The addition of China's yuan to the International Monetary Fund's Special Drawing Rights basket gives the currency recognition as sufficiently stable and as widely accepted as a safe haven for assets. The designation is a major victory for China, which is striving to become a bigger force in the world. In the short term, recognition of the yuan as a reserve currency will increase volatility, analysts say.
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.
A lack of competition for Internet services in rural areas means that some school districts are paying higher prices for slower service. One New Mexico school district is paying about $3,700 a month for services that most schools receive for about $550. "They just rake us over the coals," said Tim Angelus, the district’s technology director.
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.
Babies born on weekends had a death rate of 7.1 per 1,000 in the first week after birth, compared with 6.5 per 1,000 for those born on a weekday, UK researchers reported in The BMJ. The findings, based on data from 675,000 births at English National Health Services hospitals from April 2010 to March 2012, also showed mothers who gave birth on weekends were more likely to develop infections than those who gave birth during the week.
Apple's Beats touted its "Don't Blow It -- Get Beats" holiday push on Black Friday with a 24-hour sponsored Snapchat Lens, the first from a consumer product brand. Consumers could take a selfie, tap on the screen and then watch their faces come to life while Drake's "Big Rings" played in the background. A sponsored Snapchat Lens can cost brands between $500,000 and $750,000, Re/code reported.
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.
Amazon debuted its latest drone prototype Sunday, claiming the unmanned vehicle can fly 15 miles and reach a height of nearly 400 feet. Amazon continues to push forward on drone designs to carry packages to shoppers in under 30 minutes, and it confirmed that it plans to make various designs to accommodate different environments.
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries has agreed to collaborate with Heptares Therapeutics on the development of small-molecule calcitonin gene-related peptide antagonists to treat migraine. In addition to a $10 million upfront payment, Heptares is entitled to as much as $400 million in milestone fees.
Syrian refugees making their way onto the Greek island of Lesbos have turned to their smartphones to keep in touch with family and support groups, this report states, noting that this immigrant group has more middle-class immigrants than do others. Disaster Tech Lab, a nonprofit, offers Internet access to the refugees.
Peace River Hydro Partners, a consortium that includes Acciona Infrastructure Canada, Samsung C&T Canada and Petrowest Corp., has won a $1.12 billion contract to help construct the Site C dam, tunnels and concrete foundation for a hydroelectric generating station in Canada's British Columbia. The entire project is expected to cost $6.2 billion.
Auto dealers are holding back the electric-vehicle sector and pushing auto buyers into gas-fueled vehicles instead of plug-ins and hybrids. Part of the reason could be that EVs have fewer complex moving parts and hence generate less business for dealers' lucrative service sections.
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.
Pre-arrival planning, continual reviews of events and personal interaction are keys to making front-desk service effective, hotel training expert Doug Kennedy says. Always vital for their role in first impressions, front-desk personnel today are essential in marketing as well, Kennedy writes.