How the Khashoggi case and its fallout is affecting global business


(CNN) — The disappearance and death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi sent shockwaves through the business world, leaving in limbo planned investments, partnerships and projects in banking, transportation and technology.

Business leaders have been distancing themselves from Saudi Arabia since Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and critic of the Saudi government, disappeared after entering the Saudi consulate in Turkey earlier this month. Riyadh, which had denied any involvement in his disappearance for nearly three weeks, said Friday Khashoggi died in a fistfight involving more than a dozen Saudi officials inside the consulate. German Chancellor Angela Merkel rejected the Saudi statement. “From Saudi Arabia, we expect transparency in terms of death and background. Those responsible must be held accountable. The information given at the consulates in Istanbul is insufficient,” she said. Read more →


Amazon’s new waste-reduction strategy: Deliver only once a week


New York (CNN Business) — Amazon wants to reduce its carbon footprint and give customers more control over when they receive their packages. The company found a way to achieve both in one new program.

Starting Tuesday, all Prime members in the United States will be able to select a particular day to receive a week’s worth of Amazon deliveries. After a Prime member enrolls in the “Amazon Day” service, Amazon will hold everything they order throughout the week, and it will deliver the items together on the customer’s selected day.

Amazon’s (AMZN) new feature could persuade customers who place multiple orders a week to receive them all together. The company said that could reduce the amount of shipping materials. It may also reduce the number of stops Amazon deliveries need to make.
The new option is the latest in a series of ongoing efforts by the online retailer meant to make the delivery process smoother, said Jefferies analyst Brent Thill. He also pointed to the Amazon Key, which was released more than a year ago and came with a security camera and door lock. Read more →

Wall Street’s most famous trader says markets need a human touch


New York (CNN Business) — When trader Peter Tuchman first set foot on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in 1985, there wasn’t a computer in sight.

All trades were performed on slips of paper that would end up blanketing the floor by mid-morning.

“It was like Grand Central Station back then,” Tuchman told CNN Business.
Nowadays, most trades are done by computers. When Tuchman started at NYSE, its 1,366 trading seats were filled. He estimates there are now fewer than 700 people working on the floor.
The remaining traders, who rush across the NYSE’s trading floor in their iconic blue jackets, have been accused of being there for the benefit of the media outlets that report from the floor. Read more →

Prada asks Ava DuVernay and Theaster Gates to lead diversity efforts after blackface backlash


New York (CNN Business) – Prada has tapped “Selma” director Ava DuVernay and artist Theaster Gates to advise the Italian fashion house on diversity issues after the company released a holiday collection featuring blackface imagery.

In December, Prada faced backlash over its Pradamalia line, which included monkey-like figurines with black faces and large red lips. When civil rights attorney Chinyere Ezie spotted the products at a Prada store in Manhattan, she posted on Facebook that she was struck by how the items resembled blackface. The figurines left her “shaking with anger,” she wrote at the time.

After that post gained traction, Prada pulled the products and issued a statement, saying “we abhor all forms of racism and racist imagery.” Read more →


United courts fliers with fewer lines


United Airlines wants to cut delays. Its solution: Fewer lines.

The airline on Tuesday changed its boarding process: United reduced the number of boarding lines from five to two. Passengers in groups one and two will board in a single line. Remaining passengers will be asked to remain seated until they are called to board through the second line. They’ll be announced by group.

The new procedure is part of a long-term effort to boost ticket sales. United (UAL) hopes to please passengers by eliminating long lines at the gate, said Jack Atkins, a research analyst at Stephens Inc. Read more →


Elon Musk says Tesla was weeks from death

New York (CNN Business) — Tesla CEO Elon Musk said his electric car company came “within single-digit weeks” of death this year as it struggled to meet production targets for its Model 3 sedan.

Musk made the comments about Tesla’s cash crunch on “Axios on HBO” on Sunday.
Tesla (TSLA) finally managed to hit its production targets in June, and turned a profit in October for the first time since 2016.

Before those milestones, the company was facing a $1 billion debt obligation without much revenue to help pay it down.

Musk said the production issues left Tesla “bleeding money like crazy.” He added that the luxury electric car maker might have collapsed had the issues not been resolved quickly. Read more →


Goodyear designed a tire that could help cars fly


New York (CNN Business) — Flying cars, though still very much science fiction, could one day disrupt Goodyear’s tire business. If flying cars ever take over the roadways — and skyways — Goodyear would want a chunk of that market.


The company has designed an airless tire, called the Goodyear Aero, which would double as a propeller. The Aero tires would have bladed spokes that act as a fan allowing the wheels to flip upward and help propel a car into the air.
Goodyear’s (GT) flying tire is currently just a conceptual design. Chris Helsel, Goodyear’s chief technology officer, said the design is meant to spark discussion about transportation options for the future.
“With mobility companies looking to the sky for the answer to the challenges of urban transport and congestion, our work on advanced tire architectures and materials led us to imagine a wheel that could serve both as a traditional tire on the road and as a propulsion system in the sky,” Helsel said. Read more →

These Kmart and Sears stores are closing soon

New York (CNN Business) — Sears and Kmart’s parent company filed for bankruptcy, and it plans to close 142 of its worst-performing stores.

The company has already closed hundreds of stores this year, and it could close even more location as the bankruptcy process proceeds. Only 700 Sears and Kmart stores are currently open.

Liquidation sales at the following stores will begin “within two weeks,” according to Sears’ bankruptcy filing. Read more →