Update on the latest in business:


Asian stocks

UNDATED (AP) — Asian stock markets are lower after Wall Street rose to a record for an eighth day. Tokyo, Hong Kong and Seoul declined while Shanghai advanced.

Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 index added 0.1%, boosted by gains for construction-related stocks after Congress approved a $1 trillion infrastructure bill.

The deputy chairman of the Federal Reserve said conditions to raise interest rates might not be met until late 2022.

Traders have worried that a spike in inflation might prompt central banks to withdraw stimulus that helped to boost stock prices.

Japan’s government reported wage growth fell to a three-month lost of 0.2% over a year earlier in September.


Fed: Risks to US financial system ease as economy recovers

NEW YORK (AP) —The Federal Reserve says that the risks to the U.S. financial system have eased significantly compared to a year earlier.

The central bank noted Monday that as the economy recovers from the pandemic-driven recession, the balance sheets of individual Americans and businesses continue to strengthen. However, the Fed did point out the significant rise in asset prices — most notably home and stock prices — as well as the rise of volatile trading of so-called “meme” stocks as potential growing risks.


Congress mandates new car technology to stop drunken driving

(AP) — Congress has created a new requirement for automakers: Find a high-tech way to keep drunken people from driving cars. It’s one of the mandates along with a burst of new spending aimed at improving auto safety in the $1 trillion infrastructure package that President Joe Biden is expected to sign soon.

Under the legislation, monitoring systems to stop intoxicated drivers would roll out in all new vehicles as early as 2026, after the Transportation Department assesses the best form of technology to install in millions of vehicles.


APEC leaders meeting to chart path forward from pandemic

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — U.S. President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping (shee jihn-peeng) will have a rare virtual encounter this week as they gather online with other Pacific Rim leaders to chart a path to recovery out of the crisis brought on by the pandemic.

New Zealand is hosting this year’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, which culminates in a leader’s meeting on Saturday.

In all, APEC members account for nearly 3 billion people and about 60% of the world’s GDP. They span the Pacific rim, from Chile to Russia to Thailand to Australia.

Officials say they’ve made significant progress during some 340 preliminary meetings. APEC members have agreed to reduce or eliminate many tariffs and border holdups on vaccines, masks and other medical products important to fighting the coronavirus, said Vangelis Vitalis, chair of the Senior Officials’ Meeting.

But big power frictions are the inevitable backdrop for the closed door summit meetings of APEC, which as an economic forum includes both Hong Kong and Taiwan in addition to communist-ruled mainland China.

Both Taiwan and China have put in applications to join a Pacific Rim trade group, the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership, with Beijing saying it will block Taiwan’s bid on the basis that the democratically governed island refuses to accept that it’s part of China.


Railroads fight with unions in court over vaccine mandates

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Another major railroad has gone to court to determine whether it has the authority to require all its employees to get vaccinated against the coronavirus.

BNSF railroad filed a lawsuit Sunday against its major unions over its mandate. It joins Norfolk Southern and Union Pacific, which both filed similar lawsuits against the unions last month.

The unions, which have filed some of their own lawsuits in response, argue that the railroads should have negotiated with them before imposing their mandates.

The railroads that have imposed vaccine mandates say they are complying with President Joe Biden’s executive order requiring all federal contractors to have their employees vaccinated.


Robinhood hit by data breach exposing users’ emails, names

NEW YORK (AP) — Popular investing app Robinhood said Monday that it suffered a security breach last week where hackers accessed some personal information for roughly 7 million users and demanded a ransom payment.

The online trading platform said that it believes no Social Security numbers, bank account numbers or debit-card numbers were exposed and that customers have seen no financial losses because of the intrusion.

For the vast majority of affected customers, the only information obtained was an email address or a full name. For 310 people, the information taken included their name, date of birth, and ZIP code, with 10 customers in that group having more extensive details revealed.


Metallurgist admits faking steel-test results for Navy subs

SEATTLE (AP) — A metallurgist in Washington state has pleaded guilty to fraud after she spent decades faking the results of strength tests on steel that was being used to make U.S. Navy submarines.

Elaine Marie Thomas was the director of metallurgy at a foundry in Tacoma. The foundry supplied steel castings used by Navy contractors Electric Boat and Newport News Shipbuilding to make submarine hulls. From 1985 through 2017, Thomas falsified results of strength tests intended to show the steel met the Navy’s requirements.

There was no allegation that any submarine parts failed, but authorities said the Navy had incurred increased costs and maintenance to ensure the subs remain seaworthy.


Coal dust: Former mine managers face fraud trial in Kentucky

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) —A criminal fraud trial in Kentucky aims to determine whether four officials of the now-bankrupt Armstrong Coal company skirted federal rules meant to reduce deadly coal dust in underground mines.

The trial started with opening statements on Monday. Federal prosecutors say the former officials ordered workers at two Kentucky mines to rig dust-monitoring equipment to pass air quality tests.

Attorneys for the former managers and a supervisor at Armstrong say they’re innocent of the charges. They argued in court Monday that none of the men did any actual rigging of the equipment.


Ye’s Yeezy pays nearly $1M to settle slow-shipping lawsuit

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Rapper and fashion mogul Ye’s high-end clothing company Yeezy has agreed to pay $950,000 to settle a lawsuit over slow shipping to customers.

The district attorneys of four California counties brought the suit last month. They said Yeezy had violated state law by failing to send online orders within 30 days.

Last month, a judge approved a request from the artist formerly known as Kanye West to legally change his name to Ye. He designs and sells sought-after sneakers and clothing under the Yeezy brand.

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