NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are mixed to slightly higher in afternoon trading on Wall Street as gains in energy companies offset declines in tech stocks. The S&P 500 rose 0.3%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.8% and the Nasdaq fell 0.4%. The benchmark S&P 500 remains in the red for the week following three straight weekly gains. Treasury yields continued to move higher as traders get accustomed to the Federal Reserve’s ongoing policy pivot to fighting inflation instead of stimulating the economy. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 2.69%, its highest level in three years. Oil prices were slightly higher.
Ex-Goldman Sachs banker convicted in plot to loot 1MDB fund
NEW YORK (AP) — A former Goldman Sachs banker has been convicted of bribery and other corruption charges accusing him of participating in a $4.5 billion scheme to loot the Malaysian state investment fund, 1MDB. A jury found Roger Ng guilty on all counts Friday at a U.S. trial where jurors had heard testimony about tens of millions of dollars in bribes and kickbacks. The embezzlement bankrolled lavish spending on jewels, art, a superyacht and luxury real estate. Ng’s lawyers claimed he was being made a “fall guy” for a higher-ranking Goldman banker who pleaded guilty and testified for the government.
Chairman of Russian metals company calls for Bucha probe
LONDON (AP) — The board chairman of Russian metals company Rusal has called for an investigation into events in the Kyiv suburb of Bucha, where Ukrainian officials say Russian troops killed civilians. Rusal Chairman Bernard Zonneveld didn’t address who was responsible or directly say anyone was killed in Bucha, where Ukrainian forces and journalists discovered scores of bodies on streets and in mass graves after Russian troops withdrew. Zonneveld said the reports from Bucha “shocked us” and that “we support an objective and impartial investigation of this crime.” The statement stood out because Russian companies have generally remained silent about the war amid rigorous suppression of opposition by Russian authorities and state-controlled media narratives.
RUSSIA-UKRAINE WAR-FOOD PRICES
Food prices soar to record levels on Ukraine war disruptions
ROME (AP) — The United Nations says prices for world food commodities like grains and vegetable oils have reached their highest levels ever because of Russia’s war in Ukraine. The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization said Friday that its Food Price Index, which tracks monthly changes in international prices for a basket of commodities, averaged 159.3 points last month, up 12.6% from February. As it is, the February index was the highest level since its 1990 inception. FAO says the war in Ukraine was largely responsible for the 17.1% rise in prices for grains, including wheat. Russia and Ukraine together account for around 30% and 20% of global wheat and corn exports, respectively.
Inflation hits nonprofits’ services, ability to fundraise
UNDATED (AP) — Nonprofits of all kinds are getting hit hard by inflation, experts say. Price and wage increases are hurting nonprofits in multiple ways, making it harder to keep up with their own basic operational expenses while also forcing them to curtail the services they provide. At the same time, there are early signs that the burst of generosity donors showed in the first year of the pandemic may be slowing considerably. “It’s not a pretty equation,” says Shannon McCracken, chief executive of the Nonprofit Alliance. Nonprofits that provide annual cost-of-living increases for their workers, as many do, are getting hit with higher payroll costs of about 6% even without any increase based on merit or seniority, McCracken says.
SpaceX launches 3 visitors to space station for $55M each
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — SpaceX has launched three rich businessmen and their astronaut escort to the International Space Station for more than a week’s stay. It is SpaceX’s first private charter flight to the orbiting lab after two years of carrying astronauts there for NASA. The Falcon rocket blasted off from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center on Friday. The American, Canadian and Israeli executives are paying $55 million apiece for the rocket ride and their stay. Russia has been hosting tourists at the space station for decades. NASA is finally getting into the act, after years of nixing visitors.
Musk says Tesla will build vehicle designed to be a robotaxi
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Tesla CEO Elon Musk says the company will build an electric vehicle dedicated for use as a robotaxi. He also told a crowd at a party celebrating the opening of a Texas factory that Tesla will start making three new vehicles next year. Musk didn’t give details of the robotaxi other than to say it will “look quite futuristic.” He said Tesla will start building the Cybertruck pickup at its new factory near Austin, Texas, next year. After that, it will start making a new Roadster and an electric semi. He made his remarks Thursday night at the “Cyber Rodeo at Giga Texas,” an invitation-only party for thousands of guests at Tesla’s new billion-dollar-plus factory.
FIAT-CHRYSLER- MINIVAN INVESTIGATION
US ends probe of Fiat Chrysler minivans, won’t seek recall
DETROIT (AP) — The federal government is ending an investigation into complaints of USB charging port fires in some Fiat Chrysler minivans without seeking a recall. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began the probe of about 170,000 minivans in August of 2020 after getting reports of three fires and one minor injury. The probe covered Chrysler Town and Country and Dodge Caravan minivans from 2013 to 2020. The agency says its investigators couldn’t determine what caused the fires, nor could Fiat Chrysler, now called Stellantis. The agency says it’s closing the probe due to the low rate of fires, no reports of serious injuries, and the lack of a common cause.
UK airport warns COVID-related delays could last months
LONDON (AP) — A major British airport is warning passengers to expect the delays plaguing travel to continue for months. The head of Manchester Airport in northwest England said today that passengers could face waits of up to 90 minutes to get through security “over the next few months.” Travelers in Britain have suffered days of delays during the current Easter holiday break. British Airways and easyJet have canceled hundreds of flights because of coronavirus-related staff absences, and long lines have built up at airport check-in, security and baggage points.
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