US inflation still stubbornly high despite August slowdown
WASHINGTON (AP) — Lower gas costs slowed U.S. inflation for a second straight month in August, but most other prices across the economy kept rising — evidence that inflation remains a heavy burden for American households. Consumer prices rose 8.3% from a year earlier and 0.1% from July. But the jump in “core” prices, which exclude volatile food and energy costs, was especially worrisome. It outpaced expectations and ignited fear that the Federal Reserve will boost interest rates more aggressively and raise the risk of a recession. Fueled by high rents, medical care and new cars, core prices leaped 6.3% for the year ending in August and 0.6% from July to August, the government said Tuesday.
Twitter whistleblower cites security flaws before Congress
WASHINGTON (AP) — A former security chief at Twitter told Congress that the social media platform is plagued by weak cyber defenses that make it vulnerable to exploitation by “teenagers, thieves and spies” and put the privacy of its users at risk. Peiter “Mudge” Zatko, a respected cybersecurity expert, appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee to lay out his allegations Tuesday. “I am here today because Twitter leadership is misleading the public, lawmakers, regulators and even its own board of directors,” Zatko said as he began his sworn testimony. Zatko was the head of security for the influential platform until he was fired early this year.
Stocks tumble on dashed inflation hopes; S&P 500 loses 3%
NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are tumbling, and disappointment is smacking markets worldwide, following Wall Street’s sudden realization that inflation isn’t slowing as much as hoped. The S&P 500 sank about 3% in afternoon trading on Tuesday, threatening to snap a four-day winning streak. Bond prices also fell sharply after a report showed inflation decelerated by less in August than economists had forecast. The hotter-than-expected reading has traders bracing for the Federal Reserve to ultimately raise rates higher than expected to combat inflation, with all the risks for the economy that entails. Investors are building up bets for bigger rate hikes from teh Fed next week and into next year.
A piece of the queen: New souvenirs mark monarch’s death
LONDON (AP) — Just days after the death of Queen Elizabeth II, unofficial souvenirs have rolled out at royal-themed gift shops in London and online marketplaces like Amazon and Etsy. One shop near Buckingham Palace says it pushed its suppliers to work overnight to get mementos ready by Saturday, just two days after the death of Britain’s longest-serving monarch. Now, people have the option to buy fridge magnets, flags, mugs and T-shirts with the queen’s likeness and the dates of her 70-year reign. Some shops say items depicting the new monarch, King Charles III, are on their way. Official merchandise will take longer to arrive to approved vendors, who have suspended sales of royal souvenirs out of respect for the mourning period.
Starbucks to revamp stores to speed service, boost morale
Starbucks plans to spend $450 million next year to make its North American stores more efficient and less complex. The company also said it plans to open 2,000 net new stores in the U.S. by 2025. The emphasis will be on meeting the growing demand for drive-thru and delivery. Starbucks recently saw the best week for sales in its 51-year history when it introduced its latest fall drinks. But it says stores need better equipment to make drinks more quickly. Among the things driving the revamp is an ongoing unionization effort, which Starbucks opposes. More than 230 U.S. stores have voted to unionize since late last year.
Bill Gates: Technological innovation would help solve hunger
NEW YORK (AP) — Bill Gates says the global hunger crisis is so immense that food aid cannot fully address the problem. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation released a report Tuesday documenting major setbacks toward shared global development goals, including food insecurity. In an interview with The Associated Press, Gates argues that innovations in farming technology, in particular, what he calls “magic” crop seeds are needed to reverse the crisis. The seeds are engineered to adapt to climate change and resist agricultural pests. Some scientists say that reliance on the seeds conflicts with worldwide efforts to protect the environment because they generally require fossil fuel-based fertilizers and pesticides to grow.
Eiffel Tower to go dark earlier as Paris saves energy
PARIS (AP) — Paris will start turning off lights on the Eiffel Tower and other iconic monuments to save energy. Mayor Anne Hidalgo said Tuesday that the Eiffel Tower that is normally illuminated until 1 a.m. will be plunged into darkness an hour and 15 minutes earlier. The French capital, like the rest of Europe, faces the risk of power shortages this winter amid dwindling supplies of natural gas from Russia. She says lights on Paris’ other landmarks, such as the City Hall, will be turned off even earlier, at 10 p.m. starting Sept. 23. For safety reasons, streetlights will stay on and bridges over the Seine River will remain illuminated.
UN: Food exports from Ukraine are up, Russia fertilizer down
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. says food exports from Ukraine and Russia have increased since a July 22 grain deal, but critically needed fertilizer exports from Russia are still down despite the agreement. Insurance, financing and shipping remain issues. U.N. trade chief Rebeca Grynspan, said Tuesday that Russia reported a 12% increase in food exports from June to July. But she said while there has been “important progress,” the U.N. is concerned about fertilizer exports needed by October-November for the northern hemisphere planting season. She warned of a “catastrophic crisis” if fertilizer remains unaffordable for many.
Union, GE reach deal on raises at Massachusetts plant
LYNN, Mass. (AP) — The largest union representing General Electric Co. workers says it’s reached a tentative deal with the company to speed up pay raises for workers at a Massachusetts aviation plant. Under the agreement, workers at GE’s facility in Lynn would be eligible for raises sooner and could reach the top pay rate after six years, instead of up to 10 under the old system. GE has already implemented an accelerated raise schedule at plants in New Hampshire and Vermont. IUE-CWA Local 201, the union that negotiated the deal, called it a “massive win” for workers.
Ryanair cancels Hungary routes over windfall tax dispute
BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — Budget airline Ryanair says it will cancel eight routes through Hungary and cut flights on seven more following a months-long dispute with the country’s government over a windfall tax placed on airlines. The Ireland-based company’s CEO, Michael O’Leary, told a press conference Tuesday that Ryanair had planned to launch 10 new routes through Budapest and base an additional airplane at its airport this winter. Instead, it will reduce its yearly passenger load in Hungary from 4.5 million to under 4 million. The decision was a response to Hungary’s government fining the airline more than 750,000 euros in August after the company raised prices to cope with a windfall tax on industries ranging from airlines to banks.