Facebook is raising how much it pays U.S. contractors who do some of its most taxing work, including watching violent and other objectionable material for possible removal.

Facebook will pay at least $18 an hour for these jobs. Those in New York City, Washington, D.C., and the San Francisco Bay area will get $22 per hour due to a higher cost of living. Facebook said its minimum pay for all contractors has been $15 per hour.

The content review jobs are psychologically taxing. Facebook has been criticized for not paying the workers enough and not providing enough support. Reports have documented that some of them have been left with post-traumatic stress symptoms from the work.

Facebook said Monday it's also adding tools for content moderators to have graphic images blurred out or shown in black and white before they see it.


Gas prices drop 6.2 cents a gallon

Chattanooga gas prices fell by their biggest weekly amount in four months last week and are likely to continue to decline this month, according to a report released Monday by the online gas price reporting service

The average price of regular gas in Chattanooga dropped another 6.2 cents per gallon last week to $2.41 per gallon, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 170 local stations. Gas prices in Chattanooga are down 9.5 cents per gallon in the past month and are now 11.4 cents per gallon lower than a year ago. Local prices at the pump average 44 cents per gallon less than the U.S. average price for regular fuel of $2.85 a gallon.

"Relief at the pump has indeed begun across the country with a majority of states seeing average prices decline versus a week ago, giving solid evidence the worst is likely behind us," said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy. ""For most Americans, I think we'll slowly all join in on the falling prices and by June, the national average may stand 5-20 cents lower than today, provided there's no trade deal with the U.S. and China, whereas a trade deal could lead to a second hurrah at the pump."


Baltimore waterfront begins major renewal

A $5.5 billion redevelopment effort in Baltimore that's been touted as one of America's biggest urban renewal efforts is moving forward, as officials held a ceremonial groundbreaking for the latest construction phase.

Developers and politicians held the ceremony for the Port Covington initiative on Monday. The South Baltimore project aims to transform a mostly industrial waterfront into an 18 million-square-foot mixed-use complex.

One of the project's owners is investment banking giant Goldman Sachs.

Political leaders have enthusiastically backed the redevelopment vision conceived by Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank. At the Monday groundbreaking, Baltimore Mayor Bernard "Jack" Young portrayed it as "vitally important" to the future of Maryland's biggest city.

In 2016, Baltimore authorized a $660 million tax increment financing deal to pave the way for the Port Covington plans.


Perdue urges Japan to buy U.S. beef

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue has picked up his barbeque tongs to convey his message to Japan: Buy more American beef.

Perdue said Monday that as a top consumer of U.S. beef, Japan should treat the U.S. fairly. He said he hoped President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will strike a trade deal during his boss's visit to Japan later this month, but acknowledged more time might be needed.

"We're saying treat us as a prime customer the way we treated Japanese products for many years," Perdue told reporters after cooking some beef and pork on a Tokyo shopping mall rooftop, using his family's barbecue sauce recipe.

Perdue also expressed impatience with the progress of trade talks that have been going on for more than two years.

"From my perspective and our farmers in America, I'd have preferred it done yesterday, but the reality is these things take time," he said.