Skip to main contentSkip to main content

    Munich Re, one of the world’s biggest insurance companies, says it will stop backing new oil and gas fields beginning next April. The company said it will also no longer invest in or insure new oil pipelines and power plants that weren’t already under construction by Dec. 31, 2022. The company said Thursday the moves were part of its effort to reduce the harmful impact its business has on the environment. The burning of oil and gas is one of the main sources of greenhouses gases fueling climate change. It also invests the insurance premiums it receives from customers and third-party assets, making it a major institutional investor.

      Eleven people working for a leading turkey producer have been charged with animal cruelty in Pennsylvania after state police said they were caught on video kicking, stomping and beating turkeys at several farms. Pennsylvania State Police said Thursday that the Plainville Farms workers were responsible for capturing and crating turkeys destined for slaughter. An undercover investigator for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals worked on a crew and captured graphic video showing workers appearing to mistreat the birds. Pennsylvania-based Plainville Farms says it has “zero tolerance” for such acts and has fired the implicated employees.

        A fire broke out late Wednesday at an Amazon facility in upstate New York that’s voting in a union election next week. Amazon is calling the incident a small fire, and says it was contained to a compactor located just outside the doors of a loading dock. Police in Schodack, the town where the facility is located, say the fire was likely caused by mechanical failure. Police say workers were evacuated and no injuries were reported. The company sent employees home with pay and has canceled the day shift on Thursday. The incident at the warehouse follows two other fires at Amazon facilities this week.

          Oil cartel OPEC and its allies are cutting production. And that means oil prices are likely going up. The OPEC+ alliance says they're trying to support prices against future sagging demand from an uncertain and slowing global economy. Saudi Arabia's energy minister says the alliance is bringing stability to the oil market. Yet high oil prices are contributing to fears of a slowdown and have been criticized by Washington. Meanwhile, supply could take another hit as the U.S. and allies try to impose a price cap on Russian oil to reduce the money flowing into Moscow’s war chest after it invaded Ukraine.

          Germans are using too much gas now to avoid a potential energy shortage this winter. That's the warning delivered Thursday by the head of Germany’s national network regulator. He says “gas consumption increased by too much last week." There has been a reduction in natural gas flows from Russia amid the war in Ukraine. And German officials have urged citizens to cut back on gas usage and conserve energy heading into the colder months. But figures from the national network regulator show gas usage was nearly 10% higher last week than the average consumption from 2018 to 2021.

          Under the watchword “Every gesture counts,” France's government has launched an energy-saving drive to get the country through the winter without gas from Russia. The French government's push for “energy sobriety,” which ministers launched Thursday, is also aimed to speeding France closer to European Union targets of reaching climate neutrality by 2050. To ward off any gas or electricity shortages in the coming winter months, the government is aiming for a swift 10% reduction in France's energy use with its raft of energy-saving measures and tips. French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne says “It’s a new way of thinking and acting.”

          The International Monetary Fund is once again lowering its projections for global economic growth in 2023. It is projecting world economic growth lower by $4 trillion through 2026. Kristalina Georgieva, managing director of the IMF, told an audience at Georgetown University on Thursday that “things are more likely to get worse before it gets better.” She says the Russian invasion of Ukraine that began in February has dramatically changed the IMF’s outlook on the economy. Georgieva said the institution downgraded its global growth projections already three times, to 3.2% for 2022 and now 2.9% for 2023.

          French President Emmanuel Macron says his government doesn't support building a new pipeline to pump natural gas between the Iberian Peninsula and the rest of Europe despite the continent’s energy crisis. European Union countries have struggled during the war in Ukraine to find common ground on how to wean the bloc off its reliance on Russian gas. Spain is pushing to build another, larger gas pipeline to France. But Macron said Thursday that existing pipelines between Spain and France are only being used at 50% to 60% of their capacity. In response, the Spanish government cited different figures to demonstrate the need for the project.

          Affiliate

          Elon Musk’s monthslong tussle with Twitter took another twist this week after the Tesla billionaire seemed to return to where he started in April — offering to buy the company for $44 billion. But it’s not over yet. Twitter says it intends to close the deal at the agreed-upon price, but the two sides are still booked for an Oct. 17 trial in Delaware over Musk’s earlier attempts to terminate the deal. On Wednesday, the judge presiding over the case said she will continue to press on toward the trial because neither side has formally moved to stop it.

          When the Nobel Peace Prize is announced on Friday, it could provide a boost for a grassroots activist or international group working for peace and human rights. But it doesn’t always work out that way. For the two journalists who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2021, the past year has not been easy. Dmitry Muratov of Russia and Maria Ressa of the Philippines have been fighting for the survival of their news organizations, defying government efforts to silence them. Muratov saw the situation for independent media in Russia turn from bad to worse following the Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine. In the Philippines, the legal travails of Ressa and her news website Rappler have not eased.

          Amazon will hire 150,000 full-time, part-time and seasonal employees across its warehouses ahead of the holiday season. The announcement, made Thursday, shows the e-commerce behemoth is taking a less conservative approach to its holiday planning than Walmart. Walmart said last month it would hire 40,000 U.S. workers for the holidays, compared to 150,000 in 2021. Amazon typically beefs up its operations during the holidays. It was looking for the same number of seasonal employees last year. Amazon’s other competitors, UPS and Target, have said their holiday hiring plans will also remain in line with the prior year.

          Homelessness is expected to be up when the federal government releases results from an annual count in coming months, the first full tally since the coronavirus pandemic began. Experts say that with the end of pandemic relief measures that kept many people housed, the crisis is deepening. But the story is not uniform across the U.S. In two high-rent state capitals, the numbers have been moving in opposite directions. In Boston, where there’s been improvement, officials credit a strategy of targeting housing to people who have long been on the streets. In Sacramento, California, people are becoming homeless faster than they can be housed.

          Homelessness is expected to be up when the federal government releases results from an annual count in coming months, the first full tally since the coronavirus pandemic began. Experts say with the end of pandemic relief measures that kept many people housed, the crisis is deepening. But the story is not uniform across the U.S. In two high-rent state capitals, the numbers have been moving in opposite directions. In Boston, where there's been improvement, officials credit a strategy of targeting housing to people who have long been on the streets. In Sacramento, California, people are becoming homeless faster than they can be housed.

          Have you ever thought about who your bank does business with using your money in checking or savings as loans to those businesses?

          PennyWise Podcast host Teri Barr is talking with Chanelle Bessette, a banking expert with NerdWallet, to learn why more Americans want to deal with banks considered socially conscious.

          Bessette explains what it means, and how you can find out if your bank is using your money to make loans to businesses that matter to you.

          She'll also share details to find a socially conscious bank that matches what you care about as a customer and community member.

          Learn more about what to ask if you want a socially conscious bank at the brand new hub from NerdWallet here: https://www.nerdwallet.com/l/ethical-finance

          More from Chanelle Bessette on PennyWise:

          The latest from Chanelle Bessette at NerdWallet:

          Support the show: https://omny.fm/shows/pennywise

          See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

          Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.

          Topics

          News Alerts

          Breaking News