Asian stocks mixed as Wall Street ends 5-day winning streak
TOKYO (AP) — Asian stocks were mixed today after Wall Street ended a five-day winning streak following disappointing corporate earnings reports.
Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 dipped 0.3% in Wednesday morning trading. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 added 0.4%, South Korea’s Kospi dipped 1.0%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng slipped 0.2%, while the Shanghai Composite was nearly flat.
On Wall Street Tuesday, the S&P 500 fell 0.3% to 3,004.04, the first decline in the benchmark index after five days of gains. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.1% to 27,335.63. The Nasdaq composite fell 0.4% to 8,222.80. The Russell 2000 index rose 0.17 point to 1,562.
APNewsBreak: NRC looking at reducing inspections at reactors
WASHINGTON (AP) — Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff is recommending that the agency cut back on inspections at the country’s nuclear reactors, a cost-cutting move promoted by the nuclear power industry but denounced by opponents as a threat to public safety.
The recommendations, made public Tuesday, include reducing the time and scope of some annual inspections at the nation’s 90-plus nuclear power plants. Some other inspections would be cut from every two years to every three years.
Some of the staff’s recommendations would require a vote by the commission, which has a majority of members appointed or reappointed by President Donald Trump, who has urged agencies to reduce regulatory requirements for industries.
CLEVELAND (AP) — Newly public federal data show how drug companies increased shipments of opioid painkillers across the U.S. as a national addiction crisis accelerated from 2006 to 2012.
The data reported Tuesday by The Washington Post shows that companies distributed 8.4 billion hydrocodone and oxycodone pills to commercial pharmacies in 2006 and 12.6 billion in 2012.
Over that seven-year period, 76 billion bills were distributed in all and prescription opioids contributed to more than 100,000 deaths in the U.S.
The data was released as part of lawsuits by local governments seeking to hold drug companies accountable for the crisis.
The Post and HD Media, which owns newspapers in West Virginia, sued for the information. It has not yet been released to the public or other media outlets.
^EMERGENCY ALERT SPEEDS
Senators urge FCC to maintain quake wireless alert speeds
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A group of U.S. senators from the West Coast is urging the government to ensure that planned changes to the national Wireless Emergency Alert system do not impair its ability to provide rapid warnings about earthquakes.
Twenty senators signed a letter Tuesday to Federal Communications Commission chairman Ajit Pai.
The FCC plans to include quake alerts as part of the system for notifying Americans about emergencies like dangerous weather, fires, and active shooters.
Will Trump let Chevron stay in Venezuela?
WASHINGTON (AP) — Chevron was nearly booted from Venezuela in 2007 during a nationalization drive led by the late socialist President Hugo Chavez. Twelve years later, it faces a similar threat from an unlikely corner: the White House.
The Trump administration is facing a July 27 deadline to renew a license granting Chevron permission to continue operating in Venezuela despite U.S. sanctions aimed at ousting President Nicolás Maduro by choking off revenue from the world’s largest crude reserves.
Chevron has operated in the South American country for almost a century and its four joint ventures with state-run oil monopoly PDVSA currently produce about 200,000 barrels a day. That’s about a quarter of Venezuela’s total production in June, according to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.
Seoul: US understands seriousness of Seoul-Tokyo trade fight
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea says the United States fully understands the seriousness of Seoul’s growing trade dispute with Tokyo.
Senior presidential official Kim Hyun-chong made the comments today after meeting with David Stilwell, the top U.S. diplomat for East Asia policy, in Seoul.
Kim says he told Stilwell about Seoul’s position on the trade dispute and that the U.S. diplomat “sufficiently understood the seriousness of this problem.”
South Korea and Japan are key U.S. allies that host a total of about 80,000 American troops. But the Asian neighbors have become embroiled in diplomatic fights after Japan tightened controls on high-tech exports to South Korea.
South Korea’s foreign minister last week discussed the trade issue with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo by phone.
California pot seller asks court to void county delivery ban
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Another legal fight is underway over home marijuana delivery in California.
A licensed cannabis company has sued Santa Cruz County, claiming that it’s violating state law by prohibiting deliveries from out-of-county retailers into a swath of unincorporated areas.
The East of Eden Cannabis Co. lawsuit filed Friday in Superior Court in Santa Cruz County comes as the latest development in a thorny legal fight over who decides where pot can be delivered in California, the nation’s largest legal marijuana market.
In court papers, the company said the county threatened to initiate a criminal investigation and seek to have its state license revoked if it continued to make deliveries into unincorporated areas.
Lawsuit claims company trying to pass off whiskey as Scotch
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A trade association is suing a Virginia distillery, claiming it is trying to pass off whiskey as Scotch.
In a federal lawsuit filed last week, the Scotch Whisky Association alleges the Virginia Distillery Co. has engaged in “false, misleading and deceptive” labelling of whiskey sold under the brand name “Virginia-Highland Whisky.”
The lawsuit claims the use of the term “Highland” and its spelling of “Whisky” falsely imply that the product is Scotch whisky wholly produced in Scotland.
Whiskey made in the U.S. is spelled with an ‘e.’
In a statement, CEO Gareth Moore says Virginia Distillery has always been upfront with its customers, with labels stating: “Whisky from Scotland, Married with Virginia Whisky.” Moore says he’s confident the complaint will be resolved.