Business news briefs
The U.S. economy struggled even more than originally thought in the first three months of the year, growing at an anemic 1.8 percent annual rate, the Commerce Department said. The growth rate has been revised down twice after the initial reading of 2.5 percent growth in the first quarter. The drop from the earlier estimates was driven largely by less consumer spending than initially calculated.
gets Delta fined
The U.S. Department of Transportation is fining Delta Air Lines $750,000 for failing to seek volunteers before bumping passengers involuntarily and not telling them about their rights to get payments. The violations show "a widespread practice of noncompliance by Delta that warrants enforcement action and must be rectified," the department said. Delta was fined $375,000 in 2009 for similar violations.
Microsoft has released an update to Windows 8, aiming to address some of the gripes people have with the latest version of the company's flagship operating system. The company made a preview of Windows 8.1 available for free as a download on Wednesday.
Marc Rich dies
Marc Rich died Wednesday of a stroke at a hospital in Lucerne, Switzerland, near his longtime home. He was 78. He will be buried Thursday in a kibbutz in Israel. Rich was indicted for fraud, racketeering and tax evasion but was granted a last-minute presidential pardon by Bill Clinton. Critics said Rich bought his pardon through donations his ex-wife had made to the Democratic Party.
must share tips
Starbucks baristas must share their tips with shift supervisors, but assistant managers are left out in the cold. The New York Court of Appeals, responding to two lawsuits, found that shift supervisors do much of the same work as the coffee servers and therefore get to share in the tips. It also ruled that the company, which is based in Seattle, can deny those tips to assistant managers.
seeing fast growth
Renewable energy is growing fast around the world and will be the second biggest source of electricity, after coal, by 2016, according to a report published by the International Energy Agency. And, costs are falling below those of traditional power sources such as coal, natural gas and oil in some markets with high-priced power, it said.
Seed giant Monsanto Co. said its fiscal third quarter earnings slipped 3 percent, as higher costs and hits to its cotton and soybean segments weighed on results. The St. Louis company earned $909 million, or $1.68 per share, in the quarter, down from $937 million, or $1.74 per share, a year ago.