Global Glance: GOP may keep tax on wealthy to save health bill; global cyberattack seems intent on havoc, not extortion

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Here are today’s top business headlines from across the nation and world:

GOP may keep Obama tax on wealthy in bid to save health bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — Top Senate Republicans may try preserving a tax boost on high earners enacted by President Barack Obama in a bid to woo party moderates and rescue their sputtering push to repeal his health care overhaul. The break from dogma by a party that has long reviled tax boosts – and most things achieved by Obama – underscores Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s feverish effort to yank one of his and President Donald Trump’s foremost priorities from the brink of defeat. The money from the tax boost would instead be used to bolster proposed health care subsidies for lower-income people. Read more

Global cyberattack seems intent on havoc, not extortion

PARIS (AP) — A cyberattack that caused indiscriminate economic damage around the world was apparently designed to create maximum havoc in Russia’s neighbor and adversary Ukraine, security researchers said. While the rogue software used in the attack was configured as extortionate “ransomware,” that may have just been a ruse. Although the attack was global in its reach, Ukraine bore the brunt. Computers were disabled at banks, government agencies, energy companies, supermarkets, railways and telecommunications providers. Read more

Buffett’s firm to become Bank of America’s biggest investor

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Warren Buffett’s company is likely to become Bank of America’s largest investor soon because the bank received approval to boost its dividend. Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway holds warrants to buy 700 million shares of Bank of America stock. It received the warrants in 2011 when Buffett invested $5 billion in the bank. Berkshire has received $300 million a year in interest payments tied to the investment, but now that Bank of America plans to increase its annual dividend to 48 cents per share Berkshire would make more by converting the warrants to common stock and collecting the dividend. Read more

Trump urges ‘energy dominance’ as he promotes exports, jobs

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration said Thursday it is taking steps to expand oil drilling in the Arctic and Atlantic oceans as President Donald Trump continues to push for U.S. “energy dominance” in the global market. The Interior Department is rewriting a five-year drilling plan established by the Obama administration, with an eye toward opening areas in the Arctic and Atlantic oceans that now are off-limits to drilling. It’s one of six initiatives that the president unveiled Thursday in hopes of generating more energy exports and jobs. U.S. oil production has boomed in recent years, and exports of oil and natural gas are surging, primarily because of improved drilling techniques such as fracking that have opened up production in previously out-of-reach areas. Trump has pledged to ramp up production further, withdrawing from the Paris climate change agreement because of the limitations that it could have placed on the burning of fossil fuels. Read more

Indians hit stores in shopping frenzy ahead of new sales tax

NEW DELHI (AP) — At a crowded New Delhi market plastered with posters announcing massive sales, shoppers were vacuuming up household gadgets and high-end electronics in the last days before India’s new sales tax takes effect. The single, nationwide tax starting Saturday replaces a complicated mix of state and federal taxes and will change the cost of nearly everything people buy. Read more

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