NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are opening sharply lower on Wall Street Friday after South Africa found a fast-spreading coronavirus variant and the European Union proposed suspending air travel from southern Africa.
NEW YORK (AP) — On this year's Black Friday, things almost seem normal.
Malls and stores report decent-sized crowds, if not the floods of people that used to fight over the latest toys and electronics — online shopping is much too common for that now, and discounts are both more subdued and spread out over the weeks leading up to Christmas, on both websites and in stores.
Federal health regulators say an experimental COVID-19 pill from Merck is effective against the virus, but they will seek input from outside experts on risks of birth defects and other potential problems during pregnancy.
A new coronavirus variant identified in southern Africa is leading to a new round of travel restrictions just as many had finally begun to ease.
HAYDEN, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama sheriff is trying to figure out how hundreds of FedEx packages ended up dumped in the woods.
An estimated 300 to 400 packages of various sizes were found in a ravine near the small town of Hayden on Wednesday, the Blount County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.
ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia officials struggling to distribute federal funds to prevent evictions have outlined plans to increase the speed at which they get the money to landlords and renters.
The improvement plans were submitted last week to the U.S.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration on Friday recommended an overhaul of the nation's oil and gas leasing program to limit areas available for energy development and raise costs for oil and gas companies to drill on public land and water.
FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — The holiday tree is towering over the main square in this central German city, the chestnuts and sugared almonds are roasted, and kids are clambering aboard the merry-go-round just like they did before the pandemic.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans are doing the main thing that drives the U.S. economy — spending — but accelerating inflation is casting a pall.
A raft of economic data issued Wednesday showed the economy on solid footing, with Americans’ incomes rising and jobless claims falling to a level not seen since the Beatles were still together.
THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The European Union's drug regulator on Thursday authorized Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine for use on children from 5 to 11 years old, clearing the way for shots to be administered to millions of elementary school pupils amid a new wave of infections sweeping across the continent.
BEIJING (AP) — Chinese authorities have issued an arrest warrant for the head of Macao’s biggest junket organizer over accusations that he helped run an illegal cross-border gambling syndicate.
Prosecutors in Wenzhou, in the eastern province of Zhejiang, said in a statement on Weibo on Friday that Suncity Group CEO Alvin Chau along with another individual, Zhang Ningning, led cross-border gambling operations and set up casinos across China.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Three state watchdog offices have dismissed a nonprofit group's complaints accusing New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas of ethics violations in connection with a proposed merger involving the state's largest utility company.
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Officials say Nevada's share of new funding provided by the recently approved federal infrastructure legislation likely will help pay for a range of projects, including expansions of the freeway system, transit improvements and new technology to connect mobility systems.
HONOLULU (AP) — A food distributor in Hawaii has filed a federal lawsuit against a dairy company because milk from the mainland is allegedly being sold under a name that advertises local ties.
NANTUCKET, Mass. (AP) — President Joe Biden appeared on the loose Friday in Nantucket.
Biden spent more than an hour walking around downtown Nantucket's cobblestone streets, popping unannounced into quaint mom-and-pop shops, appearing to make purchases and posing for photos with surprised business owners.
GENEVA (AP) — The World Trade Organization is postponing its conference of government ministers set to open Tuesday after Switzerland initiated new travel restrictions following the emergence of a worrying new coronavirus variant, officials said.
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The value of livestock killed by predators such as grizzly bears and wolves is expected to exceed the budget for compensating ranchers for such losses this year, the Montana Livestock Loss Board said.
Climate activists blockaded Amazon warehouses in three European countries on Friday, part of a global effort to pressure the ecommerce giant on one of its busiest days of the year to improve working conditions and end business practices that hurt the environment.
Benchmark U.S. crude oil for January delivery fell $10.24 to $68.15 a barrel Friday. Brent crude for January delivery fell $9.50 to $72.72 per barrel.
Wholesale gasoline for December delivery fell 29 cents to $2.03 a gallon.
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Argentina's government launched measures on Friday to discourage foreign travel as a way to protect the country's thin dollar reserves ahead of heavy debt payments.
The Central Bank banned use of credit card installment payments for airline flights and other tourist services abroad.
Stocks sink on new COVID variant; Dow loses 905 points
NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks sank Friday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average briefly falling more than 1,000 points, as a new coronavirus variant first detected in South Africa appeared to be spreading across the globe.
CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — A group of cancer doctors at the Medical University of South Carolina took confidential information to a competitor in an effort to establish a new treatment facility, according to a lawsuit filed this week.
Stocks ended with scant gains after another wobbly day of trading on Wall Street Wednesday as the market Stocks closed sharply lower after a coronavirus variant from South Africa appeared to be spreading across the globe.
Stocks that traded heavily or had substantial price changes Friday:
Moderna, Inc., up $56.24 to $329.63.
Stocks in companies that make vaccines against COVID-19 soared as a new variant emerged.
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The city of Boise is looking to expand its geothermal heating system by 40% as part of a goal to become carbon neutral by 2050.
The city pumps 250 gallons (946 liters) of geothermal water to 96 buildings through 21 miles of pipes (34 kilometers).
NEW DELHI (AP) — The Serum Institute of India, the world's largest vaccine maker, resumed exports of coronavirus vaccines to the U.N.-backed COVAX distribution program on Friday after halting most overseas sales in March.
CALAIS, France (AP) — French fishing crews briefly blocked French ports, ferry traffic across the English Channel and the freight entrance to the Eurotunnel on Friday to disrupt the flow of goods to the U.K., in a protest over post-Brexit fishing licenses.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa motorists will soon have the option of keeping their driver's license on their phones.
State officials have begun a pilot project to make digital driver's licenses, or “mobile IDs,” available for download via smartphone apps sometime in 2022, the Cedar Rapids Gazette reported Friday.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana's largest electric utility is seeking regulatory approval to raise its rates 1% every year until 2029 to pay for an $1.9 billion upgrade aimed at hardening its electric grid against severe weather.
BERLIN (AP) — Germany's government refused to back calls Friday for a swift and sharp lockdown to curb the country's worsening coronavirus situation, which saw daily confirmed cases hit a new peak and is putting hospitals under severe strain.
DETROIT (AP) — The FBI’s confirmation last week that it was looking at a spot near a New Jersey landfill as the possible burial site of former Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa is the latest development in a search that began when he disappeared in 1975.
BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union said on Friday that it will ease its restrictions on exporting COVID-19 vaccines.
The Commission, the EU's executive arm, said that as of January it will no longer require vaccine producers to request special authorization to export outside the 27-nation bloc.
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A surge in the catch of a small species of fish called menhaden off the Maine coast has helped stabilize a bait crunch that's plagued the state's lobster industry for several years.
BEIRUT (AP) — A small group of protesters broke into a ministry building in Beirut early on Friday and removed a photo of the president from one of its main rooms, as the Lebanese pound hit a new low amid a worsening economic and political stalemate.
TOKYO (AP) — Japan’s Cabinet on Friday approved a 770 billion yen ($6.8 billion) request for an extra defense budget through March to expedite the purchase of missiles, anti-submarine rockets and other weapons amid rising concern over the escalation of military activities by China, Russia and North Korea.
NEW DELHI (AP) — Thousands of jubilant Indian farmers waving green and white flags on Friday marked the anniversary of their movement by celebrating a victory that forced Prime Minister Narendra Modi to withdraw three agriculture laws the farmers feared would drastically reduce their incomes and leave them at the mercy of corporations.
BEIJING (AP) — Asian stock markets sank Friday as traders watched a surge in coronavirus cases in Europe and anti-disease controls that threaten to disrupt trade and travel.
Holiday season moves into high gear but challenges remain
NEW YORK (AP) — Shoppers buoyed by solid hiring, healthy pay gains and substantial savings are returning to stores and splurging on all types of items.
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas utility regulators have issued an order requiring Evergy to explain and justify a plan to spend $10.4 billion on its electrical system and report quality of service measures on a quarterly basis amid concerns that the plan is designed largely to benefit a hedge fund investor.
MOSCOW (AP) — A devastating explosion in a Siberian coal mine Thursday left 52 miners and rescuers dead about 250 meters (820 feet) underground, Russian officials said.
Hours after a methane gas explosion and fire filled the mine with toxic fumes, rescuers found 14 bodies but then were forced to halt the search for 38 others because of a buildup of methane and carbon monoxide gas from the fire.
BRUSSELS (AP) — Concerned by the misuse of political advertising to undermine elections, the European Union on Thursday unveiled plans to help people better understand when they are seeing such ads online and who is responsible for them.
MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico’s economy slowed in the third quarter, posting a slight contraction compared to the previous three months, but still well above the same quarter a year earlier, according to data released Thursday by its National Institute of Statistics and Geography.
ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan (AP) — Turkmenistan’s autocratic president has put his only son in charge of the Central Asian nation's energy sector, further expanding his clout in a move seen as laying the foundations for a political dynasty.
PHOENIX (AP) — Maricopa County officials have created new rules for billboards that will let them double in size and height and for existing static billboards to be converted to ever-changing electronic displays.
CHACO CULTURE NATIONAL HISTORIC PARK, N.M. (AP) — The stillness that enveloped Chaco Canyon was almost deafening, broken only by the sound of a raven's wings batting the air while it circled overhead.
PHOENIX (AP) — The owner of a chain of fashion consignment stores says she'll require customers to briefly lower their mask in front of a camera if they want to shop in her stores while wearing a face covering.
MADRID (AP) — Trade unions representing metalworkers in the southern Spanish province of Cadiz called off a nine-day strike and workers began returning to their jobs Thursday after reaching a pay agreement with employers covering the next three years.
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesia’s top court ruled Thursday that the country’s widely criticized Job Creation Law is unconstitutional and ordered the government to amend it within two years.
The law, passed last year, triggered days of protests in many cities that turned violent as thousands of enraged students and workers charged it would cripple labor rights and harm the environment.
ROME (AP) — Pope Francis told Lebanon’s prime minister on Thursday that he was praying that God would help Lebanon “get up” and get back on its feet following an unprecedented economic crisis that has thrown three quarters of the country’s 6 million people, including a million Syrian refugees, into poverty.