Global shares up…Fake review crackdown
TOKYO (AP) – Global shares mostly rose today, buoyed by a rally on Wall Street that came after President Joe Biden announced a bipartisan deal on infrastructure spending. In early trading, France’s CAC 40 shed 0.2%, while Germany’s DAX slipped 0.2%. Britain’s FTSE 100 edged up 0.2%. In Asian trading, Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 closed 0.7% higher. South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.5%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng surged 1.4%, while the Shanghai Composite rose 1.2%. On Wall Street, Dow futures are up 0.2% and S&P 500 futures are up nearly 0.1%
LONDON (AP) – Airlines and vacation providers are expressing frustration with the U.K.’s plans to ease travel restrictions, saying uncertainty about how and when the new rules will be implemented make it difficult for people to book summer vacations. The government yesterday expanded its “green list” of safe travel destinations, allowing people to visit without having to self-isolate for 10 days after returning to Britain. However, all but one of the new additions were also placed on a watchlist, meaning the quarantine requirement may be re-imposed at short notice. Transportation authorities also say they intend to relax travel restrictions later this summer by allowing fully vaccinated travelers to visit higher-risk destinations without having to self-isolate on return.
BEIJING (AP) – China is criticizing U.S. curbs on imports of solar panel materials that might be made with forced labor as an attack on its development. It says Beijing will protect Chinese companies, but it’s given no details of possible retaliation. Washington says it will block imports of polysilicon from Hoshine Silicon Industry Co., which might use forced labor as part of a Beijing campaign against ethnic minorities in the Xinjiang region in the northwest. A Foreign Ministry spokesperson says Washington is using “human rights as a disguise” to “suppress the industrial development of Xinjiang.”
LONDON (AP) – Regulators in the U.K. are investigating Google and Amazon over concerns the online giants aren’t doing enough to stop fake reviews of products and services on their platforms. The Competition and Markets Authority says it has opened a formal investigation into whether the two companies broke U.K. consumer law by failing to protect shoppers. The watchdog started looking into fake reviews on some big websites last year – without identifying any specific ones. Google and Amazon say they will work with regulators in their investigation.
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) – Iran’s state TV is reporting that the country’s supreme leader has received the first domestically developed coronavirus vaccine. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had said he was not interested in receiving foreign-made vaccines. He said it was better to “wait for the Iranian vaccine because we have to be proud of this national honor.” In January, Khamenei banned imports of the American and Britain vaccines, a reflection of mistrust toward the West.