Investors are still recalibrating their moves after the Federal Reserve’s signal this week that it may raise current ultra-low rates sooner than expected. The Dow Jones Industrial Average had its worst weekly loss since last October. The fear is that burgeoning inflation may prompt central banks to dial back the lavish support that has lifted markets to new highs after they plunged at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic last year.
SUEZ CANAL-SHIP-LEGAL CASE
Egypt: Suez Canal ship case adjourned for settlement talks
(AP) — An Egyptian court has adjourned the case of a hulking cargo vessel that blocked the Suez Canal for nearly a week earlier this year.
Sunday’s decision to pause hearings until July 4 came after both legal teams of the Suez Canal and the vessel’s owners asked for more time for negotiations that aim at resolving their financial dispute.
The dispute centers on the compensation amount the Suez Canal Authority is claiming for the salvage of the vessel Ever Given, which ran aground in March, blocking the crucial waterway for six days.
At first, the Suez Canal Authority demanded $916 million in compensation, which was later lowered to $550 million.
Iran’s sole nuclear power plant undergoes emergency shutdown
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran’s state TV says the country’s sole nuclear power plant has undergone a temporary emergency shutdown.
An official from the state electric energy company said on a talk show that the Bushehr plant shutdown began on Saturday and would last “for three to four days.” He said that outages could result. He did not elaborate but this is the first time Iran has reported an emergency shutdown of the plant, located in the southern port city of Bushehr.
It went online in 2011 with help from Russia. In March, Iran said the plant could stop working since it couldn’t buy needed equipment from Russia because of sanctions.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-JAPAN COMPANIES
Companies give vaccines to workers, boosting Japan’s rollout
TOKYO (AP) — Thousands of Japanese companies began distributing COVID-19 vaccines to workers and their families today in an employer-led drive that aims to rev up the nation’s slow vaccine rollout.
Beverage maker Suntory plans to inoculate 51,500 people, including part-time workers and employees’ families. Toyota, Fast Retailing and Rakuten are among 3,500 companies that have signed up for the drive.
Universities are eligible in the same program, and small businesses can sign up separately. Getting companies involved is finally helping rev up Japan’s rollout. About 6% of Japanese people are fully vaccinated.
CYBERSECURITY RAMSOMWARE-BANNING PAYMENTS
Paying fortifies ransomware gangs but scant support for bans
BOSTON (AP) — The dilemma surrounding ransomware payments has left U.S. officials fumbling about how to respond to such demands.
While the Biden administration “strongly discourages” paying, officials recognize that failing to pay would be almost self-destructive for some victims.
In an initial step, bipartisan draft legislation would mandate immediate federal reporting of ransomware attacks. Doing so could assist response, help identify attackers and even recuperate ransoms, as the FBI did with most of the $4.4 million that Colonial Pipeline recently paid. But without additional action soon, experts say ransomware payments will continue to skyrocket.
STONEWALL BEER BAN
Political donations lead Stonewall Inn to ban some beers
NEW YORK (AP) — The Stonewall Inn’s owners say they won’t serve certain beers at the famous LGBT bar during Pride weekend to protest manufacturer Anheuser-Busch’s political contributions to some politicians who have supported anti-LGBT legislation.
They say it’s in support of the “Keep Your Pride” campaign, a recently launched effort highlighting five companies that it says advertise support during Pride but have also made contributions to anti-LGBT lawmakers.
Anheuser-Busch says it supports candidates “whose policy positions and objectives support investments in our communities, job creation, and industry growth.”
California weighs extending eviction protections past June
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom and lawmakers are negotiating whether to extend the state’s ban on evictions for unpaid rent.
Both federal and California eviction protections expire on June 30. Newsom has proposed using federal coronavirus aid to pay off all the unpaid rent that people owe. But it will take time to distribute that money.
Some tenant advocacy groups want the nation’s most populated state to extend eviction protections until the unemployment rate for low-wage workers reaches pre-pandemic levels. But the California Apartment Association says landlords can’t afford to wait much longer because many have gone without rent checks for more than a year.
‘The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard’ hits top mark at box office
LOS ANGELES (AP) — “The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard” has hit the top box office target. The Lionsgate’s film starring Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson and Salma Hayek brought in $11.6 million domestically to claim the No. 1 spot in its debut.
The “Hitman” sequel notched “A Quiet Place Part II,” which took hold of the second spot in its fourth weekend of release. The Paramount horror-thriller became the first of the pandemic era to reach $100 million domestically.
This weekend “Godzilla vs. Kong” became the second movie of the pandemic to cross $100 million. The movie has garnered more $442.5 million worldwide.
Meanwhile, “In the Heights” continues to struggle at the box office. It dropped to sixth.