European shares higher…China rejects Washington’s claims
TOKYO (AP) – European shares have opened higher after Asia tracked a retreat on Wall Street. Investors have grown jittery over the possibility that surging virus cases could stifle the global economic recovery. In early trading, France’s CAC 40 gained 0.4%, Germany’s DAX rose 0.1% and Britain’s FTSE 100 added 0.3%. In Asian markets, Tokyo’s Nikkei closed 1.0% lower. South Korea’s Kospi shed 0.4%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 0.8%, while the Shanghai Composite inched down nearly 0.1%. On Wall Street, Dow and S&P 500 futures are both up 0.3%.
BEIJING (AP) – China is rejecting an accusation by Washington and its Western allies that Beijing is to blame for a hack of the Microsoft Exchange email system. A Foreign Ministry spokesperson says Chinese entities have been hurt by U.S. government cyberattacks. The spokesperson is demanding that Washington drop charges announced against four Chinese nationals accused of working with the Ministry of State Security to try to steal U.S. trade secrets, technology and disease research.
VAN HORN, Texas (AP) – Jeff Bezos is about to soar on his space travel company’s first flight with people on board. The founder of Blue Origin as well as Amazon will become the second billionaire to ride his own rocket. He’ll blast off this morning from West Texas with his brother, an 18-year-old from the Netherlands and an 82-year-old female aviation pioneer from Texas. They’ll become the youngest and oldest ever to fly in space. Blue Origin’s capsule is fully automated, so there’s no need for trained staff on the brief space hop. Virgin Galactic’s Richard Branson beat Bezos to space on July 11.
WASHINGTON (AP) – President Joe Biden says his infrastructure and families agenda must be passed to sustain economic momentum. The Democrat is aiming to set the tone for a crucial week of congressional negotiations on two bills that would together spend more than $4 trillion. But Senate Republicans are signaling they would likely oppose a procedural vote set for Wednesday on a bipartisan infrastructure bill. The Republicans want to wait until more details are worked out and plan to filibuster to block it. Senators are wrangling over how to pay for nearly $1 trillion in new spending on highway, water system and other public works projects.
JERUSALEM (AP) – Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett spoke to the head of Unilever after its subsidiary Ben & Jerry’s announced it would stop selling its ice cream in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and contested east Jerusalem. Bennett’s office is quoting him as saying that Israel will “act aggressively” against the “clearly anti-Israel step.” He’s also calling the ice cream company’s decision a “boycott.” The announcement is one of the highest-profile company rebukes of Israeli settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem.