Update on the latest in business:

FINANCIAL MARKETS

Asian stocks higher after Wall St declines on growth worries

BEIJING (AP) – Asian stock markets are mostly higher after the Federal Reserve chairman said the U.S. central bank wants to avoid causing a recession but one is possible as it raises interest rates to cool surging inflation.

Shanghai, Tokyo and Hong Kong advanced. Seoul declined. Oil prices fell $2 to near $100. Jerome Powell said the Fed doesn’t want to “provoke...

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FINANCIAL MARKETS

Asian stocks higher after Wall St declines on growth worries

BEIJING (AP) – Asian stock markets are mostly higher after the Federal Reserve chairman said the U.S. central bank wants to avoid causing a recession but one is possible as it raises interest rates to cool surging inflation.

Shanghai, Tokyo and Hong Kong advanced. Seoul declined. Oil prices fell $2 to near $100. Jerome Powell said the Fed doesn’t want to “provoke a recession” but one is “certainly a possibility.”

The Fed has raised rates by unusually wide margins to cool inflation that is running at a four-decade high. Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 index lost 0.1%. Central banks in the United Sates and Europe are trying to stop inflation that is running at four-decade highs.

CHINA-BRICS

China says Ukraine crisis has sounded alarm for humanity

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese President Xi Jinping is hosting a virtual summit with the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa collectively known as the “BRICS,” amid rising concerns over the global economic outlook and a growing political divide between Beijing and New Delhi.

While no agenda has been issued for the talks, Ukraine is likely to feature heavily in the background. China has refused to condemn Russia’s invasion, India has bought large amounts of Russian oil and South Africa abstained on a United Nations vote condemning Russia’s actions.

Along with Xi, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the presidents of South Africa and Brazil are scheduled to join the two days of discussions.

BIDEN-GAS TAX

How Biden’s proposed gas tax holiday would work

WASHINGTON (AP) — Facing stubbornly high gas prices that average about $5 a gallon nationwide, President Joe Biden is urging Congress to suspend federal gasoline and diesel taxes for three months.

If savings from the 18.4 cents-a-gallon federal tax on gas are fully passed along to consumers, drivers would save about $2.76 for a 15-gallon fill-up.

It’s unclear, though, if Biden can push his proposal through Congress, where lawmakers, including some Democrats, are skeptical or even opposed to the idea.

Many economists also are wary of a gas tax holiday.

GAS PRICES-WORKERS

Gas prices sting US workers who depend on their cars

DETROIT (AP) — Millions of Americans who rely on their cars for work are changing their habits, signing up for carpools or even ditching their cars for bicycles as gas prices recently hit $5 per gallon for the first time ever.

This week, it’s averaging $4.95 per gallon nationwide, up from $3.06 per gallon a year ago, according to AAA.

Some help could be on the way. On Wednesday, President Joe Biden asked Congress to suspend federal gas taxes for three months, which would shave 18.4 cents per gallon off the price of gas. He also called on states to suspend their own gas taxes. But in the meantime, gas is straining budgets.

CALIFORNIA-CLIMATE CHANGE

California emissions, carbon neutrality plan draws criticism

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California air regulators are likely to hear a barrage of criticism today on a plan to slash fossil fuel use and reach carbon neutrality by 2045. It would require a sweeping shift in how the state powers its massive economy in the face of climate change.

It will be the California Air Resources Board’s first public discussion of this year’s scoping plan, which is updated every five years.

The 2045 goal is among the most ambitious in the nation, but the plan has many critics beyond the oil industry, which says the plan has too many bans and mandates.

A wide range of environmental advocates say the plan does far too little to quickly lower planet-warming emissions.

AMERICAN AIRLINES-FACE SCANS

American Airlines testing face-scanning at DFW Airport

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — American Airlines says passengers with PreCheck can now pass through security checkpoints at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport with a face scan and phone app. They won’t need to show their driver’s license or passport.

The airline said Wednesday that it plans to expand the service later this year to other airports including Miami and Phoenix.

Privacy experts worry about the amount of personal information that people give up to gain convenience benefits, and how that information is used and stored.

TESLA-RACISM CASE

Former Tesla worker rejects $15 million award in racism case

UNDATED (AP) — A Black former Tesla worker who said he was harassed and faced with “daily racist epithets,” including the “N-word,” while working at the company’s Fremont, California, plant has rejected a substantially reduced award of $15 million in his lawsuit.

Owen Diaz worked at the Tesla plant in 2015 and 2016 as a contracted elevator operator before quitting. He was originally awarded $6.9 million in damages for emotional distress and $130 million in punitive damages in the case.

A Wednesday filing says a judge slashed that to $15 million, which Diaz turned down. Diaz’s rejection could mean a new trial in the case.

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