Asian stock markets mixed after Wall St retreats from record
BEIJING (AP) — Asian stock markets are mixed after Wall Street retreated from a record high as major banks announced strong profits.
Shanghai, Hong Kong and India declined while Tokyo, Seoul and Sydney rose. Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 index closed 0.4% below the previous day’s record as major tech stocks declined while smaller companies rallied.
Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo reported higher earnings, due largely to expectations for better economic performance that allowed banks to free up reserves. Investor expectations are high as other companies prepare to report quarterly profits.
Months after hack, US poised to announce sanctions on Russia
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration is expected today to announce new sanctions in response to a massive Russian hacking campaign that breached vital federal agencies, as well as for election interference.
That’s according to a senior administration official who confirmed the measures to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity.
The sanctions would represent the first retaliatory action announced against the Kremlin for last year’s hack, known as the SolarWinds breach. In that intrusion, Russian hackers are believed to have infected widely used software with malicious code, enabling them to access the networks of at least nine agencies in what U.S. officials believe was an intelligence gathering operation aimed at mining government secrets.
Besides that hack, U.S. officials last month alleged that Russian President Vladimir Putin authorized influence operations to help Donald Trump in his unsuccessful bid for reelection as president, though there’s no evidence Russia or anyone else changed votes or manipulated the outcome.
Nashville mayor: Oracle to bring 8500 jobs, $1.2B investment
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Officials in Tennessee say the Texas-based Oracle Corporation plans to bring 8,500 jobs and a $1.2 billion investment to Nashville over coming years. The office of Nashville Mayor John Cooper’s office says the project is “unrivaled” in the history of Tennessee economic development projects.
Cooper’s office also says the computer technology company has requested a public hearing for its economic impact plan with a city development board.
Officials say the project would create 2,500 jobs in Nashville by the end of 2027, reaching the full 8,500 by the end of 2031, with an average salary of $110,000.
Oracle’s plans for a campus with 1.2 million square feet of office space would surpass those of Amazon, which in 2018 announced it would bring 5,000 jobs through a $230 million investment in a new operations hub in Nashville.
WASHINGTON-STATE FOR PROFIT JAILS
Washington state governor OKs bill banning for-profit jails
OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has signed a bill aimed at shutting down one of the country’s largest for-profit, privately run immigration jails. The 1,575-bed Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma is operated by the GEO Group under a contract with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and it’s the only for-profit detention facility in the state.
The new law in Washington state — which is likely to face a legal challenge —would allow GEO to continue operating the jail until its contract with ICE expires in 2025. GEO sued over a similar 2019 measure in California, though a federal judge there largely sided with the state.
President Joe Biden has instructed the Justice Department not to renew contracts with private prisons, but that order doesn’t apply to the immigration detention system under the Department of Homeland Security.
Hawaii lawmakers to delay raises over pandemic
UNDATED (AP) — State lawmakers in Hawaii are moving to delay pay raises scheduled for themselves, the governor and judges because of the economic damage from the coronavirus pandemic.
Pay raises of 10% were scheduled to take effect for state legislators July 1 as recommended by the state Salary Commission. Instead, a bill that the House initially approved Tuesday will defer the raises until January 2023.
Gov. David Ige (EE’-gay) says he supports suspending the pay raises and that he already told his Cabinet that he wouldn’t accept his raise.
HISTORIC DROUGHT-FARMERS v. FISH
Epic drought means water crisis on Oregon-California border
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Federal officials say farmers who rely on a massive irrigation project spanning the Oregon-California border will get 8% of the deliveries they need amid a severe drought.
The seasonal allocations released by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation are the most dramatic development since water was shut off to hundreds of Klamath (KLA’-muhth) Basin irrigators in 2001 in a decades long battle over water rights in the region.
The Klamath Tribes proactively sued this week to ensure minimum water levels for a fish species critical to their heritage. The Yurok Tribe, one of the tribes affected by the water decision, said that even with the slashes to farmers’ water, they were facing a “catastrophic loss” of salmon this year.
The situation in the Klamath Basin was set in motion more than a century ago, when the U.S. government began drawing water from a network of shallow lakes and marshlands and funneling it into the dry desert uplands. Homesteads were offered by lottery to World War II veterans who grew hay, grain and potatoes and pastured cattle.
Chipmaker TSMC says profit up 16.7% as demand revives
TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., the world’s biggest contract manufacturer of processor chips, says quarterly profit rose 16.7% over a year ago as global demand strengthened.
The Taipei-based company says profit after tax rose to $4.9 billion for the three months ending in March. Total revenue rose 16.7% over a year ago to $12.8 billion.
TSMC makes chips for major brands including Apple Inc. and Qualcomm Inc. The pandemic boosted demand for electronic equipment as more people worked from home. The revival of the global economy also has helped to rebuild demand for autos and other consumer goods that depend on processor chips.