Washington Post Business
The federal government on Thursday moved closer to allowing cellphone use during flights, but with a catch: Passengers won’t be able to use the devices to make calls.
If approved, the new rules would mean consumers could use their data plans to surf the Web or send e-mails and texts once a plane reaches 10,000 feet. But flights would remain free of the cacophony of people jabbering into their phones.Read full article >>
Hilton Worldwide’s shares rose 7.5 percent in its market debut Thursday, marking one of the largest initial public offerings of the year and raising $2.35 billion for the hotel chain.
While the broader market fell, Hilton’s stock teetered between $20 and $22 during the day before closing at $21.50 a share.Read full article >>
General Motors has sold Chevrolet vehicles in Europe through the Great Depression, World War II and the partition of the continent by the Iron Curtain.
What the automaker could not weather was Europe’s current blend of economic stagnation and high unemployment with no clear change on the horizon. Last week, GM pulled Chevrolet out of Europe, thanked its customers and dealers “for their loyalty,” and said it wanted to focus on parts of the world “where the opportunity for growth is greatest.”Read full article >>
-- "In the relatively staid world of CIA analysts, Jablonski was also a quirky character, a yoga devotee who made her own cat food, a woman who skipped off to Las Vegas to renew her vows in an Elvis-themed chapel." (There's much, much more to this story, that's just an irrelevant side sentence.)Read full article >>
Say you're fed up with your current wireless carrier, and you want to switch. What's more, you'd like to take your mobile device with you. Thanks to a weird wrinkle in copyright law, if your phone was purchased after Jan. 26, 2013, you can't — it's against the law. This new rule against cellphone unlocking has led to a massive public outcry, and the nation's top telecom regulator has threatened to intervene.Read full article >>
With deadlines fast approaching and some HealthCare.gov shoppers still stuck, the Obama administration is proposing new ways to guarantee coverage to those hoping to gain insurance in January.
Health and Human Services announced Thursday some additional flexibility for those still hoping to buy coverage -- and many more steps that the agency urged, but did not require, health insurers to take.Read full article >>
The dollar wars have raged for years, with various sides battling over what a dollar should look like: Should it be a green piece of paper (cotton, actually) that you can slide in your wallet? Or should it be a metal coin that you put in your pocket?Read full article >>
On the Internet, we've heard a lot about the unfortunate comments of one Chip Wilson, founder and chief executive of the yoga clothing empire Lululemon, who finally resigned after suggesting that some women's bodies "just don't actually work" for his lines of stretchy pants. And lo, Lululemon's stock took a tumble this morning after the company reported earnings this morning, responding to lower projected sales in the coming months. Commentators declared: Insult your customer base at your peril.Read full article >>
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has created a handy way to visualize the big changes to unemployment insurance that are coming down the pike on Dec. 28. Now that Congress has declined to extend emergency jobless aid for another year, benefits for millions are set to expire early next year.Read full article >>
Facebook showed off new features for Instragram Thursday, revealing private sharing features and "the extent of its Snapchat envy," as Scott Marlin and USA Today put it. Instagram Direct is widely perceived as a response to Snapchat, which allows users to send their friends photos that disappear after a few seconds. Snapchat is wildly popular with teenagers, and the company turned down an $3 billion acquisition offer from Facebook earlier this year.Read full article >>
Later today, the Federal Communications Commission is going to vote on whether to strike a rule banning the use of cellular services on airplanes. When the idea was first announced, it drew immediate criticism from people who worried that flights were soon going to be filled with chatty passengers. But here's one way the FCC could find a way through the turbulence.Read full article >>
JPMorgan Chase is close to an agreement to pay federal authorities about $2 billion to resolve investigations into whether the bank failed to alert the government to Bernard L. Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, a person familiar with the talks said Thursday.Read full article >>
Don’t wait on the federal government to get anything done, advises Bruce Katz, author and urban policy scholar at the Brookings Institution, and don’t base your economy on it either.
Katz told members of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments Wednesday at the group’s annual meeting that the federal government’s inaction on the economy, infrastructure needs, transportation and immigration reform required local leaders to step up and address those issues on their own.Read full article >>
With some high-risk patients still struggling to gain health insurance, the Obama administration is extending a health law program that covers more than 100,000 Americans with preexisting conditions.
Obama administration officials said Thursday that the state-based "high risk pools" set up in 2010 will continue to offer coverage to existing members through the end of January rather than ending at sunset on Dec. 31.Read full article >>
Will the legacy of Nelson Mandela, who passed away last week at age 95, be cheapened by all kinds of consumer goods?
“From political posters to bottles of wine and kitchen aprons, the face and name of Nelson Mandela are a potent commercial and political brand in South Africa,” reports Reuters.Read full article >>
Since 1990, the NBC/WSJ poll has occasionally asked Americans whether the current Congress is "one of the best, above average, average, below average, or one of the worst?" Perhaps unsurprisingly a majority of Americans -- a new record -- thinks the current Congress is one of the worst ever:Read full article >>
Retail sales rose the most in five months in November, according to government data released Thursday, the latest in a string of positive economic reports.
The 0.7 percent increase surprised analysts and was an unexpected dose of holiday cheer for retailers, who have had a sluggish year so far.Read full article >>