Norfolk Southern buys rail line to Chattanooga
Norfolk Southern Corp. has agreed to buy the Cincinnati Southern Railway for $1.62 billion to provide the Atlanta-based Norfolk Southern with another 337 miles of rail line between Cincinnati and Chattanooga.
The Cincinnati Southern Railways is currently owned by the city of Cincinnati and operated by the Cincinnati, New Orleans and Texas Pacific Railway Company (CNOTP), a wholly owned subsidiary of Norfolk Southern Railway, under a lease agreement expiring in 2026.
The agreement will give Norfolk Southern ownership of approximately 9,500 acres of land that sits under infrastructure maintained and operated by Norfolk Southern. The line is one of the highest density segments of the company's network, with as many as 30 trains a day traveling the route.
"The Cincinnati Southern Railway is a critical artery linking the Midwest and the Southeast and plays an important role in our powerful network that serves more than half the U.S. population," Norfolk Southern President and Chief Executive Officer Alan H. Shaw said in an announcement of the purchase. "This agreement sets the framework for Norfolk Southern to own a core line in our network in perpetuity, allowing us to advance our strategic objectives of improving service, enhancing productivity, and creating an even stronger platform for accelerated growth, all while eliminating uncertainty around future control of the line and lease costs."
The transaction is projected to be completed in the first half of 2024, Norfolk Southern said in an announcement of the deal.
FCC bans sales of some Chinese video systems
The U.S. is banning the sale of communications equipment made by Chinese companies Huawei and ZTE and restricting the use of some China-made video surveillance systems, citing an "unacceptable risk" to national security.
The five-member Federal Communications Commission said Friday it has voted unanimously to adopt new rules that will block the importation or sale of certain technology products that pose security risks to U.S. critical infrastructure. It's the latest in a years-long escalation of U.S. restrictions of Chinese technology that began with President Donald Trump and has continued under President Joe Biden's administration.
"The FCC is committed to protecting our national security by ensuring that untrustworthy communications equipment is not authorized for use within our borders, and we are continuing that work here," said FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel, a Democrat, in a prepared statement.
Along with Huawei and ZTE, the order affects products made by companies such as Hikvision and Dahua, makers of widely used video surveillance cameras.
The FCC's order applies to future authorizations of equipment, though the agency leaves open the possibility it could revoke previous authorizations.
"Our unanimous decision represents the first time in FCC history that we have voted to prohibit the authorization of new equipment based on national security concerns," tweeted Brendan Carr, a Republican FCC commissioner.
Adidas investigates claims against Kenya West
Adidas says it is investigating allegations of inappropriate workplace conduct by the rapper formerly known as Kanye West that ex-employees made in an anonymous letter also accusing the German sportswear brand of looking the other way.
Adidas, which made his Yeezy line, cut ties with Ye last month over his offensive and antisemitic remarks after facing pressure to follow other brands and companies in ending partnerships with the rapper. It said it expected to take a hit of 250 million euros ($246 million) to its net income this year from the move.
Ye was suspended from Twitter and Instagram over his remarks but has been back tweeting this month.
Rolling Stone has reported that it spoke to more than two dozen former Yeezy and Adidas workers and obtained a letter from several former Yeezy employees to the sportswear company alleging that Ye created a toxic work environment by showing sexual photos and videos in meetings, making vulgar comments and bullying the people who worked for him. All the former employees spoke to the magazine on condition of anonymity.
The letter accused the company of knowing about the problematic behavior and failing to protect employees.
"It is currently not clear whether the accusations made in an anonymous letter are true. However, we take these allegations very seriously and have taken the decision to launch an independent investigation of the matter immediately to address the allegations," Claudia Lange, head of media relations for Adidas, said in a statement Friday.
She said the company was not sharing more details about the investigation for now.
German economy grows 0.4% in the third quarter
Germany's economy saw stronger-than-expected growth in the third quarter as consumer spending picked up after the lifting of pandemic restrictions.
Official figures released Friday show gross domestic product in Europe's biggest economy grew by 0.4% from July to September, 0.1 percentage points higher than previously forecast. GDP is a widely used measure of the production of goods and services in a country, but critics say it provides only a one-sided account of how an economy is going.
The Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has acknowledged that GDP "falls short of providing a suitable measure of people's material well-being for which alternative indicators may be more appropriate."
— Compiled by Dave Flessner