Asian shares extend gains in thin pre-Christmas trading
BANGKOK (AP) — World shares are higher after stocks advanced on Wall Street, buoyed by encouraging reports about the potential impact of the omicron variant of coronavirus.
The Commerce Department reported Wednesday that the U.S. economy grew at a 2.3% rate in the third quarter, slightly better than previously thought. The S&P 500 rose 1%, the Nasdaq rose 1.2% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.7%. The Russell 2000, a measure of small-company stocks, rose 0.9%.
Major indexes are still on track for a Christmas week gain, with trading thinning as the holidays approach. Many world markets will be closed Friday in observance of Christmas.
Infrastructure bill to aid US tribes with water, plumbing
WARM SPRINGS, Ore. (AP) — The massive infrastructure bill signed earlier this year promises to bring change to Native American tribes that lack clean water or indoor plumbing through the largest single infusion of money into Indian Country.
It includes $3.5 billion for the federal Indian Health Service, which provides health care to more than 2 million Native Americans and Alaska Natives. It also delivers money for water projects through other federal agencies.
Tribal leaders say the funding is welcome but won’t make up for decades of neglect from the U.S. government. A list of sanitation deficiencies includes more than 1,500 tribal projects, from septic systems to pipelines.
Intel apologizes for asking suppliers to avoid Xinjiang
BEIJING (AP) — Intel Corp. has apologized for asking suppliers to avoid sourcing goods from Xinjiang, China after the chipmaker became the latest foreign brand attacked by state media over the region where authorities are accused of widespread abuses.
The company, in a statement on its social media account, said the reference to Xinjiang in a letter sent to suppliers was aimed at complying with U.S. regulations.
Washington has barred imports of goods from Xinjiang over complaints about mass detentions there of mostly Muslim minorities, forced abortions and other abuses. The Global Times, a newspaper published by the ruling party, called the Intel “arrogant and vicious.”
AMAZON-WEB SERVICE OUTAGE
What caused Amazon’s outage? Will there be more?
UNDATED (AP) — Amazon has still said nothing about what, exactly, went wrong on Dec. 7 when a major outage in Amazon’s cloud computing network severely disrupted services at a wide range of U.S. companies for hours, raising questions about the vulnerability of the internet.
Robotic vacuum cleaners wouldn’t start. Doorbell cameras stopped watching for package thieves, though some of those deliveries were canceled anyway. Netflix and Disney movies got interrupted and The Associated Press had trouble publishing the news.
And Amazon reported that another outage happened yesterday, although it was much shorter and less disruptive that the Dec. 7 problem.
Some cybersecurity experts have warned for years about the potentially ugly consequences of having key internet operations dominated by a handful of big tech companies.
TRUMP BANKER-BRIBERY CHARGES
Prosecutors want 4 years for convicted Chicago banker
NEW YORK (AP) — Prosecutors say a Chicago banker should spend at least four years in prison after he was convicted of delivering $16 million in loans to Paul Manafort in a bid for power in the administration of ex-President Donald Trump.
Stephen Calk is set to be sentenced Feb. 7 for his conviction in July on financial institution bribery and conspiracy charges in Manhattan federal court.
Calk’s lawyers in a sentencing submission in early December argued for a noncustodial sentence for Calk, saying he has led a “thoroughly decent and law-abiding life.” But prosecutors say Calk deserves a sentence of 51 months to 63 months in prison because he “corruptly abused” his position as chairman and chief executive of The Federal Savings Bank and caused the bank to make $16 million in unsound loans to Manafort in exchange for Manafort’s help gaining political power.
THERANOS FOUNDER-FRAUD TRIAL
Jurors in the Elizabeth Holmes trial may take next week off
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — The jurors assessing 11 charges of fraud and conspiracy against former Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes are scheduled to begin their third day of deliberations today. They’re also considering taking next week off, after initially that they’d be willing to deliberate during the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day.
There’s a lot of evidence to review after a three-month trial that captivated Silicon Valley. That includes the testimony of 32 witnesses including Holmes and more than 900 exhibits.
If convicted on all counts, the 37-year-old Holmes could face up to 20 years in prison.