The daily business briefing: April 14, 2017

North Korea tensions drag down Asian markets, battered United passenger's lawyer calls his client a "poster child" for industry abuse, and more

Lawyer Thomas Demetrios speaks on behalf of his client Dr. David Dao, who was forcibly removed from an overbooked United Airlines flight.
(Image credit: Scott Olson / Getty Images)

1. North Korea tensions weigh on Asian stocks

Asian stocks fell Friday as investors expressed concern about rising tensions over North Korea. Japan's Nikkei fell by 0.5 percent to a four-month low, and South Korea's Kospi sank by 0.6 percent. News that the U.S. military had dropped its largest non-nuclear weapon in Afghanistan contributed to investor worries. "There's been nothing to cheer about over the last 24 hours. Geopolitical tensions seem to be rising all over the place," said Masahiro Ayukai, senior investment strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities. Many markets, including Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Europe, and the U.S., are closed for Good Friday.


2. Lawyer says United passenger suffered concussion, broken nose

The lawyer for the passenger dragged off a United Airlines flight in Chicago said Thursday that his client, Dr. David Dao, has a concussion and a broken nose and lost two teeth due to the incident. Dao also will require reconstructive surgery and will probably file a lawsuit over the incident, lawyer Thomas Demetrio said in a Chicago news conference, calling Dao a "poster child" for the mistreatment of passengers by airlines. Video of Sunday's incident showed Dao, who is Vietnamese-American, being dragged through the plane aisle as fellow passengers protest. Dao's daughter, Crystal Dao Pepper, said her family was "horrified, shocked, and sickened" by her father's treatment. "What happened to my dad should have never happened to any human being," she said. United CEO Oscar Munoz has apologized and promised an internal review of the company's policy on handling overbooked flights.

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The Associated Press Reuters

3. Trump administration ObamaCare rule shortens enrollment period

The Department of Health and Human Services on Thursday issued a final rule on ObamaCare that shortens the enrollment period and gives insurers flexibility that could raise out-of-pocket medical expenses for consumers, according to health-care experts. The rule, which takes effect later this year, was issued as President Trump and Republicans jumpstart their efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act after their first try failed last month. Insurers welcomed the rule, but said it still didn't do enough to stabilize the system, saying they want assurances from President Trump that the government will continue paying "cost-sharing subsidies" for low-income ObamaCare participants. Trump this week threatened to withhold the $7 billion in annual cost-sharing payments if Democrats don't cooperate on replacing the health-care law, a threat House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called "appalling."

The Washington Post Reuters

4. Musk says Tesla to unveil freight truck in September

Tesla shares jumped by more than 2 percent Thursday after the electric carmaker's CEO, Elon Musk, tweeted that the company hopes to add a freight truck to its lineup this year. "Team has done an amazing job," Musk wrote in the post. "Seriously next level." Musk had already hinted the cargo truck was coming when he released his "Master Plan, Part Deux" in July. The news of the looming unveiling of the Tesla Semi came just months before the launch of Tesla's Model 3, a small sedan that will be its first lower-cost vehicle intended for the masses. Tesla also reportedly plans to introduce a pickup truck in the next 12 to 18 months.


5. Florida inspectors cite Trump club for kitchen violations

Florida restaurant inspectors recently cited President Trump's private club, Mar-a-Lago, for 13 violations in its kitchen, The Miami Herald reported. Three of the problems were deemed "high priority," a sign these violations could result in potentially illness-causing bacteria getting onto plates served in the dining room. The inspectors found potentially dangerous raw fish as well as raw meat being stored at unacceptably warm temperatures in two broken-down coolers. The inspection took place Jan. 26, shortly before Trump hosted Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the club, which has an initiation fee of $200,000. Mar-a-Lago general manager Bernd Lembcke did not return the newspaper's calls for comment.

The Miami Herald

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Harold Maass

Harold Maass is a contributing editor at He has been writing for The Week since the 2001 launch of the U.S. print edition. Harold has worked for a variety of news outlets, including The Miami Herald, Fox News, and ABC News. For several years, he wrote a daily round-up of financial news for The Week and Yahoo Finance. He lives in North Carolina with his wife and two sons.