Update on the latest in business:


Asian stocks retreat as inflation augurs Fed rate hikes

BANGKOK (AP) — Shares are mostly lower in Asia after the latest report of surging prices in the U.S. appears to keep the Federal Reserve on track to raise interest rates in coming months.

Tokyo, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Seoul are lower while Sydney has advanced.

U.S. futures are down.

On Wednesday, the S&P 500 rose 0.3%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.1% and the Nasdaq rose 0.2%. Technology stocks led the market higher. Inflation jumped 7% last month, its fastest year-over-year pace in nearly four decades, but in line with forecasts. Fed Chair Jerome Powell has said the Fed stands ready to raise rates to fight inflation. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note was steady at 1.74%.


Delta extends life of expiring travel vouchers from pandemic

ATLANTA (AP) — Delta Air Lines says customers will get an extra year to use travel vouchers that they received after canceling a flight during the pandemic.

Atlanta-based Delta said Wednesday those vouchers will now extend through the end of 2023. Delta says that new date will also apply to any tickets bought in 2022.

The move was not immediately matched by American Airlines or United Airlines, which have quicker deadlines for their travel credits.


Princess Cruise Lines pleads guilty to probation violation

MIAMI (AP) — Princess Cruises has pleaded guilty to violating its probation related to previous environmental crimes. Court records show company officials signed a plea agreement Wednesday in Miami federal court.

The company must pay a $1 million criminal fine and undertake remedial measures to ensure that it and its parent company, Carnival Corporation, establish and maintain an independent internal investigative office.

Princess was fined $40 million in 2017 after pleading guilty to felony charges stemming from its deliberate dumping of oil-contaminated waste from one of its vessels and intentional acts to cover it up. Princess was convicted of six probation violations in 2019 and fined an additional $20 million.


Fact checkers say YouTube lets its platform be ‘weaponized’

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A group of more than 80 fact checking organizations is calling on YouTube to address rampant misinformation on its platform.

A letter to CEO Susan Wojcicki published Wednesday calls the Google-owned platform one of the major conduits of online disinformation and misinformation worldwide.

The organizations say YouTube’s efforts to address the issue have been insufficient. The fact checkers are all members of the International Fact Checking Network and include Rappler in the Philippines, Africa Check, Science Feedback in France and dozens of others. They said YouTube wrongly frames discussions about disinformation as a false dichotomy of deleting or not deleting content.


Film armorer blames ammo supplier in deadly “Rust” shooting

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A new lawsuit accuses an ammunition supplier of creating dangerous conditions on a movie set where a gun held by actor Alec Baldwin killed a cinematographer, by including live ammunition in a box that was supposed to contain only dummy rounds.

The lawsuit was filed in New Mexico state district court by Hannah Gutierrez Reed, the armorer who oversaw firearms, ammunition and related training on the set of “Rust” alongside two assistants.

Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins died on Oct. 21 from a gunshot wound during a “Rust” rehearsal at a ranch on the outskirts of Santa Fe in northern New Mexico.


India, Britain launching talks on free trade deal

NEW DELHI (AP) — India and Britain are formally launching talks to pursue a free trade deal that is expected to boost their trade by billions, making it one of the most ambitious negotiations to take place after Brexit.

Britain’s International Trade Secretary is in New Delhi and will meet with her Indian counterpart. Negotiations will kick off next week.

Both sides hope the deal will spark huge benefits for several industries, from food and drink to cutting-edge renewable technology. Britain estimates the deal could potentially double its exports to India, raising two-way trade by $38 billion a year by 2035 by unlocking India’s huge and growing market.


Nigeria lifts its ban on Twitter after 7 months

ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — The Nigerian government has lifted its ban on Twitter, seven months after the West African country’s more than 200 million people were shut out of the social media network.

The director-general of the country’s National Information Technology Development Agency says Nigeria’s president has directed that Twitter’s operations can resume today. That shift came after Twitter agreed to meet some of Nigeria’s conditions, including opening an office in Nigeria.


Taiwan chipmaker TSMC says quarterly profit $6 billion

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., the biggest contract manufacturer of processor chips, says its quarterly profit rose 16.4% over a year earlier to $6 billion amid surging demand for chips for smartphones and other electronics.

TSMC says revenue in the final three months of 2021 rose 21.2% to $15.8 billion.

The company makes processor chips for major brands including Apple Inc. and Qualcomm Inc. Chipmakers have benefited from demand for next-generation telecoms, high-performance computing and chips for use in products from cars to medical devices.

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