AP Business SummaryBrief at 1:56 p.m. EDT | Company
Royal fans give London tourism a boost amid UK economic woes
LONDON (AP) — Hotels, restaurants and shops are packed as royal fans pour into the heart of London to experience flag-lined roads, pomp-filled processions and brave a mile-long queue to the unique chance to bid farewell to Queen Elizabeth II. Visitors flocking to central London from as far away as the US and India for the historic moment are giving businesses a boost at a time when the UK economy faces a cost crisis of life fueled by the highest inflation in four decades and forecasts of an impending recession. Overall economic recovery could be limited as Monday was declared a bank holiday for the Queen’s funeral. But experts said renewed interest in the royal family could support tourism demand.
The Queen’s death triggers a media bonanza in the works for decades
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NEW YORK (AP) — News organizations’ plans that have been in place for years, if not decades, to cover the death of Queen Elizabeth II were triggered and tested when the event unfolded. London was inundated with reporters, with more heading to the city for the funeral on Monday. Huge audiences are expected for the culmination of all the ceremonies, which one pundit has dubbed “catnip” for TV broadcasters. For many journalists, the plans went well. There were some issues on Thursday with restrictions imposed by the Palace on the use of video from inside Westminster Hall, where the Queen’s body lay in state.
Treasury recommends exploring creation of a digital dollar
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration is moving one step closer to developing a central bank digital currency, known as the digital dollar. Administration officials say it would help strengthen the United States’ role as a leader in the global financial system. The White House said Friday that after President Joe Biden issued an executive order in March calling on agencies to seek ways to regulate digital assets, the agencies submitted nine reports. One Treasury recommendation is that the United States “advance policy and technical work on a potential central bank digital currency.” The nonpartisan Atlantic Council think tank says many other countries are already exploring or have created a central bank digital currency.
DOJ to use ‘carrot and stick’ approach to corporate crime
WASHINGTON (AP) — A senior Justice Department official announced new incentives for companies that cooperate with corporate criminal investigations and a $250 million budget request to Congress to expand its work. Assistant Attorney General Lisa Monaco said on Thursday that there had been a decline in the number of criminal lawsuits against companies over the past decade. To help address this issue, she is asking each division that prosecutes corporate crime to develop programs that encourage companies to report misconduct. In some cases, no one will have to plead guilty to criminal charges if the violation was self-reported and the company fixed it. Companies will also be required to present evidence of alleged wrongdoing more quickly to obtain leniency.
Chinese consumer and factory activity improving but still weak
BEIJING (AP) — Official Chinese data shows consumer spending and factory output improved in August, but were still weak. Forecasters have warned that the world’s second-largest economy is vulnerable to disruption from repeated city shutdowns to fight virus outbreaks. Home sales fell while prices fell slightly. This comes on top of a drop in real estate activity under pressure from a government debt control campaign that triggered an economic crisis in mid-2021. Chinese leaders are trying to sustain economic growth which fell to 2.5% more than a year earlier in the first six months of 2022, less than half the official target of 5.5%.
Q&A: Craig Newmark wants to defend democracy through philanthropy
NEW YORK (AP) — Craig Newmark twists a quote from “Batman” to jokingly refer to himself as “not the nerd you want, but maybe, once in a while, I’m the nerd you need.” Newmark, the founder of Craigslist, has since retired from the pioneering website that made him a billionaire, according to Forbes, but the 69-year-old says he is now busier than ever with his philanthropy. Newmark sees much of his philanthropic work as a way to help protect democracy — a cause that has already claimed more than $250 million from his donations, including Recanati-Kaplan Talks’ Newmark Civic Life series, which runs through October 11 in New York.
Egypt to increase Suez Canal transit fees for ships in 2023
CAIRO (AP) — Egypt has said it will increase transit fees for ships, including oil-laden tankers, passing through the Suez Canal, one of the world’s most crucial waterways. The Suez Canal Authority said in a statement on Saturday that it would add 15% to charges for tankers carrying petroleum and petroleum products, and 10% for dry bulk carriers and cruise ships. The head of the authority said the hikes would start on January 1. He blamed soaring global inflation rates, which increased the cost of operating, maintaining and servicing the waterway. Around 10% of world trade passes through the Suez Canal, which is a major source of foreign exchange for Egypt.
Talks to restructure Puerto Rico’s electric company debt break down
HAVANA (AP) — Mediation talks to restructure more than $9 billion in debt held by Puerto Rico’s electric utility have failed, raising concerns about the bankrupt government agency’s future . A federal board of control that oversees Puerto Rico’s finances said Saturday the standoff with bondholders meant it would resume legal action against them in a bid to restructure the debt, warning that any costs associated with paying off the debt would be passed on to consumers. Governor Pedro Pierluisi said the mediation did not achieve the desired result. Creditors could not immediately be reached for comment.
Poland opens new waterway to reduce reliance on Russia
WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Top Polish leaders have celebrated the opening of a new channel they say will mean ships will no longer need to get permission from Russia to navigate the Baltic Sea to the ports of the Vistula lagoon. Saturday’s event was timed to mark 83 years since the Soviet invasion of Poland in World War II and symbolically cut the long regional dependency. The canal cost nearly 2 billion zlotys ($420 million). It was designed to allow ships to navigate from the Baltic Sea and the Bay of Gdansk to Polish ports in the lagoon, without obtaining permission to cross the Russian Strait of Pilawa. However, freighters cannot use the passage until the approach to Elblag Harbor is thorough.
Oktoberfest is back but inflation hits brewers, cost of beer
MUNICH (AP) — Oktoberfest is back in business in Germany after two years of pandemic cancellations. The beer will be just as cold and the roast pork knuckle just as crispy. Mayor Dieter Reiter said the return of the city’s flagship tourist event on Saturday was “magnificent”. But brewers and visitors are under pressure from inflation in ways they could hardly imagine in 2019. Energy, barley, hops, even paper and glue for labels, the cardboard for crates and steel drums all rose in price as record inflation took hold across Europe. The price of one of the big mugs that revelers will hoist has risen 15% as the brewing industry comes under pressure from rising costs.
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