Asia stocks higher after Wall Street gains on recovery hopes
UNDATED (AP) — Asian stock markets gained today as hopes for a global economic recovery rose after more governments eased anti-virus controls.
The Shanghai Composite Index climbed 0.3% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 1.2%. The Kospi in Seoul was 1.5% higher and India’s Sensex opened up 1.3%.
Yesterday on Wall Street, the benchmark S&P 500 index closed 0.9% higher at 2,868.44 after losing about half its early gains in a burst of afternoon selling. Technology and health care stocks accounted for much of the gains, which followed a strong showing in overseas markets.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.6% to 23,883.09. The Nasdaq climbed 1.1% to 8,809.12.
TRIBES-CORONAVIRUS RELIEF FUNDING
Treasury to begin distributing virus relief money to tribes
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — The U.S. Treasury Department says it will begin doling out billions in coronavirus relief funding to tribes more than a week after a congressional deadline and after being sued over who is eligible for the money.
The $2.2 trillion federal rescue package set aside $8 billion for tribal governments. It was supposed to be distributed by April 26, but the Treasury Department said it was grappling with how to do it.
Tribes sued the agency to keep the money from going to Alaska Native corporations, which own most Native lands in the state under a 1971 settlement but are not tribal governments.
The Treasury Department said it will withhold an undisclosed amount calculated for the corporations until the case is resolved.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-CRUISE DEATH LAWSUIT
Family of dead crew member with virus sues Royal Caribbean
MIAMI (AP) — The family of a cruise crew member who died after testing positive for COVID-19 filed a lawsuit against Royal Caribbean Cruises on Tuesday saying the company failed to protect its employees as the pandemic ravaged sailings around the world.
The wrongful death case filed in circuit court in Miami says a 27-year-old Indonesian man (Fnu Pujiyoko), worked in housekeeping on the Symphony of the Seas and suffered from flu-like symptoms including a fever and shortness of breath but was not tested for six days. He disembarked in a life boat and was taken to a hospital in Fort Lauderdale.
The lawsuit also argues Royal Caribbean failed to follow basic safety precautions allowing buffets and parties and mandating crew members to participate in drills even after the U.S. government had issued a no-sail order to curb coronavirus infections.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-TYSON FOODS
Tyson Foods to reopen pork plant in Iowa
WATERLOO, Iowa — Tyson Foods says it will begin limited operation Thursday of its huge pork processing plant in Waterloo, more than two weeks after closing the facility because of a coronavirus outbreak among workers.
Tyson says workers have been invited to tour the plant today to see enhanced safety measures and social distancing procedures that have been implemented. The plant has been closed since April 22, and the Iowa Department of Public
Reportedly 444 workers have tested positive for the virus. The plant is Arkansas-based Tyson’s largest pork processing operation, with the ability to process 19,500 hogs per day. That accounts for 3.9% of the U.S. pork processing capacity, according to the National Pork Board.
The company says all those who will return to work have been tested for COVID-19. Those who have tested positive will remain on sick leave until they can return to work.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-MEAT SHORTAGES
Production shutdown leads to meat shortages
UNDATED (AP) — The effects of the coronavirus pandemic have moved beyond meat processing plants and are now hitting dinner plates.
Several U.S. production plants have been temporarily shut down in the last two weeks after hundreds of workers were sickened by the virus. That has led to meat shortages, with Wendy’s pulling some burgers off its menus and Costco limiting pork sales. Fake meat companies, meanwhile, are making their moves to capture some of those lost sales.
Beyond Meat, which makes burgers and sausage from pea protein, said Tuesday it’s launching new value packs to entice consumers while rival Impossible Foods is expanding sales to more than 1,700 Kroger groceries.
As of Monday, U.S. beef and pork processing capacity was down 40% from last year, according to Jayson Lusk, head of the department of agricultural economics at Purdue University.
NEW YORK (AP) — Texas regulators are relaxing rules about where companies can store oil underground, raising concern among environmentalists about potential groundwater contamination and other dangers.
The members of the Railroad Commission of Texas voted Tuesday to allow companies to store oil underground in places other than salt caverns, which are considered better at preventing leaks than other geological formations.
Railroad Commission of Texas chairman Wayne Christian says the order doesn’t suspend protections against safety, health or prevention of pollution.
But environmental groups warn that the surprise rule change, which was approved by regulators before the public had a chance to review it, could lead to serious environmental consequences.
VIRUS OUTBEAK-DISNEYLAND SHANGHAI
Disneyland in Shanghai will reopen May 11
BEIJING (AP) — The Disneyland theme park in Shanghai will reopen May 11 under “enhanced health and safety measures.”
The company says only limited attendance will be allowed initially, and visitors will need to book tickets and make reservations in advance.
Social distancing will be maintained in lines for amenities, in restaurants, on rides and other facilities and sanitization and disinfection will be boosted.
With warmer weather and new virus cases and deaths falling to near-zero, China has been steadily re-opening, parks, museums and tourist sites such as the Great Wall of China and the Forbidden City ancient palace complex in Beijing.