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DoorDash adds security feature for drivers

Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg


DoorDash adds security feature for drivers

DoorDash is adding security features to its app to help protect drivers. The San Francisco-based delivery company said Wednesday it’s partnering with security company ADT on the new features, which will be available to all US DoorDash drivers by the end of this year. Under the new system, DoorDash drivers who are feeling unsafe can connect to an ADT agent using a button in DoorDash’s app. The agent will stay on the phone until the driver feels comfortable; if the driver stops communicating, ADT will call 911. DoorDash is also adding an emergency-assistance button to its app, which drivers can swipe to let ADT know they need immediate help. ADT will contact 911 and then remain in touch with the driver via text messages. The enhanced safety follows several high-profile attacks on delivery drivers. In March, a 19-year-old DoorDash driver in Columbus, Ohio, was beaten after he got confused over an address. That same month, two Washington, D.C., teens assaulted an Uber Eats driver with a stun gun, causing his vehicle to crash and killing him. And in August, a DoorDash driver was shot to death while making deliveries in Maryland. — ASSOCIATED PRESS



New York Times on pace to have 10 million subscribers by 2025

The New York Times Co. said on Wednesday that it added 455,000 new digital subscribers in the third quarter, a gain that keeps the publisher on pace to reach its stated goal of 10 million subscriptions by 2025. Of the new digital subscribers, 320,000 signed up for The Times’ journalism. The rest came for Games, Cooking, and Wirecutter, the product review site that started offering subscriptions in August. Of The Times’ nearly 8.4 million total subscribers, 7.6 million now have digital subscriptions. The number of print subscribers fell to 795,000 in the July-through-September quarter, from 831,000 in the same three-month period last year, a decline in keeping with trends affecting the news industry as a whole. The Times also hit a milestone, passing 1 million subscribers outside the United States, the company said. — NEW YORK TIMES



Ikea’s profits down on supply chain problems

Swedish home-furnishings giant Ikea forecast a more difficult year after reporting lower profit due to logistics logjams and store closures. Inter Ikea, the worldwide franchiser for the brand, said Wednesday that net income fell 17 percent to 1.43 billion euros ($1.7 billion) in the 12 months through August. Chief financial officer Martin van Dam said this year will be more challenging amid inflation in raw material prices and supply-chain challenges. The biggest problem is that Ikea’s growth is being crimped because the company can’t meet demand, van Dam said. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Lufthansa to buy sustainable jet fuel

Lufthansa said it would buy $250 million of sustainable jet fuel, although its greenhouse gas emissions will still rise substantially as the German carrier adds back flights. Europe’s largest airline group will acquire the alternative stocks over the next three years, with the investment equivalent to about 1 percent of its bill over that period, according to Bloomberg calculations. Lufthansa has a mixed record when it comes to curbing emissions. While the company has invested in more fuel efficient jets, its planes are usually emptier than those of rivals including Ryanair, meaning a Lufthansa flight typically generates more emissions per passenger. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Volvo sales crater because of the shortage of cars

Volvo’s vehicle sales plunged by more than a fifth in October as the company struggled with supply-chain snarls, adding to signs that 2021 could become another disastrous year for automakers. Shipments in China fell by about a third while sales in Europe declined 21.5 percent amid a “lack of available cars,” the Swedish company said in a statement Wednesday. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



First new obesity drug in years a hit

Patients are flocking to the first new obesity medicine to reach the market in years, boosting returns for drugmaker Novo Nordisk. In a field starved for options, demand is exceeding supply for Wegovy, a weekly injection launched in June that dampens patients’ appetite and helps them to lose about 15 percent of their body weight. The Danish drugmaker’s obesity-drug revenue surged by an unprecedented 41 percent last quarter. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Trucks left idling near US ports the equivalent of 50 years in 2021

Trucking trips originating around the United States’ busiest ports are showing massive increases in idle time, another sign of the supply-chain logjams plaguing American transport hubs. From the start of 2018 through October of this year, idle time per vehicle has increased by 50 percent, according to data compiled by Lytx Inc., a San Diego-based company whose telematics that monitor vehicles are used by 1.4 million drivers worldwide. So far this year, there is more than a day’s worth of idle time per vehicle, up from 17 hours per vehicle in 2019 and 21.5 hours in 2020. The data found that 50 years in idle time has been wasted this year. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Lyft gets a lift after pandemic doldrums

Lyft shares are poised to break out of a recent pattern of lackluster performance after third-quarter results showed the ride-hailing company set for a much stronger recovery than expected. The stock jumped over 16 percent in premarket trading on Wednesday, and peer Uber Technologies Inc. gained 6.1 percent, as Wall Street analysts lauded Lyft for “astutely” navigating the challenges of the industry through the coronavirus pandemic. Uber is set to report on Thursday. Ride-hailing was among the hard-hit sectors during the COVID-19 outbreak as people shunned activities that involved coming in close proximity with strangers. But rising vaccination rates and the economy’s reopening are reigniting rider demand. Lyft said it was seeing a rise in airport rides and weekend and evening trips — a sign that customers are resuming their pre-pandemic habits. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



Startup to look at using microbes, instead of pesticides, to protect crops

A Bayer-backed startup is opening a greenhouse facility to study how microbes can be used to protect crops from pests and diseases. Joyn Bio will use the 6,048 square-foot facility in Woodland, Calif., to engineer microbial strains that are good for plants, the company said Wednesday. The move comes as agribusinesses like Bayer are trying to find alternatives to chemical pesticides and man-made fertilizer, with farmers increasingly under pressure to switch to more environmentally friendly practices. At the same time, pests and diseases are becoming more resistant to current synthetic herbicides and pesticides. Joyn Bio, headquartered in Boston, was founded in 2017 as a joint venture between Leaps by Bayer and Ginkgo Bioworks. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Volkswagen says workers can choose a few days a month to come to the office

Volkswagen is extending work-from-home flexibility, with employees able to pick which four or five days a month they want to spend at the office. Since 2016, workers at the German automotive giant have enjoyed some of the more elastic remote working arrangements, allowing people to do their jobs away from the office for as many as four days a week. Once pandemic restrictions lift, employees can ask to group the remaining days into blocks, VW said. — BLOOMBERG NEWS