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    Hong Kong's share benchmark has soared more than 5% as Asian shares track gains on Wall Street. New Zealand’s central bank on Wednesday hiked its benchmark interest rate to 3.5%, saying inflation remained too high and labor scarce. The half-point rate hike was the fifth in a row made by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand since February. Markets in mainland China remained closed for a holiday. On Tuesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed more than 800 points and the S&P 500 had its best day in more than two years Tuesday as the market clawed back more of the ground it lost over the past miserable several weeks.

      In a recent column in Investment News, Mary Beth Franklin discussed issues related to payroll taxes and to lost potential Social Security benefits for those who apply prior to full retirement age.

        PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) is a common hormonal condition in women, and most don't know anything about it. When I first heard about it at a conference many years ago, I felt like the speaker directed his talk specifically to one of my family members.

          Actor Glynis Johns (“Mary Poppins”) is 99. Singer Arlene Smith of The Chantels is 81. Singer-guitarist Steve Miller is 79. Singer Brian Johnson of AC/DC is 75. Actor Karen Allen is 71. Director Clive Barker is 70. Guitarist David Bryson of Counting Crows is 68. Astrophysicist and “Cosmos” host Neil deGrasse Tyson is 64. Actor Daniel Baldwin (“Homicide: Life On the Streets”) is 62. Guitarist Dave Dederer (Presidents of the United States of America) is 58. Actor Guy Pearce (“Memento,” “L.A. Confidential”) is 55. Actor Josie Bissett (“Melrose Place”) is 52. Singer-actor Heather Headley is 48. Singer Colin Meloy of The Decemberists is 48. Guitarist Brian Mashburn of Save Ferris is 47. Actor Parminder Nagra (“ER,” “Bend It Like Beckham”) is 47. Actor Scott Weinger (“Full House,” “Aladdin”) is 47. Actor Kate Winslet is 47. Guitarist James Valentine of Maroon 5 is 44. Bassist Paul Thomas of Good Charlotte is 42. Actor Jesse Eisenberg (“The Social Network”) is 39. Singer Brooke Valentine is 37. Actor Joshua Logan Moore (“Desperate Housewives”) is 28.

            Authorities say a man suspected of kidnapping a Sikh family in central California tried to kill himself before police found him. The Merced County Sheriff’s Office said Tuesday the suspect is hospitalized in critical condition. The family is still missing. The sheriff’s office statement said investigators identified 48-year-old Jesus Salgado after he used an ATM card belonging to one of the four victims. They were kidnapped at gunpoint Monday from the office of their trucking company in Merced. Merced County Sheriff Vern Warnke said via Facebook that the kidnapper took the baby, Aroohi Dheri; the child’s mother, Jasleen Kaur; father Jasdeep Singh; and uncle Amandeep Singh. The sheriff said the kidnapper made no ransom demands or contact of any kind.

              Aaron Judge has hit his 62nd home run of the season to break Roger Maris’ American League record. Judge hit a 1-1 slider from Texas right-hander Jesús Tinoco into the first row of seats in left field when leading off the second game of New York’s day-night doubleheader on Tuesday. The 30-year-old Judge had homered only once in his past 13 games. That was when he hit No. 61 in Toronto last Wednesday to match Maris. While Maris’ 61 for the Yankees in 1961 had been exceeded six times previously, all were tainted by the stench of steroids. That includes Barry Bonds' 73 for the the San Francisco Giants in 2001, though he has denied knowingly using performing-enhancing drugs.

              The founder and CEO of a software company targeted by election deniers has been arrested on suspicion of stealing personal identifying information on hundreds of Los Angeles County poll workers. The district attorney's office says Eugene Yu of Michigan-based Konnech Corporation was held Tuesday. The company says it believes he was wrongfully detained and no info was stolen. Konnech won a $2.9-million contract with LA County in 2020 to provide software to track election worker schedules and payroll. But authorities contend that it violated the contract by storing the data on servers in China, not the United States. The New York Times says conspiracy theorists have alleged, without evidence, that Konnech was secretly working with the Chinese government.

              "Best before” labels are coming under scrutiny as concerns about food waste grow around the world. Manufacturers have used the labels for decades to estimate peak freshness. But “best before” labels have nothing to do with safety, and some worry they encourage consumers to throw away food that’s perfectly fine to eat. Major U.K. chains like Waitrose, Sainsbury’s and Marks & Spencer recently removed “best before” labels from prepackaged fruit and vegetables. The European Union is expected to announce a revamp to its labeling laws by the end of this year. In the U.S., there’s no similar push to scrap “best before” labels. But there is growing momentum to standardize the language on date labels to help educate buyers about food waste.

              President Joe Biden is working to create a manufacturing revival. He's even helping to put factory jobs in Republican territory under the belief it can help restore faith in U.S. democracy. The latest development came Tuesday, when chipmaker Micron announced an investment of up to $100 billion over the next 20-plus years to build a plant in upstate New York that could create 9,000 factory jobs. It’s a commitment made in a GOP congressional district that Biden and the company credited to the recently enacted $280 billion CHIPS and Science Act. Biden's goal is to keep opening new factories in states where Democrats’ footholds are shaky at best.

              A government staffer has testified about being raped by a colleague in the Australian Parliament House and described her fears of not being believed because of the disparity in their workplace statuses. On Wednesday, Brittany Higgins became the first witness to testify against Bruce Lehrmann. He has pleaded not guilty in the Australian Capital Territory Supreme Court to a charge of sexual intercourse without consent in a minister’s office in March 2019. Lehrmann faces a potential 12-year prison sentence if convicted. Higgins said she was a 24-year-old staffer in an administrative role in then-Defense Industry Minister Linda Reynolds’ office while Lehrmann had a more senior role as a ministerial adviser.

              A malfunctioning South Korean ballistic missile blew up as it plowed into the ground during a drill with the United States that was a reprisal for North Korea’s launch a day earlier of a weapon that flew over Japan and has the range to strike Guam. The explosion panicked and confused residents of the coastal city of Gangneung. Their concern that it could be a North Korean attack only grew as the military and government officials provided no explanation about the explosion for hours. The short-range Hyumoo-2 missile that crashed inside an air force base in the outskirts of Gangneung is key to South Korea’s preemptive and retaliatory strike strategies against the North.

              One of Brazil’s biggest gold refiners, which processes gold suspected of being mined illegally in the Amazon rainforest, has been stripped of an important industry seal of approval that global manufacturers from Apple to Tesla rely on to root out abuses in their supply chains. An investigation by The Associated Press in January revealed how Sao Paulo-based Marsam shares ownership links and processes gold on behalf of an intermediary accused by Brazilian prosecutors of buying tarnished gold from Indigenous territories and other protected areas. With a lawsuit underway against that partner, Marsam this month was quietly removed by the Responsible Minerals Initiative from a public list of smelters and refiners deemed to follow best sourcing practices.


              Elon Musk wants Twitter again — and Twitter is game. The billionaire Tesla CEO has proposed to buy the company at the originally agreed-on price of $44 billion, bringing the tumultuous, monthslong saga another step closer to a conclusion. Musk made the surprising turnaround not on Twitter, as has been his custom, but in a letter to Twitter that the company disclosed in a filing Tuesday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. It came less than two weeks before a trial between the two parties over Musk’s attempt to back out of the deal is scheduled to start in Delaware. Musk also faced a scheduled deposition by Twitter attorneys starting Thursday.

              As Hurricane Ian flooded Naples, Florida, one man went to rescue his 86-year-old mom from her home after she had refused to evacuate. He sent photos and short videos to his family, letting them know he was OK. That's how Johnny Lauder ended up unintentionally documented the whole rescue. His mom Karen had lost a leg and requires a wheelchair. As the waters rose, she called her son for help. Lauder swam, waded and walked about a half mile to her. Several hours later, the water subsided enough for him to push her through the streets to safety.

              Alex Jones returned to a Connecticut courthouse Tuesday but is not expected to retake the stand in his defamation trial, as a jury decides how much he should pay for spreading the lie that the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre was a hoax. Jones was initially expected to be a defense witness Wednesday as his lawyer begins presenting a case that damages to the families of eight shooting victims and an FBI agent should be minimal. But his attorney indicated Jones would head home instead and the defense would call no witnesses. Francine Wheeler, the mother of 6-year-old victim Ben Wheeler, was the first of three Sandy Hook family members to take the stand Tuesday as the plaintiffs wrapped up their presentation.

              A menagerie of parrots has been rescued from a Pine Island bird sanctuary after its owners refused to evacuate without them in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian. The mission, dubbed “Operation Noah's Ark,” transported two lemurs and 275 exotic birds to West Palm Beach, where they will be housed until a collapsed bridge can be repaired and normal life restored to the island. About a dozen volunteers caught and caged the parrots, then ferried them to Fort Myers using a small fleet of boats. Hurricane Ian battered Southwest Florida a week ago with 150 mph gusts, making some roads impassable and islands inaccessible. Heavy rains and wind-driven ocean surges brought dangerous flooding.

              A new court filing from Angelina Jolie alleges that on a 2016 flight, Brad Pitt grabbed her by the head and shook her then choked one of their children and struck another when they tried to defend her. The descriptions of abuse on the private flight came in a cross-complaint Jolie filed Tuesday in the couple’s dispute over a winery they co-owned. A representative for Pitt denied the abuse allegations to The Associated Press. The allegations were first aired soon after the flight, but details have been kept sealed. The FBI and Los Angeles County's child services agency investigated but found no grounds for action against Pitt.

              The ACLU’s Nevada chapter filed a lawsuit Tuesday against a rural Nevada county and its interim clerk to stop the implementation of the county’s new hand-counting process, which was spurred by false claims of election fraud. The process entails hand-counting all paper ballots alongside a machine tabulator. The lawsuit cites three main violations of the Nevada constitution, state or federal law: the county's plan to start hand-counting mail ballots early, which could release partial voting results; the ambiguity of who will get to use the touch screens meant for people with disabilities and the clerk's plan for “stringent signature verification.”

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