Update on the latest in business:

FINANCIAL MARKETS

Stocks fall on Wall Street at the end of a bruising week

NEW YORK (AP) — Another drop for stocks has pushed the S&P 500 index 20% below its peak set early this year. The benchmark index was down 2% in afternoon trading and on pace for its seventh straight losing week. Rising interest rates, high inflation, the war in Ukraine, and a slowdown in China’s economy are all punishing stocks and raising...

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FINANCIAL MARKETS

Stocks fall on Wall Street at the end of a bruising week

NEW YORK (AP) — Another drop for stocks has pushed the S&P 500 index 20% below its peak set early this year. The benchmark index was down 2% in afternoon trading and on pace for its seventh straight losing week. Rising interest rates, high inflation, the war in Ukraine, and a slowdown in China’s economy are all punishing stocks and raising fears about a possible U.S. recession. If the S&P 500 finishes the day 20% or more below its record, it would enter what Wall Street calls a “bear market.” The last one was in 2020, an unusually brief downturn that sliced 34% off the S&P 500.

TRUMP-LEGAL TROUBLES

Trump pays $110K fine, must submit paperwork to end contempt

NEW YORK (AP) — Former President Donald Trump has paid the $110,000 in fines he racked up after being held in contempt of court for being slow to respond to a civil subpoena issued by New York’s attorney general. The office of Attorney General Letitia James says Trump paid the fine Thursday but must still submit additional paperwork in order to have the contempt order lifted. A Manhattan judge declared Trump in contempt of court April 25 and fined him $10,000 per day for not complying with a subpoena in James’ long-running investigation into his business practices. Trump’s lawyer did not immediately comment.

MUSK-LAWSUIT DISMISSED

Judge dismisses lawsuit against Musk, Tesla and Twitter fan

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A federal judge has dismissed a securities fraud and defamation lawsuit filed by a Tesla investor against CEO Elon Musk, the company and a Musk supporter. In an order filed Thursday, U.S. District Judge James Donato in California threw out the case filed by Aaron Greenspan. The judge ruled that the case fell short of making plausible claims. Among other things, Greenspan alleged that Omar Qazi, a Musk fan, defamed Greenspan in a series of tweets. Greenspan alleged the tweets were part of a coordinated campaign praising Tesla and attacking critics. Donato ruled that Greenspan didn’t state facts backing up allegations that Qazi was acting as an agent of Tesla or Musk.

BRAZIL-BOLSONARO-MUSK

Elon Musk visits Brazil’s Bolsonaro to discuss Amazon plans

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Tesla and SpaceX chief executive officer Elon Musk has met with Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro to discuss connectivity and other projects in the Amazon rainforest. The meeting, held in a luxurious resort in Sao Paulo state, was organized by Communications Minister Fábio Faria, who has said he is seeking partnerships with the world’s richest man to bring or improve internet in schools and health facilities in rural areas using technology developed by SpaceX and Starlink, and also to preserve the rainforest.

ITALY-NETFLIX-TAXES

Netflix pays $59 million to settle tax dispute in Italy

MILAN (AP) — The Netflix streaming platform has agreed to pay more than $59 million and set up a legal entity in Italy to settle a tax dispute. Milan prosecutors said today that the payment covers taxes, penalties and interest from October 2015 through 2019. The streaming service also established an Italian subsidiary this year, which will determine its Italian tax burden based on subscriptions to Italian residents. Netflix welcomed the settlement that ends the case covering the tax years 2015 to 2019. Prosecutors in Milan say the investigation was triggered by the physical presence in Italy of technological infrastructure aimed at producing revenue.

BIDEN-ASIA

Biden: SKorean chip plant a model for deeper ties to Asia

PYEONGTAEK, South Korea (AP) — President Joe Biden is visiting a South Korean computer chip factory that is the model for a similar plant to be built in Texas. And he says it shows how deeper ties with the Indo Pacific can help fuel tech innovation and foster democracies. Biden spoke Friday as he opened his first trip to Asia as president by touring a Samsung factory. Samsung has promised to open a $17 billion semiconductor factory in Texas. A semiconductor shortage last year hurt the availability of autos, kitchen appliances and other goods. The supply crunch also pushed inflation higher and crippled Biden’s public standing in the U.S.

THE AP INTERVIEW-TAI

The AP Interview: US trade rep. sees opportunity in recovery

BANGKOK (AP) — The top U.S. trade negotiator says with world economies all suffering from more than two years of the coronavirus pandemic and global supply problems exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the United States has an “incredible opportunity” to engage with other nations and forge new partnerships and agreements. Ahead of a planned announcement with President Joe Biden of a new Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai told The Associated Press that the time is ripe for the proposal. She says: “I don’t think anybody’s economy is stronger because of COVID and there is a pretty pervasive sense of anxiety about how we recover. I actually think that this presents an incredible opportunity.”

G7-UKRAINE

G7 countries to provide $19.8 billion in aid to Ukraine

KOENIGSWINTER, Germany (AP) — The Group of Seven leading economies have agreed to provide $19.8 billion in economic aid to Ukraine to ensure its finances do not hinder its ability to defend itself from Russia’s invasion. German Finance Minister Christian Lindner told reporters Friday that $9.5 billion of that amount was mobilized at meetings of the G-7 finance ministers this week. He says that “we need to do our utmost to end this war.” Russia’s invasion touched on almost every topic of the finance ministers’ meetings this week, from the need to reduce reliance on Russian energy to reforming relationships between countries to maintain economic stability.

RUSSIA-UKRAINE-WAR-FINLAND-GAS

Russia to cut Finland’s natural gas in latest energy clash

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Finland’s state-owned energy company says Russia will cut off natural gas to Finland after the Nordic country that applied for NATO membership this week refused President Vladimir Putin’s demand to pay in rubles. It’s the latest escalation over European energy amid the war in Ukraine and the latest country to be cut off after refusing Russia’s decree. Poland and Bulgaria were cut off late last month, while Italy’s energy company says it was “starting procedures” to follow the demand. Finnish broadcaster YLE says natural gas accounted for just 6% of Finland’s total energy consumption in 2020. That pales in comparison to 40% for Italy and 35% for Germany.

NUCLEAR WASTE-STORAGE

Energy secretary visits nuclear plant to discuss waste issue

WATERFORD, Conn. (AP) — The U.S. energy secretary is visiting a nuclear power plant in Connecticut at the invitation of the local congressional member as both work to change how spent nuclear fuel is stored nationwide to solve a decadeslong stalemate. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm and Democratic U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney toured the Millstone Nuclear Power Station in Waterford, Connecticut, on Friday. Spent fuel that was meant to be stored temporarily at nuclear plant sites nationwide is piling up. There’s renewed momentum to figure out a storage site or sites to free up the land where the waste is currently being stored.

DISINFORMATION BOARD-ONLINE ABUSE

Disinformation board’s ex-leader faced wave of online abuse

WASHINGTON (AP) — The former head of a widely criticized disinformation board faced a torrent of sexist profanities on social media and menacing emails filled with rape or death threats. Nina Jankowicz, the former head of the Disinformation Governance Board set up by the Department of Homeland Security, is not alone. Women around the globe who have risen to powerful government positions have faced an overwhelming crush of online harassment, stalking and abuse. A recent report from the United Nations found female politicians, regardless of political affiliation, in Finland are subjected to 10 times more abusive Twitter messages. The U.N. says the online abuse prevents democracies from being equally representative.

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