Co-founder Biz Stone returning to Twitter

Twitter co-founder Biz Stone said Tuesday that he is rejoining the company six years after he left, becoming the second creator to return to help revive the struggling social-media service.

Stone said in a post on Medium that he is not replacing another executive or filling a vacancy but that his new role will be focused on company culture. He was invited back to Twitter by chief executive Jack Dorsey, another co-founder, who returned in 2015 after also stepping away for years.

“It’s important that everyone understands the whole story of Twitter and each of our roles in that story,” Stone said. “I’ll shape the experience internally so it’s also felt outside the company.” Stone left Twitter in 2011.

Stone’s presence could help boost morale at Twitter after several years of management turmoil and multiple rounds of job cuts. The San Francisco-based company has been fighting to reverse a slowdown in revenue growth and jump-start stagnant user numbers, and in September considered selling itself.

— Bloomberg News

Ex-CEO asks Trump not to punish execs

Former Massey Energy chief executive Don Blankenship asked President Trump on Tuesday to resist attempts in Congress to enhance criminal penalties for coal executives who violate mine safety and health standards.

Blankenship, recently freed from federal prison, also asked Trump in a letter to reexamine a federal investigation into the nation’s worst coal mining disaster in four decades.

Blankenship served a year in prison after being convicted of conspiring to violate federal mine safety standards at Massey’s Upper Big Branch mine in southern West Virginia, where 29 workers died in a 2010 blast.

Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) and others have tried without success to pass laws to stiffen penalties on mine safety crimes.

Mine safety will greatly improve if technology-related legislation is passed to “allow America’s coal miners to mine coal at less risk to themselves,” Blankenship said in his letter.

The White House said in a statement that Trump is “committed to his promise to the American people to rid government of wasteful regulations.”

— Associated Press

Also in Business

The United Nations predicts that the global economy will expand in the next two years, spurred by stronger growth and a modest recovery in trade and investment. The U.N. on Tuesday forecast global economic growth of 2.7 percent this year and 2.9 percent in 2018, compared with a revised figure of 2.3 percent in 2016. For the United States, the U.N. forecast economic growth of 2.1 percent in both 2017 and 2018, compared with 1.6 percent in 2016. But it forecast negligible per capita growth in central, southern and west Africa, as well as in South America in 2017-2018.

Construction of new homes fell for a second straight month in April, pushing activity to the lowest point in five months. Housing starts fell 2.6 percent in April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.17 million units, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday. That followed a 6.6 percent decline in March. The weakness was led by a big drop in construction of apartments, a volatile sector. Applications for building permits, an indicator of future activity, fell 2.5 percent in April. Construction of single-family homes edged up a slight 0.4 percent last month. Construction of multifamily units dropped a sharp 9.2 percent.

Facebook will refund some advertisers after finding a bug that wrongly attributed video carousel ad clicks as clicks to the advertisers’ websites. When users tried to expand and watch the video carousel on the mobile Web browser, the bug inadvertently directed the click to the advertiser’s website, leading to incorrect billing, Facebook said in a blog post Tuesday. The company said it had fixed the bug, which was not found on the desktop version or the mobile app.

Delta Air Lines scored the best for on-time flights in March, the U.S. Transportation Department reported Tuesday. The report said 79.9 percent of flights on the 12 largest airlines arrived on time, down from 81.5 percent in March 2016. Delta had an 86.9 percent on-time rate, followed by Hawaiian, United and American. Only 65.5 percent of Virgin America flights arrived on time. Airlines canceled 1.8 percent of domestic flights, up from 1 percent a year earlier. Consumer complaints filed with the government fell by nearly one-third, with Spirit having the highest complaint rate.

— From news reports

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Earnings: Target