Thursday, May 30, 2024

AP morning Business Brief – Nov. 18

by BIZ Magazine

More Twitter workers flee after Musk’s ‘hardcore’ ultimatum

Twitter is continuing to bleed engineers and other workers after its new owner Elon Musk gave them a choice: either pledge to “hardcore” work or resign with severance pay. Hundreds of employees signaled they were leaving ahead of a Thursday deadline set by Musk, posting a salute emoji or other symbols familiar to Twitter workers on the company’s internal Slack messaging board. The newest round of departures means the platform is continuing to lose workers just at it’s gearing up for the World Cup. The tournament is one of the busiest events on Twitter, and can overwhelm its systems if things go haywire.

Elizabeth Holmes faces sentencing for her Theranos crimes

A federal judge on Friday will decide whether disgraced Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes should serve a lengthy prison sentence for duping investors and endangering patients while peddling a bogus blood-testing technology. After being convicted of investor fraud and conspiracy earlier this year Holmes’ sentencing marks a climactic moment in a saga that has been dissected books and on TV. The federal government wants the 38-year-old Holmes to be sentenced to 15 years in prison. Holmes is arguing for an 18-month sentence, preferably in home confinement; her lawyers say she deserves more lenient treatment as a well-meaning entrepreneur who is now a devoted mother with another child on the way.

Exec who cleaned up Enron calls FTX mess ‘unprecedented’

NEW YORK (AP) — The man who had to clean up the mess at Enron says the situation at FTX is even worse, describing what he calls a “complete failure” of corporate control. The filing by John Ray III, the new CEO of the bankrupt cryptocurrency firm, lays out a damning description of FTX’s operations under its founder Sam Bankman-Fried, from a lack of security controls to business funds being used to buy employees homes and luxuries. Ray was named CEO of FTX less than a week ago when the company filed for bankruptcy protection and Bankman-Fried resigned.

US home sales fell in October for ninth straight month

Sales of previously occupied U.S. homes fell in October for the ninth month in a row to the slowest pre-pandemic sales pace in more than 10 years, as homebuyers grappled with sharply higher mortgage rates, rising home prices and fewer properties on the market. The National Association of Realtors said Friday that existing home sales fell 5.9% last month from September to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.43 million. Sales fell 28.4% from October last year, and are now at the slowest annual pace since December 2011, excluding the steep slowdown in sales that occurred in May 2020 near the start of the pandemic. The national median home price rose 6.6% in October from a year earlier to $379,100.

US stocks gain ground, but still head for weekly losses

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks edged higher on Wall Street but are still heading for losses for the week after several days of bumpy trading. Several retailers were posting big gains after reporting surprisingly strong quarterly results. Gap, Ross Stores and Foot Locker all rose sharply. Energy stocks were lower as crude oil prices fell. The S&P 500 was up 0.2% in morning trading on Friday. The Nasdaq and the Dow rose. Small-company stocks were up more than the rest of the market. European markets were higher and Asian markets closed mixed overnight. Bond yields were relatively stable.

Western US cities to remove decorative grass amid drought

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Thirty water agencies that supply cities across the western United States are pledging to rip up lots of decorative grass to conserve water in the over-tapped Colorado River. Water agencies in Southern California, Phoenix and Las Vegas were among those that signed an agreement Tuesday that outlines broad commitments to reduce water use. The grass-removal commitment centers on turf that people don’t walk on and generally not grass in backyards or parks. Cities use about one-fifth of the region’s Colorado River water, and some have already begun paying businesses and home owners to voluntarily replace grass with drought-resistance landscaping.

Russian strikes force Ukraine to face hours-long power cuts

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine’s electricity grid chief is warning of hours-long power outages as Russia zeroed in on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure with renewed artillery and missile attacks. Power supplies have been interrupted to as much as 40% of the population. The Grid operator said Friday that outages could last for several hours with freezing temperatures putting additional pressure on energy networks. Moscow’s attacks on Ukraine’s energy and power facilities have left millions without heat and electricity. Russian forces employed drones, rockets, heavy artillery and warplanes in renewed attacks, killing at least six people. The mayor of Kyiv warned that Ukrainians were only getting more determined to defeat Russian forces after losing heat, power and water in freezing weather.

Barbados spearheads push on climate disaster financing

SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt (AP) — As climate-amped disasters ratchet up the suffering, the staid international finance system designed for an earlier age may be on the brink of change, driven by those on the front lines. The prime minister of Barbados, Mia Mottley is leading a charge of developing nations at the COP27 climate conference in Egypt. The countries say they have had enough of high interest rates and borrowing obstacles as they struggle to pay for increasingly frequent and expensive climate disasters.

New measures for size, as world’s people surpass 8 billion

PARIS (AP) — What is bigger: A ronna or a quetta? Scientists meeting outside Paris on Friday who have increased the world’s measuring unit systems for the first time this century have the answer. It’s a quetta, which has 30 zeroes after the figure 1. Rapid scientific advances and vast worldwide data storage on the web, in smartphones and in the cloud mean that the terms used to measure things in weight and size needed updating. A British scientist led the push Friday to incorporate bold new, tongue-twisting prefixes — on the gigantic and even the minuscule scale. Four new prefixes were passed by 64 nations attending the General Conference on Weights and Measures.

Biden’s economic team losing adviser Rouse after midterms

WASHINGTON (AP) — A key member of President Joe Biden’s economic team is leaving his administration. A White House official says labor economist Cecilia Rouse will leave in the spring. Rouse was the first Black woman to serve as chair of the Council of Economic Advisers. Rouse has been on academic leave from Princeton University and plans to return there. The pending departure is the first to be disclosed since the midterm elections as the Democratic president’s term reaches its halfway point, often a time of transition for any presidential administration. The official was not authorized to publicly discuss personnel changes and spoke Friday on the condition of anonymity.

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