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Business Highlights: Rental assistance, cybersecurity – Associated Press

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Feds report most rental assistance has still not gone out
BOSTON (AP) — Only 11% of the tens of billions of dollars in federal rent assistance meant to help tenants around the country avoid eviction has been distributed. The latest data from the Treasury Department, which oversees the program, shows that the pace of distribution increased in July over June and that nearly a million households have been helped. But with landlords challenging a federal eviction moratorium in court, the concern is that a wave of evictions will happen before much of the assistance has been distributed. Lawmakers approved $46.5 billion in spending on rental assistance and most states are now distributing the first tranche of $25 billion.
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Biden tackles cybersecurity with tech, finance leaders
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is meeting with top executives from some of the country’s leading technology companies and financial institutions as the White House urges the private sector to help toughen cybersecurity defenses against increasingly sophisticated attacks. Wednesday’s summit comes during a relentless stretch of ransomware attacks that have targeted critical infrastructure, in some cases with attackers extorting multimillion-dollar payments from major corporations, as well as other illicit cyber operations that U.S. authorities have linked to foreign hackers. Though ransomware is one focus of Wednesday’s gathering, a senior administration official said the purpose of the meeting is broader and centered at identifying the “root causes of malicious cyber activities.”
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Delta will charge unvaccinated employees $200 per month
ATLANTA (AP) — Delta Air Lines won’t force employees to get vaccinated, but it’s going to make unvaccinated workers pay a $200 monthly charge. Delta said Wednesday that it will also require weekly testing for unvaccinated employees starting next month, although the airline says it’ll pick up the cost of that testing. Delta isn’t going as far as United Airlines, which will require employees to get vaccinated by late September or face termination. Both Delta and United require new hires to be vaccinated. Other airlines are encouraging workers to get the shots, but they’re not requiring it.
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Modest gains produce more record highs for S&P 500, Nasdaq
NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks pushed higher again on Wall Street Wednesday, marking more milestones for the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq. The S&P 500 added another 0.2%, its fifth gain in a row. Banks and energy companies led the way higher. Banks benefited from an increase in bond yields, which allow them to charge higher interest rates on loans. JPMorgan Chase climbed 2.1%. Trading has been subdued this week as company earnings reports wind down and traders wait to see if any news emerges from a Federal Reserve conference later this week. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 1.35%.
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OnlyFans reverses explicit content ban after outcry
NEW YORK (AP) — OnlyFans says it has suspended a plan to ban sexually explicit content following an outcry from its creators and advocates for sex workers. The company says the ban is no longer required because of assurances from its banking partners. OnlyFans had said last week that it would ban explicit content starting Oct. 1, and blamed requirements of banks and payment processors for the policy change. Many creators threatened to leave for other websites. Advocates criticized OnlyFans’ planned ban, saying it could put sex workers at greater risk if they don’t have an online outlet.
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Purdue: Settlement better for states than continuing suits
NEW YORK (AP) — A Purdue Pharma lawyer says states would get more money from settling with the company than if they were allowed to continue their lawsuits against the OxyContin maker and members of the Sackler family who own it. The warning came Wednesday as part of the final day of a weeks-long hearing over whether a judge should approve a plan to settle some 3,000 lawsuits over opioids through the bankruptcy process. Purdue says if lawsuits were allowed to continue, there would be less money to go around. But a lawyer for some states says it’s possible Sackler family members could be made to pay more.
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New Asian American bakeries find bicultural sweet spot
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — From ube cakes to mochi muffins, bakeries that sweetly encapsulate what it is to grow up Asian and American have been popping up more in recent years. Their confections are a delectable vehicle for young and intrepid Asian Americans to celebrate their dual identity. Ingredients they found embarrassing as children are being combined with European or traditional American pastries into something new. Treats like dim sum cookies and mochi muffins aren’t going to be found in any bakery in Asia. Some of the bakers see their stores as a way to dispel culinary and societal misconceptions — especially in a time of rising ant-Asian hate crimes.
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Asian, Black Americans more likely to give to racial justice
NEW YORK (AP) — A report released on Wednesday says donations to racial and social justice causes ticked up to 16% of American households in 2020. The bump in giving came as donors raced to provide support to affected communities in a year marked by protests and increased attention on racism in America. The study by Indiana University’s Lilly School of Philanthropy found all demographic groups contributed to the increase. Though, it says Asian American and Black households were more likely to donate to such causes. The study found contributions flowed from nearly a third of Asian American households and 19% of Black households.
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The S&P 500 gained 9.96 points, or 0.2%, to 4,496.19. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 39.24 points, or 0.1%, to 35,405.50. The Nasdaq added 22.06 points, or 0.1%, to 15,041.86, The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies rose 8.36 points, or 0.4%, to 2,239.27.

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