Newsworthy – June 7th, 2019

More Americans are living alone than ever before, large companies continue to hold on to cash, business schools are shutting down MBA programs, an increase in apprehensions at the southern border, and more.

These are the newsworthy stories from this past week.

Business and Economics

  • Today, 35.7 million Americans live alone, 28% of households. That’s up from 13% of households in 1960 and 23% in 1980. Consumer-products companies are catering to what they see as a lucrative market for single-person households by upending generations of family-focused product development and marketing.

    From The Wall Street Journal
  • Walmart workers in three cities this fall will start delivering online grocery orders into fridges in shoppers’ homes and garages, wearing a bodycam to allow customers to watch a live stream of the delivery remotely.

    From The Wall Street Journal
  • Fifteen percent of U.S. restaurants offered meatless burgers in March, as fast-food restaurants rush to add meat-free burgers to their menus.

    From The Wall Street Journal
  • Expansion in the U.S. economy is set to reach its 10-year mark this month. By July, it will become the nation’s longest on record. But risks are looming. Most notably, threats of tariff-driven trade wars with China, Mexico and others could damage business, household and investor confidence. A central bank mistake with interest rates is also a threat and—because of the country’s ballooning budget deficit—fiscal policy is in a weaker position to help through spending or big tax cuts if the economy becomes stressed.

    From The Wall Street Journal
  • At a time when growing income inequality is fueling voter discontent and underpinning an array of social movements, the top 1% of earners and big companies are holding record levels of unused cash.

    Large companies around the world are overwhelmingly and uniformly choosing not to reinvest much of it into their businesses. They’re hoarding it in cash and buying back stock, the IMF notes.

    Money that would previously have been split between businesses, workers and the government is instead sitting in corporate accounts.

    From Axios

Education

  • Faced with a gargantuan freshman class of about 8,000 students — more than 1,000 above what they would like to have — Virginia Tech officials are offering scholarships to students who take gap years, and grants for community college classes, study-abroad programs and internships.

    From Washington Post
  • A growing number of U.S. business schools are shutting down their flagship M.B.A. programs in favor of shorter, more specialized masters and online degrees.

    Applications to traditional M.B.A. programs have languished in a strong U.S. job market, declining last year even at elite schools like Harvard Business School and Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business.

    Between 2014 and 2018, the number of accredited full-time M.B.A. programs in the U.S. dropped 9%.

    From The Wall Street Journal

Government and Politics

  • The Chinese government lashed out at U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for commemorating as “heroic” the protests leading to the violent crackdown at Beijing’s Tiananmen Square in 1989. The Chinese Embassy in Washington accused Mr. Pompeo of “prejudice and arrogance” and said his comment “grossly intervenes in China’s internal affairs, attacks its system and smears its domestic and foreign policies.”

    From The Wall Street Journal
  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection authorities reported they had apprehended 132,887 people at the U.S. southern border in May, including a record 84,542 traveling in family groups and an additional 11,507 unaccompanied children.

    The May numbers mark a 34% increase from April and were released as Mexican and U.S. officials ended their first day of talks without a deal to head off tariffs President Trump has threatened on Mexico.

    From The Wall Street Journal
  • The federal government is opening a new mass facility to hold migrant children in Texas — and is considering detaining hundreds more youths on three military bases around the country, adding up to 3,000 new beds to the already overtaxed system.

    All the new facilities will be considered temporary emergency shelters, so they won’t be subject to state child welfare licensing requirements.

    From AP
  • Local governments across the U.S. are facing a growing threat of cyberattacks and escalating ransom demands. An attack in Baltimore has crippled thousands of computers for a month. Municipalities are generally less prepared than companies because of limited resources and difficulty competing for cybersecurity talent.

    From The Wall Street Journal
  • The traveling court is run by New York City’s Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings, which is responsible for handling cases brought by city agencies. Despite a docket of nearly 900,000 cases a year, the court is unknown to many New Yorkers.

    Most cases are minor, such as errant recyclables and excessive noise. Still, not addressing a case, which begins with a summons, has real consequences. An unresolved offense with a $100 penalty can become a $300 fine that accrues interest and lands in civil court.

    Court officials have deemed the pop-ups a success, saying even when defendants don’t show up, they appreciate getting personal invitations to what Ms. Senigo, the deputy commissioner, called “a friendly place to go get justice.”

    From The Wall Street Journal

Health and Society

  • In 2015, a team of Pfizer researchers found that the company’s rheumatoid arthritis therapy, Enbrel, appeared to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by 64 percent. But Pfizer opted against further investigation and chose not to make the data public because the drug does not directly reach brain tissue.

    Some outside scientists disagree.

    From Washington Post
  • Three weeks before the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Inn raid, which catalyzed the modern LGBT rights movement, New York’s police commissioner apologized.

    “The actions taken by the NYPD were wrong, plain and simple,” Commissioner James O’Neill said during a briefing at police headquarters.

    From AP
  • Thousands gathered in Normandy, France, to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day. The June 6, 1944, amphibious landing in France began to turn the tide of the war. Several dozen D-Day and World War II veterans sat on stage clutching canes, their laps covered by black blankets. They received a four-minute standing ovation from the crowd before the ceremony began.

    From The Wall Street Journal

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