Global stocks down again…Pipeline up and running
BEIJING (AP) – Global stock markets have fallen for a second day, following Wall Street lower as worries about inflation mount. London and Tokyo both lost more than 2% and Shanghai, Frankfurt and Hong Kong also declined. Wall Street futures are down after the benchmark S&P 500 index recorded its biggest one-day drop in three months following a jump in U.S. inflation. The price rises reflect growing economic activity and pent-up consumer demand after last year’s global shutdown to fight the coronavirus pandemic. But investors worry inflation might weigh on an economic recovery or prompt central banks to withdraw stimulus and near-zero interest rates.
CLEMMONS, N.C. (AP) – Colonial Pipeline says it will take several days for fuel deliveries to return to normal in the Southeast. The nation’s largest fuel pipeline restarted operations Wednesday, days after it was forced to shut down by a gang of hackers. The disruption of Colonial Pipeline caused long lines at gas stations in the region due to distribution problems and panic-buying, draining supplies at thousands of gas stations.
CANBERRA, Australia (AP ) – Australia has reached a supply agreement for 25 million doses of Moderna COVID-19 vaccines in a deal the government hopes will ensure all Australian adults have access to inoculation this year. The deal includes 10 million doses of the vaccine against the ancestral strain to be delivered in 2021 and 15 million doses of an updated variant booster to be delivered in 2022. The vaccines have yet to be approved by the Australian regulator. Pfizer and AstraZeneca are the only other coronavirus vaccines approved for use in Australia.
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) – Australia’s largest telecommunications company Telstra has been fined 50 million Australian dollars ($39 million) for unconscionable conduct in selling remote Indigenous customers mobile phone contracts that they did not understand and could not afford. The fine ordered by a Federal Court judge is the second largest ever imposed under Australian consumer law. Telstra admitted the offenses in signing up 108 Indigenous customers to post-paid mobile products. The customers owed on average AU$7,400 ($5,700) and one owed AU$19,000 (nearly $14,700). Telstra has waived the debts and refunded money. Telstra chief executive Andy Penn says his company is working to resolve the problem.
WASHINGTON (AP) – The Supreme Court is considering whether to hear the case of a Black man who says he suffered discrimination because the N-word was carved into the wall of a hospital elevator where he worked. If the justices agree, they could decide whether the use of the N-word alone allows an employee to sue under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The public could learn as soon as Monday whether the court will take Robert Collier’s case against Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas. The hospital’s lawyers urge the court not to take the case.