Bond yields have moved lower this week despite economic data showing the economy recovering and as well as some signs of inflation.
UK leader warns G7 to avoid past recovery errors
CARBIS BAY, England (AP) — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that the Group of Seven wealthy democracies must learn lessons from the pandemic, and not repeat errors made over the past 18 months and after the 2008 global financial crisis.
Johnson said while three days of talks with fellow G-7 leaders in Cornwall, England, that there’s a risk the pandemic could leave a “lasting scar” as “inequalities may be entrenched.” He says the goal should be to “level up across our societies” and “build back better.”
The leaders are expected to commit to sharing at least 1 billion vaccine doses with countries that are struggling to secure enough shots.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-J&J VACCINE FACTORY
AP source: J&J doses to be released, but many will be tossed
UNDATED (AP) — U.S. regulators are allowing the release of about 10 million doses of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine from a troubled Baltimore factory. But many other doses that originated there can’t be used and must be thrown out.
The Food and Drug Administration announced Friday that it had determined that two batches from the plant could be released. But it said several other batches are not suitable for use and additional batches are still under review.
The FDA’s decision to approve the two batches means that doses made from that bulk vaccine can be used in the U.S. or exported to other countries.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-EU VACCINES
EU agency OKs Moderna vaccine site in France
LONDON (AP) — The European Medicines Agency has approved a new manufacturing site for the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, in a move that could substantially boost production for the European Union.
The EU drug regulator says it had approved a site in Monts, France, operated by Recipharm. In addition to the new site approval, the EMA authorized several other sites to conduct batch control and testing. Earlier this month, two locations in the U.S. were approved for production of vaccines destined for the 27-nation EU bloc.
Any medicines or vaccines authorized for the EU market must first have their production facilities approved by the EMA. The EMA says these new approved sites are expected to result in an additional 1 to 2 million vials of Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine every month.
UK economy edges to pre-pandemic levels as lockdown eased
LONDON (AP) — The easing of lockdown restrictions in April helped the British economy grow at its fastest rate since July 2020 and recoup further ground lost during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Office for National Statistics said Friday that the economy grew by 2.3% during April, when shops selling non-essential items reopened and service providers such as hairdressers resumed work.
Despite the growth recorded in April, the British economy remained 3.7% smaller than it was in February 2020. Of the major sectors in the economy, only construction is above the level it was at on the eve of the pandemic.
The British economy is expected to regain more ground over the summer as remaining restrictions are lifted.
Judge pauses loan forgiveness program for farmers of color
MILWAUKEE (AP) — A federal judge has halted a loan forgiveness program for farmers of color in response to a lawsuit alleging the program discriminates against white farmers.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports U.S. District Judge William Griesbach in Milwaukee issued a temporary restraining order Thursday suspending the program from President Joe Biden’ administration for socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers.
The program pays up to 120% of direct or guaranteed farm loan balances for Black, American Indian, Hispanic, Asian American or Pacific Islander farmers.
Conservative law firm Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty filed suit in April on behalf of 12 farmers from Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, Missouri, Iowa, Arkansas, Oregon and Kentucky.
US will restore $1B for California’s troubled bullet train
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The federal government has reached an agreement to restore nearly $1 billion in funding for California’s troubled bullet train.
Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Thursday night that the U.S. Department of Transportation finalized settlement negotiations to restore money for the high-speed rail project that the Trump administration revoked in 2019.
California voters in 2008 approved nearly $10 billion in bond money to build the high-speed rail line connecting Los Angeles and San Francisco. It was supposed to be running by 2020 but the project has been plagued by cost overruns and delays. Officials now hope to finish a segment in the state’s central valley agricultural region by 2029
MCDONALD’S DATA BREACH
McDonald’s latest company to be hit by a data breach
UNDATED (AP) — McDonald’s is the latest company to be hit by a data breach after unauthorized activity on its network exposed the personal data of some customers in South Korea and Taiwan.
McDonald’s said Friday that it quickly identified and contained the incident and that a thorough investigation was done.
McDonald’s said its investigation determined that only South Korea and Taiwan had customer personal data accessed, and that they would be taking steps to notify regulators and also the customers who may be impacted. No customer payment information was exposed.
Businesses across various sectors are being targeted by cybercriminals, including some very high profile cases in recent weeks.
Google offers UK watchdog role in browser cookie phase-out
LONDON (AP) — Google has promised to give U.K. regulators a role overseeing its plan to phase out existing ad-tracking technology from its Chrome browser.
The U.K. competition watchdog has been investigating Google’s proposals to remove so-called third-party cookies over concerns they would undermine digital ad competition and entrench the company’s market power.
To address the concerns, Google on Friday offered a set of commitments including giving the watchdog an oversight role as the company designs and develops a replacement technology. The promises also include limiting how Google will use and combine individual user data and not discriminating against rivals in favor of its own ad businesses.
Germany approves plan to improve oversight of supply chains
BERLIN (AP) — German lawmakers have approved legislation meant to ensure that big companies see that human rights are respected throughout their supply chains.
The plan approved Friday is set to take effect from 2023. It will apply initially to companies with 3,000 or more employees, and from 2024 to companies with 1,000 employees.
Companies are supposed to keep an eye on their delivery chains and, when they find evidence of abuses, work to remedy them.
The legislation will require companies to put in place an internal complaints procedure allowing people affected by their or an associate’s activities, or those of an indirect supplier, to register concerns.