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The Mortgage Professor: Readers' questions about mortgage shopping

Business / Business News /

Q: How many price quotes should I get in refinancing my mortgage?

A: Get as many valid quotes as possible. Two or three valid ones help; 10 phony ones are worthless, or worse. Valid price quotes must meet three major conditions:

--Same market timing: All quotes must be as of the same day, since mortgage lenders reset their prices every morning...Read more

Coffee industry discusses need to improve diversity, inclusion

Business / Business News /

SEATTLE -- Coffee farmers, buyers, roasters, retailers and baristas from around the world are gathering in Seattle this week to show off their wares, compete in the U.S. Coffee Championships and do business.

And nothing goes better with coffee than conversation.

At an industry symposium on the sidelines of the Specialty Coffee Expo in Seattle,...Read more

Facebook moving most users from protection of EU privacy law

Business / Business News /

Facebook is set to comply with strict new privacy rules in Europe next month, and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said publicly that those protections will be available around the world.

That doesn't appear to be the case.

Facebook has changed its terms of service, which means 1.5 billion of its more than 2 billion users will not be protected under ...Read more

Toss the romaine lettuce or risk E. coli, officials warn

Business / Business News /

An unusually virulent strain of E. coli bacteria on romaine lettuce has sent 31 people to hospitals in 16 states, and health officials are urging consumers to throw out any of the lettuce they may have bought recently.

No grower or distributor has been identified as the source of the outbreak, which has been traced to the Yuma, Ariz., area ...Read more

Amazon worker's median pay in 2017: $28,446

Business / Business News /

SEATTLE -- Amazon says its median employee pay was $28,446 last year.

That data, disclosed Wednesday in Amazon's annual proxy report, is a reminder that while the technologists, business managers and marketers at Amazon headquarters can make more than $100,000, in most of the country, Amazon is a blue-collar logistics company where workers take...Read more

Carson's to close after parent company fails to find buyer

Business / Business News /

CHICAGO -- Carson's will shut down its department stores by late summer after more than 160 years in operation.

After parent company Bon-Ton Stores failed to find a bidder willing to keep the business going, a bankruptcy judge on Wednesday approved the sale of the company's assets, including Carson's and other retail chains, to a joint venture ...Read more

Real estate Q&A: Who is responsible for accidents at a condo's social club?

Business / Business News /

Q: If a member of a social club (dance, tennis, karate, etc.) within our Condo Association gets hurt or does something that causes an injury to one of its members or guests, can the Condo be held responsible? -- Bob

A: Your association can be held responsible for the injuries to the extent that it was negligent in reasonably keeping the area ...Read more

Qualcomm begins layoffs, trying to cut $1 billion, and its NXP bid faces objections in China

Business / Business News /

Qualcomm Inc. has begun notifying workers of layoffs at the same time the San Diego chipmaker's $44-billion bid to acquire NXP Semiconductors is running into problems getting antitrust clearance from China.

Qualcomm, a leading provider of chips for mobile phones, did not specify the number of employees being let go but said the cuts included ...Read more

How can dockless bike and scooter companies make money?

Business / Business News /

SAN DIEGO -- In just a matter of a few months, hundreds of dockless bicycles and scooters have appeared on the streets and sidewalks of San Diego.

Some have praised them as effective ways to get around town and reduce traffic congestion. Others have complained they clutter sidewalks and that too many riders don't follow the rules of the road, ...Read more

President Donald Trump's former Greenwich mansion listed again for $45M

Business / Business News /

Interested buyers can own a piece of presidential history in Greenwich, where a mansion President Donald Trump lived in with wife Ivana in the 1980s is back on the market with an asking price of $45 million.

Trump bought the home, on a peninsula overlooking Long Island Sound, for $4 million in 1984. He and Ivana lavishly decorated the mansion ...Read more

City, nonprofits to coordinate St. Louis blight fight, target thousands of abandoned buildings

Business / Business News /

ST. LOUIS -- With an estimated 7,100 abandoned structures today, vacancy is a bigger problem than the city can handle on its own.

But a formal working relationship between the city, legal clinics, community development organizations and neighborhood nonprofits is close, those working on city vacancy issues say. They're working to create a "...Read more

Elon Musk's tunnel project may get a boost

Business / Business News /

LOS ANGELES -- Elon Musk's vision for a tunnel network that could whisk people across Los Angeles County in minutes hints at a future where commuting in Southern California could be easier, or even seamless.

His company's efforts to fast-track construction for a tunnel where that technology could be tested has been relatively seamless, too -- ...Read more

The people have spoken: Heinz will bring 'mayochup' condiment to U.S. stores

Business / Business News /

If you want to see "mayochup" -- a pre-mixed mayonnaise-ketchup product made by Kraft Heinz -- on store shelves, you are clearly not alone.

The company, based in Chicago and Pittsburgh, asked Twitter users last week if it should bring the hybrid condiment to the U.S., and the response was overwhelming. At final count, 930,691 people voted in ...Read more

T-Mobile expands jobs, services for veterans

Business / Business News /

BELLEVUE, Wash. -- T-Mobile has launched a campaign geared toward veterans, with a hiring effort, discounts on phone lines, and investments in its network near military bases.

The telecom said Wednesday that it plans to hire 10,000 veterans and military spouses in the next five years, doubling its previous 2016 pledge to make 5,000 military ...Read more

Amazon says it has more than 100 million Prime members

Business / Business News /

Amazon Chief Executive Jeff Bezos said the company has more than 100 million paid subscribers worldwide to its Prime Membership service, disclosing for the first time a figure that the company long held as a trade secret.

The announcement came Wednesday in Bezos's letter to shareholders, the Amazon founder's closely watched annual treatise that...Read more

B-21 bomber finishes preliminary design review, and Air Force official is 'comfortable' with progress

Business / Business News /

A U.S. Air Force official told a Senate subcommittee Wednesday that the new B-21 bomber has completed its preliminary design review and that he was "comfortable" with the progress made by builder Northrop Grumman Corp.

The bomber is now on its way to critical design review, said Lt. Gen. Arnold Bunch Jr., the military deputy of the office of ...Read more

Netflix has considered buying theaters, including Mark Cuban's Landmark, to gain an Oscar edge, sources say

Business / Business News /

Netflix, the global streaming giant that has dramatically changed the TV industry and clashed with movie theater owners, may be ready to move onto the big screen in a new and surprising way -- by owning cinemas.

The Los Gatos, Calif., company has explored the idea of buying movie theaters in Los Angeles and New York that would allow it to ...Read more

Senate votes to scrap CFPB directive targeting auto-lending bias

Business / Business News /

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Senate has moved to scrap a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau policy aimed at preventing discrimination in auto lending as Republicans employed an unorthodox procedure to attack agency guidance that they said was an effort to bypass normal rule-making.

Senators voted Wednesday to upend a directive released in 2013, ...Read more

U.S. Bank's profit rises, but investors fret about spending growth

Business / Business News /

U.S. Bancorp consistently produces some of the best results among the nation's big banks, but even it can upset investors a little.

After the company reported a 13 percent jump in quarterly profit Wednesday morning, its shares fell 2 percent, outpacing a down day for the financial sector overall as investment analysts questioned its spending.

...Read more

Tesla set to go 24-7 on cranking out the Model 3

Business / Business News /

FREMONT, Calif. -- Will a third shift be the charm for Tesla as it seeks to get its Model 3 production on track?

That's the hope according to an email that Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk has sent to company employees. In the email, a copy of which was obtained by the automotive tech blog Electrek, Musk says Tesla's Fremont plant is about to ...Read more