Talking Points


N.H. panel upholds denial of Northern Pass project


N.H. panel upholds denial of Northern Pass project

A New Hampshire panel has dealt another blow to a controversial hydro project, upholding on Thursday an earlier decision to deny a proposal over concerns that it would have hurt tourism and businesses in the state. The Site Evaluation Committee unanimously voted to deny a request by Eversource to rehear the $1.6 billion, 192-mile Northern Pass transmission line project. It first voted against the project in February, which resulted in Massachusetts abandoning plans to contract with the project to fulfill its clean energy needs. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


Echo secretly records conversation
and sends it

A couple’s private conversation was mysteriously recorded by their Amazon Echo device and sent to one of their contacts, igniting privacy concerns about the voice-activated gadgets the online retailer wants to make as commonplace in homes as televisions. The two found about it when they received a phone call two weeks ago from one of the husband’s employees telling them to “Unplug your Alexa devices right now. You’re being hacked,” news station KIRO 7 reported. Inc. said in a statement to the station that it was an “extremely rare occurrence.” The Portland, Ore., couple used Amazon’s voice-activated devices throughout their home to control heat, lights, and the security system, according to the news report. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Sick passenger sues United for not diverting flight

A passenger stricken with acute pancreatitis on a United Continental Holdings Inc. flight to Rome sued the airline over the crew’s refusal to land the plane so he could obtain treatment. Lewis Christman and his wife Roseanne filed a complaint against the airline alleging he suffered such severe pain and nausea during the 2016 flight from Chicago that he was unable to sit up, and lay curled up in the galley floor in a fetal position. Upon landing, Christman was hospitalized, first in Rome and then in the United States for months, and later required surgery, according to the complaint filed May 17 in Cook County, Ill., state court. Representatives for United didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. Christman claims that the flight crew was ill-prepared for the emergency, initially failing to offer him assistance, couldn’t find pain medication, and declined a recommendation from a doctor on board that they divert the flight. The crew also failed to contact a ground-based medical team about Christman’s condition, he says. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Jury orders Johnson & Johnson to pay more than $25m in baby powder case


A Southern California jury has ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay more than $25 million to a woman who claimed in a lawsuit that she developed cancer by using the company’s talc-based baby powder. Jurors on Thursday awarded $4 million in punitive damages after finding that Johnson & Johnson acted with ‘‘malice, oppression or fraud.’’ A day earlier the panel ordered $21.7 million in compensatory damages for plaintiff Joanne Anderson. She suffers from mesothelioma, a lung cancer linked to asbestos exposure. Johnson & Johnson says it’s disappointed in the decision and will appeal. The 66-year-old Anderson alleged Johnson & Johnson failed to adequately warn consumers that its powder contains asbestos and could cause cancer — charges the company denies. Johnson & Johnson faces numerous lawsuits over the cancer claim. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


Delta planes and personnel get a new color scheme

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Delta Air Lines Inc.’s planes and airport operations will soon be awash in shades of purple, red, gray, and pink as the company joins an industry rush to refresh employee attire. All 60,000 uniformed workers will switch May 29 to the new outfits, which include flight-attendant clothing designed by Zac Posen and made by Lands’ End Inc., Delta said in a statement Thursday. The garments include suits and dresses in “passport plum,” “cruising cardinal” and “groundspeed graphite,” which replace the current color scheme dominated by dark blue. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


IDG fires one of its top investment managers over sexual harassment

Venture capital powerhouse IDG Capital has fired one of its top investment managers after investigating allegations circulated on social media that he’d made sexual advances toward women in the course of his work. The VC firm fired Jiang Zuo on Tuesday after conducting an internal investigation into the harassment allegations. It concluded “his actions and words were against the values IDG represents,” Tian Tian, a spokeswoman for the company, said Thursday by phone. Jiang, who also goes by Douglas, didn’t respond to multiple requests for comment sent to his WeChat account and phone, while calls to his mobile went unanswered. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Deutsche Bank to cut 7,000 jobs as it shrinks operations in US, Asia

Deutsche Bank, Germany’s biggest lender, said Thursday that it would cut 7,000 jobs and “significantly reshape” its sales and trading business, the latest sign of the bank’s curtailed ambitions as it seeks to move past a series of crises. The job losses — equivalent to 7 percent of its workforce — come a month after Christian Sewing took over as chief executive, the fourth person in four years to hold the title or that of co-chief executive at the bank. Sewing has already said the bank will focus on Europe and shrink its operations in the United States and Asia, effectively giving up on years of efforts to join the likes of Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Chase as a Wall Street titan. — NEW YORK TIMES


German company suspends operations in Toronto because of parking problems

The car-sharing service car2go said Thursday it is indefinitely suspending its operations in Canada’s largest city because parking regulations make its business inoperable. The German-based company sent an e-mail to its 80,000 users on in Toronto on Thursday saying it will suspend operations of the flexible, short-term rental system on May 31. Car2go CEO Paul DeLong said new regulations mean almost 10,000 parking spaces where users regularly start and end car2go trips will be forbidden come June. The company said the city is effectively banning car sharing in places where residential parking is at a premium. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


Rates rose this week, remaining
at their highest levels in 7 years


Long-term mortgage rates rose this week, continuing at their highest levels in seven years amid the peak home buying season. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average rate on 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages was 4.66 percent, up from 4.61 percent last week. Pushing toward the significant 5 percent level, the new average benchmark rate was the highest since May 5, 2011. By contrast, the 30-year rate averaged 3.95 percent a year ago. The average rate on 15-year, fixed-rate loans increased to 4.15 percent from 4.08 percent last week. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


Home sales fall
in April as tight inventory continues

Sales of previously owned homes fell in April to a three-month low as lean inventory continued to stand in the way of further progress while driving up prices, National Association of Realtors data showed Thursday. A limited number of properties on the market helped contribute to the year-over-year gain in prices and dissuaded potential buyers. The lack of supply has been persistent even as job gains and a general improvement in the economy keeps demand elevated. — BLOOMBERG NEWS