TOKYO (AP) — Asian shares are falling, tracking a decline on Wall Street led by big technology stocks. Benchmarks in Japan, Australia and Shanghai fell in afternoon trading today.
The price of bitcoin plunged again after the China Banking Association warned of risks associated with digital currencies. Stocks closed lower on Wall Street as a late-afternoon sell-off in technology companies helped nudge stock indexes into the red for the second straight day.
Investors continue to be worried that inflation spurred by a robust U.S. recovery might prompt central banks to lift interest rates that have been kept ultra-low to help weather the pandemic.
Biden back behind the wheel, zooming away in electric truck
DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) — President Joe Biden says it feels “great” to be driving again.
The noted car enthusiast took a spin in a new electric Ford F-150 Lightning truck during a visit to a Ford safety testing center Tuesday as part of a trip to Michigan to sell his $2 trillion infrastructure plan.
The son of a car salesman, Biden is known for his love of cars, a fact that featured prominently in his 2020 run for president. But as vice president, he once lamented to Car and Driver that the Secret Service wouldn’t allow him to drive his treasured 1967 Corvette, declaring that to be “the one thing I hate about this job.” The same is true now that he’s president.
Biden reverses Trump changes to bank antidiscrimination law
NEW YORK (AP) — The Biden administration is repealing changes made by the Trump administration to an important law aimed at stopping banks from discriminating against racial minorities and the poor.
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency says it plans to start from scratch on its regulations involving the Community Reinvestment Act. The agency told banks to effectively ignore the 2020 changes.
Activists argued that Trump administration’s changes to the law would have made it easier for many large banks to pass exams required under the law. The other two bank regulators, the Federal Reserve and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, had refused to sign off on the Trump administration’s changes.
Leaders agree in Paris on helping African economies revive
PARIS (AP) — More than 20 African heads of state and top officials from European governments, the European Union and the International Monetary Fund have agreed to seek an additional $100 billion for reviving Africa’s economies crippled by the COVID-19 pandemic.
French President Emmanuel Macron hosted the summit Tuesday in Paris. It was aimed at finding ways to help Africa face the crisis and return to growth with the support of international organizations, including the IMF, the World Bank and the African Union.
Macron is urging the international community to set a “new deal” for Africa nations. He says the financing needs of the continent are estimated at about $300 billion by 2025.
Lawmakers quiz Boeing, FAA about recent issues with planes
WASHINGTON (AP) — Lawmakers are asking Boeing and the Federal Aviation Administration for records detailing production problems with two of the company’s most popular airliners.
The lawmakers are focusing on the Boeing 737 Max and a larger plane, the 787, which Boeing calls the Dreamliner.
House Transportation Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio and another Democratic House member said Tuesday that there are new and ongoing issues that point to problems with Boeing’s quality control. About 100 Max jets were idled last month because of improper electrical grounding that affected cockpit instruments. Separately, Boeing halted deliveries of 787s for five months after improper fitting of sections of the planes’ carbon-fiber fuselage.
California readies to prevent blackouts, but threats remain
SACRAMENTO (AP) — California’s top energy regulators say the state is better prepared to avoid last summer’s rotating blackouts. But they cautioned the power grid of the nation’s most populous state is still vulnerable to extreme heat waves that could force more outages later this year.
State officials say they have acquired an additional 3,500 megawatts of capacity this year. One megawatt is enough to power hundreds of homes.
California Independent Systems Operator President Elliot Mainzer says that does not guarantee California will avoid blackouts this summer. He says the most significant risk remains extreme heat waves that increase demand for more power.
KANSAS CITY SOUTHERN-BIDDING WAR
Investor urges Canadian National to drop bid for US railroad
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A major Canadian National shareholder is urging the railroad to abandon its $33.6 billion bid to buy Kansas City Southern after regulators dealt the deal a procedural setback this week.
The TCI investment fund owns nearly 3% of CN’s stock. It said Tuesday that there is too much uncertainty about whether U.S. regulators will approve the deal to continue.
TCI does have a potential conflict of interest in the dispute because it is also the largest shareholder in Canadian Pacific railroad, which has made a rival $25 billion offer to buy Kansas City Southern. Canadian Pacific has until the end of Thursday to respond to Canadian National’s offer, although it has said it doesn’t plan to engage in a bidding war.
Netflix criticized by Chinese online over use of Taiwan flag
BEIJING (AP) — Chinese online nationalism has a new target: Netflix and its popular Thai drama “Girl from Nowhere.”
Comments online complain the Facebook page for the series showed the flags of Taiwan, the island democracy claimed by the ruling Communist Party as part of its territory, and of Hong Kong, where the party is trying to crush pro-democracy activism.
Netflix joins a growing list of foreign retailers, airlines, hotels and other companies that have been attacked online in China over Taiwan, Xinjiang, Tibet, human rights and other politically charged issues. Some comments complained the flags show support for “splitting China,” or promoting formal independence for self-ruled Taiwan.