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Kjell Redal/Seattle Times/TNS

Amazon pushes back return to office until 2022, says company will 'closely watch' COVID-19 conditions

Business / Business News /

Amid an uptick in coronavirus hospitalizations caused by the infectious delta variant, Amazon has pushed back its return-to-office date for tech and corporate workers until January 2022, according to internal messages seen by The Seattle Times.

Unlike crosstown rival Microsoft, Amazon will not mandate employees receive the COVID-19 vaccine ...Read more

Dreamstime/Dreamstime/TNS

Ford launches buyouts in bid to cut 1,000 salaried jobs in U.S.

Business / Business News /

Ford Motor Co. is offering buyouts to some salaried employees in the U.S. as part of a bid to eliminate about 1,000 positions as it looks to better align staffing with needed skills, the Dearborn automaker confirmed Thursday.

"We have offered a voluntary separation program to eligible U.S. salaried employees in select skill teams," the company ...Read more

Qualcomm/TNS/TNS

Bidding war? Qualcomm seeks to buy advanced driver assistance firm Veoneer for $4.55 billion

Business / Business News /

Qualcomm has sparked a potential bidding war for a Swedish maker automotive safety technologies by making an unsolicited offer to acquire Veoneer Inc. for $4.55 billion.

The proposal from the San Diego smartphone chip firm announced Thursday tops Magna International's buyout price of $3.8 billion. Magna made its offer in July subject to a ...Read more

Dreamstime/TNS

Real estate Q&A: Who pays if tree trimming damages fence between neighbors?

Business / Business News /

Q: I have a large tree on my property close to the property line that I have been trimming for years. Some branches fall on the property line, and some in the neighbor’s yard. This has never been an issue until the neighbor installed a fence on the property line. Now the neighbor says if I damage her fence, she’ll charge me to repair it. Can...Read more

US initial unemployment claims decline for a second week

Business / Business News /

Applications for U.S. state unemployment benefits eased last week, highlighting the latest incremental improvement in the labor market.

Initial unemployment claims in regular state programs totaled 385,000 in the week ended July 31, down 14,000 from the prior week, Labor Department data showed Thursday. The figure was in line with the median ...Read more

Dreamstime/TNS

Motormouth: Quick fix for clogged sunroof drain tubes

Business / Business News /

Q: Regarding the topic of clogged sunroof drain tubes, I have found a quick and easy way to clean them using weed-whacker trim line. It is long and flexible enough to navigate the entire drain tube yet firm enough to get the job done by pushing any blockage out without damaging anything in the process. And bonus, the trim line is still usable in...Read more

Mel Melcon/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Rocket seeks to grow solar panel market by offering loans

Business / Business News /

Rocket Companies Inc. will offer financing for solar panels and installation, leveraging its technology that allows customers to get mortgages, find homes and secure personal loans online.

As experts predict the booming housing and refinance market could be cooling, the Detroit-based mortgage giant has sought to expand into financial ...Read more

Zbigniew Bzdak/TNS

New cannabis licensees in Illinois face David vs. Goliath fight against industry giants

Business / Business News /

As Illinois begins to award much-delayed cannabis business licenses, the new business owners will face a long uphill climb. They’ll be pitting mom-and-pop startups against giant companies that have had a five-year head start to take control of the market.

Entry-level entrepreneurs will have, in many cases, one dispensary to compete with ...Read more

Steve Ringman/TNS

Despite Washington's labor shortage, thousands on long-term unemployment can't find a job

Business / Business News /

Like hundreds of thousands of other Washingtonians, Priscilla Bell, a personal trainer in Seattle, lost her job during the first chaotic weeks of the pandemic last year.

But unlike many of those laid off due to COVID-19, Bell hasn't been able to find work since, despite an intensive job search that started when gyms partially reopened for the ...Read more

Geolo Capital/Business Wire/TNS

Bay Area, California hotel purchases show big rebound

Business / Business News /

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Buyers grabbed hotel properties in the Bay Area and California at a record pace during the first half of 2021, a sign investors are confident the state and region will recuperate from coronavirus-linked maladies.

The Bay Area was one of the regions that led the boom in hotel purchases from January through June of this year,...Read more

Dreamstime/Dreamstime/TNS

Susan Tompor: Hang up on robocalls promising to lower rates or fix credit

Business / Business News /

Consumers who are facing a cash crunch are once again warned to avoid paying upfront fees and falling for sure-fire guarantees when it comes to fixing their credit problems.

The Federal Trade Commission announced a string of actions in the past few months connected to student loan debt relief schemes, mortgage debt relief schemes and credit ...Read more

Dreamstime/TNS

New York auto show to be no-show once again due to coronavirus delta variant

Business / Business News /

The New York International Auto Show won't happen this month as planned, thanks to the rapidly evolving impacts of the coronavirus delta variant. It's the second year in a row that the virus has prompted the show's cancellation.

Organizers announced Wednesday they would cancel the show, which had been scheduled to be open to the public Aug. 20-...Read more

Jay L. Clendenin/TNS

Facing debt payments, 'Bad Moms' studio STX looks to its library for cash

Business / Business News /

Facing looming debt payments, film studio STX, known for movies including “Hustlers” and the “Bad Moms” franchise, is trying to quickly generate cash from its 46-film library.

In a regulatory filing Tuesday, parent company Eros STX Global Corp. said it “has entered into an exclusive negotiation period with a third party to monetize ...Read more

Jay L. Clendenin/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Hollywood struggles to keep cameras rolling as Delta variant spreads

Business / Business News /

Hollywood’s strict safety protocols are being tested as the COVID-19 Delta variant rips through Los Angeles.

Several TV and film productions have reported virus outbreaks and some have been forced to pause shoots, even as the industry grapples with new safety protocols. Fox's "The Masked Singer," CBS' "S.W.A.T" and the HBO Max movie "House ...Read more

Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/TNS

Carnival Cruise Line shifts policy to require masks, antigen tests for all

Business / Business News /

Carnival Cruise Line announced it was shifting two COVID-19 policies this month, one that will require more mask wearing and another that will ask all passengers for a negative antigen test before boarding.

The mask policy, which goes into effect on Aug. 7, calls for all passengers, whether vaccinated or not, to wear a mask while on board in ...Read more

Royal Caribbean International/TNS/TNS

US Virgin Islands vaccine requirement throws wrinkle into Florida cruise plans

Business / Business News /

Cruise lines like Royal Caribbean and Disney may have gone through the trouble of simulated voyages that open the door for unvaccinated guests to sail, but a new policy in the U.S. Virgin Islands will thwart some from sailing.

The policy requires all cruise passengers ages 12 and over to be fully vaccinated or the territory will not allow the ...Read more

Andrei Gabriel Stanescu/Dreamstime/TNS

Target increases college benefit as competition for labor continues

Business / Business News /

Target is the latest employer to increase higher education benefits as the tight labor market continues.

The Minneapolis-based employer said Wednesday that it would offer its 340,000 front-line workers access to free bachelor's and associate degree programs, including the cost of textbooks.

The benefit applies to both part- and full-time ...Read more

Universal Hydrogen/TNS

Hydrogen-powered aviation will be tested on turboprops at new venture

Business / Business News /

The dream — and the hype — of hydrogen-powered, zero-emissions aviation will prepare for takeoff from Moses Lake in Central Washington.

An ambitious new project aims to modify small regional turboprop aircraft there to fly on hydrogen fuel, test and certify them to carry passengers, and potentially offer a long-term solution to aviation's ...Read more

Mel Melcon/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Michael Hiltzik: The government lawsuit against Kaiser points to an immense fraud problem in Medicare

Business / Business News /

For the better part of a decade, a time bomb has been ticking at Oakland-based Kaiser Permanente — an accumulation of allegations that the giant health plan systematically defrauded Medicare by overstating the severity of its patients' medical conditions.

On July 30, the bomb detonated. That's when the Department of Justice joined six ...Read more

Detroit Free Press/Detroit Free Press/TNS

GM reports big second-quarter gains despite chip shortage

Business / Business News /

General Motors reported a strong second-quarter despite the challenges of low inventory as the industry battles a global semiconductor chip shortage. The automaker confidently increased its expected full-year earnings.

GM credits its gains to prioritizing the production of its highest demand vehicles such as full-size pickups and SUVs and ...Read more