Pay for U.S. workers rises at slowest rate in 33 years

Wages and benefits paid by U.S. employers this spring rose at the slowest pace since the second quarter of 1982, the Labor Department said. The employment cost index, which tracks salaries, wages and benefits, climbed 0.2% in Q2, compared with a 0.7% gain in Q1.

Preschoolers share ideas on citizenship
The Atlantic online

Preschool students participating in the Children Are Citizens program developed by Harvard's Project Zero are learning -- and teaching others -- about citizenship. Three states so far have piloted the program, including the District of Columbia, where students created an exhibit at the National Gallery of Art.

FSR presses Senate to act on cybersecurity bill

FSR has launched a website to push for passage of the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act, which shields companies from legal liability when sharing information about cyberthreats with the government. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., moved on Monday to set up a procedural vote on the bill this week. Privacy and digital-rights advocates are fighting the bill.

Fresh & Easy to shutter 14 stores

Fresh & Easy has begun the process of closing 14 underperforming stores in markets including San Diego, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Arizona, a company spokesman said Friday, which will leave leave the retailer with less than 100 stores. "While recent initiatives have helped drive additional sales across the Fresh & Easy business, in the case of these locations the progress was not enough to bring their performance in line with the rest of the business," a spokesman said.

Transport delays remain a challenge in stroke care, study says
HealthDay News

The time it took to transfer stroke patients from a hospital that was not equipped to handle their care to a major stroke center ranged from 46 to 133 minutes, which is longer than the driving time between the facilities, researchers told the Society of NeuroInterventional Surgery's annual meeting. Researchers said increased public awareness, better emergency dispatching policies and improvements in hospital stroke units have reduced the time to treatment for stroke patients, but transport delays are still common.

Apple is said to be exploring virtual-carrier network option

Apple is said to be quietly exploring its options as a mobile virtual network operator in the U.S. and Europe, which would put the company in competition with major wireless carriers as it leases space from established networks to sell phone plans and data directly to consumers.

Penney's new CEO takes over after 10 months in training
CNBC

Marvin Ellison officially took over as J.C. Penney's CEO on Saturday, after working side-by-side with outgoing chief Myron Ullman for 10 months, a system designed to ensure a smooth transition. To meet aggressive sales and earnings goals, Ellison's first challenge will be "to maintain the current momentum, and then step it up," Deutsche Bank Analyst Paul Trussell said.

SoftBank's "Pepper" robot eyes the enterprise
Business Insider

SoftBank has debuted a robot in Japan that the company claims can read and react to human emotions tracked through a set of cameras and sensors. The consumer version of the "Pepper" robot retails for $1,650, and SoftBank plans to have an enterprise version rollout in October.

Shire boosts eye disease pipeline with $300M Foresight buy

Foresight Biotherapeutics will be acquired by Shire in a deal worth $300 million. The acquisition will strengthen Shire's eye drug business, giving it access to Foresight's pink eye treatment, FST-100, which is in clinical development.

DIRECTV in hand, AT&T readies first nationwide TV, wireless bundle

AT&T is promoting a $200 monthly cellphone and TV Everywhere bundle that it plans to offer throughout the U.S. -- marking the first fruits of its merger with DIRECTV. Starting Aug. 10, the carrier will provide four phone lines with unlimited voice and texting, along with 10 gigabytes of sharable data. On the video side, AT&T will hook up four TVs with HD and DVR features and the ability to watch on any mobile device.

Construction spending is up 12% year-over-year
ForbesReuters

Construction spending increased 12% between June 2014 and June 2015, according to the Commerce Department, and in the first six months of the year reached $482.7 billion, an 8% increase from the same period last year. However, spending increased only 0.1% between May and June, the lowest increase in five months.

Report: More producers to default on risky debt in coming months
FuelFix.com

High-yield debt defaults in the U.S. oil and natural gas sector are expected to increase in the following months amid stricter lending standards and expiring hedging contracts, according to Moody's Investors Service. In the second quarter, seven of the 15 companies that defaulted on risky debt were oil producers, it said. The sector's liquidity stress index also increased from 3.8% in June 2014 to 10.4% in June this year, the firm said.

UPS boosts holiday delivery ability with Coyote Logistics acquisition
USA Today

UPS is looking to improve its handling of holiday deliveries by acquiring Coyote Logistics for $1.8 billion. "UPS is enthusiastic about this acquisition on many levels because there are opportunities for growth, synergistic efficiencies and transfer of best practices and systems across all of our operating segments," UPS CEO David Abney said.

Norwegian Cruise Line begins Asia sailings
USA Today

Cruise operator Norwegian Cruise Line is expanding into Asia in 2016, joining other big brands in the growing market. The 2,348-passenger Norwegian Star will begin voyages out of Singapore and Hong Kong in December 2016.