FAA probing whether Boeing employees are being pressured on safety issues


CNN 24 August, 2021 - 11:16am 30 views

US regulators open new review into Boeing after staff raise concerns

The Irish Times 24 August, 2021 - 02:23pm

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A survey conducted by the Federal Aviation Administration from May through July found that 35 per cent of Boeing employees interviewed raised issues of conflicts of interest and a lack of independence, according to a letter to the company released by the agency on Tuesday. The letter, from the head of the FAA division overseeing the company, was dated August 19th.

The FAA action is the latest to look at Boeing’s safety practices following twin fatal crashes of the company’s 737 Max. The accidents, tied to a poorly designed flight-control system, led the plane to be grounded for 20 months and prompted multiple investigations.

“Boeing’s company culture appears to hamper members of the ODA unit from communicating openly with the FAA,” said the letter, which was obtained by Bloomberg. ODA refers to Organisation Designation Authorisation, the group within Boeing that is authorised to make safety decisions on behalf of the government and is supposed to remain independent.

“These concerns require an objective review and further fact finding,” said the letter, signed by Ian Won, the acting head of the FAA office that monitors Boeing.

The agency interviewed 32 Boeing employees out of about 1,400 involved in the ODA, the FAA said in an email. That meant 11 people voiced concerns.

Boeing’s ODA was a central issue in reviews of the Max crashes by Congress and other outside groups. Boeing employees signed off on the final design of the system implicated in the crashes after a redesign made it significantly more risky, the investigations found.

Earlier this year, Boeing agreed to pay $6.6 million (€5.6m) in civil penalties to the FAA over safety violations that included placing “undue pressure” on members of the ODA.

One Boeing employee interviewed by the FAA said other engineers at the company tried to apply pressure. “Yea, that happens all the time from design engineering. They don’t listen and keep pushing,” the unidentified person said in comments that were included in the letter.

None of the comments included in the letter alleged that violations of safety regulations or other laws had occurred.

Boeing has received the FAA’s letter and is working with the agency on the issue, the company said in an emailed statement.

“We take these matters with the utmost seriousness, and are continuously working to improve the processes we have in place to ensure the independence of the Organisation Designation Authorisation unit members,” the company said. – Bloomberg

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5 things to know before the stock market opens Tuesday

CNBC 24 August, 2021 - 02:00pm

U.S. stock futures turned lower Tuesday as earnings season kicked off and hot inflation data came one day after the Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500 and Nasdaq logged record closes. All the major benchmarks have been on hot streaks, with the Dow up in seven of the past eight sessions, the S&P 500 up in 10 out of 12 sessions, and the Nasdaq higher in eight of the past 10 sessions. The S&P 500 leads the three with a 16.7% year-to-date gain. The Dow and Nasdaq are up about 14.3% for 2021.

The 10-year Treasury yield rose Tuesday, trading at around 1.38%, after going as low as 1.25% last Thursday. The yield move came after the government said its June consumer price index jumped 0.9% on both the headline number and the non-food and energy core reading. Those were nearly double expectations. The year-over-year numbers came in better than expected at up 5.4% on headline CPI, the fastest pace in nearly 13 years; the core rate jumped 4.5%, the sharpest move since September 1991.

Shares of JPMorgan fell nearly 0.2% in Tuesday's premarket, after the bank reported second-quarter profit and revenue that exceeded expectations as the firm released money set aside for loan losses. Borrowers have held up better than expected as the economy continued to pull out of the Covid pandemic tailspin.

Shares of Goldman Sachs rose 1% in premarket trading, after the bank's second-quarter earnings report blew past Wall Street estimates, propelled by strong performance in investment banking during this year's robust IPO market.

PepsiCo shares rose more than 1% in the premarket, after the beverage and snack company reported that its quarterly revenue rose more than 20% from a year earlier as restaurant demand for its drinks returned, fueling an earnings beat. PepsiCo also raised its outlook for its full-year adjusted earnings per share growth. "A lot of the things we did through the pandemic, continuing to invest in the business, are now paying dividends now that mobility has increased and consumers are getting out more," CFO Hugh Johnston said on CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Tuesday.

Boeing shares fell 2% in the premarket after the aircraft maker announced Tuesday morning that it cut its delivery target for its undelivered 787 Dreamliner planes. Boeing said it will temporarily lower production rates after a new defect was detected on some of the wide-body jets. Boeing said it would deliver fewer than half of the Dreamliners that it has already produced but has not yet delivered to customers. CEO Dave Calhoun said at an investor conference last month that the company would deliver the "lion's share" of the roughly 100 Dreamliners in its inventory this year.

The Food and Drug Administration is expected to announce a new warning for Johnson & Johnson's Covid-19 vaccine, saying the shot has been linked to a serious, but rare, autoimmune disorder, The Washington Post reported Monday, citing four unnamed sources. About 100 preliminary reports of Guillain-Barre syndrome have been detected after 12.8 million doses of J&J's one-does vaccine were administered, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a statement to NBC News. Guillain-Barre is a rare neurological disorder in which the body's immune system mistakenly attacks part of the nervous system.

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Let's Connect: Too early for Pumpkin Spice Lattes?

The Seattle Times 24 August, 2021 - 02:00pm

What Boeing Stock Move After FAA Report Tells Jim Cramer

TheStreet 24 August, 2021 - 10:49am

Citing an agency letter and people familiar with the matter, the Journal reported that some engineers said they face undue pressure and hurdles to transparency that “indicate the environment does not support independence."

The FAA has long relied on Boeing employees to act on its behalf in some matters, the Journal reported.

A Boeing spokeswoman told the Journal, Boeing takes “these matters with the utmost seriousness” and is working to encourage the independence of employees.

Jim Cramer shared his take on how Boeing stock reacted to the news in the video above and why he finds the upward move in the stock encouraging. 

As of intraday trading, Boeing stock was up 1.05% to $221.70. 

Boeing's Safety Issues Continue. The Stock Isn't Reacting.

Barron's 24 August, 2021 - 10:36am

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The Federal Aviation Administration will look into how Boeing handles safety-related communications with it, but the stock isn’t reacting, for a good reason.

The review, reported late Monday by The Wall Street Journal, comes after a small survey, conducted by the FAA, found that about a third of respondents at the company reported difficulties in being transparent with the regulator.

Boeing (ticker: BA) stock was up about 1.3% in morning trading Tuesday. The S&P 500 had risen about 0.3%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.2%.

Safety is paramount in the aerospace industry, but the stock’s lack of reaction makes some sense. Boeing has been dealing with safety issues for about two years following the worldwide grounding of the 737 MAX jet in March 2019.

The MAX is back in most countries throughout the world. But the crashes that resulting in its grounding, and the recertification process, led to increased Congressional scrutiny, new laws regarding plane certification, and a change of management at Boeing. Former CEO Dennis Muilenburg was succeeded by current CEO Dave Calhoun. And while all that was happening, Boeing created a board-level committee dedicated to safety oversight.

All that means that to some extent, the FAA letter is backward looking for investors. A lot of safety news is already reflected in Boeing’s stock price. Shares are down about 50% from their all time high. Airbus (AIR. France) stock, for comparison, is down about 20% from its peak.

What matters about the letter is how Boeing’s new management reacts to it.

“We take these matters with the utmost seriousness, and are continuously working to improve the processes we have in place to ensure the independence of the [FAA-related] members,” said Boeing in an emailed statement. The company acknowledged receiving the letter, but declined to make it public. The FAA wasn’t immediately available for comment.

Boeing added in its statement that the company has worked hard to build a culture of open communication and that it has told the staff that employees charged with communicating directly with the FAA must be accorded the same respect and deference the company gives the regulator itself.

Barron’s recently wrote positively about Boeing stock, believing that if Calhoun took the right steps—including changing the company’s culture to re-emphasize engineering excellence—the shares could gain. That article appeared earlier in August. Shares are down about 6% since then.

Airbus shares are off about 3%. News about the Delta variant of Covid-19, and concern about how if could affect travel and demand for jets, appears to be weighing on both stocks.

Write to Al Root at allen.root@dowjones.com

The Federal Aviation Administration will look into how Boeing handles safety-related communications with it, but the stock isn’t reacting, for a good reason.

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What to watch today: S&P 500 set to open at a record after closing just shy

CNBC 24 August, 2021 - 07:27am

Disney (DIS) has reached a deal with its unions to require all of its unionized employees working at Walt Disney World in Florida to be fully vaccinated against Covid by Oct. 22. The move comes nearly a month after Disney mandated that all of its salaried and nonunion hourly employees in the U.S. needed to be fully vaccinated by the end of September. No deal has been struck with unions on the West Coast. (CNBC)

The FAA has launched a review of how Boeing employees handle safety matters on the agency's behalf, according The Wall Street Journal. Some company engineers said they face undue pressure, the Journal reports. Boeing told the publication the company is working to boost the independence of workers who help the FAA with certain tasks.

The House plans to reconvene Tuesday as Democrats try to strike a deal to move forward with legislation they see as a boon for American households. The House scrapped a planned Monday vote to advance two key economic proposals. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wants to pass a $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill and Democrats' separate $3.5 trillion spending plan at the same time. (CNBC)

Best Buy (BBY) shares rallied 4% in the premarket after the electronics retailer beat estimates on its top and bottom lines for the second quarter. Best Buy earned $2.98 per share on total quarterly revenue of $11.85 billion. Comparable-store sales in Q2 rose a better-than-expected 19.6%. (CNBC)

Walmart (WMT) on Tuesday announced the launch of a delivery service called GoLocal, which will carry goods from other local retailers to consumers. The company said it expects to begin shipping by the end of 2021 and the delivery fleet would include newer technologies, such as self-driving vehicles and drones. (CNBC)

Starbucks (SBUX) is kicking off autumn, about a month early, with the apple crisp macchiato, the latest limited-time addition to its seasonal lineup. The espresso drink joins the pumpkin spice latte and pumpkin cream cold brew on the coffee chain's fall menu this year, which returns to cafes in the U.S. and Canada Tuesday. (CNBC)

Palo Alto Networks (PANW): surged nearly 12% in the premarket, after being estimates by 16 cents a share, with quarterly earnings of $1.60 per share. The cybersecurity company's revenue was also above estimates, and it issued an upbeat outlook as well.

Camping World (CWH), the maker of RVs and other recreational products, announced it would double its quarterly dividend to 50 cents per share from 25 cents a share, payable on September 28 to shareholders of record on September 14. Camping World shares rallied 6% in premarket trading.

Advance Auto Parts (AAP) reported quarterly profit of $3.40 per share, beating estimates. Revenue came in slightly above forecasts. Comparable-store sales grew 5.8%, slightly shy of the 6% consensus estimate. Advance Auto raised its full-year forecast for overall sales and for comparable-store sales growth. The company's shares fell 1% in the premarket.

Medtronic (MDT) beat estimates by 9 cents a share, with quarterly profit of $1.41 per share. Revenue also topped estimates, helped by a rebound in demand as patients underwent non-urgent procedures that had been delayed by the pandemic. Share of the medical device maker added 1.8% in the premarket.

Shares of insurance company Cigna (CI) rose 1% in premarket trading after it announced a $2 billion accelerated stock repurchase agreement.

Didi Global (DIDI) climbed almost 4% in the premarket, extending Monday gains on reports that it would suspend plans to launch its ride-hailing service in the U.K. and continental Europe.

Casino stocks such as Las Vegas Sands (LVS) and Wynn Resorts (WYNN) rallied in premarket trading after the easing of travel curbs in Macau as the outlook for Covid cases improved.

Cara Therapeutics (CARA) shares soared 19.8% in premarket trading after it received FDA approval for its Korsuva injection, designed to treat a kidney disease-related condition known as pruritis.

Digital clip art of a rock just sold for 400 ether, or about $1.3 million, late Monday afternoon. The transaction marks the latest sale of EtherRock, a brand of crypto collectible that's been around since 2017, making it one of the oldest non-fungible tokens on the block. There only 100 of those NFTs out there.

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Workers making Oreos and other Nabisco snacks are on strike in five states.

The New York Times 24 August, 2021 - 06:04am

As of

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Members of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers union in Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Oregon and Virginia have rejected management’s call for changes in shift lengths and overtime rules. The workers are also calling for the restoration of a pension plan, which Nabisco’s owner, Mondelez International, replaced in 2018 with a 401(k) program after a contract impasse.

“We want our pension back. We earned that,” Mike Burlingham, vice president of Local 364 in Portland, Ore., said in an interview. “This is a good job, where people plan for retirement. If the company could have their way, that would be gone and it wouldn’t be a job worth fighting for at all.” The union put the number of striking workers at more than 1,000.

The previous contract expired in May. Union workers say they have often put in 16-hour days as demand for snack foods has increased during the pandemic.

The company is seeking schedules in which some employees would have shifts of up to 12 hours without overtime pay but would work fewer days a week. Those on weekend shifts, previously eligible for extra pay, would get the premium only after working 40 hours in a week. In addition, new hires would pay more than other employees for health insurance.

“Our goal has been — and continues to be — to bargain in good faith,” Mondelez International said in a statement, “while also taking steps to modernize some contract aspects which were written several decades ago.”

The strike began in Portland on Aug. 10, and workers in Aurora, Colo.; Richmond, Va.; Chicago; and Norcross, Ga., followed suit, the most recent on Monday. The company said production was continuing with employees not under union jurisdiction.

Union members say they have been treated unfairly while Mondelez International has made strong financial gains amid the pandemic. The company reported a 12 percent gain in revenue for the three months ending in June compared with the previous year.

The workers have also called for the company to “stop exporting our jobs to Mexico.” Some Oreo production was shifted to Mexico in 2016, a move that was criticized by Donald J. Trump as a presidential candidate. This year, Nabisco plants were shut in Fair Lawn, N.J., and Atlanta, but Mondelez said no work there was sent to Mexico.

The union “will take all appropriate action necessary in order to reach a contract settlement that treats Nabisco workers fairly and equitably,” Anthony Shelton, the president of the union, said in a statement.

In a letter to the company last week, the official, Ian Won, said that the F.A.A.’s review was based on a recent survey of a few dozen of the 1,400 Boeing employees who work on the agency’s behalf through a program called Organization Designation Authorization. Boeing’s structure appears “to provide a strong influence” over how those employees are appointed, managed and allowed to work, he said, providing “ample opportunity for interference rather than independence.”

“These concerns require an objective review and further fact finding,” Mr. Won wrote in the letter, which was obtained by The New York Times.

The F.A.A. review was reported earlier by The Wall Street Journal.

The agency’s reliance on company employees to review regulatory compliance has been criticized as allowing the aviation industry to police itself. But defenders say the arrangement is necessary because the F.A.A. lacks the resources for thorough oversight of the sprawling industry.

Last week’s letter was based on a survey of 32 employees in May and June. Nearly a dozen workers complained or shared stories that suggested Boeing had made it difficult for them to act with independence, the agency said.

According to excerpts from the survey responses, the concerns included finding that management would stall when design issues were raised so that the company could continue delivering planes and feeling that a manager would shop around for approval if an employee didn’t provide it.

In a statement, Boeing said it took the concerns seriously.

“We have consistently reinforced with our team that delegated authority is a privilege and that we must work every day to be trusted with the responsibility,” the company said. “We have taken steps to educate our team and make improvements.”

In the letter, the F.A.A. said it would conduct a broader survey of the employees designated to represent its interests. The company said it was working with the agency.

“If you’re a business leader, a nonprofit leader, a state or local leader, who has been waiting for full F.D.A. approval to require vaccinations, I call on you now to do that,” the president said. “Require it.”

So far, only a few companies have heeded that call, but experts say more announcements could be coming.

Companies have been consulting with advisers for months about whether to mandate vaccines, but have been wary of employee pushback and potential litigation. The quick spread of the highly contagious Delta variant and prominent first moves by large corporations like Walmart and the Walt Disney Company helped to expedite those talks. Now, the F.D.A. approval on Monday has finally given them some of the cover they need to move forward.

On Monday, Chevron said it was mandating vaccines for expats and employees who travel internationally, as well as for the offshore work force in the Gulf of Mexico and for some onshore support personnel. CVS Health said its pharmacists had until Nov. 30 to be fully vaccinated, while others who interact with patients, and all corporate staff, have until Oct. 31. Disney Cruise Line said Tuesday it was requiring passengers over 12 years old to be fully vaccinated for sailings to the Bahamas.

The F.D.A. approval also gives industry groups grounds to encourage vaccinations from their members — and lobby against legislation that may hinder those efforts. The Chamber of Commerce announced earlier this month it would mandate vaccines for its work force once they were fully approved by the F.D.A. The Business Roundtable, an influential lobbying group, said Monday that it supported mandates.

“Many companies have made the decision to mandate vaccines for some or all of their employees, and we applaud their decision,” the group, led by the Walmart chief executive Doug McMillon, said in a statement. “We also encourage policymakers, including at the state and local levels, to support — not impede — companies’ ability to make such a decision.”

At least three states — Montana, Texas and Utah — that had banned vaccine requirements by law or executive order did so specifically because the three vaccines used in the United States were being administered under emergency-use authorizations, not full approval. Some companies, like Norwegian Cruise Line in Florida, have resisted such prohibitions, but most have largely stayed out of the fray so far.

Over the past month, there have been signs that companies are showing an increased appetite for vaccine mandates. As of Aug. 7, the share of job postings requiring vaccinations were up 90 percent compared with a month earlier, according to the job search company Indeed. Those that require vaccinations, though, are still a small fraction of the overall listings.

F.D.A. authorization could also simplify negotiations with unions, whose mixed stance toward mandates has contributed to a class divide among workers. On Monday, Disney World said unions representing more than 30,000 employees had agreed to a mandate, citing the F.D.A.’s full approval, that would require workers to be vaccinated by Oct. 22.

But the United Food and Commercial Workers International, a union that represents around 1.3 million workers in grocery stores, pharmacies and meatpacking plants, warned on Monday against mandates that did not take employees’ concerns into consideration.

“With more employers considering vaccine mandates after this new F.D.A. approval, U.F.C.W. continues to urge all businesses to negotiate any vaccine requirements with their frontline workers,” the union’s president, Marc Perrone, said. The union had previously cited concerns about lack of regulatory approval in its negotiations with Tyson Foods over the meatpacker’s decision to require its entire work force to get vaccinated.

Unions and other industry groups are grappling with continued hesitancy about the shot. A recent poll found that three out of 10 unvaccinated people said that they would be more likely to get a fully approved F.D.A. shot, but some experts believe that this figure could be exaggerated.

Some companies that previously cited approval status for the vaccines had no updates to share as of Tuesday. “It’s very difficult for us to come in and mandate a vaccine that isn’t even federally approved yet,” Delta Airline’s chief executive, Ed Bastian, told CNBC earlier this month. “So stay tuned.”

A spokesman for the airline told The New York Times the airline’s plans were “status quo”: mandating vaccines for new hires and strongly encouraging them for existing employees.

More regulatory action is coming that could make vaccines easier to mandate. Moderna’s application for full approval of its vaccine was filed in June, a month after Pfizer’s. Johnson & Johnson is expected to apply for full approval soon. And the F.D.A. is also weighing whether to authorize booster shots for the fully vaccinated, another twist for corporate vaccine mandates.

TikTok has largely been known as a video app that provides entertainment and memes. Users have not been able to buy products directly in the app, even though TikTok features many influencers who often talk up clothing, makeup and household products. Instead, users have been able to buy goods on TikTok only through ads on the app.

But under the new partnership, Shopify merchants that participate in a pilot program will be able to add a shopping tab to their profiles and link to products within TikTok posts. Shopify said it expected to expand the feature to all of its merchants this fall.

TikTok joins Instagram and Facebook in offering in-app shopping, part of a larger shift toward what is known as social commerce — buying products directly within a social media platform — as creators seek out new ways to make money from their audience.

“Social commerce is important because it’s the new town square” where consumers go to find and buy new products, Harley Finkelstein, Shopify’s president, said in an interview.

The move into in-app shopping reflects how people already use the app to find products, said Blake Chandlee, TikTok’s president of global business solutions. The app has inspired two-thirds of users to shop even when they weren’t planning to do so, according to a survey that TikTok conducted in the fall with the London market researcher Walnut Unlimited. The hashtag #tiktokmademebuyit has 4.6 billion views.

One of the merchants that are part of the new pilot program is Kylie Cosmetics, Kylie Jenner’s makeup and skin-care brand, which has two million followers on TikTok. Ms. Jenner’s personal TikTok account has 34.9 million followers.

Social media is “where I grew my audience and community,” Ms. Jenner wrote in an email. “The ability to shop my products directly on these platforms is so important because that’s where our audience is going first.”

Shopify said sales on its social commerce channels — including TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Pinterest — grew 76 percent from February 2020 to February 2021. In total, Shopify works with 1.7 million merchants.

As American and European governments race to evacuate tens of thousands of people, the property rental company called the displacement and resettlement of refugees a “significant humanitarian crisis.”

The cost of the accommodations will be covered with money from Airbnb and its chief executive, Brian Chesky, as well as contributions from the Airbnb.org Refugee Fund, which was begun in June with the goal of raising $25 million. The organization is working with resettlement agencies and offered to support federal and state governments.

“The displacement and resettlement of Afghan refugees in the U.S. and elsewhere is one of the biggest humanitarian crises of our time. We feel a responsibility to step up,” Mr. Chesky said on Twitter.

“I hope this inspires other business leaders to do the same. There’s no time to waste,” he added.

Airbnb did not specify how long refugees could stay in the apartments or houses, but said its hosts were offering short- and long-term stays. The company said it had begun supporting Afghans fleeing the country last week when it gave funding to the International Rescue Committee and other organizations to provide temporary stays using the Airbnb platform for up to 1,000 refugees.

Over the weekend, Airbnb said, it placed 165 refugees in housing across the United States, including in California, New Jersey, Ohio, Texas, Virginia and Washington State.

Hedge funds were caught off guard by Beijing’s corporate crackdown. Asian stocks, especially ones exposed to China’s rapidly growing economy, have long been favorites of hedge funds, which search for higher-than-average returns to justify their higher-than-average fees. But China’s recent crackdown on its largest tech companies, particularly those with U.S. listings, has hit those bets hard.

Goldman said that about a third of the funds it surveyed had an investment in foreign-listed shares of Chinese companies at the end of June, the highest percentage it has ever measured. Alibaba, a top holding of many hedge funds, has slumped nearly 30 percent since the end of June.

Hedge funds also doubled-down on pandemic plays, loading up on investments in companies that benefited from pandemic lockdowns but underperformed recently as the economy reopened. For instance, hedge funds collectively own more shares in Amazon than they did a year ago, according to Bank of America. Peloton also recently became one of the stocks most widely held by hedge funds.

With coronavirus cases on the rise, however, betting on another pandemic-related slowdown or on a return to more strict social distancing looks smarter by the day. And Chinese shares have fallen so far that bargain hunters are jumping in, lifting stocks from historic lows in recent trading. What’s more, the biggest hedge funds don’t appear to have any trouble raising money as investors keep the faith that their strategies will pay off whatever the prevailing market conditions.

U.S. stocks rose in midday trading Tuesday, heading for a fourth day of gains. The S&P 500 ticked up 0.2 percent, crossing into record territory, while the Nasdaq composite was up 0.4 percent.

European stocks fell on Tuesday, with the Stoxx Europe 600 closing slightly lower.

Oil prices rose. West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. crude benchmark, gained 3 percent to $67.58 a barrel.

Travel and leisure stocks rose a day after the Food and Drug Administration granted full approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for people 16 and older. American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines all rose more than 3 percent in midday trading. Marriott International rose 2.1 percent, while Hyatt Hotels rose was up more than 4 percent.

Best Buy shares rose more than 9 percent after the electronics retailer reported that sales rose nearly 20 percent in the three months ending in July, as more customers upgraded their tech equipment.

It was the highest number of cases aboard a ship reported since June, when cruises restarted in the Caribbean and United States, and the first death.

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a new advisory, warning people with increased risk for severe illness from Covid-19 to avoid travel on cruise ships, irrespective of their vaccination status.

Carnival is not the only cruise line to have seen an uptick in cases. Earlier this month, Royal Caribbean had six guests test positive onboard its Adventure of the Seas ship.

The companies have responded to the recent increase in cases by introducing pre-departure testing requirements for all passengers. Carnival also added a mask mandate on Aug. 7 for all vaccinated and unvaccinated guests in indoor areas and banned smoking in the casino.

Michael Bayley, the chief executive officer of Royal Caribbean, said the cruise line was typically seeing one or two positive cases out of more than 1,000 guests a week per ship. Mr. Bayley said in a candid Facebook post addressing the current coronavirus situation, “Testing captures status at a point of time and if the guest is incubating infection, then the test will miss it.” The vaccinated guests who test positive typically are asymptomatic, he said in the post.

Some cruise passengers have canceled amid concerns of the Delta variant, but many sailings are fully booked through the rest of year because of pent-up demand. READ THE ARTICLE →

In a national survey of more than 950 workers, conducted in mid-August by Morning Consult on behalf of The New York Times, 31 percent said they would prefer to work from home full time. By comparison, 45 percent said they wanted to be in a workplace or an office full time. The remaining 24 percent said they wanted to split time between work and home. (Morning Consult surveyed workers from a variety of industries, so white-collar office workers were represented alongside those working in other fields, like retail.)

Certainly, some people have thrived in their new remote work lives. They saved time and money, and sometimes increased productivity. The degree to which employees have embraced permanent remote or hybrid work models has been “stunning” to company executives, said Tsedal Neeley, a Harvard Business School professor who has studied remote work for decades.

But for others, Professor Neeley said, it has removed needed barriers between work and home life, increased a sense of isolation and led to burnout. “Some people just dislike the screen — their physicality and their proximity to others is a big part of what work looks like,” she said.

Among those craving the routines of office life: social butterflies, managers, new hires eager to meet colleagues, and people with noisy or crowded homes. READ THE ARTICLE →

Extra anchorage time (ships waiting to berth) because of port congestion, among other delays.

Note: Because of rounding, the numbers for individual days do not add up exactly to the totals.

“We’re sitting on $2 million in inventory for one $30 part,” said the general manager of Catrike, which makes three-wheeled recumbent bikes.

Container shipping rates from China and East Asia to the United States’ East Coast climbed above $20,000 earlier this month, compared with about $4,000 a year ago. The time it takes for parts from one of Catrike’s suppliers to arrive by sea in North America from a factory in Indonesia has jumped to three months, and sometimes it takes four.

“This is here for the rest of the year, and it’s only going to get worse because of the Christmas season,” said the chief executive of an ocean logistics firm. READ THE ARTICLE →

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