Business briefs: Bernanke cuts federal funds rate

For the first time in the Federal Reserve chief’s tenure, the central bank Tuesday slashed the federal funds rate by half a percentage point, to 4.75 percent, and left the door open to further relief to prevent a painful housing slump and jarring credit crunch from driving the country into recession. As a result, several major commercial banks dropped their prime lending rate.

FRED REID

Burlingame-based Virgin America Inc., the airline partly owned by U.K. billionaire Richard Branson, won U.S. permission to keep Reid, its CEO, until Feb. 18 so the company has time to find a replacement. The ruling is a victory for Virgin America, which had agreed to replace Reid after the Transportation Department said it was worried he would be beholden to Branson.

A.J. Jacobs thinks the meaning of life can be found in puzzles

New book “The Puzzler” embraced by San Francisco crossword, jigsaw and chess wizards

Warriors vs. Mavericks preview: Another series, another super-hero

Round after round, Golden State has faced the NBA’s best. Next up, Luka Dončić

Laguna Honda struggles with recertification efforts

The relocation plan is the latest development in a string of troubling milestones for Laguna Honda