Southwest delays 737 Max flights

Southwest Airlines pulled the Boeing 737 Max from its schedule for an additional month, citing uncertainty over when regulators will allow the jet to resume service.

Southwest, the narrow-body aircraft’s largest operator, will cancel about 100 daily flights as the Max is removed from schedules through Sept. 2, the Dallas-based carrier said in a statement Thursday. The airline previously had the Max returning to service Aug. 6.

The delay comes as carriers wait for Boeing to complete fixes to Max software and for regulators to decide when the plane can resume flights. It was grounded worldwide on March 13, following two fatal crashes within five months.

American Airlines recently took the Max out of its schedule through Sept. 3. United Continental plans to resume flights Aug. 4.

— Bloomberg News

Study cautions on bitcoin footprint

The virtual currency bitcoin is responsible for the same amount of carbon dioxide emissions as a city such as Las Vegas or Hamburg and efforts to reduce its climate footprint should be considered, researchers said Thursday.

A study by researchers at the Technical University of Munich and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology examined how much power is consumed by computers used to generate bitcoin and process transactions. Writing in the journal Joule, researchers said they then combined the results with the carbon emissions from electricity production in the countries where the computers were located.

They concluded that, in late 2018, the entire bitcoin network was responsible for 22 million to 22.9 million tons of CO2 per year — similar to a large Western city or an entire developing country such as Sri Lanka. Total global emissions of the greenhouse gas from the burning of fossil fuels were about 37 billion tons last year.

— Associated Press

Also in Business

Some of the wealthiest nations in the world provide little or no government-supported maternity or paternity leave for new parents, a U.N. report said Thursday. Using 2016 data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Eurostat and research articles, the study ranked 41 high- and middle-income countries across the OECD and European Union on family-friendly practices. Of the 41 countries surveyed, about half offered six months or more paid leave for mothers, the minimum length UNICEF advocated in the report. Estonia offered mothers 85 weeks of paid leave, Hungary offered 72 weeks, and Bulgaria offered 65 weeks, ranking as the top three countries for maternity leave. But Australia and New Zealand offered only eight weeks, and the United States offered no time, ranking it the worst for maternity leave.

The nation's largest public utility has agreed to dig up and remove about 12 million cubic yards of coal ash from unlined pits at a Tennessee coal-burning power plant. The state sued the Tennessee Valley Authority in 2015 over pollution from coal ash dumps at the Gallatin Fossil Plant. Court documents show pollutants leach from the ash into the groundwater and then enter the Cumberland River, a source of drinking water for Nashville. On Thursday, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation and two environmental groups announced a settlement with TVA. The utility will excavate a majority of coal ash at Gallatin and recycle it or remove it to a lined, permitted landfill. TVA will also develop a plan for the remaining coal ash.

Ford has opened a research center in Israel, joining a legion of major automakers racing to develop new technologies for driverless cars. Chairman William Ford met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday, calling Israel "ground zero" for technologies demanded by the fast-growing field of autonomous vehicles. General Motors, BMW and others have also recently opened Tel Aviv labs. The country is drawing automakers aiming to tap the market of autonomous vehicles.

Brazil's Agriculture Ministry said on Thursday the country may resume beef exports to China after an embargo was lifted, sending shares of Brazilian meatpackers soaring. Brazilian beef exports to China had been suspended since June 3 after an atypical case of mad cow disease was reported in the state of Mato Grosso. Tereza Cristina Dias, the farm minister, said on her Twitter account that Brazil would resume issuance of international health certificates to allow for beef exports to China.

— From news reports

Coming today

8:30 a.m.: Commerce Department releases retail sales data for May.

9:15 a.m.: Federal Reserve releases industrial production for May.

10 a.m.: Commerce Department releases business inventories for April.