Business Highlights: Fed chair hints at rate hike pause; Talks to avoid US default at standstill

When the central bank meets in a month, Powell, Federal Reserve Chair, will hint at a possible pause on rate hikes

WASHINGTON, AP -- Jerome Powell said that the Federal Reserve is likely to forgo a rise in its benchmark rate at its June meeting for the first since it started raising the rate 14 months ago in order to combat high inflation. Powell's announcement clarified the Fed policy after the cacophony this week of central bank speeches had clouded things. Powell, who was referring to the Fed’s 10 consecutive rate hikes, said that they can now afford to carefully assess the data, the changing outlook, and make careful assessments.

Debt Limit Talks Stall as Republicans and White House Face 'Real Differences'

WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) - Debt limit negotiations came to a sudden halt after Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy announced that it was time to pause the talks. White House officials acknowledged that'real differences are' making the talks difficult. Wall Street fell Friday in response to the latest developments. The exact date of the next round of talks is not known. Biden's government is rushing to reach a deal with Republicans, as the country careens towards a potential catastrophic default on its debt if it fails to pay. McCarthy claims that cutting government spending is the 'easy way' to solve this problem.

More cases of vision loss and death linked to contaminated eyedrops

NEW YORK, NY (AP) - U.S. officials report another death as well as several cases of vision impairment linked to eyedrops contaminated with a drug resistant bacteria. According to the government, 81 people are now infected with this bacteria. Four people have died and 14 have lost their vision. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated the case count on Friday. The bacteria that is causing the outbreak is resistant to standard anti-biotics.

Detroit's enclave built around auto industry struggles with $20M water debt

HIGHLAND PARK (AP) -- A small enclave in Detroit is considering municipal bankruptcies to get rid of a water debt dating back decades. The debt has grown to $20 million, and it threatens to overwhelm the city's already struggling finances. Highland Park and Great Lakes Water Authority have been ordered to enter into court-ordered mediatory over the payment of the debt. Highland Park has taken a blow in its decline. The city was founded a century earlier on the strength the auto industry in the area. In 1930, it had over 50,000 residents. The city has fewer than 9000 residents and only 12 million dollars in revenue is expected for the next fiscal year.

San Francisco officials are investigating whether Elon Musk's plan for a 'Twitter Hotel,' violated laws

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (AP) -- San Francisco authorities are investigating Twitter. Six former employees claim that Elon Musk and his leadership team violated laws when they turned the company's HQ into a "Twitter Hotel" for workers who had to work late in order to transform the social networking platform. San Francisco Department of Building Inspection has announced that it will investigate the allegations. The ex-employees had filed a lawsuit in Delaware alleging that Twitter did not pay promised severance, and also violated many building codes.

Over 30 million US motorists don't even know if they are at risk of a rare, but deadly airbag explosion

DETROIT (AP). More than 33,000,000 people in the United States drive vehicles with airbag inflators, which in rare cases may explode and spew shrapnel in an accident. Few people know this. They are unlikely to learn about it anytime soon due to a dispute between federal regulators and ARC Automotive, a manufacturer of airbag parts. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has demanded that ARC Automotive, of Knoxville in Tennessee, recall 67,000,000 inflators. These could explode so violently that they can blow apart a metal container and release shrapnel. But ARC refuses to comply, setting up a potential court battle with the agency.

AP-NORC survey: Most respondents support raising the debt limit and reducing deficits, but only a few closely follow the debate.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) - A new survey finds that the majority of Americans are very concerned about the impact on the economy if the debt ceiling is not increased and the government cannot pay its debts. According to a study by The Associated Press and the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, this is what most Americans think. Six in ten adults in the poll said they wanted any increase in debt limits to be accompanied by agreed-upon conditions for reducing the deficit in the federal budget. Americans are also more likely to disapprove of the way President Joe Biden, and congressional negotiators from both parties, are handling negotiations.

Kia and Hyundai settle a class-action suit after a spate of thefts caused by a security flaw

WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) - Hyundai Motor America and Kia America have settled a class action lawsuit triggered by a spike in vehicle thefts. The settlement, which could reach $200 million in value and cover about 9 million Hyundai and Kia models from 2011-2022 in the U.S., is estimated by the companies. These cars do not have push-button starters or anti-theft immobilizing devices. This has made it easy for thieves to steal the cars using only a USB cable and a screwdriver. The total settlement will be determined by how many customers take part.

Montana's first law to ban the app TikTok has led to a lawsuit by TikTok creators.

(AP) - Five TikTok creators filed a suit to stop a ban of the video sharing application in Montana. In a complaint filed on Wednesday in Missoula federal court, they argued that the law violated their right to free speech. Also, they claim that the state has no authority in matters of national safety. The Republican Governor Greg Gianforte, who signed the bill Wednesday, said that it would protect Montanans' personal data and private information from being harvested and used by the Chinese government. The ban will take effect Jan. 1, 2024.

Disney World's "Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser" hotel will close

LAKE BUENA VISTA (AP) - Disney World's Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser hotel will be closing its doors at the end September. The Florida hotel opened in March of 2022, and allows guests to create and live immersive 'Star Wars adventures. The cost of a two-night trip is nearly $5,000 for couples. The company claims that its 'premium boutique experience' allowed it to test new things in a smaller setting. It will use what it learned to create future experiences for more guests and fans.

The S&P500 fell 6.07 points or 0.1% to 4,191.98. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 109.28 or 0.3% to 33,426.63. The Nasdaq Composite fell 30.94 or 0.2%, to 12,657.90. Russell 2000, an index of smaller companies, fell 11.14 points or 0.6% to 1,773.72.