Opioid epidemic hurts US businesses and leads to job automation, UNC study says

Business / Business News /

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- The nation's opioid epidemic triggered a drop in the number of people able to work, hurting companies' ability to grow and leading to an increased investment in technologies to replace those workers, a new study from UNC-Chapel Hill's Kenan-Flagler Business School found.

The study, which hasn't been published in an academic...Read more

Virgin will be the fastest train ever in the southern US when Orlando service starts

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MIAMI -- When Virgin Trains, then known as Brightline, opened up its Miami Central station a year ago launching express service from downtown Miami to West Palm Beach, it represented a milestone in the future of travel.

Last week, company representatives said an even bigger milestone is coming down the tracks, once its planned West Palm-to-...Read more

WeWork becomes largest office tenant in downtown Chicago

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CHICAGO -- WeWork has signed its 12th lease in Chicago, pushing its footprint to more than 1 million square feet and making the co-working giant the largest tenant leasing office space downtown.

The New York-based company's latest deal is for almost 92,000 square feet in a 20-story tower at 625 W. Adams St., where the company said it will move ...Read more

Enbridge's proposed $2.6 billion pipeline hits another snag

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Enbridge's proposed $2.6 billion oil pipeline across northern Minnesota got another dose of uncertainty -- one that could lead to more delays -- as two state agencies said Tuesday they will revise their permitting schedules because of a recent court ruling.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (PCA) said it will not release its draft water ...Read more

British Airways parent company delivers a massive vote of confidence in the Boeing 737 Max

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PARIS -- In a dramatic move Tuesday at the Paris Air Show, Willie Walsh, chief executive of International Airlines Group (IAG), parent company of British Airways and several smaller European airlines, delivered Boeing a tremendous boost when he signed a deal to buy 200 Boeing 737 Max planes.

Walsh's stunning vote of confidence comes at a ...Read more

Is the Federal Reserve about to cave to Trump's demand to cut interest rates?

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WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump has been hectoring the Federal Reserve to lower interest rates, and financial markets are screaming for a cut. This even though rates are historically low and the economy is sailing along, albeit with some recent gray clouds.

What's a central bank to do?

Fed policymakers are expected to stand pat on rates ...Read more

Michael Hiltzik: Legit stem cell experts in uproar over inclusion in film funded by suspect clinics

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If there's anything that drives legitimate stem cell scientists up a wall, it's their being lumped in with clinics offering unwary customers supposedly effective disease treatments through stem cell injections.

So you can understand why a documentary series titled "The Healthcare Revolution," which is partially funded by a network of clinics ...Read more

Facebook's new Libra could bring cryptocurrency to the masses

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Facebook unveiled an ambitious plan to create a new "global currency" in the form of a cryptocurrency called Libra on Tuesday, in collaboration with a slew of top players from the realms of technology and finance, including Visa, Mastercard, Uber and Spotify.

With billions of global users and tens of billions of dollars at its disposal, ...Read more

Facebook token runs into instant political opposition in Europe

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LONDON -- Facebook Inc.'s ambitious plan to roll out its own cryptocurrency ran into immediate political opposition in Europe, with calls for tighter regulation of the social-media giant.

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said the digital currency known as Libra shouldn't be seen as a replacement for traditional currencies.

"It is out of ...Read more

White House explored legality of demoting Fed Chairman Powell

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WASHINGTON -- The White House explored the legality of demoting Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell in February, soon after President Donald Trump talked about firing him, according to people familiar with the matter.

The White House counsel's office weighed the legal implications of stripping Powell of his chairmanship and leaving him as a ...Read more

Trump tax law made Americans less charitable

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WASHINGTON -- Americans gave less money to charities last year partly because the Republican tax law changes made many people ineligible for tax breaks that can inspire donations.

Giving by individuals fell an estimated 3.4%, after adjusting for inflation, last year, according to a report released Tuesday by Giving USA. The numbers reflect the ...Read more

In a throwback, Musk's tweets target Tesla co-founder Martin Eberhard

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Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk turned to Twitter on Sunday to open up old wounds with one of Tesla's co-founders before announcing he had "deleted" his Twitter account.

Musk ripped into Tesla co-founder Martin Eberhard, stating that "Tesla is alive in spite of Eberhard, but he seeks credit constantly and fools give it (to) him." The tweet was ...Read more

With fewer skilled stitchers to hire, Seattle-based gear company expands to California

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SEATTLE -- Outdoor Research, a Seattle-based maker of tactical and outdoor gear, is opening a new production center in California to find workers with a skill that's declining in Seattle: sewing.

Since the company established its first factory in Seattle in the early '80s, its seam-sealed tactical gloves, which are meticulously stitched to lock...Read more

Liz Reyer: What to do when your co-workers want to make things too complicated

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Q: I work with some people who always seem to be trying to make things more complicated than they need to be. They suggest adding forms for people to fill out to do just about anything, and the documentation needs seem to outweigh the actual work. Before it gets out of hand, how can I help rein this in? I'm not the manager so don't have ...Read more

Ex-offenders in Minnesota are slow-but-growing pipeline for employers

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The administration of Gov. Tim Walz wants more Minnesota criminal offenders to find a job and housing and fewer to return to prison.

The Minnesota Legislature this session mostly approved more money for the Department of Corrections for increased staffing in the wake of violent in-prison altercations that resulted in the deaths of two prison ...Read more

Activists now 'flight shame,' citing jets' environmental toll. But for fuel-guzzling airlines, going green is no easy task.

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CHICAGO -- You can ditch your car for public transit and refill a reusable water bottle rather than buying plastic. But good luck finding a "green" substitute for an airline flight -- unless you happened to be on a particular Los Angeles-bound United Airlines flight earlier this month.

The flight out of O'Hare International Airport was on a ...Read more

Amazon disaster response team aids recovery efforts from Houston to Indonesia

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After 2017's devastating Northern California wildfires, the Red Cross sought sifters -- the kind sometimes used to pan for gold -- to help people search for valuables in the ashes of their homes.

Members of Amazon's new disaster response team found the items in the commerce giant's vast inventory and expedited shipment.

"We were able overnight...Read more

UTC and Raytheon CEOs defend merger to skeptical industry analysts

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The chief executives of United Technologies Corp. and Raytheon Co. on Monday defended the proposed merger of their companies to skeptical industry analysts, the second time in a week they explained the rationale for the massive aerospace and defense tie-up.

Investors haven't warmed to the deal, which would create a rebranded Raytheon ...Read more

Target took hit with IT glitches, but unclear how large

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It's never good news when your company's trending hashtag is #TargetApocalypse.

In an era of social media whiplash and cutthroat competition from Amazon, Walmart and other mass merchandisers, Target Corp. took a hit to its image -- and bottom line -- after a difficult weekend in which it ran afoul of technical glitches two days in a row. ...Read more

Best Buy says expanded electronics tariffs would cost consumers

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WASHINGTON -- Best Buy Inc. warned Monday that a Trump administration threat to tax all Chinese-made consumer electronics up to 25 % "could be immediately passed on to U.S. consumers."

Jason Bonfig, Best Buy's chief merchandising officer, said in testimony to the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) that companies are running out of inventory ...Read more