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Money & Markets

IBM quits facial recognition, joins call for police reforms

IBM is getting out of the facial recognition business, saying it’s concerned about how the technology can be used for mass surveillance and racial profiling. Ongoing protests responding to the death of George Floyd have sparked a broader reckoning over racial injustice and a closer look at ...

A US recession began in February in the face of coronavirus

WASHINGTON — The U.S. economy entered a recession in February as the coronavirus struck the nation, a group of economists declared Monday, ending the longest expansion on record. The economists said that employment, income and spending peaked in February and then fell sharply afterward as ...

Nevada betting on health safety as casinos reopen

LAS VEGAS — After 78 days of historic quiet, cards will be cut, dice will roll and jackpots can jingle again 12:01 a.m. Thursday at casinos in Las Vegas and throughout Nevada. There will be big splashes — even amid ongoing protests over the death of a man in police custody in Minnesota ...

Brands weigh in on national protests over police brutality

As thousands of protesters take to the streets in response to police killings of black people, companies are wading into the national conversation but taking care to get their messaging right. Netflix’s normally lighthearted Twitter account took on a more somber tone on Saturday: “To be ...

White House punts economic update as election draws near

WASHINGTON — The White House has taken the unusual step of deciding not to release an updated economic forecast as planned this year, a fresh sign of the administration’s anxiety about how the coronavirus has ravaged the nation just months before the election. The decision, which was ...

History in the making as House casts proxy votes

WASHINGTON — It was a day for the history books on Capitol Hill: For the first time, House lawmakers voted by proxy, an unprecedented move to avoid the risks of travel to Washington during the pandemic. To mark Wednesday’s history-making moment, House Republicans sued to stop the ...

Congress shifts attention to overhauling small-business aid

WASHINGTON — Deadlocked over the next big coronavirus relief bill, Congress is shifting its attention to a more modest overhaul of small-business aid in hopes of helping employers reopen shops and survive the pandemic. Bipartisan legiTslation that would give small employers more time to ...

Meatpacking safety recommendations are largely unenforceable

MINNEAPOLIS — Federal recommendations meant to keep meatpacking workers safe as they return to plants that were shuttered by the coronavirus have little enforcement muscle behind them, fueling anxiety that working conditions could put employees’ lives at risk. Extensive guidance issued ...

Walmart becomes a pandemic lifeline, online sales surge 74 percent

NEW YORK — Walmart emerged as one of the few lifelines to millions of people as the coronavirus spread, leading to surging profit and sales for the world’s largest retailer. Online sales in the U.S. jumped 74 percent for its fiscal first quarter that ended April 30, which captured the ...

J.C. Penney, 118-Year-Old Department Store, Files for Bankruptcy

J.C. Penney, with its budget-friendly clothing for families and reliable home furnishings, was for years a cornerstone of American malls and an undeniable success story. What started as a humble dry goods store in Wyoming in 1902 was a century later a national chain with a household name and ...

Officials release edited coronavirus reopening guidance

NEW YORK — U.S. health officials on Thursday released some of their long-delayed guidance that schools, businesses and other organizations can use as states reopen from coronavirus shutdowns. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention posted six one-page “decision tool” documents ...

US meat exports surge as industry struggles to meet demand

OMAHA, Neb. — U.S. meat exports are surging even as the industry is struggling to meet domestic demand because of coronavirus outbreaks at processing plants that have sickened hundreds of workers and caused companies to scramble to improve conditions. Although the situation could cause ...

US approves new coronavirus antigen test with fast results

U.S. regulators have approved a new type of coronavirus test that administration officials have promoted as a key to opening up the country. The Food and Drug Administration on Saturday announced emergency authorization for antigen tests developed by Quidel Corp. of San Diego. The test can ...

US unemployment surges to a Depression-era level of 14.7 percent

WASHINGTON — The coronavirus crisis has sent U.S. unemployment surging to 14.7%, a level last seen when the country was in the throes of the Depression and President Franklin D. Roosevelt was assuring Americans that the only thing to fear was fear itself. And because of government errors ...

A devastating jobs report for April will show virus’s impact

WASHINGTON — The U.S. government on Friday is poised to report the worst set of jobs numbers since record-keeping began in 1948, a snapshot of the devastating damage the coronavirus outbreak has inflicted on the economy. The unemployment rate for April could reach 16 percent or more, ...

Reynolds, Trump predict meatpackers ‘fully back up’ in 10 days or less

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds and President Donald Trump predicted Wednesday, during a meeting at the White House, that meatpacking plants would be “fully back up” within a week to 10 days. “Maybe sooner,” Trump said. Reynolds said South Dakota plants are coming back on board “and ...

Back in session: Senate risks a return but House stays away

WASHINGTON — Weighing the risks, the Senate will reopen on Monday as the coronavirus crisis rages and the House stays shuttered, an approach that leaves Congress as divided as the nation. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s decision to convene 100 senators at the Capitol during a ...

Buffett remains optimistic about future despite coronavirus

OMAHA, Neb. — Billionaire investor Warren Buffett doesn’t know how or when the economy will recover from the coronavirus outbreak shutdown, but he remains optimistic in the long-term future of the United States. Buffett said Saturday at Berkshire Hathaway’s online annual meeting that ...

With quirks and restrictions, many states lift lockdowns

GRETNA, La. — More than a dozen states let restaurants, stores or other businesses reopen Friday in the biggest one-day push yet to get their economies up and running again, acting at their own speed and with their own quirks and restrictions to make sure the coronavirus doesn’t come ...

Drug proves effective against virus as economic damage rises

Scientists on Wednesday announced the first effective treatment against the coronavirus — an experimental drug that can speed the recovery of COVID-19 patients — in a major medical advance that came as the economic gloom caused by the scourge deepened in the U.S. and Europe. The U.S. ...