September 18, 2023
Federal Reserve is poised to leave rates unchanged as it tracks progress toward a ‘soft landing’
WASHINGTON (AP) — Since Federal Reserve officials last met in July, the economy has moved in the direction they hoped to see: Inflation continues to ease, if more slowly than most Americans would like, while growth remains solid and the job market cools. When they meet again this week, the policymakers are likely to decide they can afford to wait and see if the progress continues. As a result, they’re almost sure to leave their key interest rate unchanged when their meeting ends Wednesday. The cooling of inflation suggests that the Fed is edging toward a peak in the series of rate hikes it unleashed in March of last year — action that made borrowing much costlier for consumers and businesses.
The strike by auto workers is entering its 4th day with no signs that a breakthrough is near
The auto workers’ strike against Detroit’s Big Three is now in its fourth day. There were no signs Monday of an early breakthrough that might end the strike, and the United Auto Workers have threatened to escalate their walkout against Ford, General Motors and Stellantis. President Joe Biden is sending his acting Labor secretary and another top aide to Detroit early this week to see what they can do to bring the two sides together. An administration official says acting Labor Secretary Julie Su and senior aide Gene Sperling won’t be mediators — they won’t be at the bargaining table — but will try to help in any way that the union and the companies think is constructive.
A new breed of leaders are atop the largest US unions today. Here are some faces to know
NEW YORK (AP) — From picket lines in Hollywood to walkouts against Detroit automakers, it’s already been a big year for labor organizing — and behind several major showdowns with enormous companies are some of America’s largest unions. While unions don’t have the same hold in the U.S. that they did decades ago, something has changed. The boiling point we’re seeing today comes amid soaring costs of living and rising inequality — including growing pay gaps between workers and top executives as well as COVID-19’s impact on the world of work as many companies rake in record profits. Outspoken union leaders that rose to power in recent years are among the loudest voices during these high-profile labor actions.
Stock market today: Wall Street drifts ahead of Fed’s next meeting on interest rates
NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are edging higher as Wall Street overall makes few big moves in advance of the Federal Reserve’s next meeting on interest rates. The S&P 500 was virtually unchanged in late Monday trading. The Dow was up 15 points, and the Nasdaq composite fell 0.1%. Stocks have been see-sawing since early August on uncertainty about whether the Fed is finally done with its drastic hikes to interest rates. Traders almost universally expect it to keep rates steady this week. More important will be forecasts the Fed gives on where rates may be heading. Treasury yields were holding relatively steady.
A railroad worker died after being struck by a remote-controlled train. Unions have concerns
Railroad unions are calling for a review following the death of a worker who died over the weekend after he was struck by a remote-controlled train in a CSX railyard in Ohio. The unions that represented carman Fred Anderson said Sunday that his death highlights the need for an in-depth review of the use of remote-controlled locomotives. Every major railroad has used them for years. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating Anderson’s death. The president of the Transportation Communications Union says regulators need to ensure that remote-control technology is making workers safer and not just “replacing people to continue lining the pockets of Wall Street.”
Netanyahu talks to Elon Musk in California about antisemitism on X and artificial intelligence
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu kicked off a U.S. trip in California to talk to billionaire businessman Elon Musk about antisemitism on his social media platform X — while Musk asked him to address his judicial overhaul in Israel. The two also discussed artificial intelligence in a sparsely attended livestream event Monday. Netanyahu’s high-profile visit to the San Francisco Bay Area followed accusations that Musk is tolerating antisemitic messages on his social media platform. Netanyahu is also confronting political opposition at home and abroad. Protesters gathered early Monday outside the Fremont, California, factory where Tesla makes its cars.
Turkey’s President Erdogan and Elon Musk discuss establishing a Tesla car factory in Turkey
ISTANBUL (AP) — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called on Elon Musk, the head of electric carmaker Tesla, to establish a factory in Turkey. Erdogan’s office says the request came during a meeting in New York, where Erdogan is attending the U.N. General Assembly. The statement from Erdogan’s office also says the two discussed potential cooperation between Musk’s space exploration firm SpaceX and Turkey’s space program. The statement says Erdogan told Musk that Turkey would welcome cooperation on artificial intelligence and Starlink, SpaceX’s satellite internet service. Musk says SpaceX wants to secure the necessary licence to offer Starlink in Turkey.
Farmers across Bulgaria protest against Ukrainian grain as EU divide grows
PERNIK, Bulgaria (AP) — Farmers across Bulgaria protested Monday after the government lifted a ban on food products from Ukraine, complaining that the move will cause an influx that drives down prices for local growers. Hundreds of farmers around the country converged in their tractors, many of them waving national flags and honking horns as they blockaded main roads and disrupted traffic. They’re angry because Bulgarian lawmakers have allowed imports from Ukraine to resume, saying the ban had deprived the government of tax revenue and led to higher food prices. The European Union also decided not to renew the overall ban on Ukrainian food heading to five member countries. Poland, Hungary and Slovakia have since unilaterally imposed their own blockades.
ABC will air an additional 10 ‘Monday Night Football’ games because of writers and actors strikes
LOS ANGELES (AP) — ABC will be airing more “Monday Night Football” games than originally planned. An additional 10 games originally set to appear only on ESPN will be simulcast on ABC. The move is because of the ongoing strikes by the Writers Guild of America and the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists against the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which represents Disney, Netflix, Amazon and others. The strikes, which have been going on for months, have delayed most of the upcoming fall television season. The move also means that ABC has a game all 18 weeks of the regular season along with simulcasts of two playoff games.
Auto workers’ union calls talks with Ford productive as strike continues
NEW YORK (AP) — The union representing striking auto workers is describing its latest talks with Ford as reasonably productive. The United Auto Workers’ statement came Saturday as its limited strike against the Big 3 automakers carried into a second day. Stellantis also gave details about its most recent offer to workers. It raised its wage proposal, bringing it roughly in line with other major U.S. automakers. Stellantis also described a possible solution related to an idled plant in Illinois, one that is a big issue for the union. But the offer left the table after the deadline to avert a strike passed.