News Wrap: Unions and railroads continue negotiations ahead of strike deadline

In our news wrap Wednesday, unions and some of the largest freight railroads are still negotiating with a strike deadline fast approaching, the war in Ukraine has energy costs soaring in Europe with leaders calling for a cap on electric utility revenues and the World Health Organization says the end of the pandemic is in sight with global deaths at the lowest level since March 2020.

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  • Amna Nawaz:

    New inflation data at the wholesale level is out, and it underscores what's happening on the retail side.

    The U.S. Labor Department reports producer prices rose 8.7 percent in August from one year ago. The so-called core rate, not counting food and energy, was up 7.3 percent. Those numbers reinforce Tuesday's report on consumer prices, and they suggest prices will keep rising for months to come.

    Unions and some of the largest U.S. freight railroads are still negotiating tonight, with a strike deadline fast approaching. One union rejected a tentative agreement today, while three others remained at the bargaining table. A walkout early Friday could cause new chaos in the nation's supply chains. It could also disrupt Amtrak and commuter railroads that use freight railroad tracks.

    In Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy visited the Northeastern city of Izyum today days after its recapture. He watched as the Ukrainian flag was raised at the burned-out city hall and called the damage done by Russian occupiers shocking. We will have more from Ukraine later in the program.

    The war in Ukraine has sent energy costs soaring in Europe, and now the head of the European Commission is calling for a cap on electric utility revenues. Officials say it could raise $140 billion to help consumers cover those energy costs.

    European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen addressed the E.U. Assembly in Strasbourg, France, today and made her case.

  • Ursula von der Leyen, President, European Commission:

    These companies are making revenues they never accounted for, they never even dreamt of. But, in these times, it is wrong to receive extraordinary, record revenues and profits, benefiting from war and on the back of our consumers.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    The E.U. Commission estimates that some companies are making five times their usual profits.

    A top court in the E.U. largely upheld a $4 billion fine on Google today for stifling competition. It is the Euro bloc's largest antitrust penalty ever. E.U. regulators had determined that Google used its Android operating system to illegally dominate the market.

    Queen Elizabeth II has begun lying in state this evening after a solemn procession. Crowds gathered today as the queen's coffin, topped by her crown, was carried from Buckingham Palace to Parliament. King Charles and his siblings and sons followed with troops in full dress uniforms.

    Mourners said they waited in line for hours to say their final goodbyes.

  • Person:

    I think the fact that we have got an enormous queue over there and people want to come by, and they're not coming by just because it's something to do, oh, look where I have been, let's take a — you know, take a selfie with the coffin or something. There is real respect there.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    Elizabeth will lie in state at Westminster Hall for four days before her funeral next Monday.

    On the pandemic, the World Health Organization projected today that the end of the global outbreak is in sight. Worldwide deaths fell 22 percent in the past week to just over 11,000, the lowest since March of 2020. In Geneva, the director general of the World Health Organization said a turning point may finally be at hand.

  • TEDROS ADHANOM GHEBREYESUS, WHO Director General:

    We can see the finish line. We are in a winning position. But now is the worst time to stop running. Now is the time to run harder and make sure we cross the line.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    Tedros also warned of a potential winter surge and said that relaxed testing and surveillance means many cases are going unreported.

    Back in this country, the Justice Department has charged three Iranians with ransomware attacks on power companies, local governments, small businesses and nonprofits. The attacks took place in the U.S. and around the world. The suspects are accused of stealing data and demanding payments to return it. They have not been arrested and are believed to be in Iran.

    A federal jury in Chicago convicted singer R. Kelly today of producing child pornography, as well as other crimes. He was acquitted of rigging a previous child porn trial. Kelly had already been convicted of sex trafficking in New York and sentenced to 30 years in prison.

    The year's final primary results are in, and a 2020 election denier has won the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in New Hampshire. Retired Army General Don Bolduc defeated Chuck Morse and — a more moderate Republican and the state Senate president, in Tuesday's voting. Bolduc will now face incumbent Democratic Senator Maggie Hassan in the November election.

    We will take a closer look at the election landscape later in the program.

    And, on Wall Street today, stocks managed modest gains a day after the worst sell-off in two years. The Dow Jones industrial average added 30 points to close at 31135. The Nasdaq rose 86 points. The S&P 500 was up 13.

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