Stocks higher…suit challenges CA’s corporate board quota
TOKYO (AP) – Global shares are mostly higher amid nervous trading due to worries over the newest coronavirus variant. In early trading, France’s CAC 40 edged up 0.5%, while Germany’s DAX added 0.7%. Britain’s FTSE 100 jumped 1.1%. In Asian trading, Japan’s Nikkei 225 finished 0.4% higher. South Korea’s Kospi jumped 2.1%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.8%, while the Shanghai Composite added 0.4%. U.S. shares are set to drift higher with Dow futures up 0.5% and S&P 500 futures up 0.8%.
TOKYO (AP) – Japan is asking international airlines to stop taking new reservations for all flights arriving in the country until the end of December in a further tightening of already strict border controls. The transportation ministry says the request is an emergency precaution. It comes as scientists work frantically to determine just how threatening the omicron variant is. Japan has confirmed a second case of the variant in a person who arrived from Peru, one day after it reported its first case in a Namibian diplomat.
WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. lawmakers are putting forward proposals to curb social media giants by limiting their free-speech protections against legal liability. Their efforts are coming after a former Facebook product manager presented a case that the company’s systems amplify online hate and extremism and fail to protect young users from harmful content. Whistleblower Frances Haugen is expected to weigh in on the legislative proposals at a House hearing today. Haugen is urging new curbs on the long-standing legal protections for speech posted on social media platforms. That’s the idea behind the Justice Against Malicious Algorithms Act, which was introduced recently by senior House Democrats.
LOS ANGELES (AP) – A trial begins today in California in a lawsuit that challenges the state’s first-in-the-nation law requiring women on corporate boards. The conservative group Judicial Watch claims the law violates the equal protection clause of the California Constitution by mandating a gender-based quota. The law requires publicly traded companies with headquarters in California to have at least one woman on their boards of directors. Larger boards must have up to three women board members by January. More women have been named to corporate boards in California since the law passed three years ago.
LOS ANGELES (AP) – A proposed oil pipeline in California that could allow ExxonMobil to resume production at three offshore platforms is expected to enter a critical phase of its government review next year. The $300 million project by Houston-based Plains All American Pipeline would replace a line near Santa Barbara that was shut down after a 2015 rupture that created the worst coastal oil spill in the state in 25 years. The debate is taking place amid a reckoning in California over its continued reliance on fossil fuels in the age of climate change. Democratic U.S. Sen. Alex Padilla says he opposes the proposal because of environmental risks, while the company says a new pipeline will be safe.