Facebook will block President Trump on its platforms, including Instagram, at least until the end of his term, chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said in a post on Thursday.
âThe shocking events of the last 24 hours clearly demonstrate that President Donald Trump intends to use his remaining time in office to undermine the peaceful and lawful transition of power to his elected successor, Joe Biden,â Mr. Zuckerberg wrote.
âWe believe the risks of allowing the president to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great,â he said. âTherefore, we are extending the block we have placed on his Facebook and Instagram accounts indefinitely and for at least the next two weeks until the peaceful transition of power is complete.â
Facebook had previously said it would suspend Mr. Trump’s account for 24 hours after several of the presidentâs posts on Wednesday appeared to stoke the violence in the Capitol. Mr. Trump also faced a suspension from Twitter, which locked his account for 12 hours and required him to delete three tweets that the company said could incite violence in order to regain access.
The unprecedented decisions from Twitter and Facebook come after the social media companies have for years allowed Mr. Trump to violate their policies without repercussions.
In recent months, Twitter and Facebook had begun to push back on the presidentâs posts, adding fact-checking labels to some of his most incendiary statements. Mr. Trump fired back, signing an executive order intended to strip legal protections from the social media companies and claiming they were censoring conservative voices.
The suspensions effectively cut Mr. Trump off from the megaphone he has used to rile his base and could fuel further outrage from the president. He has more than 88 million followers on Twitter and 35 million followers on Facebook.
For years, Mr. Zuckerberg and other executives at Facebook had given Mr. Trump significant leeway on his Facebook account, often allowing the presidentâs false statements to stay up on the network despite heavy criticism.
Mr. Zuckerberg has repeatedly said he did not want Facebook to be âthe arbiter of truthâ in political discourse and that he believed strongly in protecting speech across Facebook, the platform he founded that is now used by more than three billion people globally.
âWe did this because we believe that the public has a right to the broadest possible access to political speech, even controversial speech,â Mr. Zuckerberg said in his note on Thursday morning.
âThe current context is now fundamentally different, involving use of our platform to incite violent insurrection against a democratically elected government,â Mr. Zuckerberg said.
Shopify, the company that powers e-commerce sites for more than one million merchants, said on Thursday that it had closed online stores tied to President Trump, including those run by the Trump Organization and the Trump campaign.
A company representative said that the sites violated a policy that prohibits the support of organizations or people âthat threaten or condone violence to further a cause.â Users who navigated to sites like TrumpStore.com and shop.donaldjtrump.com were met with messages that the sites were unavailable.
Cached versions of the sites show that they had sold merchandise like $45 pairs of Trump-branded champagne flutes, $30 âMake America Great Againâ hats and a $24 poster of a cartoon of Mr. Trump punching into the air.
Shopify, which said that it âdoes not tolerate actions that incite violence,â declined to say how many sites were affected over all.
âBased on recent events, we have determined that the actions by President Donald J. Trump violate our Acceptable Use Policy, which prohibits promotion or support of organizations, platforms or people that threaten or condone violence to further a cause,â the Shopify representative said. âAs a result, we have terminated stores affiliated with President Trump.â
Shopifyâs technology makes it simple for individuals to make retail websites with as little as an email address and a credit card. At the outset of the pandemic last year, the company closed thousands of sites that claimed to be selling virus-fighting products.
American Airlines said on Thursday that it had banned alcohol on flights to and from Washington at least through Thursday night and was taking other precautions to keep its employees and passengers safe after a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol on Wednesday.
The company said it had increased staffing at the areaâs three main airports. United Airlines said it has also stepped up airport staffing and had moved crews out of hotels in downtown Washington earlier in the week. American, United and Delta Air Lines said they were in close contact with local and federal authorities.
Even before the attack on the Capitol, airline crews and passengers had reported encountering unruly passengers headed to Washington early on Wednesday. Flight attendant unions expressed concern after members reported having to confront passengers who were being disruptive, behaving aggressively or flouting mask requirements. Video and photos posted on social media showed pro-Trump passengers cheering, singing and yelling at other passengers.
âWe are incredibly concerned about recent politically motivated incidents on board passenger aircraft,â Julie Hedrick, president of the Association of Professional Flight Attendants, which represents 27,000 American flight attendants, said in a statement. âRegardless of oneâs political beliefs, the cabin of a commercial aircraft must, out of necessity, be a calm environment for the safety of everyone onboard.â
In a note to members on Wednesday, Ms. Hedrick said that the airline would move all layover crews to airport hotels through next Sunday and offer private transportation to area airports. âRemain extra vigilant on flights departing from the Washington, D.C., area for the next few days, and involve your fellow crew members if you have safety concerns,â she wrote.
In a separate statement, Sara Nelson, the president of the Association of Flight Attendants, which has tens of thousands of members at 17 airlines, called on airlines and law enforcement to take âall stepsâ necessary to keep passengers and crews safe.
âThe mob mentality behavior that took place on several flights to the D.C. area yesterday was unacceptable and threatened the safety and security of every single person onboard,â she said in the statement on Wednesday.
German car and truck maker Daimler, which operates factories in Alabama and other states, joined other Europeans on Thursday in expressing dismay at the storming of the Capitol in Washington, suggesting that political polarization is bad for the economy.
âThe United States Congress has been a symbol of freedom and democracy around the world for centuries,â Daimler, which builds Mercedes-Benz cars at a factory in Tuscaloosa, Ala., said in a statement. âWe are saddened to see lawlessness and violence on Capitol Hill and hope that there will now be a peaceful transition of power to the incoming administration.â
âAs a company, we depend on a reliable and stable political framework that supports the creation of prosperity, employment and economic growth,â Daimler said.
Almost all of Alabamaâs congressional delegation supported efforts to overturn the results of the presidential election. Representative Terri Sewell, a Democrat whose district includes Tuscaloosa, was an exception.
Besides being a major part of the Alabama economy, Daimler also builds Freightliner and Western Star trucks and Thomas Built Buses in Portland, Ore., and several other locations. The company employs more than 25,000 people in the United States, where it generated more than $20 billion in sales during the first half of 2020.
Stocks rose again on Thursday, after having maintained gains on Wednesday even as chaos erupted in Washington as a pro-Trump mob overran the Capitol building, as investors kept their focus on the prospects for increased federal spending by the incoming government.
The S&P 500 rose more than 1 percent in early trading, after a 0.6 percent gain on Wednesday. Shares in Europe and Asia were also mostly higher, oil prices and government bond yields edged higher.
The gains on Thursday reflect Wall Streetâs eagerness to look past violence in Washington and to the impact of a government unified under Democratic leadership, analysts said. The rally began on Tuesday after it became apparent that Democrats would effectively control the Senate, after winning a pair of runoff votes in Georgia, and be able to more forcefully push forward with President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.âs plans to bolster the economy with government spending.
âAs disturbing as these events were, markets were largely unfazed, which, we hope, points to this being an aberration,â equity analysts at J.P. Morgan wrote to clients on Thursday. âThe longer-term cue for markets and policy comes from the result of the two Georgia senate runoffs, which both went to Democrats and thus enlivened the âblue wave.ââ
After the order in the Capitol was restored, the Senate and House of Representatives voted early Thursday to certify Mr. Biden as winner of the 2020 presidential election.
Investors are also banking on the rollout of coronavirus vaccines to eventually energize business activity that has been dormant during the pandemic, and, as they have for months, also looked past fresh evidence of the economic catastrophe unfolding. On Thursday, the Labor Department reported that 922,000 workers filed new state claims for unemployment benefits last week, while another 161,000 new claims were filed under a federal program.
Treasury bond yields continued to rise, lifted by expectations that additional fiscal spending in Washington will generate more bond issues, reaching as high as 1.06 percent on 10-year notes. The yield climbed above 1 percent this week for the first time since March.
Economists at Goldman Sachs said they expected Democrats to pass $750 billion in fiscal stimulus in the first quarter of the year. The U.S. investment bank also raised its forecast for economic growth this year to 6.4 percent from 5.9 percent.
Oil was holding on to an 11-month high, after Saudi Arabia announced on Tuesday it would cut oil production. The U.S. crude benchmark, West Texas Intermediate, hit $51.28 a barrel before slipping a bit, while Brent crude reached $54.90.
Wayfair, the furniture and home goods e-commerce business, said on Thursday that all of its U.S. employees would be paid at least $15 an hour. The increase, which went into effect on Jan. 3, applies to full-time, part-time and seasonal workers at the company.
More than 40 percent of Wayfairâs hourly employees working across its U.S. supply chain and customer service operations received a pay bump.
âThroughout the challenges of the past year, we rolled out numerous initiatives to support our team including pay premiums, bonuses and a family dinner program,â Niraj Shah, the companyâs co-founder and chief executive, said in a statement. âNow, as we enter 2021, we are continuing to build upon our steadfast commitment to our team and their families by increasing minimum pay for all hourly employees.â
The retailer, which has 16,700 employees, said it had also provided enhanced benefits to workers during the pandemic, including premium pay to frontline workers, bonuses, child care support and emergency paid time off.
The announcement comes after 20 states and 32 cities and counties raised their minimum wage on Jan. 1. In 27 of these places, the pay floor reached or exceeded $15 an hour, according to a report released by the National Employment Law Project, which supports minimum-wage increases. The federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour hasnât been increased since 2009. President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. has endorsed $15 an hour at the federal level and has backed other changes sought by labor groups, like ending the practice of allowing a lower minimum wage for workers who receive tips, such as restaurant workers.
The federal government released updated rules for lenders just before midnight on Wednesday for the next round of Paycheck Protection Program lending, but it did not set a date for when it expects to begin taking applications.
Lenders anticipate the program could restart as soon as next week. Last monthâs stimulus package included $284 billion for new loans through the small-business relief program, which ended in August after distributing $523 billion to more than five million businesses. In this next round, the hardest-hit business â those whose sales have dropped at least 25 percent from before the pandemic â can qualify for a second loan. First-time borrowers will also be eligible for loans.
The Small Business Administration, which runs the program, plans to give small lenders a head start. In its first two days, the program will accept loan applications only from community lenders like Community Development Financial Institutions, which specialize in working with low-income borrowers and in areas underserved by larger lenders.
For second loans of more than $150,000, applicants will need to provide their lender with records proving their sales have declined. Lenders will need to do a âgood faith reviewâ of those documents, but will be allowed to rely on borrowersâ certifications that their claims are accurate â a win for lenders, which are concerned about being held liable for fraudulent claims.
For smaller loans, borrowers will not need to provide their sales records as part of their application, but the S.B.A. can request them later.
The S.B.A. is scrambling to release a variety of relief measures included in last monthâs stimulus bill, including a $15 billion grant program for music clubs, theaters and other live-events venues. The agency has not yet released any details on that program, and it will not start until after President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. takes office.
The Tiffany-LVMH saga has finally come to a well-polished, multifaceted end. LVMH, the French conglomerate, completed its acquisition of the American jewelry brand on Thursday, and it was out with the old and in with the new â executives, anyway. The fresh slate of power players comes with a pedigree steeped in LVMH tradition, and is sure to set off a new round of speculation over the future leadership of the worldâs largest luxury group.
After a brief transition period, gone will be Reed Krakoff, Tiffanyâs chief artistic director and former New York Fashion Week designer, who tried to update the brand the blue box built with Lady Gaga as a celebrity face and ironic $1,000 silver âtinâ cans. Also leaving will be Daniella Vitale, the chief brand officer, who joined from Barneyâs after that retailer went bankrupt.
In their place comes Alexandre Arnault, the 28-year-old second son of Bernard Arnault, LVMHâs chairman and chief executive. The younger Mr. Arnault has been named executive vice president, product and communications.
Itâs the next step in the ascension of Alexandre Arnault within the family business. He was previously head of Rimowa, the LVMH-owned German luggage brand, and was also the only LVMH family member to accompany his father to the opening of a new Louis Vuitton factory in Texas where President Trump did the ribbon-cutting honors. (His younger brother, FrÃ©dÃ©ric, is chief executive of Tag Heuer; his elder half-brother, Antoine, is chief executive of Berluti, chairman of Loro Piana, an LVMH board member and group director of communications; and his elder half-sister, Delphine, is Louis Vuittonâs executive vice president and an LVMH board member.)
In addition, Michael Burke, the chief executive of Louis Vuitton and a longtime Arnault family consiglieri, will also become chairman of the Tiffany board of directors, and Anthony Ledru, executive vice president for global commercial activities at Louis Vuitton, will take Alessandro Boglioloâs place as Tiffany chief executive.
They will start their positions at a good moment for Tiffany, which earlier this week reported its best holiday sales period in its history and announced it had acquired an 80-carat diamond that would become the largest such stone it had ever offered for sale. Gives new meaning to jewel in the crown.
New claims for unemployment benefits remained high last week, the government reported on Thursday, the latest evidence that the pandemic-racked economy still has a lot of lost ground to make up heading into a new year.
A total of 922,000 workers filed initial claims for state benefits during the final week of 2020, the Labor Department said, while another 161,000 new claims were filed under a federal pandemic jobless program. Neither figure is seasonally adjusted. On a seasonally adjusted basis, new state claims totaled 787,000.
The labor market has improved since the coronavirus pandemic broke out and closed down the economy. But of the more than 22 million jobs that disappeared in the spring, 10 million remain lost.
With a recently enacted $900 billion relief package that includes an extension of federal unemployment benefits, most of the unemployed can at least look forward to more financial help.
Still, âthis winter is going to be very difficult,â said Kathy Bostjancic, chief U.S. financial economist at Oxford Economics. âWeâre seeing overall economic momentum is slowing, and that feeds through to the labor market.â
âEmployers are very cautious about rehiring at the same time they have had to increase layoffs,â Ms. Bostjancic said, âbut the resurgence of the virus is really the main culprit here.â
A fuller picture of December employment will come Friday when the Labor Department releases its monthly jobs report, and most analysts are expecting minor payroll gains â or even the first net loss since April.
As for Thursdayâs report, there was a sharp increase in claims for extended state benefits â payments to the long-term unemployed whose regular benefits have run out. But new claims under the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program fell, most likely reflecting the exhaustion of benefits before Congress acted.
Some fuzziness surrounding the count could be related to the difficulty of seasonally adjusting the numbers over the holidays, said Ernie Tedeschi, the head of fiscal analysis at Evercore ISI. The unadjusted number for new state claims was up by 77,000 from the previous week, while the seasonally adjusted number scarcely budged.
While the availability of vaccines will speed the economyâs return to normal, employers remain wary about hiring, job recruiters say.
Job postings and hiring typically fall off at the end of December, and the trend after the latest holiday season has been more pronounced than usual. âRight now, employers are still cautious related to their work force strategy,â said Amy Glaser, senior vice president at the staffing firm Adecco USA.
The rebound has been bumpy, and employers have responded in kind, retaining flexibility to increase or reduce their staffing through the use of temporary workers, Ms. Glaser said. That could mean more people are cycling through jobs.
Julia Pollak, a labor economist at the online job site ZipRecruiter, has seen the same caution.
âEmployers are being apprehensive, and job seekers are not yet flocking back to the market in droves, either,â Ms. Pollak said. âThe virus is still spreading, hospitalizations have hit a new record, and there is a pullback in demand for certain services. A lot of stay-at-home orders and restrictions are causing a further decline.â
Some industries have managed to thrive. A key measure of manufacturing, for instance, rose this week to its highest level since 2018. Construction spending and employment have grown along with a surge in home buying. Staffing agencies say they have seen hiring in the automotive business and financial services. The demand for warehouse and delivery workers also remains strong.
One of the biggest trends has been the increase in customer service workers and call center representatives operating from home, Ms. Glaser of Adecco said. Those jobs require greater digital literacy than in the past, she said, because individuals must be able to set up their computers and solve problems themselves.
Several states say they are moving quickly to restore federal unemployment benefits that lapsed last month when President Trump delayed signing a second round of federal pandemic relief.
A handful, including New York, Texas, Maryland and California, say they have started sending out the weekly $300 supplement that was part of the legislation, while others like Ohio say they are awaiting more guidance from the U.S. Labor Department.
Michele Evermore, a senior policy analyst at the National Employment Law Project, said that âat least half of the states should have something up by next week.â
Congress approved 11 weeks of additional benefits, and the entire amount will ultimately be delivered to eligible workers even if payments are initially delayed.
âAny claims for the first week will be backdated,â said James Bernsen, deputy director of communications at the Texas Workforce Commission.
In addition to a $300-a-week supplement for those receiving unemployment benefits, the $900 billion emergency relief package renews two other jobless programs created last March as part of the CARES Act.
One, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, covers freelancers, part-time hires, seasonal workers and others who do not normally qualify for state unemployment benefits. A second, Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, extends benefits for workers who have exhausted their state allotment.
This latest round also offers additional assistance for people who cobble together their income by combining a salaried job with freelance gigs. The new program, called Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation, provides a $100 weekly payment to such workers in addition to their Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits.
President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. set aside plans to deliver a speech on the economy on Wednesday afternoon, instead calling for an end to violent protests in Washington and calling on President Trump to stop what he called an âinsurrection.â Mr. Bidenâs speech was expected to emphasize several of his economic priorities, including reiterating calls for another round of financial aid to help people, businesses and state and local governments weather ongoing economic pain from the virus. The president-elect is still expected to deliver economic remarks in the coming days, a transition spokesman said.
Federal Reserve officials were warily eyeing a surge in coronavirus cases at their Dec. 15-16 meeting, but they hoped that vaccine breakthroughs might set the stage for a strong economic rebound in 2021. âWith the pandemic worsening across the country, the expansion was expected to slow even further in coming months,â according to minutes from the gathering of the Federal Open Market Committee, released Wednesday. âNevertheless, the positive vaccine newsâ was âviewed as favorable for the medium-term economic outlook.â
The Labor Department on Wednesday released the final version of a rule that could classify millions of workers in industries like construction, cleaning and the gig economy as contractors rather than employees, another step under the Trump administration toward endorsing the business practices of companies like Uber and Lyft.
News – Facebook Extends Trump Ban âat Leastâ Through End of Term: Live Updates