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Telemundo layoffs hit journalist María Celeste Arrarás

Business / Business News /

Award-winning journalist Maria Celeste Arraras has been cut from NBCUniversal's Telemundo network -- part of widespread layoffs the New York media company began this week.

Arraras is well known to Spanish-language TV viewers. She joined Telemundo in 2002 and hosted the newsmagazine "Al Rojo Vivo con Maria Celeste." Before that, Arraras was one ...Read more

California labor commissioner sues Uber, Lyft, alleging wage theft

Business / Business News /

In its latest move to take gig economy companies to task, California is suing Uber and Lyft for alleged wage theft. The state says the companies have "willfully" misclassified drivers as independent contractors instead of employees, depriving them of basic worker protections and wages.

The lawsuits, brought by California Labor Commissioner ...Read more

Uber and Lyft sued for 'unpaid wages' by California Labor Commissioner over driver classification

Business / Business News /

California opened a new front in its battle against Uber and Lyft over their classification of drivers as contractors instead of employees, with the state's labor commissioner on Wednesday filing suit against the two companies.

The San Francisco ride-hailing firms decided from the start of their operations to "misclassify" their drivers "as a ...Read more

Women alleged hiring discrimination by Walmart. Retail giant to pay $20 million

Business / Business News /

Retail giant Walmart will pay $20 million to settle allegations of discriminating against women who didn't get jobs filling orders at the company's grocery distribution centers.

The case originated with complaints by two women at the Walmart distribution center in Laurel County, Ky., but will create compensation for women nationwide.

The U.S. ...Read more

Can solar energy be stored as a liquid fuel? UNC group lands $40M to accelerate research

Business / Business News /

Solar energy production has made huge strides in recent years, as advances in photovoltaic technologies -- the underpinnings of solar panels -- have made it easier and cheaper to harness energy from the sun.

In North Carolina, this can be seen from the growing number of solar panel farms that dot the countryside, giving the state the second-...Read more

ICM Partners close to signing deal with Writers Guild

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LOS ANGELES -- ICM Partners is close to signing a deal with the Writers Guild of America, according to three people familiar with the matter.

The Century City agency is expected to enter into a franchise agreement with the guild, ending a standoff of more than a year over longstanding agency practices like collecting packaging fees for pulling ...Read more

Industry cancels US cruises until Oct. 31, one month after CDC ban expires

Business / Business News /

Cruise companies are canceling U.S. cruises until at least Oct. 31.

The industry lobbying group Cruise Lines International Association announced Wednesday that its member lines won't be coming back until at least that date. In June, the group agreed to cancel U.S. cruises through mid-September, before the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and ...Read more

PEN America calls for Hollywood transparency on China censorship to 'protect artistic freedom'

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Amid escalating tensions between the U.S. and China, Hollywood has recently taken heat from politicians for its willingness to alter its movies to appease the Chinese government. Now PEN America, a free expression advocacy group, is also calling out the American film industry for self-censorship.

The New York-based nonprofit on Wednesday ...Read more

If you're in love with Trader Joe's, its stances can also break your heart

Business / Business News /

Grocery chain Trader Joe's has built a devoted following that other brands might only dream of.

It has a podcast. It prints an old-timey newsletter called the Fearless Flyer that makes readers laugh out loud. Fans rave about the high-quality, affordable groceries and the friendly employees who wear Hawaiian shirts. Some people even go out of ...Read more

Trump's bid to force TikTok sale follows well-trod legal path

Business / Business News /

President Donald Trump's push for the sale of TikTok to a U.S. company marks a major escalation in his battle to keep data on American citizens out of Chinese hands and a move that, if successful, would be nearly impossible to overturn under U.S. law.

Trump's demand has set off a geopolitical tug-of-war, but it has ample precedent. The ...Read more

Theranos: Feds throw Molotov cocktail case at Elizabeth Holmes over grand jury request

Business / Business News /

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Federal prosecutors fighting Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes's request for access to grand jury records invoked the case of a woman accused of throwing a Molotov cocktail at a New York City police van who made a similar but mostly unsuccessful bid.

The woman, Samantha Shader, who has pleaded not guilty to hurling a fire ...Read more

Tech Q&A: How to prevent, and fix, a balky external drive

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Q: Last year, the Western Digital external hard drive for my Windows 8.1 PC stopped working. I bought another Western Digital external drive, but it wouldn't work, either. I then bought a Seagate external drive and began using it last November. But by late July, I got an error message saying the external drive couldn't be detected, even though I...Read more

Ex-Google engineer Levandowski's jump to Uber ends in prison

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Autonomous driving engineer Anthony Levandowski was ordered to spend 18 months prison for stealing trade secrets from Google as he defected to Uber Technologies Inc., in one of the highest-profile criminal cases to hit Silicon Valley.

U.S. District Judge William Alsup in San Francisco imposed the sentence Tuesday after Levandowski pleaded for ...Read more

Blood plasma flows but little else on once-vibrant Texas border

Business / Business News /

A steady stream of Mexican residents strolled across the Gateway International Bridge into Brownsville, Texas, on a recent hot and humid evening.

In ones and twos, they walked two-tenths of a mile into America, to a plasma center with a sign welcoming them as heroes; convalescent plasma is being investigated as a treatment for COVID-19. Then, a...Read more

Elon Musk says Tesla headquarters could still move out of California

Business / Business News /

Despite winning a standoff with local health officials over reopening his factory, Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk is sticking with his threat to move company headquarters to another state.

"There's no question that our headquarters will remain in California for the short term," he said in a recent interview with Automotive News. "Long term, we...Read more

Disney earnings plummeted in its third quarter. Blame COVID-19

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Walt Disney Co. suffered a major decline in earnings in its third fiscal quarter, illustrating the severe damage dealt to the world's most powerful entertainment company by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has kept Disneyland closed, cratered global tourism and delayed movie releases for months.

The Burbank, Calif., entertainment giant posted a net...Read more

Senators look to break deadlock with small-business proposals

Business / Business News /

WASHINGTON -- Sens. Marco Rubio and Susan Collins have introduced legislation to extend a popular small-business relief program past its Aug. 8 expiration date as talks between Republicans and Democrats on a larger relief package appear deadlocked.

Florida's Rubio and Maine's Collins introduced two proposals that would continue the Paycheck ...Read more

'Forced labor': Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line crew say they've been working without pay

Business / Business News /

MIAMI -- As cruise companies begin to operate passenger cruises again, thousands of crew members remain trapped on ships without pay as they wait to be sent home.

For crew on Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line's Grand Celebration ship in Palm Beach, the delay has been especially grim. Cleaners and cooks have been working since mid-March without pay, ...Read more

Column: California is still showing how to make Obamacare work, even with COVID-19

Business / Business News /

Amid the patchwork of state-level approaches to healthcare reform, California has always stood out for its all-in embrace of the Affordable Care Act.

The state expanded Medicaid, taking full advantage of a federal government subsidy of the expanded program's costs -- starting at 100% from 2014 to 2016 and settling at 90% this year and beyond.

...Read more

Bumper corn crop on tap as prices founder

Business / Business News /

Corn farmers across the United States are preparing for a near-record harvest thanks to a smooth, fast spring planting and favorable summer weather.

Problem is, corn prices are horrible.

Minnesota's corn crop was 97% silking on Monday, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. That's well ahead of the five-year average for this stage of...Read more