Business Briefs: Federal budget deficit up 0.5 percent this year

Business Briefs: Federal budget deficit up 0.5 percent this year

September 14th, 2017 by Staff and Wire Reports in Business Around the Region

Federal budget deficit up 0.5 percent this year

WASHINGTON — The federal government recorded a slightly larger deficit in August than a year ago, and the red ink through the first 11 months of this budget year is well above the same period last year.

The Treasury Department says the August deficit totaled $107.7 billion, up 0.5 percent from a deficit of $107.1 billion last year.


Airlines add flights after hurricanes

Airline executives say their carriers are gradually restoring normal operations in the wake of the back-to-back hurricanes that hit Texas and Florida.

American Airlines CEO Doug Parker told an industry conference in Washington on Wednesday that he expects his airline to be back to "full operation" by Saturday or Sunday. American has a major hub in Miami and canceled thousands of flights as Hurricane Irma roared over Florida.

Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly said the airline is back to "full strength" at Hobby International Airport in Houston, where Hurricane Harvey caused devastating flooding, and at five of the eight airports Southwest serves in Florida.

Kelly says he hopes airports in Tampa, Fort Meyers and Jacksonville, which are still shut down, will reopen on Thursday.


Irma hit Caribbean, spares Disney World

Walt Disney World theme parks and Universal Orlando Resort have reopened after Florida was hit by Hurricane Irma, while the Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg planned to reopen Wednesday.

But many other destinations in Florida and the Caribbean affected by Irma and other storms remain off-limits to visitors. In some cases, it will take days if not weeks to resolve extensive damage or power outages.


Shkreli bail revoked after Clinton comment

Former pharmaceuticals company CEO Martin Shkreli had his bail revoked and was headed to jail Wednesday while awaiting sentencing for a securities fraud conviction.

A judge heard arguments about whether the provocative online antics of Shkreli, dubbed the Pharma Bro, were bad enough to put him behind bars and decided to have him taken into custody immediately.

A defense attorney had argued in court papers that Shkreli's recent offer to pay a $5,000 bounty for securing a Hillary Clinton hair with a follicle while she's on a book tour was merely a tasteless joke comparable to some of President Donald Trump's derisive comments, not a threat worthy of putting him behind bars.

"Indeed, in the current political climate, dissent has unfortunately often taken the form of political satire, hyperbole, parody or sarcasm," wrote the lawyer, Ben Brafman.


Comcast adds YouTube videos on Xfinity X1

Comcast said Wednesday it has added YouTube videos on Xfinity X1, giving viewers quick access to YouTube's vast online video collection alongside the live, on demand, DVR and other web programming already included with Xfinity TV subscriptions.

YouTube content will be accessible via the X1 voice remote and YouTube videos will be featured throughout Xfinity on Demand.

"Giving our customers seamless access to live, on demand and internet content in one place continues to be a key part of our strategy and we are excited to now add YouTube to the X1 experience," said Matt Strauss, executive vice president of Xfinity Services for Comcast Cable.