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NewsPlexus Media October 27, 2020

Fed up: California restaurants seek booze, health fee refund
California's financially battered restaurants filed government claims Monday to recover more than $100 million in fees for liquor and health permits and tourism charges that they say were assessed even though their businesses were shuttered or only partially operating under long-running coronavirus orders.
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NewsPlexus Media October 27, 2020

Sept. new home sales fall 3.5%, after strong summer season
Sales of new homes fell by 3.5% in September to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 959,000 million units, the Commerce Department said Monday, as the housing market's hot summer buying season cooled.
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NewsPlexus Media October 26, 2020

Virus is pummeling Europe's eateries — and winter is coming
The coronavirus pandemic is gathering strength again in Europe and, with winter coming, its restaurant industry is struggling. The spring lockdowns were already devastating for many, and now a new set restrictions is dealing a second blow. Some governments have ordered restaurants closed; others have imposed restrictions curtailing how they operate.
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NewsPlexus Media October 24, 2020

Keeping your credit profile healthy during a pandemic
Credit may not be top of mind for many consumers these days. But as the pandemic and its associated economic woes drag on, they may want to give it some attention.
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NewsPlexus Media October 24, 2020

Walmart sues US in pre-emptive strike in opioid abuse battle
Walmart is suing the U.S. government in a pre-emptive strike in the battle over its responsibility in the opioid abuse crisis. The government is expected to take civil action against the world's largest retailer, seeking big financial penalties, for the role its pharmacies may have played in the crisis by filling opioid prescriptions.
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NewsPlexus Media October 24, 2020

FDA approves first COVID-19 drug: antiviral remdesivir
U.S. regulators on Thursday approved the first drug to treat COVID-19: remdesivir, an antiviral medicine given to hospitalized patients through an IV. The drug, which California-based Gilead Sciences Inc. is calling Veklury, cut the time to recovery by five days — from 15 days to 10 on average — in a large study led by the U.S. National Institutes of Health.
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NewsPlexus Media October 24, 2020

Gap Inc. exiting malls, to shutter 350 stores by 2024
Gap Inc. is moving away from the nation's malls. The San Francisco-based retailer, which was for decades a fixture at shopping malls around the country, said Thursday that it will be closing 220 of its namesake Gap stores — or one-third of its store base — by early 2024. That will result in 80% of its remaining Gap stores being in off-mall locations.
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NewsPlexus Media October 23, 2020

US airlines still piling up losses but say demand is rising
Airlines are piling up billions of dollars in additional losses as the pandemic chokes off air travel, but a recent uptick in passengers, however modest, has provided some hope. American Airlines on Thursday reported a loss of $2.4 billion and Southwest Airlines lost $1.16 billion in the third quarter, typically a very strong period of air travel that includes most of the summer vacation season. Revenue plunged at both airlines.
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NewsPlexus Media October 23, 2020

US jobless claims drop to 787,000, but layoffs remain high
The number of laid-off Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell last week to 787,000, a sign that job losses may have eased slightly but are still running at historically high levels. Last week's figure was down from 842,000 the previous week, the Labor Department said Thursday. The government also revised down the number of people who sought aid in the two weeks before that. The revised total for the week that ended Oct. 3 was 767,000, the fewest since the viral pandemic erupted in March, though still more than three times the levels that preceded the pandemic.
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NewsPlexus Media October 23, 2020

Santa Claus won't be coming to Macy's this year
Macy's said Santa Claus won't be greeting kids at its flagship New York store this year due to the coronavirus, interrupting a holiday tradition started nearly 160 years ago. More than a quarter of a million people come to see Santa at Macy’s in New York each year, the company said, making it hard to create a safe environment during a pandemic.
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NewsPlexus Media October 23, 2020

Huawei's new smartphone has an upgraded camera, its latest advanced chipset and a better battery. What it may not have outside the Chinese tech giant's home market is very many buyers. Huawei, which recently became the world's No. 1 smartphone maker, on Thursday unveiled its Mate 40 line of premium phones, a product release that comes at a crucial moment for the company as it runs out of room to maneuver around U.S. sanctions squeezing its ability to source components and software.
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NewsPlexus Media October 23, 2020

September existing home sales climb 9.4%, highest since '06
Sales of existing homes climbed 9.4% in September, the National Association of Realtors said Thursday, the latest sign that the housing market remains red hot despite the coronavirus pandemic. On a seasonally adjusted rate, the selling pace of existing homes climbed to 6.54 million annualized units. That is the highest level for that metric since February 2006, at the peak of the previous housing bubble.
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NewsPlexus Media October 22, 2020

Biden’s tax plan would increase taxes, estimates vary by how much
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s proposed tax increases of nearly $4 trillion over the next 10 years, if passed, “would be the highest in American history — indeed, in world history,” an analysis of his plan determined.
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NewsPlexus Media October 22, 2020

OxyContin maker pleads guilty to federal criminal charges in $8B settlement
The U.S. Justice Department announced Wednesday that it reached an $8.3 billion settlement with Purdue Pharma, the manufacturer of OxyContin, a highly addictive opioid medication designed to reduce pain.
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NewsPlexus Media October 22, 2020

Older workers face higher unemployment amid virus pandemic
For the first time in nearly 50 years, older workers face higher unemployment than their midcareer counterparts, according to a study released Tuesday by the New School university in New York City. The pandemic has wreaked havoc on employment for people of all ages. But researchers found that during its course, workers 55 and older lost jobs sooner, were rehired slower and continue to face higher job losses than their counterparts ages 35 to 54.
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NewsPlexus Media October 22, 2020

After years grappling with Google, Europe has tips for US
The U.S. antitrust crackdown on Google might seem like deja vu for European Union regulators. By U.S. standards, the Justice Department's move to sue Google this week for abusing its dominance in online search and advertising was a bold move. But it treads on ground already broken years before by EU officials in Brussels. Veterans of Europe's antitrust tech battles welcomed the U.S. investigation and said American authorities should learn from the bloc's experience.
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NewsPlexus Media October 22, 2020

JC Penney sees bankruptcy protection exit by Christmas
J.C. Penney believes it will emerge from bankruptcy protection before Christmas under a new ownership agreement that would save tens of thousands of jobs.
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NewsPlexus Media October 20, 2020

Netflix reports a summer slump in subscriber growth
Netflix’s subscriber growth slowed dramatically during the summer months after surging in the spring fueled by pandemic lockdowns that corralled millions of people in their homes. The drop-off disclosed Tuesday in Netflix’s latest earnings report was more dramatic than management had warned it might be.
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NewsPlexus Media October 20, 2020

Justice Dept. files landmark antitrust case against Google
The Justice Department on Tuesday sued Google for abusing its dominance in online search and advertising — the government’s most significant attempt to protect competition since its groundbreaking case against Microsoft more than 20 years ago. Other major tech companies, including Apple, Amazon and Facebook are under investigation at both the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission.
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NewsPlexus Media October 20, 2020

GM expected to announce electric vehicle for Tennessee plant
General Motors is expected to reveal that it will build the Cadillac Lyriq electric SUV at its factory in Spring Hill, Tennessee, when it makes a major manufacturing announcement on Tuesday.
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NewsPlexus Media October 19, 2020

ConocoPhillips buying Concho in $9.7B all-stock deal
ConocoPhillips is buying shale producer Concho Resources in an all-stock deal valued at $9.7 billion making it a major presence in the Permian Basin, the top-producing oil field in the U.S.
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NewsPlexus Media October 19, 2020

Nokia to build moon's first 4G cell network for NASA program
Nokia says it has been tapped by NASA to build the first cellular communications network on the moon.
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NewsPlexus Media October 18, 2020

US resorts adapt to new normal of skiing amid pandemic
Roughly seven months after the coronavirus cut the ski season short at the height of spring break, resorts across the United States and Canada are slowly picking up the pieces and figuring out how to safely reopen this winter.
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NewsPlexus Media October 18, 2020

UK Space Agency backs medical drone delivery project
A medical drone delivery service founded by trainee doctors that aims to transport coronavirus samples, test kits and protective equipment between hospitals has won the backing of Britain’s Space Agency.
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NewsPlexus Media October 17, 2020

Asia Today: Melbourne ready to ease rules with 1 new case
Australia’s Victoria state has reported just one new case of COVID-19 and no deaths as the city of Melbourne moves closer towards the easing of some lifestyle restrictions.
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NewsPlexus Media October 17, 2020

Dark déjà vu for European economy as virus cases spike
Europe’s economy was just catching its breath from what had been the sharpest recession in modern history. A resurgence in coronavirus cases this month is a bitter blow that will likely turn what was meant to be a period of healing for the economy into a lean winter of job losses and bankruptcies. Experts say that the global economy’s course depends on the health crisis.
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NewsPlexus Media October 17, 2020

Scammers seize on US election, but it's not votes they want
The email from a political action committee seemed harmless: if you support Joe Biden, it urged, click here to make sure you're registered to vote. But a Harvard University graduate student did not click. Instead, she Googled the name of the soliciting PAC. It didn’t exist.
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NewsPlexus Media October 15, 2020

Brazil meatpacker fined for bribes that fueled US expansion
The owner of the world's largest meatpacker pleaded guilty in U.S. federal court on Wednesday to paying nearly $180 million in bribes to top Brazilian officials in exchange for state-backed financing used to go on a buying spree in the U.S. Sao Paulo-based J&F Investimentos, the controlling shareholder of JBS SA, pleaded guilty in federal court in Brooklyn to one count of conspiring to violate the foreign corrupt practices act.
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NewsPlexus Media October 15, 2020

Apple unveils new iPhones for faster 5G wireless networks
Apple unveiled four new iPhones equipped with technology for use with faster new 5G wireless networks, hoping that demand for higher data speeds will spark demand for new phones. That might not happen as quickly as Apple would like.
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NewsPlexus Media October 15, 2020

Indie bookstores launch anti-Amazon 'Boxed Out' campaign
With many independent bookstore owners facing the most dire financial crisis in their lifetimes, the American Booksellers Association has teamed with an award-winning advertising agency known for “culture hacking” to dramatize the threats of the pandemic and the growing dominance of Amazon.com.On Tuesday, the trade group launched the “Boxed Out” campaign, for which a handful of bookstores around the country will have windows boarded up and boxes piled up out front that resemble Amazon delivery containers, with one label reading “Don't Accept Amazon's Brave New World."
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NewsPlexus Media October 15, 2020

Walmart to spread out deals to avoid Black Friday crowds
Walmart says it will spread out its traditional one-day Black Friday deals over three weekends in November in an effort to reduce crowds in its stores during a pandemic. The nation's largest retailer said Wednesday that more of its doorbuster deals will be reserved for online, as a way to steer more shoppers away from its stores.
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NewsPlexus Media October 15, 2020

Used vehicle prices up as supply sinks, but relief is coming
It cost a whole lot more to buy a used SUV, car, truck or van last month than it did before the coronavirus hit, and that almost singlehandedly caused September's modest consumer price increase. Blame it on the pandemic, which knocked supply and demand way out of whack, causing prices to spike.
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NewsPlexus Media October 14, 2020

Facebook bans anti-vaccination ads but not antivax posts
Facebook says it will ban ads on its platform that discourage vaccinations — with an exception carved out for advocacy ads about government vaccine policies. The company already bans ads about vaccine “hoaxes," such as the false idea that vaccinations cause autism. The latest policy expands the ban to ads that discourage vaccines for any reason.
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NewsPlexus Media October 12, 2020

Amid COVID, many businesses in precarious spot as 2020 ends
The final three months of the year, usually a boom time for many small businesses thanks to holiday shopping and celebrations, looks precarious as the coronavirus maintains its grip on the economy. Owners contending with government restrictions or crumbling demand are trying to hold on, with some creating new products and services or desperately searching for new customers. Others, however, have found they’re already well equipped to meet the lifestyle changes brought about by the pandemic.
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NewsPlexus Media October 10, 2020

Trump administration targets diversity hiring by contractors
American companies promising to hire more Black employees in leadership roles and teach their workforce about racism are getting a message from President Donald Trump’s administration: Watch your step if you want to keep doing business with the federal government. Trump’s Labor Department is using a 55-year-old presidential order spurred by the Civil Rights Movement to scrutinize companies like Microsoft and Wells Fargo over their public commitments to diversity. Government letters sent last week warned both companies against using “discriminatory practices” to meet their goals.
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NewsPlexus Media October 10, 2020

Bar or restaurant? The big issue in pandemic-struck Brussels
Since bars in Brussels were forced to close Thursday for at least a month to deal with a massive surge in virus cases but restaurants were allowed to remain open, the big question on the streets is: when is a bar a bar and when is a bar a restaurant? And more importantly, does the distinction really help contain the pandemic?
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NewsPlexus Media October 10, 2020

Airbnb requires hosts to commit to enhanced cleaning
Airbnb said Thursday it will require hosts to comply with enhanced cleaning procedures as part of its effort to reassure guests and local officials during the coronavirus pandemic. The home-sharing company said hosts have until Nov. 20 to commit to the cleaning protocols, which include scrubbing floors and other surfaces with soap and water; washing linens on high heat; disinfecting high-touch items like door knobs; and ventilating rooms. Hosts who don’t comply may be suspended or removed from Airbnb.
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NewsPlexus Media October 9, 2020

About 840,000 U.S. workers file new claims for unemployment benefits
An additional 840,000 American workers filed initial unemployment claims in the week ending Oct. 3, down about 9,000 from the previous week's revised number but still well above pre-pandemic levels. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the advance seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 7.5 percent for the week ending Sept. 26, a decrease of 0.7 percentage points from the prior week.
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NewsPlexus Media October 9, 2020

Drive-thru dominates even as dine-in restrictions ease
Even with cities like New York relaxing rules for dining in, sales figures from chains like McDonalds and Domino's Pizza on Thursday suggest that most people continue to favor keeping their distance.
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NewsPlexus Media October 9, 2020

Small gyms devastated by coronavirus fear, restrictions
There's little evidence of Americans' passion for fitness at the tens of thousands of small and independent gyms around the country. Gyms, health clubs and workout studios began reopening in late spring following government-ordered shutdowns aimed at halting the coronavirus spread. But most are only allowed to have a fraction of their regular clientele onsite at one time. And some clients are staying away for fear of catching the virus.
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NewsPlexus Media October 7, 2020

US job postings edge lower, to 6.49 million
U.S. employers advertised slightly fewer jobs in August as hiring ticked up modestly. The number of U.S. job postings on the last business day of August dipped to 6.49 million, down from 6.7 million in July, the Labor Department said Tuesday. Those postings are off more than a half million compared with last year at this time, when employers advertised 7.17 million job openings.
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NewsPlexus Media October 7, 2020

Auditor: Gov. Wolf’s coronavirus business waiver program inconsistent, unfair
The Wolf administration’s coronavirus business waiver program was inconsistent and confusing, creating an unfair playing field for companies across Pennsylvania, according to the preliminary results of a state audit. “The waiver program appears to be a subjective process built on shifting sands of changing guidance, which led to significant confusion among business owners,” state Auditor General Eugene DePasquale told reporters Tuesday.
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NewsPlexus Media October 6, 2020

Pandemic pushes start of holiday shopping earlier than ever
Add last-minute holiday shopping to the list of time-honored traditions being upended by the coronavirus pandemic. Retailers are kicking off the holiday season earlier than ever this year in hopes of avoiding big in-store crowds and shipping bottlenecks in November and December. Stores like Best Buy, Macy's, and Target typically offer their biggest Black Friday deals over Thanksgiving weekend, but now they're starting them in October so people don't crowd their stores later, creating a potentially dangerous situation during a pandemic.
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NewsPlexus Media October 6, 2020

Meet the customer service reps for Disney, Airbnb who have to pay to talk to you
Arise Virtual Solutions, part of the secretive world of work-at-home customer service, helps large corporations shed costs at the expense of workers. Now the pandemic is creating a boom in the industry.
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NewsPlexus Media October 6, 2020

Economists: Raising Florida's minimum wage to $15 will hurt workers, businesses
If voters approve Amendment 2 to raise Florida's minimum wage in this election, Florida will lose nearly 200,000 jobs over the next five years, according to an analysis by two economists. “By 2026, 158,000 jobs will be lost because of a $15 minimum wage,” reads the analysis, Estimating the Impact of a $15.00 Minimum Wage in Florida. “Should the hospitality industry face slower growth than other industries, this figure would rise to 181,000 lost jobs.”
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NewsPlexus Media October 4, 2020

US layoffs remain elevated as incomes and spending weaken
The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits declined last week to a still-high 837,000, evidence that the economy is struggling to sustain a tentative recovery that began this summer. The Labor Department's report, released Thursday, suggests that companies are still cutting a historically high number of jobs, though the weekly numbers have become less reliable as states have increased their efforts to root out fraudulent claims and process earlier applications that have piled up.
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NewsPlexus Media October 3, 2020

Google to pay $1 billion over 3 years for news content
Google will pay publishers $1 billion over the next three years for their content, the company's latest effort to defuse tensions over its dominance of the news industry. The company said Thursday that it has signed agreements for its news partnership program with nearly 200 publications in Germany, Brazil, Argentina, Canada, the U.K. and Australia.
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NewsPlexus Media October 3, 2020

Pandemic takes toll on business of pisco producers in Peru
More than 500 Pisco, the grape brandy of South America's Pacific coast, producers have seen their sales collapse by half and thousands of grape growers have had their fields ruined because of the late harvests, because of the strict lockdown implemented to stop COVID-19.
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NewsPlexus Media October 3, 2020

US housing roars back despite recession, high unemployment
The U.S. housing market has staged a furious comeback this summer, even as the economy struggles to regain its footing after being knocked into a recession due to the coronavirus. After stalling in the first few weeks of the pandemic, U.S. home sales have surged in recent months to the highest level in more than a decade.
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NewsPlexus Media October 3, 2020

Facebook tightens political ad bans as US election nears
With just over a month to go before Americans head en masse to the polls in an extraordinarily contentious election, Facebook is expanding restrictions on political advertising, including new bans on messages claiming widespread voter fraud. New prohibitions laid out in a blog post come days after President Donald Trump raised the prospect of mass fraud in the vote-by-mail process during a debate with Democratic rival Joe Biden.
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