Global stocks up…Harsh penalties for industrial accidents
TOKYO (AP) – Global shares are mostly higher today, as investors digest the latest message from the U.S. Federal Reserve on raising short-term interest rates by late 2023. In early trading, France’s CAC 40 added nearly 0.2%, while Germany’s DAX lost 0.3%. Britain’s FTSE 100 shed 0.4%. In Asian trading, Japan’s benchmark Nikkei closed 0.2% lower. South Korea’s Kospi edged 0.1% higher. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng jumped 0.9%, while the Shanghai Composite declined less than 0.1%. U.S. shares are set for a slow start, with Dow futures falling less than 0.1% and S&P 500 futures virtually unchanged.
BEIJING (AP) – China is pledging to harshly punish anyone responsible for major industrial accidents or outbreaks of violence in coming days as the ruling Communist Party prepares lavish celebrations for its centenary on July 1. Vice Premier Liu He has ordered safety checks be carried out to forestall such incidents. That follows the deaths of at least 25 people in a gas explosion on Sunday at a market in a central city and of 13 people in a flood in an iron mine in a northern province on June 10.
JERUSALEM (AP) – Israel says it will transfer around 1 million doses of soon-to-expire coronavirus vaccines to the Palestinian Authority in exchange for a similar number of doses the Palestinians expect to receive later this year. Israel, which has reopened after vaccinating some 85% of its adult population, has faced criticism for not sharing its vaccines with the 4.5 million Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza. The agreement was announced by the new Israeli government that was sworn in on Sunday.
HONG KONG (AP) – Hong Kong pro-democracy newspaper Apple Daily has increased its print run more than fivefold to 500,000 copies. Residents lined up to buy the paper in a show of support for beleaguered press freedoms, a day after police arrested five top editors and executives. The raid on the paper’s offices marked the first time the sweeping national security law, which Beijing imposed on Hong Kong last year, was used against the media, one of the symbols of civil liberties in the semi-autonomous city that don’t exist elsewhere in China. Police say the editors were arrested on suspicion of foreign collusion to endanger national security, based on over 30 articles that authorities said had called for international sanctions against China and Hong Kong.
CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) – Cities in the U.S. West are preparing for considerable growth in the coming decades despite a historic drought and shrinking water supplies. From Phoenix to Boise, officials are working to ensure they have the resources, infrastructure and housing supply to meet growth projections while balancing conservation. Their efforts are constrained by the fact that some cities are surrounded by federal land. U.S. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada wants to remedy the issue around Las Vegas by strengthening protections for some public lands while selling others to commercial and residential developers. Opponents argue that approving these kinds of “swaps” isn’t sustainable, particularly in areas that rely on a shrinking water supply.