Wall Street hits records amid profit reports, inauguration
U.S. stocks are rallying to records Wednesday on encouraging earnings reports and continued optimism that new leadership in Washington will mean more support for the struggling economy.
The Latest: Britain hits another record daily virus deaths
LONDON — For the second day running, Britain had another record increase in coronavirus-related deaths. The government says another 1,820 people died in the 28 days after testing positive for the coronavirus.
Portugal sets records in one of world's worst virus surges
LISBON, Portugal (AP) — Portugal’s new daily COVID-19 cases jumped to more than 14,600 to set a new national record Wednesday, as the country weathers one of the worst pandemic surges in the world.
UnitedHealth overcomes pandemic hit and tops 4Q expectations
UnitedHealth’s fourth-quarter earnings tumbled as costs from COVID-19 hit the health insurance provider, but results still easily beat expectations.
Dutch propose curfew to rein in virus; will ban more flights
THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The Dutch government wants to impose a curfew as part of beefed-up restrictions to rein in the spread of a new more contagious virus variant that already accounts for at least one in 10 Dutch infections.
EU sighs with relief as Biden readies to enter White House
BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union’s top officials breathed a sigh of relief on Wednesday that Joe Biden will be taking over as president of the United States, but they warned that the world has changed after four years of Donald Trump and that trans-Atlantic ties will be different in the future.
Germany to ban practice of killing newly hatched male chicks
BERLIN (AP) — The German government plans to ban the practice of killing male chicks after they hatch, which results in the death of around 45 million birds per year in the country.
Pardon for former Google engineer who stole trade secrets
NEW YORK (AP) — President Donald Trump pardoned a former Google engineer who was sentenced to prison last year for stealing trade secrets from the tech giant related to robotic vehicles.
Music stars slam UK's 'shameful' failure on EU touring rules
LONDON (AP) — Dozens of U.K. music stars including Elton John, Ed Sheeran and conductor Simon Rattle say musicians have been “shamefully failed” by the British government, which has left them facing post-Brexit restrictions on touring in the European Union.
Boats emerge from Sahara sand to transport migrants to Spain
DAKHLA, Western Sahara (AP) — Beneath a star-packed sky in the Sahara, smugglers and handymen unearth a boat buried in the sand, a made-to-order vessel for carrying migrants from the North African coast to Spain’s Canary Islands.
Jack's back: Chinese e-tycoon ends silence with online video
BEIJING (AP) — China’s highest-profile entrepreneur, Jack Ma, appeared Wednesday in an online video, ending a 2 1/2-month absence from public view that prompted speculation about the future of the e-commerce billionaire and his Alibaba Group.
Japan shares fall on pandemic worries as rest of Asia rises
TOKYO (AP) — Asian shares were mostly higher Wednesday, ahead of Joe Biden's inauguration as U.S. president. Japan's benchmark lost early gains as worries grew about the surge in coronavirus cases.
Washington state nixes methanol plant meant to supply China
OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Officials in Washington state denied a key permit for a large proposed methanol plant Tuesday, saying the project that aims to send the chemical to China to be used in everything from fabrics and contact lenses to iPhones and medical equipment would pump out too much pollution.
@POTUS resets as Twitter juggles presidential accounts
It's a Twitter user's worst nightmare: Wake up to find most of your followers gone. But that's exactly what will happen on Wednesday to the official presidential accounts on Twitter.
Deal offers more banking services for California pot firms
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A California cannabis industry group announced Tuesday that it reached an agreement with a state credit union that will provide checking, wire transfers and other banking services for more marijuana companies, helping ease what has been an obstacle for many businesses.
Netflix's big 4Q lifts video service above 200M subscribers
SAN RAMON, Calif. (AP) — Netflix’s video streaming service has surpassed 200 million subscribers for the first time as its expanding line-up of TV series and movies continues to captivate people stuck at home during the ongoing battle against the pandemic.
Federal court strikes down major Trump climate rollback
WASHINGTON (AP) — In a last-minute slap at President Donald Trump, a federal appeals court struck down one of his administration’s most momentous climate rollbacks on Tuesday, saying officials acted illegally in issuing a new rule that eased federal regulation of air pollution from power plants.
'Pharma Bro' Shkreli loses 2nd bid for early prison release
NEW YORK (AP) — That’s another no for the “Pharma Bro.” A federal judge has rejected convicted pharmaceutical executive’s Martin Shkreli’s second request to be let out of prison early, showing skepticism about his claim in court papers that mental health issues have weakened his immune system and made him more susceptible to contracting the coronavirus.
Stores drop MyPillow after CEO pushes election conspiracies
NEW YORK (AP) — The founder and CEO of MyPillow, who amplified President Donald Trump's claims of election fraud, said a backlash against his company has begun after a mob stormed the U.S.
Biden ethics order marks departure from Trump administration
WASHINGTON (AP) — President-elect Joe Biden will issue an executive order after taking office, aimed at reinstating White House ethics standards that were diminished or disregarded by the Trump administration.
FedEx to cut up to 6,300 jobs in Europe over next 18 months
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — FedEx plans to cut up to 6,300 jobs in Europe as it completes the process of combining its own operation with that of a Dutch delivery company it bought in 2016.
GM teams up with Microsoft on driverless cars
SILVER SPRING, Md. (AP) — General Motors is teaming up with Microsoft to accelerate its rollout of electric, self-driving cars. In the partnership announced Tuesday, the companies said Microsoft’s Azure cloud and edge computing platform would be used to “commercialize its unique autonomous vehicle solutions at scale.” Microsoft joins General Motors, Honda and other institutional investors in a combined new equity investment of more than $2 billion in Cruise, bringing its valuation to about $30 billion.
Supreme Court takes on early stage of global warming case
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Tuesday seemed cautious about siding with oil and gas companies in a case involving global warming.
Yellen pushes GOP senators on $1.9 trillion relief package
WASHINGTON (AP) — Janet Yellen, President-elect Joe Biden's choice as Treasury secretary, said Tuesday that the incoming administration would focus on winning quick passage of its $1.9 trillion pandemic relief plan, rejecting Republican arguments that the measure is too big given the size of U.S.
Meghan seeks court ruling over 'serious breach' of privacy
LONDON (AP) — Lawyers for the Duchess of Sussex asked a British judge on Tuesday to settle her lawsuit against a newspaper before it goes to trial by ruling that its publication of a “deeply personal” letter to her estranged father was “a plain and a serious breach of her rights of privacy.” Meghan's latest attempt to protect her privacy laid bare more details of her fraught relationship with her estranged father, who claims he has been “vilified” as a dishonest publicity-seeker.