EU budget hard-liners outline aid plan edging toward compromise

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The European Union's budget hard-liners outlined elements of a deal for collectively financing the bloc's response to the coronavirus recession, signaling they may be open to concessions.

In a joint paper, the leaders of Austria, Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands -- net donors to the EU budget and traditionally skeptical of its expansion -- ...Read more

Hertz files for bankruptcy after rental-car demand vanishes

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Hertz Global Holdings Inc. filed for bankruptcy in Delaware after sweeping travel restrictions and the global economic collapse destroyed demand for its rental cars.

The Chapter 11 filing allows Hertz to keep operating while it devises a plan to pay its creditors and turn around the business. The action includes the company's U.S. and Canadian ...Read more

HIV drug patients' privacy violated by Gilead, lawsuit claims

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PHILADELPHIA -- A drug company may have violated the privacy of thousands of people who are taking a medicine to prevent them from coming down with HIV.

Gilead Sciences, the biopharmaceutical giant, sent out a mass mailing in mid-April to people on its antiretroviral drugs, Truvada and Descovy. The drugs are used to reduce the risk of HIV ...Read more

Mitsubishi cuts hundreds of jobs, shuts Washington operations as it slashes SpaceJet budget

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SEATTLE -- Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) will cut hundreds of jobs in Washington state as it "consolidates all activities back to Japan" and close its U.S. operations for the troubled SpaceJet project, the company said Friday.

"Due to the budget directives, Mitsubishi Aircraft will close its overseas locations and consolidate activities at ...Read more

Camera tricks, actor barriers and no fruit platters: Georgia's recommendations for film sets

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No more open calls for casting, clear barriers between actors and an end to self-service fruit platters.

Those are among the recommendations to film crews that Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp released Friday in the first statewide COVID-19 health and safety guidance for the film industry there. The 11-page document was developed in cooperation with ...Read more

Jon Talton: For America and China, breaking up is hard to do

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I am suspicious of hot takes on the pandemic. They're usually headlined, "COVID-19 will change (fill in the blank) forever."

Most of these predicted apocalypses involve things I like: downtowns, transit, sit-down dining and brick-and-mortar retail shopping. But as Chinese statesman Zhou Enlai is reputed to have said about the consequences of ...Read more

As states reopen after coronavirus shutdowns, consumers' unpaid utility bills loom as costly problem

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WASHINGTON -- As states begin to reopen from coronavirus-related shutdowns, a wave of unpaid utility bills coming due will not only saddle Americans still out of work with new debt, it could also drive up rates for everyone.

And the $900 million that Congress provided in the CARES Act to help low-income households pay their utility bills won't ...Read more

Businesses are reopening. If you're older or sick, what happens to your job?

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LOS ANGELES -- There's no social distancing for Venda Ripke at work. The 41-year-old teacher often gets face-to-face with the young students in her special-education classes at Newcastle Elementary School.

Students with learning disorders, autism and other conditions benefit, she says, from the close interaction. And that's a problem in the age...Read more

Is it time for another stimulus bill? Here are some expert opinions

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House Democrats proposed a roughly $3 trillion bill recently to battle the health and economic effects of COVID-19.

Some Republican lawmakers, and a top White House economic adviser, have cautioned against another round of federal stimulus spending too soon after the last package -- preferring to take a "wait and see" approach.

Politics aside,...Read more

Michael Hiltzik: COVID-19 may make universal basic income more palatable. That's a good thing

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The idea of a universal basic income -- a regular stipend paid to every American adult to meet minimum life needs -- has been bubbling around the edges of American politics for decades.

With the coming of the coronavirus pandemic, UBI may finally move to center stage, and stay there.

"This is a moment when the UBI idea is possibly going to ...Read more

Retailers deemed 'nonessential' are in big trouble

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U.S. retailers have laid bare the consequences of being deemed "essential" in the COVID-19 pandemic, as sales surged at those allowed to stay open but collapsed at department stores, clothing chains and other outlets forced to fall back on their online operations.

Financial results published this week have demonstrated how sometimes-contentious...Read more

Corn prices keep slumping, and farmers keep planting more

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MINNEAPOLIS -- Corn farmers are throwing another government-backed Hail Mary this year, planting more of the crop than in 2019 even though prices are near the bottom of a six-year slump.

"They call it plant and pray," said Al Kluis, a commodities broker in Wayzata. "What you want is a disaster in some other part of the Corn Belt or some other ...Read more

Will Christopher Nolan's 'Tenet' be able to kick-start movie theaters in July?

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Hollywood couldn't have scripted a better potential comeback story for the movie theater industry.

Warner Bros. is poised to release the latest feature from acclaimed director Christopher Nolan, one of the biggest advocates for the big-screen experience, on July 17. If his science fiction thriller, "Tenet," premieres as planned, it will be the ...Read more

Lockdowns crippled his 'bouncy house' business. Nearly bankrupt, he's pushing back

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ROSEVILLE, Calif. -- Jim Edmonds can't say what led him to join an unauthorized protest against the coronavirus lockdowns at the California state Capitol in May, except fear and boredom and a need to do something as his decade-old business -- renting out inflatable jump houses -- collapsed in a matter of days.

But he can recall how he felt when...Read more

Inside HBO Max's scramble to launch a massive bet on streaming

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Pairing Tony Soprano with Elmo and Chandler Bing was always going to be tricky.

Would the murderous mob boss befriend a red Muppet? Forget about it. Nor would Tony Soprano have much patience for the wiseguy antics of Chandler Bing, the neighbor from "Friends."

Yet here they are, pillars of a new streaming service, HBO Max, that rolls out ...Read more

Larry Printz: Frugal finds: The 10 least-expensive vehicles under $19,000

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If you have found yourself furloughed or are facing a reduced paycheck, and need some new wheels, you'll want a new ride at the lowest possible cost. Enter the frugal finds, the 10 least expensive new vehicles you can buy, ranked by base price of the base model. Each price includes destination charge, but excludes incentives.

All are built on ...Read more

The Week Ahead: Settling into a longer recovery

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The snap-back economic theory is quickly breaking. Investors will witness a legislative admission in the week ahead that it will take longer for the economy to recover than hoped for just a few weeks ago.

In the spasm of government stimulus plans passed in the throes of stay-at-home orders, the goal of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) was ...Read more

Under the Hood: Night-vision system tests well

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I've been fortunate to try out a night-vision system for automotive use, the Vast by Lanmodo. New technology always intrigues me, particularly how useful it actually is and how well it gets along with a human operator.

The Vast resembles a large (8.2-inch) rear-view mirror that can be placed atop the instrument panel via an attached pad or ...Read more

Mnuchin says 'strong likelihood' US will need more stimulus

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WASHINGTON -- Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Congress will very likely need to pass more stimulus legislation for the U.S. economy, as the nation struggles to recover from the coronavirus outbreak.

"I think there is a strong likelihood we will need another bill," he said Thursday at an online event hosted by the Hill newspaper -- but he...Read more

Dozens of virus antibody tests lacking FDA vetting will exit market

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said on Thursday that 27 coronavirus antibody tests will no longer be distributed in the U.S., as part of a previously announced crackdown by the regulator on the tests.

Antibody tests look for markers in the blood that indicate exposure to the novel coronavirus, but, in contrast with diagnostic tests, can'...Read more