Business Bries – September 25, 2017

Target Is Raising Minimum Hourly Wage to $15 by End of 2020

NEW YORK (AP) – Target Corp. is raising its minimum hourly wage for workers to $11 starting next month and then to $15 by the end of 2020, a move it says will help it hire and keep the best employees and make shopping a better experience for customers. The initiative announced Monday is part of the discounter’s overall strategy to improve its business, which includes remodeling stores, expanding its online services and opening up smaller urban locations.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella Takes Empathy-First Approach

WASHINGTON (AP) – Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella kept the company relevant as its primary PC software business faded, isn’t flashy or outspoken in the mode of his predecessors. Instead, Nadella — an Indian immigrant who’s worked at the company since the 1990s — has positioned himself as an embodiment of the story Microsoft wants to tell about its own transformation into an outfit focused on artificial intelligence, virtual worlds and quantum computing.

Exxon Says It Will Reduce Methane Leaks From Gas Drilling

DALLAS (AP) – Exxon Mobil vows to reduce emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, from its natural gas drilling operations.

But company officials have declined to put a figure on how much they can or will reduce emissions, making the energy giant’s public commitment difficult, if not impossible, to gauge.

Exxon said Monday that it would improve detection of methane leaks and repair equipment causing the leaks across its XTO Energy natural gas subsidiary.

Coffee Sold in California Could Carry Cancer Warning Labels

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Coffee could carry an ominous cancer warning in California if a nonprofit group prevails in a Los Angeles courtroom. An attorney is presenting evidence to a judge in a case claiming Starbucks and other coffee companies violated a state law that requires they warn consumers about a chemical created in the roasting process that could cause cancer. Defense attorneys say it’s found at harmless levels and results naturally from cooking coffee beans that’s necessary to make them tasty.

Studying 1 Million People to End Cookie-Cutter Health Care

WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. researchers are getting ready to recruit more than 1 million people for an unprecedented study to learn how our genes, environments and lifestyles interact. The goal is to customize ways to prevent and treat disease, ending cookie-cutter care. A pilot is underway now; if all goes well, the National Institutes of Health plans to open enrollment early next year. Participants will get DNA tests and report on diet, sleep, exercise and other activities that interact with genes to affect health.

No More Flying With Reindeer: Unique Alaska Planes to Retire

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) – Planes made for Alaska’s unique needs of delivering groceries, people and even worn-out sled dogs to far-flung parts of the nation’s largest state are being retired. Alaska Airlines Vice President Marilyn Romano told The Associated Press that the company is phasing out its last four combi planes ahead of this week’s unveiling of new cargo jets. There are few roads in Alaska and the planes flew places where there might not be enough cargo or passengers to fill a jet.