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Pilots' union says AA is leaving standby passengers behind

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 00:27:01 UT

[...] spokesman Matt Miller said, the company figure cited by the union president is "significantly inflated" because it includes people who signed up for standby but weren't in the gate area when the door shut. Carey said standby passengers are left behind on about one in six flights, and he blames the airline's policy of closing the door from the gate area to the jet bridge 10 minutes before scheduled departure.



Senate votes to kill privacy rules guarding your online info

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 23:02:43 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — The Senate voted to kill Obama-era online privacy regulations , a first step toward allowing internet providers such as Comcast, AT&T and Verizon to sell your browsing habits and other personal information as they expand their own online ad businesses. "Advertisers and marketers are lining up to get access to all the information that's now available about us," said Jeff Chester of the Center for Digital Democracy, which advocates for tougher internet privacy measures. [...] proponents of the privacy measure argued that the company that sells you your internet connection can see even more about you: every website you visit, every app that sends or receives data, everyone you email and many that you message. The Trump-appointed chairman of the FCC, Ajit Pai, is a critic of the broadband privacy rules and has said he wants to roll them back , along with other Obama-era policies meant to protect consumers and promote competition. "At the FCC, consumers are much more protected with strong privacy rules that give (internet service providers) clear rules as to what's fair and what's foul," Dallas Harris, a policy fellow with consumer advocacy group Public Knowledge, said last month.



Business Highlights

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 21:53:28 UT

WASHINGTON (AP) — After seven years of fervent promises to repeal and replace "Obamacare," President Donald Trump and GOP congressional leaders buckled at a moment of truth Thursday, putting off a planned showdown vote in a stinging setback for the young administration. WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republican's health care bill provides massive tax cuts to the wealthy while increasing taxes for many lower income families, widening America's big income gap. WASHINGTON (AP) — A sobering portrait of less-educated middle-age white Americans emerged Thursday with new research showing them dying disproportionately from what one expert calls "deaths of despair" — suicides, drug overdoses and alcohol-related diseases. The new paper, by two Princeton University economists, concludes that the trend is driven by the loss of steady middle-income jobs for those with a high school diploma or less. Orlando's famous theme parks have gone to great lengths to cut those tax bills, including placing cows on the land to claim an agriculture exemption. WASHINGTON (AP) — Senior U.S. officials say the Trump administration will approve the Keystone XL pipeline on Friday, ending years of delay for a project that has served as a flashpoint in the national debate about climate change. A State Department recommendation deeming the pipeline in U.S. interests will clear the way for a White House announcement that a presidential permit is being issued to TransCanada to build the $8 billion pipeline. The distinctive airline, with its hip vibe including mood lighting and young, attractive flight attendants, joins US Airways, Continental and others on the list of airline brands that disappeared following a merger. WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate moved Thursday to undo Obama-era regulations that would have forced internet service providers like Comcast and Verizon to ask customers' permission before using or selling much of their personal i



Death rates up for middle age whites with little education

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 21:14:16 UT

WASHINGTON (AP) — A sobering portrait of less-educated middle-age white Americans emerged Thursday with new research showing them dying disproportionately from what one expert calls "deaths of despair" — suicides, drug overdoses and alcohol-related diseases. The new paper by two Princeton University economists, Anne Case and Angus Deaton, concludes that the trend is driven by the loss of steady middle-income jobs for those with a high school diploma or less. Case and Deaton's paper, issued by the Brookings Institution, follows up on research they released in 2015 that first documented a sharp increase in mortality among middle-aged whites. Since 1999, white men and women ages 45 through 54 have endured a sharp increase in "deaths of despair," Case and Deaton found in their earlier work. In 1999, the death rate for high school-educated whites ages 50 through 54 was 30 percent lower than the death rate for all African-Americans in that age group. Even while the death rate for whites without a college degree is rising, the rate for whites who are college graduates is falling, Case and Deaton found. For those reasons, Case and Deaton discount the notion that government disability benefit programs are responsible for some of these problems by enabling more Americans to stop working.



Stock rally sputters after vote on health bill is delayed

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 21:04:47 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — After a promising start, U.S. stock indexes gave up an early rally and ended mostly lower Thursday after Republicans delayed a vote on their health care bill and left investors concerned about delays for the business-friendly agenda of President Donald Trump. The Dow Jones industrial average rose as much as 96 points just before 1 p.m., but doubts about the bill cast a shadow over the market as hardline conservatives said they didn't support it. Elsewhere, a growing boycott of YouTube advertising hurt Alphabet, Google's parent company. Smaller companies did better than the rest of the market and more stocks rose than fell, a sign investors are still confident in the U.S. economy. Near the close of trading, House Republican leadership postponed a vote on the American Health Care Act because of a lack of support. Jamie Cox, managing partner for Harris Financial Group, said investors are worried about how the Republican-controlled Congress and White House will come together on issues including tax reform, a debt ceiling increase, and a boost in infrastructure spending. Companies including Johnson & Johnson, AT&T and Verizon have suspended their YouTube ad campaigns in the last week because their ads were appearing alongside offensive videos, including some that promoted terrorism. Companies that run Medicaid programs, like Centene and Molina Healthcare, stumbled in afternoon trading and health insurance companies like UnitedHealth and Humana took small losses. Hospital operators traded higher, as did medical device makers.



How major US stock market indexes fared on Thursday

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 20:53:41 UT

How major US stock market indexes fared on Thursday After a promising start, U.S. stocks gave up an early rally Thursday after Republicans delayed a vote on their health care bill and left investors concerned about delays for the business-friendly agenda of President Donald Trump. The Dow Jones industrial average edged down 4.72 points to 20,656.58.



PVH and Five Below rise while Ford and Alphabet fall

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 20:52:34 UT

Quarterly profit and sales for the company, which owns the Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger brands, topped analyst estimates. The furniture maker said its North American business did better in the third quarter, and its profit was larger than expected. Real estate investment trusts did better than the rest of the market after a recent slump.



WikiLeaks: CIA hacked Apple devices in ways users can't fix

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 20:29:03 UT

"The most notable part of this latest WikiLeaks release is that it shows the CIA doing exactly what we pay them to — exploit specific targets with limited attacks to support our national interests," said Rich Mogull, CEO of the security research firm Securosis.  




Trump SEC pick assures that his Wall St. work not problem

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 20:28:20 UT

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's nominee to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission, attorney Jay Clayton, sought to assure lawmakers that he'll show no favoritism and act only in the public interest, as his Wall Street connections were scrutinized at his Senate confirmation hearing Thursday. In cases where he might have to step aside from decisions on enforcement actions against companies, Clayton said, his fellow SEC commissioners would be able to capably handle the matters. Cases involving Clayton clients Goldman, Deutsche Bank, UBS and Barclays would bring a required recusal, Warren told him, and a 2-2 split among the other four SEC commissioners would mean a deadlock with no enforcement action taken. In addition to advising and representing big financial firms and corporations, Clayton worked on corporate mergers and public stock launches, including the largest-ever IPO of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba. Clayton's financial disclosure filing shows other big corporate clients, including Ally Financial, Royal Bank of Canada, Volkswagen, British Airways, Priceline Group and Valeant.



North Bend stunner provides views, space

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 20:26:30 UT

The best thing about getting out of the city is getting the room to really stretch out. And the owners of this beautiful home in Mount Vernon really allowed themselves to stretch.




Markets Right Now: Delay on health vote sinks a stock rally

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 20:07:22 UT

Investors worry that the setback Thursday will mean a longer wait for business-friendly policies like tax cuts. Google's parent company, Alphabet, fell 1 percent after several major companies said they will stop advertising on YouTube because their ads were appearing alongside offensive videos. U.S. stocks are turning higher as bank stocks recover some ground thanks to an upturn in bond yields, which will make lending money more profitable. Google's parent company, Alphabet, is weighing down technology stocks Thursday after several major companies said they will stop advertising on YouTube because their ads were appearing alongside offensive videos including some promoting terrorism. Stocks are barely changed as Congress continues to debate health care legislation, a key first piece of President Donald Trump's business-friendly agenda.



17,000 AT&T workers will come back on the job Thursday

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 17:36:23 UT

A Communications Workers of America union local official had said Wednesday that AT&T was asking technicians who install cable to also work outside maintaining phone and cable wires, which is a higher-paid job. AT&T says its agreement with the union "clarified some work processes on assignments for a group of technicians."



Jon Corzine's MF Global, PwC in settlement

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 17:35:26 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — The trial between bankrupt brokerage MF Global, run by former New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine, and its former accounting firm, PwC, came to an unceremonious end on Thursday, with both parties saying they have reached a settlement. MF Global sued PwC, also known as PricewaterhouseCoopers, alleging that negligence by the firm's accountants led to confusion about the current financial health of MF Global at a time of global market turmoil. PwC alleged that MF Global's business decisions, including its purchase of European government bonds, were the reason why MF Global failed — not because PwC did not account for those assets as MF Global says they should have.



Woe for stores as shoppers look elsewhere for inspiration

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 17:30:52 UT

[...] her go-to source has become the online subscription service Stitch Fix, which lets her try on clothes at home and decide what to keep. The number of "distressed" retailers — those with cash problems and poor credit profiles that are facing strong competition — is at the highest rate since 2009, says Moody's Investor Service. Department stores make regular announcements about the next way they're going to win customers back, like offering more athletic-inspired clothes or adding tech areas. [...] they're fighting a market in which people are already buying fewer clothes, spending online or at discounters when they do, and demanding more personal and convenient ways to buy. Brands like Stitch Fix and Bonobos offer curated selections based on people's preferences, while companies like thredUP capitalize on shoppers' increasing willingness to buy secondhand items from mall brands like J. Crew, Anthropologie and Athleta at big discounts. While U.S. clothing sales increased 3 percent overall to $218.7 billion last year, department stores and national mall-based chains saw a drop of 4 percent, says NPD. "Digital communities and social media are replacing storefronts and traditional advertising as a preferred means by which brands and customers are connecting," Hayne said, noting Urban Outfitters' 7 million Instagram followers. The hybrid model is gaining ground, but online retailers are also figuring out whether to go with traditional stores or showrooms where shoppers try on clothes and then have their purchased delivered.



Virgin America will be the latest airline brand to disappear

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 17:20:38 UT

The other was its hip vibe including mood lighting and young, attractive flight attendants. [...] when Alaska announced last year that it was buying Virgin for $2.6 billion, it was like asking Virgin customers to trade in their sports car for a minivan — a solid, reliable ride, but not exciting. Alaska flies only Boeing jets; Virgin uses Airbus planes. Sometimes a split personality works in the airline business, sometimes it doesn't — remember Ted, by United Airlines? [...] Alaska's announcement came as no surprise to people in the business.



FCC: Over 12,000 911 calls failed during AT&T outage

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 17:11:33 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — An investigation by the U.S. federal telecom regulator says about 12,600 callers couldn't reach 911 directly from their cellphones during a five-hour AT&T outage on March 8. A Federal Communications Commission official said Thursday that the outage affected AT&T customers in the Southeast, central U.S. and parts of the Northeast as well as a significant number of callers in other parts of the country.



Yellen says problems of childhood poverty linger

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 17:11:03 UT

"Young adults who regularly or sometimes worried when they were children about care, safety or having enough to eat are also less likely to be employed, less likely to have consistent income month-to-month and less likely to pay all of their current monthly bills in full, compared with those who never or rarely worried about these concerns as children," Yellen said. Yellen said a growing body of research showed that greater success was being achieved by addressing workforce development in early childhood education compared to spending on job training later in life.



ABC News says 3 of its Twitter accounts were hacked

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 15:50:34 UT

San Francisco-based Twitter Inc. declined to comment, saying that it does not discuss individual accounts for privacy and security reasons. In 2015, Newsweek, The New York Post and UPI's Twitter feed, as well as Twitter and YouTube accounts of the U.S. military's Central Command, were hacked.



US new home sales rise despite higher mortgage rates

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 15:34:34 UT

Healthy job growth and a recovering economy have pushed up interest in new homes, while the prospect of rising mortgage rates since the November presidential election may have pulled some sales forward. "Sales were likely boosted by the much warmer-than-usual weather last month, which made visiting new-home construction sites less miserable than usual in February," said Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics. Construction firms are bullish that sales will keep improving, even though they remain well below the heights of the housing boom seen more than a decade ago.



Ford 1Q earnings forecast short of estimates

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 15:18:59 UT

DETROIT (AP) — Ford Motor Co. says its first-quarter earnings will be about 50 percent lower than last year because of increasing costs and lower sales. Chief Financial Officer Bob Shanks says lower sales and increased costs of engineering electric and self-driving vehicles will impact earnings in the first quarter.



Average US 30-year mortgage rate slips to 4.23 percent

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 14:24:55 UT

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the rate on 30-year, fixed-rate home loans fell to 4.23 percent from 4.30 percent last week. Investors bid rates up because they expect President Trump's plans to cut taxes and increase spending on defense and infrastructure to push economic growth and inflation higher. The Federal Reserve last week raised short-term rates for only the third time since 2006, a vote of confidence in the health of the U.S. economy.



Why paying taxes by credit card probably isn't a good idea

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 14:18:24 UT

When you buy something with a credit card, the merchant pays processing fees to the financial institutions that handle the transaction. [...] when you put a tax payment on a credit card, the IRS doesn't pay those processing fees. To pay federal taxes with a credit card, you have to use one of the IRS' third-party credit card processors, which charge fees of 1.87 percent to 2 percent of the amount you put on the card. If you put your tax payment on a card with a 2 percent rewards rate or higher and then pay it off in full on your next statement, your rewards might exceed the fees — but just by a hair . "Depending on the interest rates on your credit card, you could end up paying a lot," says Trish Evenstad, president of the Wisconsin Society of Enrolled Agents , a group of tax experts. For 2017, it costs $31 for qualified taxpayers to set up an installment agreement online and pay via direct debit from a checking account, according to the IRS website. Paying with a 0% APR credit card could be more cost-effective than setting up an installment agreement, if you can pay off your balance before the promotional period ends. Charging a big tax bill on your card could put you within spitting distance of your credit limit, making it easy to max out the account and incur penalties. If I need to have my credit card available for emergencies to pay for expenses, because I might not have a rainy-day fund set aside, (I'm) better off not adding that credit card debt.