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Fox News chief accused of harassment

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Roger Ailes, the chairman of Fox News, was accused Wednesday of forcing out a prominent female anchor after she refused his sexual advances and complained to him about persistent harassment in the newsroom — a startling accusation against perhaps the most powerful man in television news.

In a lawsuit the anchor, Gretchen Carlson, a longtime Fox employee who left the network last month, portrays Ailes as a loutish and serial sexual harasser — accusing him of ogling her in his office and calling her “sexy” — and describes a boys club environment at the network.

Her charges — including the accusation that Ailes explicitly asked Carlson for a sexual relationship during a meeting in his office — amounted to an almost unprecedented public attack on Ailes, a towering figure in media and Republican politics who typically enjoys absolute loyalty from his employees.

Late Wednesday the parent company of Fox News, 21st Century Fox, issued a measured statement saying it had “full confidence” in Ailes but had initiated an internal review of Carlson’s charges.

Ailes, in a separate statement, was far less temperate.

“Gretchen Carlson’s allegations are false,” he wrote. “This is a retaliatory suit for the network’s decision not to renew her contract,” which he attributed to ratings he called “disappointingly low.”

Verizon options could offset price hikes

NEW YORK >> Verizon is raising prices on its cellphone plans, though the new rates come with changes that might actually save you money.

If you do nothing, your prices won’t automatically go up. But new benefits announced Wednesday — including better options when traveling in Canada and Mexico — require you to switch to the new rates.

Gold forecaster says price to hit $1,425

Gold will probably rally to as much as $1,425 an ounce by the end of this quarter on resilient investor demand, according to ABN Amro Group NV, the bank that’s rated by Bloomberg as the most accurate forecaster.

Gold and silver should continue to attract investors, analyst Georgette Boele said in a report received today, citing prospects for accommodative policies from the world’s central banks, including in Europe. The target of $1,425 is $75 higher than the previous forecast for the same period, and would be the highest price since August 2013.

Gold and silver have rallied this year as investors absorbed the implications of the British vote to quit the European Union and speculated central banks might add to easing, with the Federal Reserve seen holding rates steady.

Gold for immediate delivery traded 0.3 percent higher at $1,367.34 an ounce at 12:54 p.m. in Singapore, gaining for a seventh day, according to Bloomberg generic pricing. It rallied to $1,375.28 on Wednesday, the highest since March 2014, and prices are up 29 percent in 2016.

U.S. services firms index rose in June

WASHINGTON >> U.S. services firms expanded last month at the fastest pace since November, good news for the U.S. economy.

The Institute for Supply Management said Wednesday that its non-manufacturing index rose to 56.5 in June from 52.9 in May. Any reading above 50 signals growth. Production, new orders and export orders grew faster in June. Employment grew last month after contracting in May.

Chinese imports push up U.S. trade deficit

WASHINGTON >> The U.S. trade deficit climbed in May as a surge in imports of Chinese-made cellphones and computers pushed the imbalance with China to the highest level in six months.

The trade deficit rose to $41.1 billion in May, the Commerce Department reported. It was the largest imbalance since February. The trade deficit is the gap between the value of goods and services the United States imports from other countries and the value of U.S. exports.

On the move

Sun Noodle has hired Ahmad Yu as president, succeeding founder Hidehito Uki, who remains the company’s CEO and owner. Yu will also serve as the national vice president of innovation and quality. He has more than 30 years of food industry experience, including serving as vice president of operations at the Honolulu Cookie Company and 12 years at Hawaiian Host, where he served as manager of product innovation and quality assurance and director of quality and innovation.

ProService Hawaii has appointed Amita Goyal to director of health care innovation. She was previously chief administrative officer of Clinical Integration at the Queen’s Health Systems. Goyal also has 12 years’ experience in the health care industry, including manager of the Decision, Support and Revenue Cycle at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center and health care manager at Stockamp & Associates.

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