With extra barriers and even more simulation, self-driving cars gear up to start testing again | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

In Pittsburgh, Uber, Aurora Innovation, Argo AI and Aptiv are competing to develop self-driving cars quickly and safely.

Most autonomous vehicle companies parked the cars and paused testing amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. For safety reasons, companies typically have two people in self-driving cars when they are operating autonomously, making social distancing nearly impossible.

Now, as Pennsylvania moves forward with phased reopening plans, some are revving their engines again.

The nearly two-month pause did not cause delays in development, most companies said. In Pittsburgh, Uber, Aurora Innovation, Argo AI and Aptiv, which recently partnered with Hyundai Motor Group, are competing to develop self-driving cars quickly and safely.

Using simulations to work on their software, security guards to test car sensors and Slack channels to chronicle work-from-home adventures, each company claims to be making progress in the autonomous vehicle race.

Source: With extra barriers and even more simulation, self-driving cars gear up to start testing again | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Flights from Arnold Palmer airport to Fort Lauderdale, Myrtle Beach resume June 25 | TribLIVE.com

Commercial flights from Arnold Palmer Regional Airport to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Myrtle Beach, S.C., are slated to resume next month, according to officials at the Unity airport.

Commercial flights from Arnold Palmer Regional Airport to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Myrtle Beach, S.C., are slated to resume next month, according to officials at the Unity airport.

Source: Flights from Arnold Palmer airport to Fort Lauderdale, Myrtle Beach resume June 25 | TribLIVE.com

Macy’s CEO: $10B in sales up for grabs because of retail bankruptcies

  • “We see there’s about $10 billion worth of opportunity that’s up for grabs right now based on on what’s going on with the competitive climate,” CEO Jeff Gennette said.
  • Already during the pandemic, department store chains Neiman Marcus, Stage Stores and J.C. Penney have filed for bankruptcy protection.
  • Pier 1 Imports is winding down its business. Stage Stores could liquidate as well.

Source: Macy’s CEO: $10B in sales up for grabs because of retail bankruptcies

J.C. Penney is closing 240 stores as part of its bankruptcy plan – CBS News

The 118-year-old retail chain has not said which stores will close. The company filed for bankruptcy last week.

The company’s bankruptcy comes days after J.C. Penney gave its top executives millions of dollars in bonus pay. Soltau received $4.5 million, while chief financial officer Bill Wafford, chief merchant officer Michelle Wlazlo and chief human resources officer Brynn Evanson each got $1 million.

Source: J.C. Penney is closing 240 stores as part of its bankruptcy plan – CBS News

Richard Burr: Senate intelligence chief steps down for FBI probe – BBC News

The Republican chairman of the US Senate intelligence committee will step down while an insider trading inquiry is carried out.

Richard Burr of North Carolina said he had decided to do so because he did not want the investigation to distract the committee from its work.

Mr Burr’s phone has been seized by the FBI as part of the inquiry.

The senator, who denies wrongdoing, allegedly used inside information to avoid market losses from coronavirus.

He declined a request for comment.

Mr Burr and his wife sold as much as $1.7m (£1.4m) of equities in February, just before markets plunged on fears of an economic crisis.

It is illegal for members of Congress to trade based on non-public information gathered during their official duties.

Republican Senators Kelly Loeffler of Georgia and James Inhofe of Oklahoma, as well as Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, also reportedly sold holdings before the downturn, but are not confirmed to be under investigation.

Ms Feinstein said she had answered questions from the FBI regarding trades made by her husband, however.

Source: Richard Burr: Senate intelligence chief steps down for FBI probe – BBC News

Giant Eagle Begins Limiting Meat Purchases | Pittsburgh, PA Patch

PITTSBURGH, PA – Giant Eagle is temporarily limiting ground meat and advertised meat product purchases due to increased customer demand for those items.

“In recent days, our supermarkets have experienced increased guest demand for products in our meat department,” the supermarket chain stated in a release. “To discourage bulk purchasing and ensure that we have product available for as many guests as possible, we are temporarily limiting the number of ground beef and advertised meat products guests can purchase at once. In a single transaction, guests are able to purchase two packages of ground beef and up to two of each meat item advertised in our weekly circular.”

Major meat producers such as Smithfield Foods, Tyson Foods and Cargill had to close plants in April after workers contracted the coronavirus. But Giant Eagle says it works with several different suppliers to provide customers with a wide variety of meat options and maintains consistent product availability.

Source: Giant Eagle Begins Limiting Meat Purchases | Pittsburgh, PA Patch

The Pandemic May Mean the End of the Open-Floor Office – The New York Times

As businesses contemplate the return of workers to their desks, many are considering large and small changes to the modern workplace culture and trappings.

SAN FRANCISCO — The modern corporate office is renowned for open, collaborative work spaces, in-house coffee bars and standing desks with room for two giant computer monitors.

Soon, there may be a new must-have perk: the sneeze guard.

A plexiglass barrier that can be mounted on a desk is one of many ideas being mulled by employers as they contemplate a return to the workplace after coronavirus lockdowns. Their post-pandemic makeovers may include hand sanitizers built into desks that are positioned at 90-degree angles or that are enclosed by translucent plastic partitions; air filters that push air down and not up; outdoor gathering space to allow collaboration without viral transmission; and windows that actually open, for freer air flow.

Source: The Pandemic May Mean the End of the Open-Floor Office – The New York Times

Trump Plans to Sign Executive Order to Prevent Meat Shortage – The New York Times

WASHINGTON — President Trump said on Tuesday that he would declare meat processing plants “critical infrastructure” to ensure that facilities around the country remained open as the government tried to prevent looming shortages of pork, chicken and other products as a result of the coronavirus.

The action comes as meat plants around the country have turned into coronavirus hot spots, sickening thousands of workers, and after the head of Tyson Foods, one of the country’s largest processors, warned that millions of pounds of meat would simply disappear from the supply chain.

While Mr. Trump said the step would ensure an ample supply of meat, the announcement provoked swift backlash from unions and labor advocates, who said the administration needed to do more to protect workers who often stand shoulder to shoulder in refrigerated assembly lines. At least 20 workers have already died of coronavirus, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union said.

Source: Trump Plans to Sign Executive Order to Prevent Meat Shortage – The New York Times

Georgia Restaurants Opened Their Doors Today—Here’s How It Went

Georgia is one of the first states in the country to significantly ease social distancing restrictions.

“A lot of people, I think, want to get back to the new normal, which will be social distancing and all that,” Chris Heithaus, manager of 87 Waffle House restaurants in Georgia and the Carolinas, told the Associated Pressadding, “But they will be able to eat inside the restaurant.”

The majority of restaurants did not reopen but a few—including Waffle House’s 330  chain restaurants and more than twelve other restaurants in the Atlanta metro area—did, despite backlash from health officials and users online; “This is a really bad idea—I hope you are paying your workers extra and protect them,” said one user in response to a post on Instagram from Rocky Mountain Pizza announcing their reopening.

For those that did reopen, though, it wasn’t life as normal: Restaurants are required to adhere to a set of 39 guidelines laid out by the state government, including a mandate that all employees wear masks, owners screen employees for signs of illness, and restrictions on the amount of customers allowed inside at the same time.

Many owners that refused to allow dine-in service did so because they felt it was too early or unsafe, while others said they were waiting for more guidance from the state.

Source: Georgia Restaurants Opened Their Doors Today—Here’s How It Went

Tyson Foods warns that “the food supply chain is breaking’ as plants close – CNN

New York (CNN Business)Tyson Foods (TSN) is warning that “millions of pounds of meat” will disappear from the supply chain as the coronavirus pandemic pushes food processing plants to close, leading to product shortages in grocery stores across the country.

“The food supply chain is breaking,” wrote board chairman John Tyson in a full-page advertisement published Sunday in The New York Times, Washington Post and Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
US farmers don’t have anywhere to sell their livestock, he said, adding that “millions of animals — chickens, pigs and cattle — will be depopulated because of the closure of our processing facilities.”
“There will be limited supply of our products available in grocery stores until we are able to reopen our facilities that are currently closed,” Tyson wrote.

Source: Tyson Foods warns that “the food supply chain is breaking’ as plants close – CNN