NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook and other companies routinely track your online surfing habits to better target ads at you. Two web browsers now want to help you fight back in what’s becoming an escalating privacy arms race. New protections in Apple’s Safari and Mozilla’s Firefox browsers aim to prevent companies from turning “cookie” data files used to store sign-in details and preferences into broader trackers that take note of what you read, watch and research on other sites. Lance Cottrell, creator of the privacy service Anonymizer, said Apple’s effort was particularly significant, as it takes aim at a technique developed by tracking companies to override users’ attempts to delete their cookies.
An old problem: Aging pipelines lead to deadly explosions
The natural gas pipeline in the United States is vast, sprawling across 2.5 million miles in a complex pressurized system that delivers a quarter of the energy consumed nationwide, according to the American Gas Association. Many of the pipes are old, and utilities are in various stages of replacing them to improve safety. There have been more than 300 fatalities and 1,200 injuries caused by natural gas pipeline incidents in the last 20 years, according to data from the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, the federal agency responsible for overseeing the industry. As residents recover from Thursday’s stunning explosions in Lawrence, Mass., many wonder what they can do to protect themselves.
Federal court ponders next steps in DeVos for-profit suit
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration on Friday asked the court for another chance to delay an Obama-era policy meant to boost protections for students defrauded by for-profit schools. The request comes two days after the court ruled that Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ move to freeze the regulation known as borrower defense was “arbitrary and capricious.” That decision dealt a severe blow to her efforts to ease regulations on the for-profit college industry. Attorney Adam Pulver with Public Citizen, an advocacy group, said defrauded students are facing “continuing everyday harm” and asked the court that the delayed regulation be enforced immediately.
Layoffs hit, prices lag as tariff pinches lobster industry
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — The American lobster industry is starting to feel the pinch of China’s tariff on U.S. seafood as exporters and dealers cope with sagging prices, new financial pressures and difficulty sending lobsters overseas. China is a major buyer of lobsters, and it imposed a heavy tariff on exports from the U.S. in early July amid trade hostilities between the two superpowers. Exporters in the U.S. said their business in China has dried up since then. Wholesale prices for live lobsters have also dipped a bit as dealers have lost markets. Prices in July and August were both slightly less than the same month in the previous year, business publisher Urner Barry reported.
Small-company stocks shine on an otherwise ho-hum day
NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks hardly moved Friday as the market wrapped up a solid week. Smaller companies rose following signs of sustained economic growth and reports that more tariffs on Chinese goods could be on the way. Stocks rose in early trading after the Federal Reserve said production of cars and energy jumped in August. The Commerce Department said sales by retailers grew only slightly in August after a big gain in July. “It’s a reflection of stronger economic growth,” said Kate Warne, an investment strategist for Edward Jones. “It continues to bode well for strength going into the fall and later in the year.
San Francisco Federal Reserve names Mary Daly as president
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco on Friday announced the appointment of Mary Daly, a longtime Fed economist and a labor market specialist, as the next president of the regional bank. Daly replaces John Williams, who became president of the New York Federal Reserve Bank in April. When she begins Oct. 1, Daly will be among three women who lead one of the 12 Fed regional banks. The Fed, under pressure from activist groups, has made efforts to diversify its leadership. Daly, 55, who joined the San Francisco Fed in 1996 as a research economist, was appointed director of research in 2017.
Libertarian Senate candidate discloses cannabis investments
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — U.S. Senate candidate Gary Johnson of New Mexico has disclosed personal financial interests in the cannabis sector that include stock holdings, a profit sharing agreement and recent capital gains on investment sales, according to filings reviewed by The Associated Press. Johnson in Senate filings this week said that he owns stock worth more than $250,000 in the Nevada cannabis company Kush and has a profit sharing agreement as the adviser to the cannabis-sector investment fund CB1 Capital. The former New Mexico governor and two-time Libertarian candidate for president also reported capital gains of at least $100,000 from stock in the company Cannabis Sativa, where he previously served as CEO.
Henri Bendel, 123-year-old luxury retailer, closes the doors
NEW YORK (AP) — The luxury retailer Henri Bendel, which opened its doors in New York’s Greenwich Village at the end of the 19th century, is closing. L Brands Inc., which acquired the brand in 1985, said that the 23 Bendel stores will turn out the lights in January. The Columbus, Ohio, company said it wants focus on larger brands with more growth potential. Henry Bendel was a women’s hat maker from Lafayette, Louisiana. He moved to New York in 1895 and began catering to the city’s elite, making the stores’ brown and white striped shopping and bags and hat boxes a coveted status symbol.
Chinese scientist pleads guilty in plot to steal GSK secrets
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A Chinese scientist has pleaded guilty to conspiring to steal biopharmaceutical trade secrets from GlaxoSmithKline in what prosecutors said was a scheme to set up companies in China to market them. Tao Li pleaded guilty Friday in federal court to a single conspiracy count. The change of plea comes two weeks after Yu Xue, a high-ranking researcher who worked at GlaxoSmithKline’s suburban Philadelphia research facility, also pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge. Prosecutors say Xue emailed various documents that were confidential and contained trade secrets to Li and others, who had set up a company called Renopharma in China to sell and market the research.
The S&P 500 index rose 0.80 points to 2,904.98. The index rose all five days this week after a four-day losing streak last week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 8.68 points to 26,154.67. The Nasdaq composite slipped 3.67 points to 8,010.04.
Benchmark U.S. crude added 0.6 percent to $68.99 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, dipped 0.1 percent to $78.09 a barrel in London.