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Trucks that can drive themselves are already on Texas roads, and more are on the way

Business / Business News /

The age of self-driving 18-wheelers traveling on U.S. highways may be much closer than many people realize, and North Texas is emerging as the likely location of a major hub for the trucks.

One company that is aggressively working to build a nationwide freight network of driverless trucks is TuSimple, which has offices in Beijing and San Diego....Read more

Al Seib/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Pandemic has forced TV and film producers to bring new technology to sets

Business / Business News /

LOS ANGELES — A week ago Monday, cast and crew of the Amazon series "Goliath" gathered to check in for a day of filming at Santa Clarita Studios.

Despite the pandemic, the fourth season of the show is back in action, thanks in part to technology that helps track COVID-19 testing for hundreds of cast and crew members, including stars such as ...Read more

Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Will California's small businesses survive another COVID-19 surge without more help?

Business / Business News /

For 27 years, along an industrial strip by the 405 Freeway, Go Kart World has offered family fun with six racetracks and an arcade. But as news of the coronavirus spread in February, customers fled. And in March, health officials shut down the business.

"I was freaking out," said Cynde Harris, co-owner of the Carson, Calif., business with her ...Read more

Duane Braley/Minneapolis Star Tribune/TNS

Tech Q&A: A firewall that's 'in the cloud' won't help if you travel

Business / Business News /

Q: Your column about Comcast's new Xfinity cloud-based firewall (see tinyurl.com/y39vkcjq) made me wonder what protection my Windows 10 PC would have if I were away from home. You already mentioned that the new Comcast firewall doesn't include antivirus software. Does this mean that if I use a Wi-Fi hot spot at a hotel, I won't have any firewall...Read more

Spencer Platt/Getty Images North America/TNS

Women in finance have to ask for promotions, men don't: Survey

Business / Business News /

Far fewer women than men are promoted in the finance industry unless they first ask for seniority, a sign of institutional gender bias, according to a new study in Australia.

The survey of 2,000 finance industry professionals showed 76% of men were offered a promotion at least once without requesting it, compared with 57% of women. The study ...Read more

SCOTT KEELER/Tampa Bay Times/TNS

Fla. supermarket chain blamed for worker's COVID-19 death, but lawsuits face long odds

Business / Business News /

A rare COVID-19 lawsuit claims a deli worker at Publix died of the disease because the company prohibited employees from wearing masks during the early weeks of the pandemic.

Gerardo Gutierrez, an employee in Miami Beach, wasn't allowed to wear his mask back in March because Publix feared that mask-wearing employees would frighten customers, ...Read more

Spencer Platt/Getty Images North America/TNS

Wells Fargo reverses, again, on letting homeowners accept US mortgage aid

Business / Business News /

After telling a group of workers laid off from COVID-19 shutdowns that it wouldn't approve federal aid to help them pay up to $1,000 a month in home mortgage payments, Wells Fargo Bank on Tuesday said it had had a change of heart and would let them use the money to pay the bank what they owe, less than a week before the program is due to expire....Read more

UPS boosts dry ice capabilities in preparation for vaccine transport

Business / Business News /

UPS said it has boosted its dry ice production capabilities in preparation for the task of distributing COVID-19 vaccines that must be kept at freezing temperatures.

As the logistics industry prepares to ship vaccines around the world, experts have raised concerns about a potential dry ice shortage.

UPS said it can now produce as much as 1,200...Read more

Richard Tsong-Taatarii/Minneapolis Star Tribune/TNS

PUC gives construction OK to Enbridge for Minnesota pipeline

Business / Business News /

Minnesota utility regulators Tuesday authorized their final go-ahead for Enbridge to build its controversial $2.6 billion oil pipeline across northern Minnesota.

That leaves the Canadian company on the brink of beginning work, only needing a more routine stormwater permit from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA).

The state Public ...Read more

Pennsylvania nursing homes in line to be shielded from COVID-19 lawsuits

Business / Business News /

Pennsylvania lawmakers on Friday passed a coronavirus liability shield for nursing homes, hospitals, and a collection of other businesses, providing protection from lawsuits long sought by the chronically underfunded long-term care industry as it struggles to operate during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The legislation, decried by advocates for the ...Read more

ANGELA WEISS/AFP/Getty Images North America/TNS

Dow Jones hits 30,000 points for first time in history amid vaccine hopes, Biden transition

Business / Business News /

The Dow Jones Industrial Average surged past 30,000 points for the first time in history Tuesday, a day after the Trump administration finally agreed to start the transition process to President-elect Joe Biden.

Investors also appeared encouraged by a series of hopeful developments in the race for a coronavirus vaccine and news that Biden has ...Read more

Jose M. Osorio/Chicago Tribune/TNS

Ford aims to offer COVID-19 vaccines to employees, orders ultra-cold freezers

Business / Business News /

DETROIT — In an attempt to keep the fast-spreading coronavirus pandemic from again disrupting its operations, Ford Motor Co. has ordered a dozen ultra-cold freezers to store vaccines globally when they become available, the company confirmed Tuesday.

"It's important to Ford because the health and safety of our employees is our top priority," ...Read more

Alan Berner/Seattle Times/TNS

Amazon's $3,000 signing bonuses irk workers who got $10 coupons

Business / Business News /

Amazon.com Inc. is doling out hiring bonuses as high as $3,000 to make sure it has enough people to squeak through the busy holiday shopping season. That's stoking resentment among existing workers who recently got coupons for Thanksgiving turkeys as a thank you for their hard work.

Social-media chatrooms where Amazon workers congregate have ...Read more

Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Retailers plan for a Black Friday like no other

Business / Business News /

Those tightly packed Black Friday lines that snake through the mall parking lot in the dead of night, past tents and lawn chairs and coolers stacked with still-warm Thanksgiving leftovers, are not exactly conducive to social distancing.

That puts retailers in a difficult position ahead of a hyped shopping day typically marked by frenzied crowds...Read more

Rob Wilson/Dreamstime/Dreamstime/TNS

Consumers stocking up on at-home technology, boosting Best Buy results

Business / Business News /

Best Buy's comparable sales grew 22.6% in August, September and October as shoppers continued to invest in technology at home during the coronavirus pandemic.

The year-over-year sales and earnings growth beat Wall Street expectations for the electronics retailer's third quarter.

Online comparable sales for the quarter grew 174% to $3.82 ...Read more

Jay L. Clendenin/Los Angeles Times/TNS

How did a 3-year-old pizza get delivered by Instacart?

Business / Business News /

LOS ANGELES — Like many people, Agneta Yilmaz has turned to Instacart to handle her shopping during the pandemic. She's trusted the company to deliver fresh groceries from a nearby Ralphs supermarket and, generally speaking, she's been pleased with the service.

So when the Beverly Hills resident recently opened a box of Celeste frozen ...Read more

Hormel Foods reports lackluster results as COVID continues to takes its toll

Business / Business News /

With Thanksgiving turkey in sight, Hormel Foods Corp. reported lackluster financial results Tuesday on weakness in its food service business due to shuttered restaurants and cafeterias.

The Austin, Minn.-based food company, like the rest of the meat industry, continued grappling with the fallout from COVID-19 that has increased production costs...Read more

Al Seib/Los Angeles Times/TNS

The fossil fuel industry wants you to believe it's good for people of color

Business / Business News /

The letter to Mexico's energy minister offered a glowing review of a fossil fuel project in Baja California.

Writing in July, three U.S. governors and the chair of the Ute Indian Tribe praised the Energia Costa Azul project — which was seeking approval from the Mexican government — as "one of the most promising (liquefied natural gas) ...Read more

Kimberly P. Mitchell, Detroit Fr/Detroit Free Press/TNS

As women leave pandemic economy, returning to work, higher wages will be a struggle

Business / Business News /

DETROIT — Tanisha Loyd, a Detroit mom of two, has been on leave from her job in customer service since mid-September, without pay or benefits.

Loyd, 29, remains at home full time with her children — keeping her kindergartner on track with online school and caring for her 1-year-old. She doesn't have the option to work from home and doesn't ...Read more

Monthira Yodtiwong/Dreamstime/TNS

Motormouth: Buy the maintenance plan?

Business / Business News /

Q: Purchased a new 2020 Audi A4. Salesperson wanted me to buy a maintenance plan that would cover oil changes for four years. Can my local mechanic handle the changes? Is there a reason I would need to use the dealer?

L.S., Davie, Fla.

A: Your warranty will not be voided if you chose to have oil changes, or any routine service, done by your ...Read more