When the president’s medical briefing swung to an unrelated discussion of the border wall, CNN and MSNBC decided they’d had enough.
Rebecca Ramsey, whose dozens of visual effects credits include Watchmen, The Hunger Games and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, has died. She was 53. Ramsey passed on March 7 from complications related to a fall in her home, according to her longtime friend, Jenny McShane. Ramsey was a producer and EP of VFX, VR/AR/MR, 3D stereo, […]
Because sometimes working from home is hard enough
- WorldNational Review
What started as a catastrophe for China is shaping up to be a moment of strategic opportunity, a rare turning point in the flow of history. Suddenly, the protests in Hong Kong, carrying a mortal threat to political stability in the mainland, became a physical impossibility. More important, the pandemic set in motion a global competition, to contain the virus, for which China and the Chinese Communist Party seem uniquely prepared.As the virus spread to the whole world, it became apparent that Western societies — Beijing’s true rivals — did not have the ability to quickly organize every citizen around a single goal. As opposed to China, which remains to a large extent a revolutionary society, their political systems were built for normal times. Chinese society is a mobilized army, which can quickly drop everything else and march in one direction.Mao once said, “Everything under heaven is in utter chaos, the situation is excellent.” And so it seems at present, as seen from Beijing. Chinese diplomats stationed all over the world spend their time raising the stakes to a dangerous level. Following instructions from the very top, they have taken to the media to issue a challenge to America, to point out its failure, and to compare the chaos in American cities and hospitals with what they see as a singular success in stopping the epidemic in China.Several commentators have suggested that China may be winning the coronavirus battle by stepping forward in providing medical help to affected countries, mostly in Europe, at a time when the United States is consumed with its own difficulties. This misses the point.The cases have been multiplying where the medical equipment provided by Chinese companies and even the Chinese state turned out to be faulty, provoking justified ire in, for example, Spain, the Netherlands, and Turkey. Moreover, medical help is a normal occurrence in a crisis. China has done nothing different, except perhaps in the clumsy way it publicizes those efforts.Forget about “mask diplomacy.” It is no more than a distraction. There are other ways for China to use the coronavirus pandemic to upturn the existing global order. I see three main levers.The first one is the direct comparison between the situation in China and elsewhere. The numbers of cases and fatalities provided by Chinese authorities almost certainly misrepresent the real figures by more than an order of magnitude, but the fact remains that a semblance of normalcy was achieved in a small period of time. If the United States fails to do the same, its prestige will suffer a severe blow. People all over the world will quickly change their perceptions about relative power and capacity.The second lever resides with industrial value chains. Last month General Motors, Ford, and Fiat Chrysler closed all their automotive production plants across the United States and Canada. Other sectors have followed. In the meantime, China contained the worst of the pandemic to one province, allowing economic activity to quickly resume elsewhere. The most recent data show renewed activity in the flow of goods across the country, as well as at ports worldwide that do business with China. If the freeze in Europe and America continues for much longer, Chinese companies will be able to dramatically expand market share and replace Western-led value chains. Just yesterday Chinese authorities announced that manufacturing activity expanded in March, defying expectations of a contraction. In February the official Purchasing Managers’ Index hit a record low of 35.7. It bounced back to 52.0 in March. Prepare for a worldwide wave of Chinese acquisitions at knockdown prices.Finally, in a more extreme scenario, important countries could experience the kind of economic shock that leads to widespread social and political collapse. At that point, China would have a unique opportunity to step in, provide aid, and refashion these countries in its image. It would look like a repeat of the Marshall Plan and the beginning of the American world order after the ravages of World War II. Indonesia, South Asia, and even Russia might be of special interest in such a scenario.We knew that a generalized race or competition between alternative geopolitical models had started, but it was never clear what the background for such a competition would be. If the clash took place within the existing global trade and financial system, which was of course built according to Western rules and principles, the United States was confident the battle could be decisively won. But what if it took place on neutral ground? What if it took place in a kind of neutral landscape, a state of nature with few or no rules, against a chaotic and quickly evolving background? The outcome would become considerably more uncertain.To put it more bluntly: There was always an argument that the existing world order cannot change because only a momentous war has done that in the past and world wars have become impossible. But in pandemics — and soon in climate change — we may have found two functional equivalents of war.
(Bloomberg) -- U.S. stock index futures fell, erasing part of Thursday’s rally, as global coronavirus infections continued to increase.S&P 500 Index futures expiring in June slid 0.9% as of 9:30 a.m. in London, after gaining 2.8% on Thursday. Contracts dropped 0.9% on the Nasdaq 100 Index and fell 1.1% on the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Global coronavirus infections surpassed 1 million, a milestone reached just four months after the first cases surfaced in China.In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index was down 0.5%, weighed down by insurers and telecom shares. The euro-area economy is in a slump of unprecedented scale, with IHS Markit saying Friday its monthly measure of services and manufacturing points to an annualized economic contraction of about 10%.“Sentiment in the market is still very fearful,” said Dan Russo, chief market strategist at Chaikin Analytics. “The longer it takes to flatten the curve, the more prolonged the negative economic impact is likely to be, the longer it takes for businesses to get up and running again. Our base case remains that we are likely to retest the lows from last Monday.”The underlying S&P 500 advanced 2.3% on Thursday, climbing for the first time in three days, with Chevron Corp and Exxon Mobil Corp. among the top gainers, after President Donald Trump said Russia and Saudi Arabia would cut production. Oil prices slid back below $25 a barrel after a record surge as doubts crept in about the deal.Consumer discretionary stocks weighed on the benchmark after jobless claims doubled from last week to 6.6 million. As states shut down commerce to prevent the virus from spreading, the weekly claims data have been among the first detailed figures to show the devastating economic hit.“It’s pretty sobering in the sense of the impact it is having on so many people’s lives,” said Mike Stritch, chief investment officer for BMO Wealth Management. “Economically speaking it’s a big number. It’s an indicator of how much damage is being done in real time.(Updates with futures move, European shares.)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.
- WorldGood Morning America
A doctor who is on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic in New York City has captured viral attention with a message she shared on Twitter to her two children. Griggs has been treating patients inside a New York hospital since the spread of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19 -- the new respiratory illness in which more than a million have been diagnosed globally.
- CelebrityRobb Report
With low miles and high street cred, the former reality star's rare Lexus LFA is now available through an Ohio dealership.