Outfitting for off-roading: Ford hopes extras make Bronco stand out vs. Jeep
The Ford Broncos came loaded with goodies on Tuesday at an off-road vehicle park near Holly, Mich.Yakima racks, a fishing pole holder attached to the front of one, a winch to “rescue your lesser-equipped 4x4 friends” on another, an interior bike rack to carry two mountain bikes inside yet another.Need a bottle opener to crack open a cold one when you get to your campsite? It’s right underneath the liftgate. How about a place to attach a camera or phone? It’s there on the dash.There was even an appearance of a Bronco version of tube doors, those gnarly metal contraptions that let the open air i...
Detroit Free Press
Robot chicken butchers, brought to you by COVID-19
The trend toward robots and computers taking jobs people have held is getting a big push from COVID-19.A human face behind the counter is traditionally a welcome sight, but now people are warier of close contact with strangers. That opens the door to robots taking orders, flipping burgers, even delivering room service meals.“This was an issue for germaphobes, and now everybody is going to be a germaphobe. The future started in March,” said Johannes Moenius, a University of Redlands business professor.Adding some robots can help factories keep up production when they must limit the number of hu...
Editorial: Lawsuit against its ex-CEO keeps #MeToo on the menu at McDonald's
Last November, McDonald’s fired CEO Steve Easterbrook after discovering he had engaged in a consensual, nonphysical relationship with an unidentified employee. Easterbrook lost his job for violating company policies and showing poor judgment, but he was allowed to walk away with a nearly $42 million severance package because he hadn’t lied about his actions or done anything illegal.Now McDonald’s has more to say about Easterbrook’s departure. The fast-food giant is suing Easterbrook to recoup the money, alleging that a deeper investigation determined he covered up other inappropriate activitie...
Mercedes to spend billions to settle US diesel emissions cases
Mercedes-Benz and its parent company, Daimler, say they will pay more than $2 billion to settle diesel emissions cases in the United States.The German automaker announced Thursday it has reached a deal with U.S. authorities and a separate agreement to settle U.S. class action litigation over its diesel emission scandal.The tentative settlements are just the latest piece in the ongoing diesel emissions cheating saga involving automakers following the Volkswagen Dieselgate case. Other companies, including Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Ford and General Motors, have also faced accusations, with FCA i...
Detroit Free Press
Commentary: What artificial intelligence is telling us about US-China relations
Recent weeks were eventful in U.S.-China relations, to put it mildly. Spies were allegedly uncovered, consulates were closed after some resistance, TikTok and WeChat are being banned in the United States and China’s fighter jets flew over the Taiwan Strait when Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar made the highest-profile visit by a U.S. official to the island in over four decades. All of this on top of a pandemic and worsening trade ties. While some may debate whether this is the beginning of a new Cold War, it would be misguided to presume that such a war would necessarily remain co...
Tribune News Service
After COVID-19 delay, Rivian plans hiring surge for June launch of electric truck. But legal battle with Tesla looms
Set back nearly a year by the pandemic, electric truck startup Rivian is busy building out its plant in Normal, with a belated production launch now planned for next summer.But the plan to bring thousands of jobs to the rural college town about 130 miles south of Chicago has hit some bumps in the road, including a lawsuit from Tesla alleging Rivian is poaching employees and stealing trade secrets.The Rivian plant has more robots (500) than employees (400), but the human ranks are expected to swell to about 1,000 with a “big round of staffing” early next year, Rivian spokeswoman Amy Mast said W...
Red Lobster faces its 'most challenging time,' as big loan payment looms amid pandemic
Red Lobster is facing the “most challenging time” in its history during the coronavirus pandemic, CEO Kim Lopdrup says, at the same time that outside analysts worry about a looming $355 million loan the company has due next summer.The privately held seafood chain of more than 700 restaurants has a $380 million term loan, with more than $355 million outstanding, reaching maturity next July, according to a June report from Moody’s, which earlier in the year cut the company’s credit rating to Caa1, defined as “poor.”Upcoming financial events mean it is “critical to repair the balance sheet,” said...
Chiefs, Travis Kelce agree on four-year contract extension
The Chiefs front office has had a productive offseason.After signing quarterback Patrick Mahomes, defensive lineman Chris Jones, receiver Sammy Watkins and others to new deals, they agreed on a contract extension Thursday with another of their stars.Tight end Travis Kelce agreed to terms on a four-year deal worth between $14 to $15 million annually, a source familiar with the situation confirmed with The Star.ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported the deal is worth $57.25 million total and includes $28 million in guaranteed money.Albert Breer of CBS Boston said Kelce won’t receive any additional money ...
The Kansas City Star
Gym owner charged criminally rallies against 'COVID-19 police'
SAN DIEGO — In the days after he became the first San Diego County business owner criminally charged for defying coronavirus-related health orders, Ramona gym owner Peter San Nicolas took to Facebook to decry the “Covid police” treating business owners “like common criminals.”On Tuesday night, San Nicolas held an informal town hall-style meeting outside the Ramona Fitness Center for himself and other business owners to voice their frustrations with state and local shutdown orders.The meeting came eight days after San Nicolas learned that San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan had ch...
The San Diego Union-Tribune
US jobless claims fall below 1 million but remain high
WASHINGTON — The number of Americans applying for unemployment dropped below 1 million last week for the first time since the coronavirus outbreak took hold in the U.S. five months ago, but layoffs are still running extraordinarily high.The figures show that the crisis continues to throw people out of work just as the expiration of an extra $600 a week in federal jobless benefits has deepened the hardship for many — and posed another threat to the U.S. economy.Applications for jobless benefits declined to 963,000, the second straight drop, from 1.2 million the previous week, the government sai...
Tribune News Service