Financial News

Mary Bell Jones Blevins
January 3, 2023
AP-NC Newswatch
January 3, 2023
Financial News

 

Financial News:

 

CES 2023: Tech world to gather and show off gadgets

NEW YORK (AP) — The annual tech industry event formerly known as the Consumer Electronics Show is returning to Las Vegas this week with the hope that it looks more like it did before the coronavirus pandemic. The show changed its name to CES several years ago to better reflect the changing industry and the event, which had expanded beyond audio and video to include automotive, digital health, smart phones, wearables and other technologies. Companies and startups will showcase innovations in virtual reality, robotics and consumer tech items to the media and others in the tech industry. The show is not open to the general public. Organizers say their goal is to draw 100,000 attendees.

 

FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried pleads not guilty to fraud

NEW YORK (AP) — FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried has pleaded not guilty in Manhattan federal court to charges that he cheated investors and looted customer deposits on his cryptocurrency trading platform. Bankman-Fried entered the plea Tuesday in his first appearance before a judge who set a tentative trial date of Oct. 2 for trial. He is accused of defrauding investors by illegally diverting massive sums of customer money from FTX to make lavish real estate purchases, donate money to politicians and make risky trades at Alameda Research, his cryptocurrency hedge fund trading firm. Bankman-Fried was released from custody with electronic monitoring two weeks ago to await trial at his parents’ house in Palo Alto, California.

 

1st tanker carrying LNG from US arrives in Germany

BERLIN (AP) — The first regular shipment of liquefied natural gas from the United States has arrived in Germany. It’s part of a wide-reaching effort to help the country replace energy supplies it previously received from Russia. The vessel arrived Tuesday at the port of Wilhelmshaven where its shipment of LNG will be converted back into gas at a special floating terminal that was inaugurated last month. Germany has rushed to find a replacement for Russian gas supplies following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The facility in Wilhelmshaven is one of several such terminals being put in place to help avert an energy supply shortage. Germany has also temporarily reactivated old oil- and coal-fired power stations and extended the life of its last three nuclear power plants until mid-April.

 

 

Russia, shaken by Ukrainian strike, could step up drone use

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Emergency crews are sifting through the rubble of a building that was struck by Ukrainian rockets, killing at least 63 Russian soldiers. The attack was the latest blow to the Kremlin’s war strategy that Ukraine says could herald a shift in Moscow’s tactics. An Associated Press video of the scene Tuesday in Makiivka, a town in the Russian-occupied eastern Donetsk region, showed five cranes and emergency workers removing concrete rubble under a clear blue sky. In the attack, which apparently happened last weekend, Ukrainian forces fired rockets from a U.S.-provided HIMARS launch system, according to a Russian Defense Ministry statement. It was one of the deadliest attacks on Russian forces since the war began more than 10 months ago.

 

Wall Street slips in 2023 open after ending dismal year

Stocks fell on Wall Street’s first trading day of 2023 after closing out its worst year since 2008. Investors will be closely watching moves by central banks in coming months to fight inflation with higher interest rates, all the while bracing for the recession and higher unemployment that could result from those policies. This week markets are looking ahead to a monthly report on the U.S. job market that could provide clues on where the economy is headed. The S&P 500 index was down 0.7% in afternoon trading Tuesday. The Dow fell 0.4% and the Nasdaq fell 1%.

 

UK trains disrupted again as workers stage fresh strikes

LONDON (AP) — Commuters returning to work after the Christmas break are advised not to travel as tens of thousands of British rail workers stage a fresh round of strikes that will disrupt services all week. Around half of the U.K.’s railway lines are closed, and only one-fifth of services are running amid a long-running dispute over pay and working conditions. Many places, including most of Scotland and Wales, have no train services. The strikes are part of wider labor unrest in the U.K. that has seen nurses and ambulance drivers walking off their jobs in December to demand higher pay.

 

Drone advances in Ukraine could bring dawn of killer robots

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Drone advances in Ukraine have accelerated a technology trend that could soon bring the world’s first fully autonomous robots to the battlefield and inaugurate a new age of warfare. Experts say it may be only a matter of time before either Russia or Ukraine, or both, deploy drones programmed to find and attack targets without help from humans. That would mark a revolution in military technology as profound as the introduction of the machine gun. Ukraine already has semi-autonomous drones endowed with artificial intelligence. Russia also claims to possess AI weaponry. But there are no confirmed instances of a nation putting into combat drones that have killed entirely on their own.

 

Turkey’s December inflation slows to 64% in boost to Erdogan

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Official data show that inflation in Turkey has slowed in December thanks mainly to technical reasons. The development could help President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s standings ahead of elections but is unlikely to bring relief to households suffering from a cost of living crisis. The Turkish Statistical Institute said Tuesday consumer prices for the year rose by 64.27% in December, down from 84.39% reported in November. It’s the second month in a row that inflation has eased after hitting a 24-year high of 85.5% in October. The fall is attributed to a base effect, with a high index from a year ago statistically bringing the inflation rate down.

 

Video game workers form Microsoft’s first US labor union

A group of video game testers is forming Microsoft’s first labor union in the U.S. It will also be the largest union in the video game industry. Microsoft has already told the Communications Workers of America it would accept the formation of the union at its Maryland-based video game subsidiary, ZeniMax Studios. That’s fulfilling a promise it made to try to build public support for its $68.7 billion acquisition of another big game company, Activision Blizzard. About 300 quality-assurance workers at game publisher Bethesda Softworks and its parent ZeniMax were expected to join the union based in offices in Maryland and Texas.

 

Bulgaria signs deal to use Turkey’s gas terminals

SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Bulgaria has gained access to Turkey’s terminals and gas transmission network under a long-term deal that will help the country replace supplies once provided by Russia. Bulgaria’s state gas company Bulgargaz and the Turkish gas transmission company Botas signed a 13-year deal on Tuesday that grants the Balkan neighbor access to Turkey’s terminals for liquefied natural gas. Bulgaria, which ahead of Moscow’s invasion in Ukraine was almost fully dependent on Russian gas, is looking for alternative gas supplies at reasonable prices after Russia cut off deliveries in April over Sofia’s refusal to pay in rubles, the Russian currency.