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May 25, 2012
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Today’s Lane Links

Amazon to improve warehouses; UofL gets grant to help paralysis victims; gas prices down

By Lorie Hailey
Associate Editor

Amazon.com, addressing issues that have drawn heavy criticism of the company, told shareholders Thursday that it planned to improve warehouse conditions and drop its membership in a conservative public-policy organization, the Seattle Times reports.

More than 100 protesters rallied outside the company’s annual shareholders meeting Thursday at the Seattle Art Museum, calling on the Internet retailer — which has a warehouse in Lexington — to pay more taxes, treat its workers better and drop its membership in the American Legislative Exchange Council, the paper says.

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The University of Louisville has received $6.3 million from the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust to support research in the Department of Neurological Surgery and the Kentucky Spinal Cord Injury Research Center at UofL developing the next generation of technology to help paralyzed people regain movement in their limbs and enhance their quality of life.

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After topping out at $3.92 in early April, gasoline now averages $3.68 a gallon. Weak demand, slumping crude oil prices and ample inventories could push prices to $3.55 by mid-June, says Brian Milne, analyst at Telvent DTN, reports USA TODAY.

That’s a far cry from $5-a-gallon fears in early 2012, when crude prices surged earlier and faster than ever before on fears that tensions with Iran threatened supplies, the paper says.

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The head of a typical public company made $9.6 million in 2011, according to an analysis by The Associated Press using data from Equilar, an executive pay research firm.

That was up more than 6 percent from the previous year. The figure is also the highest since the AP began tracking executive compensation in 2006.

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The Times-Picayune, a 175-year-old fixture in New Orleans and a symbol of the city’s gritty resilience during Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath, has buckled under the pressures of the modern newspaper market, reports the New York Times.

Advance Publications, owned by the Newhouse family, said Thursday it would scale back the printed edition to three days a week and impose staff cuts as a way to reduce costs as well as shift its emphasis to expanded online coverage, the Times reports.

The decision will leave New Orleans as the most prominent American city without a newspaper that is printed every day.

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