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  • Walmart tests higher hourly starting wages in 500 storesUpdated: 01/24/2020 3:34 PM

    NEW YORK (AP) — Walmart says it's testing higher wages for new hourly positions at 500 of its U.S. stores as part of an overall strategy to better empower its staff. The nation's largest private employer, which operates roughly 4,700 namesake stores in the U.S., says it will be raising the starting hourly wages to $12 from $11 for these new roles. These workers will be trained and empowered to develop broader retail skills. For example, they'll help solve problems like inventory issues instead of only completing tasks given to them by managers, according to Jami Lamontagne, a Walmart spokeswoman.See full story
  • US vows greater effort to fight flood of counterfeit goodsUpdated: 01/24/2020 2:36 PM

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration pledged Friday to step up efforts against the vast amounts of counterfeit clothing, medicine and other goods that have flooded into the U.S. in increasing waves with the rise in e-commerce. Customs and Border Patrol would subject online retailers, including the growing number of third-party sales that have proliferated on major online platforms, and warehouse operators to increased scrutiny and potential penalties under measures announced by Chad Wolf, acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.See full story
  • Nonprofits worry sale of dot-org universe will raise costsUpdated: 01/24/2020 1:39 PM

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — The company that controls the dot-org online universe is putting the registry of domain names up for sale, and the nonprofits that often use the suffix in their websites are raising concerns about the move. About 15 people protested Friday outside the Los Angeles headquarters of the regulatory body for domain names, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. ICANN is meeting this weekend and is expected to rule by mid-February on plans by private-equity firm Ethos Capital to buy the Public Interest Registry for $1.1 billion.See full story
  • Women come to the defense of a nursing mom at Chick-fil-AUpdated: 01/24/2020 1:35 PM

    AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — Moms have come to the defense of a mother who says she was asked to cover up while breastfeeding inside a Chick-fil-A in Georgia. Mothers held a “nurse-in” this week at the fast food restaurant near Augusta, The Augusta Chronicle reported. Samantha McIntosh says she was breastfeeding her 7-month-old daughter in a booth with her 9-year-old niece at the restaurant Monday when a manager approached. McIntosh says the manager told her they'd had a complaint and asked her to cover herself.See full story
  • London police to use face scan tech, stoking privacy fearsUpdated: 01/24/2020 12:08 PM

    LONDON (AP) — London police will start using facial recognition cameras to pick out suspects from street crowds in real time, in a major advance for the controversial technology that raises worries about automated surveillance and erosion of privacy rights. The Metropolitan Police Service said Friday that after a series of trials, the cameras will be put to work within a month in operational deployments of around 5-6 hours at potential crime hotspots. The locations would be chosen based on intelligence but the police did not say where, the number of places, or how many cameras would be deployed.See full story
  • Trump ups mileage proposal, but it's well below Obama plan Updated: 01/24/2020 10:19 AM

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration is making a concession on its proposed minimum fuel economy requirement for new vehicles, but environmental groups and a key Democratic senator complain it does not go far enough, and still falls well below the requirements set under the Obama administration. Fuel economy standards would increase 1.5% per year from 2021 through 2026 under the new proposal. That's a reversal from the Trump administration's proposal in 2018, which sought to freeze the standards at 2020 levels.See full story
  • Thunberg brushes off mockery from US finance chiefUpdated: 01/24/2020 9:15 AM

    DAVOS, Switzerland (AP) — Teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg has brushed off criticism and mockery from the U.S. Treasury chief, saying Friday his comments have “of course no effect” on her and fellow campaigners. The 17-year-old Swedish star's comments marked a final coda to the four-day World Economic Forum summit in Davos, where a major theme was tension between environmental activists who want to protect the Earth and Trump administration officials and business titans who want to exploit its resources for jobs, profits and economic growth.See full story
  • Stocks rise as virus in China not declared global emergencyUpdated: 01/24/2020 7:25 AM

    BANGKOK (AP) — Global stock markets rose Friday after the outbreak of a new virus in China that that has killed 25 people and led to transport limits in several cities was not declared a global emergency. Germany's DAX gained 1.4% to 13,577 while the CAC 40 in Paris rose 1.1% to 6,038, helped also by a report of improvements in manufacturing data. A survey of manufacturing activity in the eurozone reported Friday suggested demand is stabilizing despite weakness in some regions. In Britain, the FTSE 100 also gained 1.6%, to 7,630.See full story
  • Britain's EU Journey: When Major got an opt-out from euroUpdated: 01/24/2020 5:09 AM

    LONDON (AP) — Britain officially leaves the European Union on Jan. 31 after a debilitating political period that has bitterly divided the nation since the 2016 Brexit referendum. Difficult negotiations setting out the new relationship between Britain and its European neighbors will continue throughout 2020. This series of stories chronicles Britain’s tortured relationship with Europe from the post-World War II years to the present. —— Margaret Thatcher's surprise successor as prime minister, the far more pragmatic John Major, was keen to “rebuild shattered fences" within Europe, even while keeping Britain out of the single currency.See full story
  • Asian markets gain as China closes down for Lunar New YearUpdated: 01/24/2020 12:08 AM

    BANGKOK (AP) — Shares were mostly higher in quiet trading on Friday in Asia as China began a week-long Lunar New Year festival that is being overshadowed by the outbreak of a new virus that has killed 25 people and sickened more than 800. Japan's Nikkei 225 index rose less than 0.1% to 23,811.54 and in Hong Kong the Hang Seng gained 0.2% to 27,949.64. Australia's S&P ASX/200 picked up 0.2% to 7,100.30 and the Sensex in India also rose 0.2%, to 41,473.97. Markets were closed in Shanghai and the rest of mainland China, South Korea, Malaysia and Taiwan.See full story

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