Wednesday, July 24, 2024

AP business news brief – Sept. 5, 2023

by BIZ Magazine

UAW’s clash with Big 3 automakers shows off a more confrontational union as strike deadline looms

DETROIT (AP) — A 46% pay raise. A 32-hour week with 40 hours of pay. A restoration of traditional pensions. The demands that a more combative United Auto Workers union has pressed on General Motors, Stellantis and Ford are edging it closer to a strike when its contract ends Sept. 14. The automakers, which are making billions in profits, have dismissed the UAW’s wish list. They argue that its demands are unrealistic at a time of fierce competition as the world shifts from internal combustion engines to electric vehicles. The wide gulf between the sides could mean a strike against one or more of the automakers, which could send already-inflated vehicle prices even higher.

Saudi Arabia plans to extend 1 million barrel a day oil cut through the end of the year

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Saudi Arabia says it will extend its voluntary production cut of 1 million barrels of oil a day through the end of the year. The announcement, carried Tuesday by the state-run Saudi Press Agency, comes as the kingdom has been unilaterally cutting its output to try and boost sluggish crude oil prices. The announcement said Saudi Arabia still will monitor the market and could take further action if necessary. Benchmark Brent crude traded Tuesday at $90 a barrel immediately after the announcement.

The US government is eager to restore powers to keep dangerous chemicals out of extremists’ hands

WASHINGTON (AP) — When Congress returns this week, Homeland Security officials and those in the chemical industries will be watching to see if a program regulating the chemical sector will be on its agenda. The Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards program lets Homeland Security officials regulate security at high-risk chemical facilities. The goal is tracking chemical materials and keeping them away from extremists or other bad actors who want to steal them and turn them into weapons. The program expired July 28 after Congress failed to renew its authority. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas told the Chemical Security Summit in Virginia the risk extremists could access and weaponize dangerous chemicals produced at the facilities “increases by the day.”

Nonprofits Candid and Council on Foundations make a rare deal the way corporations do

NEW YORK (AP) — It’s a transaction that would be commonplace for a corporation or a sports team, but it’s the kind of deal that is practically unheard of in the nonprofit sector. The philanthropy research organization Candid will send control of its CF Insights website and the staff that gathered information about community foundations to the Council on Foundations, the association of nearly 900 nonprofit members, on Friday. Candid CEO Ann Mei Chang says the shift will allow her nonprofit to focus more sharply on priority areas – including diversity, transparency and effectiveness in the sector – while providing its CF Insights information a larger audience and the potential to expand at the Council on Foundations.

Security in Ecuador has come undone as drug cartels exploit the banana industry to ship cocaine

GUAYAQUIL, Ecuador (AP) — Ecuador’s location is increasingly putting it at the confluence of two global trades: bananas and cocaine. The country is the world’s largest exporter of bananas, shipping about 6.5 million metric tons a year by sea. It is also wedged between the world’s largest cocaine producers, Peru and Colombia. Traffickers’ infiltration of the industry that’s responsible for about 30% of the world’s bananas has contributed to unprecedented violence across the once-peaceful nation. Shootings, killings, kidnappings and blackmail have become a part of daily life, particularly in the banana-shipping port city of Guayaquil.

Trial starts in Sweden of 2 oil executives accused of complicity in war crimes in Sudan

STOCKHOLM (AP) — Two executives of a Swedish oil exploration and production company have gone on trial in Stockholm for securing the company’s operations in Sudan through their alleged complicity in war crimes in 20 years ago. Swedish prosecutors claim that former Lundin Oil chairman Ian Lundin and the company’s former CEO, Alex Schneiter supported the Sudanese government of former dictator Omar al-Bashir. Sweidsh prosecutors accuse the two executives of creating “the necessary conditions for the subsidiary’s operations by conducting warfare in a way that entailed the Sudanese military and regime-allied militia systematically attacking civilians or at least carrying out systematic attacks.” Lundin told reporters at the Stockholm District Court on Tuesday that the accusations are “completely false.”

Nigerian workers walk off the job again to protest rising costs after gas subsidies are removed

ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — Government workers in Nigeria have begun their second strike in a month to protest the growing cost of living after the government removed subsidies that had made gas affordable. The strike by labor unions from across all sectors is expected to disrupt activities in many government offices, further hurting Africa’s largest economy. The Nigeria Labor Congress says there would be a “total and indefinite shutdown of the nation” if their demands are not met. The government says a strike will worsen the condition of Nigerians and requested more time to find ways to resolve the economic crisis.

UAE creates federal authority for ‘commercial gaming’ as casino giants flock to Gulf Arab nation

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The United Arab Emirates has created a federal authority to potentially run a national lottery and what it describes as “commercial gaming.” It’s likely a sign that it is on the verge of allowing gambling as major casino operators flock to the Gulf Arab nation. The state-run WAM news agency carried an announcement late Sunday on the creation of the General Commercial Gaming Regulatory Authority, without offering many details about its structure or operations. It named Kevin Mullally as its CEO. Mullally once served as the executive director of the Missouri Gaming Commission, which oversaw that U.S. state’s riverboat casinos.

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