Business Briefs – January 15, 2020

U.S. Firm Offers Free Cybersecurity Help to Federal Campaigns

WASHINGTON (AP) – A major U.S. web infrastructure and security company says it will provide free cybersecurity support to federal election campaigns. The goal is to help thwart a repeat of the large-scale effort by Russian agents in 2016 to steal and leak sensitive campaign emails and documents. San Francisco-based Cloudflare said Wednesday it will provide access to several of its security services, including enhanced protection of firewalls, which defend networks from unauthorized access.

Groups Push for ‘Medicare for All’ Support as Primaries Near

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – With just weeks to go until the first contests of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary campaign, several groups are organizing grassroots efforts aimed at convincing voters they should back candidates who fully support the “Medicare for All” legislation from which the phrase is derived. The signature Medicare for All health care proposal of Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential effort has, in concept, stood for a single-payer, government-run health care system. But the phrase has become somewhat of an umbrella term for a variety of plans to revamp and otherwise reconfigure the existing system.

Think Tank Says UAW Deals Increased Automakers’ Labor Costs

DETROIT (AP) – New contracts between the United Auto Workers union and Detroit’s three automakers substantially increased the cost gap between Detroit and foreign automakers with U.S. factories. That’s according to industry think tank The Center for Automotive Research. It calculated that General Motors and Ford will see their total costs grow $8 per hour, while Fiat Chrysler’s will rise by $11 an hour during the new four-year contracts. The center calculated that on average, foreign-owned factories will only see a $2 per hour increase in the same period.

Environmental Issues Top Worries For Those Heading to Davos

LONDON (AP) – A survey of key decision-makers carried out for the World Economic Forum identifies environmental issues as the top five global risks over the coming decade. The World Economic Forum organizes next week’s gathering of economic and political elites in the Swiss ski resort of Davos. The concerns are especially acute, it added, at a time of growing international division, evident in the trade tensions between the United States and China.