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Tyson Foods has fired seven managers at an Iowa pork plant after investigating allegations they bet on how many workers there would get sick from the coronavirus.

The company, one of the country's largest meat suppliers, launched an independent investigation into the complaints last month, suspending without pay the managers allegedly involved. Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder led the investigation.

Updated at 9:49 p.m. ET

Republican attorneys general from 10 states sued Google on Wednesday, accusing it of wielding its might in digital advertising to crush competitors, in the second major legal challenge to the tech giant's power this fall.

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MacKenzie Scott, the author and philanthropist, says she has given away more than $4 billion in the last four months.

"This pandemic has been a wrecking ball in the lives of Americans already struggling," Scott wrote in a post on Medium announcing the donations. "Economic losses and health outcomes alike have been worse for women, for people of color, and for people living in poverty. Meanwhile, it has substantially increased the wealth of billionaires."

Just half a year after climate activists won a big legal victory in the U.K. effectively blocking plans for a third runway at London's Heathrow Airport on environmental grounds, the country's highest court has turned the tables once more.

Updated at 11:11 a.m. ET

U.S. retail spending declined the most since a historic plunge in April as new coronavirus surges restricted outings to stores and restaurants.

Retail sales dipped 1.1% in November compared with a month earlier, the Commerce Department said Wednesday.

However, retail spending — excluding food service — was still up 7.1% when compared with a year earlier, in part thanks to record-setting Black Friday and Cyber Monday online shopping sprees.

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Some families have a tradition - buy or cut down a Christmas tree, then tie it to the top of the car to drive home. Other families would rather not take the trouble. And in the pandemic, all families have to think about shopping trips.

A house. Two cars. A kid in college. Debi and Nick Lemieur had all the markers of a middle class life. But they both remember one purchase — Nick's $600 bass amplifier — that prompted one of the biggest fights in their four decades of marriage.

"He didn't tell me he hid it in the trunk of the car, and I found it," Debi says, laughing, 14 years later. "To me it was like, oh my God, how much will this screw with our budget?"

Updated at 12:21 p.m. ET

Scores of private charitable foundations, set up by some of the nation's wealthiest people, received money from the federal government's Paycheck Protection Program, which was created last spring to save jobs at small businesses as the coronavirus tanked the economy.

Faster, stronger, just plain truckier.

Automakers from GM to startup Rivian are racing to bring their first electric pickups ever to market starting next year, and they aren't just arguing a battery-powered truck will be as good as any other pickup.

They are promising it'll be better. Much better.

When listeners in Fort Wayne, Indiana, tuned into Majic 95.1 in July, they heard something both unexpected and all-too-familiar. The station was playing Christmas music. In the heat of summer.

With the pandemic making life miserable for people, the station was looking for a way to appeal to listeners and boost its ratings, and Christmas songs can be a dependable way of doing so.

Peter Nygard, the former CEO of a Canada-based fashion line, has been arrested and charged with racketeering, sex trafficking and other crimes after authorities in Manitoba acted on a U.S. request for his extradition, federal prosecutors in New York said Tuesday.

A massive computer breach allowed hackers to spend months exploring numerous U.S. government networks and private companies' systems around the world. Industry experts say a country mounted the complex hack — and government officials say Russia is responsible.

The hackers attached their malware to a software update from SolarWinds, a company based in Austin, Texas. Many federal agencies and thousands of companies worldwide use SolarWinds' Orion software to monitor their computer networks.

Bernie Sanders On Coronavirus Relief Bill

Dec 15, 2020

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The Food and Drug Administration released a detailed analysis Tuesday morning of the COVID-19 vaccine from drugmaker Moderna that supports the authorization of the company's vaccine for emergency use.

The FDA's briefing document along with one from Moderna were posted two days before a group of experts will convene to advise the agency on whether to grant the vaccine emergency authorization for use, or EUA, during the pandemic.

The Backcountry Boom

Dec 15, 2020

Editor's note: This is an excerpt of Planet Money's newsletter. You can sign up here.

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At the moment, it is impossible to buy an electric pickup. That's about to change, though. Automakers from Tesla and General Motors to Ford, Rivian and Lordstown, are all racing to bring them to market. NPR's Camila Domonoske reports.

Updated Wednesday at 6:30 a.m. ET

The Federal Trade Commission is demanding that nine social media and tech companies share details on how they harness users' data and what they do with the information.

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The email began, "Hosts like you are a foundation of our company." Tom Krones, an Airbnb host based in Austin, Texas, swiftly discarded it. That was Nov. 16.

Now, Krones says, "I am totally kicking myself."

Since Airbnb made its public debut on the stock market Thursday, shattering expectations and doubling its offering price, regrets are piling up among hosts like Krones, who received the email last month with the less-than-enticing subject line "Airbnb's Directed Share Program."

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Gerald Harris has been busy during this pandemic, along with two other friends. Here's how their weeks usually start.

Robert R. Reilly is taking the reins at the Voice of America with extreme, publicly stated views on some subjects that may complicate his mission of sharing news and U.S. values with vast audiences around the globe.

The pandemic has made 2020 a crazy year for the movie industry. And Warner Bros. made a recent announcement that guarantees next year will be just as upside-down.

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Online sales are up, and shipping companies are having trouble keeping up. And slow shipping hurts small businesses. Sally Herships and Cardiff Garcia from our daily economics podcast The Indicator From Planet Money explain.

Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode A Century Of Money.

At large corporations like Disney, many employees can barely get by. Filmmaker and Disney descendant Abigail Disney says that's unacceptable. She calls on Disney and others to put people over profit.

About Abigail Disney

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