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China's success at controlling the coronavirus outbreak has resulted in a population that has seemed almost reluctant to get vaccinated. After a slow start, China is now giving millions of shots a day. A top government doctor, Zhong Nanshan, has announced a June goal of vaccinating 560 million of the country’s 1.4 billion people.
An Australian court ruled Friday that Google misled consumers about collecting location data through Android mobile devices in what the country's competition watchdog called a "world-first" action against the digital giant.
At this time, I would like to welcome everyone to the BlackRock, Inc. first-quarter 2021 earnings teleconference. While few of us could have predicted that we would still be confronting the human and economic challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic a year later, the events of the past year have only strengthened our resolve to continue to invest for future growth in order to evolve our business, live our purpose and meet the needs of all of our stakeholders, including clients, employees, shareholders and the communities in which we operate.
JBHT earnings call for the period ending March 31, 2021.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken made an unannounced visit to Kabul on Thursday to show support for the Afghan government and civil society a day after President Joe Biden said he was pulling out American forces after nearly 20 years of war. Biden said U.S. objectives in Afghanistan had become “increasingly unclear” over the past decade and set a deadline for withdrawing all U.S. troops remaining in Afghanistan by Sept. 11, exactly two decades after al Qaeda’s attacks on the United States that triggered the war.Foreign troops under NATO command will also withdraw from Afghanistan in coordination with the U.S. pullout.Blinken, arriving in Kabul after attending NATO talks in Brussels, met with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, whose government remains embroiled in fierce fighting with Taliban insurgents while a U.S.-backed peace process is shrouded in uncertainty.The top U.S. diplomat tried to reassure Ghani that despite the departure of U.S. troops, the United States would remain committed to Afghanistan, saying Washington will “intensify” its diplomacy to do “everything we can” to advance efforts to secure a peace agreement between Kabul and the insurgents.“The reason I’m here, so quickly after the president’s speech last night, is to demonstrate literally, by our presence, that we have an enduring an ongoing commitment to Afghanistan,” Blinken said at the embassy, according to a press pool report.The foreign troop withdrawals have raised concerns that the country could erupt in full-scale civil war, providing al Qaeda space in which to rebuild and plan new attacks on U.S. and other targets.Nor have the Taliban renounced their goal of reinstating Islamist rule, fueling fears they would reverse gains in women’s rights, education, independent media and other areas if they return to power.During his eight-hour visit, Blinken met with advocates of women’s rights, disability rights, youth and media freedom, who “shared their concerns about the Taliban’s intent as well as a strong desire for peace,” a State Department statement said.During a press conference at the heavily fortified U.S. embassy, Blinken said Washington will continue its humanitarian support to Afghanistan and advocacy for the rights of women and girls.In his meeting with Ghani, Blinken assured the Afghan president that “the partnership is changing, but the partnership is enduring.”At his press conference at the embassy, where earlier he had greeted U.S. soldiers, Blinken warned the Taliban that any attack on American troops as they pulled out would be met with “a very forceful response.”He also met with Abdullah Abdullah, the head of Afghanistan’s High Council for National Reconciliation, who expressed support for the U.S. decision.“This does not mean the end of relations and cooperation between the two countries. A new chapter of relations and cooperation between the two countries has returned and we will continue our cooperation in various fields in this chapter,” Abdullah said in a statement.Implicit threatEven as Blinken visited Kabul, the Taliban reiterated a call for an “immediate” withdrawal of all foreign forces, accusing Washington of breaching a February 2020 accord – secured by the Trump administration – to complete a U.S. troop pullout by May 1.The Taliban statement appeared to make an implicit threat, warning that “in principle” their fighters would “take every necessary countermeasure, hence the American side will be held responsible for all future consequences.”They also said they will “under no circumstance ever relent” on their goal of establishing a “pure Islamic system,” underscoring a deep difference with Kabul over the kind of governmental system that should be established in a peace agreement.As the fate of the peace talks remained uncertain, with the Taliban saying they would not attend a planned conference in Turkey until all foreign forces leave Afghanistan, Blinken remained hopeful.“We’re waiting to see a definitive response form the Taliban about their participation,” he said. “The goal is ... to accelerate the peace process. The gathering will be supported by high-level attendance from the international community.”Some U.S. officials and experts are concerned about the enduring presence in Afghanistan of al Qaeda and Islamic State extremists, worried that the former will be able to rebuild and plot new attacks on Western targets.Speaking to CNN, Biden’s national security advisor, Jake Sullivan, conceded that the U.S. withdrawal would result in less intelligence. But, he said, the United States still would be able to detect threats to the U.S. homeland from Afghanistan.“Our ability to protect the American homeland in my view will not diminish,” Sullivan said. “Our ability to collect intelligence on a day-to-day basis, against the comings and goings of actors within Afghanistan, will diminish. That’s a big difference.”“From our perspective, we can set up the kind of scenario in which we can protect this country without remaining at war in Afghanistan for the third decade.”The Taliban ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001 when they were ousted by U.S.-led forces. A U.S.-backed government has held power since then, although the Taliban have control over wide areas of the country.(REUTERS)
(Bloomberg) -- China’s economy soared in the first quarter as consumer spending strengthened, suggesting a more balanced recovery after an investment and export-fueled rebound from last year’s coronavirus lockdowns.Gross domestic product climbed a record 18.3% in the first quarter from a year earlier, largely in line with the 18.5% predicted in a Bloomberg survey of economists. The figures are skewed by comparisons from a year ago when the economy was shut to curb the coronavirus outbreak. Retail sales beat expectations while industrial output moderated.China’s economy steadily picked up pace after an historic contraction in the first quarter of last year, recovering all its lost ground by the end of September. The rebound has been led by strong industrial output and robust exports as the pandemic fueled demand for Chinese-made medical goods and electronic devices. Consumer spending had lagged, but the latest figures show a marked improvement in sentiment.“We are seeing a bit more balanced recovery in the Chinese economy,” Wang Tao, chief China economist at UBS AG, said in an interview with Bloomberg TV. As monetary and fiscal policy starts to normalize, property and infrastructure investment are set to slow in the next few quarters, she said. “That early pickup in construction industry is going to give way to more household consumption,” she added.On a quarter-on-quarter basis, which gives a better reading of the economy’s momentum, GDP growth slowed to 0.6% from an upwardly revised 3.2% in the previous three months. Wang said that was largely due to new virus cases at the beginning of the year and subsequent travel restrictions over the Lunar New Year holiday, as well as the lack of additional fiscal stimulus.The benchmark CSI 300 Index pared an earlier loss of as much as 0.6%. China’s 10-year government bond futures also reversed earlier losses to rise as much as 0.1% while the yield on benchmark 10-year sovereign debt fell one basis point to 3.165%. The onshore yuan lost 0.17%, the first drop this week, to 6.5329 per dollar.Bumper GDP growth, rising inflation and soaring debt levels have put policy makers on guard. Beijing has signaled it wants to scale back fiscal and monetary stimulus now that the recovery is gathering pace, and is tightening regulatory oversight in areas such as lending and real estate. Separate figures released by the statistics bureau Friday showed home prices grew at the fastest pace in seven months in March.What Bloomberg Economics Says...The undershoot in GDP growth relative to expectations and lopsided nature of the recovery do not warrant any economy-wide shift in monetary policy, in our view.Looking forward, production is poised to start peaking, while demand should pick up further. This should add more balance in what looks to be a steady recovery ahead.Chang Shu, chief Asia economistFor full report, click here The central bank has asked banks to curtail loan growth in coming months as it seeks to rein in credit. Officials have stressed a gradual tapering though, and economists don’t expect any interest rate hikes soon. The statistics bureau said Friday inflation is expected to remain in a moderate range this year, and while rising commodity costs could boost domestic prices, there’s no basis for prices in upstream sectors to rise significantly. “The economy is far from overheating,” said Bruce Pang, head of macro and strategy research at China Renaissance Securities Hong Kong Ltd. The improvement in consumption was partly driven by pent-up demand due to travel restrictions in January and February, and the economic recovery still remains uneven, he said. “The consumer sector doesn’t have a solid basis for overheating, and I don’t think the central bank will take a faster turn for monetary policy.”Globally, the rollout of vaccines is helping to bolster the world economy and underpinning China’s growth. On top of that, the Biden administration’s massive fiscal stimulus is expected to have huge spillovers for the rest of the world, especially in China, the world’s biggest exporter.Bloomberg Economics’ Chang Shu earlier this week upgraded her GDP growth forecast for China for this year to 9.3%, from 8.2% previously. ING Groep NV economist Iris Pang raised her projection to 8.6% from 7% based on the latest GDP results. The government’s official target is for growth above 6% this year.“We expect the economy to continue to gain momentum in the second quarter, with a rotation in terms of the drivers of growth compared to last year,” said Louis Kuijs, head of Asia Economics at Oxford Economics Ltd. in Hong Kong. “Less generous fiscal and monetary policy will weigh on infrastructure and real estate investment, while improved profitability and confidence should buoy corporate investment and consumption.”(Updates with additional details and comments.)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.
Japan is set to raise the coronavirus alert level in Tokyo’s three neighboring prefectures and a forth area in central Japan to allow tougher measures as a more contagious coronavirus variant spreads, along with doubts whether the Olympics can go ahead. The move comes only four days after Tokyo was placed on alert while the vaccination campaign has covered less than 1% of the population. The government is expected to official approve the alert status for Kanagawa, Saitama and Chiba and Aichi prefectures in central Japan at a meeting later Friday.
A 21-year old university student developed heart failure after “excessive” consumption of energy drinks, according to a new article in a leading medical journal. The man drank four 500ml energy drinks a day for two years before he needed hospital treatment for heart failure, according to a new BMJ Case Report. The university student required intensive care treatment and was so ill that medics were considering whether he needed an organ transplant.
The actress posted photos to Instagram posing on the set of Pop's Chock'lit Shoppe with the infant
A South Korean steelmaker said Friday it's ending a joint venture with a military-controlled firm in Myanmar following criticism that its business has benefited military leaders who have violently suppressed pro-democracy protests in the country. POSCO Coated & Color Steel said it will discontinue its joint venture with Myanmar Economic Holdings Public Company. The statement did not specify when and how it will end Myanmar POSCO C&C.
The CEO of Pfizer compared COVID-19 shots to "vaccines like flu that you need every year.”
ABCOn Thursday night, comedian Jimmy Kimmel kicked off the latest edition of Jimmy Kimmel Live! by addressing the vaccine selfie that Ivanka Trump—whose father, brother, and stepmother contracted COVID-19 due to their reckless behavior—posted to her Instagram.“I’m glad she did it and posted about it, but the comments under her post are, ‘nope,’ ‘not doing it,’ ‘hard no,’ ‘pass,’ ‘you’re joking, right?’ and ‘I never will.’ What a solid fanbase this is,” cracked Kimmel, adding, “Which is it, Trumpsters? Does Donald Trump deserve credit for the miracle of vaccines, or are they useless? It can’t be both of those things!”Stellan Skarsgard Is Finally Seizing the SpotlightLater on in his monologue, Kimmel shouted-out a recent Daily Beast story revealing the Venmo payments that House Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and his fellow accused sex-trafficker/pal, Joel Greenberg, made to a number of women via Venmo.“Meanwhile, there are more details in the sordid saga of future former Florida congressman Matt Gaetz,” explained Kimmel. “Yesterday we learned that Gaetz was involved in more wild house parties than Kid n’ Play in the ‘90s. There were drugs and sex at these parties where women were given gifts of money in exchange for their participation, much of it paid through Venmo.”He continued: “So, The Daily Beast got their hands on Venmo transactions from this guy Joel Greenberg, one of Gaetz’s closest friends. Greenberg is now cooperating with authorities, which is bad for Matt Gaetz, presumably as a result of more than 150 payments made to dozens of young women. At least 16 of those payments were made to a woman who later dated Matt Gaetz, and the notes—you know how you put the notes on Venmo?—they’re ridiculous. Three payments—for $500, $200, and $250—labeled ‘ice cream.’ Five other payments labeled ‘salad.’ One of those ‘salads’ cost more than $1,000. I guess they added avocado. Two of those transactions were for ‘stuff’ and ‘other stuff.’”“Of course, we know about all this because stupid Joel Greenberg made his Venmo transactions public—as did Matt Gaetz,” Kimmel said. “They didn’t check the privacy box. What’s the opposite of a criminal mastermind?”Read more at The Daily Beast.Get 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.
(Bloomberg) -- Trading app Robinhood experienced issues with its crypto trading, which had a “major outage” late Thursday in the U.S., according to its Twitter feed and website.“Crypto trading is now fully restored. Like others, we were experiencing unprecedented demand for Robinhood Crypto services, which created issues with crypto trading. We’ve resolved the issue and apologize for the inconvenience,” a recent Twitter post said.Robinhood’s website had previously shown a post at 9:49 p.m. Eastern time about the problem, and subsequent posts saying “we are continuing to investigate this issue.”All other functions on Robinhood are operational, according to its website.NOTE: On Tuesday, Robinhood also had an issue that affected crypto trading, which was resolved.Story Link: Robinhood Says Its Crypto Trading Is Having ‘Major Outage’(Updates with restoration of service.)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.
New Zealand said on Friday it has agreed to give Amazon extra rebates on its expenses for the filming of "The Lord of the Rings" TV series in the country, hoping to reap multi-year economic and tourism benefits. Amazon will get an extra 5% from New Zealand's Screen Production Grant in addition to the 20% grant the production already qualifies for, the government said in a statement. Amazon is estimated to be spending about NZ$650 million ($465 million) filming the first season of the show, for broadcast on its Amazon Prime streaming platform, meaning it would be eligible for a rebate of about NZ$162 million ($116 million), the government said.
Nine veteran Hong Kong democracy activists -- including publisher Jimmy Lai -- will be sentenced on Friday for their roles in one of the city's biggest-ever protests.
Ashley Cain and Safiyya Vorajee's daughter Azaylia Diamond was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia when she was 2 months old
Alexandre Lacazette scored twice for the Gunners.
'Gutfeld!' panel discuss how students are taught leftist ideology on campuses across the nation
Ohio Republican and Dr. Jay Bhattacharya accuse White House of embracing the 'forever pandemic' on 'The Ingraham Angle'
Academy graduates Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka both starred for the Gunners.