Business Highlights

Trade body says Boeing was offered illegal tax breaks in US

GENEVA (AP) — U.S. plane maker Boeing received illegal tax breaks from Washington state, a world trade body ruled Monday, adding that the federal government should now take action to end that support.

The World Trade Organization found that the support the state promised to give Boeing from 2024 to 2040, on the condition it keeps certain production in the state, amounted to “prohibited” subsidies. The WTO ruled that $5.7 billion in subsidies were illegal. But Boeing said the figure excessive and only “future incentives” of $50 million a year were found impermissible in the decision.

First flight in half century leaves Miami bound for Havana

MIAMI (AP) — The first regularly scheduled flight to Cuba’s capital in more than a half-century left from Miami on Monday, just three days after the death of Fidel Castro.

Several airlines began routes to other Cuban cities earlier this year. But this flight was the first of the new Havana-bound service and the first of four daily flights American Airlines plans out of Miami International. Several other airlines will commence regular travel to Cuba later in the week.

The flights were made possible under newly restored ties between Cuba and U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration.

Stocks pull back from records; banks, retailers fall

Stocks pulled back slightly on Monday, retreating from the records the market set last week.

Consumer companies and banks took some of the largest losses. Small-company stocks, which have been outperforming the rest of the market for weeks, gave back some of their recent gains. Consumer discretionary stocks were among the hardest hit, following the closely watched post-Thanksgiving sales push.

Fruit of the Loom CEO dies at age 68

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (AP) — Fruit of the Loom says Rick Medlin, its president and CEO for the past six years, has died. He was 68.

The company announced that Medlin died Sunday of natural causes at his home in South Carolina. He had led the Bowling Green, Kentucky-based Fruit of the Loom since August 2010.

The statement called Medlin a “sincere and principled leader” who was proud of the company’s progress.

Fruit of the Loom Inc. is a Berkshire Hathaway company that designs and manufactures family apparel, underwear, and athletic apparel and equipment.

Massachusetts Uber, Lyft screenings called toughest in US

BOSTON (AP) — Drivers for ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft will undergo what state officials call the most comprehensive background checks in the U.S. under agreements announced Monday by Gov. Charlie Baker’s administration.

The screenings will begin on Jan. 6, with both companies guaranteeing that every driver on the road will have passed a thorough state criminal background check by April 3, according to the separately negotiated deals.

The new Massachusetts protocols establish a “national standard” for screening those who drive for the ride-hailing firms, Baker said.

Pilot strike prompts Lufthansa to scrap 1,700 more flights

BERLIN (AP) — Lufthansa is canceling more than 1,700 flights scheduled for the coming two days as a union representing the German airline’s pilots resumes a campaign of strikes.

Lufthansa says it’s scrapping 816 flights on Tuesday and another 890 on Wednesday, affecting around 82,000 and 98,000 passengers respectively. The Cockpit union’s latest walkout follows four consecutive days of strikes from Wednesday to Saturday last week. It is part of a pay dispute that has festered for more than two years.

Thousands protest across India against currency policy

NEW DELHI (AP) — Thousands of people demonstrated across India on Monday to protest the government’s decision to withdraw large-denomination currency from circulation, which has caused enormous hardship to millions of people in its predominantly cash-based economy.

Nearly three weeks ago, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that 500- and 1,000-rupee notes would become worthless overnight and would be replaced by new currency in a bid to stamp out corruption and tax evasion.

The surprise decision pulled 86 percent of the country’s money supply out of circulation, leading to serpentine lines at banks, which often ran short of currency, showing that the government was ill-prepared for the move.