Business Highlights

Published on NewsOK Modified: August 12, 2014 at 5:05 pm •  Published: August 12, 2014
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Airport tests new way to avoid deadly bird strikes

NEW YORK (AP) — When birds and planes collide, the results can be deadly. That's why airports around the world work hard to keep birds away, even resorting to shooting or poisoning large flocks.

One Ohio airport is now experimenting with a new, gentler way to avoid bird strikes: planting tall prairie grass.

Heavy birds like geese — which cause the most damage to planes — are believed to avoid long grasses because they fear predators might be hiding within. So officials at Dayton International Airport are converting up to 300 acres of the airfield's 2,200 non-aeronautical acres into prairie grass. The goal is, by the end of this year, to plant the tall grass under the takeoff and landing paths.

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Wal-Mart: Try, try again

NEW YORK (AP) — Wal-Mart thought shoppers would like the opportunity to use a smartphone app to scan items they want to buy as they walk through store aisles. In theory, they could speed through self-checkout.

But customers couldn't figure out how to work the "Scan & Go" app during tests in 200 stores, so Wal-Mart nixed it.

Instead of looking at the app as a failure, though, Wal-Mart took what it learned from "Scan & Go" to create another service: It found that customers like being able to track their spending, an insight that became the impetus for a national program that enables shoppers to store electronic receipts.

The story behind "Scan & Go" illustrates how traditional retailers increasingly are using the nimbler approach to innovating that Silicon Valley startups are known for. Rather than perfecting a program before rolling it out — as most retailers do — they're doing more testing and refining as they go along.

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Like stocks, junk bonds show investor jitters

NEW YORK (AP) — The stock market isn't the only place that's been signaling jitters among investors. The $2.3 trillion market for risky U.S. corporate debt has also been under pressure.

A five-year rally in junk bonds abruptly stalled last month. As with other higher-risk investments, investors have pulled back mainly because they worry about the end of the Federal Reserve's policy of near-zero interest rates.

Investors expect the central bank to raise rates sometime next year, and that means the value of bonds currently held in portfolios will fall.

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Asbestos pushed in Asia as product for the poor

VAISHALI, India (AP) — The executives mingled over tea and sugar cookies, and the chatter was upbeat. Their industry, they said at a conference in the Indian capital, saves lives and brings roofs, walls and pipes to some of the world's poorest people.

Their product? Asbestos. Outlawed in much of the developed world, it is still going strong in the developing one. In India alone, the world's biggest asbestos importer, it's a $2 billion industry providing 300,000 jobs.

The International Labor Organization, World Health Organization, medical researchers and more than 50 countries say the mineral should be banned. But the industry executives at the asbestos conference, held in a luxury New Delhi hotel, said the risks are overblown.

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US job openings in June hit 13-year-plus high

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. employers in June advertised the most monthly job openings in more than 13 years.

Employers posted 4.67 million jobs in June, up 2.1 percent from May's total of 4.58 million, the Labor Department reported Tuesday. The number of advertised openings was the highest since February 2001, a positive sign that points to a strengthening economy.

Known as the Job Openings and Labor Turnover survey or JOLTS, the report provides a detailed look at where employment might be heading. It records job postings, overall hiring and the number of workers who either quit or were laid-off. By contrast, the monthly employment report shows the net total of job gains or losses.

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Creditor opposes Detroit debt plan, says scrap it

DETROIT (AP) — A major Detroit creditor on Tuesday objected to the bankrupt city's plan to wipe out or reduce billions of dollars in debt, saying it should be scrapped before a trial scheduled to start next week.

New York-based Syncora Guarantee said in a court filing that the plan put together by state-appointed emergency manager Kevyn Orr and attorneys hired by the city is unfair, will be too costly to defend, and will ultimately fail.

The largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history is set for trial on Aug. 21.

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Atlantic City's Revel Casino to close in September

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — When it opened just over two years ago, many people hoped Revel would save Atlantic City's struggling casino industry, which has been bleeding money and jobs for years.

But now the $2.4 billion resort that was widely seen as the last, best chance for Atlantic City's gambling market is shutting down, unable to find a buyer for even pennies on the dollar.