Business Briefs – February 26, 2017

U.S. Gas Price Rises to $2.33 a Gallon

CAMARILLO, Calif.& (AP) – The average price of a gallon of regular-grade gasoline rose two cents nationally during the past two weeks, to $2.33. Industry analyst Trilby Lundberg said Sunday that the slight rise was due to small increases in crude oil and wholesale gas prices. Lundberg says she expects modest increases in the near-term. The national average is up 56 cents per gallon over the price a year ago. Gas in Los Angeles was the highest in the contiguous United States at an average of $2.94 a gallon Friday. The lowest average was in Tulsa, Oklahoma, at $2.02 per gallon. The U.S. average diesel price is $2.57, up a cent from two weeks ago. A year ago it was $2.07.

VW Makes $5.4 Billion Profit in 2016, Limits Executive Pay

BERLIN (AP) – Volkswagen says it bounced back into the black in 2016 after suffering a loss the previous year due to the diesel emissions scandal. The German automaker reported a net profit attributable to VW shareholders of 5.1 billion euros ($5.4 billion) compared with a net loss of almost 1.6 billion euros in 2015.

Agency Plans to Award Mexico Border Wall Contracts by April

SAN DIEGO (AP) – The U.S. Customs and Border Protection says it plans to start awarding contracts by mid-April for President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall. The agency says on a website for federal contactors that a request for bids would be published on or around March 6. Companies would have to submit “concept papers” to design and build prototypes by March 10.

Greece’s Tsipras: The Era Of Austerity Is Over

ATHENS, Greece (AP) – Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras paints a positive picture of future reforms Greece has agreed to take after its current third international bailout ends, insisting they mark an end to austerity. Speaking in parliament during prime minister’s question time, Tsipras described the deal reached Monday as an “exceptional success” and said it showed the country’s creditors accepted Greece’s insistence that it could no longer bear any further austerity.

Trump Tower Opens in Vancouver But the Welcome Isn’t Warm

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) – A gleaming new Trump International Hotel and Tower that rises above the Vancouver skyline has divided a city famous for its natural beauty and diversity. The 69-story tower has drawn praise for its sleek, twisting design. Prices for the condominiums have set records. But the politics of President Donald Trump have caused such outrage that the mayor won’t attend the grand opening next week and has lobbied for a name change.