Update on the latest in business:

FINANCIAL MARKETS

Stocks edge higher at end of a brutal week

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks edged higher in afternoon trading on Wall Street at the end of a brutal week. Major indexes suffered several massive drops this week as markets get accustomed to the bitter medicine of higher interest rates that the Federal Reserve and other central banks are using in their battle against inflation. Higher rates fight inflation but they also slow down...

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FINANCIAL MARKETS

Stocks edge higher at end of a brutal week

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks edged higher in afternoon trading on Wall Street at the end of a brutal week. Major indexes suffered several massive drops this week as markets get accustomed to the bitter medicine of higher interest rates that the Federal Reserve and other central banks are using in their battle against inflation. Higher rates fight inflation but they also slow down the economy and can push prices lower for stocks and bonds. The S&P 500 rose 0.7%, but is on track to fall more than 5% for the week. The Dow was up 0.4% and the Nasdaq rose 2%.

AIRLINES-CANCELED FLIGHTS

Canceled flights rise across US as summer travel heats up

UNDATED (AP) — It’s turning into another difficult day for airline travelers in the United States. Airlines canceled more than 1,100 flights by early afternoon Friday, as they try to recover from storms that raked the central and eastern parts of the country. That follows more than 1,700 canceled flights on Thursday. All this is happening while the number of passengers rises with the beginning of summer vacation season. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg met with airline CEOs to go over steps the airlines are taking to operate smoothly over the rest of the summer.

EUROPE-FLIGHTS

UK’s Gatwick cuts summer flights as airports struggle

LONDON (AP) — Britain’s Gatwick Airport has slashed its number of daily flights over the summer because of staff shortages. It comes as the global aviation industry struggles to meet a resurgent demand for travel. London’s second-busiest airport said Friday it would limit its number of daily flights to 825 in July and 850 in August compared with a reported 900 daily flights during the same period before the coronavirus pandemic. The airport said in a statement that the move would help passengers “experience a more reliable and better standard of service.” Passengers have endured delays and cancellations as airports across Europe struggle to cope with staff shortages and skyrocketing demand for flights after two pandemic-hit years.

BIDEN-CLIMATE

Biden hosts climate meeting amid high gas price pressure

WASHINGTON (AP) — Equating the oil and gas industry to Big Tobacco, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says that “fossil fuel producers and financiers have humanity by the throat.” But President Joe Biden wasn’t quite itching for a fight. With both soaring energy prices and a warming planet weighing on world at the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate, Biden on Friday talked about trying to ease the pain of high gas prices while pushing more long-term green policies. Guterres dismissed the idea of boosting gasoline production and bluntly vilified the fossil fuel industry at a virtual session that included oil rich Saudi Arabia, China, Europe and Egypt. It was the first time Guterres compared the energy industry to tobacco interests.

SEC-CLIMATE DISCLOSURE RULE

Companies weigh in on proposed SEC climate disclosure rule

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Securities and Exchange Commission is moving closer to a final rule that would dramatically change what public companies reveal about the risks posed by climate change to their operations. Public comment on the proposal closed Friday. Companies, auditors, trade groups, lawmakers, individuals and others submitted more than 10,000 comments. Opinions ranged from skepticism about the SEC’s authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions data at all, to praise that the nation’s top financial regulator was finally looking to mandate climate-related disclosures.

WTO-MINISTERS-MEETING

WTO ministers reach deals on fisheries, food, COVID vaccines

GENEVA (AP) — World Trade Organization members have reached a string of deals and commitments aimed to limit overfishing, broaden production of COVID-19 vaccines in the developing world, improve food security and reform a 27-year-old trade body that has been back on its heels in recent years. WTO Director-General Nzogi Okonjo-Iweala concluded the organization’s ministerial conference Friday by trumpeting a new sense of cooperation at a time when the world faces crises like Russia’s war in Ukraine and a once-in-a-century pandemic that has taken millions of lives. She says the agreements will make a difference in people’s lives and demonstrate the WTO’s capability to respond to emergencies.

RUSSIA-ECONOMIC FORUM-PUTIN

Putin: Russian economy to overcome ‘reckless’ sanctions

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) — President Vladimir Putin has said at Russia’s showpiece investment conference that the country’s economy will overcome sanctions that he called “reckless and insane.” Putin began his address Friday to the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum with a lengthy denunciation of countries that he contends want to weaken Russia, including the United States. He says the U.S. “declared victory in the Cold War and later came to think of themselves as God’s own messengers on planet Earth.” Russia came under a wide array of sanctions after sending troops into Ukraine in February. Putin said trying to damage the Russian economy “didn’t work.”

RUSSIA-UKRAINE WAR-GAS

Russia again cuts natural gas exports to European countries

PRAGUE (AP) — Russia has reduced natural gas to Europe again as countries have worked to ease their dependence on Russian supplies amid the war in Ukraine. Friday marks the third day of significant reductions to the fuel that powers industry and generates electricity in Europe, which also have hit Germany and Austria. It has further spiked already-high energy prices that are driving record inflation in the European Union. Russia side has told Slovakia’s state-controlled gas company that it would reduce gas flow to the country by 50%. Russian energy giant Gazprom also told Italian gas company Eni that it would supply only 50% of the gas requested for Friday. France is no longer receiving any natural gas from Russia.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-CHINA

China defends ‘zero-COVID’ after US envoy warns of costs

BEIJING (AP) — China is defending its tough “zero-COVID” policy after the U.S. ambassador said it is causing serious damage to the global economy and foreign business sentiment. A Foreign Ministry spokesperson says China’s economy is recovering from the effects of the pandemic, and the policy, which mandates lockdowns, quarantines and mass testing, is suitable for China’s conditions. China has sought to completely eliminate outbreaks of COVID-19 with tough restrictions, while most other countries are relaxing their anti-coronavirus measures. U.S. Ambassador Nicholas Burns said Thursday that the “zero-COVID” policy has had a major impact on business sentiment, singling out as especially damaging a two-month lockdown in Shanghai, China’s largest city and key financial hub.

CHINA-HEALTH CODE

Residents say China used health tracker for crowd control

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — Angry bank customers who traveled to a city in central China to retrieve their savings from troubled rural banks have been stopped by a health app on their cellphone. Chinese residents are required to have the health app, which displays a code indicating their health status, including possible exposure to COVID-19. A green code is required to use public transportation and to enter locations such as offices, restaurants and malls. But some depositors at the banks in central Henan province said their codes were turned red to stop them. The incident has started a national debate on how a tool designed for public health was appropriated by political forces to tamp down controversy.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-VACCINES-KIDS

FDA authorizes 1st COVID-19 shots for infants, preschoolers

UNDATED (AP) — U.S. regulators have authorized the first COVID-19 shots for infants and preschoolers. That paves the way for vaccinations for children under 5 to begin next week. The Food and Drug Administration’s emergency use authorization Friday follows a unanimous recommendation by its advisory panel. The kid-sized shots are made by Moderna and Pfizer. The FDA’s action allows the companies to begin shipping millions of preordered doses across the country. A final signoff from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected this weekend. The nation’s vaccination campaign began with adults in late 2020, about a year into the coronavirus pandemic.

BRITAIN MONKEYPOX

UK: 50 new monkeypox cases in biggest epidemic beyond Africa

LONDON (AP) — British health officials have reported another 50 cases of monkeypox across the country, for a total of 574 cases. That makes the U.K.’s outbreak the biggest to date beyond Africa. In a statement on Friday, Britain’s Health Security Agency said most of the cases have been identified in gay or bisexual men, but warned that anyone who is in close, physical contact with someone who has monkeypox is at risk of catching the usually rare disease. Next week, the World Health Organization is convening an expert group to determine whether the monkeypox outbreak should be declared a global emergency.

SPORTS BETTING-CRUISE SHIPS

Cruise ships adding sports betting options for passengers

UNDATED (AP) — The fast-growing legal sports betting industry is extending its reach to the middle of the ocean. BetMGM and Carnival Corporation announced a deal Friday to put sports books on more than 50 U.S.-based cruise ships. The arrangement will allow betting while the ships are at sea or docked in a state that allows sports betting. Passengers can bet using a mobile app or at physical kiosks on the ship. It encompasses the Carnival Cruise Line, Holland America Line and Princess Cruises. Princess began offering sports betting last October. The sports betting operations will be phased in over the next few months.

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