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Former city of Boston corporation counsel heads to D.C.

Former Boston mayor Martin Walsh (right) and his girlfriend Lorrie Higgins walked from City Hall after his confirmation to become the US secretary of labor.
Former Boston mayor Martin Walsh (right) and his girlfriend Lorrie Higgins walked from City Hall after his confirmation to become the US secretary of labor.Jim Davis/Globe Staff


Former city of Boston corporation counsel heads to D.C.

Eugene O’Flaherty, the city of Boston’s former corporation counsel, is following his former boss, Martin J. Walsh, to Washington. While the former mayor became President Biden’s labor secretary, O’Flaherty is joining lobbying firm Ballard Partners. O’Flaherty, who also worked with Walsh when they were both state representatives, joins a number of former high-ranking Democrats in Ballard’s Washington office. O’Flaherty had been the city’s top lawyer from January 2014 through March 5, overseeing a team of 60 attorneys, paralegals, and administrative staffers. When he was in the Legislature, he was co-chair of the judiciary committee. Founder Brian Ballard said O’Flaherty’s leadership roles with the city of Boston and the state House of Representatives, as well as his familiarity with the state’s congressional delegation, will significantly expand the Florida-based lobbying firm’s reach and capabilities. A spokesman for the firm confirmed that O’Flaherty’s main work and time will be in Washington. — JON CHESTO



Britain unveils new 50-pound note depiciting acclaimed WWII code breaker

The Bank of England unveiled the design of its new 50-pound ($69) banknote honoring World War II code breaker Alan Turing, completing what it called its “most secure” set of notes yet. In a week when central bankers from around the globe debate the latest developments in digital payments and cryptocurrencies, the cash features a quote from computing pioneer Turing: “This is only a foretaste of what is to come, and only the shadow of what is going to be.” Rollout of the notes starting on June 23 will finish the central bank’s switch to currency printed on polymer instead of paper. The 50 is the highest-value UK banknote in circulation and is rarely used for routine purchases, favored instead as a store of value. Turing was selected following public nominations and a campaign for more diversity on the UK currency. Turing was convicted for gross indecency for his relationship with a man in 1952 and pardoned posthumously in 2013. He took his own life at age 41 as a result of the events surrounding his arrest. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



Olive Garden to raise pay to keep workers as hiring resumes

Olive Garden’s parent company is raising pay to hold onto its workers as bars and restaurants across the country embark on a hiring spree ahead of the pandemic’s final phase. Starting next week, Darden Restaurants Inc. said every hourly worker at its restaurants will earn at least $10 per hour, which includes tips, increasing to $11 an hour in January 2022 and $12 an hour in January 2023. The Orlando, Fla.-based company also announced on Thursday a one-time bonus payment for hourly workers, representing a $17 million outlay for Darden. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Platform aimed at Black and Latino customers gets funding from major lenders

Greenwood, a digital banking platform aimed at Black and Latino customers, raised $40 million in funding from some of the biggest US lenders and payments companies. Truist Financial Corp.’s venture capital division led the Series A funding round, Greenwood said Thursday in a statement. Other investors include Bank of America, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, PNC Financial Services Group, Mastercard and Visa. Greenwood aims to “create non-predatory lending products, circulate capital into our communities, deploy capital to deserving individuals in the community,” chairman Ryan Glover said in an interview. “This is a multigenerational wealth gap problem. It takes an all-hands-on-deck solution.” — BLOOMBERG NEWS


World’s largest tour operator reduces summer schedule

TUI scaled back its summer holiday schedule to reflect new coronavirus restrictions in Europe, while saying it’s confident that vaccine rollouts will spur bookings later in the year. The world’s biggest tour operator will now offer 75 percent of 2019 capacity in the peak travel months starting in July, it said in a statement Thursday. The Hanover, Germany-based company had previously targeted 80 percent of capacity, including May and June. Confidence in a rebound for vacation travel has ebbed in recent weeks amid heightening uncertainty over when and how health curbs will be lifted. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



Porsche extends its subscription service to five more cities

Porsche is expanding its app-based subscription service to five more US cities and adding its electric Taycan to the list of available models in a bid to bolster its EV sales and chip away at Tesla’s dominant US market share. The subscription service, dubbed Porsche Drive, is coming to four new cities in California — San Francisco, San Jose, Irvine, and Monterey — as well as Houston, bringing it to nine cities in total. The German luxury brand started the program in Atlanta in October 2017, offering $2,000 and $3,000-a-month subscriptions that let drivers flip models like the 718 Boxster or Cayenne. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


United expands domestic flights that avoid hub airports

United Airlines will expand domestic flights that bypass its hub airports, bucking the traditional network strategy of big US carriers and extending a push to entice more leisure travelers as demand recovers. Starting in late May, United is planning 26 nonstop flights from seven Midwestern cities to three destinations in South Carolina, one in Florida, and one in Maine, according to a company statement Thursday. The new service follows the November addition of direct flights to Florida from the East and Midwest that avoided the company’s hubs in Chicago and Newark, New Jersey. The strategy reflects demand from vacationers for nonstop service that keeps them away from large, potentially congested airports amid the coronavirus pandemic, even as US vaccination rates increase. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



News Corp. buys Investor’s Business Daily

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., publisher of the Wall Street Journal, agreed to acquire Investor’s Business Daily, adding to its portfolio of business publications. News Corp. will pay $275 million to buy the financial news and research business from O’Neil Capital Management. News Corp.’s Dow Jones subsidiary will run the business, which was founded in 1984 by William J. O’Neil and has about 130 employees. It will continue to operate as a standalone brand, based in Los Angeles. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Rates rise to highest level since June

Long-term mortgage rates jumped to their highest level since June, though still remain near historic lows. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the average rate on the 30-year fixed-rate home loan rose to 3.17 percent from 3.09 percent the previous week. One year ago, the benchmark rate stood at 3.5 percent. The average rate on 15-year fixed-rate loans, popular among those seeking to refinance their mortgages, increased to 2.45 percent from 2.40 percent last week. It was 2.92 percent a year ago. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


GM expands board and appoints another woman

General Motors expanded its board to 13 members and appointed former Hewlett-Packard chief Meg Whitman and NBA executive Mark Tatum as directors. Seven of GM’s directors, more than half, are women, including Chair and CEO Mary Barra, who in 2014 became the first woman to lead a major US automaker. There has been an acknowledgment in the United States and abroad that white men are overrepresented on the boards of major corporations. Last year, California became the first state to mandate minimum representation of minorities on the boards of publicly traded companies based there. — ASSOCIATED PRESS