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Stories you may have missed from the world of business


Starbucks latest to say it will pause social media ads

Starbucks is the latest company to say it will pause social media ads after a campaign led by civil rights organizations called for a boycott of Facebook, saying it doesn’t do enough to stop racist and violent content. Starbucks said its actions were not part of the #StopHateforProfit campaign, but that it is pausing its ads while talking with civil rights organizations and its media partners about how to stop hate speech online. The announcement follows statements from Unilever, Coca-Cola, Verizon, Patagonia, REI; Magnolia Pictures; Levi’s and others. Some will pause ads just on Facebook; others will refrain from advertising more broadly on social media. Facebook executive Carolyn Everson has said that the platform is committed to purging hateful content. “Our conversations with marketers and civil rights organizations are about how, together, we can be a force for good,” said Everson. — ASSOCIATED PRESS



Boeing gets OK for test flights of troubled 737 Max

Boeing has Federal Aviation Administration approval to test its 737 Max to demonstrate it can fly safely with new flight-control software. Flights could begin as soon as Monday, a major step in the company’s effort to get its best-selling plane flying again. The Max was grounded in March 2019 after two fatal crashes, in Indonesia and Ethiopia, killed 346 people. The resulting crisis cost Boeing billions, including compensation to victims and airlines. It also led to the ouster of the chief executive, set off government inquiries, and raised questions about the rushed effort to build and approve the Max. Certification flights conducted by FAA pilots will probably take place in the Seattle area, where the plane is made. A top Boeing test pilot will also be on the flights. If the flights are successful, it could still be months before the planes are deemed ready to fly. If the FAA identifies further problems, Boeing may need to make additional changes. The crashes were caused in part by anti-stall software that automatically pushed the nose of the plane downward. Boeing developed a fix, though regulators late identified other problems. — NEW YORK TIMES


Gold edges closer to $1,800 an ounce

Gold futures edged closer to $1,800 an ounce — a level last seen at the end of 2011 — as demand for safe-haven assets surged amid concerns over rising coronavirus infections. Bullion rose as deaths surpassed 500,000 worldwide and confirmed cases exceeded 10 million — a chilling reminder that the deadliest pandemic of the modern era is stronger than ever. The precious metal rallied 17 percent this year as governments and central banks implemented stimulus measures to aid economies battered by the pandemic. Investors are increasingly turning to gold as a store of wealth, and banks including Goldman Sachs Group forecast it will hit a record $2,000 an ounce in 12 months. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



Fracking pioneer Chesapeake files for bankruptcy protection

Chesapeake Energy, a shale drilling pioneer that helped turn the United States into a global energy powerhouse, has filed for bankruptcy protection. The Oklahoma company said Sunday that it was necessary, given its debt of nearly $9 billion. It has entered a plan with lenders to cut $7 billion of debt and said it will continue to operate. The oil and gas company was a leader in the fracking boom, using unconventional techniques to extract oil and gas from the ground, a method that has come under scrutiny because of its environmental impact. Other wildcatters followed, racking up debt to find oil and gas in New Mexico, Texas, the Dakotas, and Pennsylvania. More than 200 oil producers have filed for bankruptcy protection in the past five years, and that’s expected to continue as the pandemic saps demand for energy and depresses prices. Chesapeake became a colossus,, reaching a market value of more than $37 billion. Then the 2007-2009 Great Recession sent energy prices into the basement. The company on Friday was valued at around $115 million. — ASSOCIATED PRESS



Average US gas price up 6 cents over 2 weeks

The average price of regular-grade gasoline increased 6 cents over two weeks, to $2.22 per gallon. That’s 51 cents below the average pump price a year ago. Industry analyst Trilby Lundberg of the Lundberg Survey said Sunday that demand for gasoline remains weak, even as states reopen for business during the pandemic. She said prices at the pump may slow soon. The highest average price in the nation is $3.15 per gallon, in the San Francisco Bay Area. The lowest is $1.78, in Baton Rouge, La.