Update on the latest cases:
Asian markets follow Wall St drop after Fed crash
BEIJING (AP) – Asian stock markets followed Wall Street lower after rising bond yields dampened enthusiasm over the Federal Reserve’s promise to keep interest rates low.
Benchmarks in Shanghai, Tokyo and Hong fell.
On Thursday, Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 closed 1.5% lower after bond yields rose, prompting some investors to withdraw money from stocks. A day earlier, Wall Street hit a new high after the Fed promised to keep its key interest rate close to zero until 2023. This helped allay fears that the US central bank might raise rates in response to higher inflation.
FORD CHIP SHORTAGE
Chip shortage forces Ford to build trucks without computers
DETROIT 9AP) – A global semiconductor shortage and a winter storm in February combined to force Ford to build F-150 pickup trucks without computers. The company says pickups will be held at factories for “a number of weeks” and then shipped to dealers once computers are available and quality checks are carried out.
The move is the latest wave in the global semiconductor shortage, which forced Honda and Toyota earlier this week to announce production cuts at some North American factories. Nissan also announced that it would temporarily cancel production at factories in Smyrna, Tennessee; Canton, Mississippi; and in Mexico, due to the shortage of chips. Some US production lines will be down today until Monday, while others will be inactive just for the weekend.
ELECTRIC TRUCK START PURSUIT
Lawsuit claims electric truck start defrauded investors
CLEVELAND (AP) – Legal action has been taken against an electric truck startup company in Ohio, claiming it defrauded investors.
The federal lawsuit filed Thursday in Youngstown claims Lordstown Motors Corp. misled investors about the number of trucks that were pre-ordered and the start of production at the massive assembly plant the company bought from General Motors in 2019.
Plaintiff Matthew Rico is seeking certification of the lawsuit as a class action suit. One of the company’s first prototypes caught fire in January 10 minutes after the start of its initial test.
The complaint is largely based on the Hindenburg Research report that Lordstown Motors has “no income or salable product” and “misled investors about its demand and production capacity”.
TWITTER-TEXAS AG CONTINUATION
Texas AG says investigation will continue despite Twitter lawsuit
DALLAS (AP) – Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said a lawsuit filed by Twitter would not deter his office from investigating the content moderation practices of the social media giant and four other big tech companies . Twitter sued the Republican official this week in an attempt to end his investigation.
Twitter says Paxton launched the investigation in retaliation to the company banning the account of former President Donald Trump following the U.S. Capitol insurgency in January.
After the riot, Paxton’s office demanded a variety of files and internal communications from Google, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon and Apple. Paxton said “most of the companies cooperated” and called the Twitter lawsuit “remarkable.”
STUDENT LOAN FORGIVENESS
Students who have obtained partial loan relief to obtain full release
WASHINGTON (AP) – The Biden administration says students who were swindled by their for-profit schools and received only partial relief on their federal loans could now have them wiped out completely.
The action, announced Thursday, reverses a policy of the Trump administration.
The Education Department says the change could result in the cancellation of $ 1 billion in loans for 72,000 borrowers, all of whom attended for-profit schools.
The ministry says the action applies to students who have already had their applications approved and received “less than a full loan release”. A senior ministry official said they are also reviewing the backlog of claims yet to be decided and those that have been denied.
The repayment program allows students to cancel their federal loans if they have been defrauded by their schools.
US accuses Swiss ‘hacktivist’ of data theft, leaks
SEATTLE (AP) – The Justice Department has charged a Swiss hacker with computer intrusion and identity theft, just over a week after the hacker admitted to helping break into the systems in line of an American security camera startup.
Till Kottman, 21, of Lucerne, Switzerland, was indicted Thursday by a grand jury in the Western District of Washington. Federal prosecutors said Kottmann was originally indicted in September on a series of allegations dating back to 2019 involving the theft of credentials and data and the release of source code and proprietary information from more than 100 entities. on the Web.
Kottmann had described the latest hack and leak of camera footage from customers of California security camera supplier Verkada as part of a “hacktivist” cause to expose the dangers of mass surveillance.
CHICKEN PLANT VIRUS EPIDEMIC
Fresno Chicken Plant Received Advice on Virus Inspection
FRESNO, Calif. (AP) – A California newspaper reports that local health officials informed a Fresno County chicken processing plant of a state inspection during the largest known outbreak of COVID-19 on the workplace in the county.
The Fresno Bee says emails obtained through the Public Records Act also show health officials coordinated media talking points during the crisis, withheld information from the public and took no action. corrective action related to the coronavirus.
Hundreds of people were infected in last year’s outbreak at the Foster Farms plant in southeast Fresno and at least five workers have died.
The county says it has taken a collaborative approach with businesses to protect employees and that there has been no collusion.
A company official responded that he wanted to see how events unfolded before sharing more information, and that he would only speak “with members of the media who are reasonable in their past coverage.”
Myanmar factory attacks highlight Chinese influence
BANGKOK (AP) – Confusion over what exactly happened in recent attacks on factories in Myanmar has highlighted the complex and troubled nature of its relationship with China amid widespread public backlash against the coup of February 1.
Many in Myanmar suspect Beijing of supporting the military takeover, but protesters insist they were not responsible for a spate of attacks on factories over the weekend. Some accuse the army of having instigated attacks on factories to justify the imposition of martial law.
Adding to the uncertainties, China says it is ready to do more to protect its large trade investments in Myanmar, which include factories, pipelines and other large infrastructure projects.
New York strip clubs sue New York state over COVID shutdown
NEW YORK (AP) – A group of New York strip clubs are suing New York state, claiming it’s not fair that they are kept closed when everything from ax throwing places to bars with live music and casinos, can open.
The Manhattan federal court lawsuit claims thousands of employees are being forced out of work due to the state ban. “Exotic dance” clubs including “Starlet’s”, “Sugar Daddy’s” and “Gallagher’s 2000” are asking for a declaration that it is unconstitutional to keep their clubs closed while similar closed establishments open.
The lawsuit, filed Thursday, comes as the state expands rules for bars and restaurants. A spokesperson for Cuomo said science and common sense dictate that no exotic dancing is allowed now.
WORKSHOP PRICE GOUGING
TX AG accuses San Antonio hotel of price hikes amid storm
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) – The Texas attorney general accuses a San Antonio hotel of price hikes during last month’s big winter storm. The attorney general filed a lawsuit Thursday against Everyoung Hospitality, which owns a La Quinta hotel in San Antonio.
Attorney General Ken Paxton said the hotel had exploited people in need of shelter during historic low temperatures.
The lawsuit lists examples where guests have seen room rates drop from about $ 70 to $ 199 a night. A man answering a phone number listed for the hotel owner said La Quinta had increased prices as the number of rooms available declined, which he said is standard in the hotel industry.
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