- U.S.ABC News
The death of George Floyd, a black man who died on Memorial Day after he was pinned down by a white Minnesota police officer, has sparked outrage and protests in Minneapolis and across the United States. Second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter charges have been filed against Derek Chauvin, the officer who prosecutors say held his knee on Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes. Three other officers have been charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting manslaughter.
- CelebrityLA Times
After Lea Michele apologized for her on-set behavior, her former "Glee" costars aren't letting it slide. Even a producer for the TV show has chimed in.
- BusinessSouth China Morning Post
Beijing's change of heart on street vendors sparks stock market frenzy as traders predict surging demand for vans, kitchenware, umbrellas
China's street vendors are officially flavour of the month, and the share prices of related companies reflect their new-found status.A policy U-turn by the Chinese government to support the tiny retailers it now regards as the lifeblood of the economy has sparked a stock market frenzy. Investors believe there will be a run on things the average street-level entrepreneur might need, such as vans from which to sell their wares, frying pans to prepare delicious snacks, and umbrellas to protect them come rain or shine.Consequently, shares of companies from vehicle makers to kitchenware and umbrella producers are skyrocketing.Chinese premier Li Keqiang lit the fuse when he visited a street stall selling spicy chicken in the eastern province of Shandong on Monday, and praised street hawkers for being an important source of jobs that should be supported by the country.Hawkers and small shops make up "the liveliness of China, as much as the bigger and higher-end businesses," said Li, according to state media. His comments stood in sharp contrast with the government's previously harsh attitude towards such vendors, and came as Beijing seeks to create new jobs and shore up an economy hammered by the Covid-19 pandemic. Chinese tech firms pledge help for street stalls after Premier's commentsA few days earlier, a top party agency issued a new city management guideline with relaxed rules regarding street vendor. It signalled an end to years of crackdowns on street hawkers " for reasons cited by officials including hygiene and aesthetics " by the so-called chengguan, or urban inspectors, who are infamous for their bullying tactics."In the short-term, the 'street vendor economy' will be the focus of the market," said Yang Delong, chief economist at Shenzhen-based First Seafront Fund Management. "It's part of the government's measures to tackle weak consumption."Investors in Hong Kong and Chinese stocks rushed to find companies likely to benefit from a revival of street vendors. Among the most stunning gainers, Hong Kong-listed carmaker Wuling Motors soared by 217 per cent over this week to finish Friday at HK$0.63.The mouth-watering returns came after Wuling Motors marketed a new minivan developed by a subsidiary as a perfect tool for starting a street stall in a social media post on Tuesday. The Guangxi-based company subsequently sold hundreds of units of the van priced at 56,800 yuan (US$8,006) in just one day, a representative of the firm told local Chinese media.The surge in Wuling Motors mirrored gains in other carmakers, whose products include minivans, recreational vehicles and pickup trucks. Chongqing Sokon Industry Group soared 43 per cent this week, while Dima Holdings climbed 14 per cent.Other high-fliers include Shanghai-listed Yindu Kitchen Equipment, which makes everything from commercial fridges to griddles and fryers. Shares of Yindu jumped by the maximum 10 per cent limit for a fifth consecutive day on Friday, to 14.32 yuan. The stock advanced 61 per cent over the week.Yotrio Group, a Shenzhen-listed maker of outdoor furniture including giant umbrellas that could be used for street markets, also soared, by 28 per cent this week.The frenetic rally has prompted some listed companies to warn investors of potential risks in chasing the sky-high stocks, while analysts also cautioned against trading based on speculation."Investors shouldn't trade blindly on speculation, and need to study whether street vendors can actually bring about earnings growth," said Yang.Street vendor-related clients only make up a small portion of Yindu Kichen Equipment's revenue, the company said in a stock exchange filing on Wednesday night. "We expect it will not create a substantial impact on the company's future revenue and profit growth," it said.This article originally appeared in the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the most authoritative voice reporting on China and Asia for more than a century. For more SCMP stories, please explore the SCMP app or visit the SCMP's Facebook and Twitter pages. Copyright © 2020 South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved. Copyright (c) 2020. South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.
- LifestyleSouthern Living
Spruce up your outdoor spaces for summertime entertaining. You can transform your porch, patio, or backyard into an outdoor living room by adding a few easy essentials. Simple touches can turn an unused space into an alfresco entertaining area. Bring in some essential pieces of furniture, like a table and chairs for outdoor dining, a lounge chair for summer reading, and an umbrella for shade on hot days. Make the most of your outdoor living room with fun accessories the whole family will love. Our suggestion? A firepit. Plan a campout in the backyard, and roast s’mores or an open fire. Host your friends for a barbecue, and gather around the firepit for post-dinner cocktails. You’ll use the firepit year-round for entertaining, like warming up chilly fall football evenings. Here are eight of our favorite firepits you can order online.
Clint Eastwood turned 90 on May 31, and it seems that the Hollywood legend has finally found peace. In 2014, he met Christina Sandera and they hit it off — six years later, the couple is stronger than ever, and the same is true of Eastwood's other family relationships. Sandera has stabilized his life, and […]
In what could be the perfect picture (or, screenshot) of the spring of 2020, 12 heads of state, plus some high profile VIPs, are attending a virtual coverage hosted by the UK government today. The event is to support GAVI (the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations), an international partnership created to help low- and middle-income governments provide vaccines for their populations at a subsidized cost. GAVI, whose budget is funded every five years, is seeking $7.4 billion to carry on its program until 2025, and the renewal could not have fallen at a more appropriate time: There may never have been another moment when vaccines where this much of a priority for every government.
(Bloomberg) -- Bankers have a message for America’s debt-laden companies: raise money now, because things could get a lot worse.The gradual reopening of businesses after months-long shutdowns and a pick up in manufacturing activity have given investors reason for optimism in recent weeks. But underwriters who cater to heavily indebted corporations are offering their clients a bleak preview of what may lie ahead.The long list of worries includes a new wave of coronavirus contagion in the fall, an extended period of double-digit unemployment, a spike in defaults and a slower-than-expected economic recovery as businesses around the globe adapt to the realities of prolonged social distancing.Of course, pitching bond sales to companies is part of the job description, and corporate treasurers expect nothing less from bankers whose bonuses are tied to how many deals they do. Still, the grim warnings to stockpile cash reflect how the rally that credit markets have enjoyed since the Federal Reserve took action may be obfuscating an economic picture still fraught with risks.“We are telling virtually every private equity firm and issuer out there they ought to get to market,” said Peter Toal, global co-head of fixed-income syndicate at Barclays Plc, one of the major underwriters of loans and bonds for highly leveraged companies.‘Tough Winter’The bankers’ private warnings to clients underscore the publicly visible stampede for cash across corporate America. Debt sales by blue-chip companies are running at a record pace this year, while issuance of junk bonds, which are rated below investment grade, reached almost $44 billion in May, the third-busiest month on record.The Fed’s support has even allowed many of the companies hardest hit by the coronavirus outbreak to tap markets in recent weeks. Yet borrowers that rely on junk debt are the most exposed to the ebbs and flows of credit markets, as they risk seeing their access to capital cut off when volatility spikes.Barclays is hardly the only big player in the market encouraging company executives to take advantage of today’s benign credit environment.Bankers worry that even if businesses reopen and consumers resume spending, the U.S. economy could go through a rough few quarters and underperform investors’ expectations.“If we have a tough winter and your company is not in good shape through the spring of next year, this is a good time to take care of that,” said Richard Zogheb, head of global debt capital markets at Citigroup Inc.Uber Technologies Inc. sold $1 billion of bonds last month even as it finished the first quarter with over $8 billion of cash and nearly $1 billion of short-term investments. While its business has been gutted by the coronavirus, the company had told investors that it expected to end the year with over $4 billion in cash in its worst-case scenario.Executives moved ahead with the debt raise last month partly because of concerns that as states start to reopen for business, investors could be disappointed by a languid pickup in economic activity, according to a person with knowledge of the deal.A representative for Uber declined to comment.For many companies, the focus remains squarely on making sure they have enough cash on hand to withstand a prolonged slump in revenue. But bankers are also urging companies that have already taken care of their immediate liquidity needs to refinance maturing debt and in some cases accumulate cash for investments or small acquisitions.Ardagh Group SA, one of the world’s largest producers of bottles and cans for the beverage industry, has already tapped the market three times since the pandemic took hold. Its first deal replaced short-term bank funding and beefed up its balance sheet, while the last two allowed the company to refinance existing debt at lower interest rates.Tenet Healthcare Corp., a hospital operator, sold its second bond in as many months on Tuesday to bolster cash reserves and repay existing debt. Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. and Univision Holdings Inc. are also selling debt again within weeks of previous offerings.Encouraging companies to come to market to repay debt also has another benefit for banks: It frees capital tied up in loans, allowing lenders to redeploy that cash elsewhere.U.S. companies borrowed hundreds of billions of dollars of short-term debt from banks beginning in early March, but many have subsequently sold bonds to repay those borrowings, allowing the lenders to make that cash available to other clients.“The bond market has been so open that a large number of our bridge loans have been refinanced” already, said Citigroup’s Zogheb. “That’s given us an opportunity to look at acquisitions.(Updates with Royal Caribbean and Univision in 16th paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.