European stocks up…Pelosi to address USPS issues
BEIJING (AP) – Japanese stocks sank while other Asian markets gained today after Japan reported a record economic contraction amid the coronavirus pandemic. In early trading in Europe, the FTSE 100 in London gained 0.1%, the DAX in Frankfurt was up 0.1% and France’s CAC 40 added less than 0.1%. Wall Street is expected to open higher today, with Dow and S&P futures both up 0.3%.
WASHINGTON (AP) – Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi has decided it is time for Democrats to take action on the threat to the U.S. Postal Service. She says she’s calling the House back into session this week to vote on a bill prohibiting the U.S. Postal Service from implementing any changes to operations or level of service. The action comes amid growing concerns that the Trump White House is trying to undermine the agency during the coronavirus pandemic while states expand mail-in voting options. A senior Democratic aide told The Associated Press that House Democrats are likely to discuss the schedule on a conference call today and are expected to be in session next Saturday.
UNDATED (AP) – Congress has allocated trillions of dollars to ease the coronavirus crisis. A joint Kaiser Health News and AP investigation finds that many communities with big outbreaks have spent little of that federal money on local public health departments for work such as testing and contact tracing. Others, like Minnesota, were slow to do so. So little money has flowed to some local health departments for many reasons: Bureaucracy has bogged things down, politics have crept into the process, and understaffed departments have struggled to take time away from critical needs to navigate the red tape required to justify asking for extra dollars.
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) -Google is warning that the Australian government’s plans to make digital giants pay for news content threatens users’ free services in Australia and could hand users’ data to media organizations. The U.S.-based company gave the warning today in what it describes as an “Open letter to Australians” a week before public consultations close on Australian draft laws that would make both Google and Facebook pay for news siphoned from commercial media companies. Both Google and Facebook have condemned the proposed legislation. Australian competition watchdog Rod Sims, chair of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, which drafted the laws, said Google’s letter “contains misinformation.”
TOKYO (AP) – Government data show that Japan’s economy contracted at a annual rate of 27.8% in April-June, the worst downturn on record, as the coronavirus pandemic slammed consumption and trade. The Cabinet Office reports that Japan’s preliminary seasonally adjusted real GDP, the sum of a nation’s goods and services, fell 7.8% quarter on quarter. The annual rate shows what the number would have been if continued for a year. Japanese media reported the drop was the worst for the nation since World War II. The previous worst contraction was during the global financial crisis of 2008-2009.