TOKYO (AP) — Asian shares are mixed as investors weigh concerns about the U.S. presidential election and an economic stimulus package, on top of flaring outbreaks of coronavirus. Shares rose in China on Friday but fell in Japan, South Korea and Australia. Investors are also looking ahead to the release of data on the Chinese economy next week. Stocks ended mostly lower on Wall Street Thursday, giving the S&P its third straight loss this week. Stocks had been mostly climbing this month, but have pulled back this week as ongoing talks between Democrats and Republicans on more aid for the economy have foundered.
ELECTION 2020-TRUMP SUPER PAC
GOP megadonor Sheldon Adelson, wife finance anti-Biden group
WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican megadonor Sheldon Adelson and his wife have given $75 million into a new super PAC that is attacking Democratic nominee Joe Biden. The investment was made amid GOP concern that President Donald Trump’s campaign was flailing and might not be able to correct course.
The money from Adelson has been the driving force behind a $68 million attack campaign against Biden by the group Preserve America, which launched in August. It is run by Chris LaCivita, the strategist behind the 2004 Swift Boat Veterans for the Truth campaign, which helped tank then-Democratic nominee John Kerry’s bid with misleading ads that questioned his record in the Vietnam War.
Adelson’s role in Preserve America, as well as the amount of money both he and his wife, Miriam, contributed to it were unclear until Thursday, when the group filed its first mandatory disclosure with the Federal Election Commission.
GM to run robot cars in San Francisco without human backups
DETROIT (AP) — General Motors’ Cruise autonomous vehicle unit says it will pull the human backup drivers from its vehicles in San Francisco by the end of the year. CEO Dan Ammann says that the Cruise got a permit from California’s Department of Motor Vehicles on Thursday to let the cars travel on their own.
The move follows last week’s announcement from Waymo that it would open its autonomous ride-hailing service to the public in vehicles without human drivers.
Waymo, a unit of Google parent Alphabet Inc., is hoping to eventually expand the service into California, where it already has a permit to run without human backups.
Cruise has reached the point where it’s confident that it can safely operate without humans in the cars, spokesman Ray Wert said. There’s no date for starting a ride service, which would require further government permission, he said.
The rides are being offered in 50 square miles of the Phoenix area.
TRUMP-PRESCIPTION DISCOUNT CARDS
Trump’s election-eve drug discounts for seniors get snagged
WASHINGTON A(P) — President Donald Trump’s plan to mail millions of seniors a $200 prescription savings card has hit legal and budget roadblocks, making it unlikely the government can carry it out before Election Day.
Democratic lawmakers have raised questions about whether the administration has the authority to order on its own billions of dollars in unanticipated Medicare spending for what the Democrats say are political reasons.
Administration and congressional officials say such questions have bogged down review of the plan.
One administration official tells The Associated Press the odds are “75-25” the plan will not happen.
Gloves linked to forced labor in China stopped at LA port
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. authorities say they have traced a a shipment of women’s gloves to forced labor and a brutal crackdown on ethnic minorities in China.
Customs and Border Protection announced Thursday that the shipment has been detained at the Port of Los Angeles until the American company importing the goods can prove the material was not made with forced labor.
The sheepskin gloves were being imported by Iowa-based Overland.
The retailer says a Chinese company it hired looked into the matter and did not find any evidence of forced labor at the factory and it is seeking to retrieve the shipment.
Customs said the gloves were made in a garment manufacturing company located in the northwestern region of China where the government has imprisoned more than 1 million Uighurs and other mostly Muslim minorities as part of an ethnic assimilation campaign.
Last month, the Trump administration identified Yili as one of several companies suspected of forcing people into the equivalent of modern-day slavery and said it would be prohibited from importing goods into the United States
CBS News rebuilds MTV’s old ‘TRL’ studio for election night
NEW YORK (AP )— From Britney Spears to Norah O’Donnell: CBS News is rebuilding MTV’s old ‘Total Request Live’ studio as its headquarters for election night. Two decades ago it was the center of the music world, but now CBS is installing giant touchscreens and ‘augmented reality’ displays for the big political night.
The set, at the ViacomCBS headquarters on Broadway, highlights modern wizardry like “augmented reality” 3-D images and multiple data screens while offering enough roominess to protect staff members from being infected with COVID-19.
O’Donnell will anchor her first presidential election night for the network, assisted by Gayle King, Margaret Brennan, John Dickerson and Ed O’Keefe. Elections are the biggest night for television news divisions.
India cinemas reopen to small audiences after months in dark
NEW DELHI (AP) — Seven months after screens went dark, cinemas have reopened in much of India with older titles on the marquee. Thursday’s return to movie theaters is a sign of the country’s efforts to return to normal as the pace of coronavirus infections slows but also the roadblocks that remain.
India has recorded more than 110,000 virus deaths, and it is still registering the highest number of daily cases globally. But trends also suggest the spread is beginning to slow.
Nearly 10,000 theaters closed in mid-March. They are now among the last public places to reopen — a hugely symbolic move in a country known the world over for the lavish productions pumped out by its Bollywood film industry.