Talking Points

At G7 conference, Trump scoffs at wind power’s future

A wind turbine farm owned by PacifiCorp near Glenrock, Wyo. President Trump has expressed skepticism about the viability of wind energy.
A wind turbine farm owned by PacifiCorp near Glenrock, Wyo. President Trump has expressed skepticism about the viability of wind energy.Matt Young/Associated Press/File 2013/Associated Press


Trump says wind power isn’t ‘working all that well’

President Trump scoffed yet again at a source of electricity championed by his own energy secretary, saying wind power doesn’t work “all that well.” “We’re the No. 1 energy producer in the world,” Trump said at the end of a summit of Group of Seven in Biarritz, France. “I’m not going to lose that wealth on dreams, on windmills, which, frankly, are not working all that well.” The comment, in response to a question about climate change, is the latest in a line of statements from the president disparaging wind power. Trump has said turbines are “monstrous,” are “killing all the eagles,” and cause cancer. His comment Monday came after the Energy Department released a report finding employment in the industry has risen to a record 114,000 full-time jobs. It’s also the cheapest new source of electricity in many regions of the United States. “The president is making a political miscalculation in his comments on wind energy,” Tom Kiernan, chief executive officer of the American Wind Energy Association, said in a statement. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Kraft Heinz asks its former CFO to come back

Kraft Heinz Co. is bringing back its former chief financial officer amid accounting problems and falling sales. Paulo Basilio, 44, joined H.J. Heinz as CFO in 2013 and remained in the job after the company’s 2015 merger with Kraft. He most recently served as Kraft Heinz’s chief business development officer. He replaces David Knopf, 31, who will return to Brazilian private equity firm 3G Capital. 3G and investor Warren Buffet engineered the Kraft Heinz merger in 2015. The company’s familiar brands like Oscar Meyer and Velveeta are struggling as consumers opt for healthier and more natural foods or cheaper store brands. — ASSOCIATED PRESS



Amgen to pay $13.4 billion for Celgene’s psoriasis medicine

Amgen Inc. will pay $13.4 billion for a blockbuster psoriasis drug from Celgene Corp., which is shedding the asset in order to win antitrust regulators’ sign-off for its $74 billion merger with Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. The all-cash deal will give Amgen a growing product at a time when the blockbuster biotechnology drugs it made its name on are beginning to fade. For Celgene and Bristol-Myers, the divestiture will pave the way to one of the pharmaceutical industry’s largest mergers of the past decade. The price is $11.2 billion once future cash tax benefits are taken into account, Thousand Oaks, Calif.-based Amgen said in a statement Monday. Bristol-Myers has a competing psoriasis drug in development, and in June announced its plan to divest Summit, N.J.-based Celgene’s Otezla. The psoriasis drug had sales last year of $1.61 billion, and is expected to bring in revenue of $2.71 billion in 2023, according to analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Shares of Bristol-Myers and Celgene both rose after the announcement. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



KFC trying out plant-based ‘chicken’ nuggets, wings

It’s finger lickin’ fake chicken. Kentucky Fried Chicken plans to test plant-based chicken nuggets and boneless wings Tuesday at one of its restaurants in Atlanta. Depending on customer feedback, the chain could expand the test to other markets. KFC is partnering with Beyond Meat to develop the new product. Beyond Meat also sells plant-based burgers and sausages at grocery stores and some fast-food chains like Carl’s Jr. and Del Taco. It sold frozen plant-based chicken strips until earlier this year, but pulled them off the market because it wanted to improve the recipe. Restaurants are responding to a surge in consumer demand for plant-based food that taste like meat. — ASSOCIATED PRESS



Stores sue over law banning sale of commercially bred cats and dogs

Pet stores are suing to block a Maryland law that will bar them from selling commercially bred cats and dogs, a measure billed as a check against unlicensed and substandard ‘‘puppy mills.’’ The stores’ federal lawsuit challenges a ban set to take effect on Jan. 1, 2020. Maryland is the second state, after California, to pass such restrictions on the sale of dogs and cats. The pet stores fear the ban will put them out of business. Their suit says animal welfare organizations have made unfounded claims that pet stores are fueling the growth of puppy mills. The lawsuit also claims the ban effectively will shift the sale of puppies from regulated retailers to unregulated sources, such as sellers placing ads on the Internet or in newspapers. The first law of this kind took effect in January in California. Maryland’s law encourages animal welfare organizations to collaborate with retail pet stores to showcase cats and dogs for adoption or purchase from ‘‘local breeders,’’ according to a summary of the legislation prepared by state analysts. The pet stores’ lawsuit claims the ban is unconstitutional, and violates the Commerce Clause. The legislation’s intent to facilitate sales from local breeders discriminates against out-of-state breeders and brokers, the suit says. State Senator Ben Kramer, a Democrat who sponsored the legislation when he was serving in the Maryland House of Delegates, said retail sales of dogs are keeping puppy mills in business. ‘‘The puppy mills are just absolutely disgusting and barbaric,’’ Kramer said. — ASSOCIATED PRESS



Johnson works to mitigate Britain’s exit from European Union

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson talked trade with the leaders of Australia and Egypt at the Group of Seven summit Monday as he sought to position his nation for a post-Brexit world. Johnson and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison agreed at the summit in France to do a trade deal after the United Kingdom leaves the European Union, a departure now set for Oct. 31. Morrison said he believed a UK-Australia pact could be done within a year. “But at the end of the day it’s got to be in our interests,’’ Morrison said. After a one-on-one meeting with Johnson in Biarritz on Sunday, US President Trump promised they would work out ‘‘a very big trade deal’’ between their nations once Brexit happens. Johnson also met Monday on the sidelines of the G7 summit with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi. The two discussed their shared desire to strengthen economic, trade, and security cooperation between the UK and Egypt. Despite the optimistic outlook given for Britain’s trade and future, the country’s departure from the EU and its single market of 500 million hasn’t taken place more than three years after voters backed leaving. Johnson said Sunday that the UK should prepare for an exit without a withdrawal deal in place, acknowledging that the prospect of a Brexit agreement getting approved in the next two months was ‘‘touch and go.’’ Johnson has told EU officials it won’t be possible to stop Britain’s departure from the trading bloc without the removal of controversial language about the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland. — ASSOCIATED PRESS



German authorities investigating Facebook’s audio transcription

Facebook Inc. is being probed by Hamburg’s data protection authority over transcribing audio from users of its services in Germany, adding to an investigation into Google’s automatic speech assistant. Facebook “is currently the subject of a separate investigation” into transcription of human-to-machine and human-to-human communications, the Hamburg Commissioner for Data Protection said in a press release on Monday. “Manual evaluation was used in Facebook Messenger to optimize the transcription function.” Bloomberg reported earlier in August that Facebook has been transcribing the audio of users who chose the option in Facebook’s Messenger app to have their voice chats transcribed. The human review was aimed at checking whether Facebook’s artificial intelligence correctly interpreted the messages. In an e-mailed statement, the Irish data protection commissioner’s office, Facebook’s main privacy watchdog in the EU, said that while the voice-to-text feature was not offered to users in Europe, Facebook inadvertently manually transcribed the audio clips of fewer than 50 European users across 14 countries. The situations occurred when a US-based user of the feature engaged with a European-based contact. Facebook is facing intense regulatory scrutiny of its businesses in Europe, including an antitrust probe into its Libra cryptocurrency and numerous privacy investigations that could lead to hefty fines. The company declined to comment. — BLOOMBERG NEWS