Tech: Apple unwraps supersized new iPhone
Apple this week unveiled its next generation of devices, including “by far the biggest iPhone yet,” said Jacob Kastrenakes in TheVerge.com. The new iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max look similar to their predecessors, but under the hood they have been given significant upgrades—including improved water resistance (up to 2 meters), tougher glass casings, better displays, enhanced stereo sound speakers, speed increases, and what Apple calls an all-new camera system. But it’s the XS Max’s whopping 6.5-inch screen, surpassing even Samsung’s Galaxy Note 9’s, that is most noteworthy. The larger version will start at a price of $1,099.
Vaping: FDA floats ban on Juul
The Food and Drug Administration is threatening to pull flavored electronic cigarettes such as Juul off the market, said Anna Edney in Bloomberg.com. The agency has given the five major e-cigarette manufacturers 60 days to come up with ways to address their products’ use by children and teens. If they fail to find a solution, the FDA may ban the sale of flavored e-cigarettes altogether. Juul seems to be the preferred brand of young vapers—who currently include an estimated 2.1 million middle and high school students.
Unions: Steel workers threaten strike action
Workers at two of the biggest U.S. steelmakers are demanding higher pay as tariffs push steel profits “to their highest point in years,” said Bob Tita in The Wall Street Journal. Steel prices have risen by more than 30 percent this year; while many other industries have opposed tariffs, the steel industry has embraced them. Worker contracts at United States Steel and ArcelorMittal, responsible for 40 percent of U.S. production, expired Sept. 1. The two companies together employ 30,000 United Steelworkers members. Workers have authorized unions to call a strike, claiming their pay hasn’t risen since 2015.
Taxes: GOP aims to make tax cuts permanent
House Republicans seek to push through a second round of tax cuts, said Jeff Stein in The Washington Post. The strategy would aim to lock in the huge cuts the GOP passed last fall, but it could also add more than $2 trillion to the federal deficit over a decade. Informally dubbed “tax reform 2.0,” the proposed package makes permanent cuts that were passed in December 2017, including a reduction in rates and a 20 percent deduction for “pass-thru” businesses. Many of the 2017 cuts are set to expire in 2025.