Palo Alto Networks (NYSE: PANW) finished 2020 on a high note. After languishing for most of the year with lower than hoped for growth and with investors digesting multiple acquisitions from the last few years, shares surged during the fourth quarter and ended the year up 54%. A rosy outlook that indicates the cybersecurity leader's spending to keep pace with a fast-changing industry is starting to pay off.
France should impose a national lockdown given the increase in COVID-19 cases and the longer it waits, the higher the death toll will be, the head of the emergencies unit at a hospital in Paris said on Friday. The government said on Thursday that a new lockdown was not on the agenda and it would see next week if local weekend lockdowns would be needed in 20 areas considered very worrying, including Paris and the surrounding region. "I do not understand what we are waiting for," Philippe Juvin from the Georges Pompidou European Hospital in the capital told BFM TV, adding that the situation at hospitals in the Paris area was very tense.
- Reuters Videos
Police were out in force early in the main city of Yangon and elsewhere, deployed at usual protest sites and detaining people as they congregated, witnesses said. Several media workers were detained.But people still gathered, some for a march by ethnic minorities in Yangon, their numbers building through the day.Crowds chanted and sang, then melted into side streets as police advanced, firing tear gas, setting off stun grenades and firing guns into the air, witnesses said.Similar scenes played out in the second city of Mandalay, and several other towns including Dawei in the south, witnesses and media reported.
- The Independent
CPAC: Marsha Blackburn expresses outrage at media fact-checking Trump, despite his thousands of false claims
‘First they decided they were going to fact-check him – the leader of the free world’
- Architectural Digest
They donated through their nonprofit Archewell foundation, the same week Buckingham Palace announced the end of their royal patronages
- The Telegraph
Former SNP minister demands release of Salmond documents and says Sturgeon must go if they show conspiracy
A former SNP minister has called for secret documents about the Alex Salmond affair to be made public and said Nicola Sturgeon should resign if they prove allegations of a conspiracy. Alex Neil, an MSP who held senior cabinet posts in Edinburgh under both Mr Salmond and Ms Sturgeon, called for transparency from both the Scottish Government and the Crown Office, which have both been criticised for withholding evidence. Mr Salmond has alleged that senior figures in the SNP, including Ms Sturgeon’s husband and her chief of staff, conspired against him by using sexual assault allegations to attempt to ruin his political career and potentially imprison him. Ms Sturgeon has said claims of a conspiracy involving not only the SNP but the prosecution service and other public bodies are ridiculous.
- Associated Press
Brazil’s COVID-19 death toll, which surpassed 250,000 on Thursday, is the world’s second-highest for the same reason its second wave has yet to fade: Prevention was never made a priority, experts say. Since the pandemic's start, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro scoffed at the “little flu” and lambasted local leaders for imposing restrictions on activity; he said the economy must keep humming along to prevent worse hardship.
Pop star Rina Sawayama protested after being told she was "not British enough" for UK music awards.
- Associated Press
Saudi Arabia's crown prince likely approved the killing of U.S.-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, according to a newly declassified U.S. intelligence report released Friday that instantly ratcheted up pressure on the Biden administration to hold the kingdom accountable for a murder that drew worldwide outrage. It leaves no doubt that as the prince continues in his powerful role and likely ascends to the throne, Americans will forever associate him with the brutal killing of a journalist who promoted democracy and human rights.
- Reuters Videos
The number of available COVID-19 vaccine doses is steadily rising around the world.But a shortage of physical space that meets standards for pharmaceutical manufacturing is a becoming a bottleneck.That's according to drugmakers, construction experts and officials involved in the U.S. vaccine program.The production of raw materials, vaccine formulation and vial filling requires special "clean rooms".They need features like air cleaners, sterile water and sterilizing steam.Moderna this week announced plans to expand vaccine manufacturing capacity.But said it will be a year before that can add to its production.With vaccines needed for billions of people, drugmakers have even had to turn to rivals for help in churning out doses.And the emergence of new variants is likely to increase the strain.Many are counting on the authorization of Johnson & Johnson's vaccine this week.Longer term, tackling COVID-19 may require annual shots to protect against new virus mutations, similar to the flu.Building new facilities and even expanding existing sites has typically taken years. During the pandemic, some projects have reportedly been completed in as little as 6-to-10 months.Emergent BioSolutions, which is making J&J and AstraZeneca vaccines for the US, says it cannot add any more equipment to facilities dedicated to those vaccines.Some firms are purchasing and repurposing existing plants to sidestep construction. Pfizer-partner BioNTech bought a German facility from Novartis in September.
- The Independent
Controversial congresswoman previously said the Republican party belong to former president
- The Independent
Biden raises human rights in call with Saudi king as intelligence officials to release report on Khashoggi killing
President Joe Biden has spoken with King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud of Saudi Arabia ahead of the release of a report from US intelligence officials that is expected to reveal that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman approved and likely ordered the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018. A White House report of their phone call on Thursday did not disclose whether they discussed the findings in the report. The leaders “discussed regional security, including the renewed diplomatic efforts led by the United Nations and the United States to end the war in Yemen, and the US commitment to help Saudi Arabia defend its territory as it faces attacks from Iranian-aligned groups,” according to a readout of their call.
- Reuters Videos
Thailand has a new attraction to tout to tourists: 'golf quarantine.'International visitors can now chip away at their two weeks in isolation on the putting green, as part of a new program devised by the government to boost its ailing tourism sector.Heo Kwang-eum is a businessman and one of the dozens of South Korean visitors taking up the offer, at a resort an hour north of Bangkok."I'm grateful to the Thai government for starting this program. We are at the starting point. From my four-day experience (of isolating in a hotel room), it would be torture if we stayed in a room and did nothing for two weeks."Visitors undergo three tests throughout their stay.The package costs around $2,240 - a reasonable price for these golfers compared with the cost of a regular quarantine, cooped up in a hotel room.Ku Jung-keun is the general manager of the Artitaya Country Club."The golf quarantine offers three safe tests and time to enjoy golfing. Doctors provide daily health check-ups for the guests too while they are staying here, and it's not an expensive program."With bars and other resort facilities closed, there's no prospect to thrash out the missed birdies, bogeys and shanks of the day. But spirits remain high.[Visitor Heo Kwang-eum, saying:] "It's huge, the golf course is almost over one square kilometre with 36 holes. Think of 41 Koreans golfing as you roam around the field, served by over 100 employees. It's like emperor's golfing. As you know, it's extremely hard to go golfing in Korea these days because of the crisis. Here it's a golf paradise."
Libya's designated prime minister, chosen via a U.N.-facilitated process last month, said on Thursday he had proposed a governing plan to the country's divided parliament as part of a peace process. The new interim government is intended to replace Libya's two rival administrations and oversee the run-up to national elections planned for December in a roadmap to end years of chronic chaos and violence. "It will be a government of technocrats representing the whole Libyan spectrum," designated prime minister Abdulhamid Dbeibeh told a news conference in Tripoli, adding that he had attempted a "fair distribution" of posts between the west, east and south of the country.
- The State
“Her daddy got to heaven just before she did.”
- Business Insider
Students from Rep. Madison Cawthorn's college said he used 'fun drives' to corner women with sexual advances, report says
Two former resident assistants told BuzzFeed News they warned women in their dorms not to go on drives with Cawthorn because "bad things happened."
- Charlotte Observer
This is the shocking story of the alleged sexual abuses that led to the January arrest of Sandra Hiler — aka Charlotte piano teacher Keiko Aloe — as told by her 21-year-old daughter.
- Business Insider
Federal investigators zeroed in on the assailant after video footage showed the suspect attacking officers with bear spray, The Times reported.
- Charlotte Observer
ESPN’s Mel Kiper has the Panthers’ picking Mac Jones No. 8 in his latest mock draft. What to make of it.
Residents of an Indian slum thought they were getting vaccinated like everyone else but were unknowingly part of a clinical trial
After a white van advertised COVID-19 vaccines to a central-Indian slum, many of its residents feel duped after finding out they were in a trial.
- National Review
After only a month in power, President Biden has used lethal military force in reaction to Iranian-sponsored attacks on Americans in Iraq. The strike, said to be by F-15 jets, apparently attacked buildings owned by Iraqi Shiite militia groups along the Iraqi-Syrian border. It’s worth pausing to note that those Iranian-backed Iraqi Shiite groups and not the government of Iraq control that part of the border. In other words, Iran and its proxies control a route from Iraq through Syria to Lebanon, where the largest Iranian proxy, Hezbollah, is situated. The borders have been erased. The Biden strike is a message to Iran, a warning shot against continuing attacks by the militias Tehran backs. According to press reports, Biden was presented with a range of options and chose one of the softest — a limited strike inside Syria rather than Iraq. There is a logic to this choice. First, U.S. attacks inside Iraq would likely complicate life for Prime Minister Kadhimi, whom we are generally supporting, and spur the forces hostile to any U.S. presence — not least the Iranian-allied militias — to demand that all U.S. forces be expelled. Second, should further Iranian-sponsored attacks require Biden to hit Iranian-backed forces again, this limited strike allows him to say he tried patience and restraint and they failed. But the strike inside Syria and at Iranian proxies may also send messages Biden does not intend: that the United States will never hit Tehran’s proxies inside Iraq and that it will never hit Iran. If that’s what the Iranian regime infers, they will have the militias strike again and again; they will not be deterred because they will see the attacks as nearly cost-free. The law of averages suggests that sooner or later these continued attacks will kill Americans. That’s when the president will face the need to punish Iran and truly establish deterrence; merely attacking its proxies will be inadequate. One of the key functions of the Shiite militias in Iraq is to allow Iran to attack U.S. forces while, by absorbing any penalty, keeping Iran safe. If there are a series of attacks, harming Americans and eventually killing one or more, the kind of limited response from the United States that we saw this past week will not be enough. That does not mean World War III and it does not mean American bombers over Tehran, but it does mean that Biden must contemplate striking Iranian assets rather than expendable proxy groups. Meanwhile, there was zero progress on the nuclear-negotiations front this past week. On the contrary, Iran did not agree to attend the EU-sponsored talks that the United States has agreed to attend, it limited International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors’ access to Iran, and it threatened to enrich uranium to 60 percent. Nuclear power requires enrichment to no more than 5 percent; the only use for uranium enriched to 60 percent is in preparing a nuclear weapon. The very least that can be said about President Biden’s second month in power is that we are seeing any dreams of a quick return to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, also known as the JCPOA, and a quick resolution to U.S.-Iranian confrontations dissolve before our eyes. The president’s refusal, thus far, to lift any sanctions and his willingness to use force against Iranian proxies suggest a more realistic assessment of Iran than many feared. No doubt there will be many deep discussions, even debates, within the administration over what the next move should be. The administration’s willingness to return to the JCPOA if Iran went back into compliance with it has not moved the Islamic Republic an inch. Similarly, the administration’s reversal of the designation of the Houthis in Yemen as a terrorist group, and its decision to halt the sale of “offensive” weapons to Saudi Arabia for use in Yemen, were met with zero flexibility by the Houthis — who have carried out additional terrorist attacks since the policy changes. Down the road the administration faces an even greater challenge than what to do about attacks on Americans in Iraq. President Biden has already decided that they will be met with force, and one must assume that if the attacks continue and escalate, the counter-attacks will as well. But what about Iran’s expulsion of nuclear inspectors, which violates the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and the “Additional Protocol” to the JCPOA (that allowed snap inspections)? What about enrichment to 60 percent, if that indeed occurs? How far down the road toward building a nuclear weapon will the administration be willing to let Iran go? That’s a hypothetical question today, but if Iran keeps going it will soon be keeping U.S. officials up at night. Biden is the fifth American president in a row, by my count, to say Iran would never be permitted to build a nuclear weapon. Unless Iran changes course he could be the first to have to prove it.