US filings for jobless aid lowest since April
U.S. applications for jobless aid fell again last week to their lowest level since April, further evidence that the job market has withstood aggressive rate hikes by the Federal Reserve as it attempts to cool the economy and bring down inflation.
FTC fines GoodRx for unauthorized sharing of health data
The Federal Trade Commission has imposed a $1.5 million penalty on telehealth and prescription drug discount provider GoodRx Holdings Inc. for sharing users’ personal health data with Facebook, Google and other third parties without their consent.
Illinois faces major challenges amid COVID fallout as Speaker Madigan struggles to hold on to power
Since no official business can be conducted by the House until a speaker is elected, a lengthy balloting process could ensue while pressing matters such as the state budget and pandemic recovery are held in abeyance. Madigan, some Democrats contend privately, is counting at the very least on attrition to eventually return him as speaker as issues mount.chicagotribune.com
Lobbying in Q1 topped a record $938 million, but lobbyists say their profession is misunderstood
In the first quarter of 2020, the total amount spent on lobbying, about $938 million, reached the highest on record, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. The health sector, which spent $168 million on lobbying efforts, received $150 billion in coronavirus relief aid, according to Advisory Board. The airline industry, which spent $29 million on lobbying, received $32 billion in relief aid, according to the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, and agribusiness, which spent $38 million, received $19 billion in aid, CRP said. The lobbying industry is arguably the U.S. government's oldest profession and is protected by the First Amendment. The misconception about lobbyists is that "we walk around with bags of money and say, 'Vote our way' or 'Oppose this.'cnbc.com
Hello and welcome: robot waiters to the rescue amid virus
They came in just ahead of that time, said Hus daughter Leah, who also works at the restaurant, the Royal Palace. Their duties will include greeting customers, serving drinks and dishes and returning used glasses and crockery. We will use them to make sure the 1.5 meters (5 feet) we need during the corona crisis sticks, Leah Hu said. We want to give them a normal name," said Leah Hu. They help us with the work we do, said Leah Hu.
New Zealand near eradication, but virus has grim global hold
The latest job-loss figures from the U.S. Labor Department bring to 41 million the running total of Americans who have filed for unemployment benefits since the coronavirus shutdowns took hold in mid-March. In New Zealand, health authorities have not found any new virus cases for a week. That increased the overall death toll to more than 1,300 and the number of cases to over 64,000. And first-time applications for unemployment benefits have fallen for eight straight weeks, as states gradually let stores, restaurants and other businesses reopen and the auto industry starts up factories again. Worldwide, the virus has infected more than 5.8 million people and killed about 360,000, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.
White House punts economic update as election draws near
Paul Winfree, a former Trump White House director of budget policy, doubted that the holdup on the economic update was on Trump's radar. Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, noted that the law requires the White House to update its budget forecast. In 2017, the Trump administration criticized the Obama administration for rosy expectations of growth during the Great Recession more than a decade ago. An updated forecast in the mid-session review could make the Trump White House a similar target for criticism. This is a White House that is in denial about the trajectory of the economy.___Associated Press writers Alexandra Jaffe and Emily Swanson in Washington contributed to this report.
Asia Today: Duterte easing lockdown in Philippine capital
The government continues to ease the lockdown which was set to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus in the country. Duterte made the televised announcement hours after the Department of Health reported a single-day spike of 539 infections, more than 60% of them in the congested capital. The Health Ministry's new figures on Friday show India now has 165,799 cases with 4,706 deaths, which both now exceed China. The figures announced by the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention brought national totals to 11,402 infections and 269 deaths. China on Friday again reported no new daily increase in cases of coronavirus and no new deaths.
The Latest: South Africa has backlog of nearly 100,000 tests
South Africa has backlog of nearly 100,000 unprocessed tests. ___JOHANNESBURG South Africa says it has a backlog of nearly 100,000 unprocessed tests for the new coronavirus. The ministry says one of the latest people to die in South Africa was an employee with the National Health Laboratory Services. Indonesia had recorded more than 24,500 COVID-19 cases as of Thursday with nearly 1,500 deaths, the most fatalities in Southeast Asia. Thailand has had just single-digit increases in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases for most of May.
French carmaker Renault announces 15,000 job cuts worldwide
The headquarters of French carmaker Renault is pictured in Boulogne-Billancourt, outside Paris, Monday, May 25, 2020. French President Emmanuel Macron is set to unveil sweeping new measures to rescue France's car industry, hammered by virus lockdown and the resulting recession. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)PARIS Struggling French carmaker Renault on Friday announced 15,000 job cuts worldwide as part of a 2 billion-euro cost-cutting plan over three years. The group is also considering adaptation of its production capacities in Russia and announced the halt of Renault-branded oil-powered car activities in China. The French government is its single biggest shareholder with a 15-percent stake, and has been in talks on a 5 billion-euro loan guarantee.
Asia shares fall as US-China tensions douse rally on Wall St
Shares fell Friday in Asia after Wall Streets rally petered out amid worries about flaring U.S.-China tensions. Benchmarks declined in Hong Kong, Tokyo and Sydney but rose in Shanghai. U.S. and Chinese officials have been trading harsh rhetoric recently on everything from Hong Kong to the response to the coronavirus outbreak. Chinas National Peoples Congress on Thursday approved a national security law aimed at suppressing secessionist and subversive activity in Hong Kong, overriding any potential opposition by local lawmakers. Its like lighting a match.Hong Kong's Hang Seng index dropped 0.6% to 23,007.15 on Friday, while Japan's Nikkei 225 index fell 0.2% to 21,877.89.
VW spending $2.2B to expand in China's electric car market
BEIJING Volkswagen is spending 2 billion euros ($2.2 billion) to expand its presence in Chinas electric car industry in the biggest foreign investment announced since the country's economy began to reopen following the coronavirus pandemic. Volkswagen AG said Friday it will buy control of its electric vehicle venture with a Chinese partner in a 1 billion euro ($1.1 billion) deal. The ruling Communist Party scrapped limits on foreign ownership of electric vehicle makers in 2018 to promote industry development. By gaining management control, Volkswagen is paving the way for more electric models and infrastructure, the companys announcement said. GM, Nissan, BMW AG and other automakers also have joint ventures with Chinese partners to develop lower-cost electric models.
GOP lawyer fights California governor on stay-at-home orders
She is one of Californias two elected members of the Republican National Committee, and shes a co-chair of Women for Trump that is part of the presidents reelection campaign. She chaired the city's Republican Party before winning election as vice chair of the state GOP in 2013. The governor's policies and the policies of counties are falling more heavily on Democrats than Republicans because there are more Democrats than Republicans in the state, Dhillon said. Dhillon represented the California Republican Party in a successful challenge last year to a law aimed at requiring Trump to release his tax returns to be on the California ballot. In fact its reinforcing the bad image of the Republican Party," he said of Dhillon's recent lawsuits.
Virus taking hold in rural, old plantation region of Alabama
In this May 27, 2020, photo, health care worker Tonya Wilkes adjusts her mask while working at a Lowndes County coronavirus testing site in Hayneville, Ala. (AP Photo/Jay Reeves)HAYNEVILLE, Ala. Sparsely populated Lowndes County, deep in Alabama's old plantation country, has the sad distinction of having both the states highest rate of COVID-19 cases and its worst unemployment rate. Lowndes and nearby poor, mostly black counties in rural Alabama are facing an increase in confirmed infections. I worry about Lowndes County, said Thomas. Dr. Scott Harris, the state health officer, said the state saw its highest number of new cases since the pandemic began in recent days.