Business Highlights: Biden confident on budget deal; Target wrestles with spending pullback, theft

Biden says that 'America won't default' and is confident about a budget agreement with GOP lawmakers

WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) - President Joe Biden says he is confident that the U.S. won't experience an unprecedented and potentially disastrous debt default. He said talks with Republican members of Congress have been fruitful. Biden's remarks came as he was leaving for a global meeting in Japan. He will return on Sunday to try and approve a final agreement. Biden told reporters in the Roosevelt Room at the White House, 'I am confident that we will reach an agreement on the budget. America won't default.' He added that he and legislators will work together "because there is no alternative." Kevin McCarthy, the Speaker, agreed with him, but he was more combative. He said that Biden 'finally back off' and came to the table for negotiations.

BP subsidiary agrees with $40M penalty, pollution reduction measures at Lake Michigan refinery

TRAVERSE, Mich. (AP), -- Federal officials have announced that a BP affiliate will pay a penalty of $40 million and install technology at its Whiting refinery to control the release benzene. The civil case filed against BP Products North America Inc. will be settled by the actions announced on Wednesday. The U.S. Department of Justice filed the lawsuit, along with the Environmental Protection Agency. The Clean Air Act has never imposed a penalty so large for pollution caused by a building. The company will also invest $197 million into improvements. Officials claimed that the refinery near Chicago on Lake Michigan violated pollution standards.

Twitter purges inactive accounts, including those of people who have passed away. This angers those still grieving.

WASHINGTON, AP -- Elon Musk announced that Twitter will be 'purging accounts that have not had any activity for several years'. People were outraged by the move, fearing that they would lose tweets belonging to now-inactive users. This included accounts of deceased users. Users reported that profiles of deceased loved ones had disappeared or displayed a message saying 'account suspension'. Twitter implemented a similar policy in 2019 and faced the same backlash.

Target is struggling with theft and a pullback in purchases that could cost the retailer over $1B this year

NEW YORK, NY (AP) - Target reported a second quarterly profit decline. The retailer also issued a cautious outlook on sales and profits for the current quarter. Discounter Target is dealing with higher costs and more cautious consumers. Target's first-quarter fiscal results on Wednesday exceeded Wall Street expectations, and the company reaffirmed its sales and profit projections for this year. Target is one of the first major U.S. retail chains to announce first-quarter results. Retail analysts will examine how high inflation and tight credit affect shoppers.

Elizabeth Holmes' 11-year sentence will begin on May 30, after she lost her bid to stay free

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (AP) - Disgraced Theranos chief executive Elizabeth Holmes will be free until Memorial Day before turning herself in to authorities on 30 May. This would mark the beginning of her 11-year sentence for fraudulating investors in a blood testing scam. Holmes' lawyers had proposed the date in a filing on Wednesday. A federal judge then set it. The federal appeals court rejected Holmes' request to stay out of prison as she attempts to overturn four felony fraud and conspiracy counts. A $452 million fine is also part of the punishment. When she goes to prison, Holmes, 39 years old will be leaving behind two small children.

EPA rules would require the cleanup of toxic waste dumped close to coal-fired plants

WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) - The Environmental Protection Agency has strengthened a rule aimed to control and clean up toxic wastes from coal-fired plants. A proposal released Wednesday would mandate safe management of coal-ash disposed in older landfills, "legacy" ponds, and other inactive locations that are currently unregulated by the federal government. Michael Regan, EPA Administrator, said that the plan will hold polluters responsible for cleaning and controlling coal ash. This is a by-product of coal burning, which can pollute drinking water, groundwater and air, and has been associated with cancer and other health issues. The plan comes after an EPA proposal to impose new greenhouse gas emission limits from coal- and gasoline-fired power stations.

Minnesota legislators strengthen quota protections to warehouse workers

Minnesota lawmakers passed a bill to provide greater protections for warehouse workers that have to meet productivity targets. This is a measure aimed at employees of companies such as Amazon. The protections were part of a larger omnibus bill that was passed by the Minnesota Senate on Tuesday night, 34-33. The House passed it 70-61. The bill requires employers to give each warehouse worker a written description about any quotas. It prohibits employers, among other things, from taking adverse action against workers who fail to meet a given quota.

The abortion pill case is headed to the Supreme Court after it moves from appeals court

NEW ORLEANS, LA (AP) - Appellate Judges with a long history of supporting restrictions on abortion are hearing arguments about access to the drug that is used for the most common form of abortion. This case will likely end up in the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court has already intervened in order to keep mifepristone available for the duration of the legal battle. Three 5th U.S. Three judges of the 5th U.S. The FDA's initial approval for mifepristone was in 2000. Also at issue is FDA's actions to make the drug more available in subsequent years. The judges will not rule immediately.

Biden administration invests heavily in carbon capture and puts pressure on industries to produce results

The Biden Administration announced an investment of 251 million dollars in carbon storage and capture projects in seven different states. The goal is to reduce the pollution that causes climate change. The announcement came a week following the Environmental Protection Agency's new limits on greenhouse gases from power plants, which could force them into carbon capture and storage in order to reduce emissions. The EPA claims that carbon capture is a technology that has been 'adequately proven' to reduce pollution. However, many people, including U.S. Climate Envoy John Kerry, still doubt whether it can be used at large scale.

The S&P 500 increased 48.87 points or 1.2% to 4,158.77. The Dow Jones Industrial Average increased by 408.63 points or 1.2% to 33,420.77. The Nasdaq Composite rose 157.51 or 1.3%, to 12,500.57. The Russell 2000 index for smaller companies rose by 38.32 points or 2.2% to 1,774.50.