Business

West Hollywood Minimum Wage, Highest in U.S., Irks Merchants
Business

West Hollywood Minimum Wage, Highest in U.S., Irks Merchants

Josiah Citrin, the owner and chef of a Santa Monica restaurant with two Michelin stars, opened a new steakhouse a few months ago off the Sunset Strip. He is already concerned about whether the restaurant can survive.The reason, Mr. Citrin said, is singular: a West Hollywood city mandate that workers be paid at least $19.08 an hour, the highest minimum wage in the country.“It’s very challenging,” Mr. Citrin, 55, said of the new minimum wage, which took effect about two weeks before he opened his doors in July. “Really, it’s almost impossible to operate.”His sentiment is widely shared among business owners in West Hollywood, a city of 35,000 known for restaurants, boutiques and progressive politics. In recent weeks, many owners have written to lawmakers, pleading for a moratorium on further ...
Gene-Sequencing Company Illumina to Sell Cancer Test Developer
Business

Gene-Sequencing Company Illumina to Sell Cancer Test Developer

Illumina, the leading producer of gene-sequencing machines, announced Sunday that it would sell Grail, a cancer test developer that it purchased for $7.1 billion in 2021.The move came two days after Illumina lost its case in a federal appeals court, which largely upheld a Federal Trade Commission ruling that Illumina should unwind its deal with Grail on antitrust grounds.The case was seen by antitrust experts as a test of regulators’ efforts to stop big companies from buying fledgling innovators.The deal had also faced a roadblock in Europe. In September 2022, the European Union said it would block the acquisition. Illumina, based in San Diego, previously stated publicly that if it was unsuccessful with appeals in either jurisdiction, it would divest the start-up.“We are committed to an ex...
New Mexico’s Spaceport America Is an Economic Dream Deferred
Business

New Mexico’s Spaceport America Is an Economic Dream Deferred

From his tiny gem store in southern New Mexico, Robert Hanseck spends his days untangling chakra beads and answering questions about the healing properties of amethyst crystals. After four decades behind the register, he has met thousands of wellness-minded tourists eager to explore the hot springs that span the region.But he almost never sees the type of traveler he was promised would transform his small town of Truth or Consequences: space enthusiasts.“It’s been a flop,” he said of Spaceport America, a project that was conceived as the vanguard of commercial space travel — and that has been promoted by state officials for more than two decades as a launchpad for the local economy.Less than a mile up the road, Arthur Burger, who owns an art gallery, recounted the moment in 2021, not long ...
State Dept.’s Fight Against Disinformation Comes Under Attack
Business

State Dept.’s Fight Against Disinformation Comes Under Attack

A Republican-led campaign against researchers who study disinformation online has zeroed in on the most prominent American government agency dedicated to countering propaganda and other information operations from terrorists and hostile nations.The agency, the State Department’s Global Engagement Center, is facing a torrent of accusations in court and in Congress that it has helped the social media giants — including Facebook, YouTube and X — to censor Americans in violation of the First Amendment.The attorney general of Texas, Ken Paxton, and two conservative digital news outlets last week became the latest plaintiffs to sue the department and its top officials, including Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken. The lawsuit said the center’s work was “one of the most egregious government ope...