Olympia Sports chain sold, dozens of stores expected to close

Olympia Sports, the Northeast chain of sports apparel shops, has been sold to a Denver company, and dozens of store closures are expected. JackRabbit, an athletic goods retailer owned by investment firm CriticalPoint Capital, announced on Wednesday that it acquired Westbrook, Maine-based Olympia from the Manganello family for an undisclosed amount. The acquirer declined to specify how many jobs would be cut or how many stores would be closed at the 45-year-old Olympia chain, whose name will stay on the stores that remain open. However, the release from JackRabbit says it will have 135 stores after the acquisition, up from 62 over the summer. That implies roughly half of Olympia’s 150 stores will close as a result. JackRabbit’s current presence in New England is small, with only three stores in Massachusetts under the Greater Boston Running Co. banner. — JON CHESTO



Hays to buy all UK stores operated by bankrupt Thomas Cook

British firm Hays Travel says it will buy all 555 UK stores operated by defunct tour company Thomas Cook, which collapsed last month. Hays says it will offer jobs to hundreds of Thomas Cook employees. The debt-laden, 178-year-old company collapsed last month, leaving hundreds of thousands of travelers stranded around the world and 21,000 employees, including 9,000 in the UK, facing unemployment. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


Head of Japanese utility resigns over cash and gifts paid to executives

The head of a Japanese utility has resigned over a scandal involving 20 of its executives who received cash and gifts totaling $3 million from a former official in a town where it operates a nuclear power plant. Kansai Electric Power Co. chairman Makoto Yagi resigned Wednesday, saying he was taking responsibility for causing public distrust. Company president Shigeki Iwane said he will resign later this year when independent investigators release findings. The two acknowledged they are among the 20 executives who received the cash and gifts from 2011 to 2018 from the former deputy mayor of Takahama, home to four Kansai Electric reactors. — ASSOCIATED PRESS



Three mines in West Virginia to close

Blackhawk Mining says it’s closing three mines and two preparation plants in West Virginia amid weak global coal markets. The Kentucky-based coal company on Tuesday announced the idling of its facilities in Logan and Mingo counties. The move will impact 342 employees. A Blackhawk news release blamed a weak coal market and drops in prices for its decision to close the facilities. Blackhawk filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in July, saying the restructuring would enable it to shed more than 60 percent of its debt. Many major US coal producers have filed for bankruptcy protection in recent years. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


New technology used to exploit vulnerablities, EU report finds

Cybercriminals are using new technology and exploiting existing online vulnerabilities as they shift their focus to larger and more profitable targets, the European Union’s police agency said in a report published Wednesday. Europol said in its annual Internet Organized Crime Threat Assessment report that since digital data is a key target ‘‘data security and consumer awareness are paramount for organizations.’’ The report, which is intended to give police and policy makers an overview of cybercrime trends, also referred to what the authors called ‘‘data overload’’ in efforts to counter online images of child sexual abuse. Improvements in ‘‘deep fake’’ technology that can make it appear as if someone is saying something or acting in a way they aren’t also ‘‘could be of concern for online child sexual exploitation,’’ according to the report. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


Job openings fell in August

US job openings fell 1.7 percent in August and hires edged down, bolstering views that the labor market may lose momentum as economic uncertainty and a manufacturing recession squeeze employers. The Labor Department says employers advertised 7.1 million available jobs in August, down from 7.2 million available jobs in July. Job openings reached a peak of 7.6 million last November but have fallen by about 500,000 since then. This is the third straight month that job openings have dropped, slumping to the lowest level since March 2018. — ASSOCIATED PRESS



American Airlines to keep Boeing 737 Max jets grounded until January

American Airlines is pushing the expected return of its fleet of Boeing 737 Max jets into next year. The airline said Wednesday that it expects to slowly bring the plane back into its schedule starting Jan. 16. That’s six weeks later than American planned just last month, and the sixth time the airline has delayed the plane’s return. Fort Worth-based American says that it will drop about 140 flights per day until the middle of January because of the grounding. The Max was taken out of service worldwide after two crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia killed 346 people. Boeing is working on changes to flight-control software and computers. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


CEO of Royal Dutch Shell says energy producers shouldn’t be solely blamed for climate change

The world can’t solve the problem of climate change solely by blaming energy producers like Royal Dutch Shell PLC, said the company’s top executive. Speaking at an event in London that was disrupted by protesters accusing attendees of destroying the planet, Shell chief executive Ben van Beurden said the oil industry has to take radical steps to reduce carbon emissions, but consumers must do the same. “It’s us as a society that needs to transform, not just the suppliers of energy,” van Beurden said in a Bloomberg TV interview on the sidelines of the Oil & Money conference on Wednesday. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



French finance minister blasts Facebook’s digital currency project

The European Union should not allow Facebook to develop its digital currency project, known as Libra, on ‘‘European territory’’ because it threatens the monetary sovereignty of member states, France’s finance minister, Bruno Le Maire, said Wednesday. Speaking ahead of a meeting of the 19 eurozone finance ministers, Bruno Le Maire said alternative payment systems pose many dangers because they could also be used for money laundering or ‘‘terrorism funding.’’ ‘‘I’m absolutely not an enemy of Facebook, neither an enemy of Google or Amazon,’’ Le Maire said. ‘‘I just want to recall some principles. If you want to have a sovereign currency, it’s up to the states. And only to the states, to be responsible for a sovereign currency. It should not be the role of a private company to try to get a sovereign currency like a sovereign state.’’ — ASSOCIATED PRESS


PayPal to report $228m loss on Uber

PayPal Holdings Inc. will report a $228 million loss on investments before taxes in the third quarter, driven in large part by a bad bet on Uber Technologies Inc. just before it went public. The San Jose, Calif.-based payments company said the investment in Uber, for $500 million at the initial public offering price, had declined 34 percent. PayPal’s stake in the world’s largest ride-hailing business was tied to what the companies described as a closer collaboration on payments technology. — BLOOMBERG NEWS