UPDATE 1-Norway’s unemployment rate drops to 8.2% in July – Reuters

OSLO (Reuters) – Norway’s overall rate of unemployment fell to 8.2% in July from 9.6% in June as companies brought back more workers furloughed by the coronavirus pandemic, the Labour and Welfare Agency (NAV) said on Friday. The overall number, which includes people working reduced hours while seeking full employment, is down from a record…

OSLO (Reuters) – Norway’s overall rate of unemployment fell to 8.2% in July from 9.6% in June as companies brought back more workers furloughed by the coronavirus pandemic, the Labour and Welfare Agency (NAV) said on Friday. The overall number, which includes people working reduced hours while seeking full employment, is down from a record 15.4% in early April, when a shutdown of parts of the economy resulted in mass f
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Norway’s overall unemployment falls to 8.2% in July – Reuters

OSLO, July 31 (Reuters) – Norway’s overall rate of unemployment fell to 8.2% in July from 9.6% in June as companies brought back more workers furloughed by the coronavirus pandemic, the Labour and Welfare Agency said on Friday. The o

OSLO, July 31 (Reuters) – Norway’s overall rate of unemployment fell to 8.2% in July from 9.6% in June as companies brought back more workers furloughed by the coronavirus pandemic, the Labour and Welfare Agency said on Friday. The o
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UPDATE 1-KLM says 1,500 new layoffs to bring total job cuts to 20% – Reuters

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – KLM, the Dutch arm of Air France-KLM (AIRF.PA), said on Friday it would cut 1,500 additional jobs as part of a restructuring in which it needs to cut emissions by 50% by 2030 as well as prepare for recovering traffic after the coronavirus crisis. FILE PHOTO: A KLM Boeing 787-9 scale model…

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – KLM, the Dutch arm of Air France-KLM (AIRF.PA), said on Friday it would cut 1,500 additional jobs as part of a restructuring in which it needs to cut emissions by 50% by 2030 as well as prepare for recovering traffic after the coronavirus crisis. FILE PHOTO: A KLM Boeing 787-9 scale model is seen in Paris, France January 10, 2018. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes/File PhotoParent company Air France-KLM on Thursday reported a 1.55 billion euro ($1.8 billion) operating loss for the second quarter, with traffic down 95% from a year earlier. KLM said the new cuts would mean its workforce, which was 33,000 before the pandemic, would be reduced by 20% in all by
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Google parent Alphabet tops quarterly sales estimates – Reuters

OAKLAND, Calif./BENGALURU (Reuters) – Google’s ad sales have recovered since plummeting in March during the coronavirus pandemic, parent Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O) said on Thursday, easing concerns about its first quarterly sales slide in its 16 years as a public company. Alphabet shares were barely changed at $1,552, above their pre-pandemic high, after it said revenue…

OAKLAND, Calif./BENGALURU (Reuters) – Google’s ad sales have recovered since plummeting in March during the coronavirus pandemic, parent Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O) said on Thursday, easing concerns about its first quarterly sales slide in its 16 years as a public company. Alphabet shares were barely changed at $1,552, above their pre-pandemic high, after it said revenue fell 2% in the second quarter, less than analysts’ estimate of a 4% decline. Alphabet, whose ad sales account for about 78% of its revenue, has struggled during past economic slowdowns, as marketing is often the first budget item to get slashed. But Google and its online advertising rivals Facebook Inc (FB.O) and Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) on Thursday all reported better results in the pandemic than in past recessions. With its mostly free tools for web browsing, video watching and teleconferencing, Google has become a larger part of many consumers’ lives as lockdown orders force people to rely on the internet for work and entertainment. In turn, the internet has become more attractive to advertisers than TV, radio and other avenues. “We saw the early signs of stabilization as users returned to commercial activity online,” Alphabet Chief Executive Sundar Pichai told analysts during a conference call on Thursday. Search ad sales at the end of June were about flat with a year ago, markin
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Exxon Is Showing Us Exactly Who It Cares About

Exxon CEO Darren Woods (second from right) clapping at the New York Stock Exchange because money.Photo: Richard Drew (AP)Exxon is a known corporate miscreant, and nothing it does to preserve profits should come as a surprise anymore. And yet.In the face of a crippling pandemic and job crisis, the company has decided to do what…

Exxon CEO Darren Woods (second from right) clapping at the New York Stock Exchange because money.Photo: Richard Drew (AP)Exxon is a known corporate miscreant, and nothing it does to preserve profits should come as a surprise anymore. And yet.In the face of a crippling pandemic and job crisis, the company has decided to do what it does best: maximize shareholder value. A Reuters exclusive report on Thursday said the company is hellbent on paying out dividends to shareholders, and as part of a scheme to do so, it’s reportedly considering job and spending cuts. The company denied it, though Reuters pointed to circumstantial evidence the oil behemoth has been laying the groundwork that could make it easier to fire people based on performance metrics late last year as the pandemic worsened.And really, would it be that surprising? The only thing that matters to Exxon is making rich people more money. It lied about climate change for decades and put the entire biosphere at stake. Laying off a few thousand workers in the middle of a pandemic so it can pay out shareholders as promised is like a picnic in the park for the company. Nevertheless, it neatly illustrates a few key points about this moment in time.The first is that Big Oil is struggling mightily. Since the coronavirus ripped around the world and has stubbornly clung in the U.S. thanks to wildly incompetent and malevolent leadership, the economy has crashed. Unemployment is sky-high, the U.S. has seen its slowest economic growth rate eve
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8 Factors in the N.B.A.’s Return That May Upend Expectations

marc stein on basketballIn this week’s newsletter, Marc Stein discusses a threat to the Lakers’ championship hopes, Lou Williams and the latest in his quest for the perfect cup of coffee.Kawhi Leonard, center, and the Los Angeles Clippers will try to recapture the momentum they had in March when the season restarts on Thursday.Credit…Jesse D.…

marc stein on basketballIn this week’s newsletter, Marc Stein discusses a threat to the Lakers’ championship hopes, Lou Williams and the latest in his quest for the perfect cup of coffee.Kawhi Leonard, center, and the Los Angeles Clippers will try to recapture the momentum they had in March when the season restarts on Thursday.Credit…Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE, via Getty ImagesJuly 29, 2020Want more basketball in your inbox? Sign up for Marc Stein’s weekly N.B.A. newsletter here.LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — The N.B.A. was rooting hard for Major League Baseball.Any league that hopes to return to something resembling standard operations next season was pulling for baseball to flourish in its attempt to stage a 60-game season in which teams allowed players to go home during homestands and travel as they normally do for road trips. M.L.B.’s concept lasted only a few days before a coronavirus outbreak ripped through the Miami Marlins.The instant crisis left the unmistakable impression throughout the N.B.A. campus at Walt Disney World that a “bubble” approach is the only kind that can work for team sports in the Covid-19 era — at least for the foreseeable future. The N.B.A. hasn’t announced positive tests for anyone on campus who had been released from quarantine, but concern about what baseball’s woes mean for next season is mounting, even amid the relative prosperity of the league’s three-week run in its Florida bubble.We will be coming back often to the topic of the N.B.A.’s future, but the league’s present, at last, is poised to deliver meaningful basketball that demands our focus. The full force of the N.B.A. restart hits Thursday — 141 days after the Dallas Mavericks secured a 113-97 victory over the Denver Nuggets on March 11 in the last game completed before the season was suspended.“We don’t know if this is going to work or not, but I think the league has given us every chance for this to work,” Los Angeles Clippers Coach Doc Rivers said. “If we do it right, we have a shot at it.”The Clippers will play the Lakers after New Orleans faces Utah on Thursday night, in a doubleheader with games in separate arenas so TNT can televise them back to back without waiting for its main facility at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex to be sanitized.Anxiety about the coronavirus clearly persists, but there was tangible excitement on campus on Tuesday that games that counted were just two sleeps away. Here are eight big things, among many, that I am eager to see:I want to see how long it takes before this restart feels like a part of the season that was suspended.The slogan is #WholeNewGame, seen on countless signs at game venues as a nod to the 22 N.B.A. teams being dumped, as Rivers calls it, into the same, first-of-its-kind “village.” But the signs nag at me because the message could so easily read #WholeNewSeason.The layoff was long enough that numerous players, coaches and league executives have said it feels like a new season in a lot of ways. That is not a positive, but maybe the camaraderie that teams have established can ultimately help connect the two pieces of the most jagged season in league history.I want to see a slew of players whose return circumstances are fascinating.Ben Simmons at power forward for the Philadelphia 76ers, relegating Al Horford to a bench role. New Orleans’s Zion Williamson getting his vengeance for the knee surgery that stopped him from playing on opening night the first time. Utah’s Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert reuniting after coronavirus-related tensions. Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis, Dallas’s European duo, making their playoff debuts — together. Nikola Jokic, Marc Gasol and Carmelo Anthony all looking so skinny, and making me so envious, compared with how they looked when we last saw them.Yes, please. I’m ready for all of it.I want to see (and hear) how much activity and noise come from both benches.Monitoring bench dynamics has always been a sport within the sport for me. Watching teammates react in concert to special plays is one of the true joys of the down-low seats for reporters that are a rarity in arenas now but were commonplace when I was getting started as an N.B.A. beat writer.With no fans allowed in bubble arenas, apart from the lucky few who will be invited to log in virtually, bench noise has never been more important in the N.B.A.I want to see which players and teams have the ability and concentration to thrive without a crowd to fuel them.My Manchester City fandom is a well-chronicled affliction by now. City may have stumbled recently in the F.A. Cup semifinals against Arsenal, but I have marveled at the team’s ability, with four or more goals in six of 12 games starting June 17, to find its top gear and sustain it without a crowd’s roar.Generating the energy required to hit those heights in mostly empty buildings will pose a new challenge to N.B.A. teams. We’ve gotten a glimpse of what games without fans look and feel like over a week’s worth of scrimmages, but a better gauge will come when both teams are playing to win rather than experimenting with lineup combinations and managing minutes.I want to see if the crazy circumstances of the restart legitimately increase the chances for playoff upsets.I spoke to representatives from two teams, from would-be sleepers in each conference, and received completely different forecasts about the impact of having just three weeks of full-speed practices before stuffing eight games into a 16-day window before the playoffs.One said that the compact comeback could be a true equalizer. Example: Some league insiders see Portland as a threat to upset the Lakers in a first-round series after welcoming back its previously ailing frontcourt pair of Jusuf Nurkic and Zach Collins. The other executive, by contrast, described the eight seeding games all teams must play before the postseason as a lengthy runway that will afford the Lakers, the Bucks and the Clippers time to regain their March form.I want to see what happens in the playoffs with no travel and no home-court advantage.Referees, like the players, should be fresher than usual with travel excluded from the postseason equation. Harder to predict is how differently games will be called with no hostile home crowds to heap pressure on the officials.Another great source of curiosity: How hard will teams scrap in the playoffs after falling behind by 2-0 or 3-1 in a series? It is fair to wonder what sort of momentum sw
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UPDATE 1-U.S lawmakers want payments halted to airport contractors laying off workers – Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Three key U.S. House of Representatives Democrats on Wednesday asked the Treasury Department to halt government assistance to a dozen airport contractors that have laid off more than 9,000 workers. The lawmakers found that more than $728 million in federal funds went to these companies even though the assistance was meant to…

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Three key U.S. House of Representatives Democrats on Wednesday asked the Treasury Department to halt government assistance to a dozen airport contractors that have laid off more than 9,000 workers. The lawmakers found that more than $728 million in federal funds went to these companies even though the assistance was meant to keep workers on the payroll. The U.S. Treasury did not immediately comment. Representatives Peter DeFazio, who chairs the Transportation Committee, Maxine Waters, chair of the Financial Services Committee, and James Clyburn, chair of the select subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, wrote Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and four companies receiving assistance. Congress in March ap
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Lawmakers argue that big tech will grow even bigger as the pandemic drives people online

In his opening statements, the chairman of Wednesday’s historic tech hearing argued that regulating tech’s most dominant players is vital in the midst of the ongoing pandemic that has driven even more of American life online. “Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, these corporations already stood out as titans in our economy,” House Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee…

In his opening statements, the chairman of Wednesday’s historic tech hearing argued that regulating tech’s most dominant players is vital in the midst of the ongoing pandemic that has driven even more of American life online.
“Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, these corporations already stood out as titans in our economy,” House Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee Chair David Cicilline said. “In the wake of COVID-19, however, they are likely to emerge stronger and more powerful than ever before.”
The argument that tech stands to benefit from the COVID-19 crisis is a smart one — and a timely attack that’s difficult to dispute. While many major companies in other industries are struggling, grappling with layoffs or filing for bankruptcy, many of tech’s largest companies
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Takeda Pharmaceutical to cut sales jobs in Japan: sources – Reuters

TOKYO (Reuters) – Takeda Pharmaceutical Co (4502.T) is looking to cut sales jobs in Japan in its latest restructuring effort, as it overhauls domestic business following its $59 billion purchase of Shire Plc, sources familiar with the company’s plans said. FILE PHOTO: People walk past the new headquarters of Takeda Pharmaceutical Co in Tokyo, Japan,…

TOKYO (Reuters) – Takeda Pharmaceutical Co (4502.T) is looking to cut sales jobs in Japan in its latest restructuring effort, as it overhauls domestic business following its $59 billion purchase of Shire Plc, sources familiar with the company’s plans said. FILE PHOTO: People walk past the new headquarters of Takeda Pharmaceutical Co in Tokyo, Japan, July 2, 2018. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-HoonMajor pharma companies in Japan have scaled down their sales forces to cope with a shrinking market and cuts in drug prices imposed by the national health system. The layoffs by Takeda, Japan’s biggest drug maker, will be focused on sales positions, two industry sources told Reuters
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Takeda Pharmaceutical to cut sales jobs in Japan, sources say – Reuters UK

TOKYO (Reuters) – Takeda Pharmaceutical Co (4502.T) is looking to cut sales jobs in Japan in its latest restructuring effort, as it overhauls domestic business following its $59 billion purchase of Shire Plc, sources familiar with the company’s plans said. FILE PHOTO: People walk past the new headquarters of Takeda Pharmaceutical Co in Tokyo, Japan,…

TOKYO (Reuters) – Takeda Pharmaceutical Co (4502.T) is looking to cut sales jobs in Japan in its latest restructuring effort, as it overhauls domestic business following its $59 billion purchase of Shire Plc, sources familiar with the company’s plans said. FILE PHOTO: People walk past the new headquarters of Takeda Pharmaceutical Co in Tokyo, Japan, July 2, 2018. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-HoonMajor pharma companies in Japan have scaled down their sales forces to cope with a shrinking market and cuts in drug prices imposed by the national health system. The layoffs by Takeda, Japan’s biggest drug maker, will be focused on sales positions, two industry sources told Reuters
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