Supply chains unclog, giving consumers relief; first female pair to sign currency, and more business news ICYMI

According to the DOE, the attacks on Moore County’s substations are part of a growing trend of attacks on the U.S. power grid this year.

Check out this week’s Business Briefs, an encompassing look at top business news this week from the Associated Press, with a special spotlight on national business and the economy.

North Carolina blackouts caused by shootings could last days

CARTHAGE, N.C. (AP) — Tens of thousands of people are bracing for days without electricity in a North Carolina county where authorities say two power substations were shot up by one or more people with apparent criminal intent. Across Moore County southwest of Raleigh, businesses handed out free food or coffee and and often conducted transactions in cash. The county announced that schools would be closed for a second day Tuesday due to the lingering outages. Traffic lights were out around the county. Drivers treated intersections as four-way stops, which caused some traffic in places such as downtown Carthage.

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North Carolina blackouts caused by shootings could last days

Panel calls for stronger leadership of FDA foods program

A panel is calling for changes at the federal agency that oversees most of the nation’s food supply, saying revamped leadership, a clear mission and more urgency are needed to prevent illness outbreaks and to promote good health. But the report released Tuesday stopped short of recommending specific steps to take, instead offering several scenarios. The Reagan-Udall Foundation, a group separate from but closely tied to the federal Food and Drug Administration, said in a report that the agency leadership and culture must be restructured to better respond to food safety crises and chronic public health problems.

Panel calls for stronger leadership of FDA foods program

As supply chains unclog, consumers enjoy (tentative) relief

The supply backlogs of the past two years — and the delays, shortages and outrageous prices that came with them — have improved dramatically since summer. The web of factories, railroads, ports, warehouses and freight yards that link products to customers have nearly regained their pre-pandemic levels. The easing of supply bottlenecks has begun to provide some relief from the inflation that this year reached its highest levels in four decades and has pummeled consumers and businesses. The progress has been modest and so far short-lived. Yet it’s still a glimmer of good news for shoppers in the holiday shopping season.

As supply chains unclog, consumers enjoy (tentative) relief

Yellen, Malerba become 1st female pair to sign US currency

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has helped mark a milestone in U.S. history by holding up a newly minted $5 bill signed for the first time ever by two women. Yellen’s signature will appear alongside that of U.S. Treasurer Lynn Malerba, the first Native American in that position. Yellen joked Thursday about the bad handwriting of some of her male predecessors and said, “I will admit, I spent some quality time practicing my signature.” Malerba and Yellen traveled to a Bureau of Engraving and Printing facility in Fort Worth, Texas, to provide their signatures. The new $1 and $5 notes will go into circulation next year.

Yellen, Malerba become 1st female pair to sign US currency

Fight to curb food waste increasingly turns to science

Hate mealy apples and soggy french fries? Science can help. Food companies are increasingly turning to chemistry and physics to tackle the problem of food waste. There are spray-on peels and chemically enhanced sachets that can slow the ripening process in fruit and digital sensors that can tell when meat is safe to consume. Packets affixed to the top of a takeout box use thermodynamics to keep fries crispy. Experts say growing awareness of food waste has led to an uptick in efforts to mitigate it. More than one-third of food produced in the U.S. goes uneaten; much of that winds up in landfills.

Fight to curb food waste increasingly turns to science

Hate mealy apples and soggy french fries? Science can help. Food companies are increasingly turning to chemistry and physics to tackle the problem of food waste. There are spray-on peels and chemically enhanced sachets that can slow the ripening process in fruit and digital sensors that can tell when meat is safe to consume. Packets affixed to the top of a takeout box use thermodynamics to keep fries crispy. Experts say growing awareness of food waste has led to an uptick in efforts to mitigate it. More than one-third of food produced in the U.S. goes uneaten; much of that winds up in landfills.

Russian oil price cap, EU ban aim to limit Kremlin war chest

Major Western measures to limit Russia’s oil profits over the war in Ukraine have taken effect. They bring uncertainty about how much crude could be lost to the world and whether they will unleash the hoped-for hit to a Russian economy that’s held up better than many expected under sanctions. Starting Monday, the European Union is banning most Russian oil and the Group of Seven democracies has imposed a price cap of $60 per barrel on Russian exports to other countries. The impact may be blunted because Russia has been able reroute much of its European seaborne shipments to China, India and Turkey, although at steep discounts. Plus, the price cap is near what Russian oil already cost.

Sale jumpstarts floating, offshore wind power in US waters

Tuesday marks the first-ever U.S. auction for leases to develop commercial-scale floating wind farms in the deep waters off the West Coast. The live, online auction for the five leases — three off California’s central coast and two off its northern coast — has attracted strong interest — 43 companies from around the world. It marks America’s first foray into floating wind turbines; auctions so far have been for ones that are anchored to the seafloor. The need for energy that does not put more carbon into the atmosphere is increasing as climate change takes a toll. Environmentalists and tribes say they want to make sure the offshore and coastal development is done right.

What's at stake as Trump Org. trial deliberations continue

Jurors in the Trump Organization’s criminal tax fraud trial will continue deliberating for a second day on Tuesday as they weigh charges that former President Donald Trump’s company helped executives dodge personal income taxes on perks. Jurors deliberated for about four hours on Monday. The deliberations follow a monthlong trial that featured testimony from seven witnesses, including longtime Trump Organization finance chief Allen Weisselberg and Senior Vice President and Controller Jeffrey McConney. An outside accountant who spent years preparing tax returns for Trump and the company also testified.

US, EU agree to intensify talks on 'green subsidies' dispute

The United States and European Union have agreed to intensify talks to resolve EU concerns over major subsidies for American companies contained in a U.S. clean energy law. Although no deal was reached at talks Monday, the two sides pledged to continue work and push for a solution that benefits both U.S. and European firms, workers and consumers. The U.S. Inflation Reduction Act offers about $375 billion in new and extended tax credits to help the the U.S. clean energy industry as well as buyers of qualifying electric vehicles made in North America. But European leaders have expressed alarm that the subsidies would be an enormous setback for European companies.

Unmarked graves, an 'ugly history': W.Va. weighs mine safety

The unmarked graves in a forgotten West Virginia burial ground known locally as Little Egypt contain the remains of dozens of coal mine workers who died in a 1912 explosion. For Ed Evans, a Democratic state lawmaker and retired school teacher, they are a reminder of the dangers of undoing mine safety regulations, currently under debate in the state Legislature. Evans says he worries about what will happen now that many advocates of the mine safety laws, himself included, were defeated in the Nov. 8 election. With Republicans gaining an even tighter grip on the Legislature, lawmakers are expected to make another run at further deregulating the agencies that monitor mine safety.

Asian shares lower as strong data hit hopes for dovish Fed

Stocks are mostly lower in Asia after Wall Street pulled back as surprisingly strong economic reports highlighted the difficulty of the Federal Reserve’s fight against inflation. Tokyo rose while other regional markets declined. U.S. futures gained and oil prices also advanced. The S&P 500 fell 1.8{1b90e59fe8a6c14b55fbbae1d9373c165823754d058ebf80beecafc6dee5063a} Monday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 1.4{1b90e59fe8a6c14b55fbbae1d9373c165823754d058ebf80beecafc6dee5063a} and the tech-heavy Nasdaq gave back 1.9{1b90e59fe8a6c14b55fbbae1d9373c165823754d058ebf80beecafc6dee5063a}. Small-company stocks fell even more. The services sector, which makes up the biggest part of the U.S. economy, showed surprising growth in November. At the same time, markets have been lifted by expectations China will press ahead with easing its stringent pandemic restrictions, relieving pressures on trade, manufacturing and consumer spending.

India signals it will continue to buy oil from Russia

India’s foreign minister has signaled that his country will continue to buy oil from Russia, even as Western governments press Moscow with a price cap on its oil exports. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar says it isn’t right for European countries to prioritize their energy needs but ask India to do something else. India, a major buyer of Russian oil, has so far not committed to the European Union’s price cap of $60 per barrel on Russian oil. The move is aimed at limiting the fossil fuel earnings that support Moscow’s military. Jaishankar was speaking to reporters in New Delhi after holding talks with his German counterpart, Annalena Baerbock, in which they discussed bilateral relations and Russia’s war in Ukraine.

Justices spar in latest clash of religion and gay rights

The Supreme Court’s conservative majority is sounding sympathetic to a Christian graphic artist who objects to designing wedding websites for gay couples. But in arguments Monday, liberal justices suggested that allowing that discrimination could open the door to broader refusals by businesses to serve Black, Jewish or Islamic customers, interracial couples and many others. The Colorado case is the latest clash of religion and gay rights to land at the high court. A case involving a Colorado baker and a wedding cake for a gay couple ended with a limited decision five years ago and is to return to the court.

The governor of Germany’s state of Lower Saxony says he is quitting Twitter because the microblogging site is increasingly being used to spread “hatred and incitement.” Governor Stephan Weil said Monday his Twitter account would be deleted the following day. Experts have warned of a rise in anti-semitic vitriol if Twitter’s new CEO Elon Musk grants “amnesty” to suspended accounts. A top European Union official urged Musk last week to step up the site’s policing of illegal content or risk being banned in the 27-nation bloc. While some ordinary users have already quit Twitter, officials have hesitated to do so because the site plays a prominent role in the political conversation in many countries.

Meta oversight board urges changes to VIP moderation system

Facebook’s quasi-independent oversight board says an internal system that exempted high-profile users, including former U.S. President Donald Trump, from some or all of its content moderation rules needs a major overhaul. The report released Tuesday by the Oversight Board said the system “is flawed in key areas which the company must address.” The board opened its review after The Wall Street Journal reported that the system was being abused by many of its elite users, who posted material that would result in penalties for ordinary people, including for harassment and incitement of violence. Meta has agreed to respond to the report within 90 days.

Boeing's last 747 to roll out of Washington state factory

After more than half a century, Boeing is rolling its last 747 out of a Washington state factory. The jumbo jet has been used as a cargo plane, a commercial aircraft capable of carrying nearly 500 passengers, and as the Air Force One presidential aircraft. When it debuted in 1969, it was the largest commercial aircraft in the world and the first with two aisles. The final customer is Atlas Air, which ordered four 747-8 freighters early this year. The last is rolling out of Boeing’s massive factory in Everett, Washington, on Tuesday night.

China trade shrinks amid virus pressure, interest rate hikes

China’s imports and exports shrank in November under pressure from weakening global demand and anti-virus controls at home. Customs data showed exports sank 9{1b90e59fe8a6c14b55fbbae1d9373c165823754d058ebf80beecafc6dee5063a} from a year earlier to $296.1 billion, worsening from October’s 0.9{1b90e59fe8a6c14b55fbbae1d9373c165823754d058ebf80beecafc6dee5063a} decline. Imports fell 10.9{1b90e59fe8a6c14b55fbbae1d9373c165823754d058ebf80beecafc6dee5063a} to $226.2 billion, down from the previous month’s 0.7{1b90e59fe8a6c14b55fbbae1d9373c165823754d058ebf80beecafc6dee5063a} retreat. Chinese trade had been forecast to weaken as global demand cooled following interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve and central banks in Europe and Asia to rein in surging inflation. Chinese consumer demand has been hurt by anti-virus measures that shut down large sections of cities to contain virus outbreaks.

Robinhood takes on retirement in search for more growth

After blazing onto Wall Street by making trading fun for its customers, Robinhood is now setting its sights on a more staid corner of the industry: saving for retirement. The company on Tuesday is opening up signups for a retirement program, where customers can sock savings into an Individual Retirement Account, something better known as an IRA. It’s the first such effort for Robinhood, which is trying to recapture some of its formerly high-flying growth that fell off as painful downturns made day-trading of stocks and crypto much less fun.

US approves $425 million in arms sales to Taiwan

The Biden administration has signed off on two new significant arms sales to Taiwan in approvals that are sure to rankle China. The State Department said late Tuesday that it had approved sales worth more than $425 million of spare aircraft parts to Taiwan to support its fleet of F-16 fighters, C-130 transport planes and other U.S.-supplied weapons systems. The package includes $330 million in standard replacement parts and $98 million in non-standard equipment. The sales were announced just weeks after President Joe Biden met his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping for talks in Indonesia in which China’s increasingly aggressive behavior toward Taiwan was a major issue.

Prada charts line of business succession, tapping new CEO

The Prada fashion house has begun charting a line of succession on its business side by tapping a former LVMH executive as its next CEO. It also confirmed Tuesday that Miuccia Prada will continue in her creative roles. Andrea Guerra is set to be confirmed by the board next month as the new CEO, succeeding Patrizio Bertelli, who will remain as chairman. The move is intended as a step toward Bertelli and Miuccia Prada’s son Lorenzo Bertelli taking over as leader of the group. The statement emphasized that Miuccia Prada will remain co-creative director of Prada with Raf Simons, creative director of Miu Miu and a board member.

Stocks decline in Asia, extending losses on Wall Street

Shares are lower in Asia after benchmarks fell again on Wall Street on fears the Federal Reserve will need to keep the brakes on the economy to get inflation under control, risking a sharp recession. Oil prices were mixed. China reported its imports and exports fell in November as global demand weakened and anti-virus controls weighed on the second-largest economy. The S&P 500 fell 1.4{1b90e59fe8a6c14b55fbbae1d9373c165823754d058ebf80beecafc6dee5063a} Tuesday, its fourth straight loss. The tech-heavy Nasdaq gave back even more, 2{1b90e59fe8a6c14b55fbbae1d9373c165823754d058ebf80beecafc6dee5063a}, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 1{1b90e59fe8a6c14b55fbbae1d9373c165823754d058ebf80beecafc6dee5063a}. The yield on the 10-year Treasury, which helps set mortgage rate, fell to 3.52{1b90e59fe8a6c14b55fbbae1d9373c165823754d058ebf80beecafc6dee5063a}.

1st US floating offshore wind auction nets $757M in bids

The first-ever U.S. auction of leases to develop commercial-scale floating wind farms in the deep waters off the West Coast raised $757 million in bids, from mostly European companies. The auction offered two adjoining lease areas in northern California and three in central California that have the potential to generate 4.5 gigawatts of energy, enough for 1.5 million homes. The auction garnered less than the $4.4 billion from an auction for traditional, fixed wind power off the East Coast earlier this year. Industry experts say that’s due to uncertainties about transmission infrastructure in the more rural area and the complex technology of floating turbines.

Holmes' former partner gets nearly 13 years in Theranos case

A judge has sentenced former Theranos executive Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani to nearly 13 years in prison for his role in the company’s blood-testing hoax. The punishment announced Wednesday was slightly longer than that given last month to the CEO, who was his lover and accomplice in one of Silicon Valley’s biggest scandals. Balwani was convicted in July of fraud and conspiracy in connection with bogus medical technology that duped investors and endangered patients. His sentencing came less than three weeks after Elizabeth Holmes received more than 11 years in prison. Their scheme has been dissected in a book, an HBO documentary and an award-winning TV series.

Making 'indie' video games gets trickier as industry evolves

Every year, some tiny and independent video game developer studios like hold their own with the big leagues by making hit games that achieve commercial success or at least critical acclaim. Ben Esposito’s latest, Neon White, is a campy twist on the first-person shooter genre. It’s nominated for “Best Indie” and “Best Action” game at Thursday’s Game Awards, an Oscars-like event for the video game industry. How long these “indie” studios can flourish is up for debate as the gaming industry undergoes increasing consolidation. That’s symbolized by Xbox-maker Microsoft’s pending $69 billion takeover of giant game publisher Activision Blizzard.

Microsoft strikes 10-year deal with Nintendo on Call of Duty

Microsoft has agreed to make the hit video game Call of Duty available on Nintendo for 10 years should its $69 billion purchase of game maker Activision Blizzard go through. The announcement Wednesday is an apparent attempt to fend off objections from rival Sony. The blockbuster merger is facing close scrutiny from global regulators. Microsoft, maker of the Xbox game console, faces resistance from Sony, which makes the competing PlayStation console. Sony has raised concerns with antitrust watchdogs about losing access to what it describes as a “must-have” game title. Microsoft President Brad Smith tweeted his thanks to Nintendo, which makes the Switch game console. He said the same deal was also available for Sony.

Biden signs #MeToo law curbing confidentiality agreements

President Joe Biden has signed legislation curbing the use of confidentiality agreements that block victims of sexual harassment from speaking publicly about misconduct in the workplace. The bipartisan Speak Out Act bars the use of nondisclosure agreements that employees or contractors are required to sign, often as a condition of employment. The new law is among workplace changes pushed in the wake of the #MeToo movement. The law applies to any nondisclosure agreements signed before a dispute has occurred. The law would make existing nondisclosure agreements unenforceable. It wouldn’t apply to agreements signed after a dispute or regarding any other allegations, such as racial discrimination.

Apple: Most iCloud data can now be end-to-end encrypted

Apple has embarked on its latest privacy-enhancing move. The tech giant says it will now offer full end-to-encryption for nearly all the data its users store in its cloud system. That will make it more difficult for hackers, spies and law enforcement agencies to access sensitive user information. The world’s most valuable company has long placed customer security and privacy at a premium. Its iMessage and Facetime communications services are fully encrypted end-to-end and it has sometimes locked horns with law enforcement agencies including the FBI over its refusal to unlock devices.

China eases anti-COVID measures following protests

China has rolled back rules on isolating people with COVID-19 and dropped virus test requirements for some public places. That is a dramatic change to a strategy that confined millions of people to their homes and sparked protests and demands for President Xi Jinping to resign. The move adds to earlier easing that fueled hopes Beijing was scrapping its “zero COVID” strategy. Experts warn that restrictions can’t be lifted completely until at least mid-2023 because millions of elderly people still must be vaccinated and the health care system strengthened. China is the last major country still trying to stamp out transmission of the virus while many nations switch to trying to live with it.

South Korea widens back-to-work orders on striking truckers

South Korea’s government has expanded its back-to-work orders against thousands of cargo truck drivers who are staging a nationwide walkout over freight fare issues. The government says a prolonged strike could inflict “deep scars” on the country’s economy. The orders were initially issued on some 2,500 cement truckers last week. But they were expanded Thursday to about 6,000 drivers transporting steel and 4,500 transporting fuel and chemicals. Police are also clamping down on unionists who threaten or disrupt colleagues who choose to work. The strike’s impact has so far been mostly limited to domestic industries like construction.

FTC sues to block Microsoft-Activision Blizzard $69B merger

The Federal Trade Commission on Thursday sued to block Microsoft’s planned $69 billion takeover of video game company Activision Blizzard, saying it could suppress competitors to its Xbox game consoles and its growing games subscription business. The FTC voted 3-1 to issue the complaint after a closed-door meeting, with the three Democratic commissioners voting in favor and the sole Republican voting against. The agency said Microsoft has shown through past acquisitions that it will withhold game content from rivals. Microsoft’s president, Brad Smith, signaled in a statement Thursday that the company is likely to challenge the FTC’s decision.

EU court: Google must delete inaccurate search info if asked

The European Union’s top court says Google has to delete search results about people in Europe if they can prove that the information is clearly wrong. Europeans have the right to ask search engines to delete links to outdated or embarrassing information about themselves, even if it is true, under a principle known as “right to be forgotten.” Two people asked Google to remove search results based on their names that linked to articles they said made false claims. Google refused because it didn’t know whether the articles were accurate or not. The European Court of Justice said Thursday that it disagreed. Google says it’s worked to balance “people’s rights of access to information and privacy.”

Japan to jointly develop new fighter jet with UK, Italy

Japan has announced it will jointly develop its next-generation fighter jet with the U.K. and Italy. Tokyo is looking to expand defense cooperation beyond its traditional ally, the United States. The Mitsubishi F-X fighter jet, which Japan plans to deploy in 2035, will replace its aging fleet of Mitsubishi F-2 jets that it developed with the United States. The nations will merge their current plans for development of next-generation planes — the F-X and Britain’s Tempest, which is being developed with Italy. Japan has expanded defense partnerships in the Indo-Pacific and Europe. Japan and Australia also held security talks among their foreign and defense ministers later Friday.

New York Times journalists, other workers on 24-hour strike

Hundreds of New York Times journalists and other staff have walked off the job for 24 hours. They’re frustrated by contract negotiations that have dragged on for months in the newspaper’s biggest labor dispute in more than 40 years. Reporters, editors, photographers and other employees rallied outside the Times’ offices. The newspaper relied on international staff and other non-union journalists to deliver content to its more than 9 million subscribers in the U.S. and other countries. In an email to the newsroom, Times Executive Editor Joe Kahn said Thursday’s report would be “robust” but that producing it would be harder than usual.

Biden releasing nearly $36B to aid pensions of union workers

President Joe Biden’s administration is providing nearly $36 billion to shore up a financially troubled union pension plan. The federal aid is intended to stop severe cuts to the retirement incomes of more than 350,000 Teamsters workers and retirees. The Biden administration says it’s the largest-ever federal payment to a union pension fund. The money for the Central States Pension Fund is part of a broader $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package that Biden signed into law in 2021. Retirement plans have been under financial pressure because of underfunding and other issues. Without the federal assistance, Teamster members could have seen their benefits reduced by roughly 60{1b90e59fe8a6c14b55fbbae1d9373c165823754d058ebf80beecafc6dee5063a}.

FTC challenges Meta acquisition of VR company in court

Federal regulators opened their campaign to block Facebook parent Meta’s acquisition of a virtual-reality company in a San Jose, California, courtroom. In a landmark legal challenge Thursday to a Big Tech merger, the Federal Trade Commission has sued to prevent Meta’s acquisition of Within Unlimited and its fitness app Supernatural, asserting it would hurt competition and violate antitrust laws. Meta has been unsuccessful in its bid to have the case dismissed. CEO Mark Zuckerberg was dropped as a defendant, in the case, but he is expected to testify.

Women sue Musk's Twitter alleging discriminatory layoffs

Two women who lost their jobs at Twitter when billionaire Elon Musk took over are suing the company in federal court, claiming that last month’s abrupt mass layoffs disproportionately affected female employees. The discrimination lawsuit is the latest in a series of legal challenges over Musk’s decimation of Twitter’s workforce through mass layoffs and firings. Days after the world’s richest man bought the social media platform for $44 billion, the company told about half of employees on Nov. 4 that they no longer had a job but would get three months severance.

SpaceX gives rival's internet satellites ride to orbit

SpaceX has launched a batch of internet satellites for a competitor. Elon Musk’s company stepped in to help after the London-based OneWeb halted its flights with Russia over the invasion of Ukraine. The Falcon rocket blasted off at sunset Thursday from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center. The 40 new satellites will expand OneWeb’s orbiting constellation to just over 500. OneWeb expects to complete its network with two more SpaceX launches in the next few months and one more launch from India for global internet coverage. SpaceX has its own internet satellite system called Starlink.

Memphis nonprofit puts money behind drive to curb gun deaths

Memphis has long suffered from disproportionately high homicide rates. And like many other cities, it endured a surge in homicides in 2020 on the heels of the pandemic. The violence seized the attention of Patrick Lawler, who runs the nonprofit Youth Villages. Lawler discovered a body of research suggesting that a surprisingly small number of people, generally acting in groups, are typically behind most gun violence. Building on that research, he established a community intervention program that aims to reduce gun violence in Memphis and has set an ambitious goal of raising $60 million to sustain it.

Helping Ukraine is 'self-preservation,' finance chief says

Ukraine’s finance minister says crucial Western financial aid is “not charity” but “self-preservation” as donor countries share the price of turning back Russian aggression. Serhiy Marchenko told The Associated Press in an interview Thursday that his country is protecting freedom and democracy far beyond its borders. He said he believes EU officials will resolve their dispute with Hungary that is holding up 18 billion euros in loans and would cover a large part of Ukraine’s looming budget gap. That outside financing is needed to avoid printing money at the central bank to cover basic needs like pensions, a practice that risks fueling already painful inflation.

Ex-FTX CEO Bankman-Fried says he will testify to Congress

The former CEO of the failed cryptocurrency exchange FTX says he is willing to testify to Congress next week. But he says he will be limited in what he can say and that he “won’t be as helpful” as he’d like to be. Sam Bankman-Fried tweeted in response to a tweet from House Financial Services Committee Chair Maxine Waters, who on Monday requested that Bankman-Fried attend next week’s hearings over the collapse of FTX. Waters said in a series of tweets to Bankman-Fried that based on multiple media interviews since FTX collapsed that it was “clear to us that the information you have thus far is sufficient for testimony.”

Wholesale prices in the United States rose 7.4{1b90e59fe8a6c14b55fbbae1d9373c165823754d058ebf80beecafc6dee5063a} in November from a year earlier, a fifth straight slowdown and a hopeful sign that inflation pressures across the economy are continuing to cool. The latest year-over-year figure was down from 8{1b90e59fe8a6c14b55fbbae1d9373c165823754d058ebf80beecafc6dee5063a} in October and from a recent peak of 11.7{1b90e59fe8a6c14b55fbbae1d9373c165823754d058ebf80beecafc6dee5063a} in March. On a monthly basis, the U.S. producer price index, which measures costs before they reach consumers, rose 0.3{1b90e59fe8a6c14b55fbbae1d9373c165823754d058ebf80beecafc6dee5063a} from October to November for the third straight month. Rising prices are still straining Americans’ finances. Yet several emerging trends have combined to slow inflation from the four-decade peak it reached during the summer.

Wall Street falls as US inflation slows but remains hot

Stocks closed lower on Wall Street after a report showed inflation is slowing, though not by as much as hoped. The S&P 500 fell 0.7{1b90e59fe8a6c14b55fbbae1d9373c165823754d058ebf80beecafc6dee5063a} Friday, marking its first losing week in the last three. The weakness came after the U.S. government reported that prices at the wholesale level were 7.4{1b90e59fe8a6c14b55fbbae1d9373c165823754d058ebf80beecafc6dee5063a} higher in November than a year earlier. That’s a slowdown from October but worse than economists expected. High inflation, along with the Federal Reserve’s economy-crunching response to it, have been the main reasons for the stock market’s painful tumble this year. Treasury yields rose.

US sanctions firms for rights abuses on Anti-Corruption Day

The Treasury Department says it is imposing sanctions on a broad array of people and companies around the world for corruption and human rights abuses — from illegal fishing operations in Chinese waters to kickbacks in Guatemala. The sanctions on Friday are a recognition of International Anti-Corruption Day. Among those being sanctioned is the 15-member Russian elections commissionm, which oversaw a sham referendum in Russia-occupied Ukraine in September. Others sanctioned include a group of companies and people linked to illegal fishing operations and human rights abuses in Chinese waters, and a church founder in the Philippines charged with sex trafficking.

WTO rules against Trump's steel and aluminum tariffs

The World Trade Organization has rejected the 2018 import taxes that then-President Donald Trump imposed on foreign steel and aluminum, saying they violated global trade rules. Trump’s tariffs of 25{1b90e59fe8a6c14b55fbbae1d9373c165823754d058ebf80beecafc6dee5063a} on foreign steel and 10{1b90e59fe8a6c14b55fbbae1d9373c165823754d058ebf80beecafc6dee5063a} on aluminum outraged America’s long-standing allies, including the European Union and Japan. That’s because he relied on a little-used provision of U.S. trade law to declare their steel and aluminum a threat to U.S. national security. China and other trading partners challenged the tariffs at the 164-nation WTO. In a ruling issued Friday, the organization said it was not persuaded that the United States faced an international emergency that would justify the tariffs.

American, JetBlue expand deal that US is trying to kill

American Airlines and JetBlue are expanding their partnership in the Northeast even while the government tries to kill the airlines’ agreement. American and JetBlue said Friday they plan to add some new routes in New York and Boston next spring. And they will trade places on New York-to-Atlanta flights, with American dropping that route after JetBlue picks it up. The move comes while a federal judge is deciding the government’s lawsuit to block an American-JetBlue partnership in New York and Boston. The government says the deal reduces competition and will lead to higher fares. The airlines say it will let them improve service in the Northeast. The judge is expected to rule early next year.

Penguin Random House CEO Markus Dohle is stepping down

The CEO of Penguin Random House, the world’s largest trade publisher, is stepping down. Markus Dohle’s decision is effective at the end of the year. It comes just weeks after a federal judge blocked the company’s attempt to buy rival Simon & Schuster. Dohle is also leaving his seat on the Bertelsmann executive board. The Bertelsmann announcement said his departure was made at “his own request and on the best of mutual terms.” Dohle will be succeeded, on an interim basis, by Nihar Malaviya, 48, currently president and COO of Penguin Random House.

Christopher Lewis

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Wolters Kluwer Finance, Risk & Regulatory Reporting wins executive leadership recognition

Mon Dec 12 , 2022
LONDON, December 12, 2022–(Business enterprise WIRE)–Associates of the executive management staff at Wolters Kluwer Finance, Chance & Regulatory Reporting (FRR) have received leadership accolades celebrating excellence and innovation. The government awards stick to a stellar calendar year for independent sector recognition with no a lot less than 35 wins, all […]
Wolters Kluwer Finance, Risk & Regulatory Reporting wins executive leadership recognition

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