The Wall Street Journal reports this morning that American Airlines and US Airways are in the final stages of a putting together a merger which could be announced as soon as next week. The combined airline would be the largest in the world.
The government reported this morning that worker productivity fell at the end of last year at the fastest pace in two years -- about 2 percent. Analysts say companies are hiring more and therefore don't have to lean so hard on their current workers.
A new report from the United Nations finds corruption is on the rise in Afghanistan and it's costing the country billions of dollars. The report says fully half of all Afghans are paying bribes.
The world's largest online retailer, Amazon.com, announced this week it will make its own virtual currency: Amazon coins.
And finally, to a job opening in Scotland. They're looking for someone to live on an uninhabited island for six months of the year according to the Daily Mail. They'll pay you about $35,000. Although the only store on the island is a gift shop...so bring your own food and drinking water. The internet connection is also said to be spotty.
The gunman is believed to be a former officer who is angry about his dismissal from the city's force. He allegedly killed two people last weekend and shot three police officers today. One of those officers has died.
The pace of claims for unemployment insurance changed little. That could be a sign that employers are hiring and firing at about the same rate as they did in 2012.
In northeastern Minnesota, moose are dying at an alarming rate. State officials are having difficulty determining why. And though hunters are not part of the problem, the state announced Wednesday that there will be no moose hunting season this coming fall. Disease? Predators? Climate change?
Amazon is known for selling just about everything, from unicorn meat to uranium ore. This week, the retailing giant said it will soon offer its own currency, called the Amazon Coin. Customers can buy the coins and then use them to purchase apps for the Kindle Fire.
“I think there’s a potential for a win-win-win here,” says University of South Carolina retailing professor Karen Edwards.
App developers win because Amazon Coins can be spent within apps, offering them a new revenue stream. Amazon wins because it stands to attract the most talented app developers. And consumers win because Amazon is giving away tens of millions of dollars worth of the currency.
Amazon might be the biggest online company to toy with the idea of virtual money, but it’s not the only one. Facebook developed its own coinage to pay for online games, but saw limited success. Last year, Facebook axed the idea.
Analysts say Amazon is in a better position, because there’s a huge market for the Kindle Fire, Amazon’s mobile device. If Amazon Coins are successful, there’s a potential snowball effect -- that’s what happened for BitPay. Business boomed after a giant blogging portal began taking its virtual money.
“Once WordPress decided to accept BitCoins, a lot of companies came on board following their lead,” says Tony Gillippi, the company’s founder.
Expect to see the Amazon Coin released this May.