industry

Hit by a string of scandals over food safety controls, McDonald's business in Japan has posted its worst annual results since going public 15 years ago. The company reported a net loss of 34.704 billion yen — around $303 million.

Last year, sales at McDonald's Japan stores were down around 15 percent from 2014, the company says. The Japanese unit has now reported a net loss for two years in a row, the result of a sequence of scandals.

Toyota has announced that it is pulling the plug on Scion, its offshoot car brand aimed at younger drivers.

Scion, which started in 2003, has seen lagging sales, with a mere 56,167 cars sold last year in the U.S.

Scion owners will be able to get their cars serviced by Toyota, and many Scion vehicles will be re-branded as Toyotas, according to a press release.

Pratt & Whitney

Pratt and Whitney’s geared turbo fan engine just went into service for the first time on a commercial passenger jet -- a huge milestone for the company, which has invested billions of dollars and 20 years in designing and developing the fuel-efficient technology. 

A memo from congressional investigators sheds new light on the inner workings of Martin Shkreli's Turing Pharmaceuticals after the company jacked up the prices of a decades-old drug used to treat AIDS patients.

The House Committee on Oversight and Investigations is looking into Turing and other drug companies' price increases. This memo, released Tuesday, includes excerpts from the company's internal documents and emails.

Xerox will be splitting into two companies — one dedicated to document management, including the printing and copying technology that made Xerox's name, and another for business process outsourcing.

The split will be completed by the end of the year. The names of the two companies, as well as their leadership structures, have yet to be determined, Xerox says.

Harriet Jones / WNPR

The number of empty offices in Fairfield County has declined slightly, according to one brokerage — the first time they’ve seen that trend in several years. 

Harriet Jones / WNPR

Expanding overseas is a goal for many Connecticut businesses. A new program aims to give them the data to break into foreign markets. 

Pratt and Whitney

Pratt & Whitney’s long-awaited new commercial jet engine went into service Wednesday. The PurePower geared turbo fan engine is installed on the first Airbus A320neo aircraft delivered to German airline Lufthansa.

To understand why General Electric would abandon its sprawling Fairfield, Connecticut, campus, for Boston’s waterfront, consider what one small, 30-person firm is looking for as it seeks out office space in the same neighborhood: showers.

“Because a lot of people are biking to work,” explained real estate broker Greg Hoffmeister. “They want to have that, or go running at lunch. So having a shower is pretty important.”

Chion Wolf / WNPR

A new report on Connecticut's civic health was released Tuesday. This hour, we discuss its findings with Secretary of the State Denise Merrill. 

Citing concerns over pricing and pollution, the Obama administration on Friday unveiled a moratorium on new coal leases on federal lands. The change won't affect existing leases, which generated nearly $1.3 billion for the government last year.

The Department of the Interior says it wants to make sure the money it's charging for coal leases takes into account both market prices and what's often called the "social costs" of coal — its impact on climate change and public health.

The agency says federal lands account for roughly 40 percent of all U.S. coal production.

95wombat via flickr.com / Creative Commons

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker helped bring General Electric’s headquarters to Boston by offering $120 million in grants and other incentives. And now officials in Berkshire County are hoping that relationship pays off for Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

The secretive sale late last year of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Nevada's largest news organization, to the family of one of the wealthiest men in the country set off shock waves in that newsroom.

The vast financial and political interests of the billionaire casino magnate and major Republican donor Sheldon Adelson raise nettlesome questions about how the paper can cover him.

Denis-Carl Robidoux / Creative Commons

General Electric said in this week's announcement that it began considering a headquarters move three years ago: in other words, long before last spring's dust-up over Connecticut’s budget. 

Harriet Jones / WNPR

General Electric confirmed on Wednesday afternoon that it will move its headquarters to Boston from Fairfield.

Seventeen miners at a salt mine in western New York were freed early this morning after they were trapped hundreds of feet underground when the elevator they were in stopped working late Wednesday night.

FuelCell Energy

Pfizer will install a fuel cell power plant at its Groton research and development facility. The aim is both to move to a greener form of energy, and to have the potential for off-grid reliability.

How The Mass. Casino Industry Stands As 2016 Begins

Dec 30, 2015

It’s been a big year for the casino industry in Massachusetts. The state’s first expanded gambling facility opened in June. The Plainridge Park Casino has 1,250 slot machines and a racetrack. And bigger casino proposals in Boston and Springfield are closer to becoming realities.

Here’s what’s changed over the past year:

Falling Revenues In Plainville

Steup / Flickr Creative Commons

To the list of things you can't avoid -- death and taxes -- we now add losing your job to a machine. A worry typically reserved for those in manufacturing, automation in the workplace is now a reality of nearly all occupations, and it's only getting worse... or is it?

One day after he was arrested on fraud charges, controversial drug executive Martin Shkreli has resigned his post as the leader of Turing Pharmaceuticals. Shkreli is currently free on bail.

Turing announced the change Friday, naming Ron Tilles, its current board chairman, as the interim chief executive officer.

"We wish to thank Martin for helping us build Turing Pharmaceuticals into the dynamic research focused company it is today, and wish him the best in his future endeavors," Tilles said in a statement about the move.

The lack of snow is disappointing for skiers, but it’s also a problem for the several thousand people who depend on Vermont ski resorts for seasonal work; many resorts are reducing hours or delaying the start of those employees, while other resorts are having to get creative in the way they put staff to work.

The mysterious new owner of the Las Vegas Review-Journal was revealed in a statement printed on page 2 of Thursday's edition: "We are proud to announce that the Adelson family has purchased the Las Vegas Review-Journal through a wholly-owned fund, as both a financial investment as well as an investment in the future of the Las Vegas community."

The Federal Reserve on Wednesday announced liftoff for short-term interest rates — a launch that may send many borrowing costs higher in 2016.

The 0.25-percentage-point increase — to a range of 0.25 percent to 0.5 percent — in the federal funds rate was small but important because it signals the beginning of the end of easy money; the Fed wants to get back to normal after years of fighting economic stagnation with supercheap loans.

The two largest chemical companies in America will become one entity named DowDuPont, as Dow Chemical and DuPont say they're joining in a "merger of equals." The new company will have a market capitalization of around $130 billion.

After the merger, the resulting behemoth would be split into what Dow Chairman and CEO Andrew Liveris calls "three powerful new companies," with a combined revenue of around $83 billion.

One of the state’s largest employers is about to undergo a major change in ownership. Keurig Green Mountain, the Waterbury-based coffee company that employs more than 600 people statewide, is to be bought by an investor group for $13.9 billion. But state officials say they’re confident that Vermont workers will keep their jobs.

Ingram Publishing / Thinkstock

Some companies are trying to keep ahead of negative online reviews by suing or threatening consumers. 

Amazon has released a glimpse of what its much-anticipated drone deliveries could look like, although it warns the service is still very much in a testing phase.

Niall Kennedy flickr.com/photos/niallkennedy/3242764552 / Creative Commons

Electric automaker Tesla Motors, Inc. plans to resume efforts to pass state legislation allowing them to open showrooms in Connecticut and sell its vehicles directly to consumers.

Photo by Chion Wolf

Pfizer's proposed merger with Allergan, which will take the pharmaceutical giant's tax domicile overseas, has provoked a new round of angst about corporate defections.

The controversial Northeast Energy Direct natural gas pipeline is now in the hands of the federal government.

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