Business Briefs – December 2, 2019

Still on Top: Cyber Monday Sales on Track to Hit Record

NEW YORK (AP) – This year’s Cyber Monday is retaining its title as the biggest online shopping day of the year. That’s even though many of the same deals have been available online for weeks. Adobe Analytics says shoppers were expected to spend a record $9.4 billion for online purchases this Cyber Monday, up about 19% from last year. Retailers created Cyber Monday in 2005 to get people to shop online at a time when high-speed internet was rare and the iPhone didn’t exist.

U.S. Construction Spending Falls 0.8% in October

WASHINGTON (AP) – Spending on U.S. construction projects fell 0.8% in October, dragged down by declines in apartment and multi-family homebuilding. The Commerce Department said Monday that private construction spending declined 1% in October, which follows another significant 1.1% decline in September.

China, Russia Launch Massive Joint Gas Pipeline

BEIJING (AP) – China and Russia have launched a gas pipeline that is more than 6,000 kilometers (3,750 miles) long, an outcome of their long-planned energy partnership. Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin inaugurated the pipeline — dubbed the “Power of Siberia” — through a joint video conference on Monday.

WTO Panel: EU Fails to End Illegal Subsidies for Airbus

GENEVA (AP) – A World Trade Organization panel ruled Monday that the European Union has not complied with an order to end illegal subsidies for plane maker Airbus, which prompted the Trump administration to impose tariffs on nearly $7.5 billion worth of EU goods in October. In its ruling, a WTO compliance panel found that the EU had not taken sufficient steps to end harm to Boeing, the major rival to Europe’s Airbus.

Organization Announces Funding For 250 Local Journalists

NEW YORK (AP) – An organization that is trying to bolster the struggling local news industry said Monday that it will help fund the hiring of 250 journalists across the country next year.

That’s a sharp increase from the 61 journalists put in the field this year by Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project. Its first class of local reporters in 2018 numbered 13.

With the help of foundation funding, Report for America pays half the salary of these reporters for two years. Local news organizations kick in 25% and agree to raise the remainder from donations by local sources.