Benchmark U.S. crude oil for November delivery fell $1.97 to $91.71 a barrel Thursday. Brent crude for November delivery fell $1.17 to $95.38 a barrel. Wholesale gasoline for October delivery fell 9 cents to $2.51 a gallon. October heating oil rose 1 cent to $3.32 a gallon. November natural gas rose 6 cents to $2.95 per 1,000 cubic feet. Gold for December delivery fell $12.30 to $1,878.60 an ounce. Silver for December delivery rose 2 cents to $22.74 an ounce and December copper rose 7 cents to $3.71 a pound. The dollar fell to 149.24 Japanese yen from 149.59 yen. It rose to $1.0554 from $1.0508 against the euro.
The NBA has hired Albert Sanders Jr. as its new head of referee operations. He's a Google executive and former associate counsel to President Barack Obama. Sanders starts the job Monday. He will be an executive vice president working in concert with senior vice president for referee development and training Monty McCutchen. Sanders will report to Byron Spruell, who is the NBA’s president for league operations.
A lawyer for conspiracy theorist Alex Jones' media company says a bank recently shut down the company's accounts, citing unauthorized transactions. The lawyer, Ray Battaglia, told a bankruptcy judge in Texas on Tuesday that Axos Bank shut the accounts last week and has not explained the alleged unauthorized transactions, which Battaglia denies. Axos did not return messages seeking comment. Battaglia says Axos has agreed to reopen the accounts for 30 days. The problem comes as Jones and his company seek bankruptcy protection while owing $1.5 billion in legal judgments to relatives of victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook School shooting in Connecticut for calling the massacre a hoax.
United Airlines is making changes for passengers with wheelchairs after a government investigation into a complaint by a disability-rights advocate. United and the Transportation Department said Thursday that the airline will add a tool on its website to help consumers find flights that can accommodate their wheelchairs. Cargo doors on some planes are too small to load a motorized wheelchair or scooter. The agreement stems from a complaint by Engracia Figueroa. Her lawyer says she died from injuries suffered from sitting in an ill-fitting wheelchair after United damaged her custom-made wheelchair on a 2021 flight.
A judge has closed the door on FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried’s hopes to be free during his trial. But he extended the hours that the 31-year-old cryptocurrency peddler can meet with his lawyers in a federal courthouse. Judge Lewis A. Kaplan on Thursday rejected a request by Bankman-Fried’s lawyers to free their client so he can work on his defense. Bankman-Fried is accused of defrauding cryptocurrency investors. The trial is expected to start Tuesday with jury selection and extend into November. Kaplan says Bankman-Fried has had adequate time to prepare for trial since he was brought to the United States from the Bahamas last December.
The United States has imposed sanctions on a former Sudanese government minister and two companies tied to the paramilitary force that's locked in fighting with the Sudanese army. The sanctions imposed by the U.S Department of the Treasury will block all property in the U.S. and entities owned by Sudan's former Foreign Minister Ali Karti, Sudan-based information company GSK Advance Company Ltd and the Russia-based military company Aviatrade LLC. It said both companies are supporting the Rapid Support Force paramilitary. Ali Karti was foreign minister under the country's former autocrat Omar al-Bashir who was ousted in a popular uprising in 2019.
Home loan borrowing costs climbed again this week, pushing the average long-term U.S. mortgage rate to its highest level in nearly 23 years, another blow to prospective homebuyers facing an increasingly less affordable housing market. The average rate on the benchmark 30-year home loan rose to 7.31% from 7.19% last week, mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday. A year ago, the rate averaged 6.70%. High rates can add hundreds of dollars a month in costs for borrowers, limiting how much they can afford in a market already out of reach for many Americans. They also discourage homeowners who locked in rock-bottom rates two years ago from selling.
Traffic fatalities dropped 3.3% in the first half of the year compared with the prior-year period, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The agency said Thursday that an estimated 19,515 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes in the first half of 2023. There were 20,190 fatalities in the first half of 2022. Fatalities fell in the first and second quarters of 2023. That marks five straight quarter the figure has declined.
Interactive fitness company Peloton and athletic wear maker Lululemon have announced a five-year partnership, effectively closing the curtain on Lululemon’s recently acquired connected fitness device, Mirror. Peloton steps in to become the exclusive digital fitness content provider for Lululemon, which in turn becomes the primary athletic apparel partner to New York-based Peloton, the companies said Wednesday. Lululemon bought Mirror in 2020 just months into the COVID-19 pandemic in an attempt to take business from Peloton, which boomed as people were forced to exercise at home. But Lululemon's foray into the connected fitness arena was short-lived.
Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni has launched a pact with Italian industry aimed at keeping prices down on a range of essential goods, including food, personal care and baby items. Consumer advocates say it could translate to over $4 billion in savings for families. The experimental program runs from Oct. 1 to Dec. 31 and involves 32 associations that have agreed to discount or maintain a ceiling on prices of particular items during the three-month period. The players include supermarket chains, small retailers as well as food and drug producers. Participating stores are expected to signal their participation with stickers in the colors of the Italian flag.
There's a shakeup at the top of Allegiant Travel, the parent company of the Allegiant budget airline. The company said Thursday that CEO and director John Redmond resigned, effective immediately. The company isn't saying why he left. He's being replaced by the former CEO, Maury Gallagher, who held the job from 2003 until last year. Gallagher has been with Allegiant as majority owner since 2001, and was the CEO from 2003 until last year. The airline mostly serves leisure travelers heading to places like Las Vegas.
New York-based investment firm Dynasty Equity has bought a minority stake in Premier League soccer team Liverpool. Liverpool owner Fenway Sports Group said last year that it was open to selling shares. That led to speculation about a potential buyout of the six times European Cup champions. Liverpool said the the investment would “primarily” be used to pay down bank debt incurred during the COVID-19 pandemic. It would also be used for capital expenses on the stadium, training ground and transfers made during the off-season. Dynasty describes itself as “a global sports investment firm focused on acquiring minority interests in sports franchises and other related assets and rights.”
A 16-year-old boy has been arrested in northern England in connection with what authorities described as the “deliberate” felling of a famous tree that had stood for nearly 200 years next to the Roman landmark Hadrian’s Wall. The tree was one of Britain’s most photographed trees. Northumbria Police said on Thursday the teen was arrested on suspicion of causing criminal damage. Thousands of visitors each year walk along Hadrian’s Wall. It's a UNESCO World Heritage Site that guarded the Roman Empire’s northwestern frontier. Many have paused to admire and photograph the tree at Sycamore Gap which was made famous when it appeared in Kevin Costner’s 1991 film “Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves.”
European Union governments are struggling to overcome obstacles to put a new asylum system in place three years after unveiling a plan to reform the bloc's outdated asylum rules. Some fear the plan may never see the light of day. The New Pact on Migration and Asylum was touted as Europe's answer to its migration woes. But the bloc is divided over how to manage migration and little progress has been made. The European Parliament must also endorse the pact and it's blocking progress until the governments take important decisions. Spain's interior minister warned Thursday that "negotiations on outstanding, sensitive issues are now on hold and this is of great concern to us.”