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NewsPlexus Media February 27, 2021

Biden hails House passage of $1.9T virus bill, now to Senate
The House approved a $1.9 trillion pandemic relief bill that was championed by President Joe Biden, the first step in providing another dose of aid to a weary nation as the measure now moves to a tense Senate.
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NewsPlexus Media February 27, 2021

Seattle ups its outdoor dining game, Seahawks-style
For a limited time, foodies can score a socially distanced, outdoor meal at the home of Seattle's NFL team, the Seahawks.
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NewsPlexus Media February 27, 2021

Warren Buffett again encourages investors to bet on America
Billionaire Warren Buffett encouraged investors to maintain their faith in America's economy and the businesses his Berkshire Hathaway conglomerate owns in a reassuring letter to his shareholders Saturday.
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NewsPlexus Media February 27, 2021

Yellen's encore: Lending economic heft to Biden's virus plan
As a former chair of the Federal Reserve, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen carries the authority of a public servant who has already helped steer the economy back to health once and now has been called back at age 74 for an encore after former President Donald Trump declined to offer her another term as chair.
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NewsPlexus Media February 27, 2021

House passes $1.9T pandemic bill on near party-line vote
The House approved a $1.9 trillion pandemic relief bill early Saturday in a win for President Joe Biden,even as top Democrats tried assuring agitated progressives that they’d revive their derailed drive to boost the minimum wage.
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NewsPlexus Media February 27, 2021

NYC steakhouse stunt: A wax Don Draper hanging at the bar
It's a promotion that could be straight out of the "Mad Men" Don Draper playbook. Brooklyn's famed Peter Luger Steak House has teamed with Madame Tussauds to have celebrity wax figures mingle with patrons, promoting the easing of coronavirus pandemic restrictions on indoor dining in New York City.
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NewsPlexus Media February 27, 2021

Judge approves $650M Facebook privacy lawsuit settlement
A federal judge on Friday approved a $650 million settlement of a privacy lawsuit against Facebook for allegedly using photo face-tagging and other biometric data without the permission of its users. U.S. District Judge James Donato approved the deal in a class-action lawsuit that was filed in Illlinois in 2015. Nearly 1.6 million Facebook users in Illinois who submitted claims will be affected.
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NewsPlexus Media February 27, 2021

Nevada governor proposes giving tech firms power to govern
Nevada's governor on Friday unveiled a proposal that would allow technology companies to establish jurisdictions with powers similar to those of county governments, arguing the state needed to be bold to diversify its economy and pushing back against those who have likened the idea to company towns. “This proposal is an exciting, unprecedented concept that has a potential to position Nevada as a global center of advanced technology and innovation, while helping to create immediate positive economic impact and shape the economy of the future,” Gov. Steve Sisolak said of his Innovation Zones idea. “As we’ve learned in the past, an emergency requires us to throw out the tried-and-true, discard the ‘How We’ve Always Done It’ manual and move on.”
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NewsPlexus Media February 27, 2021

Airline CEOs, Biden officials consider green-fuel breaks
Chief executives of the nation's largest passenger and cargo airlines met with key Biden administration officials Friday to talk about reducing emissions from airplanes and push incentives for lower-carbon aviation fuels. The White House said the meeting with climate adviser Gina McCarthy and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg also touched on economic policy and curbing the spread of COVID-19 — travel has been a vector for the virus. But industry officials said emissions dominated the discussion.
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NewsPlexus Media February 27, 2021

EXPLAINER: Why rising rates are unsettling Wall Street
Yes, it's possible to have too much of a good thing, and that's exactly why stock markets around the world are getting so unsettled. Optimism for an economic revival is surging following a year of coronavirus-induced misery. But expectations for stronger growth — plus the higher inflation that could accompany it — are pushing interest rates higher, which is forcing investors to re-examine how they value stocks, bonds and every other investment. When it tries to figure out the value for anything from Apple's stock to a junk bond, the financial world starts by comparing it against a U.S. Treasury bond, which is what the government uses to borrow money.
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NewsPlexus Media February 27, 2021

Laying out data, Netflix touts its record on inclusivity
Netflix on Friday released a study it commissioned from top academic researchers that shows the streaming giant is outpacing much of the film industry in the inclusivity of its original films and television series. For years, academic studies have sought to capture inequalities in Hollywood and to hold studios accountable for making film and television that doesn't reflect American demographics. Those studies have generally relied on box-office or ratings data, often leaving out streaming platforms. Netflix is trying a different route with both more transparency and more company control.
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NewsPlexus Media February 26, 2021

United will pay $49 million to settle air mail fraud case
United Airlines will pay more than $49 million to avoid criminal prosecution and settle civil charges of defrauding the U.S. Postal Service in the delivery of international mail.
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NewsPlexus Media February 26, 2021

US consumers rebound to boost spending 2.4% as income jumps
Bouncing back from months of retrenchment, America's consumers stepped up their spending by a solid 2.4% in January, the sharpest increase in seven months and a sign that the economy may be poised to sustain a recovery from the pandemic recession.
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NewsPlexus Media February 26, 2021

Stocks wobble between gains and losses as bond yields ease
Stocks wobbled between small gains and losses on Wall Street Friday as gains by technology stocks offset a slide in banks and energy companies.
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NewsPlexus Media February 26, 2021

Volkswagen weathers pandemic with $10.7 billion profit
Volkswagen said Friday it made better than expected profit of 8.8 billion euros ($10.7 billion) after tax in 2020 despite the pandemic.
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NewsPlexus Media February 26, 2021

NYT editor Bill Hamilton joining publisher Celadon Books
The Washington editor for The New York Times is joining Celadon Books as executive editor. Bill Hamilton will begin his new job April 5 and focus on acquiring books about politics and history.
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NewsPlexus Media February 26, 2021

BA parent company books huge loss, pushes for digital passes
The parent company of British Airways and Iberia on Friday said it lost 6.9 billion euros ($8.3 billion) last year as the pandemic caused a near-total collapse in international air traffic, and called for digital passes to help revive travel.
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NewsPlexus Media February 26, 2021

Boeing 777 makes emergency landing in Moscow: Reports
Russian media reported that a Boeing 777 plane made an emergency landing in Moscow in the early hours of Friday after the pilot reported a problem with the engine.
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NewsPlexus Media February 26, 2021

House to vote on virus bill; arbiter says wage hike a no-go
Democrats are ready to shove a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package through the House on Friday, despite a setback that means a minimum wage boost is unlikely to be in the final version that reaches President Joe Biden.
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NewsPlexus Media February 26, 2021

Germany's Birkenstock selling majority stake to investors
Germany's Birkenstock, known for its upmarket sandals, said Friday it is selling a majority stake to private equity firm L Catteron and affiliates including Financière Agache, the family investment company of French billionaire Bernard Arnault.
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NewsPlexus Media February 26, 2021

It's a smash hit! Chinese return big-time to movie theaters
The thrills and chills of the big screen are back big-time in the world’s largest film market.
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NewsPlexus Media February 26, 2021

Facebook signs pay deals with 3 Australian news publishers
Facebook announced on Friday preliminary agreements with three Australian publishers, a day after the Parliament passed a law that would make the digital giants pay for news. Facebook said letters of intent had been signed with independent news organizations Private Media, Schwartz Media and Solstice Media. The commercial agreements are subject to the signing of full agreements within the next 60 days, a Facebook statement said.
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NewsPlexus Media February 26, 2021

Costco to raise starting hourly wage to $16; end hazard pay
Costco will increase its starting wage to $16 an hour, surpassing most of its main competitors. Costco CEO Craig Jelinek announced the increase Thursday at a Senate Budget Committee hearing, led by Sen. Bernie Sanders, to examine wages at major companies. Jelinek said the starting wage for Costco employees would rise to $16 next week, up from $15 the company instituted two year ago. The starting wage scale puts Costco above competitors, including Amazon, Target and Best Buy, which have $15 minimum wages. Walmart's starting pay is $11 an hour.
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NewsPlexus Media February 26, 2021

Airbnb reports huge loss in first time out as public company
Home-sharing site Airbnb posted a $3.9 billion loss in the fourth quarter of 2020 as it suffered from the pandemic downturn in travel and recorded one-time costs for becoming a public company. In results released Thursday — Airbnb's first as a publicly traded entity — the company took a charge of $2.8 billion for stock compensation related to the IPO. A year earlier, Airbnb lost $352 million.
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NewsPlexus Media February 26, 2021

DoorDash's sales triple in Q4, but 2021 could see slowdown
Meal delivery company DoorDash said its revenue more than tripled last year thanks to pandemic-driven demand, but it still lost money because it spent more heavily on marketing and expanding its business. Temporary price caps — which limit the commission fees DoorDash can charge restaurants — are also having a negative impact. Seventy-three cities, including Chicago and Washington, D.C., have established caps in response to the pandemic, DoorDash said, costing the company $36 million in the fourth quarter. DoorDash said it has raised consumer fees in some markets to offset those costs.
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NewsPlexus Media February 26, 2021

Boeing will pay $6.6 million to settle FAA allegations
Federal regulators have imposed $5.4 million in civil penalties against Boeing for violating terms of a $12 million settlement in 2015, and the aircraft maker has agreed to pay another $1.21 million to settle two current enforcement cases. The Federal Aviation Administration said Thursday that Boeing managers failed to put adequate priority on living up to the earlier settlement and complying with FAA regulations.
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NewsPlexus Media February 26, 2021

McPlant and more: Beyond Meat inks McDonald's, Yum deals
Plant-based food company Beyond Meat will be partnering with several major fast-food chains in the coming years to expand offerings that could eventually include plant-based burgers, chalupas or toppings on a stuffed-crust pizza. Beyond Meat on Thursday announced distribution agreements with McDonald's as well as with Yum Brands, the parent company of KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut.
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NewsPlexus Media February 26, 2021

US long-term mortgage rates rise; 30-year average at 2.97%
U.S. long-term mortgage rates rose this week but remain near historic lows as the pandemic-hobbled economy strains toward recovery with more Americans getting vaccinated against the coronavirus. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the average rate on the benchmark 30-year fixed-rate home loan increased to 2.97% from 2.81% last week. By contrast, the benchmark rate stood at 3.45% a year ago.
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NewsPlexus Media February 26, 2021

Biden directive expands jobless aid to more unemployed
Unemployed Americans who have turned down job offers because they feared their prospective employers weren't providing sufficient protection from the coronavirus would qualify for jobless aid under a directive the Labor Department issued Thursday. The measure would also expand a federal unemployment-benefits program, established in last spring's economic relief package, to cover workers who have lost hours or who were laid off because of the pandemic. It would also cover school employees who lose jobs or work hours because of school closings.
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NewsPlexus Media February 26, 2021

NY Times says it needs culture change, better inclusion
The New York Times says it needs a culture change to become a better place to work, particularly for people of color. The newspaper told its employees in a report Wednesday that it will take steps to be more inclusive and welcoming, saying its study of the workplace culture represents a "call to action."
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NewsPlexus Media February 26, 2021

Best Buy cut 5,000 jobs even as sales soared during pandemic
Best Buy said Thursday that it laid off 5,000 full-time store workers earlier this month, even as the company's sales soared during the pandemic as homebound people bought laptops, TVs and other gadgets. The company said it cut the jobs because more shoppers are choosing to buy online instead of coming inside its stores. Best Buy said it will replace the 5,000 full-time employees with 2,000 part-time workers.
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NewsPlexus Media February 25, 2021

Tech rout pulls Nasdaq down 3.5%, biggest loss since October
A rout in technology companies pulled the Nasdaq down 3.5% Thursday, the biggest loss for the tech-heavy index since last October. The S&P 500 gave up 2.4% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost a more modest 1.8%, a day after the blue chip index set a record high.
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NewsPlexus Media February 25, 2021

'Reply All' podcast paused amid charges of toxic behavior
The popular “Reply All” podcast has been put on hiatus and is canceling two remaining episodes of a series that explored allegations of structural racism and a problematic work culture at food magazine Bon Appetit.
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NewsPlexus Media February 25, 2021

Game on, again: GameStop surges and no one truly knows why
Wall Street's GameStop saga can't stop. At the very least, it won't stop.
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NewsPlexus Media February 25, 2021

A mister no more: Mr. Potato Head goes gender neutral
Mr. Potato Head is no longer a mister.
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NewsPlexus Media February 25, 2021

Twitter to let users charge followers to see premium posts
Twitter is branching out from advertising to find more ways to make money — both for itself and for its most prolific users, whether those are businesses, celebrities or regular people.
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NewsPlexus Media February 25, 2021

Stocks fall as yields continue to climb; GameStop surges
Stocks moved solidly lower Thursday as the recent theme of the market — rising bond yields and falling prices of technology companies — continued to weigh on trading.
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NewsPlexus Media February 25, 2021

The economy grew at a 4.1% pace in the final three months of 2020, slightly faster than first estimated, ending a year in which the overall economy, ravaged by a global pandemic, shrank more than in any year in the past seven decades.
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NewsPlexus Media February 25, 2021

Biden's trade pick vows to work more closely with allies
President Joe Biden’s pick to be the top U.S. trade envoy promised to work with America’s allies to combat China’s aggressive trade policies, indicating a break from the Trump administration’s go-it-alone approach.
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NewsPlexus Media February 25, 2021

Agency permanently bans fracking near Delaware River
A regulatory agency that’s responsible for the water supply of more than 13 million people in four Northeastern states voted Thursday to permanently ban natural gas drilling and fracking near a crucial waterway, asserting that gas development poses an unacceptable threat.
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NewsPlexus Media February 25, 2021

Debate amid pandemic: Should foundations have to give more?
The viral pandemic wiped out jobs and businesses and left many U.S. families unable to afford food. It also caused a crisis for charities: Too much need, too little funding. And now it's sparking debate over a divisive question: Should philanthropic groups donate more money to charities? Should they be forced to?
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NewsPlexus Media February 25, 2021

Digital exchange Coinbase takes a step toward going public
Coinbase has filed papers with U.S. regulators to become a publicly traded company as digital currencies continue to march toward mainstream acceptance.
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NewsPlexus Media February 25, 2021

The number of Americans who signed contracts to buy homes declined again with the number of properties for sale not matching the surging demand in the U.S.
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NewsPlexus Media February 25, 2021

US jobless claims at 730K, still high but fewest in 3 months
The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell sharply last week in a sign that layoffs may have eased, though applications for aid remain at a historically high level.
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NewsPlexus Media February 25, 2021

Orders for U.S. durable goods climb 3.4% in January
Orders to U.S. factories for big-ticket goods shot up 3.4% in January, pulled up by surge in orders for civilian aircraft. A category that tracks business investment posted a more modest gain, the Commerce Department reported Thursday.
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NewsPlexus Media February 25, 2021

India introduces new rules to regulate online content
India on Thursday rolled out new regulations for social media companies and digital streaming websites to make them more accountable for the online content shared on their platforms, giving the government more power to police it.
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NewsPlexus Media February 25, 2021

Qantas expects to start international flights in October
Qantas Airways does not expect to resume international travel apart from New Zealand until late October after the Australian population is vaccinated for COVID-19, the airline’s chief executive said on Thursday.
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NewsPlexus Media February 25, 2021

Asian stocks follow Wall Street higher after Fed pledge
Asian stock markets followed Wall Street higher Thursday after the Federal Reserve chairman said the U.S. central bank is in no hurry to withdraw support for the economy.
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NewsPlexus Media February 25, 2021

New Zealand's virus success unleashes runaway housing prices
New Zealand's success in battling the coronavirus has unleashed an unanticipated problem: skyrocketing house prices. When the pandemic first hit, most experts predicted house prices would fall. Instead, prices have risen by more than 19% over the past year, putting them out of reach for many people wanting to buy their first home.
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NewsPlexus Media February 25, 2021

GameStop shares double after tumbling for much of February
Wall Street’s mania over GameStop is on again, at least for one afternoon. Shares in the troubled video game company more than doubled Wednesday to $91.71 apiece, the stock’s best day since Jan. 27, when it was going for $347.51 a share. A rally in GameStop has been rare since it fell back to earth early this month. The stock, which soared 1,600% at one point in January, has been extremely volatile.. It's down nearly 72% so far in February, though it’s still up nearly 387% this year.
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