Wed, Oct 20, 2021 12:35 AM
Asian stocks mixed after Wall Street rises for 5th day
BEIJING (AP) — Asian stock markets are higher after Wall Street rose for a fifth day on strong corporate earnings.
Shanghai, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Sydney advanced today.
Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 index rose 0.7% Tuessday, propelled by health care and tech stocks. Johnson & Johnson, the biggest health products maker, reported strong quarterly profit and raised its earnings forecast.
Investors are watching for inflation updates from Britain and some other European governments. Investors worry disruptions to supply lines and shipping due to the pandemic may depress corporate profits or push up inflation and force central banks to act sooner than planned on hiking interest rates, rolling back other economic stimulus. Surging energy prices are rising concerns about a supply crunch.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-VACCINE RULE
Businesses nervously await fine print of vax-or-test rule
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden’s most aggressive move yet to combat the COVID-19 pandemic is almost ready to see the light of day.
The government is close to publishing the details of a new vaccination-or-testing rule covering more than 80 million Americans at companies with 100 or more workers.
Businesses are eager to see how and when companies will have to require their employees to be vaccinated or undergo weekly testing. But the full enforcement deadline may not take effect until next year. The rule could carry penalties of about $14,000 per violation.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-WORKPLACE RULES
US Labor Department warns 3 GOP states over COVID rules
PHOENIX (AP) — The Biden administration is threatening to revoke the authority for three Republican-controlled states to handle their own workplace safety regulations because they have refused to adopt rules to protect health care workers from COVID-19.
The threats were sent to Arizona, South Carolina and Utah as the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration prepares to adopt much more far-reaching vaccination and testing rules affecting 80 million Americans. OSHA officials say Arizona, South Carolina and Utah are not complying with their promises to enforce labor standards that are at least as good as those adopted by the federal government.
Southwest: We won’t put unvaccinated workers on unpaid leave
DALLAS (AP) — Southwest Airlines is backing away from a plan to put unvaccinated workers on unpaid leave.
A Southwest spokeswoman said Tuesday that employees must submit proof of vaccination against COVID-19 — or request an exemption from the shots — by Nov. 24. But she says employees whose requests for vaccine exemptions haven’t been processed or approved by Dec. 8 will be allowed to keep working.
Major U.S. airlines are federal contractors. Southwest, American, United and Delta all have taken slightly different approaches to complying with President Joe Biden’s order that federal contractors require employees to be fully vaccinated by Dec. 8.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-UNION PACIFIC
Union Pacific and its unions sue each other over vaccine
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Union Pacific and its labor unions are suing each other to determine whether the railroad has the authority to require its employees to get vaccinated against the coronavirus.
The unions argue that the Omaha, Nebraska-based railroad should have negotiated with them before announcing it would require all employees to get the shots. The railroad contends in its own lawsuit that it believes it has the authority to require the vaccine under its existing contracts because it can set standards for when employees are fit for duty. Earlier this month Union Pacific announced its mandate requiring all employees to be vaccinated by December 8.
HIGHWAY SAFETY NOMINATION
Former Calif. regulator tapped to run highway safety agency
DETROIT (AP) — A former California pollution regulator is being nominated to run the nation’s highway safety agency.
President Joe Biden on Tuesday announced his intent to nominate Steven Cliff as administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. He has been deputy administrator since February.
If confirmed by the Senate, Cliff would take over the agency at a crucial juncture. Highway deaths are rising, battery electric vehicles are upending the auto industry, and vehicle automation is spreading into more models with little regulation. The agency sets vehicle safety standards, finds safety defects and manages recalls. It has been without a confirmed administrator since Mark Rosekind left at the end of 2016.
ANIMAL TO HUMAN ORGANS
Pig-to-human transplants come a step closer with new test
UNDATED (AP) — Scientists have temporarily attached a pig’s kidney to a human body and watched it begin to work.
The feat is a small step in the decades-long quest to one day use animal organs for life-saving transplants. Surgeons in New York attached the pig kidney to blood vessels outside the body of a deceased recipient so they could observe it for two days. The kidney did what it was supposed to do and didn’t trigger rejection. Experts say the test done last month paves the way for the first experimental pig organ transplants in living people in the next several years.
Study: Fossil fuel plans would far overshoot climate goals
LONDON (AP) — A U.N.-backed study has found that the world needs to cut by more than half its production of coal, oil and gas in the coming decade to maintain a chance of keeping global warming from reaching dangerous levels.
The report published today by the U.N. Environment Program notes that many governments have made ambitious pledges to curb greenhouse gas emissions. But it found they are still planning to extract double the amount of fossil fuels in 2030 than what would be consistent with the goal of keeping global temperature rise below 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit).
Climate experts say the world must drastically reduce the burning of fossil fuels as soon as possible.