Business Briefs – February 10, 2019

Average U.S. Price of Gas Jumps A Penny Per Gallon, to $2.34

CAMARILLO, Calif. (AP) – The average U.S. price of regular-grade gasoline is up a penny a gallon over the past two weeks, to $2.34.

Industry analyst Trilby Lundberg of the Lundberg Survey said on Sunday that she expects gas prices to keep rising slightly as retailers pass on increases in wholesale costs to consumers.

Lundberg says the price at the pump is 32 cents lower than it was a year ago.

The highest average price in the nation is $3.38 a gallon in the San Francisco Bay Area. The lowest average is $1.91 in Houston.

The average price of diesel fell a penny over the past two weeks, to $3.

Oil Workers Flee Venezuela’s Crisis for a Better Life

PUNTO FIJO, Venezuela (AP) – Thousands of Venezuelan oil workers are fleeing poverty wages and dangerous working conditions, taking lucrative jobs in far-flung parts of the world. With each new departure, fewer remain behind with the know-how to pump the world’s most abundant oil reserves, once the economic backbone of a thriving country.

Pilots at Taiwanese Liner Strike During Lunar New Year Rush

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) – Pilots from Taiwan’s China Airlines have gone on strike during the Lunar New Year travel rush, forcing the cancellation of 18 flights over coming days. Hundreds of pilots are believed to have joined the action over complaints of long work hours and management’s refusal to make improvements. The Lunar New Year is Taiwan’s busiest travel period, with thousands traveling home to the island or taking trips abroad. Flights for Hong Kong, Bangkok, Los Angeles, Manila and Tokyo are among the canceled.

Automakers Recall 1.7 Million Cars With Fatal Airbags

DETROIT (AP) – Subaru, Tesla, Volkwagen and others recall a combined 1.7 million cars with Takata airbags. It is a continuation of the largest series of automotive recalls in U.S. history. The recalls, which began in 2001, are being phased in over time and managed by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. As of December, automakers have recalled 50.36 million inflators and replaced 27.2 million of them. That leaves more than 23 million yet to be replaced, according to the NHTSA.

Finnish Basic Income Trial: Creates Happiness, But Not Jobs

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) – Finnish officials say a nationwide experiment with basic income has not increased employment among those participating during the first year of the trial, but their general well-being seems to have increased. A report by Finland’s Social Insurance Institution found that after one year of the trial, income recipients showed fewer stress symptoms and more confidence in the future, though it was not yet possible to draw firm conclusions.

FDA Questions Juul, Altria Commitment to Combat Teen Vaping

WASHINGTON (AP) – The head of the Food and Drug Administration is suggesting electronic cigarette maker Juul and its partner Altria have failed to follow through on pledges to combat underage vaping. FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb is calling for a joint meeting to discuss whether they are honoring commitments to the agency. Tobacco giant Altria recently purchased a 35 percent stake in Juul. Since then, the company has announced plans to ramp up distribution of Juul e-cigarettes throughout the U.S.