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World shares mixed … Bernard Ebbers dies at age 78 … YouTube says no ‘birther’ conspiracies this time around


BANGKOK (AP) – World shares were mixed today after the Shanghai Composite index tumbled nearly 8% as Chinese markets reopened and regulators sought to stabilize markets jolted by a virus that has spread to more than 20 countries and killed more than 360 people. Japan’s Nikkei closed 1.0% lower, while the S&P ASX/200 declined 1.3%. South Korea’s Kospi was flat. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng climbed 0.2%. In early European trading, Germany’s DAX rose 0.4% while the CAC 40 in Paris added 0.3%. Britain’s FTSE 100 also climbed 0.3%. Wall Street is pointing to a rebound, with Dow futures up 0.3% and S&P futures up 0.4%.


BANGKOK (AP) – The outbreak of the virus in China has prompted governments around the world to step up surveillance and quarantine requirements as airlines cancel hundreds of flights. The Shanghai benchmark dropped almost 9% when markets resumed trading after a week-long Lunar New Year holiday that was extended by three days. It was Shanghai’s worst day since August 2015, despite the central bank’s effort to inject billions of dollars of extra cash into the markets. Many analysts have dropped their forecasts for China to near 5% from earlier forecasts of 6% economic growth for the year.


NEW YORK (AP) – The former chief of WorldCom died Sunday at age 78, just over a month after he was released from prison. Bernard Ebbers was convicted in one of the largest corporate accounting scandals in U.S. history. WorldCom Inc. collapsed and went into bankruptcy in 2002, following revelations of an $11 billion accounting fraud that included pressure by top executives on subordinates to inflate numbers to make the company seem more profitable. The collapse caused losses to stockholders.


MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (AP) – YouTube is making clear there will be no “birtherism” on its platform during this year’s U.S. presidential election. Also banned: Election-related “deepfake” videos and anything that aims to mislead viewers about voting procedures and how to participate in the 2020 census. The Google-owned video service clarified its rules ahead of today’s Iowa caucuses. The company is mostly reiterating content guidelines that is has been putting in place since the last presidential election in 2016.


DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) – The United Arab Emirates says a natural gas field containing 80 trillion standard cubic feet of gas between Abu Dhabi and Dubai has been discovered. Authorities say the new Jebel Ali field would help the Emirates become more energy independent, as the UAE now imports natural gas from Qatar for electricity. The UAE is one of four Arab nations in a yearslong political dispute with Qatar.



AP-WF-02-03-20 1202GMT