Update on the latest in business:

FINANCIAL MARKETS

Asian stocks follow Wall St down on rate hike, economy fears

BEIJING (AP) — Asian stocks have followed Wall Street lower as fears increase that U.S. rate hikes to fight inflation might stall economic growth.

Market benchmarks in Tokyo, Hong Kong, South Korea and Australia fell today. Shanghai advanced. Oil prices fell more than $1 but stayed above $100 per barrel.

FINANCIAL MARKETS

Asian stocks follow Wall St down on rate hike, economy fears

BEIJING (AP) — Asian stocks have followed Wall Street lower as fears increase that U.S. rate hikes to fight inflation might stall economic growth.

Market benchmarks in Tokyo, Hong Kong, South Korea and Australia fell today. Shanghai advanced. Oil prices fell more than $1 but stayed above $100 per barrel.

Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 index tumbled 3.2% on Monday, hitting its lowest point in more than a year. The Federal Reserve is trying to cool inflation that is running at a four-decade high, but investors worry that might trigger an economic downturn.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-LAOS

Laos reopens to visitors after 2-year closure to fight virus

BANGKOK (AP) — The landlocked Southeast Asian nation of Laos has reopened to tourists and other visitors more than two years after it imposed tight restrictions to fight the coronavirus.

Vaccination certificates or virus tests will still be required for Lao citizens and foreigners entering the country. Travelers 12 years of age or older without vaccination certificates must be able to show negative ATK tests taken within 48 hours of departure for Laos. Entertainment venues including karaoke parlors are also being allowed to reopen.

The health ministry says Laos has had nearly 210,000 confirmed coronavirus cases, including 749 deaths, since the pandemic began.

BRAZIL-FOREST-FUND

Brazilian groups want direct access to U.S. forest funding

RIO DE JAINERO (AP) — Brazilian environmental and Indigenous organizations are urging the United States to fund forest protection initiatives that directly involve forest peoples.

The House Foreign Affairs Committee is set to hold a hearing Thursday on a bill by Majority Leader Steny Hoyer that would create a $9 billion fund to protect tropical rainforests. Ahead of the hearing, more than 300 organizations issued a letter asking lawmakers to bypass Brazil’s national government and deal with them directly.

BISCUIT-UNION-WEST-VIRGINIA

WVa Tudor’s Biscuit World faces labor complaint from feds

CHARLESTON, W. Va. (AP) — A well-known West Virginia restaurant chain is facing a complaint from the National Labor Relations Board.

Officials say they found evidence during an investigation that the Elkview Tudor’s Biscuit World unlawfully disciplined and threatened employees who tried to form a union. Tudor’s Biscuit World managers are accused of suspending two employees leading the unionization and repeatedly telling employees they could lose their jobs or see their pay docked if they formed a union.

In a response to the complaint, an attorney for Tudor’s denied all allegations of unfair labor practices. The case will go to trial before an administrative law judge in Charleston on June 13 in U.S. District Court.

LAKE MEAD-HUMAN REMAINS

Bodies surfacing in Lake Mead recall mob’s time in Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Lake Mead is receding and Sin City is awash with mob lore after a second set of human remains emerged

within a week from the depths of the drought-stricken Colorado River reservoir just a short drive from the Las Vegas Strip. Former Mayor Oscar Goodman represented mob figures as a lawyer. He said Monday: “There’s no telling what we’ll find in Lake Mead.”

Two paddle boarders from Henderson found bones Saturday on a newly surfaced sand bar. A week earlier, boaters spotted the decomposed body of a man in a rusted barrel. A UNLV history professor says he’d bet that as the lake level drops, more bodies will be found.

NEW ZEALAND-MEGAUPLOAD DEAL

2 make deal, leaving just Kim Dotcom facing US extradition

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Two men charged by U.S. prosecutors with racketeering and other crimes for their involvement in the once wildly popular file-sharing website Megaupload say they have reached a deal that will see them avoid being extradited to the U.S. in exchange for facing charges in New Zealand.

The deal by former Megaupload officers Mathias Ortmann and Bram van der Kolk means that only Megaupload’s flamboyant founder Kim Dotcom, who also lives in New Zealand, still faces the possibility of extradition to the U.S. in the long-running case.

U.S. authorities shut down Megaupload in 2012, saying it raked in at least $175 million, mainly from people using it to illegally download songs, television shows and movies.

CHRISTIE’S-AUCTION-WARHOL

Warhol’s ‘Marilyn’ auction nabs $195M; highest for US artist

NEW YORK (AP) — Andy Warhol’s “Shot Sage Blue Marilyn” has sold for a cool $195 million. That makes the iconic portrait of actress Marilyn Monroe the most expensive artwork by a U.S. artist ever sold at auction.

The 1964 silkscreen image shows Monroe in vibrant close-up. Christie’s auction house in New York held the sale Monday. Christie’s said an unknown buyer made the purchase Monday. When the auction was announced, they had estimated it could go for as much as $200 million.

The Warhol piece has unseated the previous record-holder: another modern master, Jean-Michel Basquiat. His 1982 painting sold for a record $110.5 million at Sotheby’s in 2017.

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