Winter Storm Diego: American Airlines cancels nearly 1,000 Sunday flights due to weather – USA TODAY

Catching a flight on Sunday? Get ready for major travel trouble if your flight is in the path of Winter Storm Diego.

American Airlines said it has proactively canceled 1,100 Sunday flights due to the storm. That is on top of 225 cancellations on Saturday.

The cancellations are now expected to spill into Monday, with American saying late Saturday that 300 Monday flights have been canceled.

The bulk of the canceled flights are to and from Charlotte, North Carolina, where American has a major hub. The airline said it is reducing operations at Charlotte Douglas International Airport beginning Saturday night. 

All flights to and from Charlotte on American’s regional partners are canceled for Sunday and more than two out of three of its other Charlotte flights are canceled. 

Since Charlotte is a major connecting hub for American, the cancellations also impact passengers headed to and from destinations not affected by the storms.

Southwest Airlines has canceled four flights to and from Charlotte on Sunday in addition to canceling the last four flights due to arrive at the airport on Saturday.

Travelers are advised to check their flight status before they head to the airport.

American, Southwest and other airlines have had travel waivers in place this week, allowing passengers scheduled to fly to, from or through Charlotte and other cities to change their plans without penalty to get out of the storm’s path.

Travelers who didn’t change their flights are eligible for a refund if there flight is canceled, even if they have a nonrefundable ticket.

More: List: Airlines waive change fees for big winter storm in South

More: Police meet British Airways plane upon landing after passenger turns violent mid-flight

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Elon Musk says Tesla may consider taking over Lordstown GM plant – cleveland.com

CLEVELAND, Ohio — In a preview of his interview with 60 minutes, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said he might be interested in taking over the five factories that General Motors plans to close next year, including the plant in Lordstown.

“It’s possible that we would be interested, if they were going to sell a plant or not use it, that we would take it over,” Musk told CBS’s Lesley Stahl.

GM announced last month that it will lay off more than 14,000 employees in North America as it is ends production at five plants, including Lordstown Assembly in Trumbull County, which makes the Chevrolet Cruze.

More than 1,400 Lordstown workers will be laid off in early March.

In the 60 minutes preview, Stahl says factories like Lordstown will soon be sitting empty and idle – unless another company, like Tesla, steps in and takes it over.

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Warren Buffett’s son staying as Illinois sheriff stint ends – WOWT

DECATUR, Ill. (AP) – The son of billionaire investor Warren Buffett says he’ll remain committed to his central Illinois community after his unlikely term as the local sheriff.

The (Decatur) Herald and Review reports that Howard Buffett was a longtime volunteer with the Macon County Sheriff’s Office before the wealthy philanthropist, author, photographer and farmer was appointed in late 2017 to fill the vacant post.

Buffett’s term ended Nov. 30, but he says he has no plans to leave Decatur and will continue advancing his Decatur-based foundation, which has donated about $100 million to local projects since he moved to the city in 1992.

Warren Buffett tells the newspaper that his son cares about Decatur, has a strong work ethic and a desire to give back.

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Just like Lyft, Uber has confidentially filed for its IPO – Engadget

On Thursday we learned Lyft filed papers for an initial public offering set to take place in 2019, and Friday evening some “people familiar with its plans” said the same to the Wall Street Journal about ride-hailing rival Uber. According to the New York Times, Uber also filed its paperwork with the SEC on Thursday, setting the stage for both companies to compete over who can get their shares on the market first. Ever since replacing Travis Kalanick last year, getting the company through its IPO has been a major consideration for CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, and this news means it could happen sooner than previously-anticipated, moving it from mid- or late 2019 to the first quarter of the year.

These transportation apps have seen some of the biggest growth lately, but they’re not the only tech companies preparing to go public, with others like Slack and Airbnb potentially in line.

The companies have similar incentives with employees and investors alike waiting to cash in, amid worries of a possible recession and the issue that both are reportedly unprofitable. Bankers have apparently estimated Uber’s IPO value at $120 billion, well above the $72 billion estimate from its last round of funding so you can see why they would want to strike.

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Red-hot U.S. jobs market drives some to seek cooler options – Reuters

POCATELLO, Idaho (Reuters) – When Sean Luangrath joined Pocatello, Idaho-based Inergy Solar a few years ago, the plan was to move the portable solar battery maker to his home base of Salt Lake City so he could build it with easy access to Silicon Slopes’ tech talent and venture capital.

Sean Luangrath, CEO Inergy Solar, poses in Idaho Falls, Idaho, U.S., November 12 2018. REUTERS/Ann Saphir

But when the new CEO looked at the labor costs, he ditched that plan and decided instead to rely on labor drawn from local colleges and the nearby Idaho National Laboratory. By next year he plans to double the payroll to 50 employees as he moves the company’s manufacturing operations from China back to eastern Idaho.

Laungrath says he likes being the relatively bigger fish in a relatively smaller pool. “There’s less competition for doing stuff like this in this neck of the woods.”

But Luangrath’s decision also reflects the reality of a U.S. labor market that is by some measures the hottest in decades.

The national unemployment rate held steady last month at 3.7 percent, a 50-year-low, figures released by the U.S. Labor Department showed Friday. And though job gains fell short of expectations, at 155,000 in November they were still twice what some estimate is needed to keep up with population growth.

Wages are also up 3.1 percent nationally in the 12 months to November, Friday’s report shows, though that masks much faster growth in bigger cities, especially those with tech-heavy labor pools.

Four of the top 10 counties with the biggest wage gains in the second quarter of 2018 were in the greater San Francisco Bay Area, recent data from the U.S. labor department shows.

And across the country many labor markets are so tight it is pinching companies’ growth, according to anecdotal data released by the Federal Reserve last week. The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, for instance, reported that “labor availability was widely seen as the biggest obstacle to short-term growth.”

Scarce labor pushes up wages, and “wage gains are likely to continue rising through 2019,” said Andrew Chamberlain, chief economist at online jobsite Glassdoor. But, he said “it’s a very diverse wage picture across the U.S.”

And that has created openings for some companies willing to branch out.

A little over a year ago, executives at ecommerce company Fivestars realized they had a problem: the job market in San Francisco was getting too hot, and the customer support staff they would need for their next bout of expansion were nowhere to be found.

So they headed for El Paso, Texas.

By October the online retail marketing firm had hired 65 employees in the border town, about a quarter of their total workforce.

Labor there is not only less expensive, explains vice president of business operations Matthew Curl, but it is easier to hire and keep people. In San Francisco, it had recently taken him two months to hire just one customer support agent, who then left within a week for a slightly better paying job.

El Paso is “everything we’d hoped: a stable labor market with experienced people that know what they are doing,” he said.

El Paso’s average weekly wage grew 2.4 percent in the second quarter of 2018, to $733, U.S. Labor Department figures show.

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That compares to a 4.4 percent increase in Salt Lake, to an average weekly wage of $1,010, and a 9 percent rise in Silicon Valley’s San Mateo, to an average weekly wage of $2,357.

With growth like that, more companies may try to solve their hot labor market woes with a move to a cooler spot like the El Paso desert.

Indeed, the trend may already be happening: early this month Curacubby, a Berkeley, California-based startup that automates billing for schools, announced it will open an office in El Paso in January.

Reporting by Ann Saphir; Editing by Dan Burns and Diane Craft

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What Caused Bitcoin to Drop to a New Yearly Low? Factors and Trends – newsBTC

When optimists thought it couldn’t get any worse, it did. In the past 24 hours, after ranging between $3,800 and $4,200 for a week, Bitcoin (BTC) was suddenly subject to another spell of bear market fever, as the asset fell under $3,700, $3,600, and $3,500 in quick succession. BTC even established a new year-to-date low in the recent sell-off, breaching $3,350 on Coinbase in a bearish spasm.

Upon the re-arrival of selling pressure, which sent retail investors into an unrelenting furor, a myriad of industry participants asked what mustered bears into action — the million dollar question lingering about everyone’s mind.

SEC Delays Bitcoin ETF Ruling… Yet Again

Per previous reports from NewsBTC, a number of representatives from VanEck, SolidX, and CBOE’s Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) team recently rendezvoused with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). This recent event, which is the second of its kind, saw VanEck’s digital asset team, headed by Gabor Gurbacs, consult with the American entity’s Economic Risk Analysis division on the matter of a crypto-backed ETF.

Related Reading: VanEck’s Chief Strategist Eyes Multi-Billion Dollar Investment in Bitcoin ETF

The hopefuls drew attention to a 62-part slide deck, which outlined the vehicle proposed and the rationale behind its potential approval. VanEck’s representative, doing his utmost to calm the SEC’s fears of manipulation, low-liquidity, and bad actors in crypto markets, then told the financial regulator that Bitcoin isn’t only “resilient,” but operates in a “well-functioning capital market” as well.

Aiming to butter up the SEC, VanEck even lauded CBOE’s trading infrastructure, which the instrument will be coupled with, for its speed, security, and ability to stay in compliance with the local financial legislature.

Yet, even after the reportedly successful closed-door meeting, the SEC delayed its decision on the application for the umpteenth time, and in the midst of a crypto bear market no less. In an SEC-stamped document published Thursday afternoon, the governmental agency claimed that it would be exercising its right to delay a verdict on the application until February 27, 2019.

Although the release of this document didn’t directly produce any red candles, such a decision likely instilled some semblance of fear in naive investors. Speaking with Bloomberg on the impact of negative industry developments, Timothy Tam, CEO of CoinFi, stated:

“Sentiment in the [crypto] market is really bad, any negative news has an exponential effect.”

However, some have taken to Twitter to discredit the sentiment that the SEC’s recent ruling had an effect on the market at large. On Twitter, Joseph Young, a NewsBTC editor, noted that the document was “expected” and “common sense,” adding that BTC didn’t stumble under $3,500 as a result of the 81-day delay.

Still, the multi-year Bitcoin ETF saga, which has stuck with crypto through the thick and thin, will likely remain an industry-wide flavor of the foreseeable future, so to speak.

Analysts Claim That Bottom Isn’t In

While opinions regarding the Bitcoin ETF delay and its effect on the market are a mixed bag, a number of analysts have maintained that BTC hasn’t established its long-term bottom, even after an 83% decline from its all-time high.

Michael Bucella, a partner at industry juggernaut BlockTower Capital, claimed crypto’s near-year-long “distress cycle” is nearing its climax. The former Goldman Sachs executive, referencing BTC’s historical price fluctuations, subsequently pointed out that the last leg of crypto downturns are normally the most volatile, yet short-lived. And while he was reluctant to forecast a bottom, Bucella clearly accentuated his thought process that bears aren’t done with BTC yet.

Vinny Lingham, CEO of Civic, recently issued a similar comment, claiming that he expects for BTC to range between $3,000 and $5,000 for months, before adding that a foray below the former price level isn’t out of the realm of possibility. Lingham, known for incessantly calling for a “Crypto Winter,” claimed that Bitcoin’s underlying narrative has been misconstrued over time, which has allowed up-and-coming blockchains to gain on the crypto industry’s first.

Although commentators haven’t come to a consensus on the point at which BTC will bottom, it is evident that the cries for “lower lows” are still commonplace.

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Ohio Congressman: ‘Our community is still in shock’ over GM closure – Yahoo Finance

“The community is still trying to get their head around the fact that this plant is not going to have a car come March,” the Democratic Congressman said. “And that ripple effect through the housing market, and the schools, every aspect of our community has been brutal over the past week.”‘ data-reactid=”16″>“The community is still trying to get their head around the fact that this plant is not going to have a car come March,” the Democratic Congressman said. “And that ripple effect through the housing market, and the schools, every aspect of our community has been brutal over the past week.”

Youngstown, Ohio Mayor Jamael Tito Brown recently told Yahoo Finance that the Lordstown plant GM closure would cost 1,600 workers and 3,000 suppliers their jobs in the immediate area and about 10,000 jobs total.‘ data-reactid=”19″>Youngstown, Ohio Mayor Jamael Tito Brown recently told Yahoo Finance that the Lordstown plant GM closure would cost 1,600 workers and 3,000 suppliers their jobs in the immediate area and about 10,000 jobs total.


Tom Wolikow, a General Motors employee who is currently laid-off, left, takes a phone call at home alongside his fiance Rochelle Carlisle, right, Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018, in Warren, Ohio. The GM closure would have a ripple effect. (Photo: AP/John Minchillo)

President Trump is trying to prevent the closures now, criticizing General Motors and threatening to reduce the company’s subsidies including the federal tax credit for GM’s electric vehicles.‘ data-reactid=”43″>President Trump is trying to prevent the closures now, criticizing General Motors and threatening to reduce the company’s subsidies including the federal tax credit for GM’s electric vehicles.

“We need a healthy General Motors, we need a General Motors movement to the future,” he said. “We just want this plant that’s helped contribute to General Motors for 50 years, and the community that supported them, to be a part of that future.”‘ data-reactid=”45″>“We need a healthy General Motors, we need a General Motors movement to the future,” he said. “We just want this plant that’s helped contribute to General Motors for 50 years, and the community that supported them, to be a part of that future.”


1975: United Auto Workers President Leonard Woodcock shaking hands with worker during tour of the Terex Division plant of General Motors in Hudson, Ohio. (Photo by Walter Bennett/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

Ryan added that GM should consider how “the social compact between corporations and their workers and the government and their citizens comes back into play in the United States.” Because right now, “workers don’t feel like they matter,” he said, seeing as they are “the ones who always get cut loose.”‘ data-reactid=”67″>Ryan added that GM should consider how “the social compact between corporations and their workers and the government and their citizens comes back into play in the United States.” Because right now, “workers don’t feel like they matter,” he said, seeing as they are “the ones who always get cut loose.”

Follow Yahoo Finance on TwitterFacebookInstagramFlipboardLinkedIn, YouTube, and reddit‘ data-reactid=”69″>Follow Yahoo Finance on TwitterFacebookInstagramFlipboardLinkedIn, YouTube, and reddit

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$30 plug-and-play kit converts a Bird scooter into a “personal scooter” – Boing Boing

When scooter companies like Bird started illegally deploying their gadgets in city streets, there was intense interest in both the street value of the components to be found within each of these VC-backed ewaste-in-waiting devices, and tactics for hotwiring them.

Now, with hundreds of these scooters abandoned and rotting in impound lots, likely never to be recovered, maybe now is a good time to invest in a $30 scooter “conversion kit”, which ships direct from China, and plugs-and-plays to convert one of these scooters to a “personal scooter,” with all recovery and payment components permanently disabled.

The subject of this conversion are scooters deployed by Bird, which are in actuality Xiaomi MIJIA M365 scooters with a few added electronics to connect to the Internet. The ‘conversion kit’ for a Bird scooter comes directly from China, costs $30, and is apparently a plug-and-play sort of deal. The hardest part is finding a screwdriver with the right security bits, but that again is a problem eBay is more than willing to solve.

Right now, [humanbeing21] is in contact with a towing company that has well over a hundred Bird scooters on their lot, each accruing daily storage fees. Since these scooters only cost about $400 new, we’re probably well past the time when it makes sense for Bird to pay to get them out of storage. This means they’ll probably be heading for an auction where anyone can pick them up — all of them — for a hundred bucks or so.

Right now, scooter hacking is becoming one of the most interesting adventures in modern-day hacking. You’ve got batteries and electronics and motors just sitting there, ready for the taking (and yes, through these auctions you can do this legally). We’re looking at a future filled with 18650-based Powerwalls from discarded electric scooters and quadcopters built around scooter motors filling the skies. This is cyberpunk, and we can’t wait to see the other builds these scooters will become.

Liberating Birds For A Cheap Electric Scooter [Brian Benchoff/Hackaday]

Convert a Bird to a Personal Scooter [Scooter Talk]

(via JWZ)

(Image: Hackaday)

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FedEx worker dies in accident at Indianapolis airport – Indianapolis Star

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FedEx worker dies in accident at Indianapolis airport

The Indiana Department of Labor has opened an inspection, and FedEx is working with authorities who are investigating, according to the groups.

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A FedEx employee died Thursday night in an accident at the Indianapolis International Airport. 

FedEx reported the workplace fatality Friday morning, Stephanie McFarland, a spokeswoman for the Indiana Department of Labor and its Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration, said.

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The Indiana Department of Labor inspector was on site and opened an inspection, McFarland said. The inspection is expected to be completed within the next 30 days.

FedEx did not provide any details about the employee or the accident. The company released the following statement through spokesperson Jim McCluskey.

“No words can convey the grief we all feel over the loss our team member, and our prayers and deepest condolences are extended to his family. We are cooperating with authorities investigating the accident.”

Call IndyStar reporter Domenica Bongiovanni at 317-444-7339. Follow her on Facebook,Twitter and Instagram.

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