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TALKING POINTS

K&L Gates signs on as a tenant at One Congress tower under construction

An aerial view of the One Congress building under construction, taken in July.David L. Ryan/Globe Staff

DEVELOPMENT

K&L Gates signs on as a tenant at One Congress tower under construction

Global law firm K&L Gates LLP will move its Boston office from Lincoln Street to two floors — nearly 53,000 square feet — at One Congress, a 600-foot-tall tower under construction that’s scheduled to be completed in 2023. The one-million-square-foot building, a joint venture of Carr Properties and National Real Estate Advisors, LLC, is being developed by the HYM Investment Group. Mark E. Haddad, managing partner of K&L Gates’ local office, said in a statement that One Congress “exemplifies the future of office space in Boston.” The tower was designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli and CBT Architects, along with interior design firm Gachot Studio. Work on it began in June 2019. “This is a strong sign of confidence in Boston’s office market,” said developer Thomas N. O’Brien, HYM’s managing partner and chief executive officer. ― MARK POTHIER

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LABOR

Starbucks says it will negotiate in good faith with unionized Buffalo workers

Starbucks says it will negotiate in good faith with workers at the first store to unionize in the company’s 50-year history. In a letter sent to all US employees. Rossann Williams, an executive vice president, said Starbucks never favored unionization and still prefers to speak directly to employees, but respects the legal process and wants to work with those in Buffalo who voted in favor of union representation. “If we sometimes fall short, we want to continue to hear from you,” Williams wrote to employees. “That way we can work together to make the improvements necessary to provide you the very best partner experience we can.” Workers at a store in Buffalo voted to unionize two weeks ago, a first for any Starbucks location. A second store rejected unionization, but the union said it might challenge that result because it wasn’t confident all of the eligible votes had been counted. The results of a third store could not be determined because both sides challenged seven separate votes. ― ASSOCIATED PRESS

TARIFFS

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US backs down on Spanish olives to avert EU trade fight

President Joe Biden closed another chapter on his predecessor’s trade disputes with the European Union by declining to appeal an adverse World Trade Organization ruling over American tariffs on Spanish olives. During a WTO dispute meeting in Geneva on Monday, the United States agreed to adopt the ruling, which found the United States imposed illegal anti-subsidy duties on Spanish olives. Washington had the option of appealing it to the WTO’s appellate body. The move sidesteps a potentially damaging fight with the EU and caps a year of transatlantic peacemaking on trade, which resulted in the suspension of tariffs on about $22 billion of two-way trade stemming from Trump-era disputes over steel and aluminum, and aircraft subsidies to Airbus and Boeing. Had the United States appealed the ruling, it could have sparked a fresh trade spat between Washington and Brussels. The EU had previously pledged to use a new trade defense tool to retaliate against nations that effectively veto WTO rulings by appealing them into a legal void. The United States will now roll back its countervailing duties, which are as high as 27 percent, on various Spanish olive producers. Spain is the world’s largest producer of the olives — used mainly as a topping for pizzas and salads — exporting $500 million worth in 2020. ― BLOOMBERG NEWS

CRYPTOCURRENCY

Bitcoin keeps falling from its record high last month

Bitcoin extended its five-week slide from an all-time high with risk sentiment across global financial markets dwindling. The largest cryptocurrency by market value declined as much as 2.5 percent to $45,583 on Monday in New York. It has slumped about 32 percent since setting a record high in early November. Central banks globally are prioritizing the fight against elevated inflation by tightening monetary settings, while also keeping a wary eye on the impact of Omicron. That backdrop has investors questioning whether so-called risk assets such as cryptocurrencies and technology shares are due for a rougher patch after surging from pandemic lows. Bitcoin is also facing some price levels that technical analysis watch for signs of future direction. The digital currency is sitting at its 55-week simple moving average. The token has typically bounced higher the past several times it reached the level. ― BLOOMBERG NEWS

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LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

Jurors start deliberating in high-profile Theranos trial

A jury began deliberating the merits of the fraud trial against Elizabeth Holmes, the entrepreneur accused of lying to investors and patients about her blood testing startup Theranos, on Monday. Holmes’ trial has stretched nearly four months. The jury is debating whether prosecutors have shown that Holmes committed nine counts of wire fraud and two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud while pitching Theranos to investors and patients. Her former business partner and boyfriend, Ramesh Balwani, was indicted alongside her in 2018. Both have pleaded not guilty. Balwani faces trial next year. Each of the 11 counts carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, although they would most likely be served concurrently. Deliberations are scheduled for Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. Holmes founded Theranos in 2003, and the startup went on to raise $945 million from investors such as Rupert Murdoch, the family of former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, and the heirs to the Walmart fortune. Theranos conducted more than 8 million blood tests on patients. Last week, prosecutors and Holmes’ defense lawyers summarized their points for the jury over hourslong closing statements. Kevin Downey, Holmes’ lawyer, said she did not purposely mislead investors and patients with her statements. Jeffrey Schenk, an assistant US attorney and a lead prosecutor, pointed to evidence showing that Holmes was aware that Theranos’ tests had accuracy problems and that its business was failing. Holmes chose to keep the company alive by lying, he said. ― NEW YORK TIMES

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SPACE INDUSTRY

FAA license approval boosts plans for Georgia spaceport

A federal agency on Monday granted a license for a launchpad that would fly commercial rockets from Kingsland, on the coast of Georgia. The Federal Aviation Administration’s approval of a launch site operator license for Spaceport Camden marks a significant milestone for the Georgia space project, though many reviews and permits are needed before any rockets can actually launch. A Camden County leader said Monday that the project propels Georgia into the space race that’s seen civilians and celebrities flown into space in recent months. “This once in a generation opportunity will provide a new frontier of economic prosperity for Camden, the region and the state of Georgia,” Steve Howard, Camden County Administrator and Spaceport Camden executive project lead, said in a statement after the FAA’s decision was announced.Even with the license, the FAA says that a more comprehensive review would be needed before any rockets can be launched. Camden County has spent nearly 10 years and $10 million on the project. Opponents have gone to court to try to block the county from purchasing land for the spaceport and that litigation is ongoing. About 3,800 people have signed a petition calling for a referendum that would let voters decide whether the county can buy the property. The National Park Service and its parent agency, the US Department of the Interior, also have expressed concerns. ― ASSOCIATED PRESS

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