Monday, April 15, 2024

AP morning business news brief – Aug. 11, 2023

by BIZ Magazine

Worldcoin scans eyeballs and offers crypto. What to know about the project from OpenAI’s CEO

NEW YORK (AP) — Weeks after its international launch, Worldcoin is drawing the attention of privacy regulators around the world. Kenya’s government going so far as to shut down the service indefinitely. The international ID startup also is facing investigations in Europe over whether the biometric data that the company is collecting is truly secure. The goal of Worldcoin and the company backing it, Tools for Humanity, is to give people a form of identification that could never be stolen or duplicated. Worldcoin creates a “World ID” by capturing an image of a person’s irises. It’s a creation of Sam Altman, the CEO of ChatGPT maker OpenAI, and offers cryptocurrency worth $50 to $60 to get people to sign up.

Stock market today: Wall Street edges lower after pickup in wholesale inflation

Stocks are edging lower on Wall Street, keeping the market on track for its second losing week in a row. The early weakness Friday came after the government reported a slight increase in inflation in wholesale prices last month, indicating that the Federal Reserve’s work on bringing inflation to heel isn’t done. The S&P 500 was down 0.1% in early trading. The Dow was up 57 points, or 0.1%. The Nasdaq composite fell 0.5%. Big tech companies were among the biggest losers in the early going. Chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices fell 2%.

UBS ends billions in taxpayer-funded support that paved way for Credit Suisse takeover

GENEVA (AP) — Swiss taxpayers are off the hook from a government-engineered rescue plan that doled out billions to help UBS, the country’s largest bank, take over its ailing rival Credit Suisse. UBS said Friday that it’s shut down state support that had made available up to $230 billion to help shepherd through its takeover of Credit Suisse to avert an international banking crisis. UBS said it had repaid billions in loans and liquidity support from the Swiss government and central bank. It’s also ended the government’s multibillion offer to buffer the bank against losses. The Swiss finance minister says she wasn’t happy about the hastily arranged merger in March but that it was necessary stabilize the financial center.

FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried returns to New York as prosecutors push for his incarceration

NEW YORK (AP) — FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried is returning to New York City for a bail hearing. Prosecutors are pushing for his incarceration. His lawyers insist he shouldn’t be jailed for trying to protect his reputation. A Manhattan federal court hearing is set for Friday. The 31-year-old onetime crypto whiz has been living at his parent’s California home since his December extradition from the Bahamas. He must stay home to comply with a $250 million bail package severely restricting his internet and phone usage. Prosecutors say Bankman-Fried tried to harass a key government witness. His lawyers say he did not.

British economy unexpectedly grows by 0.2% in second quarter largely because of June weather boost

LONDON (AP) — The British economy unexpectedly grew in the second quarter of the year, largely as a result of a strong rebound in June when many businesses particularly in the leisure sector benefited from the warm and settled weather. The Office for National Statistics said Friday that the economy expanded by 0.2% in the April to June period, compared with the previous three-month period. That was higher than the 0.1% recorded in the first quarter and ahead of economists’ expectations for no change. The positive outcome was due to a 0.5% monthly increase in June when pubs and restaurants were buoyed by the hot weather. July results are expected to show the reverse since that month was one of the wettest ever.

Chinese tech giant Huawei reports sales, profit up despite US sanctions

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese tech giant Huawei says its revenue rose 3% over a year earlier and its profit margin widened in the first half of 2023 despite sanctions that limit its access to U.S. processor chips. China’s first global tech brand has responded to U.S. curbs that devastated its smartphone brand by increasing emphasis on serving hospitals, electric car brands and other industrial customers. The company said first-half revenue rose 3.1% to 310.9 billion yuan, or $43.1 billion. It gave no profit figure but said its profit margin was 15%. Huawei struggled after then-President Donald Trump cut off access to U.S. processor chips and other technology in a feud with Beijing over technology and security.

Celebrity hair, makeup and nail stylists: How the Hollywood strikes have affected glam squads

NEW YORK (AP) — A world of hair, makeup and manicurists have been idled by the Hollywood strikes at a time when they were still rebuilding from the covid shutdowns. And many don’t have a Plan B. In more than a dozen interviews with The Associated Press, many fear they’ll lose their homes and health insurance. They’re not alone as the writers and actors strikes drag on. The entertainment industry has hundreds of journeyman job descriptions impacted by the strikes, from script supervisors to costume designers. Says one Los Angeles-based hair stylist: “Hair is what I love. There’s really nothing else.”

Two rival robotaxi services win approval to operate throughout San Francisco despite safety concerns

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — California regulators have approved an expansion that will allow two rival robotaxi service to operate throughout San Francisco at all hours. The vote by the state’s Public Utilities Commission came despite reservations from city officials and residents spurred by erratic behavior that resulted in unmanned vehicles blocking traffic, including the path of emergency vehicles. The regulators voted to approve rival services from Cruise and Waymo to operate the around-the-clock service. It will make San Francisco first major U.S. city with two fleets of driverless vehicles competing for passengers against ride-hailing and taxi services dependent on humans to operate the cars.

Severe floods in China’s northern province killed 29 and caused tens of billions of economic losses

BEIJING (AP) — Severe floods in China’s northern province of Hebei brought by the remnants of Typhoon Doksuri this month killed at least 29 people and caused tens of billions in economic losses. Official news agency Xinhua reported that rescue crews were still searching for 16 missing people as of Thursday and the province’s reconstruction is expected to take two years to complete. The China News Service said initial estimates showed the province’s direct economic losses amounted to 95.8 billion yuan ($13.2 billion). Last week, Hebei was hit by serious flooding as remnants of the typhoon battered the region and brought the heaviest rainfall neighboring Beijing in at least 140 years.

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