Business briefing

The daily business briefing: March 8, 2017

A judge denies request to block Dakota Access Pipeline completion, Uber CEO seeks help rebounding from scandals, and more

1

Judge denies tribes' request to block Dakota Access Pipeline completion

A federal judge on Tuesday denied a request by the Standing Rock Sioux and Cheyenne River tribes to halt work on a final piece of the Dakota Access Pipeline, clearing the way for oil to start flowing through the pipeline as soon as next week. The tribes said that the pipeline had damaged culturally significant sites and threatens the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation's drinking water source, Lake Oahe, on the Missouri River in North Dakota. U.S. District Judge James Boasberg denied the tribes' request for a preliminary injunction, saying it was unlikely that they could win their lawsuit. Former President Barack Obama had called for a halt to construction so the Army Corps of Engineers could seek an alternative route, but President Trump ordered construction to resume.

2

Uber CEO seeks help rebounding from scandals

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick confirmed Tuesday that he is looking for a chief operating officer to serve as his second in command. The search comes as Kalanick and his ride-hailing service faces a backlash over sexual harassment allegations and a series of controversial public moves by Kalanick, including an argument with an Uber driver that was caught on video. A week ago, Kalanick acknowledged making mistakes and said he needed to "fundamentally change as a leader and grow up." Some analysts said Kalanick needs to find someone capable of fixing offensive aspects of Uber's aggressive culture without stifling the creativity that made it rocket to a value of $68 billion.

3

Democrats urge EPA not to ditch Obama auto efficiency rules

Leading Senate Democrats on Tuesday sent a letter urging Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt not to scrap new vehicle fuel efficiency rules. Near the end of Barack Obama's presidency, his administration raised the fleet average fuel efficiency target to more than 50 miles per gallon by 2025, up from 27.5 mpg in 2010. Environmentalists say the new standards will cut fuel costs and greenhouse gas pollution. Auto makers have lobbied against the new standards, saying they will increase vehicle costs and are unnecessarily ambitious, given low fuel prices and high demand for SUVs. EPA spokeswoman Cathy Milbourn declined to comment on the Democrats' letter because the EPA had not yet said "how it will proceed on the vehicle emission standards."

4

Strike aims to demonstrate women's economic power

The leaders of the Women's March on Washington are helping to coordinate protests in more than 50 countries marking International Women's Day. The events, dubbed "A Day Without Women" or the "Women's Strike," aim to show "the economic power and significance that women have on the U.S. and global economies," according to the organizers. Participants are being encouraged to skip work or school, and avoid buying anything. School districts shut down for the day in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and Alexandria, Virginia, because of the high number of teachers who said they wanted to participate in the strike.

5

Nike introduces 'Pro Hijab' apparel for Muslim women athletes

Nike on Tuesday unveiled the Nike Pro Hijab, athletic apparel designed for Muslim women. The hijab comes in neutral colors and is made with an opaque fabric that is also lightweight and breathable. It will go on sale in the spring of 2018. Nike reportedly began developing the Pro Hijab after Muslim athletes complained that wearing a traditional scarf made competing difficult. Emirati figure skater Zahra Lari said she was "thrilled and a bit emotional to see Nike prototyping." The announcement came just weeks after Nike Middle East released a controversial ad featuring Arab women playing sports while grappling with cultural expectations.

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