YouTube to FTC: Don't assume only kids are watching kids videos

Business / Business News /

WASHINGTON -- Google asked the government to eliminate rules that categorize anyone watching "child-directed" content online as under 13 while regulators revamp privacy regulations that could have a sweeping impact on the company's YouTube video service.

The Alphabet Inc. unit filed comments with the Federal Trade Commission on Monday as the ...Read more

Pelosi, White House near handshake deal on new NAFTA agreement

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WASHINGTON -- The Trump administration and House Democrats are on the verge of announcing a handshake deal on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada free trade agreement, according to people familiar with the negotiations, paving the way for approval of the deal as early as this month while Democrats gear up for an impeachment vote.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi is ...Read more

Erin Arvedlund: A few last-minute tips to save on your 2019 tax bill

Business / Business News /

Yes, 2019 is almost over, but you still have some time to save on your tax bill for the year. Here are some year-end tips that you may want to consider.

First, some potential good news: There's chatter that the $10,000 cap on property tax deductions may be raised by Congress. The cap was written into the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. More on ...Read more

GM lends millions to Lordstown Motors with an option to buy back plant

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General Motors is making a $40 million loan available to Lordstown Motors Corp. to help the start-up buy GM's shuttered plant in Lordstown, Ohio, and start building electric trucks.

"The transaction was structured to support LMC's strategy to launch production of their Endurance pickup," GM spokesman Jim Cain said in an email to the Free Press....Read more

UnitedHealth Group buying specialty pharmacy

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UnitedHealth Group's Optum division for health care services is acquiring a Michigan-based specialty pharmacy company that also provides infusion services for patients.

According to deal terms announced Monday, UnitedHealth is paying $4 per share for Diplomat Pharmacy Inc. while also assuming the company's debt.

The acquired pharmacy business ...Read more

SunTrust bank merger completed with BB&T, creating Truist

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The merger between Atlanta-based SunTrust and Winston-Salem, N.C.-based BB&T has been completed, creating the nation's sixth-largest bank, serving about 10 million consumer households, officials of the combined company announced Monday.

The merged bank, now named Truist, is based in Charlotte, although Atlanta retains the corporate and ...Read more

Donald Trump wanted to save Christmas for consumers. Did it work?

Business / Business News /

WASHINGTON -- The White House saw a clever way to save Christmas for strapped consumers.

Early this past summer, as President Donald Trump was considering a fresh round of tariffs on China, his trade advisers discussed exempting televisions from a list of products likely to be hit next, because of the effect the penalty could have on holiday ...Read more

Former Outcome Health executive pleads guilty to charges for alleged role in $1 billion fraud scheme

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CHICAGO -- Former Outcome Health executive Ashik Desai pleaded guilty Monday to wire fraud charges for his alleged role in a nearly $1 billion fraud scheme at the Chicago-based company.

Desai was released on condition of bond after his federal court appearance in Chicago, and surrendered his passport Desai, now 26, served as Outcome's executive...Read more

Michael Hiltzik: The California stem cell program's $5.5-billion funding request might be its downfall

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California's stem cell program, created by voters in 2004, has made great strides in advancing what's known as regenerative medicine and placing California at the center of the developing science.

The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, or CIRM, which was established by Proposition 71, has spent its original endowment of $3 billion ...Read more

Paul Volcker, the Fed chairman who reined in runaway inflation, dies at 92

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WASHINGTON -- Paul A. Volcker, the powerful Federal Reserve chairman whose grit and determination helped break the back of inflation in the early 1980s and put the American economy on a path to extended growth, has died. He was 92.

Volcker's career in economics and public service spanned seven decades and several administrations. In the early ...Read more

HP gets a new buyout offer from Xerox

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Xerox on Monday began taking its case to acquire HP directly to the PC and printing technology leader's stock owners by saying their share of the combined company could be worth more than 50% more than the current value of their HP stock.

In a presentation addressed to HP shareholders and made public Monday morning, Xerox said it is prepared to...Read more

'Mocked' by her bosses, award-winning CBS TV reporter was fired. Then she sued

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Investigative reporter Michele Gillen spent her career rooting out injustice.

One of South Florida's most recognizable TV personalities, Gillen worked at CBS-owned WFOR-TV Channel 4 for two decades -- earning 25 prestigious regional Emmy Awards. She exposed inhumane treatment of mentally ill inmates in the Miami-Dade jail, leading to reforms. ...Read more

'Frozen 2' wins box office for third weekend in a row as 'Playmobil: The Movie' tanks

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LOS ANGELES -- The post-Thanksgiving weekend is usually a box-office dead zone, which is why studios don't often roll out major wide releases in this corridor. Even among holdovers, it's common for movies to drop more than 40% from the previous weekend, and Disney's mega-hit "Frozen 2" was not immune, dropping 60%.

Still, the animated film ...Read more

House Democrats review new trade agreement from White House, Mexico

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WASHINGTON -- Negotiations on the stalled U.S.-Mexico-Canada free trade agreement reached a crucial phase on Saturday as the Trump administration sent House Speaker Nancy Pelosi a proposal for changes to the deal for review.

The plan was worked out during marathon talks this week between U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and top ...Read more

Target offers free service for visually impaired shoppers at 600 stores for holidays

Business / Business News /

MINNEAPOLIS -- Like many blind or visually impaired people, Steve Decker does a lot of online shopping with the help of tools that read text out loud to him.

But like many shoppers, regardless of ability, he still likes to come to stores in person to gauge the freshness of produce or to feel the texture of a sweater. To do so, he often has to ...Read more

Uber loses $1.5 billion in value after reporting thousands of sexual assaults in its rides

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SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Uber's stock market value fell by as much as $1.5 billion Friday as investors turned against the ride-hailing giant after it said more than 3,000 sexual assaults took place during its rides in 2018.

At one point Friday, Uber's shares had fallen by almost 3%, to $27.81, to give the company a market capitalization of $47.4 ...Read more

Job market's decade-end bang risks fizzling in less-roaring '20s

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WASHINGTON -- The 2010s are ending with unexpected strength in the U.S. job market, but there's reason to doubt there will be another roaring '20s.

November's 266,000 payroll gain, the biggest since January, exceeded forecasts and job growth in the prior two months was revised higher -- calming concern about a slowdown in the economy or even ...Read more

Susan Tompor: 5 year-end tax tips to get your money safely through the holiday season

Business / Business News /

Stop, take a deep breath and wait for a warning from the Internal Revenue Service before you pull out that plastic to jump on yet another holiday deal on a TV, toys or a smartphone.

Will you really have all the money you need by January or February to cover all those holiday bills? Not necessarily, if you're banking on a big income tax refund ...Read more

How Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance may fix what ails Disney's Galaxy's Edge

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ORLANDO, Fla. -- Eric Henderson was standing inside the theme park Disney's Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World, near the exit of the new ride Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, when the 38-year-old Atlanta native spotted someone he thought looked familiar.

"Are you an Imagineer?" Henderson asked John Larena, nodding to his official-looking ...Read more

A Chinese manufacturer of Chicago's 'L' cars was named in a child labor report, and now the city is asking for details

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CHICAGO -- The Chicago Transit Authority is asking a Chinese manufacturer for more details about its supply chain after a news report that children are being used to mine materials in Africa that might be used in "L" car production.

The report said that children as young as 4 from poor families in Madagascar are mining for mica, which is a type...Read more