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Business Highlights

Business Highlights

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Obama, Biden, Gates Twitter accounts hacked in bitcoin scam

Con artists on Wednesday apparently hacked into the Twitter accounts of technology moguls, politicians and major companies in an apparent bitcoin scam. The ruse included bogus tweets from Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Mike Bloomberg and a number of tech billionaires including Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and Tesla CEO Elon Musk. The fake tweets offered to send $2,000 for every $1,000 sent to a bitcoin address. Twitter didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

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Fed survey says economy has picked up but outlook cloudy

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve says economic activity has picked up in most regions of the country but still remains well below pre-pandemic levels with the country facing high levels of uncertainty. The Fed reported Wednesday that its latest survey of economic conditions nationwide found improvements in consumer spending and other ares but said the gains were from very low levels seen when widespread lockdowns push the country into a deep recession. And the report said that business contacts in the Fed’s 12 regions remained wary about the future.

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Walmart latest retailer to require customers to wear masks

NEW YORK (AP) — Walmart will require customers to wear face coverings at all of its namesake and Sam’s Club stores, making it the largest retailer to introduce such a policy that has otherwise proven difficult to enforce without state and federal requirements. The company said the policy will go into effect on Monday to allow time to inform customers. About 65% of its more than 5,000 stores and clubs are located in areas where there is already some form of government mandate on face coverings. Walmart joins a growing but still short list of retailers to require masks at all of its stores. Hours after Walmart’s announcement, Kroger came out with its own.

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Congress eyes new virus aid as school, health crisis deepens

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Republicans are poised to roll out their $1 trillion counteroffer to House Democrats’ $3 trillion COVID-19 aid package. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell acknowledged Wednesday that the virus is “not going away” as Congress races to figure out a national strategy to stem the pandemic and economic fallout. But having hit “pause” in May, as McConnell put it, Republicans now face a potentially more dire situation. They had hoped the pandemic would ease, but instead, coronavirus cases are spiking, states are resuming shutdowns and parents are wondering if it’s safe to send their children back to school.

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Trump reins in major environmental law to speed big projects

ATLANTA (AP) — President Donald Trump is rolling back an influential environmental law from the Nixon era that he says delays infrastructure projects. The law is credited with ensuring that major projects get full scrutiny and that local communities have their say. Trump announced the change at a UPS facility in Atlanta. The changes deal with regulations for how and when authorities must conduct environmental reviews. The goal is to make it easier to build highways, pipelines, chemical plants and other projects. While in Atlanta, Trump said “we’re reclaiming America’s proud heritage as a nation of builders and a nation that can get things done.”

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American Airlines warns 25,000 workers they could lose jobs

DALLAS (AP) — American Airlines is telling 25,000 workers that they could lose their jobs in October because of the sharp drop in air travel during the virus pandemic. The airline said Wednesday it was starting new offers of buyouts and partially paid leave, which it hopes will reduce the number of furloughs. The move follows a similar action last week by United Airlines, which notified 36,000 workers that their jobs are in jeopardy. And Delta expects to take a charge of about $3 billion to cover the cost of early retirements and buyouts for employees. An increase in air travel seems to have stalled because of the recent rise in COVID-19 infections.

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Arizona ban on evictions set to end as heat, infections soar

PHOENIX (AP) — Housing advocacy groups have joined lawmakers in lobbying Arizona’s governor to extend his coronavirus-related moratorium on evictions. It will expire next week and allow authorities to start forcibly removing hundreds of renters in a state that’s a national hot spot for both infections and scorching summer weather. Republican Gov. Doug Ducey’s order ending July 22 was supposed to ensure people wouldn’t lose their homes if they got COVID-19 or lost jobs in the pandemic’s economic fallout. He says he doesn’t intend to extend the order. States from Nevada to Virginia also have recently lifted or are about to end moratoriums on rent payments and foreclosures.

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Apple wins big EU court case over $15 billion in taxes

BRUSSELS (AP) — A European Union high court has ruled that technology giant Apple does not have to pay 13 billion euros ($15 billion) in back taxes to Ireland, as the EU’s executive commission wants. The EU Commission had claimed in 2016 that Apple had an illegal sweetheart tax deal with Irish authorities. But the Luxembourg-based General Court said Wednesday that “the Commission did not succeed in showing to the requisite legal standard that there was an advantage.” Apple CEO Tim Cook has called the EU demand for back taxes “total political crap.” The ruling can be appealed and the commission said it was considering its next steps.

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OPEC and allies to ease cuts, allow more oil production

NEW YORK (AP) — Ministers from the OPEC cartel have agreed to allow more oil to flow from the taps, saying demand for oil is growing as economies take steps to reopen. But they also cautioned that they could revisit the decision in an emergency meeting if there are serious lockdowns that further reduce demand for oil. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other nations agreed to ease up on cuts. They chose to stick with a production schedule which will allow participating countries to produce more oil in August than they have in the past few months.

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Without waiter jobs, what happens to creative New York?

NEW YORK (AP) — It’s been the story for many a starry-eyed creative type looking for a big break — wait tables to pay the bills, while auditioning, performing, writing, whatever it takes. But there’s been a plot twist, thanks to the coronavirus putting thousands and thousands of food servers out of work in recent months as restaurants were forced to shut down their dine-in services. And with so much uncertainty over what restaurant dining will look like even as New York City tries to reopen, there’s concern about what that’s going to mean for the city’s creative class if the jobs are no longer readily available.

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The S&P 500 rose 29.04 points, or 0.9%, to 3,226.56. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 227.51 points, or 0.9%, to 26,870.10. The Nasdaq Composite added 61.91 points, or 0.6%, to 10,550.49. The Russell 2000 index of small company stocks picked up 50.01 points, or 3.5%, to 1,478.27.


Updated : 2021-01-22 01:54 GMT+08:00