Stocks slip…US sanctions 24 China and Hong Kong officials
TOKYO (AP) – Global shares are mostly lower in muted trading today as world markets cautiously await the U.S. central bank’s latest assessment on the economy. In early trading, France’s CAC 40 slipped 0.1%, while Germany’s DAX gained nearly 0.1%. Britain’s FTSE 100 dipped 0.4%. In Asian markets, Japan’s Nikkei finished less than 0.1% lower, South Korea’s Kospi slipped 0.6%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng inched up less than 0.1% and the Shanghai Composite finished less than 0.1% lower. U.S. futures are little changed.
HONG KONG (AP) – The U.S. has sanctioned an additional 24 Chinese and Hong Kong officials over Beijing’s ongoing crackdown on political freedoms in the semi-autonomous city, just ahead of the Biden administration’s first face-to-face talks with China. The sanctions follow planned changes to Hong Kong’s electoral law that will give a pro-Beijing committee power to appoint more of Hong Kong’s lawmakers, effectively shutting opposition figures out of the process.
UNDATED (AP) – The Philippine government has decided to temporarily ban the entry of foreigners and limit the entry of returning Filipinos at Manila’s international airport to 1,500 daily as it struggles to contain an alarming surge in coronavirus infections. A government body dealing with the pandemic says the monthlong travel restrictions would start Saturday and aim to prevent the spread into the country of coronavirus strains from other countries which are believed to be more contagious.
CHARLESTON, W. Va. (AP) – Republican attorneys general from 21 states are questioning a provision in the $1.9 trillion pandemic rescue plan that bars states from using its funds to offset tax cuts. In a letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Monday, the attorneys general said the prohibition is “unclear, but potentially breathtaking.” Republican states are concerned that any tax cut could be jeopardized if it is construed as taking advantage of the pandemic relief funds. The White House has said it expects the relief funds to not go toward decreasing taxes.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) – A Black woman has become the face of Missouri’s tourism campaign, nearly four years after the NAACP warned travelers that their civil rights may not be respected if they visit the state. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the Missouri Division of Tourism kicked off the campaign Monday. The woman, dubbed Mo, is featured in a promotional video hiking, watching a baseball game and riding a roller coaster. Pictures also show her posing as a Foodie Mo, Barbecue Mo, Lake Mo, History Mo and more. Missouri NAACP President Nimrod Chapel says the group’s travel advisory will remain in effect until the state makes “meaningful progress in the systemic abuses affecting people of color.”