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Boeing says it has signed an agreement with Iran Air for the purchase of commercial passenger airplanes, making it the first major U.S. company to do business in Iran since sanctions were lifted earlier this year.

Boeing stopped selling planes to Iran following the Islamic Revolution in 1979.

When British voters go to the polls on Thursday to decide whether the United Kingdom should remain in the European Union, a lot of people on this side of the Atlantic will be watching as well.

U.S. companies with large operations in the U.K., such as Cisco, JPMorgan Chase, Ford and General Electric, have already spoken out against "Brexit," even hinting that it could force them to lay off workers.

For years, if Costco customers wanted to shop with a credit card, the retail giant required them to pay with an American Express card. But as of Monday, the giant big-box retailer and its 81 million customers are switching over to AmEx's rival, Visa.

Why should anybody care? Well, if you don't shop at Costco, there's probably not much reason. But, if you are one of the millions of Americans who like to buy 12-packs of paper-towel rolls or 30-pound boxes of frozen beef patties, then here's what you need to know:

The blood-testing company Theranos — until recently a Silicon Valley darling — lost its largest revenue source after Walgreens terminated the companies' relationship late Sunday. Walgreens cited problems federal regulators have had with Theranos' lab testing and potential sanctions over problems found at its labs.

Walgreens' withdrawal is another step in a rapid fall from grace for Theranos — and ends a partnership that was the cornerstone of its early success.

Microsoft is making a massive bet on professional social networking: It has reached an agreement to buy LinkedIn for $26.2 billion. The deal is the biggest ever for Microsoft and one of the largest for the tech industry.

What this represents is effectively a bet on a new kind of connected workplace, in what Microsoft calls the "productivity" industry. The companies hope to merge Microsoft's Office 365 and other business products with LinkedIn's professional social network.

Top supporters of an audacious Belgian pipeline will get a bottle of beer every day for the rest of their lives. That's in return for putting more than $8,000 toward bringing a pipe dream to life, and helping a brewery remain in the historic town of Bruges.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

americanenergypartners.com

American Energy Partners, the Oklahoma City-based oil and natural gas company founded by the late energy tycoon Aubrey McClendon, is shutting down.

The company's leadership team released a statement Wednesday saying it had decided to wind down operations but the five independent companies it had launched wouldn't be affected.

Injured workers face "inherent conflict of interest," barriers to benefits, "unequal treatment," limited appeals and little to no independent oversight when employers opt out of state-regulated workers' compensation, according to a new study.

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