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After months of deadlock, lawmakers are now watching Friday as the coercive law on public finances is finalized….. Stephanie Reynolds for the New York Times…
A bipartisan group of centrist congressmen presented compromise measures worth $908 billion on Monday that should lead to negotiations on a new round of incentives to break the deadlock over the virus’ economic impact.
One of the accounts provides for the allocation of USD 748 billion to the government. The United States of America had earmarked $15 million to finance a number of programs agreed during the negotiations on the economic stimulus packages, including the resumption of federal unemployment benefits and the popular small business credit program, as well as funds for the distribution of vaccines, food aid, schools and other facilities to survive the pandemic. The second measure contains the two main obstacles to the agreement: USD 160 billion in support of national and local governments and temporary protection against the coronavirus for companies, non-profit organisations, schools and hospitals.
The group’s two-step plan was an attempt by Congress a few days before the holiday to agree on a pandemic plan that could be accepted by all parties, but it was blocked because some Democrats said they thought it was insufficient and it was unclear whether the Republicans would accept it.
Senator Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican and majority leader, had previously suggested removing the two bottlenecks and accepting a narrow stimulus instead. Democrats opposed the liability shield, which they believed could undermine the protection of workers, and Republicans were adamantly opposed to what many of them ridiculed as a blue salute to the state and local authorities.
It is unclear whether the compromise between the moderate parties, which was first drawn up shortly after Thanksgiving, will be part of a final agreement. Panel members – including Senator Susan Collins, Republican of Maine, Senator Mark Warner, Democrat of Virginia, and Senator Joe Manchin III, Democrat of West Virginia – stayed for days to work out the details.
Senator Bernie Sanders, a Vermont independent, warned the Democratic leaders that he would oppose any deal that did not include direct payments to Americans of $1,200 per adult and $500 per child, a provision that should not have been included in any of the two-pronged plans.
If the U.S. government wants the American people to believe in its government in this time of need, it must respond, Sanders said in a telephone interview. My urgent request is twofold: They have high unemployment benefits, and we should have $1,200 plus 500. This should be included in any accepted sentence.
The two accounts are being released because Congress has extended the deadline for the completion of Friday’s binding Public Finance Act, which legislators and deputy secretaries are close to completion. An agreement on expenditure legislation can already be reached on Monday.
California spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi had to talk to finance minister Steven Mnuchin when they were looking for an agreement on government funding and economic incentives.
On Monday, the Federal Commercial Commission launched an in-depth investigation into the way social media and streaming companies collect and use data about their users. This obligation is intended to give the Consumer Protection Office a better understanding of the critical part of the Internet sector.
The agency asked nine major technology platforms – Amazon, ByteDance (which works with TikTok), Discord, Facebook, Reddit, Snap, Twitter, WhatsApp and YouTube – to provide information on how they collect data, how user data is used to determine what ads are shown to whom and how companies measure and promote user engagement. The Agency also asked companies for data on the impact of their services on children and young people.
The study is not an official survey of Internet companies, and the survey is not linked to enforcement actions, the agency said. Companies have 45 days to respond to an agency request. In February, the FTC conducted an anti-monopoly study of previous small mergers between Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google and Microsoft to determine whether these mergers subsequently raised competition concerns.
Last week the Facebook office, like more than 40 other states, accused Facebook of buying out its competitors for squash. The suits were intended to buy Facebook Instagram for $1 billion and WhatsApp for $19 billion.
The agency’s new study will unveil the hood on social networks and video streams of companies to take a closer look at their engines, three of the four committee members who voted for the study wrote in a statement. With respect to the influence of technology companies on the privacy and behavior of Americans, this study is timely and important.
Joseph Simons, president of the bureau, voted for the study, but made no statement. Noah Phillips, a Republican like Mr. Simons, was the only one who voted against the study, calling it radical and scattered.
Rory Gamble, president of the United Auto Workers Union, who has agreed to changes to eradicate corruption in the union, has been appointed … Rebecca Cook/Reuters
On Monday, the Ministry of Justice and the United Auto-Union said that they had reached provisional agreement on amendments aimed at eradicating corruption in the Union without placing it under full government control.
The U.S. Attorney General for the Eastern District of Michigan, Matthew J. Clinton. Schneider and union president Rory Gamble said the UAE had agreed to appoint an observer to monitor the union’s finances. The Union will also ask Members whether it is necessary to change the way in which it elects its President and senior officials.
Over the past five years, Schneider has investigated corruption in the United Arab Emirates and received confessions from more than a dozen people, including two former trade union presidents. Several unrelated cases were discovered in his office where senior trade union officials misappropriated more than $1.5 million in rights, $3.5 million from trade union training centres and car manufacturers, and millions of dollars in bribes from companies that supplied T-shirts, watches and other promotional items to the trade union.
The United Arab Emirates, one of the world’s largest and most respected trade unions, is on its way to eradicate corruption, Schneider said at a press conference in Detroit.
The agreement terminated a criminal investigation against the trade union, but Mr Schneider’s office is still looking for trade union officials. He added that there was no investigation into Mr Gamble and praised him for his cooperation.
Mr. Gamble said the investigation was very necessary to clean up our union.
According to the agreement, the members of the UAE will decide to elect the president of the trade union directly. The President and other senior officials are currently elected by the delegates.
The auditor will be empowered to investigate new cases of fraud or corruption. If members elect their leaders directly, an observer is monitored for up to six years to observe the next two leadership elections in the UAE.
Mr. Gamble’s two direct predecessors, Gary Jones and Dennis Williams, pleaded guilty to charges relating to the use of union funds for luxury travel and personal purchases. Both are awaiting conviction.
Three former Fiat Chrysler managers and a high-ranking trade unionist, Joe Ashton, a former member of the board of General Motors, also pleaded guilty to allegations of corruption. In November, Mr. Ashton was sentenced to 30 months in prison.
Darren Woods, executive director of Exxon Mobil, said it would reduce emissions by 15 to 20 percent by 2025 compared to 2016. credit…. Brendan McDermid/Reuters.
On Monday, Exxon Mobil announced that it will reduce methane and other greenhouse gas emissions from its exploration and production activities over the next four years.
The company stated that it would reduce its emissions by 15 percent from 2016 to 2025.
In addition, the company stated that it would end routine gas flaring by 2030 in order to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from companies burning unwanted natural gas emitted during oil production.
The company focused on the distant goals of BP and other European oil companies, which have pledged to reduce emissions much further, and said they would gradually move away from oil and gas if they invested more in renewable energy sources.
We respect and support the company’s commitment to achieving net zero emissions by 2050 and continue to advocate policies that promote cost-effective, market-based solutions to address the risks of climate change, said Darren Woods, CEO of Exxon, in a statement.
Exxon said that a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions would require changes in the company’s energy policy coupled with the development and implementation of affordable emission reduction technologies.
Rihanna at the exhibition of the Savage x Fenty collection in 2018. A loan… Nina Westerwelt for The New York Times.
Savage x Fenty, the lingerie company that helped build singer Rihanna, hired Goldman Sachs to raise $100 million in funding, sources with first-hand knowledge of the DealBook story.
The company wants money for new initiatives that may include new lines, such as sportswear and expansion in Europe.
A high-flying lingerie brand generates around $150 million in revenue, but is not yet profitable according to some sources who speak of anonymity because the information is confidential.
The evaluation he asked for during the funding round could not be established, a representative of Goldman Sachs refused to comment, while Savage x Fenty did not respond to requests for comments.
Rihanna’s companies have challenged the traditional role-playing of fashion and cosmetics brands by adopting an inclusive approach in an industry where exclusivity is the norm. The Fenty Beauty line, which she produces together with her daughter LVMH, offers 40 shades of foundation for a wide range of complexions. The makeup brand filled Sephora’s shelves with the support of LVMH and paved the way for Rihanna’s fashion line with the French luxury empire.
Rihanna has launched the 2018 Savage x Fenty, which focuses on a wide range of body types. It is partly owned by the Techstyle Fashion Group, a company founded with the support of actress Kate Hudson of the sports fairy tale line Fabletics. Rihanna often promotes the brand on Instagram, where she has 87.5 million followers. Earlier this year, Savage x Fenty was accused of fraudulent marketing, which he denied.
Savage X Fenti was launched when Victoria Secret tripped. The brand that once dominated the lingerie industry began to gag its customers with clothes that focused more on sexual appeal than comfort. Last year Victoria’s Secret cancelled its fashion show in front of a declining audience. In a seemingly direct shot at his rival, Savage x Fenty put on a fantastic show at the Barclays Center last year and returned this year with a strong image of inclusiveness led by the Amazon.
The UK’s most modern power station, known as Sizewell B, is located near the fishing village of Sizewell, some 100 miles northeast of London. A loan… Dylan Martinez/Reuters.
The British government said on Monday that it would start official talks with the French energy supplier EDF to build a new nuclear power plant on the east coast of England.
The factory, known as Sizewell C, will have an estimated price tag of £20 billion, or about $27 billion. Negotiations with EDF, which owns most of the UK nuclear system, will cover financing and other arrangements.
During the negotiations, the government recognises that while the UK is investing heavily in clean energy sources such as offshore wind, new nuclear power plants may also need to be built to provide a stable source of energy to meet the ambitious climate targets of zero net emissions by 2050, which are likely to require the electrification of much of the economy.
Nuclear power has been criticised for its cost compared to renewables and for the risk of accidents and long-term problems associated with toxic waste, but the advantage is that it provides very large, stable amounts of low-carbon energy available when the wind stops. The Syiswell S power plant can supply six million homes with electricity.
It will be crucial to find a viable solution to the financing problem. The Government announced that it would examine a number of options for financing the plant, including a proposal that consumers should pay for the cost of the plant before it is operated by means of levies on their bills, and the use of public funds to finance construction. Hitachi’s Japanese plan to build a nuclear power plant in Wales failed in 2019, partly due to funding problems.
The plant will be located near the UK’s most modern operational centre, known as Sizewell B, on the outskirts of Sizewell, a fishing village some 100 miles northeast of London. This should lead to protests from local ecologists who fear that the plant could threaten important wildlife habitats.
The plant will be similar to another one built by EDF and its Chinese partner at Hinkley Point in the South West of England. It is hoped that the experience gained at Hinkley Point will lead to cost savings for Sizewell.
Senator Angus King wrote to several streaming services on Monday and asked them to consider cancelling their subscriptions to the streaming service and … A loan… Gabriella Demchuk for the New York Times.
What if Netflix and other basic streaming services were available free of charge during the holiday period? Won’t that allow people to stay at home for the next few weeks and stop the spread of the coronavirus?
Senator Angus King, who is independent of the state of Maine, made the proposal in a letter of Monday to the heads of Netflix, Amazon, Disney, WarnerMedia and Apple.
Americans face even more social exclusion – and more free time – during the holidays, King wrote in a letter. It is a risk, but it can also be an opportunity to think creatively and socially responsible.
Streaming Services do not immediately respond to requests for feedback.
Last week, the United States recorded an average of more than 200,000 new cases of coronavirus per day, almost 30% more than the average of the past two weeks. And when the first health workers can start injecting new vaccines on Monday, the country will face a devastating winter as people become less vigilant, according to health officials.
In an interview King said that many people suffer from pandemic fatigue and his proposal is intended to promote safe activities, especially for those who cannot afford to subscribe to streaming services.
It’s actually a way to cheer people up a little and ease the pain of not being able to be with family and friends at an important celebration, he said.
Peter Vlitas, manager of the travel industry, used the CommonPass application on a United Airlines flight from London to Newark in October …Credit …Community Projects Fund.
In the coming weeks, major airlines, including United, JetBlue and Lufthansa, plan to apply for a health passport called CommonPass, which will soon allow the results of the coronavirus tests – and possibly the vaccinations – of passengers to be checked.
CommonPass informs users of local travel regulations – such as the need to provide evidence of a negative virus test – and then tries to verify that they have adhered to these regulations. The request will then issue confirmation codes that will allow passengers to take certain international flights, Natasha Singer told The New York Times.
This is probably a normal new need that we need to address in order to control and contain this pandemic, said Dr. Brad Perkins, medical director of the Community Projects Fund, a Geneva-based nonprofit organization that developed the CommonPass.
E-vaccination can have a major impact on efforts to combat the virus and rebuild the economy. They could encourage more employers and universities to re-open. And developers say they can also reassure some consumers by creating an easy way for cinemas, cruise ships and sports stadiums to accept only those who have been vaccinated against viruses.
But digital passports also create a sense of a divided society between those who have a passport and those who don’t, especially when institutions start asking for applications as admission tickets. These applications can make it difficult for people with limited access to vaccines or online tools to control access to workplaces or to visit popular places. Civil liberties experts also warn that technology can create an invasive system of social control similar to the increased surveillance introduced by China during the pandemic – only private actors, such as employers and restaurants, will determine who has access to services and who does not, not federal or state governments.
In October United examined the joint passport for a flight from London Heathrow to Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey. United Airlines and four other airlines plan to use it on selected international flights in the near future.
Internet users around the world were reminded on Monday of their dependence on Google when the giant of Silicon Valley suffered a serious disruption for about an hour and sent many of its most popular offline services.
At a time when more people than ever are working from home as a result of the pandemic, all Google services such as Calendar, Gmail, Hangouts, Maps, Meetings and YouTube have crashed, stopping performance and sending angry users to Twitter to report the loss of the service. The students had difficulty registering for the virtual classes.
When users tried to find out what was going on, Google revealed information about the disruptions in its dashboard, which was used to share information about the company’s various services. Downdetector, a website that monitors Internet disruptions, has also shown that Google is offline. The Google search engine still works for some people.
But about an hour after the start of the malfunctions, the shifts started working again.
Initially, Google only provided limited information about what happened, and it was not possible to know immediately how many users were affected by the closure. Some Google products have more than a billion users worldwide, including Android, Chrome, Gmail, Google Drive, Google Maps, Google Play, Search and YouTube.
The company then explained the problem by disabling the authentication system, which took about 45 minutes and ended at 7:32. Eastern time.
All services have been restored, Google said in a statement. We apologise to all concerned and will take great care to ensure that this problem does not recur in the future.
At 3:47 a.m. today, Google experienced an authentication error of approximately 45 minutes due to a problem with the internal storage quota. This was authorized at 4:32 Pacific time, and all services are now restored.
– 14. Google cloud (@googlecloud) December 2020.
Disruptions of supply used to be common at growing internet companies. But as Google, Facebook and other companies have grown and created complex networks of interconnected data centers around the world, incidents have become less frequent. Google funds private submarine cables to transfer data between continents and improve performance when problems occur at a particular location.
The reliability of the system is becoming increasingly important because people and businesses depend on services, whether it’s searching the web for information, finding destinations, sending emails or gaining access to private documents stored on Google’s servers. Some users have reported that their devices are not working because they are connected to Google Home’s product line.
During blockades, schools rely on Google’s services to teach students who need to stay at home. At least we have an excuse not to do our homework, one person wrote on Twitter.
This incident threatens to become a breeding ground for those who say that the largest technology companies have become too powerful and deserve more control. In the United States, Google and Facebook are the subject of antitrust proceedings. On Tuesday, the European Union will introduce new rules to limit the capacity of the industry.
William Dixon, a cyber security expert at the World Economic Forum, said the disruptions have highlighted the vulnerability of global digital networks.
What you have is fewer and fewer technology providers that are systemically relevant, says Dixon, who previously worked for the British government on cyber security issues. If there’s a question, the stunts are pretty important.
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- Stocks fell on Monday as traders continued to focus on the Braxite agreement and the US financial stimulus package.
- The S&P 500 index fell by around 0.4%, while the FTSE 100 in the UK fell by around 0.2%. The Stoxx Europe 600 index increased by approximately 0.4%. In Asia, the Nikkei 225 rose by 0.3% and the Shanghai Composite Index by 0.7%.
- The pound sterling appreciated against other major currencies after the United Kingdom and the European Union decided on Sunday to extend negotiations on a trade agreement. The United Kingdom voted in a referendum over four years ago to withdraw from the European Union and formally did so on 31 March. January, starting a transitional period that will end in 17 days.
- Last week, the Pound saw its biggest fall in three months after indications that the UK would not reach an agreement with its main trading partner before the end of the year, leading to higher tariffs and trade and economic shocks.
- In the United States, Congress gave itself an extra week to agree on a package of measures to help unemployed Americans and heavy industry to some extent. A bipartisan group of lawmakers who worked for a month on a $908 billion proposal met this weekend. You plan to present the final product on Monday.
While the European Union has become a world leader in technology regulation, Google and other US technology giants are increasingly turning their attention to Brussels in the hope of eliminating even stricter rules before they are widely applied.
In Europe, technology companies are spending more than ever on hiring former civil servants, law firms and well-connected advisors, writes Adam Satariano and Matina Stevis-Gridneff in the New York Times. They have funded dozens of think tanks and business associations, acquired positions at the continent’s major universities and contributed to the publication of industry-oriented research by other companies.
U.S. legislators and regulators have also become much more aggressive in limiting the power of large technology companies. Last week federal and state officials accused Facebook of illegally suppressing competition. In October, the Ministry of Justice accused Google of illegally protecting its search monopoly.
In the first half of 2020, Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple and Microsoft announced expenditures of 19 million euros, or about 23 million dollars, corresponding to what they had announced for the whole of 2019, and more than 6.8 million euros in 2014, according to Transparency International, the group that oversees lobbying in the United States.
Budgets are truly unrivalled – we’ve never seen companies spend this kind of money directly, said Margarida Silva, a researcher at the Enterprise Observatory for Europe, a lobby group in Brussels. The total number is likely to be much higher as disclosure requirements do not cover all costs of law firms, academic partnerships and activities in each country.
The costs are lower than in the United States, but the growing influence of the industry is of concern to EU officials, who believe that big technology helps Washingtonize Brussels by giving money and connections the upper hand over the common good.
Janet Yellen, Biden’s election as Finance Minister, has long argued that reducing emissions is an economic necessity. A loan… Kriston Je Bethel for The New York Times.
WASHINGTON – Even as presidential candidate Joseph R. Biden, Jr. faces the urgent task of accelerating the recovery from the pandemic, he has put the long-term climate challenge at the heart of his administration’s economic priorities.
Recovery from the pandemic will also impact the climate, according to the New York Times report by Jim Tankersley and Lisa Friedman.
Three of the top candidates – Janet L. Yellen as Secretary of the Treasury, Brian Deese as Director of the National Economic Council and Neera Tanden as White House candidate for the Office of Management and Budget – are preparing to integrate efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and accelerate the production of clean energy into the economic development legislation that his team is preparing. Climate change is also expected to play an important role in a broader infrastructure initiative, which is perhaps one of Biden’s greatest hopes for a large impartial bill in his first year in office.
The fight against climate change is also likely to influence its broader economic approach: His team is preparing to use the government’s vast regulatory powers to reduce emissions from wind and solar power, electric cars and other initiatives – an approach that Biden’s team believes will create jobs.
Biden’s family and friends said that he deliberately placed what scientists believe to be the world’s biggest impending crisis at the heart of the institutions most responsible for the country’s economic security.
Historically, we have always seen climate change as an environmental issue, said Christy Goldfuss, former White House Council president on environmental quality under President Barack Obama. What Biden has done is the center of climate policy in his economic team, she said.
In Frankfurt, people queued for help with their unemployment claims, Kai Credit… Brian Woolston/Reuters…
The federal program, which covers part-time workers, seasonal workers and other workers not eligible for traditional unemployment benefits, keeps millions of Americans on their feet.
The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program, established by Congress under the CARES Act in March, has provided more than $70 billion in aid.
However, by implementing this hastily designed programme, the government has overpaid hundreds of thousands of people, often as a result of administrative errors. The states are now demanding the money back, Gillian Freedman told The New York Times.
The reports come out of nowhere with instructions to return thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars. Those who are billed, who are already living on the edge, are told that their benefits are being reduced in order to make up for their mistakes – or that the government can even take out a mortgage on their house, claim their future salary or repay the tax withholding.
Many of the people who have received benefits are still unemployed and have little chance of finding work. Most didn’t know they were overpaid.
If anyone gets such a bill, it scares them off, says Michele Evermore, a senior policy analyst at the non-profit labour law group, the National Labour Law Project. Sometimes the letters themselves are false and refer to overpayment if the benefits are paid correctly, but in all cases, she said, the stress would kill people.
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