Thursday, April 18, 2024

AP morning business news brief – Sept. 11, 2023

by BIZ Magazine

Biden highlights business deals and pays respects at John McCain memorial to wrap up Vietnam visit

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — President Joe Biden has closed a visit to Vietnam by calling on the two countries to improve their collaboration. Biden met Monday in Hanoi with Vietnamese government officials and business leaders. Both sides spotlighted new deals and partnerships between the U.S. and Vietnam. Biden also paid his respects at a memorial to his friend and former colleague John McCain. The late U.S. senator from Arizona was held for more than five years as a prisoner during the Vietnam War. Biden will observe the anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in Alaska before he returns to the White House late Monday.

Hostess is being acquired by JM Smucker in a deal valued at $5.6B after coming back from the brink

Hostess, the maker of snack classics like Twinkies and HoHos, is being sold to J.M. Smucker in a cash-and-stock deal worth about $5.6 billion. Smucker, which makes everything from coffee to peanut butter and jelly, will pay $34.25 per share in cash and stock, and it will also pick up approximately $900 million in net debt. In addition to Twinkies, Hostess makes CupCakes, DingDongs and Zingers, and also Voortman cookies.

Inflection.ai CEO Mustafa Suleyman explains how to catch a ride on the ‘coming wave’ of technology

If you have watched a telecast involving basketball superstar LeBron James during the past 20 years, you probably have heard an announcer declare: “You can’t stop him, you can only hope to contain him.” That sentiment sums up how Inflection.ai CEO Mustafa Suleyman feels about artificial intelligence — a technology that he helped advance as a co-founder of DeepMind, which Google acquired in 2014. After leaving Google last year, Suleyman founded Inflection in an effort to create artificial intelligence that won’t veer into vile behavior. His new book, “The Coming Wave,” focuses on AI’s promise and the need to limit its potential perils.

Stellantis reports progress in talks with auto workers and plans to make another offer Monday

DETROIT (AP) — Stellantis is reporting progress in talks with the United Auto Workers union with just three days left before contracts expire with Detroit’s three automakers. Human resources chief Tobin Williams told employees in an email that the union made counteroffer to its economic proposal on Sunday Stellantis plans to respond to that on Monday morning. He also says both sides have reached agreement in a number of areas including health and safety, and that both sides are on a path to reach a deal without a strike. UAW President Shawn Fain on Friday called counter offers from Stellantis, General Motors and Ford inadequate. He warned of strikes against any company without a deal when contracts expire at 11:59 p.m. Thursday. Sunday night he reported progress but said things are moving slowly.

BMW to build new electric Mini in England after UK government approves multimillion-pound investment

LONDON (AP) — BMW has announced plans to transform its Mini factory in Oxford, England, to produce nothing but electric vehicles. The German automaker said Monday that it would invest 600 million pounds ($751 million) in the project, allowing the factory to begin making two new all-electric models in 2026 before moving completely to electric vehicle production four years later. The commitment came after the U.K. government agreed to plow an undisclosed amount of taxpayer funding into the project.It will protect thousands of jobs at a site that has been making cars for more than 100 years. BMW’s plans are a vote of confidence in Britain’s auto industry, which is struggling to compete.

Federal railroad inspectors find alarming number of defects on Union Pacific this summer

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Federal inspectors found an alarming number of defects in the locomotives and railcars Union Pacific was using at the world’s largest railyard in western Nebraska this summer, and the railroad was reluctant to fix the problems. Federal Railroad Administrator Amit Bose wrote a letter to UP’s top three executives Friday expressing his concern that the defects represent a “significant risk to rail safety on the Union Pacific railroad.” A spokeswoman for the railroad defended Union Pacific’s commitment to safety Sunday and pledged to work with the federal agency to address its concerns. Railroad safety has been a key concern nationwide this year ever since a fiery Norfolk Southern derailment in Ohio in February.

Delta Air Lines employees work up a sweat at boot camp, learning how to de-ice planes

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The temperature says it’s summer outside, but Delta Air Lines is training employees in how to de-ice an airplane — a critical part of flying during the cold winter months. Every summer, Delta brings about 400 workers to Minneapolis to a three-day summer de-ice “boot camp.” Then they go back to their home bases and training co-workers, 6,000 in all. Instructors say de-icing is the last line of defense when it comes to winter flying. And the hardest part of training newbies? Learning to drive the big trucks and go up in a cherry-picker to spray planes.

Artificial intelligence technology behind ChatGPT was built in Iowa — with a lot of water

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — As they race to capitalize on a craze for generative AI, leading tech developers including Microsoft, OpenAI and Google have acknowledged that growing demand for their AI tools carries hefty costs, from expensive semiconductors to an increase in water consumption. But they’re often secretive about the specifics. Few people in Iowa knew about its status as a birthplace of OpenAI’s most advanced large language model, GPT-4, before a top Microsoft executive said in a speech it “was literally made next to cornfields west of Des Moines.”

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