Update on the latest in business:


Stocks move broadly higher as receding debt fears spur rally

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks rose broadly at midday on Wall Street as investors welcomed the end of a standoff in Congress over extending the federal debt ceiling.

The extension is temporary and will give lawmakers more time to reach a permanent resolution. The S&P 500 rose 1.5% and the Nasdaq Composite gained 1.8%. Pfizer gained 2% after asking the U.S. government to allow use of its COVID-19 vaccine in children ages 5 to 11. The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell last week as the job market continued its steady recovery. The Labor Department will release its more detailed employment report for September on Friday.


Pfizer asks US to allow COVID shots for kids ages 5 to 11

WASHINGTON (AP) — Pfizer is asking the U.S. government to allow use of its COVID-19 vaccine in children ages 5 to 11. If regulators agree, shots could begin within a matter of weeks.

Pfizer already had announced that a lower dose of its vaccine worked and appeared safe in a study of the youngsters. Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech on Thursday officially filed its application with the Food and Drug Administration. FDA’s advisers are scheduled to debate the evidence later this month. Until now the vaccine was available only as young as 12, and many parents and pediatricians are clamoring for protection for younger kids.


What to expect as US weighs COVID shots for younger kids

WASHINGTON (AP) — It could take U.S. regulators a few weeks to decide whether to clear COVID-19 vaccines for children ages 5 to 11.

First, advisers to the Food and Drug Administration will publicly deliberate Pfizer’s evidence on Oct. 26. That sets the stage for the agency to declare if the shots are safe and effective for the roughly 28 million youngsters in that age group. If it does, there’s another step: Advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will decide whether to recommend kids actually get the vaccinations. The CDC then gets to make the final call.


Agreement set on short-term debt limit fix, averting crisis

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer says an agreement has been reached with Republicans to extend the government’s borrowing authority into December.

That temporarily averts a debt crisis. Schumer made the announcement as he opened the Senate on Thursday. He said he hoped the Senate could vote later in the day. Republican leader Mitch McConnell made the offer of a short term extension Wednesday. President Joe Biden and business leaders have ramped up their concerns over what an unprecedented federal default would mean for the nation’s economy.


Microsoft: Russia behind 58% of detected state-backed hacks

BOSTON (AP) — Microsoft says Russia once again accounted for most state-sponsored hacking, with a 58% share of intrusion attempts it detected in the past year.

The targets were mostly government agencies and think tanks — in the United States, followed by Ukraine, Britain and European NATO members. The devastating effectiveness of the long-undetected SolarWinds hack also boosted Russian state-backed hackers’ success rate — to 32%, compared with 21% in the preceding 12 months. China accounted for fewer than 1 in 10 of the state-backed hacking attempts Microsoft detected. Those are among findings of the Redmond, Washington-based company’s annual Digital Defense Report, which covers the year ending June 30.


Russian court orders bailiffs to enforce fine on Facebook

MOSCOW (AP) — A Moscow court has ruled to enforce the collection of fines from Facebook for breaching Russian laws on illegal content. Officials said Thursday that the Tagansky District Court ordered bailiffs to collect 26 million rubles (over $361,000) following Facebook’s failure to pay the fines. Russian state communications watchdog Roskomnadzor has asked Russian courts to fine Facebook for not deleting content considered unlawful, including calls for unsanctioned anti-Kremlin protests. The agency has ordered Facebook to pay a total of 80 million rubles ($1.1 million) in fines so far this year, and said the social media company hasn’t paid any.


Investigators board ship that was anchored near oil pipeline

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. (AP) — The U.S. Coast Guard has boarded a massive cargo ship as it investigates the rupture of an offshore oil pipeline that sent crude washing up on Southern California beaches.

Investigators want to know whether a ship anchor snagged and bent the pipeline off Huntington Beach. A U.S. official told The Associated Press that the ship is a focus of the spill investigation. The AP reviewed tracking data from MarineTraffic that appeared to show the German-flagged Rotterdam Express made three unusual movements over two days that appeared to put it over the pipeline. Both MarineTraffic and Hapag-Lloyd, the company that operates the ship, say the GPS location data was erroneous.


Ex-CEO who oversaw doomed nuclear project sentenced

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — An executive who lied to regulators about two South Carolina nuclear plants that never generated a watt of power has been sentenced to two years in prison.

A federal judge accepted the plea deal with former SCANA Corp. CEO Kevin Marsh even though she said it presents his deceptions in a “vanilla way” and understates the seriousness of his fraud. Marsh acknowledged misleading the public about the $9 billion project to keep investors pumping in money and qualify for billions more in taxpayer dollars. His lawyers said he wants to serve the time now so that he might later care for his wife, who has incurable breast cancer.


Phoenix, other cities keep growing as climate danger rises

PHOENIX (AP) — Soaring temperatures fueled by climate change are making it harder to live in some of the nation’s fastest-growing cities, such as Phoenix and Las Vegas.

But in one of the more remarkable findings from the 2020 census, the searing weather has not deterred Americans from settling in such places. New population data shows that people keep flocking to communities where climate change makes life more uncomfortable and more precarious. A map by the Federal Emergency Management Agency found that the five fastest-growing cities in the U.S. — Phoenix, Las Vegas, Houston, Fort Worth and Seattle — are in counties at high risk of natural disasters such as hurricanes, flooding, wildfires and heat waves.


18 ex-NBA players charged in $4M health care fraud scheme

NEW YORK (AP) — Federal authorities say 18 former NBA players have been arrested on charges alleging they defrauded the league’s health and welfare benefit plan out of about $4 million.

The charges were brought in an indictment in Manhattan federal court. The indictment said the ex-players and one of their spouses engaged in a widespread scheme to defraud the plan by submitting false and fraudulent claims for reimbursement of medical and dental expenses that were never incurred. The list of those charged include Tony Allen, Glen “Big Baby” Davis and Sebastian Telfair.


Premier League club Newcastle bought by Saudi sovereign fund

LONDON (AP) — English Premier League club Newcastle has been sold to Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund after a protracted takeover and legal fight involving concerns about piracy and rights abuses in the kingdom.

The takeover by the Saudi Public Investment Fund initially collapsed last year over concerns about how much control the kingdom’s leadership would have in the running of Newcastle amid concerns about Saudi human rights abuses and the pirating of sports rights. PIF has had to offer assurances to the Premier League that its chairman, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and in turn the state will not have any control of the running of Newcastle. The PIF will be the majority partner alongside wealthy British-based Reuben brothers and financier Amanda Staveley.

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