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Facebook civil rights audit: ‘Serious setbacks’ mar progress
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A two-year audit of Facebook’s civil rights record found “serious setbacks” that have marred the social network’s progress on matters such as hate speech, misinformation and bias. The audit’s leader, former American Civil Liberties Union executive Laura Murphy, was hired by Facebook in May 2018 to assess its performance on vital social issues. The final, 100-page report released Wednesday outlines a “seesaw of progress and setbacks” on everything from bias in Facebook’s algorithms to content moderation, advertising practices and voter suppression. The audit’s recommendations are not binding.
Renters face financial cliff ahead; limited help available
NEW YORK (AP) — Renters are nearing the end of their financial rope as the assistance and protections given to them during the pandemic run their course. About 30% of renters polled by the U.S. Census say they have no confidence or slight confidence in their ability to pay rent next month. The COVID-19 Eviction Defence Project, a coalition of economic researchers and legal experts, estimates that 19 million to 23 million Americans are at risk for eviction by the end of September.
United will warn 36,000 workers they could be laid off
CHICAGO (AP) — United Airlines is sending layoff warnings to 36,000 employees, nearly half its U.S. staff. It’s the clearest signal yet of how deeply the COVID-19 pandemic is hurting the airline industry. United officials said Wednesday that they still hope to limit the number of layoffs by offering early retirement, but they have to send notices this month to comply with a law requiring that workers get 60 days’ notice ahead of mass job cuts. The furloughs would include 11,000 flight attendants, 11,000 customer service and gate agents, 5,500 maintenance workers and 2,250 pilots.
Wall Street’s rally gets back on track as tech leads the way
NEW YORK (AP) — Wall Street’s rally got back on track Wednesday after more gains for big technology stocks helped pull the S&P 500 to its sixth gain in seven days. It came after a jumbled day of trading, where the S&P 500 drifted up and down a few times before a last-hour lift sent it to a gain of 0.8%. Gains for Apple, Amazon and Microsoft alone accounted for more than half of the S&P 500's rise.
Brooks Brothers, worn by Lincoln and Kennedy, goes bankrupt
NEW YORK (AP) — Brooks Brothers, the 200-year-old company that dressed nearly every U.S. president, is filing for bankruptcy protection. Founded in New York in 1818, Brooks Brothers survived two world wars, the Great Depression and even managed to stay afloat when more men opted to wear hoodies over ties in the office. But the pandemic pushed it into file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Wednesday with so many of its stores closed, and a crisp suit far removed from most shopping lists.
Buffett makes annual donations worth $2.9B to 5 charities
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Billionaire Warren Buffett has given away another $2.9 billion of his Berkshire Hathaway stock to five foundations as part of his plan to gradually give away his fortune. Buffett disclosed the annual gifts Wednesday. The biggest donation went to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Buffett also gave stock to his own foundation and to the foundations run by each of his three children. Buffett has been giving away blocks of Berkshire stock since 2006.
Judge dismisses GM’s bribery lawsuit against Fiat Chrysler
DETROIT (AP) — A federal judge in Detroit has tossed out General Motors’ lawsuit alleging that rival Fiat Chrysler paid off union leaders to get better contract terms than GM. In a ruling Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Paul Borman wrote that GM’s alleged injuries were not caused by FCA violating racketeering laws. He wrote that GM has not stated a claim that can be granted. GM said it disagreed with the ruling and will pursue legal remedies.
Facebook takes down accounts tied to Roger Stone
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Facebook on Wednesday said it has removed dozens of accounts linked to the hate group Proud Boys, to President Donald Trump’s longtime ally Roger Stone and to employees of Brazil’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, among others. A network tied to both Stone and the Proud Boys had fake accounts post about local politics in Florida, as well as Stone’s books, websites and media appearances. Stone’s own Facebook account was also banned. Facebook said these accounts were most active from 2015 to 2017. The accounts linked to Bolsonaro were removed for spreading misinformation, using fake identities and otherwise violating Facebook’s rules.
US consumers reduced their borrowing by $18.3 billion in May
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. consumers reduced their borrowing for a third straight month May as the millions of jobs lost because of the coronavirus pandemic made households less eager to take on new debt. The Federal Reserve reported Wednesday that consumer borrowing declined by $18.3 billion in May, a drop of 5.3%. Borrowing had fallen by 4.5% in March and then plunged 20.1% in April. That was the biggest one-month decline in percentage terms since the end of World War II.
The S&P 500 rose 24.62, or 0.8%, to 3,169.94. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 177.10 points, or 0.7%, to 26,067.28, and the Nasdaq composite gained 148.61, or 1.4%, to 10,492.50. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks rose 11.41, or 0.8%, to 1,427.40.
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