Business News

  • When you have credit card debt, the easiest way to deal with it is to diligently make monthly payments of at least the minimum amount due, and more if your budget allows. In doing this, you avoid late fees and your account is considered in good standing. That’s a start, but taking actions beyond making basic monthly payments can bring the cost of that debt down significantly. At a time when average credit card interest rates are above 20% APR, and inflation is raising prices on necessary purchases, finding ways to reduce your interest payments can free up your money for other purposes.

    9 mins ago
  • Stocks are falling as more worries about banks on both sides of the Atlantic tug markets lower. The S&P 500 fell 0.6% early Friday. The Dow and the Nasdaq also fell. Treasury yields dropped.  Markets have been turbulent on worries that banks are weakening under pressure from higher interest rates. That’s led to rising concerns about a recession and uncertainty about what central banks will do with interest rates going forward. The stock of major German bank Deutsche Bank sank more than 10%. Earlier this month, depositors and investors fled Credit Suisse so swiftly that Swiss regulators brokered a takeover by its rival UBS.

    12 mins ago
  • Polish coal miners angered by a European Union directive to reduce methane emissions have protested noisily in front of the EU office in Warsaw, saying it will deprive them of their jobs. The protesters from the Solidarity 80 union said recent climate recommendations for the 27-member EU that call for a significant reduction of methane within years would force most of Poland's mines to close, with the loss of thousands of jobs. Most of the nation's mines have a high presence of methane gas that is released in the coal extraction process. Located in the southern Silesia region, the coal mines are among Poland's major employers, offering some 77,000 jobs in the nation of 38 million.

    52 mins ago
  • Shares in Deutsche Bank, Germany’s largest lender, have fallen sharply and dragged down major European banks as fears about weaknesses in the global financial system send fresh shudders through the markets. Deutsche Bank shares were off 14% in Friday midday trading in Frankfurt. The drop follows a steep rise in the cost of financial derivatives, known as credit default swaps, that insure bondholders against the bank defaulting on its debts. Rising costs on insuring debt were also a prelude to a government-backed takeover of Swiss lender Credit Suisse by its rival UBS. The selloff of the German lender comes despite it having capital reserves well in excess of regulatory requirements and five straight quarters of profits.

    1 hour ago
  • TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew has endured a nearly six-hour grilling by U.S. lawmakers, some of whom are pushing to ban the popular short-video app nationwide. The lawmakers questioned 40-year-old Singaporean native Chew over data security and harmful content. Despite his assurances that TikTok prioritizes user safety and should not be banned due to its ties to China, some lawmakers responded skeptically. TikTok is a subsidiary of Chinese technology firm ByteDance. It has been closely scrutinized over whether the data it has on 150 million American users is accessible to China's government and if the platform could be used to promote narratives favorable to the country’s communist leaders.

    1 hour ago
  • European Union leaders are gauging the risk of a banking crisis developing from recent global financial turmoil and hitting an already weak economy. The deliberations Friday by EU government heads in Brussels follow U.S. regulators shutting down two U.S. banks and a Swiss-orchestrated takeover of troubled lender Credit Suisse by rival UBS. The emergency actions on both sides of the Atlantic revived memories of the 2008 global financial meltdown and the ensuing EU sovereign debt crisis, which almost broke apart the euro currency now shared by 20 European countries. Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo told reporters that “for the moment, we see no reason to be worried.”

    3 hours ago
  • Scandal-embattled Japanese electronics and technology manufacturer Toshiba has accepted a $15 billion tender offer from a buyout fund made up of the nation’s major banks and companies. Tokyo-based Toshiba announced its board accepted the bid from Japan Industrial Partners at 4,620 yen, or $36, a share. If the proposal succeeds, it will be a major step in Toshiba’s yearslong turnaround effort, allowing it to go private. Japan Industrial Partners is a buyout fund made up of major banks and companies that was set up in 2002 to restructure Japanese companies. Overseas activist shareholders own a significant part of Toshiba’s shares. It’s unclear if they will approve the bid.

    5 hours ago
  • Basra province boasts most of Iraq’s oil reserves and is symbolic of the deep disparities that have endured since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion that remade the country's political order. Rich in resources, the province ranks among the poorest and most underdeveloped in Iraq, which baffles experts. Local officials and residents blame widespread corruption in the government. Oil exports are double what they were before the invasion, and Iraq's state budgets are almost entirely funded by oil revenues. Still, the government fails to provide many basic services, including electricity and water. In an entrenched political system, sectarian-based parties claim lucrative ministry portfolios, appoint loyalists in key positions and dole out public jobs to ensure support

    8 hours ago
  • Shares have fallen in Asia as worries over turmoil in the banking sector and the risks of recession overshadowed gains on Wall Street. Benchmarks declined in most major markets, while U.S. futures were higher. Oil prices fell. On Thursday, the S&P 500 added 0.3% for its third gain in four days after giving up a much bigger advance of 1.8% early in the day. The Dow saw an early gain of 481 points disappear, dipping to a brief loss before closing with a modest gain. Strength for technology stocks helped the Nasdaq composite hold up better than the rest of the market. Treasury yields sank sharply.

    9 hours ago
  • Water containing a radioactive material has leaked for a second time from a nuclear plant near Minneapolis and the plant will be shut down, but there is no danger to the public. Xcel Energy says a leak of what was believed to be hundreds of gallons of water containing tritium was discovered this week from a temporary fix at the Monticello Nuclear Generating Plant, where 400,000 gallons of water with tritium also leaked in November. The plant about 38 miles northwest of Minneapolis is scheduled to power down Friday so permanent repairs can begin. A monthslong delay in announcing the initial leak has raised questions about public safety and transparency, but industry experts say there was never a public health threat.

    10 hours ago
  • The Federal Railroad Administration says a safety device meant to keep trains from tipping into Puget Sound knocked a train off the tracks last week, spilling 3,100 gallons of diesel fuel in Washington state. The BNSF Railway train was approaching a swinging bridge Thursday after leaving an oil refinery in Anacortes when it derailed. KUOW reports “derailers” on both sides of the bridge force trains off the tracks if the bridge is open. The bridge was not open that morning, but the train hit a derailer that remained in operation. Federal Railroad Administration spokesperson Warren Flatau says there was a miscommunication between the train crew and the bridge tender. BNSF Railway spokesperson Lena Kent has declined to comment.

    11 hours ago
  • Police in Montenegro say they have arrested Terraform Labs founder Do Kwon, who is wanted in South Korea following the $40 billion crash of the firm’s cryptocurrency. South Korea’s Justice Ministry confirmed the arrests of Kwon and another unidentified individual linked to the cryptocurrency crash and said Friday it will seek their extradition. South Korea last year asked Interpol to circulate a “red notice” for the agency’s 195 member nations to apprehend Kwon. He and five others are wanted because of allegations of fraud and financial crimes in relation to the implosion of Terraform's digital currencies in May 2022.

    11 hours ago
  • A three-day strike by workers in the Los Angeles Unified School District has wrapped up. But it wasn't immediately clear Thursday if any progress has been made in negotiations for higher pay for teachers’ aides, bus drivers, custodians and other support staff in the nation’s second-largest school system. Teachers joined the picket lines in solidarity, shutting down instruction for the district’s half-million students during the walkout by members of Local 99 of the Service Employees International Union, which represents about 30,000 of the lowest-paid school workers. Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass stepped in as mediator on Wednesday.

    12 hours ago
  • The Republican-controlled North Carolina legislature has given final approval to a Medicaid expansion agreement. Thursday's state House vote reverses longstanding opposition to the measure, which now goes to expansion advocate and Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper for his signature. GOP legislative leaders reached a deal earlier this month, capping years of debate over whether the politically closely divided state should accept the federal government’s coverage for hundreds of thousands of low-income adults. North Carolina was one of 11 states that hadn't yet adopted expansion. The bill contains one caveat: A state budget law must be passed before expansion can be carried out.

    13 hours ago