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ENTERTAINMENT

Debut of Disney streaming service has some hiccups

Thousands of Disney fans eager to watch their favorite movies were greeted with error messages Tuesday, hours after the debut of the Disney Plus streaming service had crushed its servers, the company said. Users flocked to social media to update their followers on the anticipated event. Many could not begin the new Star Wars show ‘‘The Mandalorian.’’ Instead, they were greeted with a frowning character from the movie ‘‘Wreck-It-Ralph’’ paired with a network error message, or Mickey Mouse stranded in space. Thousands of complaints were flagged Tuesday morning, according to Downdetector, a website that collects complaints about websites and apps. — WASHINGTON POST

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SPORTS TECH

Whoop to double workforce

Whoop, a sports-tech firm based in the Fenway, plans to double its 90-person workforce over the next 15 months after wrapping up a $55 million funding round. Chief executive Will Ahmed also said the newfound capital will be used to improve the firm’s software and hardware. Foundry Group led the venture capital investors in this round, and Foundry partner Chris Moody joined Whoop’s board as a result. Several prominent individuals also invested, including former NBA Commissioner David Stern, former Netflix chief executive Marc Randolph, and former MIT Media Lab chief Nicholas Negroponte. Whoop, which has raised more than $100 million so far, sells wearable fitness devices, available through a monthly subscription, that offer continuous monitoring and assessments of physical activities, recovery, and sleep. — JON CHESTO

AVIATION

JetBlue to offer cut-rate fares

JetBlue Airways Corp., bowing to rising competitive pressures, began offering a no-frills option in the first revamp of its fare categories since they were introduced in 2015. Customers buying a reduced Blue Basic fare won’t get a refund if they have to cancel, can’t make changes to the reservation, and will have to board last — standards that match other airlines for the category. There are no extra fees for a carry-on bag and one personal item.
— BLOOMBERG NEWS

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GASOLINE

Prices at the pump up 3 cents

The average price of a gallon of gasoline in Massachusetts has increased 3 cents as trade tensions between the United States and China cool. AAA Northeast reported Tuesday that self-serve, regular is now selling for an average of $2.51 per gallon. That is a dime lower than the national average, and 23 cents lower than the Massachusetts price a year ago. AAA spokeswoman Mary Maguire says crude prices increased as a result of increased optimism that China and the United States — the world’s two largest crude consumers — are continuing to resolve ongoing trade tensions. AAA found a wide range in prices for regular, from a high of $3.05 per gallon to a low of $2.29. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

FOOD

The country’s largest milk processor files for bankruptcy as consumption drops

Milk still has a place in the American refrigerator, but it’s now sharing that space with juices, flavored soda, and a myriad of other options including milk substitutes. On Tuesday Dean Foods, the nation’s largest milk processor, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and said it may sell the company off to the Dairy Farmers of America. Americans are not drinking milk like they used to for a number of reasons, the most prevalent being that there is so much more to choose. Since 1975, the amount of milk consumed per capita in America has tumbled more than 40 percent. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

INTERNATIONAL

Germany repeals its tax on hygiene products

Germany cut back its ‘‘tampon tax’’ this week, with lawmakers repealing a 19 percent tax imposed on tampons, pads, and menstrual cups, which until now were classed as ‘‘luxury’’ items. Campaigners in Germany had for years petitioned to change the law, arguing that the value added tax (VAT) posed an unfair burden on women who biologically can’t help but get their periods. In contrast, cut flowers and pet goldfish are only subject to a 7 percent tax because the law considers them essential for everyday life. — WASHINGTON POST

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GENDER

Dell pledges to have a half-female workforce by 2030

Dell Technologies Inc. announced a goal to make half of its global workforce female by 2030, one of a raft of pledges meant to foster greater diversity and sustainability at the personal computer maker. The company also set a 2030 target for women to make up 40 percent of the employees worldwide who manage people. Women comprised 30.4 percent of Dell’s workforce as of February. And the company said it wants 25 percent of Dell’s US workers to be African-American or Hispanic by 2030, an increase from almost 13 percent this year. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

INDUSTRY

Pennsylvania company to buy Maine paper mills

A specialty paper producer in Pennsylvania plans to buy Verso paper mills in Jay, Maine, and Stevens Point, Wisc., in a deal worth $400 million. Ohio-based Verso announced the agreement Tuesday to sell the mills to Pixelle Specialty Solutions, a privately held company in Spring Grove, Pa. The deal, which requires stockholder approval, is expected to be completed in early 2020. The deal calls for a cash proceeds of approximately $336 million; Pixelle also would assume $35 million of pension liabilities and other adjustments. Pixelle said the deal will make it the largest specialty paper business in the United States in terms of annual production. Last summer, Verso announced plans to upgrade two paper machines at Jay’s Androscoggin Mill to convert from specialty papers to packaging materials. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

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INTERNATIONAL

Israel rips ruling from EU’s high court

The EU’s top court says food imports originating in the territories occupied by Israel must be labeled to show their origin. The labeling of products from Jewish settlements on the West Bank has been an ongoing point of contention between Israel and the EU, which considers the settlements illegal and an obstacle to Israeli-Palestinian peace. Since products from the settlements represent a relatively small percentage of Israel’s exports, the ruling is more of a diplomatic blow than an economic hit. Israel said it “strongly rejects” the ruling, accusing the court of singling it out. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

E-COMMERCE

Overstock.com stock plunges amid continuing losses

Overstock.com shares plummeted more than 17 percent on Tuesday, with the stock dropping to its lowest level in more than seven years as it extended its longest streak of losses in more than a decade. The slump came after the e-commerce company reported third-quarter results that missed expectations, and which featured a 21 percent drop in revenue from the prior year. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

SOFTWARE

Microsoft hired more women and minorities

Microsoft released a report that showed the company has hired more women and minorities, but highlighted persistent diversity challenges facing the world’s largest software maker. The number of female employees grew by 12 percent in fiscal 2019, including an 18 percent increase in technical roles and 15 percent in Microsoft’s executive ranks. Still, women only make up 28 percent of the total workforce. In the United States, only 4.5 percent of employees identified as African American or black, and 6.3 percent identified as Hispanic or Latinx. The number of African American or black workers increased 17 percent, while the Hispanic or Latinx worker population rose 13 percent. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

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