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Sri Lanka’s prime minister says that he will quickly prepare an economic reform program and seek approval from the International Monetary Fund. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe says urgent action is needed because global inflation and the economic impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could hurt the ability of countries to allocate enough aid to Sri Lanka. The country is facing its worst economic crisis in recent memory. Wickremesinghe says authorities have reached agreement on basic reform concepts with the IMF and that he plans to have the economic reform program ready within two weeks.

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This summer is a crucial one for Atlantic City as it tries to recover lost business during the third year of the coronavirus pandemic, and casinos and non-gambling resorts are putting millions into renovations and new attractions to compete for visitors. On Thursday, Bally's opened a new rotating bar and an outdoor beer garden. On Saturday, the Showboat hotel is opening an indoor go-kart track, and the Ocean Casino is spending $85 million this summer on new rooms, a new sportsbook and other projects. Several casinos are opening new restaurants and Resorts will open a renovated rooftop pool with a retractable roof in late June.

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A New York appeals court has ruled former President Donald Trump must answer questions under oath in the state’s civil investigation into his business practices. A four-judge panel in the appellate division of the state’s trial court on Thursday upheld Manhattan Judge Arthur Engoron’s Feb. 17 ruling enforcing subpoenas for Trump and his two eldest children to give deposition testimony in Attorney General Letitia James’ probe. Trump had appealed, seeking to overturn the ruling. His lawyers argued that ordering the Trumps to testify violated their constitutional rights because their answers could be used in a parallel criminal investigation.

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Democratic Attorney General Josh Kaul is preparing to ask Republican lawmakers to sign off on $378,000 in settlements to resolve multiple pollution cases. GOP legislators passed a law in 2018 that requires the attorney general to get permission from the Legislature's finance committee before entering into any settlement agreements. Kaul is scheduled to bring nine proposed deals before the committee on Tuesday. Two of the cases involve factory farms Emerald Sky Dairy LLC and Blue Royal Farm Inc. Two others involve municipal water system violations in the city of Elkhorn and the village of Wilson.

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Louisiana's bond credit rating has moved up a notch. State Treasurer John Schroder said the new rating by Moody's Investors Service will save the state about $750,000 a year in interest for every $300 million in bonds issued. Moody's said Wednesday that Louisiana has made significant progress restoring its financial reserves and liquidity. It says the state has done this in spite of volatility in gas and oil production and unfavorable demographic trends such as slow population growth and low per-capita income. Gov. John Bel Edwards says it's “yet another step in the right direction for Louisiana’s financial outlook.”

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Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has asked for urgent international help as his country suffers from a severe financial crisis. For months, Sri Lankans have been enduring shortages of necessities because of the country’s lack of foreign currency to pay for imports. The government has halted repayments of its foreign debt. The economic crisis has fueled political turmoil, with protesters demanding Rajapaksa’s resignation. He blamed the economic crisis on the virtual shutdown of Sri Lanka’s tourism industry and a sharp decline in money repatriated by overseas Sri Lankan workers because of the pandemic, and rising world inflation. He warned that nations could also be affected by what he called the “long-tail effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

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Britain's Conservative government has unveiled a $19 billion package to ease a severe cost-of-living squeeze. Treasury chief Rishi Sunak said Thursday that the government would introduce a temporary windfall tax on the profits of oil and gas firms. The tax is expected to raise around 5 billion pounds ($6.3 billion) over the next year and fund cash payments to help millions of people cope with sharply rising energy bills. Sunak says about 8 million of the country’s lowest-income households will receive a one-time government payment of 650 pounds ($818). The announcement came a day after Prime Minister Boris Johnson vowed to “move on” from the “partygate” scandal over social events held in government buildings that broke COVID-19 lockdown rules.

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German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has expressed hopes for global cooperation on climate change, hunger and war as dozens of climate activists demonstrated in the Swiss town of Davos. Both came on the last day of the World Economic Forum's meeting of global elites. It ended Thursday with many words but little concrete action to solve the world’s most pressing crises. The Davos gathering has been overshadowed by the war in Ukraine, rising food and fuel prices, and signs that governments aren’t doing enough to fight global warming. That has doused many moods in the face of a can-do spirit by many innovators and entrepreneurs in Davos.

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Stocks rose broadly in morning trading on Wall Street Thursday as investors cheered a strong set of quarterly results from Macy’s and other retailers. The S&P 500 rose 1.3% and is solidly in the green for the week following a choppy few days of trading. The gains have positioned the benchmark index for its first weekly gain after seven straight losses. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.3% and the Nasdaq rose 1.5%. The better-than-expected reports from retailers helped allay investors' worries about the sector, which took big losses last week after Target and Walmart reported dismal results. Bond yields were relatively stable.

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Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha says a new U.S.-backed economic pact is further proof of how important and relevant Asia is today. U.S. President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced earlier this week that 13 countries have joined the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework. It's a new trade pact that will help the United States work more closely with Asian economies on issues including supply chains, digital trade, clean energy and anticorruption efforts. Together the countries represent 40% of the world’s GDP. Prayuth, who is in Tokyo to attend a conference, stressed the need to increase economic growth by keeping markets open and inclusive.

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Iran’s foreign minister sat before an audience of Western business executives and policymakers at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, fielding questions about why Iran has yet to condemn Russia for its invasion in Ukraine and why efforts to revive its nuclear deal have stalled. It was a rare opportunity for many in the audience to hear directly from Hossein Amirabdollahian, who was interviewed Thursday by CNN’s Fareed Zakaria. When pressed on why Iran hasn't condemned its ally Russia for the war in Ukraine, he said Iran has, just as it had wars “against Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen and Palestine.” On stalled nuclear talks, he says Iran is “keeping the window of diplomacy open.”

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The Spanish government will tighten judicial control over the country’s intelligence agency. Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez made the announcement Thursday, weeks after the agency admitted it had spied on several pro-independence supporters in Catalonia with judicial authorization. The country’s National Intelligence Center has been under fire since April, after the digital rights group Citizen Lab alleged that the phones of more than 60 Catalan politicians, lawyers and activists had been hacked with controversial spyware.  Sánchez said his government will overhaul the 2002 law that sets out judicial control of the intelligence agency.  His government also plans to reform the law on official secrets, which dates back to 1968 and the dictatorship of Gen. Francisco Franco.

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Expedia's Peter Kern and Warner Bros. Discovery's David Zaslav are among the top paid CEOs in the S&P 500 index. Advanced Micro Devices’ Lisa Su was the highest-paid female CEO. Median compensation for CEOs in the index of big U.S. companies climbed to $14.5 million last year, up 17.1%, according to an annual survey conducted for The Associated Press by Equilar. Atop the list was Kern, Expedia's CEO, who received pay valued at $296.2 million. Expedia shares rose 37% last year as the online travel company tried to recover from the disruptions caused by the pandemic. The annual AP/Equilar pay survey began in 2011.

British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss is in Bosnia’s capital to reaffirm the U.K.’s commitment to the ethnically divided Balkan country amid growing fears of malign influence from Russia. Truss was meeting with top officials in Sarajevo on Thursday. She announced a U.K.-backed Western Balkans investment package aimed at providing $100 million for infrastructure and energy projects in the region by 2025. Truss said the signs of “Russian meddling here today” threatened to take the Balkans back “those darks days” of the 1990s when interethnic conflicts killed thousands of people. Bosnia's postwar power-sharing system perpetuates a polarized and venomous political climate, and the leader of the country's Serbs is staunchly pro-Russia.

Fewer Americans applied for jobless aid last week as the number of Americans collecting unemployment benefits remains near five-decade lows. Applications for unemployment benefits fell by 8,000 to 210,000 for the week ending May 21, the Labor Department reported Thursday. First-time applications are generally representative of the number of layoffs. American workers are enjoying historically strong job security two years after the coronavirus pandemic plunged the economy into a short but devastating recession. Weekly applications for unemployment aid have been consistently below the pre-pandemic level of 225,000 for most of 2022.

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The World Economic Forum’s annual gathering of CEOs, government leaders and other elites this week in the Swiss town of Davos may seem full of important but impersonal announcements. So what do Davos-goers really think about issues like climate change and what's next for Russia's war in Ukraine? The Associated Press asks those ranging from LinkedIn co-founder Allen Blue and Miami Mayor Francis Suarez to Antonia Gawel, the forum’s head of climate change policy. On climate, some of them say they drive electric cars, try to conserve water or commute by bike.

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