Alexa Users Can Now Pay For Gas With Voice Command At Over 11,500 Exxon And Mobil Stations

Watch live: Treasury Secretary Mnuchin testifies before House committee over coronavirus relief

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Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin testifies Tuesday before the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis about the federal government's support for the nation's households and businesses harmed by the disease.

Mnuchin's testimony before Congress will be his first since negotiations over additional stimulus stalled between the White House and top Democratic lawmakers.

While the nation's top Republicans argue that improving economic data and the already-expansive CARES Act justify a smaller subsequent relief package, Democrats contend that the GOP fails to appreciate the severity of the pandemic and its impact on Americans.

White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told CNBC earlier on Tuesday that additional state and local aid from the federal government poses the biggest hurdle to a deal. 

Democrats have lobbied for nearly $1 trillion in aid to municipalities hit by revenue shortfalls as a result of the coronavirus crisis. Meadows, however, told "Squawk on the Street" that that figure was inaccurate and not "based on reality." 

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Brazil posts August trade surplus of $6.6 bln -economy ministry

BRASILIA, Sept 1 (Reuters) – Brazil posted a trade surplus of $6.6 billion in August, official data showed on Tuesday, almost exactly in line with the median consensus forecast in a Reuters poll of economists and up from a $4.1 billion surplus a year ago.

Exports totaled $17.7 billion and imports were $11.1 billion, the economy ministry said, adding the accumulated January-August surplus of $36.6 billion was up from a $32.2 billion surplus in the same period last year.

Coronavirus: Greece added to Scotland’s quarantine list as cases rise

Travellers arriving in Scotland from Greece will have to quarantine for two weeks following a rise in cases in the country.

Facebook Removes Small Network of Russian Accounts After FBI Tip

Facebook Inc. removed a small network of accounts and pages that originated in Russia and had links to the Internet Research Agency, acting on a tip from the FBI, according to Nathaniel Gleicher, the social media company’s head of cybersecurity policy.

The network included 13 accounts and two pages, and just 5% of the English-language content it created was targeted at U.S. users, Gleicher said. The network was trying to build an audience on the political left, and posted some criticism of the presidential campaigns of both Joe Biden and President Donald Trump, Gleicher said. The network got “nearly no engagement on Facebook before we removed it,” Facebook wrote in a blog post.

The company disclosed the network’s removal as part of a monthly report on its efforts to fight foreign influence operations on its sites.

Bed Bath & Beyond To Eliminate About 2,800 Jobs

Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. said that it will eliminate about 2,800 jobs across its corporate headquarters and retail banner stores, as part of an organization realignment.

“Saying goodbye to colleagues and friends is incredibly difficult, but this component of our comprehensive restructuring program is critical to rebuild the foundation of our business….” said Mark Tritton, President and CEO of the company.

The New Jersey-based home goods retailer expects to incur pre-tax cash restructuring charges of about $25 million in fiscal 2020, primarily for severance and related costs, which will be expensed in the second quarter of fiscal 2020.

The retailer expects that the workforce reduction will deliver about $150 million in annualized savings.

The company’s overall restructuring plan is expected to deliver annualized earnings before interest, income taxes, depreciation and amortization or EBITDA between about $250 million and $350 million, excluding one-time costs, over the next two-to-three years.

Last month, the company said it would close around 200 mostly Bed Bath & Beyond stores over the next two years amid continuing struggles with Covid-19. The retailer, which reported a wider-than-expected loss in its first quarter with sharply lower sales, then said the move was part of its plans to right-size its real estate portfolio and to cut costs.

Trump Wins Delay of New York Subpoena for His Tax Returns

President Donald Trump won an order delaying enforcement of the Manhattan district attorney’s subpoena for his tax returns while a federal appeals court considers his latest legal challenge. A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals in New York on Tuesday granted Trump’s request for a stay, setting arguments in the case for Sept. 25.

Alexa Users Can Now Pay For Gas With Voice Command At Over 11,500 Exxon And Mobil Stations

Alexa users can now pay for gas at over 11,500 Exxon and Mobil gas stations across the U.S. by just saying “Alexa, pay for gas.”

Amazon, ExxonMobil, and global payments provider Fiserv have teamed up to offer the new convenience feature for drivers across the US.

Beginning Tuesday, September 1, consumers with Alexa-enabled vehicles, devices like Echo Auto, or the Alexa app on smartphones can simply say, pay and be on their way when they fuel up at an Exxon or Mobil station.

When customers pull up to the pump and say, “Alexa, pay for gas,” Alexa will confirm the station location, pump number, and then activate the pump. The customer can then select the fuel grade on the pump and begin fueling, with payment completed automatically after fueling.

“Changing consumer expectations and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic are accelerating demand for contactless payment interactions that span digital and physical worlds,” said Devin McGranahan, senior group president, Global Business Solutions at Fiserv. “The age of omnicommerce is here, and voice-activated smart devices are playing a pivotal role in enabling people to make purchases with speed, ease and convenience.”