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  • Major US postal workers union endorses Biden for presidentUpdated: 08/14/2020 3:22 PM

    WASHINGTON (AP) — A major union representing U.S. postal workers has endorsed Democrat Joe Biden for president, a move that comes as President Donald Trump has acknowledged starving the postal service of money in order to make it more difficult to vote by mail in November's election. The National Association of Letter Carriers, which represents 300,000 current and retired workers, said Thursday that Trump has long been hostile to the Post Office. His administration has called for an end to collective bargaining rights, proposed service cuts and has eyed the possibility of privatizing the functions of the agency.See full story
  • Stocks drift on Wall Street following latest run at recordUpdated: 08/14/2020 3:16 PM

    NEW YORK (AP) — Wall Street is drifting on Friday, and a listless day of trading appears set to leave the S&P 500 just shy of its record once again. The S&P 500 was down 0.1% in afternoon trading after tilting between small gains and losses through the day. The market is taking a pause after nearly erasing the last of the steep losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic. In each of the last two days, the index made a brief run above its record closing high, which was set in February, only to fade in the afternoon.See full story
  • Judge refuses to reconsider GM lawsuit against Fiat ChryslerUpdated: 08/14/2020 2:49 PM

    A federal judge in Detroit said Friday that he will not reconsider his July dismissal of General Motors’ racketeering lawsuit against Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. U.S. District Judge Paul Borman wrote in an opinion that new evidence presented by GM regarding bribes and foreign bank accounts “is too speculative to warrant reopening” the case. Borman also ruled that the earlier dismissal of the case was not done in legal error. GM alleged that FCA used foreign bank accounts to pay bribes to former United Auto Workers Presidents Dennis Williams and Ron Gettelfinger, as well as Vice President Joe Ashton.See full story
  • Virus flareups in Europe lead to club closings, mask ordersUpdated: 08/14/2020 2:42 PM

    PARIS (AP) — New flareups of COVID-19 are disrupting the peak summer vacation season across much of Europe, where authorities in some countries are reimposing restrictions on travelers, closing nightclubs again, banning fireworks displays and expanding mask orders even in chic resort areas. “Unfortunately, this virus doesn’t play ball,” British Transport Secretary Grant Shapps told Sky News. The surges have spread alarm across Europe, which suffered mightily during the spring but appeared in recent months to have largely tamed the coronavirus in ways that the U.S., with its vaunted scientific prowess and the extra time to prepare, cannot seem to manage.See full story
  • US retail sales rise for 3rd month but slowdown expectedUpdated: 08/14/2020 2:22 PM

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans increased their spending at retail stores and restaurants in July for a third straight month, but some evidence suggests that sales are weakening with the expiration of government rescue aid that had previously put more money in people's pockets. Friday's report from the Commerce Department showed that retail purchases rose by a seasonally adjusted 1.2% last month. The gains of the past three months have now restored retail purchases to their levels before they plunged in March and April when the pandemic shuttered businesses and paralyzed the economy.See full story
  • Miami businessman pleads guilty in Vermont ski fraud caseUpdated: 08/14/2020 2:18 PM

    A Miami businessman accused of being the mastermind behind the largest fraud case in Vermont's history pleaded guilty on Friday over a failed plan to build a biotechnology plant using tens of millions of dollars in foreign investors' money. Ariel Quiros, 64, the former owner of Jay Peak and Burke Mountain ski resorts in northern Vermont, changed his plea to guilty on charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, money laundering and the concealment of material information. Nine other charges were dropped.See full story
  • Muslim woman accuses McDonald's franchisee of discriminationUpdated: 08/14/2020 12:55 PM

    SILVER SPRING, Md. (AP) — A Muslim woman who worked for a McDonald’s franchisee in Maryland claims managers and co-workers sexually harassed her and subjected her to religious discrimination after she converted to Islam. Diamond Powell, 28, of Baltimore, sued her former employer, Susdewitt Management LLC of Lanham, Maryland, on Thursday with the backing of attorneys from the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Muslim civil rights group. The Morgan State University graduate was Christian in 2016 when she started working for the company, which operated two McDonald’s locations at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport.See full story
  • US industrial production up 3%; factory output up 3.4%Updated: 08/14/2020 9:49 AM

    WASHINGTON (AP) — American industry continued to regain ground lost in the coronavirus recession last month, but production remains well below where it was before the pandemic struck. The Federal Reserve reported Friday that industrial production — including output at factories, mines and utilities — climbed 3% in July after surging 5.7% in June. Still, production remains 8.4% below its level in February before the outbreak began to spread rapidly in the United States. Factory output rose 3.4% last month, pulled higher by a 28.3% gain in production of cars, trucks and auto parts.See full story
  • US productivity rises 7.3% as hours worked are nearly halvedUpdated: 08/14/2020 9:44 AM

    SILVER SPRING, Md. (AP) — U.S. productivity rose at a 7.3% rate in the second quarter as the number of hours worked fell by nearly half, the biggest drop-off since the government started tracking the data more than 70 years ago. The Labor Department said Friday that output decreased 38.9%, also the biggest decline ever recorded as hours worked fell 43%, with the coronavirus pandemic sowing economic damage throughout the U.S. The increase in productivity was the largest since 2009. Labor costs also jumped, rising 12.2%.See full story
  • Trump admits he's blocking postal cash to stop mail-in votesUpdated: 08/14/2020 6:04 AM

    WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump frankly acknowledged that he's starving the U.S. Postal Service of money to make it harder to process an expected surge of mail-in ballots, which he worries could cost him reelection. In an interview on Fox Business Network, Trump explicitly noted two funding provisions that Democrats are seeking in a relief package that has stalled on Capitol Hill. Without the additional money, he said, the Postal Service won't have the resources to handle a flood of ballots from voters who are seeking to avoid polling places during the coronavirus pandemic.See full story

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