Workers are on strike at all 3 Detroit auto makers for the first time in their union’s history
DETROIT (AP) — About 13,000 U.S. auto workers have stopped making vehicles and headed for the picket lines. Their leaders have been unable to bridge a giant gap between union demands in contract talks and what Detroit’s three automakers are willing to pay. The United Auto Workers union went on strike against General Motors, Ford and Stellantis simultaneously for the first time in its 88-year history. The limited strike at assembly plants in Michigan, Ohio and Missouri will likely chart the future of the union and of America’s homegrown auto industry.
What’s at stake as 13,000 workers go on strike at major US auto makers
DETROIT (AP) — About 13,000 auto workers have walked off the job at three targeted factories after their union leaders couldn’t reach a deal with Detroit’s automakers. The United Auto Workers are seeking big raises and better benefits from General Motors, Ford and Stellantis. They want to get back concessions that the workers made years ago, when the companies were in financial trouble. The UAW is using a strategy in which a small percentage of the union’s 146,000 members walked off the job at factories in Missouri, Michigan and Ohio. UAW president Shawn Fain says the targeted strikes will give the union leverage in contract talks and keep the auto companies guessing about its next move. They could also help the union’s $825 million strike fund last much longer.
TikTok is hit with $368 million fine under Europe’s strict data privacy rules
LONDON (AP) — European regulators have slapped TikTok with a $368 million fine for failing to protect children’s privacy. It’s the first time that the popular short video-sharing app has been punished for breaching Europe’s strict data privacy rules. Ireland’s Data Protection Commission said Friday that it’s fining TikTok and reprimanding the platform for the violations that occurred in the second half of 2020. TikTok said in a statement that it disagrees with the decision, “particularly the level of the fine imposed.” The company pointed out that the Irish watchdog’s criticisms focused on features and settings dating back three years.
Apple will update iPhone 12 in France after regulators said it emitted too much radiation
PARIS (AP) — Apple has agreed to install updates for iPhone 12 smartphones in France after French regulators ordered the company to stop selling the model. The regulators said it emits electromagnetic radiation levels that are above European Union standards for exposure. The company insists the phones are safe, and that the problem raised by France is related to a specific testing protocol. France’s government asked Apple to issue a software update to address the problem or face a recall. Apple said in a statement Friday that it will issue a software update for users in France. The iPhone 12’s radiation levels are still much lower than what scientific studies consider potentially harmful to users.
Russia raises key interest rate again as inflation and exchange rate worries continue
MOSCOW (AP) — Russia’s central bank has raised its key lending rate by one percentage point to 13%, a month after imposing an even larger hike. Concerns about inflation persist and the ruble continues to struggle against the dollar. The increase comes as annualized inflation rose in September to 5.5%. The bank says it expects inflation will reach 6%-7% by the end of the year. In August, the central bank increased the lending rate to 12% — a jump of 3.5 percentage points — as the ruble fell to 100 against the dollar. Although the ruble’s exchange rate improved mildly after the rate hike, it remains around 95 to the dollar, significantly weaker than a year ago when it was trading at around 60 to the U.S. currency.
Stock market today: Wall Street opens lower but is still on track for weekly gains
NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are slipping in early trading on Wall Street but not enough to erase the market’s gains for the week. The S&P 500 was down 0.4% in the first few minutes of trading Friday. The Dow edged down 37 points and the Nasdaq composite was off 0.5%. The market mostly rose this week following some healthy indicators on the U.S. economy ahead of the Federal Reserve’s meeting next week, where it’s expected to hold interest rates steady. U.S. automaker stocks weren’t moving much after the United Auto Workers union walked off the job at several plants overnight. Treasury yields edged higher.
More than 700 million people don’t know when — or if — they will eat again, UN food chief says
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The head of the United Nations food agency says a global hunger crisis has left more than 700 million people not knowing when or if they will eat again. The agency also says demand for food is rising relentlessly while humanitarian funding drying up. On Thursday, World Food Program Executive Director Cindy McCain told the U.N. Security Council that because of the lack of funding, the agency has been forced to cut food rations for millions of people, and “more cuts are on the way.” She said a series of concurrent and long-term crises “will continue to fuel global humanitarian needs” and the humanitarian community will “be dealing with the fallout for years to come.”
Big Pharma’s Johnson & Johnson under investigation in South Africa over ‘excessive’ drug prices
CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) — U.S.-based pharmaceuticals company Johnson & Johnson is being investigated in South Africa for allegedly charging “excessive” prices for a key tuberculosis drug. The government-appointed commission that regulates business practices in the country announced the investigation on Friday. South Africa’s Competition Commission says J&J’s Belgium-based subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals is also under investigation. The commission says it has information that the companies “may have engaged in exclusionary practices and excessive pricing” over the tuberculosis drug bedaquiline. Health advocacy groups say South Africa is being charged more than other countries for the drug. Tuberculosis is the leading cause of death in South Africa.
China welcomes Cambodian and Zambian leaders as it forges deeper ties with Global South
BEIJING (AP) — The leaders of China and Zambia have announced an upgrading of their ties as the world’s second-largest economy forges deeper ties with the Global South. Chinese President Xi Jinping and Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema unveiled the new partnership on Friday at a meeting in Beijing. Xi also met new Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Manet earlier the same day, and Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro earlier this week. The trio of leaders from Africa, Southeast Asia and Latin America speak to China’s growing role in those parts of the world and China’s ambitions to be a global leader.
Citing sustainability, Starbucks wants to overhaul its iconic cup. Will customers go along?
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — For a generation and more, Starbucks’ throwaway cup has been a cornerstone of consumer society, first in the United States and then globally. It has also carried a message: I am drinking recognizable coffee. Now, in the name of the environment and sustainability, the company’s disposable cup may be on its way to extinction thanks to an unlikely force: Starbucks itself. It’s part of the company’s goals to cut waste, water use and carbon emissions in half by 2030. Pulling that off will be tricky. It’s fraught with risks and provides a window into what companies must do to go from ambitious sustainability targets to meeting those goals.