Stocks start year with gains…Lebanon receives Interpol wanted notice for Ghosn…Duke Energy agrees to remove coal ash in North Carolina
NEW YORK (AP) – Stocks are moving higher on Wall Street’s first trading day of the year. The gains follow a rally in overseas markets after China’s central bank said it will free up more money for lending. In the U.S., the government said applications for unemployment aid declined last week, matching analysts’ forecasts. Technology companies account for a big slice of the market’s upward move. Communication services and industrial stocks are also making solid gains. Health care stocks were the biggest decliners.
BEIRUT (AP) – Lebanon says it has received an international wanted notice from Interpol for Nissan’s former chairman Carlos Ghosn (gohn), four days after he fled Japan to Lebanon to evade trial on financial misconduct charges. Ghosn, who is Lebanese and also holds French and Brazilian passports, skipped bail before his much-anticipated trial in Japan, which was to start in April. He arrived in Lebanon on Monday via Turkey and hasn’t been seen in public since. In a statement, he said he had fled to avoid “political persecution.”
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina says it has secured an agreement with Duke Energy to excavate nearly 80 million tons of coal ash at six facilities. The state’s Department of Environmental Quality says it will be the largest coal ash cleanup in the nation’s history. It also settles various legal disputes between Duke and parties that include environmental and community groups. For decades, coal ash has been stored in landfills or in ponds, often near waterways into which toxins can leach.
WARSAW, Poland (AP) – Authorities in eastern Poland say bird flu is responsible for the deaths of at least 25,000 turkeys in poultry farms near the country’s borders with Ukraine and Belarus. Veterinary authorities are planning to cull tens of thousands of birds in the area, a major poultry farming region. Police are blocking access to the affected area to non-residents.
PARIS (AP) – It’s the 29th straight day of French rail strikes against government plans to reform the country’s retirement system. The walkouts have now surpassed a 1986-1987 rail strike in longevity. The latest French strikes, which began Dec. 5,áhave crippled transit services across the country, including over the Christmas-New Year holiday. The national SNCF train service says half of its vaunted high-speed trains aren’t running today. French President Emmanuel Macron (eh-mahn-yoo-EHL’ mah-KROHN’) is still backing the pension changes, saying they will be fairer to all workers. Unions and the French government will resume negotiations next week.