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Google to start paying some news publishers for content

LONDON | Google said it will start paying some publishers for their news content, in a move that could pave the way for reduced tensions between the internet search giant and the beleagured news industry.

The company said Thursday that it plans to launch this year a licensing program to pay publishers for “high-quality content.”

The program will start with local and national publications in Germany, Australia and Brazil, “with more to come soon,” Brad Bender, vice president of product management, said in a blog post.

Orders for big-ticket factory goods surge 15.8% in May

WASHINGTON | Orders to American factories for big-ticket goods rebounded last month from a disastrous April and March as the U.S. economy began to slowly reopen.

The Commerce Department said that orders for manufactured goods meant to last at least three years shot up 15.8% in May after plunging 18.1% in April and 16.7% in March. Economists expected a rebound, but the May increase was stronger than expected.

A category that tracks business investment — orders for nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft — rose 2.3% after dropping 6.5% in April.

U.K.’s Royal Mail to slash 2,000 jobs in pandemic cost-cutting

LONDON | Royal Mail, the British postal service, is to slash 2,000 management jobs as part of an overhaul of its operations due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The group said Thursday that senior executive and non-operational roles will be hardest hit in the plan to save 330 million pounds ($410 million) over two years.

Royal Mail is the latest in a long line of British companies to announce hefty job losses. Others include British Gas owner Centrica, and airlines easyJet and British Airways.

30-year mortgage rate stays at 3.13%

NEW YORK | Long-term U.S. mortgage were unchanged this week as the benchmark 30-year home loan remains at its lowest rate in nearly 50 years.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the average rate on the key 30-year loan stood at 3.13%, the same as last week. It is the lowest level since Freddie began tracking average rates in 1971. A year ago, the rate stood at 3.73%.

The average rate on the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage rose slightly to 2.59% from 2.58% last week, but it is down from 3.16% a year ago.

— From AP reports