Sunday, May 26, 2024

AP morning business news brief – Jan. 16, 2023

by BIZ Magazine

Elon Musk’s next drama: a trial over his tweets about Tesla

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Long before beleaguered billionaire Elon Musk purchased Twitter in October, he had set his sights on Tesla, the electric automaker where he serves as CEO and from which he derives most of his wealth and fame. Musk claimed in a August 7, 2018 tweet that he had lined up the financing to pay for a $72 billion buyout of Tesla, which he then amplified with a follow-up statement that made a deal seem imminent. But the buyout never materialized and now Musk will have to explain his actions under oath in a federal court in San Francisco. The trial, which begins on Tuesday with jury selection, was triggered by a class-action lawsuit on behalf of investors who owned Tesla stock for a 10-day period in August 2018.

Business trusted most in a more polarized world, report says

LONDON (AP) — People worldwide are more gloomy about their economic prospects than ever before and trust business far more than governments, nonprofits and the media in an increasingly divided world. That’s according to a survey from public relations firm Edelman released Sunday to coincide with the World Economic Forum’s gathering of business elites and government leaders this week in Davos, Switzerland. The online survey conducted in 28 countries shows that fewer people believe their family will be better off in five years, hitting all-time lows in 24 nations. The Edelman Trust Barometer also says 62% see business as both competent and ethical. That compares with 59% for nongovernmental agencies, 51% for governments and 50% for the media.

South African leader skips Davos amid electricity crisis

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has canceled his trip to the World Economic Forum in Davos in order to deal with his country’s worsening power blackouts. Ramaphosa’s office made the announcement late Sunday. He had been scheduled to lead a delegation from South Africa to the Swiss resort town to promote the country as an investment destination. But public outrage over the electricity crisis has forced him to hold urgent meetings at home. South Africa’s state-owned power utility is currently implementing a high level of power blackouts. Households and businesses are going without electricity for up to 10 hours daily until further notice.

As Davos opens, Oxfam urges windfall tax on food companies

LONDON (AP) — Anti-poverty group Oxfam says companies making big profits as inflation surges should face windfall taxes to help cut global inequality. That’s one of the recommendations in a report the group released Monday as the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting of political and business elites gets underway in the Swiss ski resort of Davos. Oxfam also says that over the past two years, the world’s super-rich 1% have gained nearly twice as much wealth as the remaining 99% combined. Meanwhile, at least 1.7 billion workers live in countries where inflation is outpacing their wage growth. That’s even as billionaire fortunes are rising by $2.7 billion a day.

World shares mostly higher ahead of China GDP data

BANGKOK (AP) — Shares are mostly higher in Europe and Asia after Wall Street benchmarks ended last week on a high note. Investors were looking ahead to China’s release of economic growth figures and a policy update this week from Japan’s central bank. U.S. futures and oil prices declined. Stocks advanced Friday on Wall Street as earnings reporting season got underway, providing insights into how companies are navigating high inflation and a slowing economy. The S&P 500 rose 0.4% after erasing an earlier loss. The benchmark index closed out its best week in two months and is holding onto a 4.2% gain for 2023 so far.

EXPLAINER: Why did Nepal plane crash in fair weather?

BANGKOK (AP) — Yeti Airlines flight 691 crashed Sunday just before landing in Nepal’s tourist city of Pokhara, the gateway to a popular hiking area in the Himalayas, after a 27-minute trip from Kathmandu. At least 69 of the 72 people aboard have been confirmed dead. Pilots say Nepal can be a challenging place to fly but conditions at the time of the crash were good, with low wind, clear skies and temperatures well above freezing. While an investigation is continuing, experts say video taken of the aircraft just before it crashed indicate that it went into a stall. A pilot who routinely flies an ATR-72-500 plane from India to Nepal said the region’s topography, with its mountain peaks and narrow valleys, raises the risk of accidents.

Yellen to meet with Chinese finance minister in Switzerland

WASHINGTON (AP) — Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is set to meet with her Chinese counterpart in Switzerland on Wednesday. Yellen and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He plan to discuss economic developments between the U.S. and China. The Treasury Department says the Zurich talks will be a follow-up to a meeting between President Joe Biden and China’s Xi Jinping on the sidelines of Group of 20 summit in Bali, Indonesia, last November. Strains have been growing between the world’s two leading economies despite their trade ties. The Biden administration blocked the sale of advanced computer chips to China last year and is considering a ban on investment in some Chinese tech companies.

Last activists leave hamlet at heart of German coal protest

BERLIN (AP) — The last two climate activists holed up beneath a German village due to be destroyed for the expansion of a nearby coal mine left the site on Monday. The activists — nicknamed “Pinky” and “Brain” — had remained inside a self-dug tunnel for days in a bid to prevent heavy equipment from being brought in to bulldoze the hamlet of Luetzerath. Meanwhile, anti-coal protests continued in the region, with eight activists chaining themselves to a giant digger at another nearby mine and others abseiling from a bridge to block access to Luetzerath. Both of those protests ended after several hours. Activists have cited the symbolic importance of Luetzerath for years, and thousands of people demonstrated Saturday against the razing of the village.

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