World shares mostly lower … Illinois prepares for recreational pot … France’s strike begins 4th week
TOKYO (AP) – Shares were mostly lower today in Europe and Asia. In early trading, Germany’s DAX lost 0.3%, while the CAC 40 in Paris shed 0.2%. In Britain, the FTSE 100 edged 0.1% lower. In Asia, the Shanghai Composite index jumped 1.2%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 0.3%, Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 index lost 0.8% and South Korea’s Kospi edged 0.2% lower. Wall Street is expected to open slightly higher, with Dow and S&P futures both up 0.1%.
CHICAGO (AP) – On Wednesday, Illinois is joining Michigan as the only Midwestern states broadly allowing the sale and use of marijuana. Nonresidents can legally buy a limited amount of marijuana in both Illinois and Michigan. But cannabis remains illegal in surrounding states and can’t be transported over state lines. Data from states that have permitted recreational marijuana sales and use for years suggests the new legal markets will draw customers from neighboring states.
PARIS (AP) – The start of a fourth week of French transportation strikes has brought some modest improvements for beleaguered commuters in Paris, with just two Metro lines still completely closed. The strikes against government plans to reform the French pension system are still causing considerable disruption for users of the country’s high-speed rail network, with about half of trains canceled.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – California’s long tradition of advancing nation-leading legislation continues into the new year. The state is making it harder for many industries to treat workers like contractors instead of employees who are entitled to minimum wage and other benefits such as workers compensation. The California Trucking Association and two associations representing freelance journalists and photographers already have sued on behalf of their members. And Uber says it will defend its current model from legal challenges.
BEIJING (AP) – Three researchers involved in the births of genetically edited babies have been convicted and sentenced by a Chinese court for practicing medicine illegally. Researcher He Jiankui’s announcement 13 months ago that he had helped make the world’s first genetically edited babies sparked a global debate over the ethics of gene editing. China’s state news agency says He received a three-year prison sentence and two other people received lesser sentences.