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South Korean Unification Minister Hong Yong-pyo announces about the Kaesong industrial complex operations at the government complex in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2016. South Korea says it will suspend operations at the joint industrial park with North Korea in response to the North's recent rocket launch, the first time in the park's decade of operation that Seoul has halted work there. (Kim Jin-a/Newsis via AP) KOREA OUT

S. Korea to shut down joint industrial park with North

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea said Wednesday that it will shut down a joint industrial park with North Korea in response to its recent rocket launch, accusing the North of using hard currency from the park to develop its nuclear and missile programs. The decision to end operations at the industrial complex in the North Korean border city of Kaesong, the last major cooperation project between the rival countries, comes after North Korea on Sunday launched a long-range rocket considered by other nations to be a banned missile technology test. By closing the complex, South Korean President Park Geun-hye has done something her conservative …

Embargo is under the rug, so Persian carpets can roll in

Monday, February 8, 2016

By Sarah Parvini Los Angeles Times (TNS) LOS ANGELES — The call came in to the rug store at 10:30 last Wednesday morning: After five days in U.S. customs, the first batch of carpets imported from Iran were ready for pickup. Years of waiting finally ended for Alex Helmi, owner of Damoka, a Persian rug store in Westwood. He quickly gathered his employees …

Costco delays credit card switch

Friday, February 5, 2016

SEATTLE — Costco’s switch from American Express to Visa is being pushed back to this summer. Costco Wholesale had previously announced that the switch in the only credit card it will accept in its U.S. stores would happen in April. It’s now saying that transition will happen in June or by mid-summer. For years, Amex had been the Seattle-area retail giant’s credit card …

In search of more living wage: Amherst shop adds $2 an hour to formerly minimum wage jobs

Sunday, January 17, 2016

AMHERST — The long commute from her home in Orange to her workplace at the Glazed Doughnut Shop in downtown Amherst is always a factor Siiri Paton weighs when deciding whether to remain employed in the college town. …

Locally owned Amherst Pharmacy to expand with second store in North Amherst

Friday, January 15, 2016

AMHERST — A locally owned pharmacy on College Street will open a second store in North Amherst village center by this spring, an indication that independent stores are competitive in a field dominated by chain pharmacies such as …

Owner of Magical Child toy store in Greenfield plans to close at end of January if she does not sell business

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

GREENFIELD — After announcing that she would close her doors at the end of the month if her business does not sell, the owner of Magical Child toy store on Main Street said she’s received a “phenomenal” response …

Amherst and Northampton retailers report healthy holiday sales as shoppers opt for local

Monday, January 11, 2016

Valley retailers report a healthy holiday sales season fueled by shoppers who, encouraged by the mild weather, left the comfort of their computer chairs to venture into town to buy at brick-and-mortar stores. The Retailers Association of Massachusetts …

Familiar Route 9 eatery in Hadley reopens as Johnny’s Roadside Diner

Sunday, January 10, 2016

HADLEY — Enjoying hot coffee and cream-cheese-covered bagels at their booth, two longtime customers of the only diner on Route 9 were pleased to be back at the establishment Thursday morning. “This used to be very popular,” said …

Hope & Olive in Greenfield relies on fresh, local foods and work culture that retains employees

Sunday, January 10, 2016

GREENFIELD — It’s the business mantra that just about everyone has heard — restaurants have a notoriously high rate of failure compared to other ventures. But in Greenfield, the Hope & Olive at the corner of Hope and …

VW said to consider buyback of thousands of cars in US

Friday, January 8, 2016

Volkswagen may buy back tens of thousands of cars with diesel engines that can’t be easily fixed to comply with U.S. emissions standards as part of its efforts to satisfy the demands of regulators, according to two people familiar with the matter. Negotiations between the German automaker and …

Rep. McGovern tells Congress of wage campaign inside Northampton’s Haymarket Cafe (WITH VIDEO)

Thursday, January 7, 2016

NORTHAMPTON — Raising the minimum wage and eliminating tips at the Haymarket Cafe not only increased business for owner Peter Simpson, it made the coffee shop the topic of a U.S. House floor speech by Rep. James McGovern. …

Amazing.net adult store, which created controversy a decade ago when it opened in Northampton, to close Saturday

Monday, January 4, 2016

NORTHAMPTON — A shop specializing in sex toys, lingerie and adult videos which created controversy a decade ago is now on the verge of closing. Its filing in June 2006 to open in Northampton prompted city officials to develop new zoning to minimize the impact of such enterprises. …

US sues VW over diesel cars’ emissions-cheating software

Monday, January 4, 2016

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department sued Volkswagen on Monday over emissions-cheating software found in nearly 600,000 vehicles sold in the United States, potentially exposing the company to billions of dollars in penalties for clean air violations. The civil …