Markets lower…Waste Management settlement…India currency crisis
SINGAPORE (AP) – Global markets were mostly lower Thursday as a weak dollar eclipsed strong U.S. economic data and signs that the European Union could offer Britain a special partnership before it leaves the bloc in March. Futures point to a tepid opening on Wall Street. Benchmark U.S. crude oil rose above $69.50 per barrel. The dollar tumbled against the yen but gained against the euro.
HOUSTON (AP) – Waste Management has agreed to pay the federal government $5.5 million to settle allegations that it made a practice of using labor in the U.S. illegally. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Houston said Wednesday that a Waste Management subsidiary employed at least three managers at a West Texas waste site who actively encouraged the hiring of workers in the country illegally between 2003 and April 2012. Homeland Security investigators found 16 such workers at the Afton, Texas, site. At least 100 workers in company records were verified as fraudulently documented.
NEW DELHI (AP) – Nearly all of the currency removed from circulation in a surprise 2016 attempt to root out illegal hoards of cash came back into the financial system, India’s reserve bank has announced, indicating the move did little to slow the underground economy. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s currency decree, which was designed to destroy the value of billions of dollars in untaxed cash stockpiles, caused an economic slowdown and months of financial chaos for tens of millions of people.
OKCHEON, South Korea (AP) – Behind a blue wall that seals a former highway tunnel stretches a massive indoor farm bathed in rose-tinted light. Fruits and vegetables grow hydroponically – with no soil – in vertically stacked layers inside, illuminated by neon-pink LEDs instead of sunlight. Operators of this high-tech facility in South Korea say it is the world’s first indoor vertical farm built in a tunnel. Indoor vertical farming is seen as a potential solution to the havoc wreaked on crops by the extreme weather linked to climate change and to shortages of land and workers in countries with aging populations.
JUBA, South Sudan (AP) – Emboldened by a new peace deal, civil war-torn South Sudan says it will resume oil production in a key region next month to make up for more than $4 billion of revenue lost during years of fighting. Oil ministry officials told The Associated Press that South Sudan, with Africa’s third-largest oil reserves, will renew drilling in northern Unity State for the first time since the fields were destroyed when the conflict began in late 2013.