Asian stocks track Wall St decline as growth concerns weigh
BEIJING (AP) — Asian stock markets have followed Wall Street lower after U.S. inflation was lower than expected amid unease about the impact of the spread of the coronavirus’s delta variant.
Hong Kong-traded shares in casino operators based in Macau plunged on reports of a possible crackdown on the industry. Shanghai, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Sydney retreated, giving up the previous day’s gains.
Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 index fell despite data showing consumer prices rose at their slowest rate in seven months in August. Investor optimism about the rollout of coronavirus vaccines and central bank support for global economies is competing with anxiety about the impact of the delta variant and anti-disease measures on consumers and businesses.
Democrats try delicate tax maneuvers for $3.5 trillion bill
WASHINGTON (AP) — House Democrats have begun the serious work of trying to implement President Joe Biden’s expansive spending plan. But getting there will require remarkable legislative nimbleness, since Biden has said the revenue to pay for it must come only from Americans who earn more than $400,000 a year.
Republicans have vowed lockstep opposition to the plan, and they are turning their anger against proposed tax breaks they portray as subsidies for wealthy elites rather than help for the poor and middle class.
Electric vehicles became a rallying symbol as class-warfare overtones echoed through a committee session Tuesday.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-NEW YORK
Judge blocks medical worker vaccine mandate in NY state
UTICA, NEW YORK (AP) — A federal judge has temporarily blocked New York state from forcing medical workers to be vaccinated after a group of health care workers sued, saying their Constitutional rights were violated.
Judge David Hurd in Utica issued the order Tuesday after 17 health professionals, including doctors and nurses, claimed the vaccine mandate violated their rights because it disallows religious exemptions. The judge gave New York state until Sept. 22 to respond to the lawsuit. The state issued the order Aug. 28, requiring at least a first shot for health care workers at hospitals and nursing homes by Sept. 27. The state says it’s considering all legal options.
3 former US officials charged in UAE hacking scheme
WASHINGTON (AP) — Three former U.S. intelligence and military operatives have admitted providing sophisticated hacking technology to the United Arab Emirates and agreed to pay nearly $1.7 million to resolve criminal charges. It is an agreement that the Justice Department describes as the first of its kind. A charging document in federal court in Washington accuses them of helping develop “advanced covert hacking systems for U.A.E. government agencies.” It says they used stolen credentials to access personal and private information from computers, including from companies in the United States. The Justice Department called the defendants “hackers-for-hire” and identified them as Marc Baier, Ryan Adams and Daniel Gericke.
OVERTURNED CARGO SHIP-GEORGIA
Report: Officer’s error likely caused shipwreck off Georgia
SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — Federal investigators say an officer’s errors in calculating the stability of a cargo ship carrying more than 4,000 new cars likely caused the giant vessel to capsize on the Georgia seacoast.
The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board issued its report Tuesday on the 2019 capsizing of the Golden Ray, which is still being removed in pieces. NTSB investigators concluded the ship was unstable because it lacked enough water in its ballast tanks to offset the weight of the cargo in the ship’s upper decks. They say that’s probably because the chief officer made errors entering data into a computer used to calculate stability.
US grants license for temporary nuclear waste dump in Texas
WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal officials are giving the go-ahead for temporary storage of highly radioactive waste in western Texas. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission granted a license to Interim Storage Partners to build and run a facility that could take up to 5,000 metric tons of spent nuclear fuel rods from power plants and 231 million tons of other radioactive waste.
That sets up a showdown with state officials. Last week, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed a bill to ban storing or shipping high-level nuclear waste through the state. Environmental groups have also sued to block the project, which would be built about 350 miles west of Dallas, near the Texas-New Mexico state line.
TURNPIKE’S UNCOLLECTED TOLLS
Free rides take $104M toll on Pennsylvania Turnpike finances
CARLISLE, Pa. (AP) — More than $104 million in Pennsylvania Turnpike tolls went uncollected last year as the agency fully converted to all-electronic tolling.
Turnpike records show the millions of motorists who don’t use E-ZPass have a nearly 1 in 2 chance of riding without paying under the “toll-by-plate” license plate camera system. The turnpike says nearly 11 million out of the total of about 170 million turnpike rides generated no revenue for the agency last year and its bad debt expense has more than quadrupled in the past seven years.
About 10,000 Pennsylvania vehicle registrations are currently suspended for overdue toll bills, but that doesn’t apply to out-of-state drivers.
FERTILITY DOCTOR SUED
Woman accuses fertility doctor of secretly using own sperm
Undated (AP) — A woman is suing a New York fertility doctor for allegedly using his own sperm to impregnate her mother and then keeping the secret even after the woman, his biological daughter, became his patient.
The 35-year-old Monroe County woman says she became suspicious of Dr. Morris Wortman of Rochester after discovering through home genetics testing that she has numerous half siblings. Follow-up testing confirmed her suspicions in May. By that time, the woman says Wortman, a gynecologist, had been treating her as a patient for nearly 10 years.
Her lawsuit accuses Wortman of medical malpractice, battery and fraud. Wortman’s office said he was with patients Tuesday and unavailable for comment.