Regional traders are awaiting U.S. jobs data due Friday. They are also watching the coronavirus’ delta variant spreading in the U.S., Europe and Asia, and particularly in China. The recent outbreak there is small but still is the worst China has seen since the beginning of the pandemic.
CDC issues new eviction ban for most of US through Oct. 3
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a new moratorium on evictions that would last until October 3.
The Biden administration is trying to quell intensifying criticism that it was allowing vulnerable renters to lose their homes during a pandemic. The new moratorium could help keep millions in their homes as the coronavirus’ delta variant spreads and states have been slow to release federal rental aid. It would temporarily halt evictions in counties with “substantial and high levels” of virus transmissions and would cover areas where 90% of the U.S. population lives.
Senators behind $1T infrastructure plan show off their work
WASHINGTON (AP) — The senators who spent months stitching together a nearly $1 trillion infrastructure package are now trying to sell it to the American people.
A key vote is expected later this week that would push a long recognized national priority much closer to the finish line, after years of talk.
The lawmakers are part of a group that they like to call the G-10, for gang of 10. They are appealing to the wishes of many voters for more bipartisanship in Congress — along with better airports, roads and internet service without being directly asked to pay for those improvements through higher income taxes or user fees.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-NEW YORK
NYC, big employers taking hard line against vaccine holdouts
NEW YORK (AP) — New York is the nation’s first big city to announce it will require proof of COVID-19 vaccination for indoor diners and gymgoers.
And state and local governments and large employers aim to fight vaccine hesitancy by clamping down amid a surge of the delta variant.
Meat processer Tyson Foods says it will require all of its U.S. employees to get vaccinated, one of the first major employers of front-line workers to do so. Unionized auto workers will have to go back to wearing masks in factories, offices and warehouses beginning today because of the delta variant.
The decision was made by a task force representing General Motors, Ford and Stellantis and the United Auto Workers.
Spirit cancels half its flights; American also struggling
UNDATED (AP) — It’s another difficult travel day for passengers booked on Spirit Airlines. The budget airline canceled more than half its schedule for Tuesday by early evening.
It’s the third straight day of extremely high cancellation numbers at Spirit. A spokesman says Spirit is dealing with problems created by bad weather, system outages and staffing shortages.
American Airlines is also scrambling. It has canceled more than 10% of its flights for Tuesday. Both Spirit and American have been struggling with widespread delays and cancellations since the weekend, and customers who call the airlines are getting stuck on hold for hours.
NLRB preliminary finding revives labor organizing at Amazon
NEW YORK (AP) — A recommendation to nullify the election results of an Amazon union vote in Bessemer, Alabama is breathing new life into the labor movement.
The recommendation was issued Monday by a hearing officer for the National Labor Relations Board, who said Amazon potentially interfered with the April election in which warehouse workers overwhelmingly rejected a proposal to unionize.
Labor experts say that it’s rare for a hearing officer to call for a new election. But in the case of Amazon, there’s a good chance it will happen since the NLRB regional director usually sticks with the hearing officer’s guidance.
Many labor experts believe that even if another election is held, Amazon will remain victorious.
ARCTIC REFUGE DRILLING
US will review oil and gas leasing program in Alaska refuge
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The federal Bureau of Land Management is moving ahead with a new environmental review of oil and gas leasing in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
The move comes after Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said she found deficiencies in a prior review that provided a basis for the first lease sale on the refuge’s coastal plain earlier this year.
The federal land agency said Tuesday it is opening a public process to determine the scope of the review and to identify the major issues related to a leasing program. Conservationists welcomed news of the review but also asked that Congress repeal provisions of law calling for lease sales.
PG&E says equipment may be tied to fire, touts improvements
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Pacific Gas & Electric says its equipment may have been involved in starting a small wildfire that merged with a massive blaze now threatening homes in the Northern California mountains.
The announcement came Tuesday as utility officials briefed state regulators on the company’s plans to use intentional power shutoffs to try to prevent more fires. Utility officials say they have improved weather forecasts and strengthened power poles.
PG&E says investigators are examining a tree found on power lines in Plumas County where the Fly Fire began July 22. The small blaze later joined with the much larger Dixie Fire, which PG&E also said may have started when a tree fell on one of its power lines.
Toyota reports record profit amid pandemic, keeps forecasts
TOKYO (AP) — Toyota is reporting a record 897.8 billion yen, or $8.2 billion, profit for the fiscal first quarter, underlining the Japanese automaker’s resilience even amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Quarterly sales soared 73% to 7.94 trillion yen, or $73 billion, also a record for the maker of the Prius hybrid and Lexus luxury models.
Worries remain, such as the ongoing shortage of semiconductors and the rising costs of materials, according to Toyota. Toyota kept its annual forecasts unchanged at a 2.3 trillion yen profit, and 9.6 million vehicles in expected global retail sales.