EU leaders beat a path to Xi’s door seeking China’s help

BRUSSELS — In the weeks since Chinese leader Xi Jinping won a third five-year term as president, setting him on course to remain in power for life, leaders and diplomats from around the world have beaten a path to his door. None more so than those from Europe.

China auto show highlights intense electric car competition

SHANGHAI — Global and Chinese automakers plan to unveil more than a dozen new electric SUVs, sedans and muscle cars this week at the Shanghai auto show, their first full-scale sales event in four years in a market that has become a workshop for developing electrics, self-driving cars and other technology.

Spanish industry kicks off EU green hydrogen race

PUERTOLLANO, Spain — In Spain, the dream of an emissions-free future for heavy industry starts with a rugged Castilian hillside covered in solar panels, and ends with an ice-cold beer. When the beer will be available, and how much it will cost, depends on an intervening rollout of green hydrogen.

Ex-Theranos executive headed to prison after losing appeal

Former Theranos executive Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani will be heading to prison later this month after an appeals court rejected his bid to remain free while he contests his conviction for carrying out a blood-testing hoax with his former boss and lover, Elizabeth Holmes.

Home-based workers became younger, more diverse in pandemic

People working from home became younger, more diverse, better educated and more likely to move during the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s according to a report from the U.S. Census Bureau released last week. The report says that, in many respects, the demographic makeup of people working from home from 2019 to 2021 became more like workers who were commuting. The industry groups that saw the greatest jumps in people working from home were information, finance and professional and administrative services. The smallest gains were in agriculture and mining; entertainment and food services; and armed forces.

California seeks federal help for salmon fishers facing ban

SAN DIEGO — California officials want federal disaster aid for the state’s salmon fishing industry, they said Friday following the closure of recreational and commercial king salmon fishing seasons along much of the West Coast due to near-record low numbers of the iconic fish returning to their spawning grounds.

Washington shutters pot businesses due to old pesticide

SEATTLE — Cannabis regulators have halted operations at several outdoor pot farms and processing facilities on a stretch of former fruit orchards in north-central Washington state after testing found high levels of chemicals related to a dangerous pesticide used decades ago.

‘War of the states’

HARRISBURG, Pa.— States are doling out more cash than ever to lure multibillion-dollar microchip, electric vehicle and battery factories, inspiring ever-more competition as they dig deeper into their pockets to attract big employers and capitalize on a wave of huge new projects.

$90 cream and $10 toothpaste

NEW YORK — Companies from toothpaste makers to even discounters are adding more premium items like designer body creams and services as they reach out to wealthier shoppers who are still spending freely even in the face of higher inflation and a volatile economic environment.

Lanterns and crescents: more retailers court Ramadan buyers

With her 3-year-old daughter sitting inside a red Target shopping cart, Aya Khalil looked through the aisles with anticipation. The author was on a mission: See for herself that her children’s book about a boy and his grandmother baking for an Islamic feast was actually carried by her local Target store in Toledo.

2023 US recession now expected to start later than predicted

WASHINGTON — A majority of the nation’s business economists expect a U.S. recession to begin later this year than they had previously forecast, after a series of reports have pointed to a surprisingly resilient economy despite steadily higher interest rates.

Tom Yamachika: PILOT for real property tax

In late 2021, the City & County of Honolulu’s Real Property Assessment Division inspectors took a look at several parcels of land on which solar farms and other renewable energy projects had been built. The inspectors noted that the land had been granted a super-duper low rate for agricultural use. We’re not sure of the details, but we do know that under section 8-7.3 of the Revised Ordinances of Honolulu, land that has been dedicated to agricultural use for 10 years is assessed for property tax purposes not at fair market value, but at one percent of fair market value.

Bird flu costs pile up as outbreak enters second year

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The ongoing bird flu outbreak has cost the government roughly $661 million and added to consumers’ pain at the grocery store after more than 58 million birds were slaughtered to limit the spread of the virus.

Tom Yamachika: Get out, evil! Stay in, good fortune!

At around this time of year, the Japanese celebrate a festival known as Setsubun. While there are regional variations on how to celebrate it, many of them involve roasted beans and an Oni, or demon. According to tradition, people in the household pelt the Oni with the beans while saying, “Oni wa soto! Fuku wa uchi!” which means, “Get out, evil! Stay in, good fortune!”