Stocks mostly up…Musicians slam post-Brexit restrictions

TOKYO (AP) — Global shares are mostly higher today ahead of Joe Biden’s inauguration as U.S. president. In early trading, France’s CAC 40 added 0.2%, while Germany’s DAX rose 0.2%. Britain’s FTSE 100 edged up 0.1%. In Asia, Japan’s benchmark Nikkei closed 0.4% lower, while South Korea’s Kospi edged up 0.7%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng jumped 1.1%, while the Shanghai Composite rose 0.5%. Wall Street futures are moderately higher.

WASHINGTON (AP) — In his first hours as president, Joe Biden will aim to strike at the heart of President Donald Trump’s policy legacy. Aides say Biden plans today to sign a series of executive actions that reverse his predecessor’s orders on immigration, climate change and the handling of the coronavirus pandemic. Biden also is expected to end construction on Trump’s U.S.-Mexico border wall, end the ban on travel from some Muslim-majority countries, rejoin the Paris Climate Accord and the World Health Organization and revoke the approval of the Keystone XL pipeline.

TORONTO (AP) — Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says his officials have been in frequent contact with U.S. President-elect Joe Biden’s incoming administration in an effort to stop Biden from scraping the long-disputed Keystone XL pipeline. The 1,700-mile pipeline would carry roughly 800,000 barrels of oil a day from Alberta to the Texas Gulf Coast. It has become emblematic of the tensions between economic development and curbing the fossil fuel emissions that are causing climate change.

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Officials in Washington state have denied a key permit for a large proposed methanol plant. The Department of Ecology on Tuesday said officials rejected it because of a significant increase in greenhouse gas emissions and inconsistencies with the Shoreline Management Act. The $2 billion Northwest Innovation Works plant would have taken natural gas from Canada and converted it into methanol. It then would be shipped to China to make compounds used in everything from fabrics to medical equipment. A lawyer says that while the company is disappointed and evaluating options for an appeal, it feels confident that “science and reason will prevail.”

LONDON (AP) — Dozens of U.K. music stars including Elton John, Ed Sheeran and conductor Simon Rattle say musicians have been “shamefully failed” by the British government, which has left them facing post-Brexit restrictions on touring in the European Union. In a letter published today in the Times of London, more than 100 musicians including Sting, Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters and Roger Daltrey of The Who, say the new U.K.-EU trade deal will make it impossible for many British musicians to perform in the EU. Britain’s departure from the EU means that U.K. citizens can no longer live and work freely in the 27-nation bloc. Britain and the EU each blame the other for failing to strike a deal for musicians.

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