Business | page 14


FRIDAY, JAN. 8, 2016

THURSDAY, JAN. 7, 2016


The latest in gadgets: Goodbye, Motorola

LAS VEGAS – The latest developments surrounding the consumer-electronics show in Las Vegas known as CES: Lenovo phasing out Motorola brandA famous name in mobile phones is going away. Lenovo, which bought the Motorola phone business from Google in 2014, ...

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TUESDAY, JAN. 5, 2016

Fast-food price fight: Combo deals center stage

NEW YORK – Another price fight is breaking out among the country’s biggest burger chains, this time with meal combos designed to make people forget about the once ubiquitous dollar menus. The new “bundled offers” show how hungry McDonald’s, Burger King and Wendy’s are to win over deal seekers, and how quickly a popular idea gets copied in the fast-food industry. The latest trend on the value front popped up in late 2015 after Wendy’s rolled out a “4 for $4 deal,” which includes a Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger, chicken nuggets, small fries and a small drink.

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Robust 2015 sales show the US auto industry ‘in a very strong place’

As automakers release December and full-year sales results Tuesday, all signs indicate that the U.S. auto market is healthy and robust. Several companies have reported gains in December, with some in the double digits. Nissan’s sales jumped 19 percent, Fiat Chrysler’s climbed 13 percent, Toyota’s rose nearly 11 percent and Honda’s went up almost 10 percent. Ford posted an 8 percent increase, and General Motors said its sales rose 6 percent.

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Thomas Perko, former Washington Trust president, dies at 85 

Thomas Perko, president of Washington Trust Bank from 1979 to 1990, died on Dec. 30. He was 85. Perko worked for Washington Trust and its holding company for nearly 50 years, joining the Spokane financial company as a computer programmer. After graduating with both bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Stanford University, Perko began his career selling room-sized computers for IBM.

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MONDAY, JAN. 4, 2016

U.S. sues Volkswagen over emissions cheat

WASHINGTON – The Justice Department sued Volkswagen on Monday over emissions-cheating software found in nearly 600,000 vehicles sold in the United States, potentially exposing the company to billions of dollars in penalties for clean air violations. The civil complaint against the German automaker, filed on behalf of the Environmental Protection Agency in U.S. District Court in Detroit, alleges the company illegally installed software designed to make its “clean diesel” engines pass federal emissions standards while undergoing laboratory testing. The vehicles then switched off those measures in real-world driving conditions, spewing harmful gases at up to 40 times what is allowed under federal environmental standards.

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General Motors invests in Lyft, forms partnership

DETROIT – The automotive industry is placing its biggest bet yet that using a device to hail a ride – with or without a driver – is the future of transportation. General Motors Co. said Monday it is investing $500 million in ride-hailing company Lyft Inc. and forming an unprecedented partnership that could eventually lead to on-demand, self-driving cars. It’s the largest investment yet by a traditional automaker in a new mobility company, and is an acknowledgment by GM that the transportation landscape is changing fast.

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Stocks sink around the world on first trading day of 2016

NEW YORK – The new year got off to an inauspicious start on Wall Street as stocks tumbled Monday in a global sell-off triggered by new fears of a slowdown in China and rising tensions in the Middle East. The Dow Jones industrial average clawed back from a steep early decline but still ended the day down 1.6 percent, its biggest drop in two weeks. Markets in Asia and Europe suffered heavier losses.

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Front & Center: Land Expressions

When Dave Nelson graduated from Washington State University three decades ago, the economy was emerging from recession and there weren’t many opportunities for freshly minted landscape architects. “I sent out 158 résumés,” he recalled. Eventually a Seattle company called Nelson ...

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SUNDAY, JAN. 3, 2016




Consumer Confidential: Battle with Bank of America provides a ‘Wonderful’ lesson

Jimmy Hawkins, who played little Tommy Bailey in the 1946 classic “It’s a Wonderful Life,” told me this week that he was battling Bank of America over an overdraft involving his 99-year-old mother’s checking account. Admittedly, this wasn’t a big deal. But how could I turn my back at this particular time of year on someone from the greatest Christmas movie ever?

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