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Editorial Results (free)

1. Retailers seek to stretch shortened holiday shopping season -

NEW YORK (AP) — All they want for Christmas is more time.

Faced with the shortest holiday shopping season since 2013, retailers are trying to figure out ways to get into the minds of shoppers sooner.

2. Pentagon awaits possible Amazon challenge over cloud deal -

Amazon must decide soon if it will protest the Pentagon's awarding of a $10 billion cloud computing contract to rival Microsoft, with one possible grievance being the unusual attention given the project by President Donald Trump.

3. Bernstein: Growth not always great for those outside downtown -

Bob Bernstein has been in business in Nashville for nearly three decades, opening up his first Bongo Java location on Belmont Boulevard 27 years ago. He recognizes he has been a part of the change and growth of Nashville but is unsure what the city’s plan is for itself, and what that means for him as a business owner.

4. Giarratana: Think vertical to help preserve non-urban neighborhoods -

Tony Giarratana has for decades devoted himself to transforming downtown Nashville into a vibrant, walkable community for residents and office workers, building such landmarks as The Cumberland, the Bennie Dillon Lofts, Viridian and 505 on Church Street.

5. Amazon spends big to remake Seattle's liberal City Council -

SEATTLE (AP) — Brian Sweeney has a long list of complaints about Amazon, from the way it treats warehouse workers to the low taxes it pays and its effort to win concessions from cities to bring in jobs. So when he learned the online retail giant – which is building an "operations center of excellence" in Nashville that is expected to hire 5,000 employees – had poured $1 million into remaking the Seattle City Council with more business-friendly candidates, he pulled out his wallet.

6. Walgreens to shutter in-store clinics, add Jenny Craig sites -

Walgreens will shutter nearly 40% of the clinics in its stores as the drugstore chain cuts costs and shifts to other businesses it believes will draw more people through its doors.

The company said Monday that it will close 150 Walgreens-run clinics by the end of the year, but it will keep open more than 200 that are run in partnership with health care providers.

7. Stocks post gains on solid earnings, US-China trade optimism -

The S&P 500 closed just short of an all-time high Friday as investors welcomed solid company earnings reports and an encouraging update on trade talks between the U.S. and China.

Technology, communications services and financial stocks powered the rally. The index ended within 0.1% of its record set July 26. It also notched its third straight weekly gain.

8. Massive American Dream mall to open but will shoppers come? -

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — More than two decades ago when a mega entertainment and shopping complex was being conceived on a vast swath of swamp land in New Jersey, the iPhone didn't exist, Amazon was only selling books online and malls were where you went for all your shopping needs.

9. Amazon's profit falls as costs for faster shipping soar -

NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon's push for faster delivery is hurting its profits.

The online retailer said its third-quarter net income fell 26% from a year ago, missing Wall Street expectations. Its sales outlook for the holiday shopping season also disappointed analysts, and its stock sank 7% in after-hours trading.

10. Stocks eke out gains after a mixed set of earnings reports -

U.S. stock indexes eked out tiny gains Wednesday following a wobbly day of trading as investors reviewed another set of mixed quarterly report cards from big companies.

Some of the companies' earnings topped analysts' expectations. Others put traders in a selling mood after warning that the slowing global economy and trade tensions are hitting their profits.

11. US stock indexes close lower on mixed company earnings -

A choppy day of trading on Wall Street ended Tuesday with stocks closing lower after a technology sector-led sell-off strengthened toward the end of the day.

That late-afternoon burst of selling erased modest gains for the market, which was coming off two weeks of gains.

12. Stocks end lower; S&P 500 notches 2nd straight weekly gain -

The S&P 500 index closed out an uneven week of trading on Wall Street with its second straight weekly gain, even though stock indexes ended lower Friday.

Technology companies led the slide, which erased the major U.S. indexes' gains from the day before. Communication services, industrials and health care stocks also fell, outweighing gains in real estate companies, banks and elsewhere in the market.

13. Holding employees tough with Amazon looming -

Amazon created much excitement when it announced its plan to sink $250 million into Nashville with a new operations site in the Nashville Yards downtown.

State and company officials announced a projected 5,000 corporate management positions and IT-focused jobs with an average salary of $150,000.

14. Need a holiday job? You’ve picked the right time & place -

For those who had their pick of seasonal jobs during the 2018 holiday season, it’s a time of glad tidings: This year the pickings are just as plentiful.

For those who are doing the hiring, it’s a time of great joy in terms of consumer enthusiasm. It’s also a great challenge to find the manpower to meet it. They are responding with flexible hours, bonuses, discounts, on-site meals and more.

15. Google touts privacy options, but still depends on your data -

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Google's latest phone and smart-home devices came packaged with a not-so-subtle message: Google cares about your privacy. Does it?

The tech company has had a complicated relationship with user information in the past. Google's latest steps offer consumers some additional protections, although it's unclear how much more secure users will feel.

16. Google debuts Pixel 4 phone, wireless earbuds with AI -

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Google unveiled a new Pixel smartphone and other hardware devices Tuesday, all aimed at getting people even more dependent on its artificial-intelligence services.

The Pixel 4 phone promises to respond to AI queries even faster than before, while a home Wi-Fi system is getting the AI features for the first time. The company also unveiled a new smart speaker and wireless earbuds, both invoking the AI-powered Google Assistant.

17. Global plan aims to better tax digital business -

PARIS (AP) — A global economic body has proposed overhauling the way multinationals - particularly tech giants - are taxed to make sure they pay their fair share in countries where they do significant business.

18. Parent of Toys R Us joins Target to power online biz -

NEW YORK (AP) — The parent company of Toys R Us is turning to a key rival to restart its e-commerce business ahead of the holiday shopping season.

Tru Kids Brands is teaming up with discounter Target Corp. to relaunch Toysrus.com, according to a joint release.

19. EU court: Facebook can be forced to remove content worldwide -

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union’s top court ruled Thursday that member countries can force Facebook to remove or block unlawful material worldwide, in a case that raises new questions over the responsibilities of tech giants.

20. National Retail Federation forecasts solid holiday growth -

NEW YORK (AP) — The National Retail Federation, the nation’s largest retail trade group, forecasts that holiday sales will rise between 3.8% and 4.2% even as uncertainty looms over an escalating trade war with China.

21. National Retail Federation forecasts solid holiday growth -

NEW YORK (AP) — The National Retail Federation, the nation’s largest retail trade group, forecasts that holiday sales will rise between 3.8% and 4.2% even as uncertainty looms over an escalating trade war with China.

22. EU court: Facebook can be forced to remove content worldwide -

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union’s top court ruled Thursday that member states can force Facebook to remove or block unlawful material worldwide, in a case that raises new questions over the responsibilities of tech giants.

23. Microsoft previews dual-screen Surface devices out in a year -

NEW YORK (AP) — Microsoft’s new lineup of Surface computers includes two dual-screen devices that won’t be out for another year.

The smaller one, an Android phone called Surface Duo, will mark Microsoft’s re-entry into smartphones, a market the company abandoned after flops with its own operating system and an ill-fated purchase of smartphone maker Nokia.

24. 4 things you must do if your order arrives damaged -

Consumers shop online for just about everything. So you’ve likely experienced the stinging disappointment when a TV, piece of furniture or something else you ordered finally arrives on your doorstep – damaged.

25. UPS gets government approval to become a drone airline -

DALLAS (AP) — UPS has won government approval to operate a nationwide fleet of drones, which will let the company expand deliveries on hospital campuses and move it one step closer to making deliveries to consumers.

26. Amazon offers a way to delete Alexa recordings automatically -

NEW YORK (AP) — Users of Amazon's Alexa digital assistant can now request that recordings of their voice commands delete automatically.

Amazon says it saves such commands to improve the service. But the practice has raised concerns with privacy experts who say the recordings could get into the wrong hands, especially as Amazon and other companies use human reviewers rather than just machines. Tech companies have been reviewing their practices in light of those concerns.

27. Walmart's Sam's Club launches health care pilot to members -

NEW YORK (AP) — Walmart's Sam's Club is teaming up with several health care companies to offer discounts on routine care that customers might delay or skip because of the cost.

Starting next month, Sam's Club members in Michigan, Pennsylvania and North Carolina will be able to buy bundles of health care services that include discounted dental care, free prescriptions for certain generic medications, and telehealth consultations.

28. Best Buy sees growth in health care technology for elderly -

NEW YORK (AP) — The nation's largest consumer electronics chain, known for selling TV sets, cellphones and laptops, is looking to health care as a big source of its future growth.

Best Buy Co. said Wednesday that in five years it hopes to provide 5 million seniors with health monitoring services, which can range from sensors placed throughout a home to a pendant worn around the neck. It currently provides the service to 1 million.

29. Global postal union meets amid Trump threat to pull US out -

GENEVA (AP) — The effects of President Donald Trump's standoff with China could soon be coming to a post office near you — and higher shipping rates for some types of mail are the likely outcome.

The Trump administration is threatening to pull the United States out of the 145-year-old Universal Postal Union, complaining that some postal carriers like China's aren't paying enough to have foreign shipments delivered to U.S. recipients.

30. Stocks fall on fresh trade worries -

Wall Street closed out a volatile week with losses Friday as investors worried that upcoming trade talks aimed at resolving the costly trade war between Washington and Beijing could be in trouble.

The selling, which erased modest early gains for the market, snapped a three-week win streak for the S&P 500. The benchmark index is still up 2.2% for September.

31. Senate tech critic to Facebook CEO: Sell WhatsApp, Instagram -

WASHINGTON (AP) — As Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg met Thursday with President Donald Trump and other critics of the tech industry, the Senate's most vocal detractor offered a challenge: Sell your WhatsApp and Instagram properties to prove you're serious about protecting data privacy.

32. Walgreens, Google affiliate to launch drone delivery test -

Walgreens and a Google affiliate are testing drone deliveries that can put drugstore products on customer doorsteps minutes after being ordered.

Snacks like Goldfish Crackers or gummy bears as well as aspirin for sick kids will be delivered starting next month in Christiansburg, Virginia, by a 10-pound (4.5-kilogram) drone flying as fast as 70 miles (113 kilometers) per hour, the companies said Thursday.

33. 'Middle of the herd' no more: Amazon tackles climate change -

NEW YORK (AP) — Online shopping giant Amazon revealed a carbon footprint Thursday that rivals that of a small country and vowed to reduce the damage to the planet by cutting its use of fossil fuels.

34. Grand Hyatt shows off its indoor spaces -

The 25-story Grand Hyatt Nashville, opening in the fall of 2020, has released updated renderings of its indoor event spaces.

Located on Broadway within the 17-acre, Nashville Yards development, the hotel will be surrounded by shopping, restaurants, bars and entertainment

35. Facebook slashes price, size of Portal video call gadget -

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Facebook is slashing the price and the size of the Portal, its screen and camera-equipped gadget for making video calls with friends and family as it attempts to get the device into more homes.

36. Lawmakers asking 4 big tech companies for documents in probe -

WASHINGTON (AP) — House lawmakers investigating the market dominance of Big Tech are asking Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple for a broad range of documents including internal communications.

Letters went out to the four companies on Friday from the leaders of the House Judiciary Committee and its subcommittee on antitrust, which has been conducting a sweeping antitrust investigation of the companies and their impact on competition and consumers.

37. US retail sales rise moderately as auto-buying jumps -

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. retail sales rose moderately in August, driven higher by a jump in auto buying and healthy online sales, evidence that consumers are still spending enough to support growth.

38. Walmart rolls out unlimited grocery delivery subscription -

NEW YORK (AP) — Walmart is rolling out an unlimited grocery delivery subscription service this fall as it races to gain an advantage in the competitive fresh food business.

The service will charge an annual membership fee of $98 for subscribers to access unlimited same-day delivery, which will be offered in 1,400 stores in 200 markets. By year-end, it will extend to a total of 1,600 stores — or more than 50% of the country.

39. Friendly fire: Trump's trade fights target US allies, too -

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has risked turmoil in the financial markets and damage to the U.S. economy in waging his trade war with China, America's top strategic rival.

But Trump hasn't exactly gone easy on America's friends, either. From Europe to Japan, the president has stirred up under-the-radar trade disputes that potentially could erupt within weeks or months with damaging consequences.

40. Apple takes on Netflix with a $5-a-month streaming service -

CUPERTINO, Calif. (AP) — Apple is finally taking on Netflix with its own streaming television service and, uncharacteristically for the company, offering it at a bargain price — $5 a month beginning on Nov. 1.

41. Apple unveils a cheaper iPhone and pricing for streaming TV -

CUPERTINO, Calif. (AP) — Apple unveiled new iPhones that are largely unchanged from previous models and accompanied by an unexpected price cut for the cheapest model, underscoring the company's efforts to counteract a sales slump of its flagship product.

42. Big Tech faces a new set of foes: nearly all 50 US states -

Big tech companies have long rebuffed attempts by the U.S. federal government to scrutinize or scale back their market power. Now they face a scrappy new coalition as well: prosecutors from nearly all 50 states.

43. Looking to hire 30,000, Amazon plans job fairs in Nashville, nationwide -

NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon is going on a hiring spree.

The online shopping giant is holding job fairs across the country next week, aiming to hire more than 30,000 people by early next year, a 5% bump in its total workforce.

44. UPS plans to hold holiday hiring steady at about 100,000 -

DALLAS (AP) — UPS said Monday it expects to hire about 100,000 seasonal workers and pay them more to handle the avalanche of packages shipped between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

That's about the same number of people that UPS hired for last year's holiday season. UPS is also counting on automation to keep up with the constant growth in online shopping.

45. To fill 30,000 jobs, Amazon plans hiring events in 6 cities -

NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon is going on a hiring spree.

The online shopping giant is looking to fill more than 30,000 vacant jobs by early next year, and is holding job fairs in across the country next week to find candidates.

46. As feds loom, states hit Facebook, Google with new probes -

NEW YORK (AP) — Two bipartisan groups of state attorneys general are launching separate antitrust investigations into Facebook and Google, adding to regulatory scrutiny of two of the world's largest and most ubiquitous tech companies.

47. Plans for new US-China trade talks boost US stock indexes -

Investors powered U.S. stocks to broad gains Thursday, cheering plans for another round of trade negotiations between Washington and Beijing, and drawing encouragement from a batch of positive economic data.

48. TVs to shoes: This time consumers face pain of Trump tariffs -

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's trade war with China, until now mainly an abstraction for American consumers, is about to hit home.

Beginning Sunday, the U.S. government will begin collecting 15% tariffs on $112 billion in Chinese imports — items ranging from smartwatches and TVs to shoes, diapers, sporting goods and meat and dairy products. For the first time since Trump launched his trade war, American households face price increases because many U.S. companies say they'll be forced to pass on to customers the higher prices they'll pay on Chinese imports.

49. Dow surges 326 points on hopes for US-China trade talks -

Stocks finished with broad gains on Wall Street Thursday, driving the Dow Jones Industrial Average more than 300 points higher.

The buying spree gave the market its second straight gain after a wobbly start to the week. The S&P 500 is now on track for its first weekly gain in five weeks.

50. Apple apologizes, changes how humans review Siri audio -

NEW YORK (AP) — Apple is apologizing and changing the way humans review audio recordings made through the company's Siri digital assistant.

The company already suspended the practice following the discovery that Apple and other major tech companies have been doing this.

51. Who gets your digital assets - heirs or hackers? -

A bank or brokerage can’t just take your money when you die. If you don’t have a will or other estate plan, the laws of your state determine who gets the value in those accounts.

Your digital assets are a different story. Your online photos and videos, frequent flyer miles, cryptocurrency and other digitally stored files may well disappear without a trace if you don’t make a plan to pass them along.

52. Macron pushes outreach to Russia, offers 'balancing' role -

PARIS (AP) — French President Emmanuel Macron says it's time for Europe to reach out to Russia — to keep it in the Western fold, check its global ambitions and avoid being caught in the middle of a new Cold War.

53. One empty chair at G-7 climate meeting: Trump's -

BIARRITZ, France (AP) — U.S. President Donald Trump skipped a discussion on climate with other world leaders at the Group of Seven summit in France, leaving an empty chair as global power brokers debated how to help the fire-ravaged Amazon and reduce carbon emissions.

54. Target thrives in intense retail environment -

NEW YORK (AP) — Target topped expectations in just about any way measureable during the second quarter as it pushed faster delivery for customers and invested heavily in new private label brands.

Comparable store sales, which include online sales, rose 3.4 % as customer traffic jumped 2.4%. The measure includes sales at stores open at least a year and online sales. Sales at established stores rose 1.5 %. Online sales soared 34%.

55. Amazon: Facial recognition program for cops detects emotion -

SEATTLE (AP) — Amazon has announced its facial recognition program used by one Washington state police agency can now detect emotion, generating concerns from privacy advocates.

KING-TV reported Thursday that Amazon announced its Rekognition tool has been enhanced to detect basic emotions, including fear.

56. Walmart delivers big in 2Q -

NEW YORK (AP) — Walmart offered a dose of optimism amid growing concerns over weakening economic growth by raising its annual outlook after a strong second quarter.

Sales at stores opened at least a year rose 2.8%, its 20th consecutive quarter in the right direction as the world's largest retailer continues to expand its grocery delivery services. U.S. online sales increased 37%.

57. US retail sales rise strongly in sign of consumer optimism -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans spent more at retail stores and restaurants in July, a sign that concerns over weakening economic growth and a persistent trade war that have roiled financial markets have yet to dampen consumer confidence.

58. Walmart delivers, a lot, in second quarter -

NEW YORK (AP) — Walmart raised its annual outlook after a strong second quarter for the world's largest retailer thanks in part to strong online grocery deliveries.

Sales at stores opened at least a year rose 2.8%, its 20th consecutive quarter in the right direction.

59. CBS, Viacom to reunite as media giants bulk up for streaming -

NEW YORK (AP) — CBS and Viacom announced a long-anticipated reunion Tuesday, bringing together their television networks and the Paramount movie studio as traditional media giants bulk up to challenge streaming companies like Netflix.

60. UN climate report: Change land use to avoid a hungry future -

GENEVA (AP) — Human-caused climate change is dramatically degrading the Earth's land and the way people use the land is making global warming worse, a new United Nations scientific report says. That creates a vicious cycle which is already making food more expensive, scarcer and less nutritious.

61. FedEx severs ties with Amazon -

NEW YORK (AP) — FedEx is severing ties with Amazon as the online retailer builds out its own delivery fleet and becomes more of a threat.

The decision by FedEx also illustrates how e-commerce has become universal as major retailers ramp up their online presence.

62. Q&A: What to know about the Capital One data breach -

NEW YORK (AP) — One of the country's biggest credit card issuers, Capital One Financial, is the latest big business to be hit by a data breach, disclosing that roughly 100 million people had some personal information stolen by a hacker.

63. Capital One target of massive data breach -

SEATTLE (AP) — A security breach at Capital One Financial, one of the nation's largest issuers of credit cards, compromised the personal information of about 106 million people, and in some cases the hacker obtained Social Security and bank account numbers.

64. US stocks slip ahead of key Fed meeting, busy earnings week -

Major U.S. stock indexes closed mostly lower Monday as investors turned cautious ahead of a key Federal Reserve interest policy announcement and other potentially market-moving developments on tap for this week.

65. French wine vs US tech prowess: new Trump-Macron standoff -

PARIS (AP) — France is pushing ahead with a landmark tax on tech companies like Google and Facebook despite U.S. President Donald Trump's threats of retaliatory tariffs on French wine.

That's rattling French vintners, who sold 1.6 billion euros ($1.78 billion) worth of wine last year to American consumers. But neither Trump nor French President Emmanuel Macron appears ready to back down.

66. Trump vows to retaliate against French digital tax -

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is promising to retaliate against France for adopting a pioneering tax on internet giants like Google, Amazon and Facebook.

He also managed to get in a shot at French wine. Trump, who doesn't drink, tweets: "I've always said American wine is better than French wine!"

67. Stocks slide over disappointing earnings reports -

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks retreated from record highs on Wall Street Thursday as large companies delivered weak earnings and disappointing forecasts.

The daylong slide marked a turnaround from Wednesday, when a series of solid earnings helped push major indexes to records. This is one of the busiest weeks in the latest round of corporate earnings. The market has been volatile since reports started trickling in last week.

68. FTC fines Facebook $5B, adds limited oversight on privacy -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal regulators have fined Facebook $5 billion for privacy violations and are instituting new oversight and restrictions on its business. But they are only holding CEO Mark Zuckerberg personally responsible in a limited fashion.

69. Justice Dept. puts Big Tech under the antitrust microscope -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Like Europe before it, the U.S. government looks ready to try reining in its technology giants. But doing so may be more difficult than it seems.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Justice opened a sweeping antitrust investigation of major technology companies and whether their online platforms have hurt competition, suppressed innovation or otherwise harmed consumers.

70. Netflix subscriber drop hints at streaming-service fatigue -

NEW YORK (AP) — How much is too much for streaming video?

A dramatic slowdown in worldwide growth at Netflix — including the first quarterly drop in its U.S. subscribers since 2011 — is raising questions about just how much are people willing to pay for streaming services. Especially with a host of new ones from Disney, Apple and others on their way.

71. Toys R Us plans a small comeback with 2 stores this year -

NEW YORK (AP) — The first two new Toys R Us stores — one in Texas, the other in New Jersey — will open in November as part of a small comeback of the defunct iconic toy chain in the U.S.

Richard Barry, a former Toys R Us executive and now CEO of the new company called Tru Kids Brands, says an online experience will follow. He says brand partners and more details will be announced in coming weeks.

72. EU fines chipmaker Qualcomm for 'predatory pricing' -

BRUSSELS (AP) — In yet another European Union move against a U.S. tech company, the bloc's antitrust chief on Thursday fined chipmaker Qualcomm $271 million, accusing it of "predatory pricing" to drive a competitor out of the market.

73. Netflix's subscriber growth drops in 2Q, stock tumbles -

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Netflix's video streaming service suffered a dramatic slowdown in growth during its traditionally sluggish spring season, a drop-off coming as it girds for even stiffer competition.

74. Dems pan 'Zuck buck,' want Facebook to rein in currency plan -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Facebook endured a second day of criticism from Congress over its plan to create a digital currency as senior House Democrats asked Facebook to scale back the project and threatened legislation that would block big tech companies from getting into banking.

75. Congress grills Big Tech over competition, money, power -

Big Tech faced tough questions this week as federal lawmakers focused on issues of potentially anticompetitive behavior by technology giants and expressed bipartisan skepticism over Facebook's plan for a new digital currency.

76. US objects to French tax on tech firms at G-7 meeting -

CHANTILLY, France (AP) — The Trump administration is objecting to France's plan to tax Facebook, Google and other U.S. tech giants, a rift that's overshadowing talks between seven longtime allies this week on issues ranging from digital currencies to trade.

77. With Big Tech's dominance under scrutiny, EU probes Amazon -

BRUSSELS (AP) — While the U.S. Congress talks about reining in big tech companies, Europe is taking action.

The European Union said Wednesday it is investigating whether Amazon uses data from independent retailers to gain an unfair advantage, a decision that could lead to changes in how the internet's biggest marketplace works.

78. Cryptocurrencies, digital tax top the agenda for G-7 meeting -

PARIS (AP) — Finance officials from the Group of Seven rich democracies will weigh risks from new digital currencies and debate how to tax tech companies like Google and Amazon when they meet this week in the Paris suburb of Chantilly.

79. Facebook's currency plan gets hostile reception in Congress -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Under sharp criticism from senators, a Facebook executive on Tuesday defended the social network's ambitious plan to create a digital currency and pledged to work with regulators to achieve a system that protects the privacy of users' data.
"We know we need to take the time to get this right," David Marcus, the Facebook executive leading the project, told the Senate Banking Committee at a hearing.
But that message did little to assure senators. Members of both parties demanded to know why a company with massive market power and a track record of scandals should be trusted with such a far-reaching project, given the potential for fraud, abuse and criminal activity.
"Facebook is dangerous," asserted Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio, the committee's senior Democrat. Like a toddler playing with matches, "Facebook has burned down the house over and over," he told Marcus. "Do you really think people should trust you with their bank accounts and their money?"
Republican Sen. Martha McSally of Arizona said "the core issue here is trust."Users won't be able to opt out of providing their personal data when joining the new digital wallet for Libra, McSally said. "Arizonans will be more likely to be scammed" using the currency, she said. The litany of criticism came as Congress began two days of hearings on the currency planned by Facebook, to be called Libra. Also Tuesday, a House Judiciary subcommittee was extending its bipartisan investigation of the market power of Facebook, Google, Amazon and Apple.
On the defensive from bursts of aggressive questioning, Marcus indicated the currency plan is a work in progress. "We will take the time" to ensure the network won't be open to use by criminals and illicit activity like money laundering and financial fraud. "We hope that we'll avoid conflicts of interest. We have a lot of work to do," Marcus said.
The grilling followed a series of negative comments and warnings about the Libra plan in recent days from President Donald Trump, his treasury secretary and the head of the Federal Reserve.
But some senators emphasized the potential positive benefits of Facebook's plan, meant to bring money transacting at low cost to millions around the globe who don't have bank accounts. Facebook had its strong defenders of the project, too, on the panel.
"To strangle this baby in the crib is wildly premature," said Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa.
In that vein, Marcus said Libra "is about developing a safe, secure and low-cost way for people to move money efficiently around the world. We believe that Libra can make real progress toward building a more inclusive financial infrastructure."
The planned digital currency is to be a blend of multiple currencies, so that its value will fluctuate in any given local currency. Because Libra will be backed by a reserve, and because the group of companies managing it will encourage a competitive system of exchanges, the project leaders say, "anyone with Libra has a high degree of assurance they can sell it for local (sovereign) currency based on an exchange rate."
Promising low fees, the new currency system could open online commerce to millions of people around the world who lack access to bank accounts and make it cheaper to send money across borders. But it also raises concerns over the privacy of users' data and the potential for criminals to use it for money laundering and fraud.
To address privacy concerns, Facebook created a nonprofit oversight association, with dozens of partners including PayPal, Uber, Spotify, Visa and MasterCard, to govern Libra. As one among many in the association, Facebook says it won't have any special rights or privileges. It also created a "digital wallet" subsidiary, Calibra, to work on the technology, separately from its main social media business. While Facebook owns and controls Calibra, it won't see financial data from it, the company says.
Senators demanded to know exactly what that separation will entail.
"Facebook isn't a company; it's a country," said Sen. John Kennedy, R-La. Kennedy and other conservative senators took the occasion to air long-standing grievances against Facebook, Twitter and Google for a perceived bias against conservative views.
Facebook's currency proposal has also faced heavy skepticism from the Trump administration.
Trump tweeted last week that the new currency, Libra, "will have little standing or dependability." Both Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Fed Chair Jerome Powell have expressed serious concerns recently that Libra could be used for illicit activity.
The Treasury Department has "very serious concerns that Libra could be misused by money launderers and terrorist financers," Mnuchin told reporters at the White House on Monday. "This is indeed a national security issue."
Facebook has "a lot of work to do before we get to the point where we're comfortable with it," Mnuchin said.

...

80. Report: FTC approves roughly $5B fine for Facebook -

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The FTC has voted to approve a fine of about $5 billion for Facebook over privacy violations, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday. The report cited an unnamed person familiar with the matter.

81. One reason for a Fed cut: Powell now fears too-low inflation -

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a shift from just a few months ago, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell is worried that too-low inflation could persist for a while — and undercut the U.S. economy.

82. Trump applauds far-right social media provocateurs -

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump used a White House conference Thursday to applaud far-right social media provocateurs even as he conceded that some of them are extreme in their views.

83. Human workers can listen to Google Assistant recordings -

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Google contractors regularly listen to and review some recordings of what people say to artificial-intelligence system Google Assistant, via their phone or through smart speakers such as the Google Home.

84. France adopts pioneering tax on tech giants after US threat -

PARIS (AP) — France on Thursday adopted a pioneering tax on internet giants like Google, Amazon and Facebook despite U.S. threats of new tariffs on French imports if Paris went ahead with the plan.

85. Amazon, seeking more skilled workers, will do the training -

SEATTLE (AP) — Amazon will provide technical training to about one-third of its U.S. workforce, both to address the need for more skilled workers and to better compete against rivals.

Amazon and other companies have struggled to find technically qualified U.S. employees. It said Thursday that it will begin providing its workers with the skills to transition into software engineering positions and other technical roles.

86. Amazon to train third of US workforce with technical skills -

SEATTLE (AP) — Amazon will spend more than $700 million to provide additional training to about one-third of its U.S. workforce.

Amazon, which like other companies has struggled to find technically qualified U.S. employees, said it will provide its workers with the skills to transition into software engineering positions and technical roles.

87. Weighing pros, cons of in-car personal assistants -

Get ready to do a lot more talking to your car. Smartphone personal assistants – Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Assistant, for example – can be used for a variety of tasks.

88. UK health service to use Amazon Alexa to give medical advice -

LONDON (AP) — Alexa will see you now. Britain's health care service is teaming up with Amazon's digital voice assistant to help answer medical queries with advice from the service's official website.

89. Federal court: Amazon can be sued for 3rd-party defective product -

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A federal appeals court has ruled that Amazon can be sued over a defective product sold by one of its third-party vendors.

A Pennsylvania woman sued after a retractable dog leash she bought online snapped and hit her four years ago, leaving her permanently blind in one eye.

90. Trump v. Big Tech: Social media summit will snub tech titans -

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is gathering conservative groups at the White House this week for a "summit" on social media that will prominently snub the tech titans who run big platforms on Facebook, Twitter and Google.

91. Amazon, Microsoft wage war over the Pentagon's 'war cloud' -

Amazon and Microsoft are battling it out over a $10 billion opportunity to build the U.S. military its first "war cloud" computing system. But Amazon's early hopes of a shock-and-awe victory may be slipping away.

92. Amazon Minnesota warehouse workers plan 'Prime Day' strike -

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Workers at an Amazon warehouse in suburban Minneapolis said Monday they'll hit the online retail and entertainment giant with a brief strike next Monday — its heavily touted "Prime Day" — in a continuing push to improve pay and working conditions for the facility's heavily East African workforce.

93. Big business to Supreme Court: Defend LGBTQ people from bias -

NEW YORK (AP) — More than 200 corporations, including many of America' best-known companies, are urging the U.S. Supreme Court to rule that federal civil rights law bans job discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

94. French protesters block Amazon sites over climate, jobs -

PARIS (AP) — Environmental activists who have been joined by some yellow vest protesters are disrupting Amazon sites in France, accusing the online company of destroying jobs and hurting the planet.

95. Amazon adds new option: Buy on Amazon, pick up at Rite Aid -

NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon is adding a new way to get your packages: head over to another store's sales counter to pick it up.

Starting Thursday, Amazon shoppers will be able to fetch their orders at more than 100 Rite Aid stores across the United States. It will expand to 1,500 Rite Aid locations by year-end. And Amazon said it's looking to bring the service to other stores, both big and small.

96. Amazon partners with Rite Aid for package pickup nationwide -

SEATTLE (AP) — Amazon will add more than 1,500 package pickup locations in a partnership with the national pharmacy chain Rite Aid.

Starting Thursday, customers will be able to pick up orders at more than 100 Rite Aid stores and that will jump to more than 1,500 by the end of the year.

97. Wayfair workers protest contract with detention center -

BOSTON (AP) — Employees at online home furnishings retailer Wayfair walked out Wednesday to protest the company's decision to sell $200,000 worth of furniture to a government contractor that runs a detention center for migrant children in Texas.

98. FedEx loses $2 billion, warns of headwinds in coming year -

DALLAS (AP) — FedEx Corp. posted weak quarterly results in its core express business and warned Tuesday that its profit in the year ahead will be hurt by slowing growth in the world economy and the decision to drop a contract with retail giant Amazon.

99. What's your data worth to Big Tech? Bill would compel answer -

WASHINGTON (AP) — As Congress bears down on big tech companies, two senators want to force giants like Google, Facebook and Amazon to tell users what data they're collecting from them and how much it's worth.

100. Amazon adds more jets to its growing fleet -

NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon's fleet of jets is getting bigger.

The online shopping giant said Tuesday that it will lease 15 more Boeing 737s as it seeks to grow its delivery business and get packages to shoppers' doorsteps faster. Amazon is in the midst of speeding up its delivery time to one-day from two for its Prime members.