The daily business briefing: September 7, 2018

Harold Maass
Drew Angerer/Getty Images
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Economy adds 201,000 jobs in August, wage growth rises

Hiring continued at a strong pace in August with U.S. employers adding 201,000 jobs, the Labor Department reported Friday morning. The numbers came in at or above what economists polled by MarketWatch and Reuters expected. The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.9 percent. July's gain was revised to 149,000 from an initially reported 159,000, and June's was reduced from 248,000 to 208,000. Economists had predicted strong hiring encouraged by healthy consumer demand and economic growth. The yearly rate of pay increases hit the highest level since the end of the Great Recession in June 2009, rising from 2.7 percent to 2.9 percent. [MarketWatch, CNBC]


Twitter bans Alex Jones over 'abusive' post

Twitter announced Thursday that it had permanently banned conservative conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and his Infowars site after he live-streamed himself verbally attacking a CNN reporter outside a congressional hearing where Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey was testifying. The micro-blogging site said in a statement that Jones' conduct violated its rules against "abusive behavior." Dorsey and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg testified before Congress this week on their efforts to weed out offensive content and misinformation spread by foreign sources to try to influence the U.S. electorate. Twitter recently had suspended Jones for a week but resisted banning him outright as other social media companies had done. [The Washington Post]


Ford recalls 2 million F-150 pickups

Ford announced Thursday that it is recalling two million F-150 pickup trucks because of a seat belt problem that can cause sparks and fires. Ford, the No. 2 U.S. automaker, said it had received 17 reports of smoke or fire in the U.S., and six in Canada. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said "two fires self-extinguished, while the other three vehicles were totally destroyed by the fire." There have been no reported injuries linked to the defect. Ford is offering to fix the problem for free. The company put the cost of the recall at $140 million in a securities filing, but left its guidance on full-year earnings unchanged. [Reuters, NPR]


Prosecutors charge North Korean with cyberattack

Federal prosecutors said Thursday they had charged a computer programmer working for the North Korean government, Park Jin Hyok, with cyberattacks that infected computers in 150 countries with the WannaCry ransomware virus. The hacking targeted Sony Pictures Entertainment in 2014 and spread from there. Park, who is believed to be in North Korea, also was charged with conspiring to launch attacks that resulted in the theft of $81 million from a Bangladesh bank, according to the charges, which were unsealed in a Los Angeles court after a years-long investigation. The FBI had long suspected North Korea was behind the hacking. "The criminal conduct outlined in this case is intolerable," said Tracy Wilkison, the first assistant U.S. attorney in Los Angeles. [The Associated Press]


British Airways customers' credit card data hacked

Hackers accessed the credit card data from 380,000 British Airways transactions this summer, the airline's CEO, Alex Cruz, said Friday. Cruz called the two-week breach a "sophisticated, malicious criminal attack," and said the hackers had obtained enough information to expose the victims to financial fraud. "We know that the information that has been stolen is name, address, email address, credit card information; that would be credit card number, expiration date, and the three-letter code in the back of the credit card," he said. Cruz added that the company would do whatever it takes to help any customers who are victims of fraud. "We are 100 percent committed to compensate them, period," Cruz told BBC News. Police are investigating. [BBC News]