Global stocks slip…Student loan forgiveness overhaul
TOKYO (AP) – Global shares have slipped in cautious trading despite a rally on Wall Street led by technology companies and banks that erased most of the losses from a sell-off the day before. In early trading, France’s CAC 40 dipped 1.9%, while Germany’s DAX dropped 2.1%. Britain’s FTSE 100 was down 1.6%. In Asian trading, Japan’s Nikkei closed 1.1% lower. South Korea’s Kospi dipped 1.8%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng edged down 0.6%. On Wall Street, Dow and S&P futures are down.
LONDON (AP) – Facebook is blaming an error during routine maintenance for causing a massive global outage that took down its services for hours. The company is providing more details about the outage that left millions of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp users in the dark. The problem occurred as engineers were carrying out day to day work on Facebook’s global backbone network. Facebook’s systems are designed to catch such mistakes but in this case a bug in the audit tool prevented it from properly stopping the command. Engineers scrambled to fix the problem on site, but this took time because of the extra layers of security.
UNDATED (AP) – The Biden administration is moving to relax the rules for a student loan forgiveness program that has been criticized for its notoriously complex requirements. The change could offer debt relief to thousands of teachers, social workers, military members and other public servants. The Education Department says it will temporarily drop some of the toughest requirements around the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, which was launched in 2007 to steer more college graduates into public service. Through October 2022, public servants with any type of federal student loan or repayment plan will be eligible for loan forgiveness if they have made 10 years of payments.
BRUSSELS (AP) – The European Union is urging member countries to provide relief funds to consumers and small businesses hit hardest by rising gas and electricity prices. The suggestion comes amid criticism that the bloc’s climate change fighting policies are fueling the problem. Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson says “providing targeted support to consumers, direct payments to those most at risk of energy poverty, cutting energy taxes, shifting charges to general taxation, are all measures that can be taken very swiftly under EU rules.”
LONG BEACH, Calif. (AP) – Federal investigators say a ship’s anchor may have hooked, dragged and torn a massive underwater pipeline that spilled tens of thousands of gallons of crude oil into the water off Southern California. They also say the pipeline owner didn’t quickly shut down operations after a safety system alerted to a possible spill. The weekend spill sent up to 126,000 gallons of heavy crude into the ocean off Huntington Beach and will close beaches and stop local fishing for weeks. Questions remain about the timeline of the spill. The Coast Guard says a commercial ship reported a possible spill Friday night and later reports followed but the agency waited until sunrise Saturday to investigate.