World Bank trims projected global growth and more business news

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World Bank cuts economic outlook

The World Bank has sharply downgraded its outlook for the global economy, pointing to Russia's war against Ukraine, the prospect of widespread food shortages and concerns about the potential return of "stagflation" - a toxic mix of high inflation and sluggish growth unseen for more than four decades.

The 189-country anti-poverty agency predicts the world economy will expand 2.9% this year. That would be down from 5.7% global growth in 2021 and the 4.1% it had forecast for 2022 in January.

"For many countries, a recession will be hard to avoid," said David Malpass, the World Bank's president.

Solar companies may challenge new tariffs

U.S. solar manufacturers are considering legal challenges after President Joe Biden declared a two-year pause on tariffs for solar imports from Southeast Asia.

Biden's action Monday was intended to jumpstart solar installations that have slowed amid a Commerce Department inquiry into possible trade violations involving Chinese products. But some domestic producers, including a California company that filed a complaint with Commerce about unfair competition from China, said Biden's actions would help China's state-subsidized solar companies at the expense of U.S. producers.

The White House said Biden's actions would boost an industry crucial to his climate change-fighting goals while not interfering with the Commerce inquiry.

EU requires uniform cord to charge telephones

European Union officials have agreed on new rules requiring a uniform charging cord for smartphones and other devices.

The move would make life easier for consumers fed up with rummaging through a tangle of cables for the right one. EU negotiators said Tuesday that they inked a provisional agreement on a "single charging solution."

It's part of a wider effort to make products sold in the 27-nation bloc more sustainable and cut down on electronic waste.

The new rules will take effect by fall 2024 and mean EU consumers will only need to use a common USB Type-C cable for small and medium-sized rechargeable, portable electronic devices.

Environmental groups object to EU gas plans

Environmental groups have started legal action against the European Commission to challenge the inclusion of 30 gas projects in a list of priority operations considered as beneficial to the bloc's energy market.

The campaigners said Tuesday that the European Commission has given "these climate-destructive projects VIP status, in contradiction of its legal obligations."

The groups' legal action came as European lawmakers debated Tuesday proposals from the "Fit for 55" package set up by the Commission to achieve the EU's climate goals of cutting emissions of the gases that cause global warming by 55% over this decade."

- Compiled by Dave Flessner