World stocks higher…Senate’s move…Drones cleared
UNDATED (AP) – World stocks have surged higher, with Japan’s Nikkei jumping 2.7%, its highest level in more than 30 years. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 0.9% and South Korea’s Kospi edged 0.4% higher. In early European trading, Germany’s DAX picked up 0.4% and the CAC 40 in France climbed 0.4%. Britain’s FTSE 100 jumped 2.1%. Wall Street looks set for further gains, with S&P futures up 0.5% and Dow futures up 0.4%.
WASHINGTON (AP) – Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has declined to say publicly how the Senate will handle a COVID-19 relief package approved yesterday by the House that wound send out to $2,000 relief checks. The bigger payments were demanded by President Donald Trump. Democrats led passage, 275-134, their majority favoring additional assistance, but dozens of Republicans suddenly joined in approval.
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) – The United States has started vaccinating its troops based in South Korea, as its Asian ally reports its highest daily COVID-19 fatalities amid surging cases in the country. The United States Forces Korea started inoculating military and civilian health-care workers, first responders and the USFK command team with the Moderna vaccine today. The South Korean government has faced domestic criticism that it has been too slow in working out vaccine procurement plans. The government plans to begin inoculating the South Korean public in February.
WASHINGTON (AP) – Federal officials say they will allow operators to fly small drones over people and at night, potentially giving a boost to commercial use of the machines. Most drones will need to be equipped so they can be identified remotely by law enforcement officials. The Transportation Department says drones are the fastest-growing segment in all of transportation, with more than 1.7 million under registration.
JERUSALEM (AP) – An official record shows that the United States sold the ambassador’s residence in Israel for more than $67 million in July. The State Department confirmed the sale in September but refused to identify the buyer or disclose the sale price of the sprawling beachfront compound in the upscale Tel Aviv suburb of Herzliya. The Israeli business newspaper Globes has identified the buyer as U.S. casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, a strong supporter of both President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The sale of the residence helps to cement Trump’s controversial decision to relocate the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to contested Jerusalem in 2018.