Japanese court rules nuclear power plant cannot reopen without better tsunami protections



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Tired of talking to a machine when calling the bank or the power company? The Spanish government wants to put an end to these one-sided, nerve-wracking conversations with a computerized voicemail service by forcing companies to offer a real, flesh-and-blood customer service employee at the request of a caller. It’s part of a battery of measures included in a customer service bill introduced by Spain’s left-wing coalition government on Tuesday. The bill will need to be approved by the Spanish Parliament before it can become law. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


Most Borrowers Made No Payments During the Pandemic

A majority of borrowers who together hold about $400 billion in federal student debt have made no payments on their loans in the pandemic era, taking full advantage of a freeze put in place at the start of the crisis of COVID-19. Data from the Federal Reserve shows that 60% of borrowers eligible for forbearance made no payments from August 2020 to December 2021. The US central bank, in a paper published Friday, suggested that some of those 11, 5 million borrowers may not be able to start paying again once the freeze is lifted. Forbearance on payments and interest is set to end on August 31 after being extended several times by the Trump and Biden administrations. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Eurozone inflation at record high

Eurozone inflation hit a record 8.1% in May amid soaring energy and food prices fueled in part by Russia’s war in Ukraine. Annual inflation in the 19 countries that use the euro has surpassed the previous record of 7.4% reached in March and April, according to the latest figures published on Tuesday by the European Union’s statistics agency, Eurostat. Inflation in the euro zone is now at its highest level since record-keeping for the euro began in 1997. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


South Africa has a jobs plan for one-third of the unemployed labor force

South Africa’s presidency has unveiled a draft plan to attract more investment to help grow the coronavirus-battered economy and create jobs for the 34.5% of its unemployed labor force. Major industries targeted for investment include finance, insurance, real estate, business services, logistics, manufacturing, mining, power, water and agriculture. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Blackstone targets Europe’s wealthy with private credit fund

Blackstone is testing a new way to bring in money from Europe’s wealthy. If successful, the private equity powerhouse is poised to lure billions into the fast-growing and risky world of private credit. Regulators last week approved Blackstone’s application to set up a private credit fund in Europe with a structure similar to an open-ended mutual fund. The main difference is that it can operate in perpetuity, unlike traditional private loan funds which have a fixed lifespan. For Blackstone, that means money can be recycled into new investments as loans are repaid, promising a steady stream of fees for managers. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


BNP Paribas will hire thousands of people in France

BNP Paribas has announced plans to hire up to 7,000 people in France this year as the lender implements a strategy to drive growth through technology and sustainable finance. The recruiting effort will focus on retail and enterprise services, IT and support functions, as part of its strategy through 2025, the bank said in a statement on Tuesday. Some 3,000 of those positions will be permanent with the rest going to apprentices and interns, the bank said. BNP is also booming in Asia, seeking to expand its wealth management offering through its Singapore and Hong Kong hubs. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


More houses for sale

Good news for homebuyers: More homes are coming on the market, according to a recent report by real estate agent.com. Active listings, which refer to all homes on the market during a given time period, rose 5% in the week ending May 14, compared to the same week in 2021, the biggest jump since March 2019. New listings, which first refer to homes put on the market in a given period, rose 6% that week, compared to the same week in 2021 Typically, May is the month with the highest number of new registrations, according to real estate agent.com. However, even with rising inventory, buyers only have two homes to consider for every five homes available before the pandemic, according to real estate agent.comthe analysis of. — WASHINGTON POST


Japanese companies could be required to disclose the gender pay gap

Japan will likely ask companies to disclose the gender pay gap starting this summer as part of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s New Capitalism plans. The demand is set out in proposals released Tuesday by a key government panel tasked with fleshing out Kishida’s vision. The plan is expected to be approved by cabinet in early June. The proposals highlight how Japan lags behind other advanced countries in achieving gender pay equality and also call for wage increases across the country. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Deutsche Bank offices raided in Germany

The Frankfurt offices of Deutsche Bank and its asset management unit have been raided by police, adding to the legal headaches facing Germany’s biggest lender. Law enforcement officials entered the twin towers where Germany’s largest lender is headquartered, as well as nearby DWS Group premises Tuesday morning, according to a prosecutor’s statement that confirmed an earlier Bloomberg report. The search is linked to greenwashing charges against the asset manager. DWS has faced regulatory investigations in the United States and Germany after its former chief sustainability officer, Desiree Fixler, went public with the accusations last year. The latest raid comes about a month after Deutsche Bank’s headquarters were raided on suspicion that it was too late to flag potential money laundering. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


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