Business Briefs – September 16, 2018

An Old Problem: Aging Pipelines Lead To Deadly Explosions

(AP) – The natural gas pipeline in the United States is vast, sprawling across 2.5 million miles in a complex pressurized system that delivers a quarter of the energy consumed nationwide, according to the American Gas Association. Many of the pipes are old, and utilities are in various stages of replacing them to improve safety. There have been more than 300 fatalities and 1,200 injuries caused by natural gas pipeline incidents in the last 20 years, according to data from the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, the federal agency responsible for overseeing the industry. As residents recover from Thursday’s stunning explosions in Lawrence, Mass., many wonder what they can do to protect themselves.

San Francisco Federal Reserve Names Mary Daly As President

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco on Friday announced the appointment of Mary Daly, a longtime Fed economist and a labor market specialist, as the next president of the regional bank. Daly replaces John Williams, who became president of the New York Federal Reserve Bank in April. When she begins Oct. 1, Daly will be among three women who lead one of the 12 Fed regional banks. The Fed, under pressure from activist groups, has made efforts to diversify its leadership. Daly, 55, who joined the San Francisco Fed in 1996 as a research economist, was appointed director of research in 2017.

Henri Bendel, 123-Year-Old Luxury Retailer, Closes the Doors

NEW YORK (AP) – The luxury retailer Henri Bendel, which opened its doors in New York’s Greenwich Village at the end of the 19th century, is closing. L Brands Inc., which acquired the brand in 1985, said that the 23 Bendel stores will turn out the lights in January. The Columbus, Ohio, company said it wants focus on larger brands with more growth potential. Henry Bendel was a women’s hat maker from Lafayette, Louisiana. He moved to New York in 1895 and began catering to the city’s elite, making the stores’ brown and white striped shopping and bags and hat boxes a coveted status symbol.

Chinese Scientist Pleads Guilty In Plot to Steal GSK Secrets

PHILADELPHIA (AP) – A Chinese scientist has pleaded guilty to conspiring to steal biopharmaceutical trade secrets from GlaxoSmithKline in what prosecutors said was a scheme to set up companies in China to market them. Tao Li pleaded guilty Friday in federal court to a single conspiracy count. The change of plea comes two weeks after Yu Xue, a high-ranking researcher who worked at GlaxoSmithKline’s suburban Philadelphia research facility, also pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge. Prosecutors say Xue emailed various documents that were confidential and contained trade secrets to Li and others, who had set up a company called Renopharma in China to sell and market the research.

Apple, Firefox Tools Aim to Thwart Facebook, Google Tracking

NEW YORK (AP) – Facebook and other companies routinely track your online surfing habits to better target ads at you. Two web browsers now want to help you fight back in what’s becoming an escalating privacy arms race. New protections in Apple’s Safari and Mozilla’s Firefox browsers aim to prevent companies from turning “cookie” data files used to store sign-in details and preferences into broader trackers that take note of what you read, watch and research on other sites. Lance Cottrell, creator of the privacy service Anonymizer, said Apple’s effort was particularly significant, as it takes aim at a technique developed by tracking companies to override users’ attempts to delete their cookies.