Asian shares rise after Wall Street rally led by tech shares
TOKYO (AP) — Asian shares have gained following a rally on Wall Street led by technology companies, although investor concerns persist about the war in Ukraine and inflation.
Benchmarks edged higher across the Asian region, despite worries about rising energy costs. The dollar gained against the Japanese yen.
Stocks closed higher on Wall Street Tuesday. Bond yields rose further a day after U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said the central bank was prepared to move more aggressively in raising interest rates in its fight against inflation.
Investors are watching what might happen at a NATO meeting and EU Summit Thursday in Europe.
Biden to announce new Russia sanctions while in Brussels
WASHINGTON (AP) — White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan says President Joe Biden plans to announce new sanctions against Russia on Thursday while in Brussels.
Biden will be there for meetings with NATO and European allies. Biden is also expected to underscore efforts to enforce the avalanche of existing sanctions already announced by the U.S. and allies.
The president is travelling to Brussels and Poland, which has received more than 2 million Ukrainian refugees who have fled their country since the Feb. 24 invasion by Russia. Biden is looking to press for continued unity among Western allies as Russia presses on with its brutal invasion of Ukraine.
FBI sees growing Russian hacker interest in US energy firms
WASHINGTON (AP) — The FBI is warning that it has seen increased interest by Russian hackers in energy companies since the start of Russia’s war against Ukraine, though it is offering no indication that a specific cyberattack is planned.
An FBI advisory obtained by The Associated Press on Tuesday says Russian hackers have scanned at least five energy companies for vulnerabilities and at least 18 other companies in sectors including the defense industrial base and financial services. The advisory does not identify any of the companies.
US agrees to lift taxes on British steel, aluminum
BALTIMORE (AP) — The United States has agreed to lift tariffs on British steel and aluminum, mending a rift between allies that dates back to the Trump administration.
At a meeting Tuesday in Baltimore, the U.S. and the U.K. announced a deal that would remove taxes on British steel and aluminum that came in below new quotas on the imports. The British agreed to lift retaliatory tariffs on U.S. exports, including whiskey.
President Donald Trump imposed tariffs of 25% on imported steel and 10% on aluminum in 2018, calling the foreign metals a threat to U.S. national security — a move that outraged the British, Europeans and other longstanding American allies.
FDA details problems at plant behind recalled baby formula
WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal safety inspectors say baby formula maker Abbott failed to maintain sanitary conditions at the Michigan manufacturing plant recently linked to a cluster of infant illnesses.
The Food and Drug Administration began investigating the plant after Abbott recalled several leading infant formulas. The products have been tied to four infant hospitalizations, including two deaths, due to a rare bacterial infection.
FDA inspectors released their initial findings Tuesday evening. Among other problems, they found a history of contamination with the bacteria in various parts of the plant. But the FDA report doesn’t identify a root cause for the latest outbreak.
Seattle Starbucks unionizes in coffee giant’s home city
SEATTLE (AP) – Baristas and other employees at a Seattle Starbucks have voted to unionize, the first such vote in the city where Starbucks originated and the latest in a nationwide push to organize the coffee shop chain.
The Seattle Times reports the unanimous vote is also an especially symbolic win as Howard Schultz returns as interim chief executive officer and workers at more than 100 stores say they want to unionize. The store in the Capitol Hill neighborhood will become the seventh in the country where employees have voted in favor of unionizing with Workers United, an affiliate of the Service Employees International Union.
Elizabeth Holmes looms over trial of former lover, partner
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Although not in the courtroom, Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes loomed over the opening day of a trial that will determine whether her jilted lover and former business partner Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani was her partner in crime.
In opening statements Tuesday, a federal prosecutor depicted Balwani as an instrumental accomplice who helped Holmes pull off a huge scam tied to Theranos’ blood-testing technology. Balwani’s lawyer countered by casting Balwani as a savvy and well-meaning executive who poured millions of his own dollars into Theranos because he so fervently believed the Silicon Valley company would revolutionize health care.
NEW ZEALAND-NEW YORK FLIGHTS
Airline offers 17-hour flights from New York to New Zealand
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand’s flagship airline says it has started selling tickets for direct flights to and from New York. The new route will take more than 17 hours southbound and be among the longest nonstop flights in the world.
Air New Zealand had intended to start the route from Auckland to John F. Kennedy International Airport in 2020 but then the pandemic hit. The first flights will now begin in September.
For two years, the South Pacific nation imposed some of the world’s toughest border restrictions. But the government announced earlier this month that it would reopen to tourists from the U.S. and many other countries by May 1.
China’s ZTE says probation ends after clash with Washington
BEIJING (AP) — Chinese telecom equipment maker ZTE Corp. says a U.S. judge has allowed a probation period to end after the company was nearly destroyed in a clash with Washington over its dealings with Iran and North Korea.
In 2018, then-President Donald Trump barred ZTE’s access to American components amid rising tension with Beijing over technology and security. ZTE agreed to pay an additional $1 billion, replace its executives and be scrutinized by U.S.-appointed monitors to regain access to U.S. technology. The company sells smartphones and network equipment that use American processor chips and other technology.
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