Global stocks mixed…parental leave at Publix
BEIJING (AP) – Global stock markets are mixed after Wall Street hit a high and new daily U.S. coronavirus cases surged to a record. In early trading, the FTSE 100 in London lost 0.1% and Frankfurt’s DAX shed less than 0.1%. The CAC 40 in Paris advanced less than 0.1%. In Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index closed 0.6% higher. The Nikkei 225 in Tokyo shed 0.4% while Hang Seng in Hong Kong advanced 0.1%. The Kospi in Seoul declined 0.5%. On Wall Street, the futures for S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average are up less than 0.1%.
UNDATED (AP) – Residents and tourists in Paris will be required to wear face masks outdoors starting Friday as France sees a surge of COVID-19 infections fueled by the omicron variant. The Paris police prefecture says the mask rule will apply to people ages 12 and over, although individuals will be exempt while riding bicycles or motorcycles, traveling in vehicles and doing exercise. Those who do not comply face fines of 135 euros ($153). Masks already are mandatory in shops, public facilities and office buildings and on public transportation in France.
TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) – Chinese officials are promising steady deliveries of groceries to residents of Xi’an, an ancient capital with 13 million people. Xi’an is under the strictest lockdown of a major Chinese city since Wuhan was shut early last year at the start of the pandemic. The Commerce Ministry says it has contacted nearby provinces to help ensure adequate supplies of everyday necessities. Still, some people are complaining that they have not received grocery deliveries in their communities.
TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) – Israel’s Environment Minister says a clandestine oil deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates has effectively been blocked. Tamar Zandberg tells Israeli Army Radio the deal “cannot be realized.” The secret deal would have increased the amount of oil tankers docking and unloading in the Israeli resort city of Eilat. It was struck last year under Israel’s previous government following the historic agreement establishing formal diplomatic ties between Israel and the United Arab Emirates. Israeli environmental groups had asked the country’s Supreme Court to cancel the deal, citing the risk posed by parking supertankers alongside Eilat’s fragile coral ecosystems.
LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) – Officials at the Publix grocery store chain says that they will start offering paid parental leave to employees who are new parents. The Florida-based company says eligible full-time and part-time workers will be able to take off the time during the first year of the birth or adoption of a child, starting with the new year. The privately-held, employee-owned company has 225,000 workers at almost 1,300 stores in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. Publix didn’t offer details on how much paid time off new parents would get.