Business Briefs – June 23, 2017

A New Platform for Whole Foods? How Deal Could Upend Grocery

NEW YORK (AP) – Seeing Whole Foods products first in your Amazon searches? Breezing through the grocer’s stores with an app that scans affordable produce? Amazon wants to dominate groceries, and Whole Foods wants to broaden its appeal. Their proposed union has the potential to boost the ambitions of both companies.

Retailers Want to Work Out Your Wallet — and Your Body

NEW YORK (AP) – Seminars with Deepak Chopra at ABC Carpet & Home, yoga class at Bloomingdale’s — they’re all part of an effort by major retailers to boost dismal sales and get consumers into the store for an experience instead of just buying another pair of shoes online. Department stores are seizing on the fitness and wellness craze through pop-up and stand-alone stores to create a total body experience that’s more than just a workout for your wallet.

Ex-detainees: Detention Center’s Practices Border on Slavery

DENVER (AP) – A group of former detainees at a privately run immigration detention center in Colorado say its practices for making detainees clean and do other work border on slavery. The former detainees have won the right to sue the operator of the Denver-area detention center on behalf of an estimated 60,000 people held there over a decade. They say the GEO Group exploits detainees to keep the facility running with just one full-time janitor. The company says it’s following government policies.

Auto Club Predicts Record Travel Over July 4th Weekend

DALLAS (AP) – Americans are expected to hit the road in record numbers for the July 4th weekend. Auto club AAA said Thursday that it expects 44.2 million people will travel at least 50 miles from home, a 2.9 percent increase over last year’s record for the holiday. The vast majority will go by car. Airline travel over the holiday is expected to rise for the eighth straight year.

Fed: Biggest US Banks Strong Enough to Withstand Recession

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Federal Reserve says all of the 34 largest U.S. banks are fortified enough to withstand a severe U.S. and global recession and continue lending. The first round of the central bank’s annual “stress tests” shows that as a group, the big banks are strong as they’ve benefited from a steadily recovering economy.

Foxconn Founder: U.S. Expansion Might Top $10 Billion

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) – The chairman of Taiwanese electronics giant Foxconn says it may spend more than $10 billion to set up manufacturing in the United States, and will announce investment plans by early August for at least three states. Terry Gou gave no new details Thursday about where Foxconn will locate a U.S. display panel factory he earlier said would cost up to $7 billion to build.

Coal Company Sues HBO’s John Oliver for Defamation

NEW YORK (AP) – Coal company Murray Energy is suing HBO and its Sunday-night host, John Oliver, for what it says was a “false and malicious broadcast” last Sunday evening. Oliver’s coal segment on Sunday criticized the Trump administration’s effort to revive the industry and ribbed Murray Energy’s CEO.