Business Highlights

___Trump, Congress agree to end longest government shutdownWASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has submitted to mounting pressure and agreed to reopen the government for three weeks. He backed down from his demand that Congress give him money for his border wall before federal agencies got back to work. Standing alone in the Rose Garden, Trump said he would sign legislation funding shuttered agencies until Feb. 15 and try again to persuade lawmakers to finance his long-sought wall.___As shutdown ends, workers have little faith about futureWASHINGTON (AP) — Federal workers who had already missed one pay check were relieved to find out a payday Friday that the shutdown had ended, but say they are scarred by the experience of trying to stay afloat during the 35-day impasse. Some 800,000 furloughed federal workers were thrust into weeks of uncertainty and financial hardship — leading many to take out loans, apply for unemployment, do temporary jobs and launch online campaigns asking for donations.___6 air traffic controllers may have been shutdown’s last strawWASHINGTON (AP) — Politicians couldn’t overcome their differences and end the government shutdown over five weeks. Six air traffic controllers might have done it in a day. Six of the 13 controllers who normally staff a critical air traffic centre in Virginia didn’t come to work Friday. That centre handles air traffic in and out of the Mid-Atlantic region and the New York City area. Their absence contributed to a slowdown in air traffic and massive delays along the East Coast on Friday___IMF sees Greek economy accelerating in 2019ATHENS, Greece (AP) — The International Monetary Fund is optimistic on Greece’s growth and employment prospects for this year, but is urging the government to stick to reforms to maintain the momentum. In a report published Friday following five-day talks with officials in Athens, IMF officials say that the battered Greek economy is set to grow 2.4 per cent this year, up from 2.1 per cent in 2018.___Even with IRS staffers returning, tax refunds may be delayedWASHINGTON (AP) — The IRS’ workforce will return to full strength under the short-term deal to reopen the government struck Friday by President Donald Trump and congressional leaders. But the disruption from the partial shutdown and the recent absence of a large contingent of recalled IRS employees mean the possibility of delayed tax refunds.___Memos: Facebook allowed ‘friendly fraud’ to profit from kidsSAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Newly released court documents reveal that Facebook allowed children to ring up huge bills on digital games while the company rejected recommendations on addressing what it dubbed “friendly fraud.” The internal Facebook memos and other records were unsealed late Thursday to comply with a judge’s order in a federal court case settled in 2016.___Researchers say Amazon face-detection technology shows biasNEW YORK (AP) — A new study says Amazon’s facial-detection technology often misidentifies women as men, particularly those with darker skin. The technology has been marketed to law enforcement. Amazon says the study uses a “facial analysis” and not “facial recognition” technology and that Amazon has updated its technology. MIT Media Lab researcher Joy Buolamwini says companies should check all systems that analyze human faces for bias.___Queen urges common ground in remarks seen as Brexit nodLONDON (AP) — Queen Elizabeth II has urged people to seek “common ground” in remarks being seen as being a veiled reference to the toxic debate surrounding Britain’s departure from the European Union. While the monarch didn’t mention Brexit and is barred from commenting on political issues, the Times of London described the comments as a “rebuke to warring politicians.”___Hawaiian Air flight diverted after flight attendant diesSAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A Hawaiian Airlines flight from Honolulu to New York City was diverted to San Francisco after a flight attendant died of an apparent heart attack, officials said Friday. San Francisco airport spokesman Doug Yakel said Hawaiian Airlines Flight 50 landed Thursday night after a crew member had “a suspected heart attack.”___Swoosh up front: Nike to replace Under Armour for MLBNEW YORK (AP) — The swoosh is expected to be on the front of Major League Baseball uniforms starting in 2020. Nike will take over from Majestic Athletic as Major League Baseball’s uniform supplier for the 2020 season. The swoosh logo likely will move to a more prominent position on jersey fronts. The Majestic logo is currently on the sleeve. The 10-year deal replaces an agreement announced in 2016 for Under Armour to succeed Majestic.___The S&P 500 index rose 22.43 points, or 0.8 per cent to 2,664.76. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 183.96 points, or 0.7 per cent, to 24,737.20. The Nasdaq composite climbed 91.40 points, or 1.3 per cent, to 7,164.86. The Russell 2000 index of smaller company stocks increased 18.45 points, or 1.3 per cent, to 1,482.85.U.S. crude oil rose 1.1 per cent to settle at $53.69 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, rose 0.9 per cent to $61.64 in London. Wholesale gasoline stayed at $1.39 a gallon and heating oil added 0.3 per cent to $1.89 a gallon. Natural gas gained 2.5 per cent to $3.18 per 1,000 cubic feet.The Associated Press read more

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