Business

Papa John’s ends tough year with weaker note

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Papa John’s closed out a tough year on a weak note but said it expects improvement in 2019. The Louisville, Kentucky-based pizza chain said sales at established locations in North America dropped 8 percent in the fourth quarter compared to the same period a year ...

Walmart flexes in the fourth quarter, beats all expectations

NEW YORK (AP) — Walmart defied a gloomy government retail sales report for December, delivering fiscal fourth-quarter profits and sales that beat Wall Street expectations. The world’s largest retailer also enjoyed another quarter of surging e-commerce sales during the critical holiday ...

FAA probes Southwest on baggage weight

Federal officials have told Southwest Airlines to fix the way it calculates the weight of luggage loaded on flights after finding frequent mistakes during a yearlong investigation. Southwest said Tuesday that it has made improvements in its methods for calculating the weight and balance of ...

Merkel defends Iran deal, multilateralism but Pence resists

MUNICH (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel robustly defended European nations’ decision to stand by the Iran nuclear deal in a spirited backing Saturday of her multilateral approach to global affairs, but U.S. Vice President Mike Pence promptly accused Europe of once again undermining ...

Employee being fired fatally shoots 5 co-workers

AURORA, Ill. (AP) — A 15-year employee being fired from a suburban Chicago manufacturing company started shooting Friday, killing five co-workers and wounding five police officers before he was killed by police, authorities said. Aurora, Illinois, Police Chief Kristen Ziman said 45-year-old ...

U.S. seeks ways to recycle lithium batteries in cars and cellphones

CHICAGO (AP) — The U.S. government will lead an ambitious effort to develop technologies to recycle lithium-ion batteries from electric vehicles, cellphones and other sources to ensure a reliable and affordable supply of metals crucial to battery production in anticipation of soaring global ...

Payless ShoeSource to shutter all of its remaining U.S. stores

NEW YORK (AP) — Payless ShoeSource is shuttering all of its 2,100 remaining stores in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, joining a list of iconic names like Toys R Us and Bon-Ton that have closed down in the last year. The Topeka, Kansas-based chain said Friday it will hold liquidation sales ...

Major airlines to give customers ‘nonbinary’ choice under gender

DALLAS (AP) — Major U.S. airlines say they will soon change their ticketing process to give passengers the option of identifying themselves as other than male or female. The gender option on airline sites will soon include choices such “undisclosed” or “unspecified.” There could ...

Trump-dominated board to close coal plant, despite his plea

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — A federal utility board voted Thursday to close a coal-fired power plant in Kentucky, rejecting pleas from President Donald Trump and U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and handing the coal industry a defeat in its backyard. The Tennessee Valley Authority ...

Buffett’s firm tweaks stock portfolio, adds Suncor, Red Hat

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Billionaire Warren Buffett’s company has taken a new stake in Canadian firm Suncor Energy and trimmed its huge Apple stake. Berkshire Hathaway Inc. filed a quarterly update on its holdings with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday. The Omaha, ...

Judge critical of PG&E’s wildfire role demands more answers

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A U.S. judge who has berated Pacific Gas & Electric Co. for its role in California wildfires demanded Thursday that the utility answer more questions about its efforts to clear trees and branches that can fall on its power lines and start fires. Judge William Alsup ...

Leader of new climate panel talks of need for ‘bold action’

WASHINGTON (AP) — It does not yet have office space, staff or even Republican members, but Florida Rep. Kathy Castor is confident that a special House committee on climate change will play a leading role on one of the most daunting challenges facing the planet. Castor, who chairs the new ...

UK scraps Brexit ferry deal with firm that has no ships

LONDON (AP) — The British government has canceled a contract to ship goods to the country after it leaves the European Union with a company that turned out to have no boats and no experience running a ferry service. Authorities had been criticized for the 13.8 million pound ($18 million) ...

Arizona health facility rape spurs video surveillance push

PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona is trying to catch up to 10 states with laws allowing electronic monitoring and other technology aimed at deterring abuse of vulnerable people at long-term care facilities, following the rape of an incapacitated Phoenix woman who later gave birth. Cameras are most ...

For Amazon, it’s business as usual despite CEO drama

NEW YORK (AP) — First it was a heart-wrenching tweet that he and his wife were getting a divorce after 25 years. Then a tabloid revealed that he’d been having an affair, releasing texts and photos of him and his mistress. As if either of those weren’t distracting enough, now Jeff Bezos ...

Bankruptcy judge gives Sears another chance

NEW YORK (AP) — A bankruptcy judge has blessed a $5.2 billion plan by Sears chairman and biggest shareholder to keep the iconic business going. The approval means roughly 425 stores and 45,000 jobs will be preserved. Eddie Lampert’s bid through an affiliate of his ESL hedge fund ...

Democrats seek Green New Deal to address climate change

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats launched a sweeping plan Thursday to transform the U.S. economy to combat climate change and create thousands of jobs in renewable energy, signaling its likely elevation as a central campaign issue in 2020 despite President Donald Trump’s failure to mention ...

Exxon, Qatar Petroleum to expand LNG export plant

DALLAS (AP) — Exxon Mobil is making a big bet on the future of exporting natural gas. Exxon and Qatar Petroleum announced Tuesday that they will go ahead with a $10 billion project to export liquefied natural gas from a plant on the Texas Gulf Coast. The companies said construction at the ...

Fiat Chrysler recalls over 660K trucks; steering could fail

DETROIT (AP) — Fiat Chrysler is recalling over 660,000 heavy-duty trucks worldwide because a loose nut can cause a loss of steering control. The recall covers Ram 3500 pickups from 2013 through 2017, as well as 2500 pickups and 3500 Chassis cabs from 2014 through 2017. The company says ...

Exxon revenue rises, 4Q profit beats expectations

DALLAS (AP) — Exxon Mobil increased revenue during a volatile fourth quarter for world oil markets, but profit fell 28 percent from a year earlier, when Exxon booked a huge gain from lower corporate tax rates. The earnings topped Wall Street expectations, however, and capped Exxon’s most ...