World stocks mixed…Italy fines Apple, Amazon
UNDATED (AP) – Shares have opened lower in Europe after a mixed session in Asia, as countries impose lockdowns and other restrictions to fight flare-ups of coronavirus cases. In early trading in Europe, Germany’s DAX sank 1.4% and the CAC 40 in Paris shed 1.3%. Britain’s FTSE slipped 0.7%. In Asian markets, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng closed 1.2% lower and the Kospi in Seoul lost 0.5%. In Sydney, the S&P/ASX 200 climbed 0.8% and the Shanghai Composite index added 0.2%. On Wall Street, the futures for the S&P 500 and the Dow industrials are down 0.4%.
LONDON (AP) – Prince Charles is set to be on hand today when pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca opens a $1.34 billion research center near the University of Cambridge. It hopes to build on its work in developing one of the first COVID-19 vaccines. The more than 200,000 square-foot complex will house more than 2,200 research scientists. It joins a cluster of businesses seeking to make Cambridge a hub for life sciences research similar to what California’s Silicon Valley is for the technology industry.
TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) – Israel has begun administering the coronavirus vaccine to children 5 to 11 years old. The country recently emerged from a fourth COVID wave, and daily infections have been relatively low for the last few weeks. But Health Ministry statistics show that a large share of the new infections have been in children and teenagers and children 5 to 11 make up nearly half of active cases. Officials hope the new inoculation campaign will help bring down the numbers and perhaps stave off a new wave. Israeli media is reporting low demand for the shots on the first day of the campaign today.
ROME (AP) – Italy’s antitrust watchdog has fined Apple and Amazon more than 200 million euros, or $225 million, for cooperating to restrict competition in the sale of Apple and Beats branded products. The Italian Competition Authority says its investigation found that the U.S. tech giants agreed to limit access to Italy’s Amazon marketplace to selected resellers. That’s in violation of European Union rules. The watchdog slapped Apple with a 134.5 million euro fine and Amazon with a 68.7 million euro penalty, and ordered them to end the restrictions and give resellers access in a “non-discriminatory manner.” Apple and Amazon say they’ll appeal.
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Two former Netflix employees who raised concerns about anti-transgender comments on Dave Chappelle’s TV special “The Closer” are dropping their complaints to the National Labor Relations Board. Terra Field, a senior software engineer who is trans, also announced a voluntary resignation on Monday. Field and B. Pagels-Minor filed the complaints, claiming Netflix retaliated against workers to keep them from speaking up about working conditions, including “Netflix’s products and the impact of its product choices on the LGBTQ+ community.”