AP Top News at 7:14 p.m. EST

People fired up snowblowers and dug out their shovels Saturday after the first significant snowstorm of the season dumped between a few inches and 20 inches of snow across the Upper Midwest, blanketing a swath from South Dakota to Michigan. The storm created hazardous travel conditions and caused more than 500 flight cancellations. A blast of much colder air was following the storm. The National Weather Service said the snow, which first fell in South Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa on Friday, would head northeast into Canada late Saturday after moving through Illinois, Indiana and Michigan. In the southern Wisconsin town of Janesville, between 10 and 20 inches of snow had fallen by late Saturday afternoon, the National Weather Service said.

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Thirteen years after the idea was mooted, Southeast Asian leaders on Sunday formally created a unified economic community in a region more populous and diverse than the European Union or North America, and with hopes of competing with China and India. The 10 leaders in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations signed a declaration during their summit establishing the ASEAN Economic Community, as part of a larger ASEAN

A glance at Argentina and its presidential election

THE COUNTRY: About four times the size of Texas, Argentina has 41 million people and is Latin America’s third-largest economy. Population is largely of European descent and at least nominally Roman Catholic. Its most famous citizen is Pope Francis. The country remains traumatized by its 2001-2002 economic crash under free-market governments that wiped out many people’s savings.


CURRENT GOVERNMENT: The election ends 12 years in power for the Kirchners: first Nestor Kirchner in 2003 and then his wife Cristina Fernandez, who was elected in 2007 and 2011. (He died in 2010.) They expanded welfare programs and allied Argentina with leftists such as Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez. Economic growth was strong during much of the previous decade, but the economy has stalled in recent years, with high inflation and a slumping national currency.


THE CANDIDATES: Fernandez’s movement backed former Vice President Daniel Scioli, a 58-year-old businessman who lost an arm as a boat racer. His opponent was Buenos Aires Mayor Mauricio Macri, 56, also a businessman and former president of the Boca Juniors soccer club.


WHAT’S AT STAKE: Scioli promised to continue the Kirchners’ welfare state policies while making corrections to get the economy back on track. Macri campaigned

Federal lawyers fly to Minneapolis to investigate shooting

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — U.S. Justice Department attorneys are expected to fly to Minnesota on Sunday to investigate the killing of a black man that has prompted protests and calls for the two Minneapolis police officers involved in the shooting to be prosecuted.

A key issue during their visit will be whether authorities should release to the public videos of the fatal shooting of 24-year-old Jamar Clark a week ago.

Federal and state authorities have resisted releasing the footage — from an ambulance, mobile police camera, public housing cameras and people’s cellphones — because they said it doesn’t show the full incident and making the recordings public would compromise their investigations.

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton said on Saturday that he had asked Clark’s family and representatives of the Black Lives Matter group protesting his death to meet with the federal government lawyers.

“I will urge that the tapes be provided to the family and released to the public, as soon as doing so will not jeopardize the Department of Justice’s investigation,” Dayton said after meeting with the family and leaders of the protesters.

Dozens of demonstrators huddled around bonfires early Sunday in frigid temperatures at an encampment outside

Study shows what business leaders can learn from Formula One racing

Formula One racing teams may have a lesson to teach business leaders: Innovation can be overrated.

That’s the conclusion from academic researchers who pored over data from 49 teams over the course of 30 years of Formula One racing. They found that the teams that innovated the most — especially those that made the most radical changes in their cars — weren’t usually the most successful on the race course.

Moreover, radical innovations were the least successful at exactly the times when many business leaders would be most likely to try them: when there were major changes in their regulatory environment.

“We found that it wasn’t always good to be the aggressive innovator,” said Jaideep Anand, co-author of the study and professor of strategy at The Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business.

“The conventional wisdom that companies need to embrace change is often wrong.”

The study appears in the current issue of the journal Organization Science.

Formula One racing is actually a very good venue to study the value of innovation in business, Anand said. It is an innovation-intensive industry with teams of engineers, drivers and sponsors who all have to work together to succeed.

The independent governing body for Formula One (FIA)

Best Time and Attendance System for Small Businesses

Why stratustime?
Time Tracking

Stratustime, which is from a company called nettime solutions, is such an attractive system because it has all of the features and tools businesses of any size would want in a time-and-attendance service. The system tracks all of a business’s time needs, including when employees come and go, when they take breaks, how long they work on certain projects, and how much paid time off (PTO) they have taken and have left.

When it comes to punching in and out for the day, employees have a variety of options. The system works with traditional time clocks, any Internet-connected computer, mobile devices and telephones.

The stratustime time clocks are cloud-based and can be configured to collect information in a variety of ways, including via fingerprints, magnetic stripes, bar codes, proximity badges and touch screens. When employees clock in and out with the time clocks, the data is automatically and immediately transferred into the software.

Stratustime also offers a mobile website for employees who don’t work in the office each day. It lets remote workers manage their time via any iOS, Android, BlackBerry or Windows smartphone or tablet. With the mobile website, on-the-go employees can clock in and out, transfer where their

The Best Time and Attendance System for Small Offices

Why uAttend?
Time Tracking

What makes uAttend such a valuable solution for very small businesses is that it offers nearly all of the bells and whistles of many of its larger competitors for just a fraction of the cost.

The system offers numerous ways to collect time and attendance data. Employees can use Web browsers, smartphones or telephones to enter their data. In addition, the system is also compatible with a variety of time clocks. You can choose between clocks that allow employees to punch in or out with a PIN code, ID badge, fingerprint or facial scan.

Many of the systems we looked at that were designed for very small businesses didn’t work with traditional time clocks. We like that with uAttend, you have that option if you want it.

Besides keeping track of when employees come and go each day, the system also manages paid time off by tracking accruals of vacation and sick time. In addition, uAttend allows employees to request time off within the system, with managers having the option to either approve or deny it. Although most of the other systems we investigated tracked vacation and sick time, not all of them included the tools to actually submit time-off

Best Time and Attendance System for Businesses with a Mobile Workforce

Why TSheets?
Mobile Tracking

What makes TSheets such an attractive system for businesses with employees who always, or sometimes, work outside the office is the variety of ways they can manage their time and attendance. Out of all of the services we examined, TSheets offers mobile employees the most options for clocking in and out. With this system, on-the-go employees can use laptop computers, mobile apps, telephones, text messages or Twitter to record their time each day.

The TSheets mobile app, which is available for both iPhones and Android devices, allows employees to clock in and out, track the time they work on specific projects, view their time sheets and see which of their co-workers are also on the clock. Additionally, TSheets added a new feature to the app this year that lets employees create and submit paid-time-off requests.

The mobile app also allows managers to keep tabs on their mobile employees. Besides logging employees’ locations when they clock in and out, this system also records their specific locations every 10 minutes. With this, supervisors can see exactly where remote workers are spending their day. This added feature wasn’t offered by most of the other services we investigated.

Editor’s Note: Looking for a payroll

With the holiday season ahead, Wal-Mart posts declining profit and revenue

Wal-Mart said Tuesday that its operating income sank 8.8 percent in the most recent quarter as the big-box behemoth shoulders the cost of a wage increase for its workers and investments in boosting its e-commerce business. The world’s largest retailer said revenue was down 1.3 percent to $117.4 billion, including drag from currency fluctuations.

Wal-Mart managed to lure more shoppers to its U.S. stores and saw an increase in sales at its U.S. stores open more than a year, and yet the chain still won’t be heading into its most crucial season of the year from a position of particular strength. For the previous two quarters, the retailer saw essentially flat sales and sagging profits. Last month, the company slashed its profit outlook for next year.

While the holidays are a high-stakes time for every retailer to meet customer expectations, Wal-Mart has the added burden this year of trying to restore the confidence of investors who have driven its stock down 29 percent this year. It issued an updated outlook Tuesday that appeared to help with that, as it nudged up the lower end of its earnings guidance for the year.

Some of Wal-Mart’s success this season will hang on whether customers respond

10 Things to Do Before Opening a Food Truck

Food trucks are popping up everywhere these days, so it’s no surprise that many aspiring foodie entrepreneurs are taking their restaurant ideas on the road. But if you think a food truck is an easier alternative to opening a traditional, brick-and-mortar restaurant, think again — it’s not easy to serve meals on wheels. Running a food truck comes with its own separate requirements, complications and rewards.

Business News Daily asked food truck owners and small business experts for their advice on starting a food truck. From choosing the right location to investing in the right technology, here are 10 things you must do before you get cooking.
Invest in a good truck

“If you have the startup capital, start building your truck in a newer, well-maintained vehicle. Your business will constantly be at the mercy of the mechanical soundness of your truck. Treat it with care, and give it lots of preventative maintenance. When your truck goes down, you have to deal with the expense of fixing it, in addition to not being able to be open for business during those days the truck is in the shop.” – Adam Sobel, founder, The Cinnamon Snailand author, “Street Vegan” (Clarkson Potter, 2015)

Fed leaning toward rate hike in December, meeting’s minutes show

Federal Reserve officials expressed increasing confidence at their meeting last month that the U.S. economy can withstand the head winds from the global economy, according to documents released Wednesday, but a vocal minority remained worried that the recovery is still vulnerable.

The minutes of the central bank’s October meeting shed light on the lingering divisions among the Fed’s top ranks over whether to raise its key interest rate for the first time in nearly a decade when they convene in Washington next month.

The documents show that most of the 17 Fed officials who participated in the debate expected that the economy would be ready for a rate increase by December. Delaying a move could increase uncertainty in financial markets, which have been scrutinizing officials’ every word for signs of when the decision might come: Investors might interpret additional delay as a sign of the central bank’s lack of confidence in the economy. Additionally, the Fed’s target rate has been at zero since 2008, and participants noted that the long period of extraordinary stimulus could be distorting the financial system.

But others argued that a rate hike could weigh on inflation, which has been below the Fed’s target for years. And with rates

Do you love where you work

The Washington Post is on the hunt for the top places to work in greater Washington, and we need your help.

We are looking for people to nominate worthy workplaces so we can survey their employees to determine which employers should be recognized in our 2016 Top Workplaces special report.

To do this, Capital Business is teaming with WorkplaceDynamics, a survey firm that has partnered with more than 40 newspapers to canvas 2 million employees at more than 6,000 companies nationwide.

We hope to recognize workplaces of all types: private, public, nonprofit and even government agencies. Eligible organizations must have at least 50 employees in the greater Washington area.

WorkplaceDynamics will reach out to the workplaces and ask to survey their employees. The survey is relatively straightforward — employees will be asked to respond to 22 statements.

Those employers that score highest — and meet national benchmarks — will make The Washington Post’s list of top places to work. In 2015, 150 companies and organizations made the cut.

Main Street Morning Napster co founder donates $10 million for diabetes research

Welcome to Main Street Morning, The Washington Post’s daily collection of news affecting entrepreneurs, start-ups and small businesses with a special focus on policy and government.

Here’s what’s affecting my small business, my clients and other entrepreneurs today.


  • A bill that eases some restrictions on the commercial space industry is headed to the White House.
  • Obama torches Republicans on Syrian refugees.
  • Uproar over drug prices puts GOP in the hot seat.

The Elections

  • Bobby Jindal drops out of the 2016 Presidential race.
  • Labor Unions are closing ranks around Hillary.
  • Sanders sets a date for socialism speech but the Paris attacks are forcing him to adjust.
  • SEIU, one of the nation’s largest labor unions, endorses Hillary Clinton.

The Economy

  • U.S. inflation is turning a corner.
  • The percentage of mortgages entering foreclosure is at its lowest level since 2005.
  • Small businesses have a burst of optimism, according to a survey.
  • U.S. manufacturing showed some strength in October.


  • An outsourcing company says it will add more than 10,000 jobs by the end of the year.
  • Starbucks employees spill the worst thing about working there.
  • Only the top 17 percent of earners in New York City can afford a one-bedroom apartment in Manhattan
  • How to survive a worker’s compensation claim.
  • Dietary supplements find themselves in law enforcement’s crosshairs.
  • Emotions run high for

What you need to know before buying a smartwatch

As we ramp up to the holidays, it seems like just about everyone is coming out with a smartwatch. But for gift-givers, this can be a tricky category to navigate. When it comes to buying a traditional gadget, you can look at specs, test out cameras and weigh the merits of different processors. Smartwatches are different.

Perhaps more than any other tech gadget, smartwatches should reflect the wearer’s personality. If you are thinking of gifting one, you’ll have to weigh both technological and fashion questions. Does the recipient want to make calls through it? Do they want a touchscreen? How much does style matter? Not everyone who wants the functionality of a smartwatch loves that calculator-watch aesthetic after all.

No matter where they fall on that spectrum, consumers are spoiled for choice here this holiday season. New products seem to be announced every day, from both fashion and tech firms. And you can’t rely on the price to tell you how technologically advanced they are.

Watchmakers embrace tech

Movado showed off the Bold Motion this week — a super-stylish $695 connected watch that has a traditional watch face, with just a few added tricks. Lights around the edge of the timepiece glow in different configurations to let you know when

Falling behind on taxes? You could soon lose your passport

Uncle Sam could soon have a new way for getting taxpayers to pay up.

Congress could approve a bill next month that would give the State Department the ability to revoke or deny passports for people who are behind on their taxes, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The measure would affect taxpayers who are “seriously delinquent” on $50,000 or more of taxes owed, meaning a lien or levy has been filed for the amount owed. People who are under a payment plan or otherwise working to resolve the debt would be excluded. So would people who are challenging their debts in court.

The change is tucked into a highway funding bill, H.R. 22, that is expected to pass in December, the WSJ reported. If enacted as is, the law would go into effect Jan. 1 and would apply to current debts. Estimates from the Joint Committee on taxation project the move could raise $398 million over 10 years.

It’s not clear who would be most affected. About two-thirds of taxpayers pay more taxes than they owe and receive tax refunds, according to the IRS. But some consumer advocates worry the change would hurt U.S. citizens living abroad, who may rely on their passports for their daily routines.

The big deal in toys this year? They play back

Looking for this holiday season’s it-toy? Then it’s time to get smart.

That may not be as simple as it sounds, considering the new cadre of characters buzzing and whirring their way on to wish lists.

The big add-on this year isn’t accessories — it’s personality. (Some even talk back.)

As technology spills over into the toy market, manufacturers have moved light years beyond simple battery-powered fare and into the cloud, using the same tech that powers your smartphone. And as toys grow more like other gadgets in our lives, privacy concerns follow.

Front and center is the category known as “toys-to-life.” The Skylanders franchise, published by Activision, has dominated this category after pioneering the concept of making a video game that works with real-life figures. When connected, the figures can summon a character to life on the screen. Over time, the toy will remember each action it’s taken in a game, essentially growing smarter with every use — and offering more personalized play.

From the first prototype, Activision knew it was on to a winner.

“Everybody’s jaw dropped,” said Josh Taub, a product management executive at Activision. “Instantly, everybody knew that it was something magical.”

It took three years to move the idea from prototype to

Heading into the holidays, the retail industry still faces a cautious consumer

For years now, retailers have been decking their halls for the crucial holiday shopping season in hope that customers will finally shed the tentative attitude about spending that became entrenched in the recession.

Recent data show that consumer spending and consumer confidence are on the rise, and forecasters have released relatively upbeat predictions for how sales will grow during the November and December shopping crush.  And yet the most recent snapshot of how the retail industry is faring — delivered in the form of a flurry of quarterly earnings reports in the last two weeks —  suggest that shoppers are still somewhat cautious as we move into the sector’s most important stretch of the year.

Retailers ranging from Urban Outfitters to Dillard’s saw their stock sink this week after they rang up disappointing sales during the quarter that included the back-to-school shopping season.  Dick’s Sporting Goods said this week that it is canceling some orders and working with vendors to return products that have not been selling well after a rough fall quarter has left it with bloated inventory.

The chain blamed unseasonably warm weather, saying sales were especially weak in outerwear, fleece and items such as compression clothing that football or soccer players might layer under their uniforms in colder temperatures. Macy’s, too, partially attributed its

The Michael Brown shooting changed my life

About 30 black football players crowded into the multipurpose room at the University of Missouri’s Gaines/Oldham Black Culture Center. Before them sat a frail Jonathan Butler who, five days into a hunger strike, could barely lift his head.

Butler was protesting a string of racial incidents that had stirred discontent among black students already agitated and organized because of the unrest in nearby Ferguson last year.

Like many big-time college athletes, football players at Mizzou largely occupy their own orbit, with separate dorms and tight training schedules that pull them away from the concerns of the broader student body.

But things are different in a post-Ferguson world.
Jonathan Butler, center, who went on a hunger strike to protest the treatment of African Americans on campus, talks to Concerned Student 1950 supporters during the “We Are Not Afraid” march. (Alexey Furman/For The Washington Post)

If change was coming to Mizzou — a campus still haunted by its segregated past, where nearly every black student seems to know someone who has been subjected to blatant racism — the football players wanted to play a role.

“I got the text message that the football players wanted to meet and I ran to get there,” said Reuben Faloughi, a

Wal Mart pushes the start of its Cyber Monday sale to Sunday evening

For Wal-Mart shoppers, Cyber Monday will come several hours early this year.

The world’s largest retailer plans to kick off its online deals bonanza at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Nov. 29, a move that is noteworthy because of what it reveals about how quickly our digital shopping habits are changing.

Fernando Madeira, chief executive of Walmart.com, said in an interview that the company is adapting its sale to better meet the needs of the growing swath of shoppers who have near-constant Web access thanks to their smartphones.

“Cyber Monday started many, many years ago when our customers waited to get back to work after Black Friday…because the only place that they had access to high-speed Internet was at work,” Madeira said.

Madeira said Wal-Mart has noticed that in recent years, searches for Cyber Monday deals on their app and Web site start to pick up Sunday evening, with many shoppers staying up until the midnight to pounce early. The earlier start time is meant to cater to these shoppers.

Like last year, Wal-Mart’s Cyber Monday deals will come in two waves, with an initial array of sales at kickoff and then a second round the retailer calls the “evening edition” set to kick in Monday evening. Madeira said mobile traffic increased

That thrift store salesman may be a former government official

My wife and I spent most of last summer moving, so we donated stuff we had accumulated over 19 years — everything from coffee mugs to power tools — to a thrift shop called the Opportunity Shop of St. John’s Church in Chevy Chase, Md.

I preferred throwing the stuff in the dumpster to shagging over a bunch of boxes every summer Saturday to the Op Shop, but I was overruled by my well-intentioned wife.

Thomas Heath is a local business reporter and columnist, writing about entrepreneurs and various companies big and small in the Washington Metropolitan area. Previously, he wrote about the business of sports for The Post’s sports section for most of a decade. View Archive

This being Thanksgiving week, I decided to write about St. John’s and another store similar to it, the St. Alban’s Opportunity Shop in the District.

Both are registered nonprofit organizations whose surplus (don’t call it profit) serves the public good. They feed and house the homeless, fund tuition for low-income students, provide for seniors, house the newly employed . . . you get the idea.

Both St. John’s and St. Alban’s are based on a simple business model. They take in donations like the

NYC emergency responders go through active shooter drill

NEW YORK (AP) — Hundreds of emergency responders simulated a subway terror attack on Sunday, days before one of the city’s biggest public events: the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

The long-planned drill at a Manhattan station got a last-minute update in the wake of the deadly attacks in Paris. Officials added an “attacker” wearing a suicide vest.

“In New York City, we are, at this time, very well-prepared and continually improving that preparedness,” Police Commissioner William Bratton said outside the abandoned Bowery station in lower Manhattan.

The three-hour active-shooter exercise was staged in the pricey Soho neighborhood, sprinkled with art galleries and boutiques. Members of the police, fire and federal Homeland Security departments went into action after a mock call reporting a gunman on the station platform.

Of about 30 simulated straphangers in the station, a dozen suffered “critical wounds” from weapons firing blanks. Firefighters removed them on thick yellow plastic sheets — some covered in fake blood — and law enforcement personnel took on the threat.

First responders from various emergency departments worked as a team, with communication and coordination between agencies an important goal.

“There have been very significant improvements in that capacity since 9/11, also the coordination with the fire department,”

10 Things to Know for Monday

Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Monday:


“We fear an attack like in Paris, with several individuals, perhaps in several places,” Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel says, as troops patrol the streets, and schools and subways stay closed.


Rejecting the notion of an existential threat from the Islamic State group, the president says the militants “can’t beat us on the battlefield, so they try to terrorize us into being afraid.”


Eight scientists grade comments that the 2016 White House rivals have made on climate issues, with Hillary Clinton receiving the highest grades and Sen. Ted Cruz the lowest.


The image of the Mizzou football team standing with a fellow student and hunger protester put a spotlight on black students’ experiences at predominantly white campuses — and preceded the school president’s resignation.


Threatening letters from the Taliban — once tantamount to a death sentence — are now being forged and hawked to those seeking asylum in Europe.