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Biden touts low unemployment rate on heels of sluggish November job growth

Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- On the heels of a sluggish November jobs report, President Joe Biden on Friday touted the country's employment landscape as improving despite there being fewer jobs added last month than economists expected. "We're looking at the sharpest one-year decline in unemployment ever. Simply put, America -- America is back to work. And our jobs recovery is going very strong," Biden said in remarks from the White House on Friday morning. "Today's historic drop in unemployment rate includes dramatic improvements for workers who have often seen higher wages and higher levels of unemployment." With Biden sounding congested for the second day in a row, a reporter said his voice sounded "different" and asked the 79-year-old president if   ... Read More

US employers added a sluggish 210,000 jobs in November

US employers added a sluggish 210,000 jobs in NovemberBy CHRISTOPHER RUGABER AP Economics Writer WASHINGTON -- America’s employers slowed the pace of their hiring in November, adding 210,000 jobs, the fewest in nearly a year. Friday’s report from the Labor Department also showed that the unemployment rate fell sharply to 4.2% from 4.6%. That is a historically low level though still above the pre-pandemic jobless rate of 3.5%. Overall, the November jobs figures point to an economic recovery that looks resilient though under threat from a spike in inflation, shortages of workers and supplies and the potential impact of the omicron variant of the coronavirus. Little is definitively known about the variant, and widespread business shutdowns are considered unlikely. Still, omicron could discourage some Americans from traveling, shopping   ... Read More

Facebook ‘failing’ to tackle COVID-19 misinformation posted by prominent anti-vaccine group, study claims

Charday Penn/iStock(NEW YORK) -- At least until June 2021, Facebook had significant gaps in its efforts to tackle COVID-19 misinformation from one of the most prominent anti-vaccine groups in the world, according to a study from ISD Global, a U.K.-based think tank that studies polarization, extremism and misinformation. During the first year of the pandemic, Facebook pages associated with the World Doctors Alliance -- an anti-vaccine group whose members regularly post false information about COVID-19 -- ballooned in popularity, according to ISD Global, despite consistent breaches of Facebook's own COVID-19 and vaccine policies. The group's primary page was removed from the platform in July 2021. "The World Doctors Alliance is a collective of pseudo-science influencers … that hijacked the pandemic   ... Read More

Microsoft shareholders vote to force company to better report sexual harassment data

HJBC/iStock(NEW YORK) -- Microsoft Corp. shareholders voted on Tuesday to force the company to more transparently address sexual harassment claims via independent investigations and public reporting. The proposal, approved during the company's annual shareholder meeting, was brought by Arjuna Capital, an investment firm known for its Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) activism. The vote may be seen by some as a win for activist investors seeking to drive change from the inside out in the private sector. Under the proposal, Microsoft would have to prepare and release a report "assessing the effectiveness of the company’s workplace sexual harassment policies, including the results of any comprehensive independent audit/investigations, analysis of policies and practices, and commitments to create a safe, inclusive work   ... Read More

What’s next for Amazon union election in Alabama after do-over is ordered

iStock(NEW YORK) -- In a rare move, the National Labor Relations Board has ordered a union election do-over for Amazon warehouse workers in Bessemer, Alabama. A date has not yet been determined for the second vote, but the looming new union election comes as the labor movement has gained new steam in recent months, propelled by unique market conditions and increased workplace activism seen in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. During the initial election in April, Amazon warehouse workers overwhelmingly voted against forming a union at the Bessemer warehouse despite high-profile support for unionization at the time from lawmakers and even President Joe Biden. The order for a new election stands unless Amazon files a request for review with   ... Read More

Prosecutors question Elizabeth Holmes, 1 day after she leveled abuse claims against her former partner and company COO

iStock/CatEyePerspective(SAN JOSE, Calif.) -- Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes is back on the stand Tuesday, facing questions from prosecutors after she tearfully told the jury Monday about what she described as nearly a decade of mental and physical abuse at the hands of her former romantic partner and company COO, Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani. Holmes, 37, said that Balwani, 56, forced her to have sex with him and “prescribed” her a schedule which included who to meet with and what to eat. "He impacted everything about who I was," said Holmes, who paused before continuing. "And I don't fully understand that." “He would force me to have sex with him when I didn’t want to because he would say that he wanted   ... Read More

Walmart CEO optimistic about holiday inventory, comments on FTC supply chain probe

Sundry Photography/iStock(NEW YORK) -- As holiday shopping season ramps up, Walmart CEO John Furman addressed the concerns of prices and how long supplies will last. Furman told Good Morning America that President Joe Biden, who met with retail executives this week, and his administration have "been a great help." "We're all working together to make sure that customers have what they need over the holiday season and ended our third quarter up in inventory," Furman said. "It took a lot of work on behalf of our team and they're working really hard." As the calendar dwindles down on 2021, Furman said that "it's always a good idea to shop early" and "just like every year there's something hot, a hot   ... Read More

Travel Tuesday: How to find the best flight deals

Rawf8/iStock(NEW YORK) -- Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Travel Tuesday? Tuesday marks a potentially big day for saving if you're looking to snag a deal on a trip in 2022. "A lot of folks in the travel industry are trying to encourage people to not just buy things over the holiday weekend, but buy experiences as well," Scott Keyes, Scott's Cheap Flights founder and author of Take More Vacations, said. "Buy travel and treat yourself to that gift of those lifetime memories from trips you take." Paul Couch, a city surveyor from Akron, Ohio, is looking to do just that. He will be scouring the airlines' websites for a reasonably-priced getaway this travel holiday. "I'm hoping for the best," he said.   ... Read More

Christmas tree farmers prepare for bigger crowds, more demand this holiday season

Nathaniel_Young/iStock(NEW YORK) -- The holiday season is in full swing and tree farmers across the country are preparing for the Christmas crowds. At Boyd Mountain Christmas Tree Farm in Waynesville, North Carolina, customers can cut down their own Christmas tree. Darren Nicholson, who works at the farm, said he is grateful to see people "coming out in record numbers to get the perfect Christmas tree." Across the country, wholesale tree grower The Jonsteen Company packages live tree saplings and seed growing kits. The California-based company specializes in Giant Sequoias and Coast Redwoods but offers a variety of different trees, including evergreens, giving customers a chance to plant their own Christmas tree and watch it grow over the years. One Jonsteen   ... Read More

Nissan to invest $17.6 billion to accelerate electrification plans as auto industry evolves

Tramino/iStock(NEW YORK) -- Japanese car giant Nissan Motor Co. said it plans to invest $17.6 billion to accelerate its electrification plans, as the industry as a whole pivots away from gas-powered autos. Nissan said it will invest 2 trillion Japanese yen over the next five years (just under $17.6 billion) and will launch 23 new electrified models, including 15 new electric vehicles. The company said it is aiming to have a 50% electrification lineup by 2030 as part of its "Nissan Ambition 2030" initiative, which will put electrification at the center of its long-term strategy. "The role of companies to address societal needs is increasingly heightened," Nissan CEO Makoto Uchida said in a statement. "With Nissan Ambition 2030, we will   ... Read More

Co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey is resigning from Twitter

Wachiwit/iStock(NEW YORK) -- Jack Dorsey is resigning from his role as CEO of Twitter, the social media platform he co-founded in 2006, he announced in a tweet on Monday. "After almost 16 years of having a role at our company...from co-founder to CEO to Chair to Exec Chair to interim-CEO to CEO...I decided its finally time for me to leave," Dorsey wrote. "Why? There's a lot of talk about the importance of a company being 'founder-led.' Ultimately I believe that's severely limiting and a single point of failure. I've worked hard to ensure this company can break away from its founding and founders." not sure anyone has heard but, I resigned from Twitter — jack⚡️ (@jack) November 29, 2021   ... Read More

Mom uses thousands of data points to show workload of maternity leave

Courtesy Michael DiBenigno and Kristen Cuneo(SAN FRANCISCO) -- For any mom who's ever been asked if they "enjoyed their vacation" during maternity leave, Kristen Cuneo has the perfect reply. Cuneo, who works for a technology company in the San Francisco Bay area, created a data visualization showing as data points every bottle feed, breastfeed and diaper change she completed in the first seven weeks after giving birth to her daughter, Autumn, in January. Just a few seconds into the visualization, the data points take up an entire screen. "Objectively, it's a lot, and every data point took time, ranging from five minutes for a diaper change to 30 minutes for a feeding, on average," said Cuneo, presenting the data to   ... Read More

Dow sinks more than 900 points on concerns over South Africa COVID-19 variant

iStock/Nikada(NEW YORK) -- The Dow Jones Industrial Average sank more than 900 points on Friday over concerns about the spread of the new COVID-19 variant detected in South Africa. Anxiety among investors grew as countries ramped up responses to the variant, called B.1.1.529, first detected in Botswana. The United Kingdom and European Union quickly moved to propose travel restrictions to southern Africa, while new cases of the variant were found as far away as Hong Kong, Belgium and Israel. The Dow fell 2.53%, to 34,899, while the Nasdaq fell 2.23%, to 15,492, and the S&P tumbled 2.27% to 4,595. Trading ends early on Black Friday, often the slowest day of the year. Fewer trades can mean increased volatility, and at one   ... Read More

Classic car shows evolve alongside a new generation of car enthusiasts

ABC News/Mike Dobuski(NEW YORK) -- Classic car shows have long been a staple of car enthusiasm -- a place for gearheads to gather with fellow enthusiasts to show off their antique rides. "The vibe is usually really, really chill. It usually happens pretty early in the morning on the weekend," says Kristen Lee, deputy editor of automotive news site, The Drive. "People bring their dogs, they get all their cars polished up and they come and they park, and they kind of just walk around and admire everybody's ride." A recent show in New York City featured the usual classics. Ford Mustangs, Chevrolet Corvettes and Chevelles, Pontiac Firebirds, and Dodge Challengers from the '50s and '60s were all well represented. The   ... Read More

T-Mobile to pay nearly $20 million after outage leads to thousands of 911 calls failing

iStock/ChiccoDodiFC(NEW YORK) -- T-Mobile will pay some $19.5 million as part of a settlement with the Federal Communications Commission after a 12-hour outage in June of last year resulted in the failure of tens of thousands of emergency 911 calls. The FCC announced the agreement that would resolve its investigation into the matter, saying T-Mobile has agreed to pay the multi-million dollar settlement and implement a compliance plan with new commitments to improve the 911 outage notices given to public safety answering points, as well as provide follow-up notices to them within two hours of the initial outage notifications. On June 15, 2020, a 12-hour and 13-minute outage took place that led to congestion across T-Mobile's 4G, 3G and 2G   ... Read More

When might the release from the US strategic oil reserve affect gas prices?

Extreme Media/iStock(NEW YORK) -- The White House announcement Tuesday that the U.S is taking the rare step of releasing oil from the nation's strategic reserve in an attempt to lower gas prices comes as inflation-battered Americans are feeling the pinch at the pump ahead of Thanksgiving travel. While the news could bring relief of five to 15 cents per gallon in the coming days and weeks, industry experts told ABC News, they remain skeptical about whether the move will ease longer-term pressures in the oil market and concerned over how oil producers could punitively respond. The announcement that the U.S. will disperse 50 million barrels of crude oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve -- a complex of four sites with   ... Read More

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