Business Briefs – February 13, 2018

Gates Turns Attention Toward Poverty, Growing Inequity in U.S.

KIRKLAND, Wash. (AP) — The world’s foremost philanthropists, Bill and Melinda Gates, say they’re turning some of their attention to American poverty issues. The couple said in an interview with The Associated Press that they’re studying race, incarceration, housing and employment, among other issues. In the Gates Foundation’s annual letter, the Microsoft co-founder also acknowledges that those layers of poverty are tightly intertwined with how children are able to learn, their top funding priority in the U.S.

Powell Pledges to Remain Alert To Emerging Stability Risks

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell says the global economy is recovering strongly for the first time in a decade, but the central bank needs to remain alert to any emerging risks to financial stability. Powell says the central bank is in the process of “gradually” raising interest rates and trimming its massive holdings of Treasury bonds.

Chipotle Looks to Fast-Food Chain Taco Bell for Next CEO

NEW YORK (AP) — Chipotle has named Taco Bell executive Brian Niccol as its next CEO. Niccol, who will start at Chipotle next month, will be tasked with helping turn around the burrito chain, which has been struggling to turn its business around after a series of food safety scares. Niccol has been CEO of Yum Brands Inc.’s Taco Bell chain for three years.

Trump: Gut Funding for Climate Science, Boost Fossil Fuels

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration is targeting federal funding for studying and tracking climate change while boosting the continued burning of planet-warming fossil fuels. The White House’s 2019 spending plan seeks to reduce or eliminate climate science programs across an array of federal agencies, from gutting efforts to track greenhouse gas emissions and research to killing five NASA satellites that study the effects of greenhouse gases.