Sunday, July 21, 2024

Morning business headlines: Nov. 10, 2023

by BIZ Magazine

The Great Grift: COVID-19 fraudster used stolen relief aid to purchase a private island in Florida

YANKEETOWN, Fla. (AP) — Patrick Parker Walsh is one of thousands of thieves who perpetrated the greatest grift in U.S. history — potentially plundering more than $280 billion in federal COVID-19 aid. Walsh is currently serving five and half years in federal prison for stealing nearly $8 million in COVID-19 relief funds that he used, in part, to buy a Florida island. While Walsh’s private island ranks among the most unusual purchases by pandemic aid fraudsters, his crime was not unique. The scammers who defrauded the government spent lavishly on houses, luxury watches, diamond jewelry, strip clubs and gambling sprees. Authorities vow to track down the fraudsters. Nearly 3,200 defendants have been charged with COVID-19 relief fraud, according to the U.S. Justice Department.

How to talk to older people in your life about scams

NEW YORK (AP) — Last year, consumers lost $8.8 billion to scammers, and the Federal Trade Commission says older adults lost the most money compared to other age groups. While everyone wants to protect the older people in their life against scammers, sometimes conversations can be complicated to navigate. Genevieve Waterman from the National Council on Aging says the group encourages people to think about multigenerational approaches. She says everyone can be targeted by scams, it’s just that the techniques may be different.

Drinks giant Diageo sees share price slide after warning about sales in Caribbean and Latin America

LONDON (AP) — Spirits and beer giant Diageo saw billions wiped off its market value on Friday after it warned that a sharp slowdown in its business in Latin America and the Caribbean was hitting sales and potential profits. In early trading in London, the company’s share price was down by 14% after it told investors that it expects growth in the first half of the current financial year to be slower than the previous half-year. It blamed a “materially weaker” outlook in Latin America and the Caribbean as a result of “macroeconomic pressures” and customers downtrading to cheaper products. The region accounts for around 11% of Diageo’s total sales.

Stock market today: Wall Street ticks higher after Treasury yields relax

NEW YORK (AP) — Wall Street is ticking higher as it nears the close of a mostly quiet week following some fireworks since the summer. The S&P 500 was up 0.4% Friday and on track to end the week with a small gain less than that. That would follow its best week of the year. The Dow rose 122 points, and the Nasdaq composite was up 0.6%. Stocks rose after yields in the Treasury market gave back some of their gains from the prior day. That relaxed the pressure on Wall Street, which in turn helped Big Tech stocks push the market higher.

Fans push Fisher-Price Corn Popper into toy HOF, with NERF, Cabbage Patch Kids, baseball cards

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) — Fans have pushed the Fisher-Price Corn Popper into the National Toy Hall of Fame. It joins baseball cards, Cabbage Patch Kids and NERF foam toys in the class of 2023, announced Friday. The Fisher-Price push toy was voted in by fans as part of the Toy Hall of Fame’s 25th anniversary celebration. Baseball cards, Cabbage Patch Kids and NERF toys were chosen in the usual way, with input from a panel of national experts. Each year, the Hall of Fame in Rochester, New York, recognizes a group of toys that have inspired creative play and enjoyed long-lasting popularity.

Biden and Xi will meet Wednesday for talks on trade, Taiwan and managing fraught US-China relations

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House says President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping will discuss a range of regional and global issues when they meet next week in the San Francisco Bay area. Biden and Xi will be in San Francisco for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit. China’s Foreign Ministry confirms Xi will attend APEC at Biden’s invitation and will take part in the U.S.-China summit. Biden and Xi have no shortage of difficult issues to address in their first engagement in nearly a year. Taiwan’s upcoming election, differences over U.S. export controls on advanced technology, North Korea, the Israel-Hamas war and more are expected to be on the agenda.

San Francisco bidding to reverse image of a city in decline as host of APEC trade summit

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — World leaders, CEOS, protesters and thousands of others will soon descend on San Francisco for a high-profile trade summit that could give the battered city a chance to reverse its image as a powerhouse in decline. The annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation leaders’ summit starts Saturday in San Francisco. Mayor London Breed says her California city has been unfairly portrayed by negative press. She wants visitors to see that San Francisco is safe, clean and open for business. The city and its partners are polishing sidewalks, scrubbing away graffiti and moving homeless people into accommodations. Critics of the 21-nation trade group known as APEC say the summit promotes profit over people.

British economy flatlines in third quarter of the year, update shows ahead of budget statement

LONDON (AP) — The British economy flatlined in the third quarter of the year. The Office for National Statistics said Friday that growth in the July to September period was zero compared to the previous three months. Despite the uninspiring figure, the quarterly outcome was slightly ahead of analysts’ expectations for a modest decline in output. The British economy, like many others particularly in the world, is struggling to grow in the face of higher interest rates, which are aimed at taming inflation. Treasury chief Jeremy Hunt said a budget statement he will deliver on Nov. 22 will focus on how to “get the economy growing healthily again by unlocking investment.”

Wynn joins Caesars and MGM in reaching tentative deal to avoid a strike by Las Vegas hotel workers

LAS VEGAS (AP) — After a marathon week of negotiations, the Las Vegas hotel workers union says it has reached a tentative deal with Wynn Resorts. It was the last contract the Culinary Workers Union needed to avoid a strike Friday. The new five-year contract covers employees at the company’s flagship hotel-casino and Encore Resorts. It came early Friday after the union’s tentative deals earlier in the week with Caesars Entertainment and MGM Resorts. The union says the contracts will provide workers with historic pay raises and other unprecedented wins, like mandatory daily room cleanings. The contract came after seven months of bargaining and is their first since the pandemic.

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