Business News Archives for 2023-09

AM Business Notebook

>>UAW President Expands Strike Against Big Three

(Detroit, MI) -- The United Auto Workers are once again expanding their strike. UAW President Shawn Fain said his announcement was delayed this morning after a "flurry of activity" and said Stellantis made big progress moments before he began speaking. However, Fain called for seven-thousand workers at GM and Ford plants to go on strike. He said GM and Ford have refused to make any meaningful progress.

 

>>PCE Shows Inflation Cooling In August

(New York, NY) -- A key economic indicator shows inflation cooling in August. The personal consumption expenditures price index increased a tenth of a percent last month. That's half the increase expected. It's also the smallest monthly rise since November 2020. On a 12-month basis, the annual increase for core PCE was three-point-nine percent matching the forecast. Analysts say it's the latest sign the Federal Reserve's fight against inflation is making progress.

 

>>Consumer Sentiment Dips In September

(Ann Arbor, MI) -- Consumer sentiment is down slightly in September. The University of Michigan's final reading for the month slipped less than two points from August. The survey noted some uncertainty about the economy given the possible government shutdown and the UAW strike against automakers. Year-ahead inflation expectations fell slightly to their lowest level since March 2021.

 

>>Congress Short On Time To Avoid Shutdown

(Washington, DC) -- Time is running out. Congress is coming close to running out the clock on avoiding a government shutdown at the end of the week. Federal funding is set to expire Saturday night if lawmakers fail to strike a deal. Conservatives in the House are pushing for deep spending cuts that won't make it through the Democratic-controlled Senate. Should a shutdown come to fruition, millions of Americans would be impacted, including federal workers who would be furloughed without pay. Military members and essential federal workers like those who work for the Federal Aviation Administration, meanwhile, will be required to work without compensation. A shutdown would also cut funding for the nutrition program for women and children known as WIC, and food stamp benefits could be impacted if the shutdown lasts through October. National parks could close and FEMA could run out of funds for disaster relief.

 

>>Pandemic Pause In Student Loan Payments Coming To An End

(Washington, DC) -- Student loan payments are starting up again after a three-year pause. Payments were paused for many borrowers during the pandemic, but starting Sunday, over 45-million student loan accounts will be active again. The average borrower owes around 29-thousand dollars, and most of that debt is held by the federal government. The Biden administration says the normal consequences for missing payments will not be enacted until October of next year, meaning borrowers will not have their wages garnished or be referred to debt collectors. Missed payments, however, could still hurt a borrower's credit score.

 

>>Ticket Resellers Must Pay Taxes On Earnings

(Undated) -- The IRS is imposing new rules for ticket resellers. An updated form says anyone who made more than 600-dollars by re-selling tickets on StubHub or Ticketmaster will have to report that money as taxable income. It's a big change from the previous threshold, which was anyone who made over 20-thousand-dollars in revenue. During Taylor Swift's recent Eras tour, stories about resellers made headlines as tickets that were normally two-hundred dollars were being resold for thousands.

 

>>Tesla Sued By EEOC

(San Francisco, CA) -- Tesla is being sued by the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. On Thursday, the EEOC filed a lawsuit against Tesla in a California court, alleging the company engages in racial discrimination and harassment. The lawsuit comes after an investigation into Tesla's treatment of Black employees. Since 2015, Tesla has allegedly violated the Civil Rights Act by subjecting Black employees to racial abuse, hostility, and stereotyping. The new lawsuit claims Tesla violated federal law by tolerating the alleged widespread and ongoing harassment of Black employees, and by retaliating against employees who complained.

 

>>Houses "Unaffordable" For Average American

(Washington, DC) -- Homes are "unaffordable" in 99-percent of the US for the average American. That's according to a new report from the real estate data provider ATTOM. Researchers looked at the medium home prices last year and compared them to the average income of just over 70-thousand dollars a year. Experts say mortgage rates topping seven-percent and homeowners who locked in lower mortgage rates during the pandemic not selling are reasons housing costs are shooting up. Chief economist of Redfin Daryl Fairweather told CBS that the only people selling now are doing so only if they "really need to move because of a life event."

 

>>California Fast Food Workers To Make $20 An Hour

(Sacramento, CA) -- Fast food workers in California will soon be paid at least 20 dollars per hour starting next year. The wage increase comes from a bill Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law on Thursday. When it takes effect on April 1st, fast-food workers in the Golden State will enjoy one of the highest minimum wages in the country. California's current minimum wage is 15-50 an hour.

AM Business Notebook

>>Weekly Jobless Claims Are Up

(Washington, DC)  --  More Americans are applying for unemployment but not as many as expected.  The Labor Department says initial claims for unemployment benefits for the week ending September 23rd came in at 204-thousand.  That's an increase of just around three thousand from the previous week's revised total.  Most analysts had been expecting today's numbers to land at right around 214-thousand.  

 

>>Biden: Shutdown Isn't Inevitable 

(San Francisco, CA)  --  President Biden is calling on House Republicans to "do their job" and fund the government.  While speaking to reporters in San Francisco yesterday, Biden added he doesn't believe a shutdown is inevitable.  This comes as Congress needs to pass a government funding bill by the end of the week.  The House and Senate, however, are pushing forward with separate government funding plans.  The Senate is advancing a short-term spending bill that extends funding through mid-November and provides money for Ukraine and disaster relief.  Speaker McCarthy told members of his conference Wednesday he will not bring the bipartisan bill to the House floor for a vote.  Conservatives in the House are pushing for deep spending cuts. 

 

>>SAG-AFTRA To Resume Talks Next Week

(Los Angeles, CA)  --  The writer's strike is over, but Hollywood's actors are still picketing, demanding better pay and protections.  On Wednesday, SAG-AFTRA announced they'll begin negotiations again next week.  The talks will be attended by "several executives," from the actors union and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.  SAG-AFTRA members are asking for a bigger cut of the revenue from steaming shows, and more protections against the use of artificial intelligence.  

 

>>UAW President To Make Expanded Strike Announcement Tomorrow

(Detroit, MI)  --  United Auto Workers president Shawn Fain will make an announcement Friday morning on the union's next possible expansion of their strike against the Detroit three automakers.  Fain last Friday expanded it from three plants, one from each automaker, to add 38 General Motors and Stellantis parts plants.  Ford did not see any additional plants affected by the strike due to the progress made in the contract talks. 

 

>>Man Suspected Of Killing Tech CEO Arrested After Massive Manhunt

(Baltimore, MD)  --  The convicted felon suspected of murdering tech CEO Pava LaPere [[ PAH-va Lah-Pare ]] in her Baltimore apartment earlier this week is now in custody.  Authorities arrested Jason Billingsley late Wednesday night at a train station in Bowie, Maryland, about 30 miles southeast of Baltimore.  The 32-year-old Billingsley was the only suspect in the murder of LaPere.  The body of the 26-year-old founder of EcoMap Technologies was found Monday night on the rooftop of her upscale apartment building.

 

>>Marijuana Banking Bill Advances In Senate

(Washington, DC)  --  A groundbreaking marijuana bill has advanced in the Senate.  The Senate Banking Committee on Wednesday gave their approval to the Secure and Fair Enforcement Regulation Banking Act, which allows legal marijuana businesses to use banks and financial institutions.  Current law prohibits banks from providing services to the cannabis industry.  The bill now moves to the Senate floor for full consideration.  The bill's sponsor, Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon, called it a "historical moment," and said he's "committed to building bipartisan momentum" for the bill.  

 

>>Judge Awards Stone Brewing 56M in Coors Settlement

(San Diego, CA) --  Coors owes California' Stone Brewing some beer money. This week a federal judge upheld a jury ruling against Molson Coors over trademark infringement. The lawsuit resulted in Stone Brewing Company receiving 56-million dollars resulting from the Molson Coors' Keystone Light rebrand in 2017.  On Monday, attorneys from Molson Coors were denied the request to overturn the jury ruling and a new trial. 

 

>>60% Of U.S. Living Paycheck To Paycheck

(Undated)  --  Roughly 60-percent of U.S. consumers across all income levels are living paycheck to paycheck.  Thats according to new reports from Pymnts and Lending Club, who found that those living paycheck to paycheck include 45-percent of high-income consumers who make more than 100-thousand-dollars a year.  About 76-percent of people making less than 50-thousand-dollars a year reported they're barely making ends meet.  The numbers are almost unchanged from last year, and in line with a CNBC study that also found six in ten Americans live paycheck to paycheck.  

AM Business Notebook

>>Senate Votes To Advance Bill To Avoid Shutdown

(Washington, DC) -- The Senate has voted to advance a short-term funding bill to avoid a government shutdown. The bipartisan measure released Tuesday would keep money flowing until mid-November to give Congress more time for a long-term package. A deal to fund the government must be passed by the end of the week. The bill includes more than four-billion dollars in aid to Ukraine and roughly six-billion in emergency FEMA funding for disaster relief. It's unclear if the Republican-led House will approve it.

 

>>WGA Votes To Lift Strike Order After 148 Days

(Los Angeles, CA) -- The Writers Guild of America strike is over. After 148 days, the board of the WGA West and council of the WGA East voted unanimously to lift the strike. The decision comes days after the writers and film studios successfully finished conversations for a new three-year contract. The agreement will increase minimums, raise contributions to health care and pensions, and give bonuses for residuals based on streaming views. AI-generated content, a big issue when the strike started, will not be considered source material.

 

>>SAG-AFTRA Members Authorize Strike If Needed in Video Game Negotiations

(Los Angeles, CA) -- The union that represents Hollywood actors has received rank-and-file authorization for a strike against video game production companies. Representatives from SAG-AFTRA are in contract talks this week with Activision, Blindlight, Disney, Electronic Arts, Epic Games, Formosa Interactive, Insomniac Games, Take 2, VoiceWorks, and WB Games. If the talks break down, union leadership has the OK to call for a strike. SAG-AFTRA members are already on strike against TV and Film studios. In both negotiations, actors want protections against the use of artificial intelligence.

 

>>UAW President: Focus Of Strike Remains Workers

(Detroit, MI) -- United Auto Workers President Shawn Fain says the union isn't letting up on its demands amid an ongoing strike. He spoke to MSNBC Tuesday, the same day President Biden stood alongside members on the picket line in Michigan. Fain noted he's thankful for Biden's support, but that the real focus remains the workers. He added that the reason for the strike against the Big Three automakers stems from "corporate greed." Thousands of UAW members across numerous states are picketing, calling for better pay and job protections.

 

>>FTC, 17 States File Antitrust Lawsuit Against Amazon

(Washington, DC) -- Amazon is facing an antitrust lawsuit filed by the FTC and 17 states. The complaint accuses the online retail giant of abusing its powers to promote its own products over third-party sellers that use Amazon's platform to reach customers. FTC Chair Lina Khan said, "Amazon is a monopolist, and it is exploiting its monopolies in ways that leave shoppers and sellers paying more for worse services." Amazon responded to the lawsuit by saying it's "wrong on the facts and the law." The FTC has been investigating Amazon for possible antitrust violation since 2019 under the Trump administration.

 

>>Police Seek Suspect In Baltimore Tech Executive's Killing

(Baltimore, MD) -- Baltimore police are searching for a suspect in the killing of a young tech entrepreneur. Thirty-two-year-old Jason Billingsley is wanted for first-degree murder in connection with the death of Pava LaPere. The 26-year-old's body was found Monday in her apartment in Baltimore's Mount Vernon neighborhood with signs of blunt-force trauma. LaPere was the CEO and co-founder of a multi-million-dollar Baltimore tech company and had been named to Forbes' prestigious 30-Under-30 list.

 

>>UPS To Hire More Than 100-Thousand Seasonal Workers

(Atlanta, GA) -- UPS will hire more than 100-thousand seasonal workers for the upcoming holiday rush. According to a posting on the company's job portal, it's offering full and part-time positions with higher pay than before at 23-dollars-an-hour. UPS said in a statement that the positions are available across the country. They're looking for delivery drivers and package handlers.

AM Business Notebook

>>Consumer Confidence Slips Again In September

New York, NY)  --  Consumer confidence is down for the second straight month. The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index fell five points in September from its upwardly revised August reading.  The board's chief economist said many Americans are worried about rising prices, particularly for gas and groceries.  The survey also noted a rise in recession fears and fewer consumers planning to buy homes in the next six months.

 

>>New Home Sales Slide In August

(Washington, DC)  --  Sales of newly built homes slid more than expected in August.  According to the Commerce Department, homes under contract totaled 675-thousand for the month, which is down eight-point-seven percent from July.  That's more than double the decline analysts had expected  The median price of a new home sold in August was just over 430-thousand dollars.    

 

>>Government Shutdown Would Be A Black Mark On U.S. Credit Rating

(Undated)  --  America's credit rating could take a hit if there's a government shutdown.  Moody's Investors Service sounded the warning Monday as a federal government shutdown looms at the end of the month if Congress can't reach a spending deal.  The service said that while debt service payments would still be made, a shutdown would underscore the weakness of the country's institutional and governance strength.  

 

>>Biden To Join UAW Members In Michigan 

(Washington, DC)  --  President Biden will join the picket lines alongside United Auto Workers members in Michigan later today.  Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre says the president is always going to stand on the side of workers and is hoping for a "win-win agreement."  Union members are striking against the big three automakers, calling for higher wages and job protections. 

 

>>WGA Set To Vote On Tentative Agreement To End Writers' Strike

(Los Angeles, CA)  --  Writers Guild of America leadership is set to vote today on whether or not to approve a tentative deal that would end the writers' strike.  It's negotiating committee reached the agreement with Hollywood's top studios over the weekend, suspending all picketing.  If the deal is agreed upon, it would then go to the roughly 11-thousand WGA members for approval.  The writers' walkout began more than 140 days ago, bringing the film and TV industry to a halt.  

 

>>Some Oakland, CA Businesses To Strike Today

(Oakland, CA)  --  Some businesses in Oakland, California are set to strike today, calling for improved public safety and monetary aid.  Their plan is to shut their doors for a day in hopes for more support from the city.  A rash of crime in Oakland has hurt businesses because they say there aren't enough cops to address break-ins.  The businesses add they are strapped by storefront repairs and losses from theft.  Oakland lost out on grants to address crime due to a missed deadline.  The city is also still without a police chief with critics claiming it's from the police commission dragging their feet.

 

>>Florida Gaming Commission Requests Shut Down Of Three Operators 

(Tallahassee, FL)  --  Florida gaming regulators are trying to shut down three fantasy sports operators.  The state's Gaming Control Commission sent cease-and-desist letters last week to Underdog Sports, PrizePicks and Betr for reportedly taking part in illegal mobile sports wagering.  The News Service of Florida reports that the panel did not submit notices to major daily fantasy sports games like DraftKings or FanDuel.  The agency was created two years ago as part of an agreement reached with the Seminole Tribe, which gave the tribe control over sports betting in the Sunshine State. 

AM Business Notebook

>>Reports To Watch For In The Coming Week Ahead

(Undated) -- Coming up in the business week ahead, there are some key reports to keep an eye out on. Investors today will get earnings results from Costco, but there are no major economic reports to digest. That changes Tuesday with data on new home sales, consumer confidence and the S&P Case-Shiller home price index. Durable-goods orders are due Wednesday. Revised GDP numbers come down on Thursday along with initial jobless claims and remarks by Fed Chairman Jerome Powell. The week wraps up with personal incoming and spending on Friday as well as consumer sentiment.

 

>>WGA And Hollywood Studios Reach Tentative Deal To End Strike

(Los Angeles, CA) -- A tentative agreement between the Writers Guild of America and Hollywood's top studios has been reached in an effort to resolve the ongoing writers' strike. The guild released a statement Sunday, saying the deal "was made possible by the enduring solidarity of WGA members and extraordinary support of our union siblings." Picketing was suspended as of Sunday night. The writers walkout began more than 140 days ago, bringing the film and TV industry to a halt. While union members still need to formally vote to end the walkout, actors will continue their strike until the SAG-AFTRA union also reaches a deal with studios.

 

>>Biden To Join Picket Line In UAW Strike This Week

(Detroit, MI) -- President Biden is set to join the United Auto Workers picket line this week. He'll travel to Michigan Tuesday to "stand in solidarity with the men and women of UAW as they fight for a fair share of the value they helped create." It comes as the union recently expanded its strike to 20 states after no substantial progress was made with the Big Three automakers on a new contract. UAW workers say they want a 40 percent pay increase, cost of living adjustments, and pensions for all workers.

 

>>Problem Solvers Caucus Trying To Avoid Shutdown

(Washington, DC) -- A bi-partisan House caucus says it has one objective and that's to keep the lights on. Speaking on CNN's State of the Union, New Jersey Democratic Congressman Josh Gottmeier and Pennsylvania Republican Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick say they are pushing to get a "Keep America Open" bill on the House floor in time to avoid a government shutdown. Gottmeier and Fitzpatrick are co-chairs of the bi-partisan "Problem Solvers Caucus," which is made up of 32 Republicans and 32 Democrats. Both Congressmen said the caucus is trying to do what's in the best interest of all Americans and keep the government running.

 

>>Top Five Cities Where Homes Sell Above Asking Prices

(Austin, TX) -- The top five cities where homes sell above asking prices are all in New York and California. Moving Feedback, a Texas-based platform for finding the best movers, analyzed Zillow data and came up with some surprising findings. More homes in Vallejo [[ vuh-LAY-oh]], California, just north of Berkeley and Oakland, are selling above asking price than anywhere else in the country. San Francisco is second, followed by Rochester, New York. San Jose, California is in fourth place with Ithaca, New York in fifth. In all five cities homes are selling for between one and two-percent over the asking price.

 

>>Amazon To Introduce Ads To Prime Video

(Seattle, WA) -- Amazon will start featuring ads on its Prime Video streaming service. The online retail giant announced Friday that starting next year, TV series and movies will start having limited ads in its tier that costs about 15-dollars a month. Subscribers will be able to pay an extra three-bucks a month to avoid seeing ads. Live events and sports on Prime Video will still have ads no matter the subscription tier. Amazon said the move to include ads on Prime Video is needed to continue to invest in content for the platform.

AM Business Notebook

>>UAW President Announces Expansion Of Strike

(Detroit, MI)  --  The United Auto Workers are expanding their strike.  This comes after UAW President Shawn Fain announced earlier this week he would send more workers to the picket lines if substantial progress wasn't made with the Big Three automakers on a new contract.  Fain said the strike will now expand to 20 states after GM and Stellantis rejected their proposals.  He added Ford has agreed to some of the proposals but there's still work to be done.  Union workers say they want a 40 percent pay increase, cost of living adjustments, and pensions for all workers. 

 

>> Maui Economy Report

(Maui, HI)  --  The University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization has released its first assessment of how the devastating wildfires will affect Maui's economy. The report calls the fires a "heavy blow," to both the island and state economy. Forecasters believe, for the next several years, Maui's economy will deal with sharp and persistent losses that will somewhat spill over from the county into the overall state economy. UHERO is also now expecting the state's GDP to fall about half a percentage point from its previous forecast. Maui attracts about 30-percent of Hawaii's visitors annually and makes up about ten-percent of the state's overall economy. 

 

>>Biden Administration Seeks To Remove Medical Bills From Credit Reports

(Washington, DC)  --  Unpaid medical bills may soon be removed from your credit reports.  The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said Thursday it expects to issue a proposed rule next year that would bar consumer credit companies from including medical debts on credit reports.  The bureau said under the new rule, debt collectors would no longer be able to use medical debt as leverage to pressure consumers into paying questionable bills.  The head of the bureau said, "When someone gets sick they should be able to focus on getting better, rather than fighting debt collectors trying to extort them into paying bills they may not even owe."

 

>>Hollywood Writers, Studios Continue Negotiations

(Los Angeles, CA)  --  Negotiators for striking Hollywood writers and the major TV and film studios will meet again later today.  The Writers Guild of America says talks to end the strike ended Thursday with no agreement.  The two sides negotiated for over ten hours Thursday but failed to agree on a pay raise for union writers or on the use of artificial intelligence.  Studio heads from Disney, Netflix, NBCUniversal and Warner Brothers were reportedly at the negotiations.  Thousands of WGA members have been on strike since May.  

 

>>One In Five Jobs Are "Highly Exposed" To Generative AI

(Austin, TX)  --  Close to one in five jobs are "highly exposed" to generative artificial intelligence. That's according to a new report from the job search website Indeed. Nearly 20-percent of jobs listed on the website are categorized as requiring skills that can mostly be performed by generative AI. But the majority of jobs face at least some exposure, with 80-percent either minimally or moderately exposed.

 

>>Anheuser-Busch Stops Cutting Budweiser Clydesdales' Tails Under PETA Pressure

(St. Louis, MO)  --  Anheuser-Busch [[ ann-hye-zer bush ]]  says it's stopped cutting the tails of the Budweiser Clydesdales.  The brewing giant announced on Wednesday that it stopped cutting the tails of the huge horses used in publicity for Budweiser beer earlier this year.  Anheuser-Busch said it stopped bobbing the horses' tails after animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, PETA, started a campaign against the practice.

 

>>Negligence Lawsuit Targets Google Maps After Man Drives Off Collapsed Bridge

(Raleigh, NC)  --  A North Carolina woman is suing Google because her husband died after driving off a collapsed bridge when following directions using Google Maps.  The lawsuit filed in Raleigh this week accuses the tech giant of negligence.  It argues that Philip Paxton was following Google Maps directions through an unfamiliar neighborhood last September.  The suit claims the Maps app directed the father of two to cross a bridge that had collapsed in 2013.  He drowned when his Jeep plunged into a creek.


 

AM Business Notebook

>>Unemployment Claims Down 

(Washington, DC)  --  The number of Americans filing for first-time unemployment claims dropped last week by 20-thousand to 201-thousand people.  Numbers out from the Labor Department this morning show the figures are the lowest since January and well below analysts predictions of 225 thousand. Continuing unemployment claims also fell by 21-thousand to an almost eight-month low.

 

 

>>Fed Decides To Skip Rate Hike

(Washington, DC)  --  The Federal Reserve is once again pausing interest rate hikes.  From March 2022 through May 2023 the Fed raised rates at ten successive meetings.  The Fed has been raising rates to combat inflation.   However, the Central Bank indicated it still expects one more rate hike before the year is over.

 

 

>>Stellantis Announces Layoffs Due To Strike

(Detroit, MI)  --  Stellantis has issued a statement saying they will be laying off workers at their Toledo Machining Plant.  The move comes as the UAW strike against the Detroit automakers continues.  The company said they will layoff 68 employees at the facility and they may have to layoff more workers at a facility in Kokomo, Indiana.  The UAW has stated that more auto plants will be shut down if a new contract is not reached by Friday.

 

 

>>FTC Names 3 Amazon Executives In Prime Lawsuit

(Washington, DC)  --  The Federal Trade Commission is publicly naming three Amazon executive it says were key players in what the agency calls a scheme to enroll and keep Prime customers.  The FTC on Wednesday amended a lawsuit it filed against Amazon in June.  The agency said vice presidents Neil Lindsay, Russell Grandinetti, and Jamil Ghani knew the online retail and entertainment giant was enrolling customers in Amazon prime without their knowledge, but chose not to do anything about it.

 

 

>> Homeowners Struggle To Afford Home Insurance Amid Climate Change

(Brooklyn, NY)  --  More homeowners are struggling to afford insurance on their houses as climate change impacts premiums. A report from First Street Foundation says insurance companies and lawmakers alike underestimated the situation. States in the western US especially are seeing higher costs for wildfire damage. The report says the best way for homeowners and businesses to protect themselves is "through insurance as a risk transfer mechanism." However, it says insurance companies are "quickly changing the ways in which they operate across much of the country."

 

 

>>Taiwan Tesla Supplier To Build First U.S. Factory

(Taipei)  --  A Tesla supplier from Taiwan is building its first U.S. factory in New Mexico.  Gear company Hota Industrial Manufacturing says it will invest 99-million dollars to build its first plant outside Asia, and that construction will begin early next year in the town of Santa Teresa, near the Mexican border.  New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham says the state will provide three-million dollars in funding, and possible tax credits.  Taiwanese companies are also building in Arizona, where chipmaker TSMC has committed 40-billion dollars to building two factories that would support chipmaking capacity in the U.S.

 

 

>>Toshiba $14B Takeover Bid Successful

(Tokyo)  --  Toshiba says a 14-billion dollar takeover offer from private equity firm Japan Industrial Partners is successful.  The announcement in Tokyo on Thursday paves the way for the electronics-to-power station maker to go private.  It returns Toshiba to domestic ownership after years of battles with activist overseas shareholders.  

 

 

>>CA Woman Sues McDonald's Over Scalding Hot Coffee

(San Francisco, CA)  --  A California woman is suing McDonald's claiming she was scalded by hot coffee.  A lawsuit filed earlier this month says 85-year-old Mable Childress was left with severe burns after buying coffee at a McDonald's drive-thru in San Francisco last June.  The suit claims her coffee lid was improperly secured by restaurant staff, and that the lid came off when she tried to drink from the cup, resulting in severe burns.  The suit also claims Childress requested help from several staff members but they ignored her.  She's accusing the restaurant of gross negligence and is seeking over 25-thousand dollars in damages.

AM Business Notebook

>>Fed Expected To Leave Interest Rates At Current Level

(Washington, DC) -- Federal Reserve policymakers are expected to leave interest rates at current levels when the central bank issues its quarterly update today. Fed watchers see the funds rate staying at the current range of five and-a-quarter to five and-a-half percent. The Fed has raised interest rates eleven times since March of last year.

 

>>White House Officials Going To Detroit To Stay In DC Instead

(Washington, DC) -- White House officials who were previously going to travel to Detroit will now stay in Washington. President Biden said last week that Labor Secretary Julie Su and senior adviser Gene Sperling would go to Detroit to give support as the United Auto Workers and companies try to work out a deal. But according to a statement, the White House says it's "most productive" for the two to continue discussions from Washington, DC instead.

 

>>UAW President Makes Comments About Former President Trump

(Detroit, MI) -- The United Auto Workers president is against former President Trump visiting the picket lines in Detroit. Trump reportedly plans to meet with auto workers next week instead of attending the second Republican presidential debate. UAW President Shawn Fain said every fiber of their union is being poured into fighting the billionaire class and economy that enriches people like Trump at the expense of workers. Fain said we need to stop electing billionaires and millionaires who have no understanding of what it's like to live pay check to pay check. The UAW is on its fifth day of its strike against the big three U.S. automakers as they demand better pay and pension benefits.

 

>>Union Health Workers Authorize Strike Against Kaiser Permanente

(Undated) -- Union healthcare workers in Virginia, Maryland and DC have threatened to strike against Kaiser Permanente, if no agreement can be reached on a new contract by September 30th. About 38-hundred workers, including nurses, certified nursing assistants, technicians, optometrists, and pharmacists are among those who could join similar actions in the Pacific Northwest and Rocky Mountain states. The workers allege unfair and unsafe practices, including staff shortages.

 

>>FTX Sues Sam Bankman-Fried's Parents

(New York, NY) -- The bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX is suing founder Sam Bankman-Fried's parents. The lawsuit accuses them of using millions in company funds for themselves and their "pet causes." It says Joe Bankman and Barbara Fried knew or "ignored bright red flags" that their son was orchestrating a fraud scheme. Attorneys for the couple denied the claims in a statement and called them "a dangerous attempt to intimidate Joe and Barbara and undermine the jury process just days before their child's trial begins."

AM Business Notebook

>>Refinery Problems Lead to Gas Prices Eclipsing $6.00 Per Gallon

(Los Angeles, CA) -- Ongoing refinery problems are being blamed for gas prices eclipsing the six-dollar-per-gallon mark in much of California. Four refineries have had unexpected outages recently and that has disrupted the supply of gasoline. According to Triple-A the average price for a gallon of regular in Los Angeles County is six dollars three cents. that's 47 cents more than just a week ago and an 11-cent jump in a day. The most expensive gas in California can be found in Alpine County along the California-Nevada border. A gallon of gas there is costing drivers seven dollars.

 

>>UAW Strike Ongoing, Tuesday Is Day 5

(Detroit, MI) -- The United Auto Workers' strike against the Big Three U.S automakers is heading into its fifth day. Reports say the union has met with Ford, GM and Stellantis in recent days, with little to no progress on a new contract. Nearly 13-thousand auto workers remain on strike at three plants in Ohio, Michigan and Missouri. They're demanding better pay and pension benefits.

 

>>MD Kaiser Permanente Workers Support Strike

(Baltimore, MD) -- Kaiser Permanente health care workers in Maryland have joined colleagues from across the country in voting to authorize a strike over unfair labor practices. The union and Kaiser must reach an agreement by the end of the month or a national strike could begin on October 1st. Negotiations between the Professionals International Union and the healthcare provider will take place on Thursday and Friday. The union says healthcare workers must have the resources they need to adequately serve patients and themselves. Kaiser officials are confident that an agreement can be reached.

 

>>Elon Musks Hints At X Subscription Fee

(Fremont, CA) -- Elon Musk is hinting at a subscription fee for all users of his X social media platform. Bloomberg reports Musk told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that X will be moving to a "small monthly payment." He claimed a subscription fee would be the only way to put a stop to bot accounts on the platform. The comments came during Netanyahu's visit to California to meet with Musk.

 

>>Amazon Announces Second Prime Day In October

(Seattle, WA) -- Amazon is announcing a second Prime Day. Prime Big Deal Days will take place on October 10th and 11th. The event will feature deals on tech, home goods, fashion and entertainment. Customers will need to be an Amazon Prime member to get access to the offers.

 

>>Report: Mahomes Gets Record Payday With Contract Restructure

(Kansas City, MO) -- Two-time Super Bowl champion Patrick Mahomes is getting a record payday. ESPN reports Mahomes has agreed to a restructured deal with the Kansas City Chiefs that will pay him more than 210-million dollars between 2023 and 2026. The deal is the most money in NFL history for a player over a four-year span.

AM Business Notebook

>>UAW President Says Progress 'Slow'

(Detroit, MI) -- United Auto Workers president Shawn Fain says there hasn't been much progress in talks with the Big Three automakers during the ongoing strike. Speaking Sunday on MSNBC, Fain said that progress has been "slow" as the two sides continue to meet, and that the companies should've gotten down to business sooner on negotiations, instead delaying until the last moment. Fain added that the fight is about the CEO's making millions "off the backs" of low paid workers. Nearly 13-thousand auto workers remain on strike, demanding better pay and pension benefits.

 

>>McCarthy Says 'Good Progress' Made In Shutdown Talks

(Washington, DC) -- House Speaker Kevin McCarthy says "good progress" is being made in talks to avoid a government shutdown. Speaking on Fox News Sunday, McCarthy said that Republicans wanted to "change Washington" when they took the majority, and that he's never seen anyone "win a shutdown." McCarthy faces challenges in passing a stopgap funding bill, as it appears he lacks the votes to keep the government open beyond September 30th. Some conservatives are threatening to strip him of the speakership, even as he attempted to gain support by launching an impeachment inquiry into President Biden. McCarthy added the only way to cut spending is to pass bills which allow the government to keep running, which he said are the "most conservative bills going forward."

 

>>CA Governor Newsom Says He'll Sign Landmark Climate Bill

(New York, NY) -- California Governor Gavin Newsom says he plans to sign a landmark climate bill that passed the state's legislature last week. The measure requires major companies to publicly disclose their greenhouse gas emissions. It would apply to both public and private California businesses that make more than a billion dollars annually. Newsom, a Democrat who's been a prominent voice on policies to fight climate change, made the comments Sunday at a Climate Week event in New York.

 

>>Google Antitrust Trial Enters Week 2

(Washington, DC) -- The closely-watched Google anti-trust trial is entering its second week in Washington, DC. The Justice Department accuses the tech giant of spending billions behind the scenes to secure agreements with mobile carriers, smartphone makers, and browser operators to become the default search engine. Prosecutors say Google has more than 90-percent of the search market.

 

>>"Nun II," Beats Out "Haunting In Venice" In Box Office Battle

(Los Angeles, CA) -- "The Nun Two" is taking the top spot at the box office this weekend, but was definitely a close race. The Warner Brothers thriller brought in 14-point-seven-million dollars, while Disney's new murder mystery "A Haunting in Venice" earned 14-point-five-million.

AM Business Notebook

>>Over 12K Auto Workers On UAW Strike

(Detroit) -- U.S. auto workers are striking at all three of Detroit's major car companies. The United Auto Workers strike will halt production of the Ford Bronco, Jeep Wrangler, Chevy Colorado and other models. Union President Shawn Fein said it's the first time in their history that they're striking GM, Ford and Stellantis at the same time. Targeted strikes were launched after the old contract expired at midnight, and involve over 12-thousand workers.

 

>>Oregon Gets $58 Million For Trees

(Washington, D.C.) -- One-billion-dollars from the Inflation Reduction Act will be spent planting trees across the U.S., and Oregon will receive 58-million-dollars. The money can be used to plant and maintain trees, combat extreme heat and climate change and improve access to nature is cities, towns and suburbs. The Oregon Department of Forestry will receive the most, nearly 23-million-dollars. The rest of the money will go to groups in Eugene, Portland, Pendleton, Hermiston, Salem, and Hillsboro.

 

>>Mexico Ousts China As US's Biggest Trading Partner

(New York, NY) -- Mexico has overtaken China as America's biggest trading partner with roughly 400-billion dollars in imports from Mexico this year. Meanwhile, foreign direct investment in Mexico is up more than 40-percent as US companies increasingly set up shop. At the same time, a survey by Spanish bank BBVA found that one in five of the new arrivals in Mexico are Chinese businesses, probably seeking to skirt US tariffs. Mexico's resurgence has helped the peso boast the world's strongest currency this year and one of the best-performing stock markets, according to Bloomberg.

 

>>Reports: Caesars Paid Ransom To Hackers

(Las Vegas, NV) -- Caesars Entertainment says it was recently the target of hackers. Reports say the casino operator paid about half of a 30-million-dollar ransom demanded by the hackers after a cyberattack late last month. In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission Thursday, Caesars said incident response protocols were activated after the suspicious activity was detected. Caesars was reportedly targeted by the same group that has forced MGM Resorts to shutdown ATMs, slot machines and its mobile app this week. Caesars said there is no evidence the hackers accessed passwords or bank account information.

 

>>Softbank's Arm Market Debut At $65-Billion

(New York, NY) -- Shares in Softbank's Arm Holdings shot up almost 25% its Nasdaq debut price Thursday. The stock opened at 56-10 and closed at 63-59, giving the British chip designer a valuation of 65-billion dollars. That's a big jump over its IPO price of 51 dollars a share, which yielded a valuation of 54-point-five billion on Wednesday.

 

>>Google Antitrust Trial Moves To Day 3 Today

(Washington, DC) -- Today is Day Three of the Google antitrust trial in Washington, DC. The Justice Department accuses the tech giant of spending billions of dollars to secure agreements with mobile carriers, smartphone makers, and browser operators to become the default search engine. Prosecutors say Google has more than 90-percent of the search market.

 

>>Report: World Needs $2.7-Trillion Annually For Zero Emissions By 2050

(Undated) -- The world needs to invest two-point-seven trillion dollars a year to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, according to a new report. Global energy and sustainables consultancy Wood Mackenzie's report released Thursday also said that's the necessary investment to stop temperatures from rising above one-point-five degrees Celsius this century to avoid catastrophic effects from climate change. However, the report says most countries aren't on track to meet emissions targets by 2030, let alone 2050.

AM Business Notebook

>>Weekly Jobless Report Shows Rise In Claims (Washington, DC) -- The number of Americans filing for unemployment is on the rise. The Department of Labor released it's weekly report this morning and said unemployment insurance claims in the U.S. for the week ending September 9th were at 220-thousand. That's a rise of about three-thousand from the previous week, after four straight weeks of decline.

 

>>Senators Push Cannabis Banking Bill

(Washington, DC) -- A bipartisan coalition of senators is pushing to get cannabis banking bill in front of lawmakers. Some senators supporting the Secure and Fair Enforcement Banking Act, known as SAFE, have expressed the hope that the bill could advance out of committee in the coming weeks. The bill could give federally regulated banks and credit unions legal cover to take state-licensed cannabis dispensaries and growers as customers. Senate Democrats say there's excitement after the Department of Health and Human Services recommended that marijuana be classified as a Schedule Three drug. It's currently classified as Schedule One, the same as heroin.

 

>>UAW Preparing For Strike

(Detroit, MI) -- The United Auto Workers Union is prepared for a "likely" strike against Detroit's Big Three automakers. On Wednesday, union president Shawn Fain ruled out any extension of the existing contracts with GM, Ford and Stellantis after they expire Thursday night. He noted that "September 14th is a deadline, not a reference point." Members are at odds with the companies over wage increases, pensions and job protections. Fain said initial strike locations would be "limited and targeted" if no deal is reached.

 

>>Ford CEO Rebuffs UAW Leader's Criticism As Strike Deadline Looms

(Detroit, MI) -- Ford CEO Jim Farley is batting back criticism by the head of the United Auto Workers union that Ford isn't taking bargaining seriously ahead of a Thursday night strike deadline. UAW CEO Shawn Fain made that charge last week. Farley said on Wednesday that Ford hasn't received a "genuine counteroffer" on Ford's latest proposal. He also called out Fain for not attending a meeting Tuesday with the Ford CEO and company Chairman Bill Ford. The UAW is negotiating simultaneously with General Motors, Stellantis, and Ford. The union has authorized a strike to begin at 11:59 p.m. Thursday if there's no agreement on a new contract.

 

>>Political Advertisements Projected To Reach A Record Ten-Point-Two Billion In 2024 Cycle

(New York, NY) -- Spending on political advertising is estimated to reach a record ten-point-two-billion in the 2024 cycle. That's according to new projections from Ad-Impact. Local television stations are projected to rake in half that amount, five-point-one billion. Cable television trails broadcast with one-point-nine billion. Connected TV, which includes streaming services, is likely to pull in one-point-three billion. Digital ads - like Google and Facebook - could reach one-point-two billion; radio accounts for 400-million. Political ad spending in this election cycle has already reached 652-million, 75-percent more than at the same point in the last presidential campaign.

 

>>Taiwan Slams Musk: "Not For Sale," Nor Part Of China

(Taipei) -- Taiwan is tearing into Elon Musk after the billionaire said the democratically governed island might be, in Beijing's view "analogous to Hawaii or something like that, like an integral part of China that is arbitrarily not part of China." Taiwan's Minister of Foreign Affairs said late Wednesday on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, "Listen up, Taiwan is not part of the PRC and certainly not for sale!" PRC is short for People's Republic of China, the communist nation ruled out of Beijing.

 

>>Survey: World-Largest Lithium Deposit May Sit On Native Land In Nevada

(McDermitt, NV) -- A Nevada mining company has put out a report that could have industry-shaping implications for the future of electric vehicles. Surveyors have been interested in a spot near native lands on the Nevada-Oregon border for years, and recent data suggests it could conceal the world's largest deposit of lithium, a crucial component in E-V batteries. The numbers show some 20- to 40-million metric tons of the metal ore was deposited in the McDermitt Caldera, at the site of an ancient supervolcano. That's potentially enough to meet global demand for decades. While the mine could all but solve the U-S' lithium supply problem, many argue the environmental and ecological impact is not worth the risk. The Fort McDermitt Paiute-Shoshone has opposed the project for years because it's planned on the site of an 1865 massacre at the hands of U-S soldiers. Tribal leaders liken it to opening up a lithium mine at Pearl Harbor or Arlington National Cemetery.

AM Business Notebook

>>CPI Report Shows Rise In Inflation

(Washington, DC) -- Inflation is jumping. New data reveals the Consumer Price Index increased three-point-seven-percent, up from three-point-two-percent in July. The CPI is the best measure of inflation, measuring consumer prices of anything from groceries to gas.

 

>>Tech Giants To Attend Closed-Door Meeting With Senators (Washington, DC) -- Tech industry leaders will be on Capitol Hill today to discuss artificial intelligence. Senators will hear from Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates and others during a closed-door meeting. This comes as Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has prioritized bringing lawmakers up to speed on the rapidly advancing AI technology.

 

>>DOJ Accuses Google Of Monopolizing Search Business

 

(Washington, DC) -- Federal prosecutors are accusing Google of stifling competition and operating an illegal monopoly with its popular search engine. Opening remarks were made before a federal judge in Washington on Tuesday in an antitrust trial against Google. Lawyers for the Justice Department argued that Google's exclusive contracts with phone makers and wireless carriers helped stifle competition in violation of U.S. antitrust law. The multi-week trial is expected to feature witness testimony from Google CEO Sundar Pichai and executives from Apple, Microsoft and Samsung.

 

>>Ford CEO Gives Update On UAW Talks

(Detroit, MI) -- Ford Motor Company CEO Jim Farley says the company has submitted a new contract offer to the United Auto Workers union. He says the offer includes pay raises and eliminates the two-tiered wage system; the CEO calls it their most generous offer in the 80 years of the UAW. The union has not reached any tentative deals yet with Ford, General Motors, or Stellantis. The current contract expires at 11:59 p.m. tomorrow and the UAW says they are ready to strike all three.

 

>>Apple Introduces New Products

(Cupertino, CA) -- Apple is introducing several new products. The company unveiled the new iPhone 15 and the iPhone 15 Pro during a launch event on Tuesday. They're the first iPhones that use universally accepted USB-C charging cables. The new iPhones also come with tougher glass shields, new satellite services, more advanced cameras, and much more. Apple also introduced their first-ever carbon neutral product, the series nine Apple Watch. Along with reducing environmental impact, the new Apple Watch was redesigned to be faster and have better performance and capabilities.

 

>>Interview Suggests Mexico Was A Hard Sell For Tesla

(Austin, TX) -- Tesla will be building their next-generation electric vehicles in Texas rather than Mexico. That's according to an excerpt from newly released biography of Elon Musk. Convincing Tesla engineers to move south of the border proved to be a hard sell, so the cars will be built at the factory near Austin. The fleet will include a model that's priced at 25-thousand dollars and a robo-taxi.

 

>>Online Shopping Prices See Largest Annual Drop In 3 Years

(New York, NY) -- Online shopping prices are down, marking another sign that inflation is cooling off. Adobe Analytics reports e-commerce prices fell three-point-two-percent year over year in August. That's the largest annual dip in a little over three years. The categories seeing the biggest drop in prices include sporting goods, appliances, and electronics. The Adobe report comes one day before the Consumer Price Index is released.

 

>>Disney Settles Magic Key Lawsuit

(Anaheim, CA) -- Disney has agreed to settle a multi-million dollar class-action lawsuit regarding the Disneyland Magic Key pass. The preliminary agreement was reached last week. Jenale Nielsen filed the lawsuit two years ago on behalf of all former Dream Key holders. Her lawsuit alleged Disney's membership offer was misleading and the company practiced false advertising. Nielsen bought the highest-tier Dream Key for just under 14-hundred dollars because the theme park claimed there would be no blackout dates. But when she tried to make a park reservation, she was told her preferred dates had already been blacked out. More than 100-thousand Dream Key pass holders will split the settlement which will amount to about 67 dollars per person.

AM Business Notebook

>>Online Shopping Prices See Largest Annual Drop In 3 Years

(New York, NY) -- Online shopping prices are down, marking another sign that inflation is cooling off. Adobe Analytics reports e-commerce prices fell three-point-two-percent year over year in August. That's the largest annual dip in a little over three years. The catagories seeing the biggest drop in prices include sporting goods, applicances, and electronics. The Adobe report comes one day before the Consumer Price Index is released.

 

>>NY Fed: Fears Over Credit Access Hit Highest Level In Over A Decade

(New York, NY) -- A new survey shows more Americans are worried about access to credit as banks tighten their approval standards. According the New York Federal Reserve, nearly 60 percent of the respondents indicated it's harder to get loans, credit cards and mortgages now than it was a year ago. That's the highest level in more than a decade. The results were part of the Fed's Survey of Consumer Expectations for August.

 

>>Reports To Watch For

(Undated) -- Coming up this week, there are a few key economic reports to be on the look out for. Wednesday brings the consumer price index. The CPI numbers will help guide whether the Federal Reserve moves to raise interest rates again in November. Weekly jobless claims are due on Thursday, with a slight uptick in the forecast. The producer price index and retail sales data will also be out the same day. Consumer sentiment caps the week on Friday.

 

>>Apple Launch Event Today

(Cupertino, CA) -- Apple is set to unveil the latest iPhone today at the company's annual launch event. They're calling the event "Wanderlust" and it's expected to show off the iPhone 15 along with other new Apple products, including the latest Apple Watch and AirPods. The event is set for 10 a.m. Pacific time and will be streamed on YouTube and the AppleTV app.

 

>>Tech Giants To Attend Closed-Door Meeting With Senators Wednesday

(Washington, DC) -- Tech industry leaders will be on Capitol Hill this week to discuss artificial intelligence. Senators will hear from Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates and others during a closed-door meeting Wednesday. This comes as Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has prioritized bringing lawmakers up to speed on the rapidly advancing AI technology.

 

>>Stellantis Says Progress Made In UAW Talks

(Detroit, MI) -- Stellantis says they have made progress in contract talks with the United Auto Workers union, but the UAW says they are still far apart on pay. The company says it has reached tentative agreements in areas like health and safety as the current contract expires at 11:59 p.m. Thursday. The UAW wants a 46-percent pay hike and the elimination of tiered pay, while Stellantis has offered a 14-point-five-percent raise. Ford proposed a 15-percent raise, and General Motors offered ten-percent.

 

>>J.M. Smucker Buying Hostess Brands For $5.6 Billion

(Orrville, OH) -- Jelly maker J.M Smucker is buying snack brand Hostess in a multi-billion dollar deal. The maker of the popular Smucker's jelly announced Monday it will buy the Twinkies-maker for five-point-six-billion dollars. Smucker said the deal is a compelling expansion of its family of brands. Included in the purchase are popular Hostess brands like CupCakes, DingDongs, Zingers and HoHos. The purchase is the latest in a series of deals the packaged food industry has seen recently, including Campbell Soup buying the maker of Rao's sauces. >>Disney, Charter Reach New Deal (Burbank, CA) -- Nearly 15 million households will once again be able to watch Disney-owned channels like ESPN and ABC. Reports say the media company reached an agreement with Charter Communications. Disney pulled its channels from Charter Spectrum cable systems late last month after the two parties failed to reach a deal. The blackout prevented sports fans from watching high profile events like tennis' U.S. Open and threatened the first Monday Night Football game of the NFL season.

AM Business Notebook

>>Kroger Sale

Kroger has announced that, as part of its merger with Albertsons, the companies will sell 413 stores to C&S Wholesale Grocers for one-point-nine billion dollars.   The sale also includes other brand names in various regions … Fred Meyer stores are not currently part of the sale.  In Oregon, 49 Albertsons and QFC stores will be sold.  The stores that Kroger keeps will be rebranded as Kroger or Albertsons.  If it's necessary to get government approval, Kroger will sell C&S an additional 237 stores in certain parts of the country.  

 

>>J.M. Smucker Buying Hostess Brands For $5.6 Billion

(Orrville, OH) -- Jelly maker J.M Smucker is buying snack brand Hostess in a multi-billion dollar deal. The maker of the popular Smucker's jelly announced Monday it will buy the Twinkies-maker for five-point-six-billion dollars. Smucker said the deal is a compelling expansion of its family of brands. Included in the purchase are popular Hostess brands like CupCakes, DingDongs, Zingers and HoHos.

 

>>Senate To Start Voting On Funding Bills

(Washington, DC) -- The Senate is expected to start moving a package of government funding bills this week. This comes as Congress is racing to avoid a shutdown at the end of this month. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer says he expects the first votes later today. The top Democrat has urged Republicans in the House to "follow the Senate's lead" and work with Democrats. A group of House conservatives say they'll oppose any funding bill that does not include conservative policy priorities on spending levels, the southern border and the Justice Department.

 

>>Key Economic Reports On The Horizon

(Undated) -- Coming up in the business week ahead, there are no major economic reports scheduled for release today or tomorrow. Wednesday however will bring the consumer price index. The CPI numbers will help guide whether the Federal Reserve moves to raise interest rates again in November. Weekly jobless claims are due on Thursday, with a slight uptick in the forecast. The producer price index and retail sales data will also be out the same day. Consumer sentiment caps the week on Friday.

 

>>Apple Launch Event Tuesday

(Cupertino, CA) -- Apple is set to unveil the latest iPhone Tuesday at the company's annual launch event. They're calling the event "Wanderlust" and it's expected to show off the iPhone 15 along with other new Apple products, including the latest Apple Watch and AirPods. The event is set for 10 a.m. Pacific time and will be streamed on YouTube and the AppleTV app.

 

>>"Nun II" Tops "Equalizer 3" At Weekend Box Office

(Hollywood, CA) -- Moviegoers are taking up a new habit as "The Nun 2" tops this weekend's box office. The latest in Warner Brothers' "Conjuring" series took in an estimated 32-point-six-million-dollars in its opening weekend. Last week's box office champion "Equalizer 3" earned just over 12-million-dollars for second place. Another sequel, "My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3," debuted in third-place, while the Indian Hindi-language film "Jawan" had a surprising fourth-place finish in its opening weekend. "Barbie" placed fifth, marking the first time in its eight-week run the summer blockbuster has finished outside the top two.

AM Business Notebook

>>Yellen Confident Of Ukraine Aid Support, World Growth

(New Delhi) -- Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen says she's confident Congress will approve more financial assistance for Ukraine as it fights to drive out Russian forces. Yellen spoke to reporters earlier today in New Delhi ahead of the G-20 summit being hosted by India. She also said she's "been surprised by the strength of global growth and how resilient the global economy has proven to be." Yellen wasn't very upbeat about the future of China's economy however, saying she sees the world's second-biggest economy "slowing over time."

 

>>WB Suspending Producer Payments

(Los Angeles, CA) -- Warner Brothers is suspending payments to its producers for the duration of the strike. Executives at two studios told the L.A. Times that major film producers could also see their deals affected. Other major studios are also expected to suspend payments soon to cut costs. Warner Brothers expects to lose up to five-hundred-million-dollars during the strike.

 

>>UAW Union President Says GM Offer Is Insulting

(Detroit, MI) -- United Auto Worker Union President Shawn Fain says General Motors' latest counter proposal is insulting and a waste of time. GM offered a counter proposal on Thursday that included a ten percent wage increase, additional paid holidays, inflations payments and more, however the proposal did not meet all of the union's demands. GM says the offer shows their good faith efforts to keep bargaining moving. The union rejected an offer from Ford last week and Stellantis has said an offer will be on the table by the end of the week.

 

>>Meeting Today To Help Avert NYC School Bus Driver Strike

(New York, NY) -- A potential school bus driver strike is looming over New York City public schools. However, a meeting is happening today to try and work things out. A strike would impact tens of thousands of students, some with special needs. Schools Chancellor David Banks says the city doesn't have a lot of control over the situation because negotiations are happening between the union representing drivers and the bus companies that contract with the city.

 

>>Former FTX Executive Pleads Guilty

(New York, NY) -- A former FTX executive is pleading guilty to criminal charges. The plea entered Thursday by Ryan Salame comes less than a month before co-founder of the bankrupt cryptocurrency trading platform Sam Bankman-Fried goes on trial. Salame's attorney previously told prosecutors he'd invoke his Fifth Amendment rights if he was called as a witness.

AM Business Notebook

>>Jobless Claims Down

(Washington, DC) -- Fewer Americans than expected found themselves filing first-time claims for unemployment benefits last week. The Labor Department reports receiving 216-thousand requests for the week ending September 2nd. That's a drop of 13-thousand from the previous week's revised total. Most analysts had forecast today's number to come in at right around 230-thousand, instead of the 216.

 

>>Contract Talks Making Progress Between UAW, Automakers

(Detroit, MI) -- The contract between the United Auto Workers union and the Detroit three automakers is now a week away from expiring, and the UAW is threatening to strike at all three if an agreement has not been reached. Progress has been noted in the talks with Ford, and General Motors is expected to make a proposal today. Wayne State University business professor Marick Masters says avoiding a strike with an agreement by next Thursday will "take a near miracle." The UAW wants a 46-percent raise, an end to the two-tiered wage system, and to be paid 40 hours for a 32-hour work week.

 

>>Google Requires Election Ads To Disclose AI Use

(Mountain View, CA) -- Google is requiring election ads to disclose any use of artificial intelligence. The tech giant said Wednesday that the policy update will go into effect in November, a year ahead of the 2024 presidential election. A spokesperson said in a statement that the new rule buildings on Google's existing efforts to increase transparency by further supporting responsible political advertising. The policy affects ads that contain AI-generated content that "depicts real or realistic-looking people or events."

 

>>Entry Level Jobs Offering Student Loan Repayment Have Doubled Since 2019

(New York, NY) -- The share of entry-level jobs that mention student loan repayment programs has more than doubled since 2019. That's according to data from Handshake, the career platform for college students and recent grads. The industries on the platform with the most full-time jobs mentioning student loan repayment benefits include health care, non-profit, government, law and politics, financial services, and education. Some common jobs more likely to mention student loan repayment in their description include clinical pharmacist, nurse practitioner, software engineer and insurance sales advisor. According to a 2021 survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute 17-percent of employers offered some type of student loan assistance program.

 

>>Top Scams That Target Consumers This Summer

(New York, NY) -- From fake Taylor Swift tickets to promises of student loan forgiveness, scammers are tapping into the latest trend to target consumers. Some of the top fraud schemes seen this summer are the following: Taylor Swift fans eager to buy tickets may have found they were conned; summer vacationers finding the rental listings - for both short and long term stays - were not legitimate; and borrowers hoping for student loan relief falling prey to scams. Common warning signs include aggressive advertising language, big promises, and requests for log-in or other confidential personal information. Experts say the best defense is a good offense.keep your personal information to yourself. Do not share your address, Social Security or credit card numbers unless you are certain the website or app is legitimate.

AM Business Notebook

>>Oregon Among Steepest Home Price Increase

(Portland, OR) -- A new study released by SelfStorage shows that Oregon has the fifth-largest increase in home prices in the nation over the past decade. Idaho was number one with an increase of just under 79-percent. Oregon prices increased 61-percent. Illinois had the lowest increase, at 16-percent. The study looked at average prices in 2012-2016 compared to 2017-2022 to see the increase. A SelfStorage spokesperson said that the study underlines the strong differences in parts of America. Most on the list are on the West Coast.

 

>>Gas Prices Decline Following Labor Day Weekend

(Portland, OR) -- Gas prices declined slightly over the past week. Following Labor Day, Triple-A reports the national average declined a penny to three-81 a gallon. Oregon's average declined two cents to four-74. Grants Pass had the highest average at four-94 and Corvallis has the lowest at four-50. The average in Bend is four-78. While demand for gasoline this summer was below average, vacation travel helped boost prices ahead of the holiday weekend.

 

>>Saudi Arabia Extends Oil Production Cuts Through 2023

(Riyadh) -- Saudi Arabia is extending its oil production cuts through the end of the year are reversing course, down . The voluntary one-million-barrel per day reduction will reportedly be reviewed on a monthly basis until then. The kingdom first applied the cuts in July after oil prices fell below 75-dollars a barrel. Brent crude prices jumped above 90 dollars a barrel after Tuesday's announcement.

 

>>Warner Brothers Expected to Lose $500 Million During Writers/Actors Strike

(Burbank, CA) -- Warner Brothers Discovery expects to lose a lot of money this year as the Hollywood writers' and actors' strikes continue. The company that owns TV and movie studios is adjusting its full-year earnings expectations by 300 million to 500 million dollars. The Writers Guild of America has been on strike since May and SAG/AFTRA joined in July.

 

>>Nurse's Union Says It Won't Cave To Financial Pressure

(New Brunswick, NJ) -- Officials with the union representing striking nurses at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Jersey say they won't cave to financial pressure. Those comments come after the hospital cut off benefits to the striking nurses this past week. Nurses now have to pay for insurance coverage out of pocket, which can cost them up to 25-hundred dollars monthly. Hospital officials say they cut their coverage because nurses failed to work the minimum number of hours required for coverage. The strike over wages and staffing levels has been going on for more than a month.

AM Business Notebook

>>President Biden Celebrates Labor Day in Pennsylvania

(Harrisburg, PA) -- President Biden returned to Pennsylvania on Labor Day to tout the importance of unions. He spoke to a crowd of diverse union members in Philadelphia Monday about the economy and how it continues to recover after the COVID pandemic. He focused on the impact his administration's policies have had on workers, especially his infrastructure package. The president also talked more about his new proposal that would make nearly four-million more U.S. workers eligible for overtime pay.

 

>>UAW Stands Ready For Strike

(Detroit, MI) -- United Auto Workers President Shawn Fain says the union stands ready to strike unless the Big Three Detroit automakers meet demands in ongoing contract negotiations. The union is looking for better terms with Ford, GM and Stellantis. The current contract expires at 11:59 p.m. September 14th.

 

>>Musk Blames ADL For Lost 'X' Revenue, Vows He's Against Anti-Semitism

(Undated) -- Elon Musk is blaming the Anti-Defamation League for lost advertising revenue on X, formerly known as Twitter. In a post Monday, he alleged that the ADL has been trying to "kill this platform by falsely accusing it and me of being anti-Semitic." The tech mogul noted he's "pro free speech," but "against anti-Semitism of any kind." Musk also indicated he was considering legal action against the ADL, which noted Monday that it wouldn't comment on legal threats.

 

>>Delta Tops 2023 List Of 10 Best Domestic Airlines

(San Francisco, CA) -- Delta Air Lines tops a new list of best domestic carriers. The Atlanta-based airline ranked number one for on-time arrivals, service and comfort according to Bounce's 2023 Airline Index. Southwest Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines placed second and third, with Alaska Airlines and United rounding out the top five. Other factors used in the annual airline comparison included in-flight entertainment, meals and seat comfort. American Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Spirit Airlines, Frontier Airlines and Allegiant Air also made Bounce's top ten list of domestic airlines for 2023.

 

>>Google Tech Conference Leaves San Francisco

(San Francisco, CA) -- Google is moving its annual cloud computing conference out of San Francisco next year. Since 2017, the in-person conference has been held at Moscone Center in San Francisco, but next year it will happen at Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. The company did not cite a reason for the move but industry experts suggest the mass exodus of tech businesses from the city as well as rising crime are major factors.

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