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Column: State and local budgets face a pandemic-related meltdown. Why won't Republicans help?

Business / Business News /

While every thinking person is rightly worried about the prospect of a third U.S. wave of COVID-19 cases and deaths, one should take a moment to contemplate a pandemic-related disaster in which the first wave is just beginning.

That's the meltdown of state and local government budgets produced by the higher costs of dealing with the crisis ...Read more

Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Sales of new gas-powered cars banned in California by 2035: What you need to know

Business / Business News /

Gov. Gavin Newsom's executive order banning sales of new combustion-engine motor vehicles in California starting in 2035 will mark a radical change in transportation infrastructure. It also will prompt many questions from consumers. Here are answers to some:

_Is this a real ban on combustion vehicles?

The order calls it a goal but gives the ...Read more


Premiere: Volkswagen goes electric with made-in-USA ID.4 SUV

Business / Business News /

Volkswagen made its mark in the U.S. market with practical, affordable icons like the Beetle and Golf GTI. It hopes its first battery-powered vehicle, the ID.4, will do the same for electrics.

The German brand took the wraps off the compact SUV on Wednesday. The ID.4 will be the first EV from a foreign carmaker to be built in the U.S. as it ...Read more

Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times/TNS

The luxury air business is booming — as many Californians struggle to breathe

Business / Business News /

LOS ANGELES - Gregory Malin remembers the night he realized a breath of fresh air could help sell a mansion.

The year was 2009. Some 2.8 million foreclosures were underway across the nation. Malin was hosting a party in San Francisco's tony Pacific Heights, where his real estate development and investment firm, Troon Pacific, had bought a house...Read more

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Extreme wildfires turn smoke apps into the new weather apps

Business / Business News /

For weeks, smoke has blanketed the west coast. The Bay Area has seen a vast improvement in the past few days, but terrible air lingers in Portland and Seattle. Millions of people have been furiously checking the air quality ratings in their neighborhood regularly. On the worst days, in some places the Air Quality Index (AQI) measured 600. ...Read more

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Uncertainty reigns for insurers as industry adopts AI standards

Business / Business News /

As the insurance industry increasingly relies on artificial intelligence, its state-based regulators are thinking about how to ensure that the technology treats policyholders fairly.

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners last month unanimously adopted guiding principles that AI be fair, ethical, accountable and safe. But these are...Read more


Tech Q&A: Tech tricks to keep using Windows 7 are risky

Business / Business News /

Some readers are reluctant to upgrade or replace vulnerable Windows 7 PCs, even though Microsoft no longer provides security updates for them.

Instead, the readers are searching for technical tricks that would allow them to keep using the Windows 7 PCs while isolating them from other computers on a network. While that sounds good, it's not ...Read more

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With November election looming, San Diego's biotech community eyes policy issues

Business / Business News /

SAN DIEGO - Test tubes and beakers don't care what laws politicians pass, but biotech execs sure do.

The life sciences have always been shaped by policy. Biotech companies from San Diego to San Francisco to Boston look to local, state and federal lawmakers to ensure that they have space to expand and funding to buoy their research.

It's why ...Read more

Jarrod Valliere/San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS

After six years of attacks, Qualcomm finally sees stability return to patent licensing

Business / Business News /

SAN DIEGO - Alex Rogers says he likes stress. As head of Qualcomm's maligned patent licensing division, he has seen plenty of it over the past few years.

Starting in 2014, government regulators from China to South Korea to the U.S. attacked the San Diego mobile technology firm's lucrative business model for licensing its intellectual property, ...Read more

Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Disneyland presses for reopening, proposes COVID-19 safety measures

Business / Business News /

Walt Disney Co. officials added their voices to a chorus of politicians, business owners and tourism industry leaders Tuesday to press California's governor to let Disneyland and Disney California Adventure reopen, vowing to adopt specific health precautions to help protect guests from the COVID-19 pandemic.

If allowed to reopen, Disney ...Read more

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Ford reaches 'home run' deal with big investment from Canadian government

Business / Business News /

Ford Motor Co. reached a tentative labor contract deal with its Canadian autoworkers Tuesday based in no small part on critical support from the Canadian government, announced Unifor National President Jerry Dias.

Having pushed past a midnight deadline Monday, union members earlier had voted to strike the Dearborn automaker if necessary. They ...Read more

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Farm prices rally on Chinese demand, disaster in Iowa

Business / Business News /

Things are looking up for farmers as harvest gets underway - at least for those outside the areas hit by a severe storm called a derecho in early August - thanks to a mix of increased demand from China and the misfortune of farmers in other states.

Corn and soybean prices are both up by about a fifth since early August and the hog rally has ...Read more

Jarrod Valliere/The San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS

Miss trade-show swag? Big conventions paused until late 2021

Business / Business News /

Bad news for America's press-the-flesh salespeople: Most big-business conventions are on hold until late summer or fall of next year.

The Center for Exhibition Industry Research on Tuesday gave a somber forecast for trade-show promoters, vendors and attendees, many of whom have had to switch to digital events for the time being. But the trade ...Read more

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Walmart expands drone program with COVID-19 test-kit delivery

Business / Business News /

Walmart Inc. will test using drones to drop COVID-19 diagnostic kits at customers' homes, the retailer's latest move in the pandemic-fueled arena of contactless deliveries.

The company is piloting drone delivery of at-home coronavirus self-collection kits in North Las Vegas and Cheektowaga, New York, it said in a blog post Tuesday. It's ...Read more

Trump registered his trademark in Cuba in 2008 to build hotels, casinos and golf courses

Business / Business News /

MIAMI - Despite earlier promises in Miami that he would not do business in Cuba until the island was "free," Donald Trump applied in 2008 to register his Trump trademark in the Caribbean nation for a variety of commercial activities, including investing in real estate, hotels, casinos and golf courses.

A search of the Cuban Industrial Property ...Read more

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Microsoft develops a 'virtual commute' for remote workers

Business / Business News /

Millions of employees now commute from their bed to a desk at home. After the initial euphoria of skipping smog-filled traffic jams and cramped train compartments, a new reality has dawned in which the work day blends into the rest of life, like a never-ending video conference call. Microsoft Corp. has a solution for this.

The company's Teams ...Read more

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WGN America's 'News Nation,' which launched this month to tepid ratings, said it will interview President Trump Tuesday. 'This puts us in the big time.'

Business / Business News /

CHICAGO - Three weeks after launching to tepid ratings, WGN America's "News Nation" said it has landed an interview with President Donald Trump that could raise the profile of the nascent cable newscast.

It may also test whether the network can live up to its motto of unbiased reporting.

"News Nation" co-anchor Joe Donlon is set to do the one-...Read more

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Consumer Confidential: Your power probably isn't shutting off, regardless of what the 'utility' says

Business / Business News /

It would be nice, considering everything else going on, if I didn't have to issue periodic reminders to watch out for scammers.

Unfortunately, the pandemic stay-at-home orders make us easy pickings for unscrupulous sorts who equate people's hardship with financial opportunity - which is why officials say scam calls are soaring.

The Federal ...Read more

Mike Siegel/Seattle Times/TNS

Union for FAA's safety engineers urges more changes to Boeing 737 Max before it can fly again

Business / Business News /

A union representing Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) airplane safety engineers who work on certifying new aircraft called Monday for substantial upgrades to the flight crew alerting systems and other changes on Boeing's 737 Max before the plane is allowed to return to the air.

The union's comments came on the final day for public comment ...Read more

What Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death could mean for millions of Americans with Obamacare

Business / Business News /

The future of the Affordable Care Act - under which millions of Americans gained health insurance - has become more uncertain with the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

The U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear a case challenging the law, also known as Obamacare, Nov. 10. In the past, the court has upheld the law by a narrow...Read more