Stocks decline after negative jobs report, bond yields rise
NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are lower after the Labor Department reported that U.S. employers created far fewer jobs than expected last month, raising concerns about the effect of the delta variant on the economy’s recovery. America’s employers added just 235,000 jobs in August, a surprisingly weak gain after two months of robust hiring. Travel companies are among those falling, with Carnival Corporation, Royal Caribbean and Wynn Resorts all lower. Bond yields rose.
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US hiring slows as delta variant weakens travel and tourism
WASHINGTON (AP) — America’s employers added just 235,000 jobs in August, a modest gain after two months of robust hiring at a time when the delta variant’s spread has discouraged some people from flying, shopping and eating out. The unemployment rate dropped to 5.2% from 5.4% in July. The August job gains reported by the Labor Department fell far short of the big gains in June and July of roughly 1 million a month. Those increases were revised higher by a combined 134,000. The gains in June and July followed widespread vaccinations that allowed the economy to fully reopen from pandemic restrictions.
Growth in services sector slowed in August from record pace
WASHINGTON (AP) — Growth in the services sector, where most Americans work, slowed in August after setting a record pace in July. The Institute for Supply Management says its monthly survey of service industries decreased to a reading of 61.7 in August after hitting a record high of 64.1 in July. The July figure was the fastest pace since this data series began in 2008. Any reading above 50 indicates growth in service industries.
Apple delays iPhone photo-scanning plan amid fierce backlash
BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — Apple is indefinitely delaying its plans to scan iPhones in the U.S. for images of child sexual abuse. The move followed outcry from security and privacy experts who warned the technology could eventually be exploited for other surveillance purposes by hackers and intrusive governments. The postponement announced Friday comes a month after the company revealed it was getting ready to roll out a tool to detect known images of child sexual abuse, which would work by scanning files before they’re uploaded to its iCloud back-up storage system. It had also planned to introduce a separate tool to scan users’ encrypted messages for sexually explicit content.
Power to be restored to New Orleans by middle of next week
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Power should be restored to almost all of New Orleans by the middle of next week. That’s according to the utility company Entergy, which issued a statement Friday asking for patience in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida. Utility executives say more than 25,000 workers from 40 states are trying to fix 14,000 damaged poles, more than 2,200 broken transformers and more than 150 destroyed transmission structures. Ida destroyed the city’s electrical grid and left more than 1 million customers in Louisiana without power. In other developments, Louisiana health officials announced an investigation into the deaths of four nursing home residents who were evacuated to a warehouse ahead of the severe weather.
WESTERN WILDFIRES-PRICE GOUGING
First flames, then fees: Tahoe evacuees report price gouging
STATELINE, Nev. (AP) — Some Lake Tahoe residents who fled a raging wildfire burning toward the California-Nevada border have encountered an unexpected obstacle: price gouging. Evacuees this week reported rideshare companies offering trips from area ski resorts to the Reno, Nevada, airport at eight times the normal rate. A hotel on the Nevada side of the resort town hiked room rates to nearly $450 per night. California prohibits exorbitant price increases during emergencies. But a ban that Nevada lawmakers passed this year doesn’t take effect until October. Reports of price gouging have emerged routinely in disaster zones during hurricanes. And the practice won newfound attention during the pandemic, with at least a dozen statehouses addressing it last year.
VACCINE MANDATES-TYSON FOODS
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Tyson Foods workers get paid sick leave; 75% vaccinated
NEW YORK (AP) — Tyson Foods is offering paid sick leave for the first time to its front-line workers, part of an agreement that secured union support for its mandate that all U.S. employees get vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus. The meatpacking giant said 75% of its 120,000 U.S. workers have now been vaccinated. That’s up from 50% when the company announced the mandate on Aug. 3. Workers have until Nov. 1 to get vaccinated, but the agreement with the United Food and Commercial Workers provides for medical and religious exemptions. Tyson Foods is among the few companies with a large front-line workforce to impose a vaccine mandate so far. Many companies have taken aggressive steps to encourage workers to get the vaccines while avoiding mandates that could worsen a labor shortages.
EU, AstraZeneca reach deal to end vaccine delivery dispute
BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union and drugmaker AstraZeneca say they reached a deal to end a damaging legal battle over the slow pace of deliveries of the company’s COVID-19 vaccines. The European Commission said Friday that AstraZeneca made a “firm commitment” to deliver a total of 300 million vaccine doses by March. The commission said it involves the pharmaceutical company providing 135 million doses by the end of this year plus another 65 million doses in the first quarter of 2022. Around 100 million have already been supplied. Brussels says the deliveries would respect an advance purchasing agreement the EU reached with AstraZeneca a year ago.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-AIR QUALITY
UN: Brief gains in air quality in 2020 over COVID lockdowns
GENEVA (AP) — The U.N. weather agency says the world and especially urban areas experienced a brief and sharp drop in emissions of air pollutants last year. It happened during lockdown measures and related travel restrictions put in place over the coronavirus pandemic. The World Meteorological Organization released its first ever Air Quality and Climate Bulletin on Friday. It cautioned that the reductions in pollution were patchy and many parts of the world showed levels that outpaced air quality guidelines. Some types of pollutants continued to emerge at regular or even higher levels.
German carmakers reject environmental groups’ climate demand
BERLIN (AP) — German automaker Daimler has dismissed a “cease and desist” demand from two environmental groups to commit to ending the sale of combustion engine vehicles by 2030. Lawyers for Greenpeace and the group Deutsche Umwelthilfe have threatened to sue Daimler, BMW and Volkswagen unless they sign a legal pledge not to put new gas-fueled vehicles onto the market from the end of this decade. The groups argue that companies are bound by the same rules as governments when it comes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to combat climate change. The lawyers successfully sued the German government earlier this year. Daimler said in a statement Friday that it saw “no basis” for the groups’ demand.
UAW watchdog getting evidence from feds in corruption probe
DETROIT (AP) — Federal prosecutors in Detroit put a herd of UAW officials in prison. Now they’re sharing additional evidence with a court-appointed watchdog who has authority to pursue other misconduct at the union. The independent monitor, Neil Barofsky, can investigate and bring disciplinary charges inside the United Auto Workers. A judge took the unusual step of giving prosecutors permission to share grand jury materials and other records. The government says the monitor’s staff has met with people who cooperated with agents in the criminal investigation. The investigation led to a dozen convictions at the UAW, including prison terms for two presidents, Gary Jones and Dennis Williams.
Kraft, former officials settle SEC charges for $62 million
WASHINGTON (AP) — Kraft Heinz Co. is agreeing to pay $62 million to settle charges of improper accounting of what it once claimed were cost savings. Two former senior executives have agreed to pay civil penalties. The Securities and Exchange Commission said Friday that from late 2015 through 2018, Kraft boasted about cost savings that were actually unearned discounts and gave false reports about contracts with suppliers. The claims were widely picked up by Wall Street analysts, but in 2019 Kraft restated its financial results to correct $208 million in improperly recognized cost savings. The SEC says the company’s former chief operating officer will pay a $300,000 civil penalty and the former chief procurement officer will pay $100,000.
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