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Business Highlights

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Brands weigh in on national protests over police brutality

As thousands of protesters take to the street in response to police killings of black people, companies are wading into the national conversation but taking care to get their messaging right. Netflix’s normally lighthearted Twitter account took on a more sombre tone on Saturday: “To be silent is to be complicit. Black lives matter. We have a platform, and we have a duty to our Black members, employees, creators and talent to speak up.” That got retweeted over 216,000 times and “liked” over a million times. The streaming service is just one of many corporate brands that have turned to social media to voice their concerns over racial injustice.

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Black businesses hit hard by COVID-19 fight to stay afloat

Detroit (AP) — The COVID-19 pandemic has not only disproportionately impacted African Americans, infecting and killing them at higher rates across the nation, but black Americans are also experiencing the economic brunt of the pandemic. It has raised fresh concerns about the survival of black businesses that have been the backbone of cities like Detroit and Atlanta for years. The pandemic has exposed existing racial disparities, experts say, and many believe it could also wipe out whatever progress has been made toward building black generational wealth, which has long lagged behind other racial groups.

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With rare candour , employees protest Facebook’s Trump policy

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Facebook employees are using Twitter to register their frustration over CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s decision to leave up posts by President Donald Trump that suggested protesters in Minneapolis could be shot. While Twitter demoted and placed a warning on a tweet about the protests that read, in part, that “when the looting starts the shooting starts,” Facebook has let it stand, with Zuckerberg laying out his reasoning to do so in a Facebook post Friday. Trump’s comment evoked the civil-rights era by borrowing a phrase used in 1967 by Miami’s police chief to warn of an aggressive police response to unrest in black neighbourhoods .

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Sobering US nursing home death report as lockdowns ease

WASHINGTON (AP) — Nearly 26,000 nursing home residents in the United States have died from COVID-19, according to a report for the nation’s governors, a number that is partial and likely to go higher. The disclosure came as coronavirus restrictions were easing from Asia to Europe to the United States. The Florida Keys welcomed visitors Monday, the Colosseum opened its ancient doors in Rome, ferries restarted in Bangladesh, golfers played in Greece and students returned to classes in Britain. But Miami-Dade County kept its beaches closed because of protests in South Florida and across the country over the May 25 death of George Floyd, the black man pinned at the neck by a white police officer in Minneapolis.

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CBO projects virus impact could trim GDP by $15.7 trillion

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Congressional Budget Office said Monday that the U.S. economy could be $15.7 trillion smaller over the next decade than it otherwise would have been due to the adverse effects of the coronavirus on economic growth if Congress does not mitigate the damage. The CBO, which had already issued a report forecasting a severe economic impact over the next two years, expanded that forecast to show that the severity of the economic shock could depress growth for far longer. The new estimate said that over the 2020-2030 period, total GDP output could be $15.7 trillion lower than CBO had been projecting as recently as January. That would equal 5.3% of lost GDP over the coming decade before adjusting for inflation.

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Online divisions: Twitter, Facebook diverge on Trump’s words

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — President Donald Trump posted identical messages on Twitter and Facebook this week. But while the two social platforms have very similar policies on voter misinformation and glorifying violence, they dealt with Trump’s posts very differently, proof that Silicon Valley is far from a united front when it comes to political decisions. Twitter placed a warning label on two Trump tweets that called mail-in ballots “fraudulent” and predicted problems with the November elections. It demoted and placed a stronger warning on a third tweet about Minneapolis protests that read, in part, that “when the looting starts the shooting starts.” Facebook did nothing.

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Protests force Target, CVS and Walmart to close some stores

Target, CVS, Apple and Walmart have all temporarily closed certain locations due to protests over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis last week. In some cases stores were damaged. Minneapolis-based Target closed or shortened hours at more than 200 of its stores over the weekend, but it says most would reopen Sunday or Monday. Six will remain closed for an extended period due to damage from the protests. CVS has closed stores in 20 states and the District of Columbia. Apple and Walmart also closed some locations, but wouldn’t say how many. Floyd, who was black, died after a white Minneapolis police officer used his knee to pin his neck down for several minutes.

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Brooms in hand, people patch up stores damaged in protests

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Thousands of people from Los Angeles to New York have swept up glass from broken store windows, covered over graffiti and organized ransacked businesses after protests again turned destructive. Some showed up only hours after they participated in the demonstrations over police killings of black people, including George Floyd. Many said cleaning was cathartic. After marching and then trying to stop people from vandalizing businesses, one Los Angeles-area protester said helping vandalized businesses restored his faith in humanity. Countless businesses had taken a hit from coronavirus restrictions and were starting to reopen as the protests led to other expensive setbacks in damage and stolen merchandise.

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Businesses ramp up operations as nations prep for tourists

Chuy’s Holdings, which runs restaurants that make Tex-Mex inspired dishes, has re-opened a majority of its dining rooms. The company said Monday that 87 of its dining rooms were in operation in varying levels of capacity. Cooper Tire & Rubber is beginning the process of restarting production on a limited basis at its tire manufacturing plant in El Salto, Mexico. Turkish airlines resumed limited domestic flights, restaurants welcomed dine-in customers and beaches and museums reopened as Turkey’s broadest easing of coronavirus restrictions came into effect.

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Stocks shake off weak start and close higher, extending run

Stocks closed higher on Wall Street Monday after shaking off a wobbly start. The S&P 500 index climbed 0.4%. The index is coming off its second month of solid gains. Investors are balancing cautious optimism about the reopening of businesses shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic against worries that the unrest across the U.S. over police brutality could disrupt the economic recovery and widen the outbreak. Stocks have now recouped most of their losses after a breathtaking skid in February and March. The S&P 500 is still down 10% from the all-time high it reached in February.

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The S&P 500 rose 11.42 points to 3,055.73. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 91.91 points, or 0.4%, to 25,475.02. The Nasdaq composite climbed 62.18 points, or 0.7%, to 9,552.05. The Russell 2000 index picked up 11.34 points, or 0.8%, to 1,405.37.

The Associated Press