Global shares generally lower … More countries ground Boeing plane … Dozens charged in college admissions scandal
TOKYO (AP) – Global shares have been generally lower today amid continuing uncertainties that have weighed on stocks. Germany’s DAX is down nearly 0.2 percent in early trading. Britain’s FTSE 100 fell 0.1 percent, France’s CAC 40 was nearly unchanged. Japan’s Nikkei closed down nearly 1 percent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.5 percent and the Shanghai Composite dipped 1.1 percent. U.S. shares are set to drift lower with Dow futures shedding 0.3 percent and S&P 500 futures down 0.2 percent.
UNDATED (AP) – Thailand has joined the list of countries suspending flying of their Boeing 737 Max planes following the Ethiopian Airlines crash. Much of the world, including the entire European Union, Egypt, Lebanon and Hong Kong have temporarily grounded the plane, but the United States and Canada have not. The U.S. is still backing the Boeing 737’s airworthiness. The union for Air Canada says flight attendants can ask to be reassigned if they don’t want to fly on the Boeing 737 Max.
UNDATED (AP) – It’s described as the biggest school admissions scandal ever prosecuted by federal authorities. At least 50 people have been charged in the scheme, which includes not only cheating on the admissions tests but also bribing coaches to gain admission for students into elite schools. Court documents reveal how some wealthy families have exploited the college entrance process, paying as much as $75,000.
STRASBOURG, France (AP) – The European Union’s chief Brexit negotiator says Britain must finally get its act together as a chaotic no-deal departure from the bloc is little more than two weeks away. Michel Barnier say it’s time for Westminster to change tack after the U.K. parliament handed Prime Minister Theresa May another huge defeat on her freshly renegotiated Brexit deal.
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) – The new U.S. ambassador to Australia says he’s concerned about the way China lends money to developing Pacific nations in what he describes as “payday loan diplomacy.” Arthur Culvahouse Jr. says it’s up to U.S. allies and Western liberal democracies to educate people about the dangers of such loans. U.S. Vice President Mike Pence previously warned of China deploying “debt traps” against developing Pacific nations.