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    Shares have advanced in Asia after benchmarks closed at three-month highs on Wall Street as investors cheered a report showing inflation cooled more than expected in July. Hong Kong, Shanghai and Seoul saw gains of more than 1% early Thursday. U.S. futures edged higher, while oil prices slipped. The S&P 500 jumped 2.1% Wednesday on expectations that slower inflation will mean the Federal Reserve won’t hike interest rates as much as feared. Technology stocks, cryptocurrencies and other investments among the year’s biggest losers due to the Fed’s aggressive rate hikes led the way. The government said consumer inflation jumped 8.5% in July from a year earlier. But that was down from June's four-decade high of 9.1%.

      With abortion now or soon to be illegal in over a dozen states and severely restricted in many more, Big Tech companies that collect personal details of their users are facing new calls to limit that tracking and surveillance. One fear is that law enforcement or vigilantes could use data troves from Facebook, Google and other social platforms against people seeking ways to end unwanted pregnancies. History has repeatedly demonstrated that whenever people’s personal data is tracked and stored, there’s always a risk that it could be misused or abused.

        Disney said it is raising prices for streaming subscribers in the U.S. who want to watch Disney+ without ads as more viewers switch to what CEO Bob Chapek described Wednesday as the “best value in streaming.” The price increases are tied to a new tiered service Disney will launch in December for U.S. subscribers. The basic Disney+ service today costs $7.99 per month. Starting in December, that basic service will run ads, so a subscriber who wants no ads will have to upgrade to a premium service that starts at $10.99 per month, a 38% increase over current prices.

          Research that analyzed social media posts finds that hateful references to gays, lesbians and other LGBTQ people surged online after Florida passed a law that bars instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through third grade. References to pedophiles and “grooming” rose by more than 400 percent in the month after Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” measure was approved, according to a report by the Human Rights Campaign and the Center for Countering Digital Hate. The authors of the report say the increased anti-LGBTQ rhetoric is inciting hatred that could lead to violence. They say social media platforms must do more to enforce their own policies on hate speech.

            A cybersecurity firm informed a major Indian online insurance brokerage last month that critical vulnerabilities in its network could expose sensitive personal and financial data from at least 11 million customers. CyberX9 followed the standard ethical-hacker playbook, giving the brokerage time to patch the flaws and inform authorities. A week later, the insurance brokerage, Policybazaar, said it had been illegally breached but “no significant customer data was exposed.” It said little more. CyberX9 wants Indians to know the broker had multiple critical vulnerabilities that left itself open to intrusion. The incident highlights the gray area in which many security researchers operate when computer crime laws such as India's make no adjustment for good-faith work.

            The biggest investment ever in the U.S. to fight climate change. A hard-fought cap on out-of-pocket prescription drug costs for seniors in the Medicare program. A new corporate minimum tax to ensure big businesses pay their share. And billions leftover to pay down federal deficits. All told, the Democrats’ Inflation Reduction Act may not do much to immediately tame inflationary price hikes. But the package heading toward final passage in Congress and to the White House for President Joe Biden’s signature will touch countless American lives with longtime party proposals. Here's a look at what's in the estimated $740 billion economic package.

            A flagship Democratic economic bill is perched on the edge of House passage. Friday's expected vote would mark final congressional approval. That would hand President Joe Biden a back-from-the-dead triumph on his climate, health care and tax goals. Democrats hope that will energize voters ahead of November’s congressional elections. Republicans are solidly opposed, but the same was true last Sunday when Democrats used Vice President Kamala Harris’ tie-breaking vote to power the measure through the 50-50 Senate. The package is much smaller than Biden's original environment and social program. But it still gives Democrats bragging rights to addressing long-term party goals.

            New Zealand has welcomed the first cruise ship to return since the coronavirus pandemic began, signaling a long-sought return to normalcy for the nation’s tourism industry. New Zealand closed its borders in early 2020 as it sought at first to eliminate COVID-19 entirely and then later to control its spread. Although the country reopened its borders to most tourists arriving by plane in May, it wasn’t until two weeks ago that it lifted all remaining restrictions, including those on maritime arrivals. Many in the cruise industry question why it took so long.

            Missouri’s health department has announced findings of a lengthy examination of the troubled Bridgeton Landfill in suburban St. Louis, determining that the odor emitting from the landfill created some health concerns but did not increase the risk of cancer. The landfill has been a source of concern for years. Uranium refined in St. Louis as part of the Manhattan Project was illegally dumped at the adjacent West Lake Landfill in 1973. Meanwhile, a smolder was discovered underground in 2010 at Bridgeton Landfill, just a few hundred yards away. The cause remains unknown, but the resulting odor was so pungent that many nearby residents complained of illness and were often forced to stay inside.

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            Content by Brand Ave. Studios. The annual Amazon Prime Day is coming July 12 and 13, and per usual will offer discounts on many of your favorite things.

            Content by Brand Ave. Studios. The annual Amazon Prime Day is coming July 12 and 13, and per usual will offer discounts on many of your favorite things.

            If you want a renter-friendly kitchen upgrade, using peel and stick tiles is a great way to change the look. TikTok creator @diydalia used a stone-look peel and stick and added some spackle to make it look more realistic.

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