Update on the latest in business:

FINANCIAL MARKETS

Stocks fall, giving up week’s gains

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks fell broadly in morning trading on Wall Street as the market heads for a feeble ending to an up-and-down week of trading. The S&P 500 index was down 0.8% at midday and is headed for its second straight weekly loss. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.6% and the Nasdaq fell 1%. Technology and communications companies were the biggest drags on the market. Companies that rely on direct consumer spending rose. Energy prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 1.37% from 1.33% a day earlier.

BIDEN-RESCUE PLAN

Biden faces limits of $1.9T COVID aid as some states resist

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden entered the White House promising to stop the twin health and economic crises caused by COVID-19. But $1.9 trillion and countless initiatives later, he’s confronting the limits of what Washington can achieve when some state and local governments are unwilling or unable to step up. Six months after Congress passed the massive rescue plan, administration records show that more than $550 billion has yet to be disbursed. The sum could help provide a key economic backstop as the coronavirus’ delta variant continues to pose a threat. But in some cases, it’s also led to frustration as aid for renters, testing and vaccines goes unused despite mass outreach campaigns.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-INFECTION CONTROL

US to spend $2.1B to improve infection control

WASHINGTON (AP) — The federal government is spending $2.1 billion to improve infection control procedures in health care settings, aimed at preventing the transmission of diseases inside hospitals, dialysis centers and other facilities. The CDC is allocating the funding from the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill signed into law by President Joe Biden earlier this year. Some $500 million will create and train “strike teams” to help facilities with known or suspected COVID-19 outbreaks. CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky says the funding “will dramatically improve the safety and quality of the health care delivered in the United States during the pandemic and in the future.” Nearly $900 million will help support research and training on new ways to control the spread of infections.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-BOOSTER SHOTS

FDA panel is first key test for Biden COVID-19 booster plan

WASHINGTON (AP) — Government advisers are debating whether to recommend extra doses of the Pfizer vaccine, a key step toward the Biden administration’s plan to dispense COVID-19 booster shots to most Americans. Scientists inside and outside the U.S. government have been divided in recent days over the need for boosters and who should get them. A panel of Food and Drug Administration advisers will vote Friday on the safety and effectiveness of boosters. If the FDA approves the extra doses a separate committee convened by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will debate who should get boosters and when.

BIDEN-CLIMATE TALKS

Biden, world leaders try to hammer out next steps on climate

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is trying to hammer out the world’s next steps against rapidly worsening climate change in a private, virtual session with a small group of other global leaders. Friday’s session at the White House opened with Biden announcing a new U.S.-European pledge to cut climate-wrecking methane leaks from oil and gas rigs and other sources. Leaders of European blocs and the U.N. joined a handful of other national leaders in the private White House talks. The White House sessions and other upcoming ones are trying to ensure that world leaders come to a U.N. climate summit in Glasgow in November with significant new commitments to cut climate-wrecking oil, gas and coal emissions.

EU-CLIMATE-NATIONAL EMISSION TARGETS

UN: Climate pledges put world on ‘catastrophic pathway’

BERLIN (AP) — The head of the United Nations says cuts in greenhouse gas emissions so far pledged by governments put the world on a “catastrophic pathway” toward a hotter future. A U.N. report reviewing all the national commitments submitted until July 30 by signatories of the Paris climate accord found that they would result in emissions rising nearly 16% by 2030, compared with 2010 levels. Scientists agree that a sharp decline in emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases is needed as soon as possible to cap global temperature rise at 1.5 Celsius from pre-industrial levels by 2100. Major emitters such as China, India and Saudi Arabia failed to submit new pledges in time for the report.

US-WORLD BANK

World Bank cancels business report after investigation

WASHINGTON (AP) — The World Bank is canceling a prominent report on business conditions around the world after investigators found staff members were pressured by the bank’s leaders to alter data about China and some other governments. The bank said it would discontinue “Doing Business” following an investigation prompted by internal reports of “data irregularities” in its 2018 and 2020 editions and possible “ethical matters.” The investigation conducted by Washington law firm WilmerHale found staff members changed data on China to improve its ranking under pressure from the office of then-World Bank President Jim Yong Kim and from then-Chief Executive Kristalina Georgieva and one of her advisers. Georgieva, now director of the International Monetary Fund, said she disagreed with the findings.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-BRITAIN

England simplifies COVID-19 travel rules bashed as confusing

LONDON (AP) — The British government says it plans to simplify rules for international travel during the coronavirus pandemic and will make an announcement Friday. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said on Twitter that he would “set out measures to simplify international travel later today in order to reduce costs, take advantage of higher levels of vaccination, and keep us all safe.” The government is under pressure to scrap its “traffic light” system that ranks countries as red, amber or green — high, medium or low risk from the coronavirus. Airlines and travel businesses have complained that Britain’s complicated and expensive requirements are keeping people away and hampering recovery from the pandemic

ILLINOIS-BOEING-NAVY AIRCRAFT

Boeing to build Navy aircraft at MidAmerica, invest $200M

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Chicago-based aerospace giant Boeing Co. will invest $200 million to manufacture the U.S. Navy’s latest unmanned aircraft at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport. A news release provided to The Associated Press in advance indicates that state and company officials plan a Friday afternoon announcement at the airfield in Mascoutah, southeast of St. Louis. Boeing plans to manufacture the MQ-25 Stingray, the Navy’s first carrier-based unmanned aircraft. It will come out of a state-of-the art, 300,000-square-foot facility. Construction is scheduled to start later this year and be completed by 2024. The operation will have about 150 employees.

ENBRIDGE-LINE 3

Enbridge ordered to pay $3M for Line 3 groundwater leak

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota regulators have ordered Enbridge to pay more than $3 million for allegedly violating state environmental law by piercing a groundwater aquifer during construction of the Line 3 oil pipeline. The state Department of Natural Resources says Enbridge, while working near Clearbrook in January, dug too deeply into the ground and pierced an artesian aquifer, which resulted in a 24 million gallon groundwater leak and endangered nearby wetlands. Enbridge did not immediately return a call for comment Friday. The company’s 340-mile Line 3 pipeline will carry Canadian crude across northern Minnesota to the company’s terminal in Superior, Wisconsin. The pipeline, opposed by environmental groups and some Ojibwe tribes, is 90% complete.

DROUGHT-MARIJUANA-WATER THEFTS

Illegal marijuana farms take West’s scarce water

LA PINE, Ore. (AP) — From dusty towns to forests in the West, illegal marijuana growers are taking water in uncontrolled amounts when there often isn’t enough to go around for even licensed users. Conflicts about water have long existed, but amid a severe drought, illegal marijuana farms add additional strain on the precious resource. In Oregon, the number of illegal grows appears to have increased recently even as the Pacific Northwest this year endured its driest spring since 1924. Illegal grows continue to proliferate despite legalization in West Coast states.

SKINNY HOUSE

Boston’s famous Skinny House sells for a nice fat price

BOSTON (AP) — Boston’s famous Skinny House has sold for a nice fat price. Zillow reports that the home that hit the market in August for $1.2 million sold Thursday for $1.25 million. Real estate agency CL Properties posted on Facebook that the home went under agreement for over list price in less than one week. A plaque on the four-story home’s facade says it was built in 1862, has over 1,100 square feet and is about 10 feet wide at its widest point. It is also known as the Spite House because of a legend about its origins stemming from a rivalry between brothers.

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