Asian stocks mixed as investors await US tariff hike
BEIJING (AP) — Asian stocks are mixed today after Wall Street’s gains as investors waited for a new U.S. tariff hike in a trade battle with China.
The Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.2 percent and Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 advanced 1.2 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was off 6 points and Seoul’s Kospi lost 0.2 percent. Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 gained 0.6 percent and India’s Sensex shed 0.1 percent. New Zealand gained and Taiwan and Southeast Asian markets retreated.
On Wall Street yesterday, U.S. stocks broke a four-day losing streak as industrial companies and retailers rose. Technology companies recovered some of last week’s losses. Nike, Home Depot and Walmart all climbed. Microsoft and other technology companies rose, but Apple fell after saying more U.S. tariff hikes could push it to raise prices. The S&P 500 index gained 0.2 percent to 2,877.13. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.2 percent to 25,857.07. And the Nasdaq composite rose 0.3 percent to 7,924.16.
After Moonves, CBS takeover possible in new media landscape
NEW YORK (AP) — The resignation of longtime CBS chief Les Moonves won’t likely lead to drastic changes in network programs, but it could make the company ripe for a takeover as traditional media companies compete with upstarts such as Netflix and Amazon.
Moonves was ousted Sunday, just hours after the New Yorker detailed more sexual misconduct allegations against him. A dozen women have alleged mistreatment, including forced oral sex, groping and retaliation if they resisted him. CBS is on the hook for $120 million in severance if its investigation, being conducted by two outside law firms, finds no evidence of wrongdoing. Moonves has denied wrongdoing.
CBS also shook up its board and settled a larger fight with its parent company, National Amusements Inc. As part of the settlement, National Amusements agreed not to push for a merger between CBS and sibling company Viacom for at least two years. As CEO, Moonves had opposed such a merger on grounds CBS was doing well, while Viacom was not.
State Dept OKs possible early warning aircraft sale to Japan
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Pentagon says that the State Department has approved the possible sale of up to nine early warning aircraft to Japan for about $3.1 billion.
The department says Japan will use the Navy’s E-2D Advanced Hawkeye aircraft to get greater awareness of activities in the air and sea in the Pacific region. It says the twin turboprop aircraft will also improve Japan’s ability to defend itself.
Congress was notified of the potential sale on Friday. The price includes the aircraft, support systems and spare parts. Northrop Grumman Corporation Aerospace Systems in Melbourne, Florida, would be the main contractor.
The State Department says the aircraft is critical to help Japan, a staunch U.S. ally, develop a strong self-defense.
Tribes say Trump illegally approved oil pipeline
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Native American tribes in Montana and South Dakota say the Trump administration approved the Keystone XL oil pipeline without fully considering its potential damage to burial grounds and other cultural sites.
Attorneys for the Fort Belknap and Rosebud Sioux tribes sued the U.S. State Department on Monday, asking a court to rescind the line’s permit.
The tribes argue that President Donald Trump ignored the rights of tribes when he reversed a prior decision by President Barack Obama and approved the project last year.
State Department spokeswoman Julia Mason says the agency is not commenting on the lawsuit.
The $8 billion TransCanada Corp. pipeline would carry up to 830,000 barrels of crude daily from Canada to Nebraska. It would pass through the ancestral homelands of the Rosebud Sioux in central South Dakota and the Fort Belknap tribes in Montana.
California utility proposes wildfire safety measures
UNDATED (AP) — A California utility is vowing to replace 3,400 miles of overhead power lines with insulated wire to reduce the risk of them sparking when hit by tree limbs or other objects.
Southern California Edison announced Monday that it aims to replace the lines by 2025 to align itself with legislation that California lawmakers have sent to the governor to sign to prevent wildfires.
Sparking power lines are one of the leading causes of California’s wildfires. Wildfires have killed dozens of people and destroyed thousands of homes in recent years.
The legislation sparked debate because it also will allow another utility company — Pacific Gas & Electric — to raise electric rates to cover the costs of lawsuits from last year’s deadly wildfires amid fears it could go bankrupt otherwise.
GANGS-CREDIT CAR FRAUD
California says gangs stole $1 million by credit card fraud
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California authorities have indicted 32 members of purported street gangs on charges of stealing more than $1 million using what they call an unusually sophisticated credit card fraud instead of more typical strong-arm robberies.
Attorney General Xavier Becerra and police chiefs from three Northern California cities announced the indictment Monday against alleged members of the BullyBoys and the CoCo Boys street gangs east of San Francisco.
Authorities say the gangs and their associates defrauded hundreds of victims across 13 counties by breaking into dozens of medical and dental offices to steal credit card terminals and patient records. The 240-count indictment says gang members used the stolen terminals to process credit card returns, downloading them to debit cards.
Louisiana mayor bans Nike products from parks and rec
KENNER, La. (AP) — The mayor of a New Orleans suburb is banning the city’s parks and recreation department from purchasing Nike products.
The memo by Kenner Mayor Ben Zahn to the parks and recreation director says Nike products cannot be purchased for use at the city’s recreation facilities. It also requires the director to approve all athletic purchases by booster clubs using their facilities.
The memo created a firestorm when it circulated over the weekend.
The memo doesn’t reference Nike’s ad featuring Colin Kaepernick. The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback was seeking to draw attention to racial injustice when he started kneeling during the national anthem.
In a statement Monday, Zahn didn’t mention Kaepernick but said Nike was promoting a “political message” to sell shoes. He said he was protecting “taxpayer dollars from being used in a political campaign.”