Obama: Power plant rule will shrink power prices
WASHINGTON (AP) — In a sweeping initiative to curb pollutants blamed for global warming, the Obama administration unveiled a plan Monday aimed at cutting carbon dioxide emissions from power plants by nearly a third by 2030. But it delays the deadline for some states to begin complying until long after President Barack Obama leaves office.
The 645-page plan, expected to be finalized next year, is a centerpiece of Obama’s efforts to deal with climate change and seeks to give the United States more leverage to prod other countries to act when negotiations on a new international treaty resume next year.
Under the plan, carbon emissions are to be reduced 30 per cent from 2005 levels, in what would amount to one of the most significant U.S. actions on global warming.
Europe weighs risks of negative interest rates
FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — The European Central Bank could be going negative soon.
Among the more unusual steps the central bank is considering this week to boost the eurozone’s recovery is cutting to below zero the interest rate it pays on money that banks deposit with it. That effectively means banks would have to pay to park money with the ECB — an unorthodox move that has had some success in neighbouring Denmark but hasn’t been attempted in the much larger eurozone.
The goal: Push banks to lend that money to companies and consumers to get the economy moving.
The ECB, the eurozone’s chief monetary authority, has been resisting such a step, which it considered as long ago as summer 2012 but which President Mario Draghi dismissed then as “largely uncharted waters.”
New allergy tablets offer alternative to shots
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — For decades, seasonal allergy sufferers had two therapy options to ease the misery of hay fever. They could swallow pills or squirt nasal sprays every day for brief reprieves from the sneezing and itchy eyes. Or they could get allergy shots for years to gradually reduce their immune system’s over-reaction.
Now patients can try another type of therapy to train their immune system, new once-a-day tablets that dissolve quickly under the tongue and steadily raise tolerance to grass or ragweed pollen, much like the shots.
The downside: The pills must be started a few months before the grass or ragweed pollen season. That means it’s too late for people with grass allergies, but the time is now for ragweed allergy sufferers.
New Apple Mac, mobile features coming this fall
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Apple’s Mac operating system will have easier ways to share and search, while the iOS software for iPhones and iPads is getting new features for keeping tabs on your health and controlling home devices.
Apple executive Craig Federighi said data from various fitness-related devices now live in silos, so you can’t get a comprehensive picture of your health. He said that will change with HealthKit in iOS 8. Apple is also working with the Mayo Clinic to make sure your weight, calorie intake and other health metrics are within healthy ranges.
Ballmer brings cheer, competitiveness to Clippers
LOS ANGELES (AP) — For decades, former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer was the technology giant’s biggest cheerleader. His booming voice and energetic high-fives are famous around Seattle. Now that he’s agreed to buy the Los Angeles Clippers for $2 billion, Ballmer is expected to bring that boosterism to the hardwood down south.
Ballmer’s days of sports fandom go back to childhood. An avid pick-up basketball player who lacked the athleticism to excel at it, he channeled his passion into being team manager at the Country Day high school in his hometown of Detroit.
There, he supported players and was a perfectionist with stats. He made sure towels and balls were in order, and that water bottles were ready when the players stepped off the court. “And, of course, he cheered,” then coach John Hansen told author Fredric Alan Maxwell for his 2002 book “Bad Boy Ballmer.”
ISM corrects factory index to show solid growth
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Institute for Supply Management twice corrected its May manufacturing index on Monday to show that factories grew at a strong pace during the month. The original report said that manufacturers had expanded at a weaker pace.
The index, a widely followed gauge of factory activity, now reads 55.4, up from 53.2 in the initial report. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion.
The corrected figures indicate that manufacturing is expanding at a healthy pace and should help the economy rebound after a weak start to the year. Nearly all of the 18 industries tracked by the index reported growth, led by furniture, electrical equipment, and appliances. Textiles, the only sector that didn’t grow, were flat.
US construction spending up 0.2 per cent in April
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. construction spending posted modest gains in April, driven by an uptick in home building and government construction that lifted total activity to the highest level in five years.
Construction spending rose 0.2 per cent in April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $953.5 billion, the strongest performance since March 2009, the Commerce Department said Monday. The April increase was lower than economists had expected. But the government revised March activity higher to a 0.6 per cent gain, up from an initial estimate of a 0.2 per cent increase.
The small April improvement, combined with the strong gain in March, suggest that the construction industry is recovering from the harsh winter and will provide a boost to growth in the months ahead.
77,000 foreign banks to share tax info with US
WASHINGTON (AP) — It will soon get a lot harder to use overseas accounts to hide income and assets from the U.S. tax collectors.
More than 77,000 foreign banks, investment funds and other financial institutions have agreed to share information about U.S. account holders with the Internal Revenue Service as part of a crackdown on offshore tax evasion, the Treasury Department announced Monday.
The list includes 515 Russian financial institutions. Russian banks had to apply directly to the IRS because the U.S. broke off negotiations with the Russian government over an information-sharing agreement because of Russia’s actions in Ukraine.
By The Associated Press=
The Dow Jones Industrial average rose 26.46 points, or 0.2 per cent, to close at 16,743.63 Monday. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index gained 1.40 points, less than 0.1 per cent, to 1,924.97. The Nasdaq composite lost 5.42 points, or 0.1 per cent, to 4,237.20.
Benchmark U.S. oil for July delivery fell 24 cents to $102.47 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils, slipped 58 cents to $108.83 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London. Wholesale gasoline fell 2 cents to $2.95 a gallon. Natural gas rose 7 cents to $4.61 per 1,000 cubic feet. Heating oil fell 1 cent to $2.88 a gallon.