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Movie attendance fell 6 percent in 2017 while ticket prices hit a record high

Business / Business News /

Movie attendance in the United States and Canada fell even more than expected in 2017, as the average ticket price hit a record high, according to new data from the National Association of Theatre Owners.

The number of tickets sold was 1.24 billion, down 6 percent from 2016, the trade group said Wednesday. That's steeper than the 4 percent ...Read more

Industry group asks Supreme Court to overturn cellphone warning law

Business / Business News /

BERKELEY, Calif. -- An industry group has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down Berkeley's cellphone disclosure ordinance as unconstitutional.

The ordinance, approved by the City Council in May 2015, mandates a warning notice to people buying and leasing cellphones that carrying the devices close to the body when switched on could ...Read more

Senators threaten legislation over social media firms' content

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WASHINGTON -- Big social media companies made a case against new legislative mandates by emphasizing their voluntary efforts to root out terrorism-related material and other objectionable content on their sites during a Senate hearing Wednesday.

But senators from both parties warned representatives of Facebook, YouTube and Twitter of ...Read more

Overshadowed in shutdown showdown: The likely blowback from federal employees

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WASHINGTON -- Many Democrats and Republicans say they are willing to shut down the government if they don't get a spending deal that suits their demands on immigration and other issues. But engaged in brinkmanship, lawmakers must also weigh the consequences to a key constituency -- 2 million federal employees.

A government shutdown would ...Read more

Mulvaney takes first step toward overhauling Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

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WASHINGTON -- Mick Mulvaney once called the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau a "joke ... in a sad, sick kind of way."

Now, as its acting director, he's in a position to change it.

On Wednesday, Mulvaney announced he was launching a review of the entire operation of the consumer watchdog agency created in the wake of the 2008 financial ...Read more

As SpaceX and Boeing prepare to fly their new capsules, Congress emphasizes crew safety

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If all goes according to plan, this year could mark the first time since 2011 that U.S. astronauts will blast off to the International Space Station in an American-made spacecraft.

It's been a long process to get to this point. Schedule delays have pushed back the first crewed tests of the new astronaut transport capsules being built separately...Read more

Apple will bring much of its overseas cash to the US under new tax law

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Apple said Wednesday that it will make $38 billion in tax payments as part of a plan to repatriate its gigantic stash of overseas cash under new tax laws favorable to big corporations.

Apple had long resisted returning to the US its $265 billion in overseas money because those holdings would be taxed at a rate of about 40 percent, CEO Tim Cook ...Read more

Philadelphia to sue opioid drugmakers over marketing practices and to recover costs

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PHILADELPHIA -- Philadelphia on Wednesday became the latest in a long line of communities that is suing pharmaceutical companies because of the opioid crisis.

The suit filed in Philadelphia Common Pleas Court "seeks to halt deceptive marketing practices and pay treatment costs for residents suffering opioid addiction," the city said in a press ...Read more

DNA spit kits: 23andMe's ancestry results 'most confounding,' new report says

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MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. -- Silicon Valley ancestry-testing firm 23andMe claims to have DNA from more than 2 million consumers, and its spit tests for insights into family history and health were top sellers on Amazon this past holiday season, but its ancestry test and those from three other companies produced drastically different results, a new ...Read more

Powell gets second Senate committee approval to head Federal Reserve after nomination expired

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WASHINGTON -- A Senate committee for the second time overwhelmingly confirmed Jerome Powell Wednesday to be the next head of the Federal Reserve, a vote that was necessary after his nomination expired at the end of last year.

Powell, a Republican who has been a governor on the Fed board since 2012, was nominated by President Donald Trump to ...Read more

Workers at Apple supplier complain of unsafe conditions

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For the second time in three months, Apple is facing questions about working conditions at its Chinese suppliers.

A report by China Labor Watch claims there are continuing violations at Catcher Technology, a light-metal manufacturing plant in the Chinese industrial city Suqian that makes products for Apple, and other technology companies.

In ...Read more

State attorneys general want Congress to let banks work with marijuana companies

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Attorneys general in 19 states and U.S. territories say Congress must act to end the banking industry's prohibition on serving the marijuana industry, calling the current state of affairs a public safety threat and a hindrance for law enforcement.

In a letter to leaders of the House and Senate, the attorneys general urged Congress to pass ...Read more

Coalition formed to reverse the drop in international visitors to the U.S.

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President Trump's statement about immigrants aren't solely responsible for the drop in international travel to the U.S. but they're not helping, according to members of a new industry coalition dedicated to promoting international tourism to the country.

The coalition, dubbed Visit U.S., formally launched Tuesday and is aimed at reversing a ...Read more

California congressman wants to ask Intel, AMD and ARM about Meltdown and Spectre

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A California congressman wants to meet with the Top 3 microchip makers to better understand the implications of two security flaws that affect almost all computing devices in the world.

Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Stockton, wrote a letter Tuesday to the CEOs of Intel, ARM and AMD to request a briefing. A member of the House Energy and Commerce ...Read more

Global businesses scramble to align with China's world view

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Multinational businesses keen for a slice of the world's fastest-growing consumer market are finding they have to increasingly conform to China's world view if they want to stay in Beijing's good graces.

Companies from Marriott International Inc. to Qantas Airways Ltd. are scrambling to fall in line with China's stance on the treatment of ...Read more

As airlines post big profits, small communities lose service

Business / Business News /

For 35 years, Transfer Flow Inc. has been manufacturing after-market fuel tanks for pickup trucks out of Chico, Calif., which means employees must make regular trips from the quiet college town to meet with clients and potential business partners.

That has become especially difficult since regular commercial air service ended at Chico Municipal...Read more

Tech Q&A: Chip security fix hurts some PCs

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Q: On Jan. 8, my 10-year-old, custom-built Windows 7 PC crashed. (I got the "blue screen of death.") My technician wonders whether I'm the victim of Microsoft's software patches for the AMD processor chip security problems, which locked up some computers. (The small Oregon firm that built my PC used a main circuit board from ASUS.)

My ...Read more

American won't let you pay with cash at Miami's airport anymore. Here's how it'll work

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MIAMI -- If you're traveling on American Airlines from Miami International Airport, leave the cash at home.

The leading airline is moving to a cashless model at MIA, meaning that any transactions for additional fees, such as checked bags or overweight bags, will have to be made with credit or debit cards. The change is effective on Thursday.

...Read more

Jennifer Van Grove: A streaming TV state of the union

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When I started this streaming TV column one year ago, we were at a tipping point in TV and entertainment. Today, the pendulum has swung to the side of streamers, who have more choice and customization options, including sports and local stations, than traditional pay TV customers.

As a result, more people than ever are ditching their providers....Read more

Helpware: Mice that keep you healthy

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In the early days of electronic pagination some 40 years ago, I worked for a newspaper that bought the first one on the market. It was a monster of a computer, with a screen that was more than 30 inches wide. The screen's resolution was awful. The monitor flickered anytime a task was performed. The mouse was about as big as a size-15 men's shoe ...Read more