Investors eye talks between Russia and Ukraine
UNDATED (AP) — Asian shares have mostly gained as investors eye talks between Ukraine and Russia aimed at trying to end the war. The two sides only agreed to keep talking. Benchmarks were higher in Tokyo, Sydney and Shanghai. Hong Kong fell and markets were closed in South Korea for a holiday. U.S. futures edged lower and oil prices rose. Surging oil prices and increasing financial pressure from the U.S. and allies on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine are adding to uncertainty about the global economic outlook. Russia is one of the world’s largest energy producers. Shares were mixed on Wall Street.
A free-for-all but no crippling cyberattacks in Ukraine war
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Russia has some of the best hackers in the world, but in the early days of the war in Ukraine, its ability to create mayhem through malware hasn’t had much of a noticeable impact.
Instead, it’s Ukraine that’s marshalled sympathetic volunteer hackers in an unprecedented collective global effort to make the Kremlin pay for making war on its neighbor. It’s a kind of cyber free-for-all that experts say risks escalating a moment already fraught with extraordinary danger after Russian President Vladimir Putin put his nuclear forces on alert.
So far, Ukraine’s internet mostly works, its president still able to rally global support via a smartphone, and its power plants and other critical infrastructure still able to function. The kind of devastating cyberattacks thought likely to accompany a large-scale Russian military invasion haven’t happened.
SpaceX’s Starlink satellite internet service arrives in Ukraine
LOS ANGELES — Ukraine’s minister of digital transformation says equipment to use SpaceX’s Starlink satellite internet service has arrived in his country.
Mykhailo Fedorov thanked SpaceX founder Elon Musk for the equipment in a Twitter post Monday that was accompanied by a photo of boxes on the back of a truck.
Musk replied with his own tweet saying: “You are most welcome.”
The tech billionaire said over the weekend that Starlink was now “active” in Ukraine and more equipment to use it was on the way. That followed a public request from Fedorov for the service.
Starlink is a satellite-based internet system that SpaceX has been building for years to bring internet access to underserved areas of the world. It markets itself as “ideally suited” for areas where internet service is unreliable or unavailable.
Hollywood halts releases in Russia, including ‘The Batman’
NEW YORK (AP) — Warner Bros. is halting the release of “The Batman” in Russia, just days before it was to open in theaters there, as Hollywood moved to cease distribution plans following the invasion of Ukraine. Warner Bros. the Walt Disney Co. and Sony said Monday that they would “pause” the release of their films in Russia.
The studios have significant upcoming releases that had been set to debut internationally in the coming weeks. “The Batman,” one of the year’s more anticipated films, launches Friday in North America and many overseas territories, including Russia.
Disney had planned to open the Pixar film “Turning Red” in Russia on March 10, while Sony’s next big release is “Morbius.”
BEIJING (AP) — Two surveys show Chinese manufacturing grew weakly in February, hampered by supply disruptions, anti-virus controls and lackluster global demand.
A purchasing managers’ index issued by a Chinese business magazine, Caixin, improved to 50.4 from January’s 49.1 on a 100-point scale on which numbers above 50 show activity increasing. A separate PMI issued by the Chinese statistics agency and an industry group edged up to 50.2 from 50.1. Both surveys showed production accelerating while export orders contracted. Anti-disease measures have disrupted manufacturing and consumer spending. They have imposed restrictions as severe as confining families to their homes in areas with a total of as many as 20 million people.
Toyota to resume Japan production after virus hits supplier
TOKYO (AP) — Production will resume Wednesday at all of Toyota’s 14 plants in Japan after they were idled for a day due to a cyberattack on a domestic supplier. Kojima Industries said it found a virus in its computer server and it was investigating. Toyota spokeswoman Shiori Hashimoto says the server problem was not yet resolved but the two companies had devised alternative ways to operate.
Kojima supplies Toyota with many parts including air-conditioning, steering wheel components and other items for vehicles’ interiors and exteriors. It said the physical mechanics of production were not affected by the virus.
Investors flee Lordstown again on thin Endurance forecast
SILVER SPRING, Md. (AP) — Shares in Lordstown Motors has taken another beating after the troubled electric truck maker revealed an underwhelming forecast for truck deliveries — one that would depend on raising more money and finalizing an partnership agreement with the manufacturer Foxconn.
Lordstown stock, which traded above $30 per share just a year ago, skidded 20% Monday to $2.57 per share after the company said it expected to produce just 3,000 of its flagship electric trucks, Endurance, before the end of 2023.
That’s a paltry figure for a company that has to compete with giants like General Motors and Ford, as well as startups flush with cash.
CALIFORNIA OIL SPILL LAWSUIT
Houston oil company sues over California pipeline leak
HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. (AP)— A Houston-based oil company has sued two container ship operators and an organization that oversees marine traffic, saying they failed to prevent last fall’s underwater pipeline leak off the Southern California coast.
Amplify Energy Corp., which owns the pipeline that ruptured, filed the complaint Monday. It claims that in January 2021 two ships dragged their anchors across the pipeline that ferried crude from offshore oil platforms to the coast. The federal court filing also accuses the Marine Exchange of Southern California of failing to route the ships to deeper waters before an impending storm. Amplify already faces various lawsuits over the spill and a criminal charge.
The huge sell-off in shares of Lordstown Monday took place as the stock of other electrical vehicle makers soared on fears that a widening conflict with Russia over Ukraine would lead to a spike in gasoline prices.
GENERAL MOTORS-CRUISE CEO
GM says Cruise robo-car unit will be helmed by founder Vogt
DETROIT (AP) — General Motors says Kyle Vogt will take over as CEO of its Cruise autonomous vehicle subsidiary, which he helped found in 2013. A GM representative confirmed what Vogt posted on Twitter, that he had “once again” accepted the job as CEO of Cruise.
He replaces Dan Ammann. The Detroit automaker announced in December that Ammann was leaving the company to be replaced by Vogt as interim CEO at Cruise. Cruise is operating a small fleet of autonomous-vehicle in San Francisco that it opened to the general public at the beginning of February.
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