A growing number of retailers are going social with their holiday ads, including J.Crew, which created shoppable Instagram ads, and American Girl, which has been advertising its "Get a Friend. Give a Friend." program on Facebook and Instagram. "We are also placing greater emphasis on storytelling in all of our channels, but particularly in social," American Girl spokeswoman Julie Parks said.
The United Auto Workers secured a number of concessions from Detroit's so-called Big Three automakers during four months of contentious negotiations, observers say. "Workers who had been through a traumatic decade of job losses and concessions wanted to regain some of what they had lost," said Harley Shaiken of University of California-Berkeley.
Tight budgets have prompted changes to the National Assessment of Educational Progress testing schedule. Under the changes -- announced by the National Assessment Governing Board -- high-school seniors will not take the writing exam in 2017, and in 2018, they will not take the civics, geography and US history exams.
Decelerating growth in emerging economies isn't going to cause any more problems for Japan than it already has, said Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda. "Japan's economic fundamentals have become more resilient to external shocks, and the economy is becoming more stable," he said.
ALDI has found success with shoppers around the world, partly due to the its low prices. To keep its prices low, the German retailer looks to private labels for about 90% of its stock, stocks fewer items than traditional supermarkets, uses energy-efficient lighting and depends on streamlined store operations that require fewer workers, among other strategies.
About 38% of US hospitals recruit patients and their families to serve on advisory committees in an effort to improve care, a survey published in the journal BMJ Quality & Safety found. Patients say they see the councils as a way to advocate for other patients, and hospitals that have patient and family advisory councils tend to have higher patient satisfaction scores than hospitals that lack the councils.
Brands such as Johnnie Walker, Moet & Chandon, Canada Goose, American Girl and JetBlue are using long-form video content starring or directed by A-list celebrities. "There's lots and lots of talk at the moment of things being shorter and of attention spans dying that has led to the Vine-able, Instagram-able, GIF-able world. ... But people are willing to engage with long-form content if the content is compelling enough," said Simon Owen of Anomaly, Johnnie Walker's creative shop.
Alibaba netted $14.3 billion in sales during this year's Singles' Day, an annual Chinese retail event loosely equivalent to Cyber Monday. Some of Singles' Day's innovations, such as alleged government-enforced discounting, would be hard to replicate in the US, says Marshall Meyer. Other strategies, such as selling directly through social networks or using thematic marketing, might be easier for Western businesses to borrow from.
Microsoft is offering a tool that can automatically eliminate the eDellRoot vulnerability in Dell laptops. Dell also has provided instructions on how to fix the flaw, which is on some of its newer computers.
The Environmental Protection Agency on Monday set the volume requirements for the Renewable Fuel Standard at 16.28 billion gallons in 2014 and 2015 and 18.11 billion gallons next year, which are higher than its blending volume proposed in May but are still below the mandate that Congress set in 2007. Following the finalized requirements, BIO Executive Vice President Brent Erickson said "the rule undermines the goals of the statute, and it will continue to undercut investment in advanced and cellulosic biofuels and increase greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation fuel sector."
Samsung Electronics will try to revive its flagging smartphone business by handing the reins to D.J. Koh, who will replace J.K. Shin as overseer of day-to-day operations. Koh worked under Shin as chief of mobile research and development, leading the team that created the Tizen operating system and the Samsung Pay mobile payment platform.
Henry Cisneros, the former US secretary of Housing and Urban Development, says the country's infrastructure needs help if the economy is to grow. He cites the American Society of Civil Engineer's Report Card that gave the infrastructure a D grade and contends investment isn't a Democratic or Republican issue. "Increasing infrastructure investment on a national level by 1 percent of GDP over three years will result in an additional $270 billion in economic output," he writes. "Think about what that could mean for the countless families who will benefit from new jobs and new opportunities."
The total pipeline network for US crude oil, liquefied natural gas and refined products grew by 3.5% in 2014 to reach over 190,000 miles, according to data reported by the American Petroleum Institute and the Association of Oil Pipe Lines. The crude oil pipeline network grew by over 5,000 miles, representing a 9.1% year-over-year mileage increase.
JetBlue Airways announced plans to recruit potential pilots and provide its own training under a proposal awaiting approval from federal regulators. "JetBlue crafted its plan to gain access to a broader group of candidates, oversee their training from the start and expose them earlier to being part of a crew on large aircraft," said Doug McGraw, a JetBlue spokesman. Candidates still would have to meet US requirements, including 1,500 hours of flight experience, to be certified as commercial airline pilots.
Disneyland is offering visitors the chance to go behind the scenes of the Jungle Cruise, with an exclusive Sunrise Safari package. The experience begins at 5:30 a.m. with roll call and breakfast, followed by participants taking part in a private boat ride through a man-made African jungle, where passengers can even try out the journey guide's jokes and lines. At the end of the journey, a souvenir photograph and other keepsake gifts are issued to each safari member.