Tuesday, March 05, 2024 |
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UK economy sputters and barely avoids a recession
The British economy narrowly avoided a recession at the end of last year, data published Friday showed, but it is still smaller than it was before the pandemic, and economists predict that it will take several years for Britain to make up that lost output. Gross domestic product was unchanged in the fourth quarter of 2022, after declining 0.2% in the previous quarter, according to the first estimate by the Office for National Statistics on Friday. The economy was 0.8% smaller than it was at the end of 2019. Overall in 2022, the British economy grew 4%.
DeSantis declares victory, but Disney World keeps many perks
Gov. Ron DeSantis gained control Friday of a five-member Florida board that oversees development and safety services at Walt Disney World. Last year, the Florida Legislature revoked Disney World’s designation as a special tax district, but the abolishment would require taxpayers in two counties to pick up the tab for Disney World services. So the Legislature tried again, taking up a new Disney World measure in a special session that started Monday. This time, Disney would be allowed to keep the special tax district and almost all its perks. But Disney would no longer be able to appoint the five members of the tax district’s board.
Mars Wrigley fined after workers fall into vat of chocolate
Federal workplace safety authorities have fined a central Pennsylvania confectionary factory more than $14,500 following an accident last year in which two workers fell into a vat of chocolate. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited Mars Wrigley in the June accident at the Elizabethtown M&M/Mars factory, saying the workers were not authorized to work in the tanks and weren’t trained on the proper safety procedures for the equipment. Emergency responders cut a hole in the bottom of the tank to free the workers and both were taken to hospitals. A company representative said the safety of workers and outside contractors “is a top priority for our business.”
In Mexico, US complaints help union organizing efforts
It has been nearly two years since the United States began pressing Mexico over labor rights violations, by using rapid dispute resolution methods contained in the U.S.-Mexico Canada free trade agreement. The administration of President Joe Biden brags that, for the first time, someone is challenging Mexico’s anti-democratic, old-guard unions that have kept wages painfully low for decades. But workers and union organizers are mixed on the results, saying it’s hard to build a real union movement overnight, and that employers and old union bosses continue to resist change.
Uber reports record revenue as it defies the economic downturn
Uber indicated Wednesday that it had staved off the downturn that hit many technology companies while posting what CEO Dara Khosrowshahi called the company’s “strongest quarter ever.” Uber reported $8.6 billion in revenue in the last three months of 2022, a 49% increase from a year earlier. The company made $30.7 billion in gross bookings — the amount of money paid by customers — a 19% year-over-year jump. The company said it had tallied 2 billion trips in a quarter for the first time, up from 1.7 billion a year earlier, and that the number of customers who used Uber each month increased 11%, to 131 million.
Judge: Sam Bankman-Fried needs tighter restrictions while awaiting trial
A federal judge Thursday ordered lawyers for Sam Bankman-Fried, disgraced founder of the bankrupt FTX cryptocurrency exchange, to create a plan with prosecutors that ensures that Bankman-Fried did not delete text messages he sent while awaiting trial on charges he orchestrated the theft of billions of dollars in customer deposits. Judge Lewis Kaplan issued his instructions at a hearing in U.S. District Court in Manhattan two days after rejecting an agreement that federal prosecutors struck with Bankman-Fried’s lawyers to limit his ability to use certain encrypted messaging services such as Signal. Kaplan said the proposal had done “nothing but spark more questions in my mind.”
By wire sources
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