Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Business Briefs for 12-26-2022

by Associated Press

Western NY death toll rises to 27 from cold, storm chaos

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — The death toll from a pre-Christmas blizzard that paralyzed the Buffalo area and much of the country has risen to 27 in western New York authorities said Monday as the region dug out from one of the worst weather-related disasters in its history. The dead have been found in their cars, homes and in snowbanks. Some died while shoveling snow. The storm that walloped much of the country is now blamed for at least 48 deaths, with rescue and recovery efforts continuing Monday. The blizzard roared through the region Friday and Saturday, stranding motorists, knocking out power and preventing emergency crews from reaching residents in frigid homes and stuck cars.

Russia says it shot down Ukrainian drone near airbase

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — The Russian military says it shot down a Ukrainian drone approaching an airbase deep inside Russia. It was the second time the facility was targeted this month. The incident raises questions about the effectiveness of Russia’s air defenses if drones can fly that far into the country. Russia’s Defense Ministry said Monday that three servicemen were killed by debris at the Engels airbase. The base houses nuclear-capable strategic bombers that have been involved in launching strikes on Ukraine. It is located more than 370 miles east of the border with Ukraine. Russia’s Defense Ministry said no damage was inflicted on the aircraft.

EXPLAINER: 2023 tax credits for EVs will boost their appeal

WASHINGTON (AP) — Starting Jan. 1, many Americans will qualify for a tax credit of up to $7,500 for buying an electric vehicle. The credit, part of changes enacted in the Inflation Reduction Act, is designed to spur EV sales and reduce greenhouse emissions. But a complex web of requirements is casting doubt on whether anyone will be able to receive the full $7,500 credit next year. For at least the first two months of 2023, though, a delay in the Treasury Department’s rules for the new credits will likely make the full credit temporarily available to consumers who meet income and price limits. The new law also provides a smaller tax credit for people who buy a used EV.

Asian shares higher in thin holiday trading

BANGKOK (AP) — Shares have advanced in Asia in thin holiday trading, with markets in Europe, some Asian cities and the U.S. closed. On Wall Street, the S&P 500 rose 0.6% on Friday but posted its third straight weekly decline. A key measure of inflation continued to slow, but was still far higher than desired. Also, growth in consumer spending weakened last month by more than expected, though incomes were a bit stronger than expected. Markets are in a tricky spot. Relatively solid economic data reduces the risk of a recession, but increases the likelihood the Federal Reserve and other central banks will keep raising interest rates to tame inflation.

North Macedonia takes emergency anti-pollution steps

SKOPJE, North Macedonia (AP) — North Macedonia’s government say it’s imposing urgent measures in the country’s capital and three other cities in order to protect people from severely high levels of air pollution. No sports events are to take place during days of high pollution. Construction work will be limited to a six-hour window and companies will be asked to excuse pregnant women and people over age 60 from work. The measures coincided with a Saturday announcement that the capital Skopje was the world’s third most polluted city that day. North Macedonia’s high level of pollution cost an estimated 3,000 lives each year.

Tunisia’s political experiment threatens economic collapse

NICE, France (AP) — Tunisia’s political crisis has brought the already struggling economy closer to collapse. The IMF has frozen a loan deal the government badly needs to cope with budget fallout from the pandemic and Russia’s war in Ukraine. Foreign investors are pulling out of Tunisia, and ratings agencies are on alert. Inflation and joblessness are on the rise. Many Tunisians, once proud of their country’s relative prosperity, now struggle to make ends meet. But Tunisia’s increasingly authoritarian president appears determined to upend the country’s political system, once seen as a model for the Arab world. An election debacle a week ago has made matters worse: Just 11% of voters took part.

5 arrested in deadly shooting at Minnesota’s Mall of America

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (AP) — Police say five people have been arrested in a fatal shooting at Minnesota’s Mall of America that sent the sprawling commercial center into lockdown on one of the final days of the holiday shopping season. The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that Bloomington Police Chief Booker Hodges announced the arrests at a Saturday evening news conference. He said those arrested are two 18-year-olds and three 17-year-olds, all male. They will all face murder charges. The newspaper says police believe one of the 18-year-olds was the shooter, though another suspect may have also fired a weapon. A sixth suspect is still being sought.

Judge kept FTX execs’ plea deals secret to get founder to US

NEW YORK (AP) — A judge kept secret that two of Sam Bankman-Fried’s executive associates were cooperating with investigators so the cryptocurrency entrepreneur wouldn’t get spooked and fight extradition from the Bahamas to the United States. Federal Judge Ronnie Abrams’ decision in Manhattan was revealed Friday with the unsealing of transcripts of guilty pleas by Bankman-Fried’s top fellow executives in the collapsed cryptocurrency empire. The 30-year-old Bankman-Fried was brought to New York Wednesday. A Manhattan judge freed him on $250 million bail to live with his parents in California until trial. Later Friday, Abrams recused herself from the case, saying her husband’s law firm advised FTX in 2021.

Elon Musk tells investors he’ll pause on Tesla stock sales

CEO Elon Musk says he won’t sell any more shares in Tesla for 18 months or more, likely an attempt to comfort shareholders of the electric vehicle company who have watched the stock lose nearly half of its value since Musk’s purchase of Twitter went through in October. Musk dumped another $2.58 billion worth of Tesla stock last week and has sold nearly $23 billion worth of his car company’s shares since April, when he started building a position in Twitter. Tesla shares fell more than 1% on Friday, to $123.74. They were around $360 on April 1.

An inflation measure watched by the Fed eases to 5.5%

WASHINGTON (AP) — A measure of inflation closely watched by the Federal Reserve slowed last month, another sign that a long surge in consumer prices seems to be easing. Friday’s report from the Commerce Department showed that prices rose 5.5% in November from a year earlier, down from a revise 6.1% increase in October. Excluding volatile food and energy prices, so-called core inflation was up 4.7% over the previous year. On a month-to-month basis, prices rose 0.1% from October to November after rising 0.4% the previous month. Core prices rose 0.2%.

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