in Southwestern Ontario by the end of the month. The limited test is rolling out about six months after rival Burger King began testing the plant-based Impossible burger.___Walmart’s Sam’s Club launches health care pilot to membersNEW YORK (AP) — Walmart’s Sam’s Club is teaming up with several health care companies to offer discounts on everyday care its customers might delay or skip because of the cost. Starting in early October, Sam’s Club members in Michigan, Pennsylvania and North Carolina, will be able to buy one of four bundles of health care services that start from $50.___Amazon offers a way to delete Alexa recordings automaticallyNEW YORK (AP) — Users of Amazon’s Alexa digital assistant can now request that recordings of their voice commands delete automatically. Previously, users had to go into Alexa’s settings and delete recordings manually. Users can now ask Amazon to automatically delete recordings after three months or 18 months. But users need to specify that in the settings, as recordings are kept indefinitely by default. Tech companies have been reviewing their practices in light of privacy concerns.___Spokesman: China buying US soybeans, porkBEIJING (AP) — China’s government says importers have agreed to buy more American soybeans and pork. The announcement comes as the two sides make conciliatory gestures ahead of trade talks next month. A government spokesman said Chinese buyers have “completed deals to buy soybeans and pork of considerable scale” but gave no details.___Shares of Peloton skid on first day of tradingNEW YORK (AP) — Shares of connected exercise machine company Peloton skidded in their first day of public trading. Peloton offered 40 million shares at an initial public offering price of $29 per share, the high end of an expected range of $26 to $29 apiece. They closed Thursday at $25.76, a loss of more than 11%.___NY files suit against Dunkin’ Donuts over security breachesNEW YORK (AP) — The New York attorney general says Dunkin’ Donuts violated state law by not notifying almost 20,000 customers, including more than 2,000 in New York, about cyberattacks on their accounts in 2015 and inadequately warning more than 300,000 customers in 2018 about another attack. A lawsuit filed Thursday says the company knew in 2015 that a series of attacks had been made on customers’ online accounts but didn’t inform them. Dunkin’ Brands, Inc. says there’s “absolutely no basis for these claims.”___LinkedIn asks users to think beyond professional networksDALLAS (AP) — LinkedIn wants users to step outside their professional silos to boost someone else’s career. The company wants to narrow a “network gap” that disadvantages people who don’t have access to strong professional or alumni networks. The service says it’s not reversing its guidance that LinkedIn users accept connections only from people they know and trust. Instead, it’s nudging people to reach outside their traditional networks — such as someone they share a ride with or sit next to on a plane.___US stocks fall, bond prices rise as investors turn cautiousNEW YORK (AP) — Stocks ended modestly lower and bond prices rose on Wall Street Thursday as investors turned cautious, shifting money into lower-risk holdings. The selling came as traders weighed the implications of the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump and government data showing slower U.S. economic growth. Communication services, health care and energy stocks accounted for a big slice of the selling as the market gave back some of its gains from a rally the day before.___The S&P 500 index fell 7.25 points, or 0.2%, to 2,977.62. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 79.59 points, or 0.3%, to 26,891.12. The Nasdaq dropped 46.72 points, or 0.6%, to 8,030.66. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks shed 17.33 points, or 1.1%, to 1,533.33.The Associated Press
“This initiative shows that Somali farmers are not helpless. With minimal assistance including agricultural inputs, tools, technical skills in storage, grading and marketing, they can make a great difference,” said Luca Alinovi, outgoing representative in Somalia for the UN Food and Agricultural Organization’s (FAO), one of the two UN agencies backing the project.UN World Food Programme (WFP) Country Representative Stefano Porretti described the initiative “as a significant achievement for the participating farmers” and a milestone for WFP’s operations in Somalia. “Strengthening livelihoods and increasing resiliency is an integral part of WFP’s strategy in Somalia,” Mr. Porretti added. “WFP will continue to support small-scale farmers in Somalia by empowering them to produce and sell more food, so as to become competitive players in local markets.”The initiative is backed by funding from the Government of Austria which allowed the UN to buy 200 metric tons of high-quality maize from the farmers, for redistribution in other parts of the country. For the past 12 years, experts from FAO and WFP, supported by the EU, have worked with communities to increase the quality of their production to meet international standards. Farmers were also trained to limit losses by keeping the grain free of contamination and pests, and how to handle, store and manage grain in warehouses.Despite these advances, Somali farmers only meet 40 per cent of the country’s domestic cereal demand. According to the latest figures from the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), an estimated 857,000 people inside Somalia are currently “in crisis and emergency conditions” in terms of food insecurity.Somalia has been torn asunder by factional fighting since 1991 but has recently made progress towards stability. In 2011, Al-Shabaab insurgents retreated from Mogadishu and last year, new Government institutions emerged, as the country ended a transitional phase toward setting up a permanent, democratically-elected Government. Parts of the country have now stabilized, allowing the UN to try to scale up the food initiative.