A giant Amazon distribution center planned for Charlton

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AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES

Expansion motion in the seaport

Autonomous auto company Motional on Thursday unveiled plans to add more than 100 jobs to its 250 people in Boston, with the company roughly doubling the size of its operating facility on Black Falcon Avenue in the Seaport. Motional declined to say how many square feet it is adding to its site. The company said the additional space would be critical for its autonomous vehicle testing on Boston public roads next year, and the rollout of “robotaxis” in multiple cities starting in 2023. Motional, a Boston-based company owned by Hyundai and automotive supplier Aptiv, debuted as a spin-off of MIT, first known as nuTonomy, in 2013. – JON CHESTO

INTERNATIONAL

Evergrande defaults on his loan

For weeks, global markets watched the struggles of China Evergrande, a tottering real estate giant weighing in at $ 300 billion or more in bonds that seemed barely able to make required payments to global investors. On Thursday, three days after a deadline that left bondholders with nothing but company silence, a major credit rating agency said Evergrande was in default. But instead of resolving questions about the fate of the Chinese juggernaut, the announcement only deepened them. The firm, Fitch Ratings, said in its statement that it had placed the Chinese property developer in its “restricted default” category. The designation means that Evergrande had officially defaulted but had not yet initiated any type of bankruptcy filing, liquidation, or any other process that would end its operations. In the United States and many other places, bondholders could push a reluctant company into some form of reorganization, usually in court, and split the pieces. But Evergrande is faltering in China, where the Communist Party keeps a firm grip on business collapses to keep them from expanding out of control. – NEW YORK TIMES

FALLS FROM THE OPIOID CRISIS

The Metropolitan Museum of Art drops Sackler’s name

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is removing the name of the Sackler family, which made billions in opioid sales and contributed to a staggering public health crisis in the United States, from some of its most iconic exhibition spaces. The New York Museum said their names would be removed from the galleries, including the wing that houses the Temple of Dendur, according to a statement released Thursday. The decision was made in agreement with the families of Mortimer Sackler and Raymond Sackler. – BLOOMBERG NEWS

TRANSPORT

Amtrak plans service cuts due to vaccination mandate

Amtrak expects there won’t be enough employees to run all of its trains next month when it plans to enforce COVID-19 vaccine requirements. As Amtrak prepares to comply with the federal vaccine mandate, it will likely need to temporarily reduce the frequency, especially on its long-haul services, said Stephen J. Gardner, president of Amtrak, in testimony written for a House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee hearing. About 94 percent of the railway company’s workers have been fully immunized this week. – BLOOMBERG NEWS

MORTGAGES

Little changed prices

The average interest rate on a long-term mortgage in the United States held up again this week. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac reported on Thursday that the average 30-year benchmark fixed-rate mortgage rate fell this week to 3.10% from 3.11% last week. A year ago, the rate stood at 2.71%. The average rate on a 15-year mortgage also fell slightly, to 2.38% from 2.39% last week. A year ago, this rate was 2.26%. – ASSOCIATED PRESS

RETAIL SELLING

Business CEOs call for crackdown on counterfeit products online

CEOs of companies like Target and Best Buy have called on Congress to approve legislation to force online marketplaces to step up measures designed to tackle the sale of stolen or counterfeit goods. Passing the so-called consumer law would help retailers and law enforcement crack down on a “significant increase” in organized theft, the Retail Industry Leaders Association said Thursday in a letter to leaders in Congress. Home Depot CEO Levi Strauss and more than a dozen other companies also signed their names in endorsement. – BLOOMBERG NEWS

EQUITY

Movement to hire and promote 1 million black workers must escalate

A company’s commitment to hire and promote one million black workers into middle-class jobs within a decade must be multiplied by five in the next year to achieve that goal. The OneTen initiative, created in 2020 by the former CEO of International Business Machines Corp. Ginni Rometty and former Merck & Co. CEO Ken Frazier, are working with member companies to place 1 million black workers in jobs that don’t require four years. college degrees and pay a living wage for the family. A year later, the group’s 60 companies, including Walmart and General Motors, said they had hired 17,000 new black employees and promoted 4,000 more to better jobs, the group said Thursday. The coalition must create, on average, 100,000 jobs per year to achieve its goal. – BLOOMBERG NEWS

E-COMMERCE

Italy fines Amazon $ 1.3 billion for anti-competition

The Italian antitrust authority on Thursday fined Amazon 1.13 billion euros ($ 1.3 billion), accusing the company of exploiting its dominant position against independent sellers on its website in violation of European Union competition rules. The fine is one of the largest in Europe against the online retail giant, which has spread especially in Italy during a coronavirus lockdown that has prevented residents from visiting stores to purchase items considered non-essential. Europe has pioneered efforts to curb big tech companies, including handing out multi-billion dollar fines to Google in three antitrust cases. – ASSOCIATED PRESS


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