Morning business highlights

McDonald’s sees off plastic straw campaign
McDonald’s shareholders have rejected a proposal asking the firm to report on its use of plastic straws, the latest part of a campaign pressing the firm to ban the items.
The idea, which was backed by activist group SumOfUs, won less than 8% of the vote at the company’s annual meeting.
McDonald’s had recommended against the measure saying it was “unnecessary” and “redundant”.
SumOfUs said the vote was “not surprising”.
SumOfUs has been pressing McDonald’s to end its use plastic straws due to the impact on the environment and wildlife. An online petition on the issue has attracted nearly 500,000 signatures.
The proposal, put forward by a small shareholder and published in an SEC filing in April, argued that McDonald’s could face a consumer backlash on environmental grounds.
Apple awarded sh54.5b in US patent case against Samsung
US court has ordered South Korea’s Samsung Electronics pay sh54.5b in damages for copying features of Apple’s original iPhone.
The jury’s decision is the latest step in a long-running legal battle between the world’s top smartphone makers.
It began in 2011 when Apple argued Samsung had infringed on some patents.
Apple was awarded $1.05bn in damages a year later but the rivals have fought over the final amount ever since.
In the latest court ruling, most of the damages payment – $533.3m – was awarded for infringing three Apple design patents. The remainder was for violating two patented functions.
In a statement, Apple said it was pleased that the members of the jury “agree that Samsung should pay for copying our products.”
“This case has always been about more than money,” the tech giant said, adding that it was important that it continued to protect the “hard work and innovation of so many people at Apple”.
But Samsung said the decision “flies in the face” of the unanimous Supreme Court ruling in its favour on the way the design patent damages are calculated.
Chinese firms to repair destroyed city roads
Three Chinese firms have been awarded road repair contracts amounting to sh4.1 billion.
Sinohydro Limited, China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) and China Wu Yi will carry out repairs on roads destroyed by recent flash floods.
“We have entered into an agreement with the three Chinese firms to repair any roads damaged by the ongoing rains since January,” said Transport and Infrastructure CS Dr. James Macharia, adding that the three were picked because of their huge financial muscle that allows them to work and get paid upon completion of the works.
“The goal is to complete the work in the next six months,” he said.

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