Business Highlights: Flight Cancellations, Hyundai-Kia Investigation


NEW YORK (AP) – Flight cancellations that disrupted vacation travel extended through Monday, with major U.S. airlines each canceling dozens of flights. Staff calling sick from COVID-19, especially since the emergence of the omnicron variant, have left airlines short in recent days. According to FlightAware, which tracks flight cancellations, airlines have canceled about 4,000 flights to, from or within the United States since Friday. Delta, United, JetBlue and American have all said the coronavirus is causing staff problems, and European and Australian airlines have also canceled holiday season flights because staff were infected, but the weather and others factors also played a role.


U.S. Steps Up Investigation into Hyundai-Kia Engine Failures and Fires

DETROIT (AP) – U.S. auto safety regulators have stepped up a series of investigations into the engine fires that have plagued Hyundai and Kia vehicles for more than six years. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says a new technical analysis investigation covers more than 3 million vehicles from the 2011 to 2016 model years. The agency has received 161 complaints of engine fires, some of which have occurred in vehicles that had already been recalled. Engine failures and fires have plagued Korean automakers’ vehicles since September 2015, when the company issued an engine failure recall. Since then, it has issued at least eight more recalls for a host of engine issues, according to NHTSA documents posted on its website on Monday. Hyundai said on Monday that it is fully cooperating with US regulators.


Outlets affected by declining public interest in news in 2021

NEW YORK (AP) – The measures are ugly for many TV, digital and print news organizations: After record commitment figures in 2020, many people are cutting back on their news consumption. To a large extent, this was predictable with the presidential election, the pandemic, and racial calculus making headlines the year before. Cable news and digital sites, in particular, face a dramatic drop in interest in political news after being a major draw in 2020. Local newspapers continue to shut down, but one expert says 2021 shows many are progressing in the transition from a printed business model to a digital model.


Bulgarian buyers find bargains in Turkey as the pound struggles

EDIRNE, Turkey (AP) – Bulgarian shoppers cross Turkey’s western border in crowded cars and buses, taking advantage of the weaker Turkish lira to fuel their own shopping sprees. Their first stop is the bureau de change, then they head to the markets and grocery stores in the northwest town of Edirne. Turkey is in the throes of an economic crisis with official inflation figures above 21%, affecting the prices of food, fuel and household items. The pound experienced its most volatile month in December, declining almost daily and finally hitting an all-time low of 18.36 against the US dollar on December 20. The pound has since rebounded, but although it remains cheap for Bulgarians, Turkish buyers have been lining up in the cold to buy bread.


Polish President veto media bill targeting US company

WARSAW, Poland (AP) – The Polish president has said he has decided to veto a media bill that would have forced US company Discovery to give up its majority share of Polish television network TVN. President Andrzej Duda noted on Monday that the bill was unpopular with many Poles and would have damaged Poland’s reputation as a place of business. Many Poles saw the bill as an attempt to silence a broadcaster that broadcasts independent and often critical reports of the authorities. The bill was pushed by the ruling Law and Justice party with which Duda is aligned. There have been recent nationwide mass protests in support of the station and freedom of expression in general.


Judge considers reducing truck driver’s 110-year sentence

GOLDEN, Colo. (AP) – A judge was scheduled to consider on Monday a request by prosecutors to reduce a trucker’s 110-year prison sentence for an explosive crash that killed four people in suburban Denver. The sentence against Rogel Aguilera-Mederos has sparked outrage across the country and among truck drivers, with around 5 million people signing an online petition asking for his pardon. In addition to the prosecution’s request to lower the sentence, Aguilera-Mederos sought mercy from Colorado Governor Jared Polis. Last week, District Attorney Alexis King said she would seek a sentence of 20 to 30 years in the 2019 crash.


Federal program offers money to cover COVID-19 funeral costs

BOSTON (AP) – Families who have lost loved ones to COVID-19 can claim federal reimbursement of up to $ 9,000 to cover funeral costs. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has spent nearly $ 1.5 billion on funeral reimbursements since January 20, 2020, the date of the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in the United States. As of December 6, 226,000 people have received money. With more than 800,000 deaths attributed to COVID-19 in the United States, it is clear that many families eligible for reimbursement have yet to take advantage of the benefit.


The S&P 500 gained 65.40 points, or 1.4%, to 4,791.19. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 351.82 points, or 1%, to 36,302.38. The Nasdaq rose 217.89 points, or 1.4%, to 15,871.26. The Russell 2000 Small Business Index rose 19.88 points, or 0.9%, to 2,261.46.


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