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Business Highlights: From Gucci to Prada, fashion fails evoke racist imagery

🕐 4 min read


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 Eddie Lampert to keep the iconic business going. The approval means roughly 425 stores and 45,000 jobs will be preserved. Lampert’s bid through his hedge fund overcame opposition from a group of creditors, including mall owners and suppliers, that tried to block the sale and pushed hard for liquidation.


MILAN (AP) — Luxury fashion is all about breaking codes, creating a new, irresistible message that captivates consumers. But some of the globe’s top brands have raised eyebrows with designs with seemingly racist undertones. The latest example of that is the Italian fashion brand Gucci, which designed a black wool balaclava sweater with an oversized collar that pulls over the chin and nose, with an opening for the mouth designed to look like big red lips and is reminiscent of blackface.


US stock indexes drop as economic, earnings worries rise

NEW YORK (AP) — Renewed pessimism about the strength of the global economy and corporate profits this year led to sharp losses on Wall Street Thursday. Technology companies, health care stocks and banks accounted for much of the selling. Twitter slumped almost 10 percent after issuing a weak forecast. Traders sought safety in U.S. government bonds, sending yields lower. The sell-off followed a slide in overseas markets after European officials slashed their 2019 economic growth forecast for the EU.


Not so fast: Some restaurants resist third-party delivery

NEW YORK (AP) Food delivery services like Uber Eats and Grubhub are taking off like a rocket. But some restaurants aren’t on board. Jimmy John’s sandwich chain is launching a national ad campaign this week promising never to use third-party delivery. But others are doubling-down on it. Starbucks recently announced it’s expanding delivery to more U.S. stores through Uber Eats. And Taco Bell is launching delivery nationwide through Grubhub.


20 indicted in multimillion-dollar online fraud scheme

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal prosecutors have indicted 20 people in a multimillion-dollar international online fraud scheme. The case stems from a lengthy investigation out of Kentucky led by Secret Service agents. The scheme unfolded on websites like Craigslist and eBay, and the fraudsters would post false ads for expensive items like cars that didn’t exist. The suspects were based mostly in Alexandria, Romania, and laundered the money using cryptocurrency.


Ivanka Trump project seeks to help women in developing world

WASHINGTON (AP) — Ivanka Trump has launched a White House effort aimed at helping 50 million women in the developing world get ahead economically over the next six years. The White House on Thursday unveiled the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative, a governmentwide project led by the senior adviser and daughter to President Donald Trump. The president called it a “historic step” and signed a national security memorandum to officially launch the effort.


Judge denies Hawaii’s move to get Airbnb host records

HONOLULU (AP) — A judge has denied Hawaii’s move to compel Airbnb to hand over a decade of vacation rental receipts as the state examines whether hosts have been paying the equivalent of hotel and sales taxes. The judge said Thursday that the state didn’t sufficiently show that Airbnb users may have failed to comply with tax laws. Hawaii is the latest state to tangle with Airbnb. In New York City, a U.S. judge last month shelved a city law that would have required home-sharing platforms to reveal hosts’ names


Democrats seek Green New Deal to address climate change

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York are calling for a Green New Deal intended to transform the U.S. economy to combat climate change and create jobs in renewable energy. The freshman lawmaker is teaming up with veteran Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts on the plan, which Republicans are likely to oppose. A joint resolution expected to be introduced Thursday sets a goal to meet all power demand in the U.S. through clean, renewable and zero-emission energy sources by 2030.


US consumer borrowing tops $4 trillion for first time

WASHINGTON (AP) — Consumer borrowing rose at a slower pace in December but even the smaller gain pushed total borrowing to a new record above $4 trillion for the first time. The Federal Reserve says borrowing increased by $16.6 billion in December after a $22.4 billion advance in November. The December increase nudged the total up to a record $4.01 trillion.


Woody Allen sues Amazon for ending movie deal

NEW YORK (AP) — Filmmaker Woody Allen is suing Amazon for at least $68 million, saying that the company ended a four-picture movie deal last year after old accusations against him resurfaced in the press. The lawsuit, filed Thursday, says that Amazon knew about a “25-year-old” allegation before signing with Allen in 2017, but still used it as an excuse to terminate the deal. Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


The S&P 500 fell 25.56 points, or 0.9 percent, to 2,706.05. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 220.77 points, or 0.9 percent, to 25,169.53. The Nasdaq composite slid 86.93 points, or 1.2 percent, to 7,288.35. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies gave up 12.40 points, or 0.8 percent, to 1,505.63.

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