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    Union workers at Exxon Mobil Corp's Beaumont, Texas, refinery agreed to an unusually long six-year contract on Thursday night, which sources say the company pushed to assure no work stoppages during a contemplated multibillion-dollar expansion.

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    President Barack Obama on Friday welcomed the Supreme Court decision to give same-sex couples the right to marry. In a speech in the Rose Garden, Obama called the ruling justice "with a thunderbolt." The president acknowledged that many Americans have religious objections to the high-court decision. "

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    Golden State needs 150% of average rain and snowpack to beat drought. After four years of extreme dry weather, all 58 counties in the state are facing severe drought conditions. But a savior may be on the way if weather predictions hold true.

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    Senator Mark Warner (D-Va.) made a fortune as an early wireless industry executive. Now, he's on a tear about the tech industry's most disruptive companies and why politicians — especially presidential candidates — aren't talking more about their impact on the labor economy.He sees a growing number of sharing-economy companies such as Uber, TaskRabbit and AirBnB transforming employment. About half of all American workers will be freelance or contractual workers by 2020, some economists predict. This trend is upending our notions of what it means to be a worker and what responsibilities a company has to provide benefits like health care and pensions. If unanswered, questions about a national social safety net for contractual workers may end up burdening the whole economy, he warns.To be clear, Warner isn't proposing federal laws just yet for part-time and contract worker benefits. He's already seeing innovative solutions from tech companies and local governments to address policy concerns. But he's trying to get candidates, policymakers and the biggest companies in Silicon Valley listening -- and says legislation at some point may be the best option.The following is an interview with Warner, edited for length and clarity.What is your concern about the sharing economy?Warner: This is a fundamental change, and yet what I find is that policy makers may not have even heard about the "Gig economy" or sharing-economy. We have 25 people running for president, and no one is talking about the fastest-growing area of work in our country. What I don't want to do is impose a Washington top-down solution, yet I don't think this should be left to a patchwork of court decisions either.How would you describe the sharing economy?Warner: I would categorize people in the sharing economy in three groups. There are millennials that we like to talk about as celebrating the choices of part-time work and who don't want to have 9-to-5 jobs and who love working on three to four things at once.  There are the people my age who are forced into this because they lost a good job during the recession and now need multiple revenue streams. And then there is the third category of people who are probably rolling their eyes saying this is nothing new and they've been working like this for the last 20 years and it's been called "just getting by."So maybe the third category provides a good case study as to what problems they've encountered over the years?Warner: These people have had to rely on government assistance when available. For the people who are not in that category and who make six figures today, we aren't worried now. But when the stuff hits the fan it's not going to be fair to the tax payer to have to deal with it later.  We have to look at different models. The Obamacare exchange is an example of one model. What are other examples?Warner: Maybe a public-private employment exchange, a disability exchange and workers' comp exchange. We could look at an old idea of building trade unions and doing hour banking so that if you were a carpenter and worked 10 to 11 hours, you could bank those hours to a third party insurance fund. That model could make some sense. There may even be consumer-driven models such as the collection of tips for Uber drivers that goes into a social insurance fund. I'm not suggesting a specific model but policy makers need to keep talking about these thing.But what about the responsibilities of companies?Warner: I was encouraged to see that with  Uber and AirBnB, they started without insurance policies but now have plans. An evolution is taking place but you need to find a way to speed it up. Don't think you never want federal legislation. Candidly, you might rather have federal legislation than 50 different state rules or thousands of municipal rules.It took lots of negative press coverage on drivers' insurance to get Uber and Lyft to change their policies for drivers. What will motive the companies to seek these changes?Warner: Some of this will come from millennials demanding it. From everything I've witnessed, millennials are a diverse and socially conscious generation that wants to work for and purchase from companies that are socially responsible.What are some specific examples of company-driven changes that encourage you?Warner: I've seen with taxes and the people at Turbo Tax and a guy out of Richmond who started Painless 1099 that  helps get rid of the hassle of the tax process for contractors. There's a group out of San Francisco called Peers, investigating a model around social insurance. We are at the beginning stages. What I'm trying to figure out is how to not slow innovation and still allow some upward economic mobility while also providing a social safety net that is collaborative and not top down.Will there eventually be a law addressing these issues?Warner: I do think at some point the sharing-economy will want legislation because you won't want to leave it simply to the courts. There needs to be a lot more conversation and discussion about this because many of these companies didn't even exist five to seven years ago.






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    The International Monetary Fund isn't just trying to solve Greece's woes, it's also doling out a lot of advice to America's Federal Reserve. IMF head Christine Lagarde has already told the Fed it should wait until 2016 to raise interest rates. The dot plot is supposed to give the public more clarity on what the Fed is likely to do on interest rates, but the IMF calls it "awkward."

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    Every American can catch this bouquet. The Supreme Court on Friday extended marriage rights to all Americans, ruling by a 5-4 majority that state bans on marriage between people of the same sex are unconstitutional and that states don't have the right to refuse to acknowledge same-sex marriages from other states. Speaking the in the Rose Garden of the White House, President Obama said, "Sometimes there are days like this, when that slow, steady effort is rewarded with justice that...

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    By Gabriele Steinhauser and Andreas Kissler. Greek PM Tsipras stands firm after meeting Merkel, Hollande. Greece and its creditors are set for another clash over how to reduce the country's debt, even if they manage to agree on the terms of new bailout funding in the coming days, documents seen by The Wall Street Journal show.

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    Consumer sentiment climbed to a five-month high in June, a sign that shoppers may be ready to ramp up spending, according to data released Friday. A gauge of consumer sentiment rose to a final June reading of 96.1, rebounding from a drop in May, the University of Michigan reported.had expected the final June figure to match a preliminary result of 94.6. The consumer-sentiment gauge averaged 86.9 over the year leading up to the recession.

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    Consumer sentiment rose to a final June reading of 96.1, reaching a five-month high, rebounding from a drop in May, according to reports on the University of Michigan gauge released Friday. Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected the final June figure to match a preliminary result of 94.6. Economists follow readings on confidence to look for clues about consumer spending, the backbone of the economy.

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    President Barack Obama will make a statement about the Supreme Court ruling that said same-sex couples have the right to marry at 11 a.m. The high-court's 5- to-4 decision comes less than 24 hours after the court ruled Thursday that tax subsidies under Obamacare are constitutional. (END) Dow Jones Newswires 06-26-15 1034 ET Copyright (c) 2015 Dow Jones& Company, Inc..

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    Unionized workers at Exxon Mobil Corp's Beaumont, Texas, refinery agreed to an unusually long six-year contract on Thursday night, which sources say the company pushed to assure no work stoppages during a contemplated multibillion-dollar expansion.

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    You don't need to wear a suit and tie to work to make six figures. Though it may require self-employment, the support of a labor union and, in some cases, not a small amount of risk to your safety, you can earn over $100,000 at a traditionally blue collar job. "There are several occupations that have that potential," says Carl Van Horn, professor of public policy and director of Rutgers John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development.

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    As California enters its fourth year of severe drought and the state's snowpack is at record lows, California Gov. Jerry Brown has ordered a statewide 25% mandatory water usage reduction for residents and businesses. Significant cuts in use have been imposed on cemeteries, golf courses and facilities with large landscapes.

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    Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner on Thursday vetoed 19 budget bills that he said would create a nearly $4 billion deficit for the financially troubled state. Rauner, a Republican who has been in an ongoing budget battle with the state's Democratic majority legislature, said in a statement the veto is to "protect Illinois taxpayers from an unbalanced and therefore unconstitutional budget."

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    Now that International Monetary Fund head Christine Lagarde has told the Fed to wait to raise interest rates, the IMF staff has followed up with suggestions that the U.S. central bank remake its communications policy and, in a phrase, ditch the dots.

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    For details of foreign central banks' holdings of U.S. marketable securities held at the Federal Reserve, see: http://www.federalreserve.gov/releases/h41/Current/h41.pdf.