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10/19/2021   New York Times Business News
OSHA issued a rule in June requiring certain Covid-related safety measures, like providing protective equipment.
10/19/2021   Seattle PI Business

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Union Pacific and its labor unions are suing each other to determine whether the railroad has the authority to require its employees to get vaccinated against the coronavirus.

The unions argue that the Omaha, Nebraska-based railroad should have negotiated with them before announcing it would require all employees to get the shots. The railroad contends in its own lawsuit that it believes it has the authority to require the vaccine under its existing contracts because it can set standards for when employees are fit for duty.

Union Pacific announced this month that it would require all employees to be vaccinated by Dec. 8 to comply with an executive order President Joe Biden issued requiring all federal contractors to have their employees vaccinated. The railroad is also offering its union employees a $300 bonus if they get the shots. Nonunion employees at the railroad are being offered a half day of vacation if they get vaccinated.

On the same day the Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers — Transportation Division, or SMART-TD, union filed its lawsuit against the railroad, Union Pacific filed its own lawsuit Friday against SMART-TD and two other unions that objected to the vaccination mandate to force the issue.

“This action is necessary to prevent any disruption of the national rail network and to avoid any impact on America’s supply chain, as it continues to recover from the pandemic,” Union Pacific spokeswoman Kristen South said in a statement.

Vaccine mandates from governments and other businesses have generated resistance in various workplaces.

The railroad told employees that they would be medically disqualified under their contracts rather than fired if they didn't get the shots.

But the unions said Union Pacific was unfairly...

10/19/2021   Seattle PI Business

Scientists temporarily attached a pig’s kidney to a human body and watched it begin to work, a small step in the decades-long quest to one day use animal organs for life-saving transplants.

Pigs have been the most recent research focus to address the organ shortage, but among the hurdles: A sugar in pig cells, foreign to the human body, causes immediate organ rejection. The kidney for this experiment came from a gene-edited animal, engineered to eliminate that sugar and avoid an immune system attack.

Surgeons attached the pig kidney to a pair of large blood vessels outside the body of a deceased recipient so they could observe it for two days. The kidney did what it was supposed to do — filter waste and produce urine — and didn't trigger rejection.

“It had absolutely normal function,” said Dr. Robert Montgomery, who led the surgical team last month at NYU Langone Health. “It didn’t have this immediate rejection that we have worried about.”

This research is “a significant step,” said Dr. Andrew Adams of the University of Minnesota Medical School, who was not part of the work. It will reassure patients, researchers and regulators “that we’re moving in the right direction.”

The dream of animal-to-human transplants — or xenotransplantation — goes back to the 17th century with stumbling attempts to use animal blood for transfusions. By the 20th century, surgeons were attempting transplants of organs from baboons into humans, notably Baby Fae, a dying infant, who lived 21 days with a baboon heart.

With no lasting success and much public uproar, scientists turned from primates to pigs, tinkering with their genes to bridge the species gap.

Pigs have advantages over monkeys and apes. They are produced for food, so using them for organs raises fewer ethical concerns. Pigs have...

10/19/2021   Seattle PI Business

DETROIT (AP) — A former California pollution regulator is being nominated to run the nation's highway safety agency.

President Joe Biden on Tuesday announced his intention to nominate Steven Cliff, who has served as deputy administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration since February, to become the agency's administrator.

If confirmed by the Senate, Cliff would take over the agency at a crucial juncture. Highway deaths are rising, battery electric vehicles are upending the auto industry, and vehicle automation is spreading into more models.

NHTSA, which sets vehicle safety standards, finds safety defects, manages recalls and helps to develop government fuel economy requirements, has been without a confirmed administrator since Mark Rosekind left at the end of 2016. Auto safety advocates have been calling on Biden to make a nomination so a confirmed administrator can start moving on a safety agenda.

The announcement comes three days after The Associated Press reported that the agency is struggling with a growing backlog of safety rules ordered by Congress that are years overdue and could save thousands of lives. An AP review of rule-making by NHTSA under the last three presidents found at least 13 auto safety rules past due, including a rear seat belt reminder requirement passed by Congress in 2012 that was to be implemented by 2015.

The pending safety rules have been slowed by bureaucracy or taken a back seat to other priorities. President Donald Trump sidetracked at least four major road safety proposals that were in development during his term.

An estimated 38,680 people were killed in traffic crashes in 2020, the most since 2007, even though total miles driven dropped at the beginning of the pandemic. In the first three months of 2021, 8,730 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes, a...

10/19/2021   Seattle PI Business

DALLAS (AP) — Southwest Airlines will let unvaccinated employees keep working past early December instead of putting them on unpaid leave if they apply for an exemption on medical or religious grounds.

Federal contractors — including major U.S. airlines – face a Dec. 8 deadline to require employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Southwest spokeswoman Brandy King said Tuesday that employees must submit proof that they got the shots, or file a request for an exemption from vaccination, by Nov. 24. Employees whose requests have not been processed or approved by Dec. 8 will be allowed to keep working, she said.

The company backtracked from a previous position that employees who had not been vaccinated or received an exemption would be put on unpaid leave.

“While we intend to grant all valid requests for accommodations, in the event a request is not granted, the company will provide adequate time for an employee to become fully vaccinated while continuing to work and adhering to safety protocols,” King said.

Southwest notified employees of the deadline delay on Friday.

American Airlines said Tuesday that workers who are granted medical or religious exemptions will probably have to wear face masks and undergo regular testing, but the airline is still working on details.

“American will not be placing any team members on unpaid leave as part of the federal vaccine mandate,” said American Airlines spokesman Matt Miller.

Southwest and American are both based in Texas, where the Republican governor has ordered businesses not to require employees or customers to be vaccinated. Both say they will comply with President Joe Biden’s federal mandate that contractors require vaccination, which they believe has legal priority over state orders.

Southwest Chairman and CEO Gary...

10/19/2021   Seattle PI Business

WASHINGTON (AP) — More than six weeks after promising a new vaccination-or-testing rule covering the millions of Americans at companies with 100 or more workers, President Joe Biden’s most aggressive move yet to combat the COVID-19 pandemic is almost ready to see the light of day.

An obscure White House office is expected to give the green light any day to the rule's fine print detailing how and when companies will have to require their employees to be vaccinated or undergo weekly testing.

The full enforcement deadline, which could carry penalties of about $14,000 per violation, may not take effect until after the new year. That’s why Biden and his aides have for weeks encouraged businesses to act as though the rule was already in effect and start imposing vaccination requirements.

The regulation, to be published in the Federal Register, was drafted by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration under emergency authorities to protect worker safety and will cover an estimated 80 million U.S. workers. The White House sees it as a potent tool to winnow down the ranks of roughly 65 million Americans who have thus far refused to get a shot.

Unlike healthcare providers or federal employees, who may not have a testing alternative to vaccination, private sector workers won’t necessarily face termination if they don’t get vaccinated. But some businesses may choose to impose their own more stringent vaccination mandate, and it's possible that businesses may be allowed to pass on the cost of weekly COVID-19 testing to their unvaccinated employees.

White House officials declined to discuss when the rule will be published or go into details on when businesses will have to comply.

For the last week, federal officials have hosted more than two dozen listening sessions with industry groups, businesses and advocacy...

10/19/2021   Seattle PI Business

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Thirty top business leaders are seeking to encourage private investment to help the U.N. achieve development goals for 2030, including tackling climate change, preserving the environment, ending poverty, promoting economic growth, and improving health care and education.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who launched the Global Investors for Sustainable Development Alliance two years ago, said at a virtual meeting Tuesday that he is counting on the group “to catalyze greater investment for developing countries and make net-zero (carbon emissions) and sustainability the core of everyone’s policies and business models.”

Since its inception, the alliance of business leaders says, it has worked with the U.N. and other partners to develop standards, tools and products to draw long-term investment into sustainable development.

The U.N.’s chief economist, Elliott Harris, said at a news conference after Tuesday’s virtual meeting that there has long been a perception that traditional investments “will generate more of a financial return than a sustainable investment.”

“Increasingly, that is no longer true,” he argued. “Sustainable investments do generate very healthy financial returns and have the advantage of the longer-term contribution to enhance greater sustainability.”

Harris said one of the important aspects of the work the alliance is doing is "the fact that we’re not asking people to go off and do something that is against their own interest,” but rather persuading them that there is no financial disadvantage and that such investments contribute “to a more sustainable future.”

What is also important, he said, is that stock exchanges are putting out evidence that the return on sustainable investments is comparable.

The co-chair of the...

10/19/2021   Seattle PI Business

Netflix posted sharply higher third-quarter earnings Tuesday thanks to a stronger slate of titles, including “Squid Game,” the dystopian survival drama from South Korea that the company says became its biggest-ever TV show.

The company has ramped up production, rebounding from pandemic-induced delays in the first half of the year. It's also looking beyond movies and TV and said it plans to fund “new growth opportunities" such as video games, which are being tested in some markets.

“It remains very early days for this initiative and, like other content categories we’ve expanded into, we plan to try different types of games, learn from our members and improve our game library," the company said.

And as it faces saturation in the U.S. market, Netflix is focusing on growing its international subscriber numbers. For instance, it launched a free mobile plan in Kenya, in the hopes it will get more people in the country to sign up for paid memberships.

In all, Netflix said its subscriber base grew 9% from a year earlier, to 213.6 million, surpassing its own projections.

The increase came about even as Netflix's subscriber growth softened "a little bit" in Latin America after the company increased prices in Brazil, Spencer Neumann, Netflix's chief financial officer, said during a conference call with a Wall Street analyst.

“It's a short-term slowdown in growth, but good for our business and we're already continuing to grow through it,” he said.

Netflix earned $1.45 billion, or $3.19 per share, in the latest quarter. That’s up from $789.9 million or $1.79 per share, a year earlier.

Revenue grew 16% to $7.48 billion from $6.44 billion.

Analysts, on average, were expecting earnings of $2.56 per share on revenue of $7.48 billion, according to a poll by FactSet.

Shares of the Los...

10/19/2021   Seattle PI Business

PHOENIX (AP) — The Biden administration threatened Tuesday to revoke the authority for three Republican-controlled states to handle their own workplace safety enforcement because they have refused to adopt rules to protect health care workers from COVID-19.

The threats were sent to Arizona, South Carolina and Utah as the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration prepares to adopt much more far-reaching vaccination and testing rules affecting 80 million Americans. In nearly half the states, it will have to rely on state labor regulators for enforcement.

OSHA officials say Arizona, South Carolina and Utah are not complying with their promises to enforce labor standards that are at least as good as those adopted by the federal government.

At issue is a rule requiring personal protective equipment, social distancing and other safety measures for workers at health care facilities that care for people with COVID-19. It also requires paid sick time for employees who contract COVID-19, need to get vaccinated or are dealing with vaccine side effects.

“The agency will not hesitate to use all of our resources to protect health care workers from known health hazards,” said Jim Frederick, acting assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health.

OSHA has given up its authority to enforce workplace safety laws and regulations for the private sector in 22 states, including Arizona, South Carolina and Utah. In exchange, the states must adopt rules that are as effective or better than the federal regulations at protecting workers.

OSHA officials said they will take the first step toward revoking that authority, which all three states have had since the 1980s, and reclaiming jurisdiction for federal enforcers in the health care sector or others.

Arizona Gov....

10/19/2021   Seattle PI Business

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Canadian National's CEO is retiring instead of staying to fight against an investor who has been pushing for his ouster.

The Montreal-based railroad on Tuesday announced JJ Ruest's decision to retire at the end of January without mentioning the pressure it is facing from the London-based investment firm TCI Fund. The fund is also seeking several operational changes at Canadian National in the wake of its failed attempt to acquire Kansas City Southern railroad.

A special shareholder meeting has been scheduled for March 22 to vote on TCI's demands.

“I have been honored to lead CN during my time as chief executive officer, and I am confident that the Company is well positioned to continue to thrive following my retirement,” Ruest said in a statement.

CN Board Chairman Robert Pace said Ruest delayed discussing his retirement plans while the railroad was trying to acquire Kansas City Southern this summer and until after the railroad announced a new strategic plan last month. Ultimately, Kansas City Southern chose to accept a rival $31 billion buyout offer from Canadian Pacific railroad after regulators rejected part of CN's acquisition plan.

Canadian National has urged investors to back its own strategic plan that calls for cutting $550 million in costs, reinstating stock repurchases and delivering 20% growth in earnings per share in 2022.

TCI has said Canadian National hasn’t been doing enough to improve its own operations and it shouldn’t have pursued Kansas City Southern. TCI, which owns 5% of CN’s stock, has nominated four new directors who would then help choose a new CEO for the railroad. TCI said Tuesday it will continue to press for changes after Ruest's retirement.

“Dismissing the same CEO that the Board put in place just three short years ago...

10/19/2021   New York Times Business News
After the debut of Dave Chappelle’s standup special “The Closer” on Netflix, employees are planning a walkout in protest on Wednesday at their Los Angeles office.
10/19/2021   New York Times Business News
The Boeing Starliner capsule at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida in July.
10/19/2021   New York Times Business News
Senators Elizabeth Warren and Ron Wyden in July. On Tuesday, they unveiled a revised Democratic plan for bank reporting requirements to the I.R.S.
10/19/2021   Seattle PI Business

Fela Barclift recalls the day in 1981 when she left her Brooklyn brownstone to search for childcare for her daughter. Racial representation is important for Barclift, who is Black, so she went to nearly 10 different childcare centers to look for the perfect fit. But she couldn’t find any that had Black dolls, or even photos of Black people, she said.

So Barclift converted one floor of her home into a daycare facility for her daughter and invited others to join. That led to the launch of Little Sun People, a preschool that aims to foster self-esteem in children by teaching them about their African heritage.

“I see the difference when we teach our children about having pride in themselves, their family, their community and who they are,” said Barclift, who's now 70. “It creates such a strong sense of self-assurance, and a sense of confidence and belonging.”

On Tuesday, Barclift was named one of the winners of this year’s David Prize, an annual $1 million award for select New York City residents. The prize is named after billionaire real estate developer David C. Walentas and financed by his Brooklyn-based family foundation. The Walentas family and their real estate group, Two Trees Management Company, is known for redeveloping Brooklyn's Dumbo neighborhood, which has brought praise and criticism for advancing the neighborhood's gentrification.

The money from the Walentas doesn't come with any strings attached, similar to MacArthur Foundation’s “genius grant,” — a philanthropic grant for people, instead of programs. Erika Boll, the executive director of The David Prize, says they were inspired by the success of the MacArthur grants and wanted to do something similar, but with a “New York flavor.”

This year's winners were selected from a pool of 5,000 people, Boll said....

10/19/2021   New York Times Business News
A scene from the Netflix global sensation “Squid Game.”
10/19/2021   New York Times Business News
10/19/2021   Seattle PI Business

United Airlines reported a $473 million profit for the third quarter thanks to more than $1 billion in federal pandemic aid that helped pay airline employees this summer.

Leisure travelers packed planes over the vacation season, but by the end of summer bookings tailed off as the delta variant drove an increase in COVID-19 cases, and a hoped-for rally in business travel fizzled.

Chicago-based United said Tuesday that fourth-quarter revenue will be 25% to 30% lower than during the same period of 2019 as the airline operates fewer flights than it did before the pandemic. Costs will rise on a per-seat basis.

Still, the company insisted that depressed areas of its business will recover and it will hit long-term financial targets.

Ordinarily United draws a large chunk of revenue from business and international travel, but both remain severely depressed. United and its closest rivals, American and Delta, hope to get a boost as more offices re-open and from the U.S. government's decision to ease restrictions on vaccinated travelers from abroad on Nov. 8.

United announced last week that it will expand transatlantic service next year, including adding destinations it has never served in Jordan, Norway and island outposts of Spain and Portugal. United is lobbying foreign governments to resume seven routes to Europe and Asia that were suspended during the pandemic.

Domestic leisure travel has returned to roughly pre-pandemic levels. That prompted United to announce this month that it plans its biggest domestic schedule of flights since March 2020 to meet what it expects will be a surge in holiday travel.

For the third quarter, United's $473 million profit compared with a loss of $1.84 billion last year and profit of $1.02 billion in the third quarter of 2019.

United said that...

10/19/2021   Seattle PI Business

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — The South African drug regulator has rejected the Russian-made coronavirus vaccine Sputnik V, citing some safety concerns the manufacturer wasn't able to answer.

The South African Health Products Regulatory Authority, or SAHPRA, said in a statement Tuesday that the request for Sputnik V to be authorized could “not be approved at this time,” referring to past failed HIV vaccines that used a similar technology. But the regulator added that its review process was continuing and that it was still open to receiving any further safety data from the Russian manufacturer.

A late-stage study published in the journal Lancet last year in more than 20,000 participants found that Sputnik V was safe and about 91% effective in preventing people from becoming severely ill with COVID-19.

Sputnik V uses two types of harmless viruses known as adenoviruses to carry the spike protein into the body, which then primes the immune system to produce antibodies against COVID-19. SAHPRA said concerns have been raised about the safety of Adenovirus Type 5, which is used in one of the Sputnik V doses. The other dose contains Adenovirus Type 26, which is also used by Johnson & Johnson.

South African officials pointed to two failed research studies testing an HIV vaccine also using Adenovirus Type 5, which found men who were vaccinated had a higher risk of being infected with HIV. The regulators said they had asked the Russian makers of Sputnik V to provide data proving the vaccine's safety in a country with high rates of HIV but that “the applicant was not able to adequately address (their) request.”

In a statement, the Gamaleya Center, Sputnik V's manufacturer, called the concerns about the vaccine's vector “completely unfounded.” It said speculation about the link between Adenovirus Type 5 and HIV transmission in...

10/19/2021   New York Times Business News
Facebook’s headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. 
10/19/2021   New York Times Business News
As part of a settlement, Swiss authorities will appoint an outside monitor for some of Credit Suisse's transactions and risk management systems.
10/19/2021   Seattle PI Business

NEW YORK (AP) — CBS won its first week of the new television season, primarily by being the network of choice for people who wanted to watch something other than sports.

CBS had 14 of the 20 most-watched non-sports shows on network television last week, while NBC had the other five and Fox had one. ABC was shut out, the Nielsen company said.

It was CBS' first victory of the still-new television season, eclipsing NBC which had won every week since late September.

As it has been hundreds of time since the ticking stopwatch first appeared, CBS' most popular show of the week was “60 Minutes.”

CBS averaged 6.2 million viewers in prime time. NBC was second with 5.6 million, Fox had 4.9 million, ABC had 3.5 million, Univision had 1.4 million, Telemundo had 1.1 million and Ion Television had 920,000.

With baseball playoffs in full gear, TBS led the cable networks in prime time, averaging 3.1 million viewers. ESPN had 2.5 million, Fox News Channel had 2.26 million, MSNBC had 1.17 million and HGTV had 924,000.

ABC's “World News Tonight” won the evening news ratings race, averaging 7.9 million viewers. NBC's “Nightly News” had 6.6 million and the “CBS Evening News” had 4.9 million.

For the week of Oct. 11-17, the top 20 prime-time programs, their networks and viewerships:

1. NFL Football: Seattle at Pittsburgh, NBC, 16.28 million.

2. NFL Football: Tampa Bay at Philadelphia, Fox, 14.42 million.

3. “NFL Pregame” (Sunday), NBC, 12.03 million.

4. NFL Football: Indianapolis at Baltimore, ESPN, 11.34 million.

5. “60 Minutes,” CBS, 11.02 million.

6. “Football Night in America,” NBC, 8.94 million.

7. “NFL Postgame” (Sunday), Fox, 8.93 million.

8. “NFL Pregame” (Thursday), Fox, 8.9...

10/19/2021   New York Times Business News
Since 2011, more than 500,000 of the 1.2 million people who received prepaid cards from JPay were forced to pay fees to retrieve their money, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said.
10/19/2021   Seattle PI Business

WASHINGTON (AP) — Facebook is paying a $4.75 million fine and up to $9.5 million to eligible victims to resolve the Justice Department’s allegations that it discriminated against U.S. workers in favor of foreigners with special visas to fill high-paying jobs.

Facebook also agreed in the settlement announced Tuesday to train its employees in anti-discrimination rules and to conduct more widespread advertising and recruitment for job opportunities in its permanent labor certification program, which allows an employer to hire a foreign worker to work permanently.

The department’s civil rights division said the social network giant “routinely refused” to recruit, consider or hire U.S. workers, a group that includes U.S. citizens and nationals, people granted asylum, refugees and lawful permanent residents, for positions it had reserved for temporary visa holders.

Facebook sponsored the visa holders for “green cards” authorizing them to work permanently. The so-called H-1B visas are a staple of Silicon Valley, widely used by software programmers and other employees of major U.S. technology companies.

Critics of the practice contend that the foreign nationals will work for lower wages than U.S. citizens. The tech companies maintain that's not the case, that they turn to foreign nationals because they have trouble finding qualified programmers and other engineers who are U.S. citizens.

“In principle, Facebook is doing a good thing by applying for green cards for its workers, but it has also learned how to game the system to avoid hiring U.S. tech workers," said Daniel Costa, director of immigration law and policy research at the liberal-leaning Economic Policy Institute. “Facebook started lobbying to change the system more to its liking starting back in 2013 when the...

10/19/2021   Seattle PI Business

Health care and technology companies led a broad rally for stocks on Wall Street Tuesday as investors welcomed another batch of encouraging company earnings reports.

The S&P 500 rose 0.7%, driving the benchmark index to its fifth straight gain. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.6% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq rose 0.7%.

Among the tech sector winners were Apple, which rose 1.5%, and software maker Adobe, which added 2.1%. Johnson and Johnson, the world’s biggest maker of health care products, rose 2.3% after raising its profit forecast for the year following the release of strong third-quarter earnings.

“Were starting to get more earnings in for the third quarter, and so far so good,” said Tom Hainlin, national investment strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth Management. “So far, the results are coming in and we haven’t had a material downgrade in outlooks.”

The S&P 500 rose 33.17 points to 4,519.63. The index is now within 0.4% of the all-time high it set Sept. 2. The Dow gained 198.70 points to 34,457.31. The Nasdaq rose 107.28 points to 15,129.09.

Small company stocks also rose. The Russell 2000 index gained 8.07 points, or 0.4%, to 2,275.91.

The broad gains for stocks follow a mixed start to the week as investors continue monitoring corporate earnings for clues as to how companies will move forward through the year as they deal with rising inflation, global supply chain delays and the economic recovery slowing down.

“There was a nervousness going in as we started to see some supply chain interruptions,” said J.J. Kinahan, chief strategist with TD Ameritrade. “But, the overall picture is still a fairly positive one.”

Those supply chain problems are going to have different impacts on companies and industries, he said, including how they absorb the costs and...

10/19/2021   Seattle PI Business

Stocks closed higher on Wall Street Tuesday, giving the S&P 500 its fifth straight gain and getting it closer to the record high it set in early September.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq also closed higher. Health care companies made some of the biggest gains. Johnson & Johnson rose after raising its 2021 profit forecast again. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose.

On Tuesday:

The S&P 500 rose 33.17 points, or 0.7%, to 4,519.63.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 198.70 points, or 0.6%, to 35,457.31.

The Nasdaq rose 107.28 points, or 0.7%, to 15,129.09.

The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies rose 8.07 points, or 0.4%, to 2,275.91.

For the week:

The S&P 500 is up 48.26 points, or 1.1%.

The Dow is up 162.55 points, or 0.5%.

The Nasdaq is up 231.75 points, or 1.6%.

The Russell 2000 is up 10.26 points, or 0.5%.

For the year:

The S&P 500 is up 763.56 points, or 20.3%.

The Dow is up 4,850.83 points, or 15.8%.

The Nasdaq is up 2,240.81 points, or 17.4%.

The Russell 2000 is up 301.06 points, or 15.2%.

10/19/2021   Seattle PI Business

WASHINGTON (AP) — For more than 55 years, Medicare has followed a simple policy: covered benefits are the same, no matter if you’re rich, poor, or in-between.

But as Democrats try to design a dental benefit for the program, one idea calls for limiting it based on income. The so-called “means test” is drawing internal opposition from many Democratic lawmakers, as well as advocacy groups for older people, like AARP.

Yet a senior Democratic congressional aide says an income limit is still in the mix as President Joe Biden tries to bring divided Democrats together on sweeping social and environmental legislation that would be their calling card in next year's midterm elections. The aide spoke on condition of anonymity to address internal deliberations. The White House did not respond to requests for comment.

Another Medicare alternative would involve charging upper-middle-class and wealthy seniors higher premiums for the new dental plan, an approach that's already applied to outpatient and prescription drug coverage and does not elicit such intense political opposition. It's not clear if Democrats are looking at that as well.

Medicare is the government's flagship health insurance program, covering more than 60 million seniors and disabled people. But it lacks dental, vision and hearing coverage, a gap that Vermont Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders has made it his mission to close. Committee-passed legislation in the House would incorporate the new benefits into the program.

But Biden and the Democrats are being criticized for spending too much money on their “Build Back Better” package, and particularly for providing child tax credits, educational and health benefits to people who could afford to pay their own way. The Medicare means test seems to have gotten its start...

10/19/2021   New York Times Business News
On Tuesday, ProShares offered a long-awaited exchange-traded fund on the New York Stock Exchange linked to Bitcoin futures, and Bitcoin has been trading at prices not seen since April.
10/19/2021   Seattle PI Business

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks that traded heavily or had substantial price changes Tuesday:

EverQuote Inc., down $2.33 to $15.01.

The online insurance marketplace gave investors a disappointing third-quarter financial update.

Zix Corp., up 42 cents to $8.08.

The e-mail encryption company is reportedly considering a sale.

Johnson & Johnson, up $3.75 to $163.87.

The health care company raised its profit forecast after reporting strong third-quarter earnings.

Mueller Industries Inc., up $2.32 to $45.85.

The maker of copper tubing reported encouraging third-quarter financial results.

ManpowerGroup Inc.. down $7.16 to $105.97.

The staffing company's third-quarter revenue fell short of Wall Street forecasts.

Procter & Gamble Co., down $1.68 to $140.66.

The maker of Tide detergent and other consumer goods will raise prices as it faces higher commodity and freight costs.

Dover Corp., up $1.12 to $167.91.

The maker of Heil garbage truck bodies raised its profit forecast for the year.

Travelers Cos.. up $2.51 to $155.39.

The insurer's third-quarter financial results beat Wall Street forecasts.

10/19/2021   Seattle PI Business

MOSCOW (AP) — Dr. Georgy Arbolishvili doesn’t need to see government statistics or hear about the records being broken every day for infections and deaths to know that Russia is struggling through a particularly alarming phase of the coronavirus pandemic.

He simply looks around his filled-to-capacity intensive care unit at Moscow’s Hospital No. 52.

With only about a third of Russia's 146 million people vaccinated against COVID-19, the country has hovered near 1,000 reported deaths per day for weeks and surpassed it on Saturday — a situation that Arbolishvili says “causes despair.”

“The majority of ICU patients in grave condition are unvaccinated," he told The Associated Press. These illnesses “could have been very easily avoided if a person had been vaccinated.”

With a record 1,015 fatalities reported Tuesday, the country's death toll is now 225,325 — by far the highest in Europe, even though most experts agree even that figure is an undercount.

Those statistics “are directly linked to vaccinations,” Arbolishvili said. "The countries with a high share of those vaccinated don't have such bad mortality numbers.”

Even though vaccines are plentiful, Russians have shown hesitancy and skepticism when it comes to getting vaccinated, which has been blamed on conflicting signals sent by authorities since the pandemic began last year.

Even as ICUs have filled in recent weeks, life in Moscow has continued as usual, with restaurants and movie theaters brimming with people, crowds swarming nightclubs and karaoke bars and commuters widely ignoring mask mandates on public transportation.

That makes medical workers like Dr. Natavan Ibragimova shudder.

“I think about sleepless nights when we get a huge number of patients who didn't even bother to use banal protective means,” the...

10/19/2021   New York Times Business News
While running Ruder Finn, with big clients like Philip Morris, Exxon and Coca-Cola, Mr. Finn pursued a parallel career as a painter, photographer and sculptor.
10/19/2021   Seattle PI Business

LONDON (AP) — A group comprising dozens of nations particularly vulnerable to the effects of global warming have laid out their key demands ahead of the upcoming U.N. climate summit in Glasgow.

These include getting rich countries to commit to fulfill and step up their pledges of financial assistance to help them battle climate change, more frequent updates on national plans for cutting greenhouse gas emissions and the development of a system to compensate poor countries for climate-related damages.

Officials from the 48 countries that make up the Climate Vulnerable Forum said a recent U.N. science report highlighted the urgent need for action to ensure that global warming doesn't rise above 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit).

Scientists say the goal, set in Paris six years ago, is increasingly at risk unless emissions drop soon.

The vulnerable nations said they want diplomats in Glasgow to agree on how they will deliver the $100 billion that rich countries pledged to give poorer nations each year to tackle global warming, and for half the funds to be dedicated to adaptation. Figures for 2019 show only about $80 billion was provided, with most of the money earmarked for mitigation measures to reduce emissions.

“There is a shortfall to the $100 billion and a total imbalance in funding with completely insufficient resources for adaptation,” Bangladesh's Environment Secretary Mostafa Kamal said in the statement.

The group also called for governments to update their emissions goals at each annual climate summit, something rich countries currently only do every five years. Some major emitters, such as China, want to set new targets even less frequently.

“This is the only measure that could give the vulnerable nations hope to keep 1.5 (degree C temperature rise)...

10/19/2021   New York Times Business News
Walkers in Sydney, Australia, where Covid restrictions recently eased.
10/19/2021   New York Times Business News
Danielle Miess lost her job at a travel agency in the Philadelphia area. Her unemployment benefits have run out, but she isn’t looking for another office job. Instead, she is cobbling together a living from a variety of gigs.
10/19/2021   New York Times Business News
Vaccinations typically consist of two or more doses of the same vaccine, but the F.D.A. is expected to authorize a mix-and-match strategy. 
10/19/2021   New York Times Business News
An oil field in North Dakota.
10/19/2021   New York Times Business News
Commuters waiting for a train in Yonkers, N.Y., in July. Ridership on New York’s commuter railroads remains well below prepandemic levels.
10/19/2021   New York Times Business News
Following a social media frenzy, resale sites have seen a spike in searches for the fashion designer’s vintage corsets, jewelry and other items.
10/19/2021   New York Times Business News
A medical worker prepared a coronavirus vaccine in San Rafael, Calif., in September. Federal regulators this week are aiming to greatly expand the number of Americans who are eligible for booster shots.
10/19/2021   New York Times Business News
The cover of the menu at Bateau, a steakhouse that tries to prevent waste by serving cuts from more parts of the cow than nearly any other restaurant.
10/19/2021   New York Times Business News
As workers return, offices are likely to be forever transformed.
10/19/2021   Small Business CEO

A virtual tour is a panoramic, 3D virtual presentation of a property or event used as an additional marketing tool to attract visitors and buyers. Although virtual tours were not widely used in the past years (just like Google+), they have recently gained popularity because of their benefits.

Virtual tour

Photo by ThisIsEngineering from Pexels

Virtual tours can increase online exposure and direct traffic to your website. In today’s virtual world, virtual tours are becoming more and more commonplace.

By virtual tour, we don’t necessarily mean a fully interactive real-time virtual reality that will blow your mind and transport you into the scene captured on camera.…

The post Does Virtual Tour Adds Value To Your Marketing Efforts appeared first on SMALL BUSINESS CEO.

10/19/2021   Small Business CEO

Competition with big brands is already one of the most significant challenges for small business owners. Next to high-street names, the little guy scarcely gets a look in.

Generate online trust

Then there’s the complications of online trade, wherein cyberspace customers prefer more than ever to opt for familiar companies they already know and trust. In this respect, the world of ecommerce is just as ruthless an environment.

That’s why your website’s first impression, as well as any other online outputs, are of the utmost importance in building a relationship with your clients. These are just a few helpful tips on perfecting your website.…

The post 3 Ways to Generate Consumer Trust Online appeared first on SMALL BUSINESS CEO.

10/17/2021   Small Business CEO

In recent months, you might be up at night, thinking about the biggest mistakes you can make as a business owner.

It turns out that many mistakes are entirely preventable.

Workplace health model

If you’ve been grappling with these concerns, now is a good time to set your course in a more positive direction. In the process, you could just help yourself to some restful nights and rejuvenating sleep.

Set Up a Company-Wide Health Priority

Even if you are a small business owner, keep your eye on the health and welfare of your employees. You don’t have to be a major company to offer health education classes, set up a workplace health model.…

The post Creating a Workplace Health Model appeared first on SMALL BUSINESS CEO.

10/15/2021   Tri-City Area Journal of Business

History will remember the early 2020s for the devastating coronavirus pandemic, the shutdowns, the economic chaos. It would be easy to assign the booming construction scene of 2021 to a Covid-19 recovery. The bounce back may be real, but population and job growth are the real drivers of the diverse array of construction occurring in…

The post Market Overview: 2021: The year the Tri-Cities hit 300,000 – and its stride appeared first on Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business.

10/15/2021   Tri-City Area Journal of Business

Homebuilders face familiar headwinds in 2021 – finding enough places to build new homes, hiring enough workers to build them and sourcing enough building materials to build with. Add in Washington’s new energy code, which took effect this year, and it’s a challenging time to be a residential developer. But the local and regional builders…

The post Residential Growth: Tight home supply drives up prices appeared first on Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business.

10/15/2021   Tri-City Area Journal of Business

Private investors are pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into Tri-City commercial construction in a shift from recent years, when school construction and public projects, such as Richland’s Duportail Street bridge and fire stations, dominated the sector. Fueled by low interest rates and a backlog of projects booked in the busy pre-pandemic days, privately funded…

The post Commercial Real Estate: Private investment dominates commercial picture, for now appeared first on Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business.

10/15/2021   Tri-City Area Journal of Business

Despite a global pandemic leading to rising construction costs and difficulty obtaining materials throughout the U.S., the Port of Benton has tried to make good use of 2021, focusing on its infrastructure to attract new business to the Mid-Columbia. Diahann Howard, executive director, said tourism is a big driver of its economic mission, but the…

The post Port of Benton: Port embraces Hanford history, tourism and infrastructure during pandemic appeared first on Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business.

10/15/2021   Tri-City Area Journal of Business

Almost a decade after closing Vista Field, the Port of Kennewick is poised to start selling land and to welcome new construction after challenges and delays brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic. “Everything has to be talked about against the backdrop of where we’re still at in 2021,” said Tim Arntzen, the port’s chief executive…

The post Port of Kennewick: Vista Field, Columbia Gardens ready for sale appeared first on Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business.

10/15/2021   Tri-City Area Journal of Business

The Port of Pasco is set to become the home base for the largest milk protein facility in North America – employing hundreds of people with well-paying jobs at a new Darigold facility that will anchor the Reimann Industrial Center. Darigold Inc. expects the project to employ more than 1,000. Those at the plant will…

The post Port of Pasco: Industrial expansion targets open land appeared first on Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business.

10/15/2021   Tri-City Area Journal of Business

Covid-19 has taken a bite out of air travel at the Port of Pasco-operated Tri-Cities Airport, which hasn’t rebounded as hoped, just as the end of summer tends to “dry up” leisure travel, said Airport Director Buck Taft. “I don’t have the confidence to say anything for certain. It’s taking a dip as of right…

The post Tri-Cities Airport: Pandemic has air travel in a holding pattern appeared first on Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business.

10/15/2021   Tri-City Area Journal of Business

Despite the pandemic, the Mid-Columbia’s school districts and schools – grades Kindergarten through 12, as well as higher education – plowed ahead to build, rebuild and remodel schools and support facilities. From a recently opened Kennewick High School, which cost over $100 million, to $30 million buildings at both Columbia Basin College in Pasco and…

The post Education: Build, rebuild, remodel – repeat? appeared first on Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business.

10/15/2021   Small Business CEO

A bill of sale is a document proving the transfer of property from one party to another. This document can be used to record a sale between two individuals as well as, in some countries, the sale of goods by a business to an individual.

Preparing a bill of sale

Preparing a bill of sale starts with identifying what needs to be included. Next, prepare a draft version of the bill of sale on paper.  Finally, the bill of sale needs to be notarized and filed with your county clerk’s office or local courthouse, depending on where it is used.

This guide will cover the steps outlined above in more detail to help you understand how to prepare a bill of sale.…

The post How Do You Prepare a Bill of Sale? appeared first on SMALL BUSINESS CEO.

10/15/2021   Small Business CEO

If you are a contractor operating in California, or in any other state for that matter, you will have to think about getting contractors insurance. This is required by law in most states and, on top of that, it provides you with some great protection, meaning that buying it is not only required, but also good for you.

Construction business partners

In case you are new in the business, chances are that you are not quite certain about how this insurance works and what it brings to the table, which is why I would advise you to get properly informed about it before going any further.…

The post How to Purchase Contractors Insurance Online appeared first on SMALL BUSINESS CEO.

10/15/2021   Small Business CEO

Moving from one place to another is a part of life, be it due to job or education. Even if you have to move to a new place within your city, this is a hectic activity and can be financially straining. Indeed, your finances matter when moving. Therefore, understanding the costs upfront helps avoiding ‘surprises’ along the way.

Moving to a new place

While some costs may be very clear to you while you are pondering over your move to your new home, some are not so obvious. The rent is one of the clearest expense you will have, but there are others too. If your calculations are not right, you might end up regretting your decision to switch places.…

The post How to Financially Plan Before You Move to a New Place appeared first on SMALL BUSINESS CEO.

10/14/2021   Tri-City Area Journal of Business

Amazon Inc. confirmed Sept. 16 that it will open two distribution centers, each more than 1 million square feet, on South Road 40 East, north of Sacajawea State Park in Pasco. The Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business first reported the news of the massive projects in its August edition. At the time, Seattle-based Amazon did…

The post Amazon confirms massive distribution plans for Pasco appeared first on Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business.

10/14/2021   Tri-City Area Journal of Business

As the Tri-Cities negotiates its second year of the Covid-19 pandemic, cities and private developers alike continue to forge ahead with projects, bringing new services to the community. Despite state and federal level mandates limiting in-person business, tightened budgets and ballooning construction costs, Kennewick – the largest and most densely populated of the four cities…

The post City of Kennewick: Forging forward to ‘normal’ despite pandemic appeared first on Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business.

10/14/2021   Small Business CEO

Setting up a business might seem easy for many, as you’ll only need funds and a good plan. However, to survive in the cutthroat world of commerce, you’ll need more than just these two.

Inside sales vs. outside sales

photo credit: Fauxels / Pexels

Making sales every day is what will keep your business running, and this is where most companies struggle. While others have a marketable product, some lack the skills to sell it, or they just don’t know the best way to approach a customer. Will they rely on cold calling or do direct marketing?

In the business world, there are two types of salespeople: inside and outside.…

The post Inside Vs. Outside Sales: Which Is Right For Your Business? appeared first on SMALL BUSINESS CEO.

10/14/2021   Small Business CEO

Every business owner wants greater efficiency. With Six Sigma, business owners can streamline business procedures to improve outcomes and reduce operational errors. Six Sigma has gained significant popularity over the past few decades and has even been used by the United States government.

Six Sigma

image credit: Six Sigma Institute / CIO Wiki

The methodology can be applied to a wide variety of industries and is often considered a business initiative that improves quality and lowers costs.

Let’s look at some of the benefits you can reap when you use Six Sigma with your organization.

Customer Retention

6 Sigma has been used by people in the banking world to streamline customer banking services and optimize business processes that were causing customer dissatisfaction and lost accounts.…

The post Who Should Use Six Sigma? appeared first on SMALL BUSINESS CEO.

10/14/2021   Small Business CEO

If you don’t get to work from home every day, this means you likely have to deal with a commute to work. Depending on how far away your job is, you could be spending a considerable amount of time either in your car or on public transportation. After doing this for days and weeks, you’ll likely find yourself growing bored or annoyed with your morning commute. This is an unpleasant way to start the day so you should look to adjust it whenever you can.

Office commuting

Below, we’ll outline some simple ideas that may help you make your morning commute to the office a little more enjoyable.…

The post How to Make Your Commute to the Office More Enjoyable appeared first on SMALL BUSINESS CEO.

10/13/2021   Small Business CEO

Delivery and dispatch logistics can be a pain to deal with, especially in retail and the field service industry. And you know how much your business will benefit once you figure out how to optimize and make it efficient.

Logistics in field service business

You know that you need to ensure you can accomplish three crucial things:

  • First, deliver the goods and services to each customer as soon as possible.
  • Second, finish more job orders every single day.
  • Third, reduce overhead costs such as filling up your fleet of vehicles with gas, which typically make up around 59.8% of your operational costs per mile. (1)

Achieving all three equates to efficiency, fewer expenses, and more profit.…

The post Route Planning Vs. Optimization: 4 Ways to Identify The Right Strategy to Maximize Efficiency appeared first on SMALL BUSINESS CEO.