Afternoon briefing: Labor Day air travel expected to spike; Amazon brings books to Brazil

Airplanes on the runway of Kennedy Airport, as
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Airplanes on the runway of Kennedy Airport, as a boater passes by on the waters of Head Of Bay in Queens, on Aug. 13, 2012. Air travel over the Labor Day weekend will rise 2 percent from the same holiday last year. The story.(Credit: Uli Seit)

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Here's what's happening in the world of business on Aug. 21, 2014.

-- LABORED SKIES —

A trade group representing the airlines industry said it expects this year's Labor Day travel to be sky high.

-- NY'S CUT —

If you were wondering how much New York stands to gain from Bank of America's $17 billion settlement, the answer is $800 million. That's $300 million in cash for the state and $500 million to be doled out to struggling homeowners.

— SAY GOODBYE TO THE GENERAL —

There's not going to be a bidding war. Discount retailer Family Dollar Thursday rejected a $9 billion takeover bid from Dollar General, favoring its existing merger deal with Dollar Tree.

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—  IT'S THE ECONOMY —

— Weekly jobless claims continue to fall, with the U.S. Department of Labor Thursday saying claims dropped by 14,000 last week.

— Just-released minutes from the July meeting of the Federal Reserve show officials are mixed on when to exactly start raising rates again. In the end, the pace of job recovery and the number of people still unemployed weighed on officials and ultimately led them to hold rates steady, for now.

— Existing home sales in the United States also jumped in July, hitting its highest level since 2010.

-- TECH BITES --

— Amazon is going to start selling physical books in Brazil.

— Meanwhile, audio file sharing service Soundclould said it will start paying artists whose music is streamed from the site.

-- SOCIAL STRIKES BACK —

After Islamic State militants used social media this week to distribute their graphic video of journalist James Foley's beheading, companies such as Twitter and Google, as well as users of the services, are pushing back to keep such militant propaganda from spreading.

-- COMPANY EARNINGS --

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— Kids clothing retailer The Children's Place narrowed its loss to $10.7 million in the second quarter following expansion plans in India and the Caribbean. The New Jersey-based company also lifted its low-end profit outlook for the year.

— On the other hand, losses at department store operator Sears widened in the second quarter to $573 million as sales continue to slump.

—  RUSSIA'S MAC ATTACK —

Food safety officials in Russia are reportedly conducting checks at McDonald's restaurants in the country following complaints. The news comes a day after Russia shut four McDonald's in Moscow amid rising East-West tensions.

-- NOT MY NOODLES —

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Shoppers in South Korea are not going to let a recent study on the health risks of eating a lot of instant noodles stop them from enjoying what is a cultural staple.

-- NEWS WITH WHEELS —

All right, all right, all right. Lincoln has a new pitch man: Matthew McConaughey.

 

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