Elephants at the Reid Park Zoo in Arizona were treated to a rare surprise snowfall
Elephants at the Reid Park Zoo in Arizona were treated to a rare surprise snowfall
Police fire live rounds, tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse anti-coup rallies in several cities.
Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update reflects on some of the biggest headlines of the week. This time, that included Paramount+’s announcement that a Frasier revival series is officially happening. Because it’s been 16 years ago since the end of the original series, Colin Jost used Friends to explain Frasier to younger viewers, eliciting laughs and […]
The Philippines is due to receive its first batch of COVID-19 vaccine Sunday, among the last in Southeast Asia to secure the critical doses despite having the second-highest number of coronavirus infections and deaths in the hard-hit region. President Rodrigo Duterte and top Cabinet officials will welcome the arrival of 600,000 doses of China-donated vaccine in a ceremony at an air base in the capital that will underscore their relief after weeks of delays, officials said. Aside from the donated vaccine from Sinovac Biotech Ltd., the government has separately ordered 25 million doses from the China-based company.
(Bloomberg) -- Saudi stocks fell the most in a month, tracking last week’s declines across emerging markets, as traders weighed the impact of a U.S. intelligence report saying Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman signed off on the killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.The Tadawul All Share Index retreated as much 1%, its sharpest decline since Jan. 31. It was 0.6% lower as of 10:43 a.m. in Riyadh. Rajhi Bank, Saudi Basic Industries, Saudi Telecom Co. and Saudi Aramco dragged the index down the most by points.While President Joe Biden’s administration imposed only modest new sanctions on the kingdom, it’s expected to announce more action on Monday. Saudi Arabia said it “rejects the negative, false and unacceptable assessment in the report.”“We could see some influence in the sale of arms to Saudi Arabia” Alia Moubayed, the London-based chief economist for Middle East, North Africa at Jefferies International, said in an interview with Bloomberg TV. “But in terms of flows, unless sanctions hit particular asset classes, I don’t see flows being significantly affected.”Trading in Riyadh was also pressured by wider declines in emerging-market shares on Friday, when the MSCI EM Index fell 3.2% as a selloff in Treasuries triggered a slide in risk assets. Oil, Saudi Arabia’s biggest export, finished 1.1% lower last week.Outflows from the Saudi stock exchange climbed to a record of 6.6 billion riyals ($1.76 billion) in October 2018, the month when Khashoggi was killed at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. It was the biggest monthly drop in foreign holdings since the country opened up its stock market to international investors in 2015.MIDDLE EASTERN MARKETS:The Saudi index trims drop to 0.5% as of 10:29 a.m. local time. It’s still up 5.1% in FebruaryRiyad Bank rises as much as 1.4%, the most among 12 listed lenders, after proposing a dividend for 2020 of 0.5 riyal per shareDubai’s DFM General Index slips 0.8%, the most in the GulfAbu Dhabi’s ADX General Index falls 0.3%In Doha, the QE Index climbs 0.1%Ezdan Holding Group rises as much as 5.3% after saying it’s finalizing a bank facility to fully repay a $500 million sukuk maturing in MayShares dropped last week after S&P Global Ratings said the Qatari property developer faces the risk of a default or debt restructuringQLM Life & Medical Insurance rises 10% for a second session, after Qatar said last week that all expatriates and visitors will be required to have health insuranceGauges in Bahrain and Oman rise 0.1%Kuwait’s market is closed for a local holidayFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Rishi Sunak can do self-restraint. After an addiction to drinking full-strength Coca-Cola resulted in seven fillings to his teeth, he rationed himself to a single Coke a week.When he comes to deliver his budget on Wednesday, the chancellor of the exchequer faces a battle to persuade his colleagues of the need to turn down the flow of government spending, and to address the painful hole in the public finances, approaching 400 billion pounds ($558 billion).The question he’s still grappling with is how to pay the bill. Will he raise taxes, hitting the wealthy and clawing back profits from the few businesses that made them, as some suggest? Or will he prepare the ground for cuts to public spending? Or will he instead signal that the pain of cuts and taxes will have to come, but just not yet?Sunak’s answers will shape his own fortunes, the Conservative government’s political identity, and the U.K. economy’s chances of making a full recovery from its deepest recession for 300 years.“We went big, we went early, but there is more to come and there will be more to come in the budget. But there is a challenge,” with public finances and “I want to level with people about the challenge,” Sunak told the Financial Times in an interview Friday. In common with finance ministers around the world, Sunak poured out vast sums of taxpayers’ cash to save jobs and businesses when coronavirus forced the government to shut shops and restaurants and confine people to their homes.Now that Prime Minister Boris Johnson has laid out his “road map” for a cautious four-month lifting of the lockdown, Sunak is reconciled to keeping that flow of support going for as long as the restrictions are in place.What Bloomberg Economics Says…“The rise in bond yields over the past month, if it sticks, would mean debt interest costs as a share of GDP average 1.2% over the five years rather than 1%. Debt servicing costs have averaged 1.7% since 2000.”— Dan Hanson, senior economist. Click here for the full report.That will mean extending the 54 billion-pound furlough wage support program, along with cuts to business rates and sales tax at least until the end of June. This won’t be a surprise to Sunak’s colleagues and will please many, but not all, Conservative members of Parliament on Wednesday.But it runs against the grain of his instincts as a small-state Conservative, and many of his colleagues are also deeply uneasy about the economic policy their Tory government finds itself pursuing. The prospect of hiking taxes – including potentially a sharp rise in business levies – to pay the bill is particularly hard for most Tories to swallow.In recent weeks, the chancellor has been working assiduously to canvass his colleagues’ views in an effort to understand what he’s up against and tailor his messages to match. Some MPs report being invited to four or five Zoom calls with Sunak in the run-up to his budget.“Rishi was very open, very listening, really cared about what we were saying,” said Alexander Stafford, one of the new Tory MPs elected in December 2019. “We all know there are going to be cuts or tax rises. My hope is none of that falls too hard at the moment. We’re not out of the woods yet.”Others put it more bluntly. “If he were to raise taxes, it would undermine everything we’ve done to get businesses to this stage,” said Andrew Bridgen. “No society can ever tax its way to prosperity.”Among the details emerging on the plan, Sunak will pledge 22 billion pounds for a previously proposed infrastructure bank to boost the country's green economy, the Treasury said in a statement on Saturday. The bank will offer a range of products, including equity, loans and guarantees, to support projects in sectors such as renewable energy, carbon capture and storage and transportation. He's also expected to announce the launch of a fund that would channel up to 375 million pounds into fast-growing tech start-ups.What Else Will Be in Sunak’s Budget? A new state-backed loan program to help companies recover from the pandemic Extensions to the main virus support measures, including the furlough program, a reduction in VAT and the business rates holiday More details on how a proposed infrastructure bank will work An extension to the 20 pounds uplift in universal credit, a welfare payment 126 million pounds of new funding for 40,000 traineeships A signal that corporation tax is set to rise, possibly to 25% by the end of the parliament, according to the Sunday Times A freeze on the pension lifetime allowance, and on the point at which people start paying the basic rate of income tax, according to the Times A 5 billion-pound fund for pubs, restaurants and non-essential stores, according to the Sunday Telegraph A possible tax on every internet delivery, according to the Telegraph A fourth round of 3-month grants to self-employed people at up to 80% of their pre-pandemic earningsSteve Baker, a Tory who sits on the Treasury committee and will interrogate Sunak on his choices, said the government’s priority must be to create better-paid jobs for people in the months ahead. “I just don’t see how raising taxes promotes more, better, higher paying jobs for the public,” he said.The pandemic has fundamentally challenged the Tory party’s sense of what it stands for. In the past, Conservatives have flirted with privatizing state healthcare, cut welfare payments, and slashed taxes for high earners.What Bloomberg Economics Says…"The rise in bond yields over the past month, if it sticks, would mean debt interest costs as a share of GDP average 1.2% over the five years rather than 1%. Debt servicing costs have averaged 1.7% since 2000.-- Dan Hanson, senior economic. Click here full reportYet Johnson’s team now paints itself as the champions of the National Health Service while pumping up social security and weighing options to raise levies on capital gains.The influx of more than 100 new Conservative Members of Parliament in 2019, many of them representing northern seats prised from the left-wing Labour Party for the first time in decades, has changed the makeup of the party in Westminster.There’s less clamor for fiscal prudence than in years gone by, and there’s certainly no appetite for the return of the austerity policies pursued over much of the last decade by Tory-led administrations.Historically low interest rates mean there also isn’t pressure from the bond markets on the chancellor to rein in his spending immediately. While the country’s debt has ballooned during the crisis, the cost of servicing it has actually fallen.Yet Sunak sees big risks in doing nothing to address the U.K.’s pandemic-ravaged public finances. Even if he delays most of the difficult decisions until the next budget in the fall, or even next year, many of his colleagues expect he won’t be able to put off the pain any further.Bond markets are signaling that Sunak’s borrowing costs may only get higher. Interest rates on gilts in financial markets have risen a half percentage point in the past month for securities maturing in six years and beyond. The yield on the Treasury’s benchmark 10-year gilt reached 0.836% on Friday, the highest since March 2020 when the pandemic began spreading widely in Europe. Every 1 percentage-point increase in interest rates adds 25 billion pounds to the U.K.’s cost of servicing its debt, Sunak told the FT.“We all know that the markets can turn very, very quickly,” Harriet Baldwin, a Conservative who traded bonds during a market rout in 1994. “Although the situation is very favorable at the moment, it’s not necessarily always going to be the case. He’s got a tricky tightrope to walk.”Observers praise Sunak for his work ethic and attention to detail, and the chancellor himself has said he likes to start his day with a workout, either on a treadmill, in the gym, or on a stationary bicycle, before getting to his desk at 7:45 a.m.The truth is, no amount of sweat or preparation can guarantee Sunak’s policies will succeed. The biggest factor in determining whether Britain’s economy is permanently scarred or recovers quickly lies beyond the chancellor’s control: the pandemic itself.If, despite a fast and apparently effective vaccination program, Johnson’s government cannot keep a grip on coronavirus, the U.K.’s plan to reopen the economy on a cautious timetable of dates over the next four months will be at risk. So too will party unity.“All hell will break loose if the dates are challenged or they slip back,” said Indiana-born Joy Morrissey, who was elected under Johnson’s leadership in 2019. “These dates are the last possible dates everyone is going to accept.”(Adds comment from Bloomberg Economics.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
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The French dance duo broke up this week, just ahead of the 20th anniversary of their album that introduced their masked alter egos to the world. Ed Power salutes a 2001 marvel
Fresh protests in Barcelona over the jailing of a Spanish rapper turned violent on Sunday, with ten people arrested for assaulting the cops by nightfall.Trash cans were set on fire, broken glass covered the sidewalks, and police lines formed around crowds.Demonstrations began earlier this month, after rapper Pablo Hasel was arrested and taken to start his nine-month jail sentence.Known for being anti-establishment, Hasel was convicted in 2018 for breaking free speech laws glorifying terrorism and insulting royalty.In tweets and lyrics, he called Spain's former King a mafia boss, likened Spanish judges to Nazis and referenced a Basque separatist group, ETA.On Saturday, some 2,000 people in masks and holding banners marched through Barcelona, calling for his release.Police put up barricades downtown, as businesses and a police van went up in flames.Pressure now mounts on Spain's government to uphold its recent promise to relax free speech laws.
After struggling defensively against Steph Curry and Draymond Green, the Hornets (15-17) meet the Kings (13-20) at the midway point of the road trip.
Jairzinho Rozenstruik is not happy with his losing effort against Ciryl Gane in UFC Fight Night 186 headliner.
The 78th Golden Globes air on Sunday at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT live on NBC, with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler returning to host for the first time since they hosted three ceremonies in row from 2013-2015. They return to a show that will be unlike any other thanks to the coronavirus restrictions, which […]
City to plant shadier trees to preserve its environment, keep people cool, reduce urban warming and improve air quality Officials said there was no plans for mass chopping down of trees, and that the percentage reduction would be achieved by planting new trees. Photograph: Cristobal Herrera-Ulashkevich/EPA As a poster child for the climate emergency, Miami Beach has become a world leader in mitigating the effects of sea-level rise. Now the subtropical Florida city is cutting back on its famous swaying palm trees as it seeks shadier alternatives to preserve its environment and try to keep residents and visitors cool. Officials have embarked on a 30-year plan to reduce the percentage of palm trees in the city to only one quarter of its total canopy by 2050, according to the Miami Herald. Currently, Arecaceae palms account for more than 55% of the city’s population of 48,900 trees. The cutback is needed, the newspaper says, to reduce urban warming and improve air quality, and about 1,000 palm trees will be removed in the coming weeks as part of already scheduled construction projects. But Elizabeth Wheaton, the environmental and sustainability director for Miami Beach, said there was no plan for any mass chopping down of palms, which have been a staple of postcards and travel brochures depicting Miami for generations. Instead, the percentage reduction will be largely achieved by planting about 1,300 new shade trees instead of palms over the next two decades, which she said would make the city “more walkable and pleasant.” “Expanding shade canopy will enhance the city’s brand and quality of life,” Wheaton wrote in an email to the Herald. “Palms will continue to be a focal point along the city’s roads, green spaces and parks.” According to the urban forestry master plan that forms part of Miami Beach’s Rising Above initiative to combat the climate crisis, about 17 percent of the city’s 15.2 sq-mile footprint has a tree canopy. The plan details the environmental benefits of planting shade trees, including species such as oak, ash, elm and sycamore, in place of palms. For example, a 16in trunk diameter live oak tree would remove 510lb of carbon dioxide, 20oz of harmful ozone, and intercept 725 gallons of rainfall per year. By contrast, a native sabal palmetto palm of the same dimensions would absorb only 2.7lb of carbon dioxide, 1.7oz of ozone and 81 gallons of rainfall. “Trees have been proven to be one of the most effective tools for mitigating the effects of climate change,” the plan, drawn up by urban and landscape experts in conjunction with the Florida forestry service, states. “Palms, while an iconic part of Miami Beach’s landscape, have moved from being an accent plant to a major component of the city’s urban forest. General guidelines for species diversity state that no family should make up more than 30% of a city’s tree population.”
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(Bloomberg) -- President Joe Biden called it “outrageous” that Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman signed off on the killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, and cast ahead to an announcement about the kingdom next week.Biden said in an interview with Univision News that he told Saudi King Salman this week that “the rules are changing” in the kingdom’s relationship with the U.S. and promised “significant changes” on Monday.The prince has denied involvement in the killing and the kingdom rejected what it called a “false” U.S. narrative. No sanctions have been announced against him.The Biden administration on Friday released a partially redacted report the Trump administration withheld from the public revealing that the U.S. intelligence committee believed the crown prince was responsible for Khashoggi’s October 2018 murder inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.“We assess that Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman approved an operation in Istanbul, Turkey, to capture or kill Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi,” the report concluded.“It is outrageous what happened,” Biden said.Saudi stocks fell on Sunday, the first day of trading in Riyadh after the release of the report.Kingdom ‘Rejects’ FindingThe report builds on classified intelligence from the CIA and other agencies. The kingdom dismissed it outright.“The government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia completely rejects the negative, false and unacceptable assessment in the report pertaining to the Kingdom’s leadership, and notes that the report contained inaccurate information and conclusions,” the Saudi Foreign Ministry said in a statement.The prince has said he accepts symbolic responsibility for the killing as the country’s de facto ruler. Saudi officials have said the murder was carried out by rogue agents who’ve since been prosecuted. Relevant authorities took “all possible measures within our legal system” to ensure those agents were properly investigated and that justice was served, the statement said.The decision to release the report, compiled by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, reflects the Biden administration’s determination to recalibrate relations with Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter, over its human rights record.Saudi Commentators Welcome U.S. Report as VindicationAlthough the four-page declassified version didn’t disclose any direct evidence or the U.S. intelligence methods that were used in reaching its conclusion, it said the team that killed Khashoggi included seven members of the crown prince’s “elite personal protective detail” who wouldn’t have taken part without his approval.“The Crown Prince viewed Khashoggi as a threat to the Kingdom and broadly supported using violent measures if necessary to silence him,” the report said. The report said it had “high confidence” about the 21 people who were involved in the killing on the prince’s behalf.At least for now, there is no indication that the U.S. plans to sanction the crown prince. That’s in keeping with a broader assessment that he’s destined to be the kingdom’s ruler for years to come and punishing him now would risk alienating a country that, for all its flaws, remains a crucial ally.Saudi Arabia dominates the Gulf Arab region geographically, is its economic powerhouse, and has for decades been a political heavyweight in regional affairs. It’s also one of the biggest customers for American arms.Biden will have to navigate the relationship with Saudi Arabia carefully, however, as he seeks to re-engage Iran and persuade it to resume compliance with the nuclear accord. Signaling that being tougher on Saudi Arabia won’t mean he’s soft on Iran, the administration ordered airstrikes overnight on Iranian-backed militias in Syria that it blames for rocket attacks on U.S. forces in neighboring Iraq.“There will be an announcement on Monday as to what we are going to be doing with Saudi Arabia generally,” Biden told reporters as he departed the White House on Saturday for his home in Delaware.Economic PowerhouseAfter the report was released, Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced sanctions against 76 Saudi individuals under what he called a new “Khashoggi Ban” policy. Under that authority, the U.S. says it will single out anyone who, acting for a foreign government, engages in “counter-dissident activities” beyond that country’s borders.State Department spokesman Ned Price had told reporters Thursday that the U.S. was looking at other ways to punish the perpetrators of Khashoggi’s killing. Among the options may be cutting back arms sales to Saudi Arabia, he said without elaborating.The decision to release the report reflects a return, under Biden, to routine diplomatic channels and traditional U.S. pressure over human rights, even on allies.Trump put Saudi Arabia at the center of his Middle East strategy, making it his first foreign visit. He later abandoned the 2015 nuclear deal with a common enemy, Iran, and reimposed sanctions on Tehran.Trump dismissed concerns about whether the crown prince approved the Khashoggi killing -- “Maybe he did, maybe he didn’t,” he said -- citing the economic rewards of selling arms to the Saudis. His secretary of state, Michael Pompeo, said the U.S. had “no direct evidence” linking the prince to the murder, while Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner maintained a close working relationship with him.In contrast, within his first few days in office, Biden put on hold major weapons sales to the kingdom pending review, and announced an end to U.S. support for offensive actions in Yemen. In an overt rebuke, he also downgraded relations with Prince Mohammed, who runs the day-to-day affairs of the kingdom and typically liaises directly with foreign leaders. Instead, Biden has called King Salman his official counterpart.(Updates with Saudi market reaction on Sunday in sixth paragraph)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
Chinese Super League champions Jiangsu FC have "ceased operations", the club said on Sunday, underlining the financial problems roiling football in the country.
Infectious disease experts are expressing concern about Pope Francis’ upcoming trip to Iraq, given a sharp rise in coronavirus infections there, a fragile health care system and the unavoidable likelihood that Iraqis will crowd to see him. No one wants to tell Francis to call it off, and the Iraqi government has every interest in showing off its relative stability by welcoming the first pope to the birthplace of Abraham. The March 5-8 trip will provide a sorely-needed spiritual boost to Iraq’s beleaguered Christians while furthering the Vatican’s bridge-building efforts with the Muslim world.
BROADCAST AND DIGITAL RESTRICTIONS~**BROADCASTERS: NO USE. DIGITAL: NO USE AUSTRALIA BROADCASTERS. NO USE ABC, CNN, FOX, UNIVISION, TELEMUNDO, BBC AMERICA, NBC. VIDEO MUST BE USED IN ITS ENTIRETY. EXISTING GRAPHICS MAY BE OVERWRITTEN BY CLIENT'S OWN GRAPHICS BUT NO FURTHER EDITS ARE PERMITTED, INCLUDING FOR LENGTH. For Reuters customers only.~** "Mr. Biden, are you going to punish the Crown Prince?""There'll be an announcement on Mondayas to what we are going to be doing with Saudi Arabia generally."U.S. President Joe Biden reiterated on Saturday that he would be making an 'announcement' on Saudi Arabia on Monday, over the 2018 murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.That follows a US intelligence report made public on Friday, which revealed that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia, had approved the execution.However a White House official played down the upcoming announcement, suggesting no new significant steps should be expected after Friday's moves.The U.S. imposed a visa ban on some Saudis believed to have been involved in the murder and sanctioned others.Until his death in 2018, Khashoggi had written opinion columns critical of the Crown Prince's policies.He was killed and dismembered in the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul.The Crown Prince has consistently denied any involvement and the Saudi government on Friday rejected the U.S. report, reiterating their claims that Khashoggi was killed by a rogue group.Biden's administration faces growing pressure to take a tougher stance on the Crown Prince, who had not been sanctioned despite being blamed.
Shares of Fluor Corporation plunged 13.3% on Friday after the multinational engineering and construction firm issued a 2021 earnings guidance that fell short of analysts’ expectations. Fluor (FLR) projects adjusted earnings in the range of $0.50-$0.80 per share for 2021, significantly lower than the consensus estimate of $1.10. Furthermore, the company reported dismal 4Q results wherein revenues fell 15.9% to $3.7 billion year-on-year with a loss per share of $0.82. For 2020, revenues dropped 9.5% to $15.7 billion year-over-year and missed Street estimates of $15.5 billion. The company posted a net loss from continuing operation of $2.09 per share, significantly higher than the consensus estimate of $1.50 loss per share. (See Fluor stock analysis on TipRanks). Fluor’s overall 2020 financial results were negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and weak commodity prices. On Jan. 19, Citigroup analyst Andrew Kaplowitz raised the stock’s price target to $22 (28% upside potential) from $19 and reiterated a Hold rating. Kaplowitz believes that rising oil prices, government stimulus and probable replacement of the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act or the FAST Act are setting the tone for strong performance for the company in 2021. However, the analyst stated that pandemic-led uncertainty remains a near-term concern. Overall, the Street has a cautiously optimistic outlook on the stock with a Moderate Buy consensus rating based on 1 Buy and 3 Holds. The average analyst price target of $17.67 implies upside potential of about 3% to current levels. Shares are up around 56% over the last year. Related News:LHC Group Slips 5.9% After-Hours On Tepid 1Q Outlook Arcosa’s 2021 Revenue Outlook Disappoints After 4Q Miss; Stock Plunges 16%Clear Channel Posts Better-Than-Expected Sales; Shares Surge More recent articles from Smarter Analyst: Etsy Spikes 11.5% On Upbeat 1Q Outlook After 4Q Profit Beat J&J’s Single-Dose COVID-19 Vaccine Cleared For Emergency Use In US Plug Power To Invest $290M To Set Up Largest Green Hydrogen Plant In North America Tesla Confirms Fremont Factory Restart After Parts Supply Shortage – Report
Feb. 28—CHAPEL HILL — North Carolina eventually broke free to beat High Point University 27-12 in a nonconference meeting of ranked men's lacrosse teams Saturday in Kenan Stadium. Kevin Rogers had three goals and one assist to lead the Panthers (1-2), while Asher Nolting had three assists. Brayden Mayea, Hunter Vines and Sean Coughlin each had two goals to highlight High Point's offense. ...
Feb. 28—GUILFORD COUNTY — The Guilford County Board of Education voted unanimously on Saturday to hire a joint venture of HICAPS and C2 Contractors as project manager for $300 million in school construction voters approved in November. "As you know, the district does not have the capacity to manage this many construction projects at one time, and the decision was made early on to move forward ...