Business Highlights | Raleigh News & Observer


FAA’s close ties to Boeing questioned after 2 deadly crashes

For more than six decades, the Federal Aviation Administration has relied on employees of airplane manufacturers to do government-required safety inspections as planes are being designed or assembled. But critics say the system, dubbed the “designee program,” is too cozy as company employees do work for an agency charged with keeping the skies safe while being paid by an industry that the FAA is regulating.


Tech companies scramble to remove New Zealand shooting video

LONDON (AP) — Internet companies and social media platforms were scrambling to remove video footage filmed by a gunman in the New Zealand mosque shooting that was widely available on social media for hours after the horrific attack. The furor highlights once again the speed at which disturbing content from a tragedy can spread around the world and how Silicon Valley tech giants are still grappling with how to prevent that from happening.


US industrial production rose just 0.1 percent in February

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. industrial production increased a slight 0.1 percent in February, as an increase in utilities and mining offset the second straight monthly drop in manufacturing. The Federal Reserve says that the manufacturing component of the index fell 0.4 percent last month, after having fallen 0.5 percent in January. Factory production has slipped 1 percent during the past 12 months.


China’s premier denies Beijing tells companies to spy

BEIJING (AP) — China’s No. 2 leader has denied Beijing tells Chinese tech companies to spy abroad and promised to treat foreign and domestic competitors equally in an effort to defuse trade tension with Washington and Europe. Premier Li Keqiang’s denial was China’s highest-level effort so far to put to rest Western security concerns that threaten to block access to markets for next-generation telecoms and other technology.


Students globally protest warming, pleading for their future

WASHINGTON (AP) — From the South Pacific to the edge of the Arctic Circle, students are skipping classes to protest what they see as the failures of their governments to take tough action against global warming. The ‘school strikes’ on Friday were inspired by 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg and are taking place in over 100 countries. One sign at a protest in Helsinki read “Dinosaurs thought they had time too!”


EPA bans consumer use of deadly paint stripper, in rare step

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Environmental Protection Agency is banning consumer use of a popular but deadly paint stripper but stopped short of also banning commercial use of the product by tradespeople. EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler signed the rule, which will bar manufacturer and import of the stripper methylene chloride for consumer use, in a private meeting Friday with relatives of a man who died after using the paint stripper.


American Airlines suspends flights to Venezuela

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — American Airlines says it is suspending flights to Venezuela because of safety concerns. The decision comes shortly after the pilots’ union told its members to refuse assignments to Venezuela because of a State Department warning about dangerous conditions. American was the last big US airline still flying to the troubled country.


US job openings rise, outnumber the unemployed by 1 million

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. employers posted nearly 7.6 million open jobs in January, near a record high set in November, evidence that businesses are still hungry for workers despite signs the economy has slowed. The Labor Department says hiring also rose and the number of people quitting their jobs picked up.


Italy’s ENI aims to zero carbon footprint upstream by 2030

MILAN (AP) — Italian energy firm ENI is aiming to make its upstream business carbon neutral by 2030 as part of a transformation to meet its Paris Agreement targets, CEO Claudio Descalzi said Friday during the presentation of a new business plan. The goal will be achieved by reducing carbon emissions through increased efficiency while offsetting remaining emissions through forestry projects.


Jury rules Apple owes Qualcomm $31M for patent infringement

SAN DIEGO (AP) — A jury has decided Apple should pay $31 million in damages for infringing on patents for technology owned by mobile chip maker Qualcomm that helps iPhones quickly connect to the internet and extend their battery life. The verdict Friday in San Diego federal court follows a two-week trial pitting two former allies that have become bitter adversaries.


Tech companies power US stocks to solid weekly gain

NEW YORK (AP) — Wall Street finished the week with solid gains Friday as technology stocks notched their best week in four months. Financial, health care and consumer stocks also helped lift the market. The gains erased losses from last week, when the S&P 500 had its worst week of the year. Technology stocks had their best week since November. Bond prices rose, sending yields lower.

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