Business briefing

The daily business briefing: May 7, 2021

A post-Brexit U.K.-France fishing standoff intensifies, Twitter suspends Trump blog account for evading ban, and more

1

Post-Brexit fishing standoff intensifies between U.K., France

A post-Brexit standoff between the U.K. and France over fishing rights intensified on Thursday, as France sent two navy patrol boats to the British Channel Island of Jersey. The move followed Britain's decision to dispatch two of its military ships to the area a day earlier. Before the show of muscle, French Maritime Affairs Minister Annick Girardin told the country's lawmakers that the French government might cut power to Jersey, a tiny self-governing U.K. dependency between England and France. French fishermen are upset about tougher conditions on getting fishing licenses, and a group of French boats staged a protest Thursday in the Jersey port of St. Helier.

2

Twitter suspends Trump blog account for evading ban

Twitter said Thursday that it had suspended an account relaying posts from former President Donald Trump's new blog, on the grounds that it violated the company's rules against sidestepping its bans. Twitter and other social media organizations, including Facebook, blocked Trump's accounts in January over his alleged incitement of the deadly attack on the Capitol by a mob of his supporters seeking to overturn his election loss to President Biden. Facebook is still mulling whether to lift its ban some day, but Twitter made Trump's suspension permanent in the days after the Capitol riot. The new Trump account was @DJTDesk, short for his new "From the Desk of Donald J. Trump" web page.

3

Stock futures rise ahead of report on April job gains

U.S. stock index futures edged higher early Friday ahead of an April jobs report expected to show a pickup in hiring as new coronavirus cases dropped, vaccinations climbed, the economy reopened, and Americans spent coronavirus relief checks. Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which rose to a record high close on Thursday, were up by 0.2 percent several hours before the opening bell. Futures tied to the S&P 500 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq also were up by roughly 0.2 percent. Economists polled by Reuters expected the Labor Department to report that U.S. employers added nearly 1 million workers in April to keep up with a surge in demand. The Labor Department on Thursday reported that jobless claims fell 92,000 last week to 498,000, a pandemic-era low.

4

Biden says compromise possible over corporate tax hike

President Biden said Thursday he was prepared to compromise on the corporate income tax hike he is proposing to help pay for his $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan. Biden has called for raising the rate, which was as high as 35 percent before former President Donald Trump's tax cuts, from 21 percent to 28 percent, but he said in Lake Charles, Louisiana, on Thursday that he was open to setting the rate between 25 percent and 28 percent. "Making sure the largest companies don't pay zero ... and reducing the, the tax cut to between 25 and 28 (percent), it's a couple hundred billion dollars. We can pay for these things," Biden said. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), a key moderate-Democrat swing vote, has said he opposes a 28 percent rate and has proposed 25 percent, instead.

5

Nearly 1 million have enrolled for ObamaCare coverage in special window

About 940,000 Americans enrolled in Affordable Care Act health-insurance coverage during the first 10 weeks of the Biden administration's special open enrollment period that started on Feb. 15, according to data released Thursday by Health and Human Services. Nearly half of those people signed up for ObamaCare coverage in April after Congress approved the latest coronavirus relief package, which added billions of dollars to boost health-insurance subsidies. The extra money reduced the average monthly premium for people signing up for coverage through Healthcare.gov to $86 for those signing up in April, down from $117 in February and March. Four million uninsured Americans now could qualify for plans that wouldn't require them to pay a premium, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

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