TJX sells its stake in Russian stores

RETAIL

Amazon closes physical stores

Amazon is closing all of its brick-and-mortar bookstores, along with its 4-star stores and pop-up locations, as the online retail giant reworks its physical footprint. This includes three Massachusetts locations in Natick, Lynnfield and Dedham. Amazon is also pulling out of a deal that would have opened a 4-star store in Providence Place, dealing another blow to the three-story mall in the heart of downtown. The Seattle-based company said on Wednesday that the move, which involves 66 stores in the United States and two in the United Kingdom, will allow it to focus its efforts on Amazon Fresh, Whole Foods Market, its convenience concept called Amazon Go, and its the next Amazon Style stores. Amazon Style, which will sell fashion and accessories, is set to open in a Southern California mall later this year. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

LABOR

London Underground disrupted by strike

Londoners faced travel chaos on Thursday after around 10,000 transport workers walked off the job for the second day of the week, leaving nearly all of the capital’s Tube lines suspended or severely disrupted. Members of the rail, maritime and transport union have been on strike for 24 hours in a dispute over jobs, pensions and working conditions. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

INTERNATIONAL

Court says ex-Nissan executive helped Ghosn understate his salary

A Japanese court found former Nissan executive Greg Kelly guilty of helping Carlos Ghosn underreport compensation in 2017, but cleared the American of the charges for other years and handed him a sentence suspended sentence, drawing a line under one of the most shocking corporate takedowns of the past. decade. In a decision hailed by the United States, Chief Justice Kenji Shimotsu suspended Kelly’s six-month sentence in his decision on Thursday, ending 17 months of litigation that essentially served as a proxy trial against the former president. from Nissan. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

UKRAINE

The head of a Russian oil company seized a yacht in France

Rosneft Chairman and CEO Igor Sechin’s superyacht has been seized by French customs officials on the French Riviera, as part of European Union sanctions against wealthy Russians closely linked to President Vladimir Putin. The Amore Vero was confiscated in the Mediterranean port of La Ciotat, near Marseille, as it prepared for an urgent departure, according to the French finance ministry. A spokesman for France‘s Budget Minister Oliver Dussopt said the boat had been prevented from leaving but the asset had not been seized by the state. On Wednesday, Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov’s superyacht, the world’s largest by volume, was seized by German authorities in Hamburg, according to Forbes. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

UKRAINE

Toyota and other automakers pull out of Russia

Japan’s biggest automakers have joined the growing global withdrawal of Russian companies, following Ford and Exxon Mobil Corp., which chose not to do business there after the invasion of Ukraine. Toyota said it was halting production at its St. Petersburg plant and would halt vehicle shipments to Russia. Nissan, Honda and Subaru will halt exports of cars and motorcycles to the country, while Mazda is suspending shipments of parts to a factory in Russia, the Nikkei reported. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

DAIRY

USDA to provide $20 million in aid to Vermont dairy farmers

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is allocating $80 million in federal pandemic rescue funds to support innovation in the dairy industry, U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy and Rep. Peter Welch of Vermont announced. The country’s four dairy company innovation initiatives in Vermont, California, Tennessee and Wisconsin will be able to access up to $20 million each. The funding is in addition to the $18.4 million announced last fall for three of the centers in Vermont, Tennessee and Wisconsin, with annual budgets of $6 million, Leahy and Welch said. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

SOCIAL NETWORKS

Twitter expands fact-checking project

Twitter is expanding Birdwatch, its crowd-based fact-checking project that began as a small, low-profile pilot program more than a year ago. The program allows ordinary people to report and rate misleading tweets. This is separate from Twitter’s fact-checking partnerships with The Associated Press and Reuters. Beginning Thursday, a random small group of American Twitter users began seeing these Birdwatch ratings on certain tweets, the company said. They will be able to evaluate them as useful or not. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

MORTGAGES

Rates fall, remain at historically low levels

Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates fell this week and remain at historic lows, just as the Federal Reserve prepares to raise its key lending rate later this month. The average rate on a 30-year loan fell to 3.76% this week from 3.89% last week, mortgage buyer Freddie Mac reported Thursday. A year ago, the long-term rate was 3.02%. The average rate on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages, popular among those refinancing their homes, fell to 3.01% from 3.14% a week earlier. It stood at 2.34% a year ago. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

FINANCE

Deutsche Bank is investigating staff use of private messaging

Deutsche Bank is carrying out an internal investigation into the extent to which staff used private messaging channels such as WhatsApp, part of a crackdown by US regulators on banks that do not store business-related communications. Deutsche Bank and the industry as a whole were on high alert after US financial supervisors in December fined Wall Street rival JPMorgan Chase $200 million for failing to comply with rules requiring lenders to keep records of staff messages for regulatory review. Since then, HSBC, Goldman Sachs and Citigroup have also said they were included in the industry-wide survey. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

LABOR

Amazon workers at Amazon’s second New York plant meet union vote demands

Amazon workers at a second plant in New York have qualified to hold a union election, according to an Amazon Labor Union lawyer. The upstart group collected enough signatures from employees at the LDJ5 warehouse on Staten Island, said Eric Milner, an attorney for the ALU. The union had previously won approval from the National Labor Relations Board to hold an election at the nearby JFK8 distribution center, where voting will take place from March 25 to March 30. Amazon is also fighting an attempt to unionize a warehouse in Alabama, where a retail union was given a second chance after losing an election last year. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

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