Review Category : Business

US Stocks Tumble Amid Travel Ban Fallout

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — U.S. stocks closed lower Monday for the worst day on Wall Street so far this year.

The Dow sunk 122.65 (-0.61 percent) to finish at 19,971.13.

The Nasdaq gave up 47.07 (-0.83 percent) to close at 5,613.71, while the S&P 500 finished at 2,280.90, down 13.79 (-0.60 percent) from its open.

Crude oil prices were under $53 a barrel, down 1 percent.

President Trump: Business leaders over the weekend issued statements against President Trump’s executive order on immigration and refugees as chaos and confusion ensued at several major U.S. airports. Microsoft, Google and Facebook were among the companies to react. Apple CEO Tim Cook told employees in a memo that “Apple would not exist without immigration.”

Notable Stocks: After losing a contract with Mattress Firm, a key customer, Tempur Sealy International Inc. tumbled 28 percent.

Delta Air Lines shares suffered from a system outage that caused several flight cancellations. President Trump tweeted about the airline “…Big problems at airports were caused by Delta computer outage,” in a tweet talking about those detained under the travel ban. The airline’s stock sunk 4 percent.

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Kyocera Cellphone Can Be Washed with Soap and Water

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — You’ve read countless stories about how gross your cellphone is and now, Kyocera is doing something about it — with a phone you can wash with soap and water.

The Kyocera Rafre can be lathered up and run under the faucet just as you’d wash your own hands.

So far the phone — whose name is based on the French word for “refresh” — is only available in Japan.

What’s more, since the phone is made to work while totally wet, it can finally be the cellphone for those who’ve been dying to use it in the shower or bathtub.

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New App Recreates AOL Messenger

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Want to relive your 90s online life? There’s an app for that.

For computer users of a certain age, much of their youth was spent on AOL Instant Messenger, and now they can relive those days — without having to wait for a dial-up connection. Engineer Gary Simon created an app that exactly recreates the look and feel of the once popular chat service.

The app is pretty basic, by Simon’s own admission to Popular Mechanics, but you can login with a “screen name” and chat away just like you did in the day when chat rooms were all the rage and Limp Bizkit was a thing.

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President Trump Orders New Limits on Regulations

ABC News(WASHINGTON) — President Donald Trump signed an executive order Monday morning that he said will “dramatically reduce federal regulations” on businesses.

“We’ll be reducing [regulations] big-league and their damaging effects on our small businesses, our economy, and our entrepreneurial spirit,” Trump said during a meeting with small business leaders. “The American dream is back, and we’re going to create an environment for small business like we haven’t had in many, many decades.”

Trump said that the order mandates that for every new regulation implemented by federal agencies, two existing regulations must be cut. He called it the “largest ever cut by far in terms of regulations.”

The president was flanked by small business leaders as he signed the order in the Oval Office Monday.

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Uber Surpasses Starbucks as Number One Expense for Business Travelers

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — How popular is Uber for businesspeople? More popular than coffee, apparently — and needless to say, that’s obviously saying a lot.

According to the experts at Certify, in 2016, Uber surpassed Starbucks on the expense reports of some 1 million business travelers — the first time the ride share service was able to do so.

The coffee giant can take some comfort in the fact that Starbucks remained the most popular restaurant for employees to expense food and drink.

The experts say some 6 percent of ALL business travel transactions analyzed last year were for Uber; meanwhile, receipts for taxis and rental cars dwindled.

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Delta Restoring Operations After IT Outage Causes Delays and Cancellations

Delta(NEW YORK) — Delta operations are being restored Monday morning after a system outage caused delays and about 170 cancellations Sunday night. Some 80 flights scheduled to depart Monday are still canceled, with more canceled flights possible, the airline said.

According to the company’s website, “essential IT systems” went down Sunday evening around 6:30 p.m. and were restored within hours. All airline systems “were back to normal shortly after midnight Monday.”

Delta CEO Ed Bastian apologized for the outage in a statement on the airline’s website.

“I want to apologize to all of our customers who have been impacted by this frustrating situation,” he said. “This type of disruption is not acceptable to the Delta family, which prides itself on reliability and customer service. I also want to thank our employees who are working tirelessly to accommodate our customers.”

Though Delta is offering a fee waiver to all customers with flights scheduled for Jan. 29 and Jan. 30 (for rebooking Feb. 3), the airline advises that customers traveling Monday check their flight status at delta.com and through the Fly Delta mobile app.

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Koch Brothers’ Network Says Trump Executive Order on Immigration Likely ‘Counterproductive’

Ida Mae Astute/ABC(NEW YORK) — Add the Koch brothers’ network to the list of those questioning President Donald Trump’s recent executive order on immigration.

In a statement released Sunday, an official for the political network led by the Republican billionaires, said the organization believes Trump’s ban on immigration from seven predominately Muslim countries will likely be “counterproductive.”

“We believe it is possible to keep Americans safe without excluding people who wish to come here to contribute and pursue a better life for their families,” Brian Hooks, who oversees the Koch network’s bi-annual seminars, said. “The travel ban is the wrong approach and will likely be counterproductive.

“Our country has benefited tremendously from a history of welcoming people from all cultures and backgrounds. This is a hallmark of free and open societies,” he added.

On Saturday, as demonstrations broke out at airports across the country in response to Trump’s immigration executive order, roughly 550 of the Koch brothers’ top donors gathered near Palm Springs, California, for their network’s winter seminar.

Officials for the network told reporters they were encouraged by some of what they’ve seen so far from the new administration, but that it’s too soon to say for certain.

They pointed to Trump’s regulatory reforms, his executive order on the Keystone pipeline, and some of his Cabinet appointments as areas where the Koch network is hopeful.

“There’s been some good things, for sure,” Mark Holden, a top official for the network, told reporters of Trump’s first full week in office.

Such optimism is a shift from the Koch brothers’ critical view of Trump during the campaign. The controversial political donors did not spend any money on the then-Republican nominee, focusing instead on supporting down-ballot races.

The immigration ban was not a major topic of conversation here at the palm tree-filled oasis, however. Charles Koch didn’t mention it during remarks at the opening reception, nor was it a topic of discussion during the post-dinner panel with Republican Sens. Pat Toomey, R-Pennsylvania, James Lankford, R-Oklahoma, and Mike Lee, R-Utah.

Instead, the focus was on issues like health care and tax reform.

Proud of how they did in races this past November, the network announced plans to be even more aggressive in their spending next cycle, as they hope to maintain control of the House and Senate.

According to a spokesperson, the Koch network will spend between $300 and 400 million dollars on politics and policy during the 2018 races, up from $250 million in 2016.

“We had by far the most productive year in the history of this network,” Charles Koch told donors about this past cycle. “We’re just getting started.”

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CEOs Say Trump Travel Ban is Discriminatory, Vow to Support Affected Employees

ABC News(NEW YORK) — President Donald Trump’s executive orders on immigration are not sitting well with many leaders in the business community, particularly in the tech industry.

These titans of industry — who largely hail from the Silicon Valley area — not only view the travel ban on immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries as discriminatory, but also detrimental to economic and technological growth, as well as their staffing needs.

TIM COOK, APPLE

“Apple would not exist without immigration, let alone thrive and innovate the way we do,” Apple CEO Time Cook wrote in an email to staff. “I’ve heard from many of you who are deeply concerned about the executive order issued yesterday restricting immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries. I share your concerns. It is not a policy we support … In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, ‘We may have all come on different ships, but we are in the same boat now.'”

And Cook apparently has no qualms expressing his opposition to the ban to President Trump, writing, “We have reached out to the White House to explain the negative effect on our coworkers and our company.”

Cook also addressed how the travel ban is directly affecting the Cupertino, California, company’s employees, writing, “There are employees at Apple who are directly affected by yesterday’s immigration order. Our HR, Legal and Security teams are in contact with them, and Apple will do everything we can to support them.”

MARK ZUCKERBERG, FACEBOOK

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote on his Facebook page on Friday, “I’m concerned about the impact of the recent executive orders signed by President Trump. We need to keep this country safe, but we should do that by focusing on people who actually pose a threat. Expanding the focus of law enforcement beyond people who are real threats would make all Americans less safe by diverting resources, while millions of undocumented folks who don’t pose a threat will live in fear of deportation.”

SUNDAR PICHAI, GOOGLE

Like Apple’s Cook, Google CEO Sundar Pichai also addressed the impact of the ban on his employees.

“We’re upset about the impact of this order and any proposals that could impose restrictions on Googlers and their families, or that could create barriers to bringing great talent to the US,” Mr. Pichai said in an email to employees, obtained by The Wall Street Journal. “It’s painful to see the personal cost of this executive order on our colleagues.”

TRAVIS KALANICK, UBER

The CEO of San Francisco-based Uber, Kalanick said the ban goes against American values.

“Allowing people from all around the world to come here and make America their home has largely been the U.S.’s policy since its founding,” Kalanick wrote in an email to staff that he shared on his Facebook page. “That means this ban will impact many innocent people—an issue that I will raise this coming Friday when I go to Washington for President Trump’s first business advisory group meeting.

SATYA NADELLA, MICROSOFT

Microsoft’s Indian-born CEO, Satya Nadella, addressed his own background in a Linkedin post.

“As an immigrant and as a CEO, I’ve both experienced and seen the positive impact that immigration has on our company, for the country, and for the world,” he wrote. “We will continue to advocate on this important topic.”

AARON LEVIE, BOX

The CEO of Palo Alto, California-based enterprise cloud company Box, Levie tweeted, “On every level -moral, humanitarian, economic, logical, etc.- this ban is wrong and is completely antithetical to the principles of America.”

On every level -moral, humanitarian, economic, logical, etc.- this ban is wrong and is completely antithetical to the principles of America.

— Aaron Levie (@levie) January 28, 2017

DREW HOUSTON, DROPBOX

“Executive orders affecting world’s most vulnerable are un-American,” tweeted Drew Houston, CEO of Dropbox, the San Francisco-based file sharing service. “Dropbox embraces people from all countries and faiths.”

Executive orders affecting world’s most vulnerable are un-American. Dropbox embraces people from all countries and faiths

— Drew Houston (@drewhouston) January 28, 2017

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Is the Carry-On Bag About to Become Extinct?

iStock/Thinkstock (NEW YORK) — Travel can be costly and many people try and save some cash by using carry-on bags. But Farecompare CEO Rick Seaney says that travel hack may become a thing of the past. Seaney sat down with ABC News to share his thoughts and his best tips on how to avoid extra fees.

Here’s what he had to say:

Anyone who reads my travel advice knows a favorite tip is to use a carry-on bag, no matter where you fly.

I do this myself. No big and clunky checked suitcases for me, not even on 10-day trips to Europe.

There are two very good reasons for this: Carry-on bags are usually free and carry-on bags stay beside you on the plane, so they can’t get lost.

Well, as much as I hate to say it, airlines are making it increasingly difficult to use a carry-on.

First it was just the ultra-discounters, but now even major carriers are putting new restrictions on cabin baggage for certain fares.

Here are some examples from major U.S. carriers:

Carry-on bags are still free on these airlines’ regular economy class, but the restrictions are on a brand-new class.

American: Its new basic economy class (on sale in February) gives travelers zero access to overhead bins. One carry-on item is allowed but it must fit under a seat and be no bigger than 18 by 14 by 8 inches. The bottom line is if you have a backpack, a laptop and a purse, two of those items will have to be checked and you will pay a fee. Don’t try sneaking an extra item aboard, either. If you get caught at the gate, there’s an extra $25 per item “service fee” in addition to the regular checked bag charge.

United: It’s the same deal on United’s upcoming basic economy (dates to be announced). One small under-the-seat item is allowed, no use of bin space, and an additional $25 per item charge to check items at the gate.

Here are some examples from smaller U.S. carriers:

Most of these discount airline carry-on rules have been in effect for years.

Allegiant: You can bring regular size carry-on bags on board, but you will pay a fee, though that fee is cheaper than the checked bag fee.

Frontier: Carry-ons are allowed on planes but there is a fee, and it’s more expensive than the checked-bag fee.

Spirit: Again, carry-ons are allowed but the fee is more expensive than the checked-bag fee. One nice thing, though is that Spirit does allow an under-the-seat-bag for free and there’s a packing tutorial video on its website.

Here’s what passengers can do:

Look at all costs of a ticket before digging out your credit card.

Compare fares: These days, you must compare fares among airlines and then in some cases, compare classes of service on a single carrier. Do a little math and ask yourself if the savings gained by flying basic economy make up for the bag fee, and make up for the inconvenience. If not, move up in class to regular economy.

Try packing a very small bag: If you’re only going away for a weekend, a small backpack or soft-sided duffle could do the trick. If you find you must check a bag, I suggest bringing a bag on board to hold valuables and must-haves you want to keep close like electronics, medications, documents and the like. Toss in a change of underwear and T-shirt, too, just in case that checked bag goes astray.

Fly these airlines: Southwest has free carry-ons and two checked bags for free. Discounters like JetBlue and Virgin America allow free carry-ons and there are others.

Meanwhile, it’ll be interesting to see if luggage manufacturers start giving more thought to designing very small bags for very small places.

Rick Seaney is the CEO of FareCompare, a website that curates the best deals on flights from around the world. Any opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author.

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Airbnb to Provide Free Housing to Refugees, CEO Says

Airbnb(NEW YORK) — Airbnb co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky said in a tweet Saturday night that the home-rental platform would provide free housing to refugees.

“Airbnb is providing free housing to refugees and anyone not allowed in the US,” he tweeted. “Stayed tuned for more, contact me if urgent need for housing”

Airbnb is providing free housing to refugees and anyone not allowed in the US. Stayed tuned for more, contact me if urgent need for housing

— Brian Chesky (@bchesky) January 29, 2017

In a previous tweet, the Airbnb CEO said: “Not allowing countries or refugees into America is not right, and we must stand with those who are affected.”

Not allowing countries or refugees into America is not right, and we must stand with those who are affected.

— Brian Chesky (@bchesky) January 29, 2017

Chesky’s announcement came after fallout from President Trump’s executive order on immigration that calls for a complete suspension of Syrian refugees and an immediate suspension of immigration from Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia and Libya. At least 55 passengers were detained or sent home from at least six different airports, sparking protests Saturday.

A federal judge in New York Saturday night granted a stay on the order after a challenge from the ACLU. The ruling prevents foreigners currently detained at American airports from being put on return flights home.

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