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The Journal Gazette

Sunday, December 09, 2018 1:00 am

Briefs

Cuba rules on business take effect

News services

HAVANA – Cuba's government has modified a series of measures unpopular with the country's private sector, including lifting restrictions on the number of business permits a person can have and the number of chairs there can be in restaurants, a top official said.

In July, authorities announced tighter controls on self-employment, including that Cubans could no longer run more than a single business and high-earning businesses would pay new taxes, among other measures.

The controls were meant to prevent tax evasion, abuses and the accumulation of wealth after openings on the communist-run island had fueled the rise of a prosperous upper-middle class.

Fracking sales continue to slide

The North American fracking market is turning out to be even worse than expected, according to the world's biggest oil-service provider.

Schlumberger Ltd. expects sales in the U.S. and Canada to drop 15 percent in the final three months of the year compared with the third quarter, the company said. Three factors – a plunge in crude prices, exhausted exploration budgets and maxed-out pipelines in America's busiest field – are prompting oil companies to let go of frack crews.

The number of fracking crews at work in the Permian Basin of West Texas and New Mexico is down 13 percent from a 2018 high in June, according to Primary Vision Inc.

Coke's new chief to take over in April

Coca-Cola Co. has announced that James Quincey, its president and CEO, will become chairman of the board and CEO after Coke's annual meeting in April.

The Atlanta company has already announced that longtime Coke executive Bryan Smith will become president and chief operations officer Jan. 1.

Quincey replaces Muhtar Kent, who was Coke's chairman and CEO from 2009 to 2017 and continued as chairman after Quincey became CEO.

Apple Watch EKG features activated

Apple Watch is now fulfilling its promise to let people take EKGs of their heart and notify them of any irregular heartbeat.

Apple announced the heart features in September, but didn't make them available until Thursday. The new features have been given clearance by the FDA and are for U.S. customers only.

Apple says the watch will notify users if it detects an irregular rhythm on five checks over at least 65 minutes.