Asian shares mostly higher on hopes for U.S. stimulus
TOKYO (AP) — Asian shares are mostly higher on optimism U.S. stimulus may be coming after all. President Donald Trump appeared to have reversed his earlier decision to halt talks on another economic rescue effort.
Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 added nearly 1.0% in afternoon trading today. South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.4%. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 jumped 1.1%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.7%. Trading was closed in Shanghai for a holiday. Shares rose in India and Taiwan but fell in Singapore.
Yesterday on Wall Street, the S&P 500 climbed 1.7% to 3,419.45. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 1.9%, to 28,303.46. The Nasdaq composite climbed 1.9%, to 11,364.60, despite a call by Democratic lawmakers for Congress to rein in Big Tech companies that dominate it and other indexes.
Feds fine Citigroup $400 million over faulty risk management
NEW YORK (AP) — Citigroup has agreed to pay a $400 million fine imposed by U.S. regulators for failing to shore up the bank’s operations.
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency said Wednesday that the civil penalty is in response to shortcomings in the New York bank’s risk management, internal controls and data governance programs.
The penalty follows a settlement agreement between Citigroup and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve that calls for Citigroup to address “significant ongoing deficiencies” in how the bank has responded to prior orders for it to fix its anti-money laundering compliance program, among other bank management practices.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says he wants everyday Americans to have access to the same experimental treatment he received for the coronavirus.
Trump has played down the threat of the virus since receiving VIP care, but he says in a new video taped in the White House Rose Garden that he wants “to get for you what I got” and will make the drug free.
Trump received an experimental antibody cocktail made by Regeneron through a “compassionate use” exemption.
The safety and effectiveness of the drug have not yet been proven. And there is no way for the president or his doctors to know that the drug had any effect. Most people recover from COVID-19.
IRS-ECONOMIC RELIEF PAYMENTS
IRS chief: agency reaching out on pandemic relief payments
WASHINGTON (AP) — The head of the IRS, on the defensive over millions of Americans in danger of missing coronavirus relief payments, says the agency is reaching out to low-income and homeless people, military personnel and veterans and those with limited English to notify them they may be eligible.
People who don’t normally file tax returns are among those being targeted, IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig tells a House hearing.
A congressional watchdog found that millions could miss the payments of up to $1,200 per individual because of incomplete government records.
Nearly 9 million individuals who are eligible for the payments haven’t received them, according to recent estimates.
UNITED NATIONS-UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE
UN chief: Pandemic shows need for universal health coverage
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The United Nations chief says the coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the “utterly inadequate health systems” around the world and he argues that universal health coverage is essential for nations to deal with future health crises.
Antonio Guterres said Wednesday that the failure to respond adequately to the outbreak has claimed more than 1 million lives, infected over 30 million people in 190 countries, wiped out 500 million jobs and is costing the global economy $375 billion a month.
He adds that indicators of human advancement and well-being are going in reverse for the first time since the U.N. started measuring them in 1990.
Guterres says that shows the need for universal health coverage, strong public health systems, and emergency preparedness everywhere. He said, “At least half the world’s people do not have access to the health services they need,” driving some 100 million people into poverty each year by catastrophic health care costs.”
The secretary-general noted all countries agreed in 2015 on U.N. goals for 2030 that include working toward universal health coverage, and said “we cannot wait 10 years.”
Suit: Atlanta area housing site illegally evicted residents
DECATUR, Ga. (AP) — Protesters say the owners of an Atlanta area housing site have failed to address roaches, bed bugs and other problems and are illegally throwing out residents struggling to make ends meet during the coronavirus pandemic.
About two dozen former residents and other demonstrators gathered Wednesday across the street from Efficiency Lodge in DeKalb County.
A woman who answered the phone at the lodge said no one was available to talk. The protest comes as millions of Americans struggle to make rent payments during the pandemic.
LOS ANGELES-PUBLIC CORRUPTION
Company that planned LA development to settle bribery case
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Authorities say a company that planned a massive redevelopment project in downtown Los Angeles will pay more than $1 million after acknowledging that it was involved in bribing city officials.
The U.S. attorney’s office said Wednesday that Jia Yuan USA, based in Arcadia, won’t be prosecuted and will cooperate in an ongoing FBI public corruption probe. Authorities say the company acknowledged its employees and parent company provided perks to former LA City Councilman Jose Huizar, who backed the huge hotel redevelopment project. Huizar has pleaded not guilty to racketeering and dozens of other federal charges. He faces trial next year.