• World
    The Daily Beast

    Bodies Strewn on the Ground After Apocalyptic Blast in Beirut

    A huge explosion rocked Beirut, Lebanon, Tuesday destroying entire blocks of high-rise buildings and leaving at least 73 people confirmed dead, more than 3,700 wounded, and scores more feared buried under rubble and ash. The country’s interior minister said early indications were that highly explosive materials, seized and stored at Beirut’s port, had detonated. Footage of the blast showed a large plume of dark red flames and smoke before a massive explosion threw up a mushroom cloud. Powerful shock waves shattered glass, collapsed ceilings and pulled down balconies—even residents on the island nation of Cyprus, 110 miles away, heard the blast.A witness on the ground who works for the United Nations, but does not speak on their behalf, was near the port when the explosion happened. She told The Daily Beast that bodies were scattered from the blast. “There was dark smoke from a fire and then a massive blast and everyone fell to the ground,” she said. “A lot of people didn’t get up.”Entire buildings collapsed, streets glistened under blankets of shattered glass, and injured residents wandered the city covered in blood. Lebanese media carried images of people trapped under rubble. Residents rushed the injured to hospital any way they could, carrying them on their shoulders, on the trunks of cars and on ash-covered pieces of debris.“What we are witnessing is a huge catastrophe,” George Kettani, head of Lebanon’s Red Cross, told local TV network Mayadeen. “There are victims and casualties everywhere.”Abbas Ibrahim, director of General Security, told Lebanese media at a press conference that Israel was not to blame for the explosion. He pointed the finger at a depot at the port where highly explosive materials were stored after being confiscated.Local media reports also indicated that the blast may have ripped through a fireworks warehouse. It was not yet clear what ignited a fire that could be seen shortly before the main explosion.CNN’s Ben Wedeman, who is based in Beirut, was in the bureau about a kilometer away before the blast. He reported on CNN that people were tweeting photos of a fire in the port about 15 minutes before a massive blast shook the building, destroying the bureau. He described a large red cloud hanging low over the city. “The city is in a state of panic,” he said on CNN. “The city is in a state of shock.”France 24 correspondent Leila Molana-Allen wrote on Twitter that her apartment was blown apart. “All the buildings in my block are destroyed. Huge explosion in Beirut. Everyone covered in glass and blood,” she wrote.Hours after the blast at 6 p.m. local time, fires were still burning in the port district. Hospitals, already buckling under the coronavirus pandemic, were overwhelmed with patients.The blast came as the city braces for the verdict in a long-awaited trial over the assassination of former Sunni prime minister Rafik al-Hariri who was killed in a truck bomb 15 years ago. The defendants, from the Iran-backed group Hezbollah, are being tried in absentia. That verdict is expected Friday. Beirut has been under siege by angry protesters demonstrating against economic strife and alleged corruption since the October Revolution kicked off in the fall of 2019. Daily demonstrations and widespread resignations have crippled the government. Before that, the city buckled under the a civil war that lasted from 1975 to 1990. Tuesday’s blast was by far the biggest explosion to hit the city since the 2006 war with Israel. Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

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  • Business
    Bloomberg

    Goldman Warns Covid-19 Vaccine Approval Could Upend Markets

    (Bloomberg) -- Investors should consider the risk of a successful coronavirus vaccine unsettling markets by sparking a sell-off in bonds and rotation out of technology into cyclical stocks, warned Goldman Sachs Group Inc.The increased probability of an approved vaccine by the end of November is underpriced by equity markets and by that time the result of the U.S. election will be known, wrote strategists including Kamakshya Trivedi in a note Wednesday. Investors will also know how the start of the school year will have impacted the spread of the coronavirus, they said.Approval of a vaccine could “challenge market assumptions both about cyclicality and about eternally negative real rates,” the team wrote, adding such a scenario may support steeper yield curves, traditional cyclicals and banks, while challenging the leadership of technology stocks. If this happened along with a change in the U.S. administration, emerging market equities could benefit “if trade policy risks diminish while U.S. tax risks rise,” according to the note.While the strategists suggested it may be too early for investors to position themselves aggressively for such a shift, they recommended options trades as a way to play the theme. For example, some call options on the S&P 500 still look attractive, and Goldman sees upside to around the 3,700 level should there be an early vaccine.That compares with a potential downside target of 2,200 should there be a significant reversal of activity from a second wave of the virus, the strategists added. The U.S. benchmark closed just under 3,328 on Wednesday.The Goldman team was more forthright on keeping its bearish view on the dollar.“The range of outcomes is wide and our highest confidence is still in ongoing U.S. dollar weakness,” they said.(Updates with S&P 500 level in the fifth 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.

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  • Celebrity
    USA TODAY Entertainment

    Cameron Diaz reveals to Gwyneth Paltrow why she left Hollywood: 'I got a peace in my soul'

    In a conversation with Gwyneth Paltrow, which streamed live on YouTube Wednesday, Cameron Diaz discussed why she stepped back from her acting career.

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  • Lifestyle
    Good Housekeeping

    The Most Breathtaking Wedding Dresses in American History

    Spoiler: There are several Vanderbilts on this list. 👰👰👰From Good Housekeeping

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