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Jen Psaki backed her kid's school in a fight with Virginia's GOP governor over mandating masks for students

Businessinsider - Mon, 01/17/2022 - 12:27
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki speaks during a press briefing at the White House on October 19, 2021.
  • Jen Psaki backed Arlington Public Schools in a mask-mandate argument with the state governor.
  • The district is defying a move by GOP Gov. Youngkin allowing parents to opt out of mask rules. 
  • Psaki said that, unlike her, Youngkin doesn't have kids at the schools in question.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki weighed in on a dispute between Gov. Glenn Youngkin of Virginia and her local school district, backing its decision to press ahead with masks mandates despite his instructions.

Youngkin sparked a dispute with Arlington Public Schools by ordering that school systems allow parents to opt out of compulsory masks rules in the classroom. 

Psaki in a tweet Sunday said: "Hi there. Arlington county parent here (don't believe you are @GlennYoungkin but correct me if I am wrong). Thank you to @APSVirginia for standing up for our kids, teachers and administrators and their safety in the midst of a transmissible variant."

—Jen Psaki (@jrpsaki) January 17, 2022

In the tweet, she linked to a report by Nick Ianelli of the local WTOP network on Youngkin pledging to take action against the school district — though noting that it was unclear exactly what this this meant.

The Arlington Public Schools said Saturday it would continue to require kids to wear a masks in schools and on school buses. It noted that public schools were by compelled by law to comply with CDC guidance to slow the spread of the disease, and that the agency still recommends masks. 

Youngkin in November became Virginia's first GOP governor since 2009.

He made educational issues the central battleground of his campaign, pledging to stop COVID-related school closures and loosen restrictions and taking aim at the teaching of critical race theory, the academic analysis of structural racism. 

In a flurry of executive orders after taking office, Youngkin announced he was banning the teaching of critical race theory, as well as seeking to roll back rules seeking the slow the spread of COVID.

Republican leaders are said to see Youngkin's campaign as a blueprint for national success in this year's mid-terms, as school districts impose new restrictions and closures in response to the fast-spreading Omicron variant.

Read the original article on Business Insider
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Region Sjælland går ned i corona-beredskab

DR Nyheder - Mon, 01/17/2022 - 12:23
Categories: Nyheder

Manila’s ‘no vax, no ride’ public transit policy comes into force

Al Jazeera - Mon, 01/17/2022 - 12:12
Unvaccinated people are banned from public jeepneys, taxis, buses, sea ferries and commercial planes to and from Manila.
Categories:

Suspected drone attack in Abu Dhabi causes fire, kills three

Al Jazeera - Mon, 01/17/2022 - 12:01
Police say 'small flying objects' behind blast near oil storage facilities and fire at construction site near airport.
Categories:

A GOP rep. pledged to bring his own lunch to work in boycott of DC restaurants that now need proof of vaccination

Businessinsider - Mon, 01/17/2022 - 11:58
Rep. Thomas Massie.
  • From Sunday, people in DC have to show proof of vaccination to enter restaurants and other indoor venues.
  • GOP Rep. Thomas Massie slammed the mandate on Friday, saying his "office will not comply."
  • We will get our food from Virginia or we will bring it to work," he tweeted.

Republican Rep. Thomas Massie pledged to bring his own lunch to work or order food from Virginia in a boycott of Washington, DC's new rule of needing vaccination proof to enter restaurants.

"My office will not comply," the Kentucky congressman tweeted on Friday. "We will not show papers. We will not order takeout from restaurants that require papers for dine-in. We will get our food from Virginia or we will bring it to work." 

"Shame has befallen our nation's capital."

The order, which took effect on Sunday, requires people aged 12 and older show proof of vaccination to enter any restaurant, bar, nightclub, sports venue, or gym in the city.

—Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) January 14, 2022

Washington joined other major US cities — including New York, Boston, and Los Angeles — in implementing similar requirements to counter a dramatic increase in COVID-19 infections.

Massie has been critical of vaccine mandates in the past: Last August, he compared vaccine passports to that tattoos that Jewish prisoners were forced to have at Nazi concentration camps. He later deleted the tweet.

He was also widely slammed last month after posting a Christmas photo of his family posing with military-style rifles, just days after a deadly school shooting in Michigan.

Read the original article on Business Insider
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Cathie Wood says meme stocks like GameStop aren't Ark Invest's thing — but she won't criticize retail traders for going after them

Businessinsider - Mon, 01/17/2022 - 11:58
Cathie Wood, founder and CEO of Ark Invest.
  • Meme stocks like GameStop and AMC don't fit with Ark Invest's focus on disruptive innovation, Cathie Wood said.
  • But the star investor won't criticize retail investors for their decision making in buying those stocks, she told Time.
  • "This is what makes a market. We're all taking calculated risks," she said in an interview published Sunday.
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.

The Reddit army behind last year's meme stock frenzy has been lambasted for trying to bully Wall Street — but don't count star stockpicker Cathie Wood as one of their critics.

The Ark Invest CEO justified the behavior of amateur investors who banded together to go after hedge funds that had bet against their favored stocks.

"Meme stocks are not our kind of stock," Wood told Time Magazine, in an interview published Sunday. "But I was watching the calculated risks that the people buying those stocks were taking."

"What they were doing was asking, 'Hey, which stocks are the most shorted out there? Maybe those people are going to be wrong,'" she said.

In January 2021, retail traders collaborated on Reddit forums like WallStreetBets to lift the price of GameStop, AMC, and other highly-shorted stocks, with the aim of taking a profit as hedge funds covered their short positions. Video-game retailer GameStop, at the center of the saga, soared 2,000% within just a couple of days.

They largely believed that a combination of fee-free trading platforms, easily accessible margin, and enough allies with the same vision could beat the funds that dominate Wall Street. Their coordinated moves had an impact, as their trades drove losses worth billions of dollars across short-seller hedge funds. 

But some industry experts have described that trading strategy as very speculative, and said it creates a new type of casino. They argue that many meme stock investors don't have real depth and experience in the markets.

But Wood suggested everyone takes risks and decides their own investing strategy.

"We tend to base all our investment decisions on our research," she said, likely referring to Ark's trading plan. "Some people base their investment decisions on technicals."

"These individuals were simply taking a look at how incredibly shorted these stocks were, all by the same kind of hedge funds. I'm not going to criticize it."

Some notable hedge funds impacted by the short squeezes, such as Gabe Plotkin's Melvin Capital, sought additional funding. Others signaled abnormal losses to their investors as a result of moves in the heavily-shorted stocks. A year later, Wall Street remains cautious of the power of retail traders.

Ark funds — whose disruptive-innovation investment strategy has faltered recently — invest in five major disruptive tech themes, including artificial intelligence and blockchain. The firm's research, which is publicly available, is targeted at techno-pessimists.

Wood explained this is done to expose retail investors to the opportunities that investing in innovation provides.

"We wanted to bring transparency and democratization into investing in innovation; we consider ourselves the closest you'll find to a venture capital firm in the public equity markets," she said.

Read More: JEFFERIES: Buy these 25 growth stocks that have been hit hard in the recent sell-off and are far from their recent highs, but have the potential for major comebacks

Read the original article on Business Insider
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Elon Musk says Tesla will roll out Full Self-Driving beta in Canada 'cautiously' within the next month. He first predicted in 2020 that it would be out 'very soon.'

Businessinsider - Mon, 01/17/2022 - 11:42
Tesla CEO Elon Musk walks in front of a Model Y image in Shanghai.
  • Tesla CEO Elon Musk said Full Self-Driving beta will roll out in Canada in two to four weeks.
  • Musk first forecast in 2020 that Tesla would release FSD beta in Canada "very soon."
  • He said last year the FSD had to be tweaked for the different road system in Canada.

Elon Musk said Sunday that Tesla will roll out its Full Self-Driving (FSD) beta software in Canada within the next month. 

"We will start rolling out FSD beta in Canada cautiously in next 2 to 4 weeks," Musk tweeted in response to a Twitter user asking for an update.

The Tesla CEO first predicted in a tweet in December 2020 that the FSD beta would be extended to Canada "very soon."

Musk tweeted in November 2021 that FSD beta would maybe go live in Canada the following month but there were "no guarantees."

He added that the FSD software required a lot of testing and code tweaks for a different road system in Canada compared to the US.

FSD allows Tesla's electric vehicles to automatically change lanes, enter and exit highways, recognize stop signs and traffic lights, and park. Despite these abilities, the software doesn't make the car fully autonomous.

The timeline update on FSD release in Canada follows Musk's announcement in early January about Tesla raising the price of FSD software from $10,000 to $12,000.

FSD beta is currently available in the US — Tesla released a new FSD version, called the 10.3 update, to drivers in October. Less than 24 hours later, Musk tweeted the company would roll back to version 10.2. because it was "seeing some issues." 

Read the original article on Business Insider
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Tonga volcano: Video shows eruption day before tsunami

BBC News - World - Mon, 01/17/2022 - 11:31
Watch dramatic footage of the underwater volcano erupting the day before it triggered a tsunami.
Categories:

Winter storm hits US East Coast, tens of thousands without power

Al Jazeera - Mon, 01/17/2022 - 11:30
The snowstorm caused travel disruptions and left thousands without power, with warnings from Mississippi to Maine.
Categories:

Meta's VR division is reportedly under investigation by the FTC

Businessinsider - Mon, 01/17/2022 - 11:26
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
  • Meta's VR division is under investigation by the Federal Trade Commission, Bloomberg reports.
  • Sources told Bloomberg the FTC has been speaking to third-party Oculus developers.
  • Meta is already subject to intense antitrust scrutiny by the FTC.

Meta's VR division is under investigation by the Federal Trade Commission and multiple US states, Bloomberg reported Friday.

The FTC and an undisclosed number of US states led by New York have been questioning third-party Oculus app developers over the last few months, sources with knowledge of the matter told Bloomberg.

Sources told Bloomberg that investigators are looking into whether Oculus uses its market position to squash competition.

Meta did not immediately respond when contacted by Insider for comment on Bloomberg's report. The FTC did not immediately respond when contacted out of hours.

Oculus is a crucial part in Meta's ambitions to build out the metaverse. The word metaverse is a term borrowed from science fiction and refers to a future vision of the internet which people primarily access through immersive technologies like VR and AR.

Meta, formerly known as Facebook, rebranded itself in October to align more closely with CEO Mark Zuckerberg's plans to push more into metaverse technology. Zuckerberg said Meta would consist of two main businesses: its traditional social media business, and Reality Labs, its VR and AR hardware division.

The head of Reality Labs, Andrew Bosworth, announced in October the Oculus brand would be dissolved, saying the company would in "early 2022" start renaming the Oculus Quest headset the Meta Quest, and would replace the Oculus App with the Meta App.

Meta is already the subject of antitrust scrutiny by the FTC. A judge ruled last week that an FTC antitrust lawsuit against Meta can proceed. The lawsuit aims to force Meta to sell off its subsidiaries Instagram and WhatsApp.

Read the original article on Business Insider
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Ex-leader Poroshenko returns to Ukraine to face treason case

Al Jazeera - Mon, 01/17/2022 - 11:15
Former president could be sentenced to up to 15 years in prison if found guilty of charges he dismisses as fabricated.
Categories:

China says it posted 8.1% GDP growth last year, and 3 other key takeaways from the country's most recent data dump

Businessinsider - Mon, 01/17/2022 - 11:11
The Chinese government is trying to stimulate the slowing economy.
  • China announced its GDP grew 8.1% on-year in 2021, beating expectations.
  • But fourth-quarter GDP slowed to 4.0% from 4.9% in the third quarter of 2021.
  • The Chinese central bank has cut interest rates to stimulate growth in a politically sensitive year.

China announced that its economy grew 8.1% last year, beating expectations even as the COVID-19 pandemic stretched into its second year.

The growth rate was well above Beijing's target of "above 6%" and 2020's revised growth of 2.2%. Meanwhile, analysts polled by Reuters had forecast a 8.0% growth rate.

However, all is not well with the world's second-largest economy. The Chinese government is warning of a "triple pressure of demand contraction, supply shock and weakening expectations" amid the spread of the Omicron variant, which has reached capital city Beijing.

Here are four key takeaways from the most recent report from China's National Bureau of Statistics, released today. Importantly, the accuracy of some of the data in the report, including GDP figures, is called into question: Bo Zhuang, a China economist at Boston-based investment management firm Loomis Sayles, told Insider the headline GDP figure is "systematically inflated" due to how it's calculated.

1. China reported 8.1% GDP growth in 2021 — but it's likely lower

Even though China reported 8.1% on-year GDP growth rate in 2021, the real two-year compound annual growth rate is likely lower, around 5.5% to 6%, said Zhuang.

However, it's unlikely the central government was manipulating numbers, Zhuang said. 

One issue with China's economic data traces back to the quality of information submitted to the central government, as local governments sometimes inflate local GDP data to get more central government subsidies. Some investments are also reported twice if they involve two different provincial governments. Such issues result in a "constant error" for Chinese GDP data, said Zhuang.

The country's methodology for measuring economic data has also not been updated in decades. For instance, many of the companies surveyed for economic data are large, state-owned enterprises and factories, and this sampling doesn't capture the fast-growing services sector and the smaller enterprises, said Zhuang.

"Obviously, they need to revamp many of their survey samples," he said. "They're not representative of the Chinese economy anymore."

2. Growth in the fourth quarter of 2021 likely fell below Beijing's tolerance level, prompting a rate cut

China's GDP grew 4.0% on-year in the fourth quarter of 2021, marking a slowdown from 4.9% in the third quarter and 7.9% in the second quarter, according to official data.

Ahead of the economic data release this morning, the Chinese central bank unexpectedly announced an interest rate cut on policy loans — a growth-boosting move not seen since April 2020.

The rate cut is a sign that the Chinese government views its fourth-quarter GDP growth to be "below the tolerance level" of the authorities, said Zhuang.

Analysts polled by Reuters had expected a 3.6% growth for the fourth quarter, which means the official growth rate outperformed market consensus. But Beijing's growth expectations for the final quarter of 2021 were likely around 5%, said Zhuang.

"That's why they feel a need to stimulate in order to catch up to this 5% growth," Zhuang told Insider.

3. Employees are working more hours, but China's employment numbers don't tell the whole story

Company employees work 47.8 a week — about 9.5 hours a day — data in the new report shows. However, that data is skewed because authorities only started including casual workers into its data collection in 2021, said Zhuang.

The number of hours worked per week has increased from the end of 2020, official data compiled by the CEIC shows.

While the National Bureau of Statistics data shows that employment was generally stable in 2021 and the unemployment rate in urban areas declined, the report doesn't go into details, Zhuang said.

Economists recently told Bloomberg that China's official unemployment figures don't capture data on people who have been out of the job market for more than three months, or include information on changes in the number of migrant workers.

Despite the steady unemployment rate, incomes have fallen since 2019, Zhuang said, citing official data. 

4. Xi is under pressure to keep the economy strong as he prepares to seek a third term

China's economy was turbocharged in early 2021 as the country started to recover from the pandemic, but the economy started to slow down in late September on the back of the Evergrande debt crisis and a power crisis. December retail sales growth also slowed to their slowest pace since August 2020.

Now, there are signs of new threats amid the Omicron variant, which have prompted Chinese authorities to act more aggressively by cutting the interest rate on policy loans, said Zhuang. About 70% of analysts polled by Reuters last week weren't expected any change to the rate.

President Xi Jinping is under pressure to have the economy perform this year, as he is expected to seek a third term at the Chinese Communist Party's 20th National Party Congress in the fall of 2022.

"He cannot afford to see GDP growth collapse. Reasonably high growth — i.e. 5% — is still politically correct for him, so that's why the government is acting more aggressively," said Zhuang.

Read the original article on Business Insider
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Israeli ex-PM Netanyahu's cases could be dropped in plea deal

BBC News - World - Mon, 01/17/2022 - 11:06
The former prime minister is discussing terms which could see a dramatic end to his criminal trial.
Categories:

Why satellites are key to understanding Pacific volcano

BBC News - World - Mon, 01/17/2022 - 11:05
When the huge eruption happened over the weekend, a fleet of spacecraft overhead gathered key data.
Categories:

Regeringen siger nej til OL, men FN siger ja tak: ’OL skal være et instrument til fred’

DR Sporten - Mon, 01/17/2022 - 10:55
FN deltager i OLs åbningsceremoni, men organisationen er fanget i et politisk spil, hvor de ikke kan undgå at gøre nogen sure.
Categories: Sport

Würth Danmark blev ramt af cyberangreb: »Vi var fuldstændig lammede«

Version2 - Seneste nyheder - Mon, 01/17/2022 - 10:34
Hjemmeside, telefoner, e-mailsystemer, og ordrehåndtering blev lagt ned, da Würth blev ramt af et cyberangreb hen over julen.
Categories: IT

SLS: Nasa fixes glitchy megarocket equipment ahead of key test

BBC News - World - Mon, 01/17/2022 - 10:33
Nasa fixes malfunctioning equipment on a new rocket designed to take astronauts to the Moon.
Categories: