Japan jumps, rest of Asia down, on China and virus concerns
TOKYO (AP) — Japan’s benchmark gained but other Asian markets were lower amid concerns over troubled Chinese real estate developer Evergrande and the pandemic.
Some Chinese banks have disclosed what they are owed by Evergrande, seeking to dispel fears of financial turmoil as it struggles under $310 billion in debt. The lenders say they can cope with a potential default.
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Evergrande’s announcement that it was making a payment due Thursday helped to ease some worries. On Wall Street, stocks rose broadly for a second day in a row, reversing losses for the week. Investors were pleased to have gotten some clarity from the Federal Reserve a day earlier that it was not on the verge of raising interest rates.
CDC endorses COVID booster for millions of older Americans
UNDATED (AP) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has endorsed COVID-19 booster shots for millions of older or otherwise vulnerable Americans.
The move opens a major new phase in the U.S vaccination drive against the coronavirus. A panel of advisers made the recommendation Thursday and CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky signed off on it shortly afterward.
The advisers said boosters should be offered to people 65 and older, nursing home residents and those ages 50 to 64 who have risky underlying health problems. The extra dose would be given once they are at least six months past their last Pfizer shot.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-VACCINE MANDATES
NY hospitals fear staff shortage as vaccine deadline looms
NEW YORK (AP) — Hospitals and nursing homes in New York are bracing for the possibility that a statewide COVID-19 vaccine mandate for health care workers could lead to staff shortages.
Health care workers have been given until Sept. 27 to get at least their first vaccine shot in one of the nation’s most aggressive plans to protect patients. With just days left to go before the deadline, many still haven’t gotten the shots. That leaves the prospect of potentially thousands of health care workers being forced off the job next week.
Some hospitals and nursing homes are preparing contingency plans that include cutting back on elective surgeries and trimming medical services.
CYBERSECURITY-PORT OF HOUSTON
Port of Houston target of suspected nation-state hack
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A major U.S. port was the target last month of suspected nation-state hackers.
The Port of Houston, a critical piece of infrastructure along the Gulf Coast, issued a statement Thursday saying it had successfully defended against an attempted hack in August and no operational data or systems were impacted.
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Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Director Jen Easterly initially disclosed that the port was the target of an attack at Senate committee hearing Thursday morning. She said she believed a “nation-state actor” was behind the hack but did not say which one.
WASHINGTON (AP) — US: Number of unruly air travelers lower, still too high-
WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal officials say unruly passengers are becoming a bit less common on airline flights, but they are still causing disruptions at twice the rate of late last year.
The Federal Aviation Administration said Thursday that its zero-tolerance policy — including fines against more passengers — is helping. Those fines have added up to more than $1 million.
The chairman of a congressional committee says more needs to be done to make flying safer. Peter DeFazio, chairman of the House Transportation Committee, says more rowdy passengers should face criminal charges, and airport bars should stop selling alcohol to go.
CHINA DEVELOPER’S DEBT STRUGGLE
Chinese banks try to calm fears about developer’s debts
BEIJING (AP) — Seeking to dispel fears of financial turmoil, some Chinese banks are disclosing what they are owed by a real estate developer that is struggling under $310 billion in debt. The lenders say they can cope with a potential default.
The announcements come as Evergrande Group promises to talk with individual investors who bought its debt while creditors wait to see whether Beijing will intervene to oversee a restructuring to forestall financial disruption.
Evergrande’s struggle to meet government-imposed debt limits has prompted fears a default might disrupt the Chinese economy or global financial markets. Economists say Beijing can prevent a credit crunch in China but wants to avoid bailing out Evergrande because it is trying to force companies to reduce debt levels.
DISCRIMINATION-BROOKLYN CENTER POLICE
Probe: Michaels, Minnesota cops violated Black teen’s rights
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A state agency that investigates civil rights abuses has found that the manager of a suburban Minneapolis Michaels store called police on a teenager just because he is Black, and responding police used unreasonable force on him because of his race.
The findings by the Minnesota Department of Human Rights stem from a 2019 incident at a Michaels store in Brooklyn Center. The agency found that both the police department and Michaels Stores Inc. violated the Minnesota Human Rights Act.
A spokesperson for the Irving, Texas-based Michaels says the arts and crafts chain disagrees with the findings and will appeal. The city did not respond to a message seeking comment.
US court revives suit against Facebook over TV host’s image
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A federal appeals court has revived a Philadelphia newscaster’s lawsuit against Facebook over the unauthorized use of her image in advertisements for dating sites and sex-related products that ran on the site.
A divided panel concluded that Facebook is not immune from Fox 29 host Karen Hepp’s claim that the advertisements violated her right to control her public image and reputation.
U.S. Circuit Judge Thomas Hardiman says her suit falls under the narrow carveout for intellectual property claims under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. The case is being closely watched by interest groups on both sides of the fight over third-party content regulation.
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