Today’s Business Beat – Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014

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Workers rally for $15 an hour

Hundreds of workers from McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Wendy’s and other fast-food chains walked off their jobs Thursday in Chicago and other cities as part of the latest national protest to push the companies to pay their employees at least $15 an hour. A group briefly shut down 87th Street on Chicago’s South Side.

United adds larger version of Boeing Dreamliner

United Airlines is showing confidence in Boeing’s 787 by taking delivery of the new, larger version of the jet that Boeing calls the Dreamliner.

ALSO: Boeing increases forecasts for jet demand in China

Tyson Foods expects 2015 earnings to rise 10%

Tyson Foods Inc., which acquired Chicago-based Hillshire Brands last week, expects earnings per share to increase 10 percent in fiscal 2015.

Google to refund $19M; settles with FTC over in-app charges

Google has agreed to pay full refunds totaling at least $19 million to consumers who were charged for purchases that children made via apps without parental consent from the Google Play app store.

Navistar gets contract to upgrade Army vehicles

The Navistar Defense plant at West Point, Mississippi, will upgrade the Army’s Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles as part of a $38.4 million contract.

Home Depot CEO: Probe of possible breach continues

Home Depot’s outgoing CEO Frank Blake told investors Thursday the nation’s largest home-improvement chain continues to investigate a potential breach at the company and reassured that customers will not be liable for any potential fraudulent charges.

Cigarette maker Reynolds taking nicotine gum national

Cigarette maker Reynolds American Inc. is taking its Zonnic brand nicotine gum nationwide, challenging the pharmaceutical industry’s hold and pricing power of the market for products to help people stop smoking.

Nespresso opens its coffee machines to knockoffs

After years of surrounding its coffee machines and their pods with patents, Nespresso agreed Thursday to open up to knockoff capsules to competitors around the world.

Toyota: Cars will be safer, but still need drivers

Your car soon will do more to help avoid a crash. As for one day leaving all the driving to the vehicle while you relax in back, don’t get your hopes up. That’s the message from safety executives at Toyota.

BP’s reckless conduct led to 2010 Gulf spill: judge

A federal judge has ruled that BP’s reckless conduct resulted in the nation’s worst offshore oil spill, leaving the company open to billions of dollars in penalties.

Apple supplier in China accused of violations

An Apple supplier in China is violating safety and pay rules despite the computer giant’s promises to improve conditions, two activist groups said Thursday, ahead of the expected release of the iPhone 6.

Nordstrom approves buyback of up to $1B shares

Nordstrom’s board has authorized the repurchase of up to $1 billion of the luxury retailer’s outstanding shares through March 1, 2016.

European Central Bank surprises with rate cuts, new stimulus plan

The European Central Bank says it will start a new stimulus program that involves buying financial assets to salvage a weak economic recovery.

US worker productivity up 2.3 percent in 2Q

U.S. workers’ productivity increased 2.3 percent in the April-June quarter rebounding from a big decline in the first quarter. Labor costs edged down in the second quarter.

Mattress Firm buying Sleep Train for $425 million

Mattress Firm is buying The Sleep Train Inc. for $425 million to help bolster its position in the specialty retail bedding industry.

Neiman Marcus to open its first store in NYC

Luxury retailer Neiman Marcus is opening its first store in New York City. The 250,000-square-foot store will anchor a new retail complex on Manhattan’s West Side.

Fiat-Chrysler merger on, insufficient opposition

Fiat SpA says its merger with Chrsyler is going ahead since there isn’t enough opposition to derail it. The merger has been in the works since Fiat took a 20 percent share of Chrysler in 2009.

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