Business Highlights: Ruling protects Sacklers from lawsuits; AI extinction risk warning

The top stories in the business world for the day.

Purdue Pharma's settlement of opioid claims and protection from lawsuits is made possible by the ruling

Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, has been able to settle thousands legal claims regarding the opioid epidemic thanks to a federal court ruling. A three-judge committee of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals of New York, on Tuesday, overturned a ruling from a lower court in 2021 that said bankruptcy courts had no authority to protect family members of Sackler who own the company but have not filed bankruptcy protection against lawsuits. Purdue plans to settle thousands lawsuits with a deal including $5.5 billion to 6 billion from Sackler's family members.

What is the easiest way to receive a $7500 tax credit on an electric car? Consider leasing.

DETROIT (AP), thanks to a government boost, leasing is now the most affordable option to own an electric car. The Inflation Reduction Act of last year provided a federal credit up to $7500 for an EV. Dealers can use this credit on any leased electric car, regardless of where it was made, in order to lower a customer's payment. It's different for those who purchase an EV. Only EVs manufactured in North America are eligible for the full credit. Only 10 of the 49 electric cars on sale in the United States meet this requirement.

Experts warn that artificial intelligence is a threat to extinction.

Scientists, tech leaders and executives from Microsoft and Google have released a new alert about the dangers that artificial intelligence poses for humankind. In a statement published online on Tuesday, it was stated that'mitigating AI's risk of extinction should be a priority for the world along with other risks at societal scale such as pandemics or nuclear war' The statement was signed by hundreds of prominent figures, including Geoffrey Hinton - the computer scientist and godfather of AI - as well as Sam Altman, CEO of ChatGPT maker OpenAI. Concerns about AI systems running amok and outsmarting people have increased with the advent of ChatGPT, a highly intelligent AI chatbot.

Elizabeth Holmes begins her 11-year prison sentence in Texas for the notorious blood-testing scam

BRYAN (Texas) (AP).- Theranos' founder Elizabeth Holmes has been taken into custody in the Texas prison, where she will serve her sentence of 11 years for overseeing a notorious blood-testing fraud. Holmes was admitted to the federal women's minimum-security prison camp in Bryan, Texas on Tuesday. It's been more than a full year since a jury found Holmes guilty of four felonies for fraud and conspiracy. She was sentenced in November to prison.

McCarthy, facing GOP backlash tries to secure votes for the debt deal just in time to avoid US default

WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) - Under fire from conservatives and other Republicans, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy seeks votes for the debt ceiling agreement. The Republican Speaker urged GOP critics to take a look at the 'victories' of the package that he negotiated together with President Joe Biden. White House officials and congressional leaders work to pass the bill in time to raise the country's borrowing limits and avoid a U.S.default. The deal is being criticized by hard-right conservatives, while liberals criticize the new requirements placed on older Americans to work for the food aid program. The House Rules Committee would be evaluating the package on Tuesday. Wednesday, the full House will vote. Officials warn that the U.S. could default on June 5.

LGBTQ+ activists demand new strategies for equality following Target's backlash

RICHMOND (VA) (AP). -- Activists from the LGBTQ+ community call for new ways of mobilizing against threats to their long-running fight for equality. Target, which announced last week it had removed certain products and moved its Pride displays in some stores in the South following protestors' confrontation with workers in store, has now done the same. Activists say new campaigns are necessary to convince corporate leaders to not cave in to anti-LGBTQ+ organizations. Target is the latest corporation to be criticized for its support of the LGBT+ community. This year, nearly 500 anti-LGBTQ+ laws have been introduced by state legislators across the country. At least 18 states have passed laws that restrict or ban gender affirming care for minors who are transgender.

Delta Air Lines sued over carbon neutral claims

Delta Air Lines is accused of misleadingly advertising itself as the 'world's first carbon-neutral carrier' in a consumer class action filed on Tuesday. The lawsuit claims that Delta Air Lines should pay damages for inaccurately marketing themselves. In a complaint filed in federal court in California, the airline is accused of relying on carbon offsets which were mostly bogus. Carbon credits are often purchased by polluting companies to offset their emissions through projects that promise to remove carbon dioxide from the air or prevent pollution. The benefits of these projects have been questioned due to claims that they are overstated. She claims that if she had known more about Delta's credit system, she would have never flown with them.

The consumer confidence of Americans declined again in May for the fourth time in five months, especially among older Americans

In May, consumer confidence dropped as Americans, especially older people, grew more pessimistic on the labor market and became increasingly anxious about inflation. The Conference Board announced Tuesday that the consumer confidence index dropped to 102.3 from 103.7 in March. This is the fourth time that U.S. overall consumer confidence has decreased in five months. The Business Research Group's Present Situation Index -- which measures consumer's assessment of the current business and labour market conditions -- dropped to 148.6 last month from 151.8. The expectations index, which measures consumers' six month outlooks, has dipped slightly.

Sam Bankman-Fried's argument to dismiss cryptocurrency charges is not valid, according to prosecutors

NEW YORK, NY (AP) -- New York prosecutors claim that Sam Bankman Fried's attorneys made unsound arguments to try to convince a New York judge to dismiss criminal charges against him for allegedly stealing from investors of his multi-billion dollar cryptocurrency funds. Prosecutors submitted papers in Manhattan federal court late Monday. They were responding to filings made in early May, in which Bankman-Fried’s lawyers argued that the federal government had overreached its case against Bankman-Fried by making federal crimes of regulatory issues. Bankman-Fried, who was extradited from the Bahamas in December, has been living with parents in Palo Alto after posting a personal recognizance of $250 million.

The S&P500 rose by 0.07 points (less than 0.1%), to 4,205.52. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 50.56 points or 0.2% to 33,042.78. The Nasdaq Composite rose 41.74 or 0.3%, to 13,017.43. Russell 2000, an index of smaller companies, fell 5.73 points or 1% to 1,767.29.