Business Highlights: YouTube to allow some false claims; Disney judge removes himself from case


YouTube changes policy to allow false claims about past US presidential elections

YouTube says it will stop removing content that falsely claims the 2020 election and other past U.S. presidential elections were marred by widespread fraud, errors or glitches. The Google-owned video service said in a blog post Friday that it wanted to avoid the unintended effect of curtailing political speech without meaningfully reducing the risk of violence or other real-world harm. The updated policy will not stop YouTube from removing material that attempts to deceive voters in future elections, including the upcoming 2024 presidential election. The change comes as YouTube and other major social media companies have come under fire for not doing more to combat election misinformation.


Disney lawsuit judge removes himself from case but not for reasons cited by DeSantis

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A federal judge overseeing the First Amendment lawsuit that Walt Disney Parks filed against Gov. Ron DeSantis and others is disqualifying himself, but not because of bias claims made by the Florida governor. Chief U.S. District Judge Mark Walker said in a court filing Thursday that it was because a relative owns 30 shares of Disney stock. Walker described the person as “a third-degree relative,” which typically means a cousin, a great-aunt or great-uncle, or a great-niece or great-nephew. Disney filed the First Amendment lawsuit against the Florida governor and a DeSantis-appointed board in federal court in Tallahassee after they took over Disney World’s governing board.


Bug in Chase Bank online banking causing double transactions, fees

NEW YORK (AP) — Customers of Chase’s online banking services were seeing double transactions, fees and/or payments in their accounts, with the situation not immediately being resolved as of early afternoon on Friday. Numerous Chase customers were posting on social media that their rent or bill payments were taken out of their accounts twice and reporting hold times with customer service approaching more than an hour.


Stock market today: Wall Street leaps after strong jobs report, Dow rallies 701

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks rushed higher after a strong report on the U.S. job market eased Wall Street’s worries about a possible recession. The S&P 500 jumped 1.5% Friday, while the Dow soared 701 points. The rally brought the S&P 500 nearly 20% above a low hit in October. It’s on the edge of entering a new bull market. The rally built after a report showed unexpectedly strong hiring last month. At the same time, increases for workers’ pay slowed. That could mean the economy remains strong enough to avoid a recession without adding too much upward pressure on inflation.


US hiring jumped last month. So did unemployment. Here’s what that says about the economy.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The nation’s employers stepped up their hiring in May, adding a robust 339,000 jobs, well above expectations and evidence of enduring strength in an economy that the Federal Reserve is desperately trying to cool. Friday’s report from the government reflected the job market’s resilience after more than a year of rapid interest rate increases by the Fed. Many industries, from construction to restaurants to health care, are still adding jobs to keep up with consumer demand and restore their workforces to pre-pandemic levels. Yet there were some mixed messages in the jobs figures, which also showed that the unemployment rate rose to 3.7%, from a five-decade low of 3.4% in April.


Journalists to strike June 5 at the largest US newspaper chain

Journalists across the U.S. will walk off their jobs next week at publications owned by Gannett, the largest newspaper chain in the U.S. Their union said Thursday that the mostly one-day strike will start June 5. It aims to protest the company’s leadership and cost-cutting measures imposed since its 2019 merger with GateHouse Media. It will coincide with Gannett’s annual shareholder meeting. Protesters will urge shareholders to express their lack of confidence in CEO Mike Reed, who has overseen the chain since the merger. Gannett shares have dropped more than 60% since that deal closed amid a tumultuous period for the news business.


Companies reach $1.18 billion deal to resolve claims from ‘forever chemicals’ water contamination

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — Three chemical manufacturing companies have reached a deal to resolve complaints of polluting many U.S. drinking water systems with compounds known as PFAS. DuPont and spinoff companies Chemours and Corteva said Friday they’ll create a $1.18 billion fund that could compensate thousands of public water systems. PFAS chemicals are used widely in nonstick and water-resistant products, as well as some firefighting foams. Many water providers have sued the three DuPont companies and others that made or used the compounds. A federal judge must approve the settlement before it takes effect.


Meta tests blocking news content on Instagram, Facebook for some Canadians

OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) — Meta is preparing to block news for some Canadians on Facebook and Instagram in a temporary test that is expected to last through the end of June. The Silicon Valley tech giant is following in the steps of Google, which earlier this year blocked news content from some of its Canadian users in response to a government bill that will require tech giants to pay publishers for linking to or otherwise repurposing their content online. Meta says it’s prepared to block news permanently on Facebook and Instagram if the bill passes, which the government said could happen this month.


Audit finds National Highway Traffic Safety Administration auto safety defect probes take too long

DETROIT (AP) — A government audit has found that the U.S. agency charged with keeping the roads safe is slow to investigate automobile safety defects, limiting its ability to handle rapidly changing or severe risks. In addition, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Office of Defects Investigation doesn’t have an integrated computer system for its probes. The audit made public Thursday from the Department of Transportation’s Inspector General found that the office has made progress in restructuring and modernizing its data and analysis systems. But it found that weaknesses in meeting the office’s own goals for timely investigations increase possible delays in probing important safety issues.


How Biden and McCarthy struck a debt limit deal and staved off a catastrophe

WASHINGTON (AP) — Perhaps most critical to locking up the debt limit deal were President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s five handpicked negotiators, three men and two women unknown to most outside government. They were tasked to work out an agreement between Biden and McCarthy — with no direct involvement by any other members of Congress. That advice to “shrink the room” and avoid lawmakers’ constant sniping was on the advice delivered in part by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. The outcome provides a tale of an underestimated House speaker and a president who tuned out the noise even from his own party to ensure a default would not happen on his watch.


The S&P 500 rose 61.35 points, or 1.5%, to 4,282.37. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 701.19 points, or 2.1%, to 33,762.76. The Nasdaq composite rose 139.78 points, or 1.1% to 13,240.77. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies rose 62.97 points, or 3.6%, to 1,830.91.

Copyright © 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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