Biden’s midterm self-edit: Less talk about inflation woes
WASHINGTON (AP) — In recent speeches, President Joe Biden has stopped talking so much about inflation worries. Missing is a once-common refrain about families at the kitchen table straining under the rising costs of food and gasoline. It’s a self-edit ahead of the midterm elections in November, prompted in part by the easing of inflationary pressures. But Biden is also attempting to shift the spotlight to his legislative wins, the loss of abortion protections and the threats that he says are posed to democracy by the many Republican leaders still under the sway of former President Donald Trump. When he does talk about inflation, he insists his policies are bringing prices down.
Biden to announce new support for US biotech production
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is announcing a new initiative to encourage biotech production and research in the U.S. It’s the latest move by the White House to boost domestic industry. Biden on Monday signed an executive order launching the initiative and later in Boston will address how biotech can help fight cancer during a visit to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library. On Wednesday, the Democratic president’s administration will host a summit and announce new investments from several federal agencies. A senior administration official says the White House wants to support manufacturing biotech products developed in the U.S., rather than seeing American innovations produced abroad.
Twitter whistleblower bringing security warnings to Congress
WASHINGTON (AP) — Peiter “Mudge” Zatko, the Twitter whistleblower who is warning of security flaws, privacy threats and lax controls at the social platform, will take his case to Congress on Tuesday. Senators who will hear Zatko’s testimony are alarmed by his allegations at a time of heightened concern over the safety of powerful tech platforms. Zatko, a respected cybersecurity expert, was Twitter’s head of security until he was fired in January. He has brought the allegations to Congress and federal regulators, asserting that the influential social platform misled regulators about its cyber defenses and efforts to control millions of fake accounts.
Wall Street rallies further ahead of inflation report
NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks rose again on Wall Street ahead of a high-stakes report that will hopefully show inflation hammered the economy less hard last month. The S&P 500 climbed 1.1% Monday, while gains for tech companies pushed the Nasdaq up a bit more. Traders are making their final moves before a report on Tuesday that’s expected to show inflation slowed again during August. It likely won’t change minds at the Federal Reserve, which is preparing for another hefty hike to interest rates next week. A continued slowdown in inflation would give the Fed more of a chance of avoiding a scarring recession.
Inspections of chile imports heat up at New Mexico border
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico’s green chile season is in full swing as the aroma of fresh roasted peppers permeates the air. But growers in Mexico are just as busy and that’s causing a crunch at the international border. Agricultural specialists with U.S. Customs and Border Protection are processing dozens of chile imports daily at the Columbus port of entry. Authorities say they’re expecting an increase in the volume of chile imports again this season. Inspectors are looking for any pests in the produce that would have the potential to spread to domestic operations. Green chile is a signature crop for New Mexico.
Pressure mounts on US railroads and unions to reach a deal
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Freight railroads and their unions are facing increasing pressure from business groups and the White House to settle their contract dispute. They face a looming strike deadline on Friday and business groups say a stoppage halting deliveries of raw materials and finished products that so many companies rely on would be an economic disaster. The railroads have announced eight of the 13 deals they need to avert a strike, but two key unions representing conductors and engineers want the railroads to go beyond the 24% raises they are offering to address their concerns about working conditions.
Dubai court rejects Danish extradition request for financier
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — An Emirati court has ruled that a British man suspected of masterminding a $1.7 billion tax scheme cannot be extradited to Denmark to face charges. The decision in the high-profile case grants the hedge fund trader, Sanjay Shah, a victory against Danish authorities who sought him for his role in one of the country’s largest-ever fraud cases. Monday’s court ruling, delivered after a closed-door hearing without explanation, can be appealed by prosecutors. The elaborate scheme, which ran for three years beginning in 2012, allegedly involved foreign businesses pretending to own shares in Danish companies and claiming tax refunds for which they were not eligible.
GM’s Cruise robotaxi service to expand into Phoenix, Austin
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — General Motors’ self-driving car company has announced plans to expand a robotaxi service into new markets in Arizona and Texas before the end of this year. Cruise told invertors at a banking conference Monday that an autonomous ride-hailing service that began charging San Francisco passengers in June will make its debut in Phoenix and Austin, Texas, within the next 90 days. The ride-hailing service will consist of vehicles that won’t have a safety driver to take control in case the robotic technology malfunctions. General Motors bought the San Francisco startup six years ago.
Fraud trial begins for founder of automaker Nikola
NEW YORK (AP) — Jury selection has begun in the fraud trial of Trevor Milton. The founder and former executive chairman of Nikola Corp. is accused of lying about the electric truck startup’s vehicles. Milton was indicted last year on charges of securities fraud and wire fraud. He has pleaded not guilty and was freed after his arrest on $100 million bail. Milton started Nikola in 2015, and announced that its stock would be publicly listed in 2020. He resigned in September of that year, after the company had signed a $2 billion agreement with General Motors but following a report making allegations of fraud.
US, Mexico to cooperate on semiconductors, electric vehicles
MEXICO CITY (AP) — A high-level United States delegation invited Mexico to participate in a push to shift semiconductor production from Asia to North America and expand production of electric vehicles. Mexico Foreign Affairs Secretary Marcelo Ebrard said Monday that U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke to Mexico President Andrés Manuel López Obrador about recently passed legislation that would provide $28 billion in incentives for semiconductor production, $10 billion for new manufacturing of chips and $11 billion for research and development. López Obrador, for his part, explained his plan to make the northern border state of Sonora a leader in lithium, electric vehicle and solar energy production.