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Byron Allen, the comedian-turned media mogul, explains why he wants to be in the movie business

Business / Business News /

Entertainment Studios founder Byron Allen is known for unexpected bets, such as recently buying the Weather Channel's parent company for $300 million.

Even so, why would the comedian, who owns television channels such as Pets.TV and Cars.TV, want to get into the business of releasing big-screen features?

In remarks at CinemaCon in Las Vegas, ...Read more

Is the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau the most powerful federal agency ever? Not quite

Business / Business News /

WASHINGTON -- Rep. Jeb Hensarling welcomed the new director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a fellow Republican, to a hearing this month in the same way he did the former Democratic holder of the job -- by accusing him of wielding near-dictatorial authority.

"When Richard Cordray was director of the CFPB, I maintained it was ...Read more

Design industries are critical to Detroit's future but need nurturing

Business / Business News /

DETROIT -- Back in 2002, urban guru Richard Florida published his influential book "The Rise of the Creative Class," which highlighted the importance of so-called "creatives" -- artists, graphic designers, architects, and others -- to the vitality of cities trying to overcome long-term decline.

Florida's book helped set the agenda for many a ...Read more

'We did not sign up to work at a strip club': Former servers allege sexual harassment at Twin Peaks 'breastaurant'

Business / Business News /

CHICAGO -- When Sarah Blaylock joined the staff of Twin Peaks in Orland Park, a Chicago suburb, she signed an agreement that laid out the expectations for a "Twin Peaks Girl."

She said she understood that the lodge-themed restaurant chain wanted its all-female waitstaff to be physically fit and well-groomed. She said she felt comfortable ...Read more

Gmail's new 'confidential mode' offers more privacy controls — but don't get too comfortable

Business / Business News /

In rolling out major updates to Gmail, Google announced Wednesday that the popular email service will soon feature a new "confidential mode" that promises to give users more control over who sees the emails they send, and for how long.

Users should still be mindful about what they send over email, privacy experts warned, as messages sent in ...Read more

Desperate for workers, Connecticut manufacturers gain new training school

Business / Business News /

Tunxis Community College is establishing Connecticut's eighth advanced manufacturing education program as employers struggle to keep up with demand for workers.

Brian J. Fries, president of Atlantic Precision Spring Inc., a Bristol-based metal-stamping manufacturer, said the college training program, set to launch in August, can't come soon ...Read more

Bank of America CEO on gun violence: 'We have to help.'

Business / Business News /

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- At Bank of America's annual shareholder meeting Wednesday, CEO Brian Moynihan stood firm on his company's decision to stop serving some gun makers in the aftermath of the Parkland, Fla., school shooting.

During the question-and-answer session, a shareholder asked Moynihan how much business the bank was giving up because of ...Read more

The Mortgage Professor: Undoing Dodd-Frank: Are portfolio lenders more cautious?

Business / Business News /

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act was a congressional overreaction to the financial crisis of 2008-9, and a process of amelioration is underway. Under the proposed Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act, introduced by Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, certain provisions of Dodd-Frank would not apply to...Read more

Real estate Q&A: Don't know what to do about your neighbor's tree? Here's help

Business / Business News /

Q: I read your recent tree article and want to know how I can protect myself? -- Bob

Q: My neighbor has a tree near the fence, and the roots are intruding in my yard and ruining the fence. What can I do? -- Jay

Q: I do not think the law is fair that I have to pay for damage caused by my neighbor's trees! Where the trunk lies, so should the ...Read more

Ford names China leadership amid slumping sales and 'bumpy ride'

Business / Business News /

DETROIT -- Ford has announced new leaders for its China operations and organizational changes there.

The moves follow by four months the sudden departure of Jason Luo as the automaker's China CEO. Luo was in the post only five months, leaving for still-unexplained "personal reasons that predate his time at Ford."

The Dearborn-based automaker ...Read more

Ford announces $1.7B quarterly profit, deep cuts to car lineup

Business / Business News /

DETROIT -- The company that put Americans in cars affirmed Wednesday that those vehicles are going the way of the Model T and it will focus ever more on trucks and SUVs.

Ford, during its announcement Wednesday that it had a first-quarter profit of $1.7 billion, said its traditional car lineup soon will be trimmed to just the Mustang and a new ...Read more

General Motors reports pretax profit of $2.6B in first quarter

Business / Business News /

DETROIT -- General Motors said it earned $2.6 billion in pretax profits in the first quarter of 2018.

The results, released Thursday morning, were a decline of $944 million from the same period a year ago. The company said it had net income of $1.1 billion for the quarter after taxes and special charges. Overall revenue of $36.1 billion was a ...Read more

Jeep powers Fiat Chrysler quarterly profit jump of 60 percent to $1.2 billion

Business / Business News /

DETROIT -- Fiat Chrysler Automobiles said Thursday it earned a profit of $1.2 billion (1 billion euro) during the first quarter, a nearly 60 percent gain over the same period a year ago, driven in part by a jump in worldwide Jeep shipments, improved performance in South America and a lower U.S. corporate tax rate.

The earnings were a first-...Read more

The EPA won't ban these paint strippers, so groups petition Lowe's: Do It Yourself

Business / Business News /

Environmental groups and the family of a man who died last year from exposure to fumes from an off-the-shelf paint stripper are petitioning Lowe's Home Improvement stores to stop selling products containing a chemical compound blamed for at least 56 deaths since 1980.

North Carolina-based Lowe's is one of many home improvement and hardware ...Read more

Minnesota farmers, ethanol producers see EPA waivers as attack

Business / Business News /

WASHINGTON -- Brian Thalmann has been selling corn for ethanol for two decades. In that time the farmer from Plato, Minn., says he has never seen an attack on renewable fuel like the one currently underway by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Using a secretive process, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has increased the issuance of ...Read more

Seattle-area home-price growth from current boom has surpassed last decade's bubble

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SEATTLE -- As the Seattle area continues its run as the nation's hottest real- estate market, it has now seen home prices surge upward for a full six years -- with more growth in home values during the current boom than during last decade's bubble.

Single-family home costs across the metro area grew 12.7 percent in February from a year earlier,...Read more

Nightmare 90-minute 'super commutes' more common as Bay Area housing shortage intensifies

Business / Business News /

For Katrina Gonzalez, like so many others who toil in Silicon Valley each day, the trek to work is more of an odyssey than a commute.

The 25-year-old Stockton resident traverses seven different freeways to get to her job as a restaurant manager at a San Jose Red Lobster, spending at least three hours a day on the road. It's such a long drive ...Read more

After Zika and Hurricane Irma, Miami Beach looks to insure tourism tax revenue

Business / Business News /

MIAMI -- Miami Beach's tourism industry has suffered one blow after another in recent years.

First, Brazil's economy tanked and a strong U.S. dollar prompted would-be international travelers to stay home. Then Zika scared off visitors. By the time Hurricane Irma hit last September, hotels and other tourism-dependent businesses were already ...Read more

Cargill will close N.D. malting factory as craft brewers drive a shift in barley

Business / Business News /

Cargill Inc. is closing a North Dakota malting factory as U.S. beer makers now prefer malting barley grown in the West rather than the Midwest.

The company announced last week it will shutter the plant near Jamestown, N.D. that processes barley into malt by the fall. The Minnetonka-based agribusiness cited decreased demand in the beer industry ...Read more

More evidence that raising the Social Security retirement age is no problem for the rich, but tough on the poor

Business / Business News /

Washington wonks love to portray raising the retirement age for Social Security as a painless "fix" for the program's finances.

After all, the thinking goes, the near-retired can be exempted from the increase, and since Americans on average are staying healthier into their later years, working longer and living longer in retirement, holding off...Read more