Global markets higher … China’s soybean imports surge … Burning Man says it’s getting burned by US gov’t
TOKYO (AP) – Global markets edged higher today though trading was subdued after the Christmas holidays. Chinese markets surged after the government announced a relaxation of residency restrictions for small and medium cities that boosted property stocks. The Shanghai Composite index jumped 0.9%. Japan’s Nikkei 225 advanced 0.6%, the Kospi in South Korea gained 0.4%. In Southeast Asia, benchmarks were mixed, while Taiwan was flat. Wall Street is expected to open higher, with U.S. futures S&P 500 and Dow futures both up 0.1%.
BEIJING (AP) – China’s imports of soybeans surged in November following the announcement of an interim trade deal with the United States. Customs data shows imports rose 53.7% over a year earlier. News reports say imports of U.S. soybeans more than doubled compared with the previous month. China cut off purchases of U.S. soybeans after President Donald Trump raised import duties on Chinese goods in a dispute over Beijing’s technology ambitions and trade surplus. The two governments announced an interim agreement in October but have yet to release details.
RENO, Nev. (AP) – Burning Man organizers are suing the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to recover millions of dollars they say the government has overcharged them over the past seven years. Black Rock City LLC is the nonprofit that produces the annual counter-culture event in the desert north of Reno. The Reno Gazette Journal reports the group filed the suit on Dec. 13 in federal court in Washington. Organizers say they’re tired of waiting over the past four years for the bureau to provide justification for the nearly $3 million it charges annually for a permit to host the 80,000-person event.
WARRENTON, Ore. (AP) – On Jan. 1, federal regulators will reopen several thousand square miles of ocean off the U.S. West Coast to fishermen who have not been allowed to trawl for rockfish, Pacific perch and bocaccio there for years. Populations of more than a half-dozen species of fish referred to as “groundfish” have rebounded to healthy levels nearly 20 years after their numbers plummeted from overfishing. One conservation group says it’s the “biggest environmental story that no one knows about.”
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) – The new wife of a Tampa, Florida businessman is accused of trying to cash almost $1 million from her husband’s account. Twenty-six-year-old Lin Helena Halfon was arrested this month at Tamp International Airport and faces charges of money laundering, organized fraud and exploitation of an elderly person. Businessman Richard Rappaport is 77 years old and says he wants to give his new wife the benefit of the doubt. He also says he doesn’t want her to be deported to her native Israel.