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News Wrap: California Gasoline Prices Spike Causing Panicked Rush to the Pumps

October 5, 2012 at 12:00 AM EST
In other news Friday, after gasoline prices rose as much as 20 cents in California, long lines formed all over the state as people tried to fill up their cars before prices rose again. Also, hundreds of patients may have received steroid injections tainted with fungal meningitis. At least 47 people have been infected.
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HARI SREENIVASAN: Wall Street rallied at first on the jobs report, but investors dialed back their enthusiasm as the day went on. In the end, the Dow Jones industrial average gained more than 34 points to close at 13,610. The Nasdaq fell 13 points to close at 3,136. For the week, the Dow gained more than 1 percent; the Nasdaq was up just over half a percent.

Gas prices in California spiked overnight, in some places by much as 20 cents a gallon. The average price of regular gas reached nearly $4.49 a gallon, the highest in the nation. Overnight, long lines were seen all over the state, as people rushed to fill up before another increase. Demand was so high that some Costco stations and others ran out and shut down. Refinery outages and pipeline problems have contributed to the price hikes.

Doctors and clinics in 23 states are trying to alert hundreds of patients, and maybe thousands, who could be at risk for fungal meningitis. They may have received contaminated steroid injections for back pain. So far, at least 47 people have been infected in seven states, Indiana, Michigan, Tennessee, Virginia, Maryland, Florida, and North Carolina. Five people have died.

Officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta say a concerted effort is under way.

MAN: CDC is working with state and local health departments to contact patients who may have received injections at the facilities who received the recalled lots of this medication to inform that they — that they may have been exposed, to find out if they are having symptoms, and to instruct them to seek health care should they be ill.

HARI SREENIVASAN: The tainted steroids came from a Massachusetts pharmacy which has now suspended operations.

In Syria today, the rebel stronghold of Homs endured the heaviest bombardment in months. Thick plumes of smoke could be seen rising above the central city’s skyline as Syrian government warplanes, tanks and artillery intensified their assault. Meanwhile, Turkish media reported Syrian troops fired another mortar round into southern Turkey. No one was hurt, but the Turkish military returned fire. A similar exchange earlier this week left several dead on both sides.

The turmoil deepened today in South Africa’s mining industry. The world’s largest platinum producer, Amplats, fired 12,000 miners for staging an unlawful strike. It was the latest turn in two months of labor unrest and violence in South Africa. In August, police shot and killed 34 strikers working for another major platinum concern. Nearly 80,000 miners are currently striking across the country.

The highest court in Britain ruled today that five terror suspects can be extradited to the U.S., including Abu Hamza al-Masri. The radical Muslim preacher and the others had fought extradition for years. Al-Masri’s mosque in London was known as a training ground for radical Islamists in the 1990s. He’s accused of trying to set up a terror training camp in Oregon.

Those are some of the day’s major stories.