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The pound rose Friday but was struggling to claw back its latest losses after the EU gave Britain a Brexit deadline extension, while equity markets were boosted by a positive lead from Wall Street. At a summit in Brussels, Prime Minister Theresa May was given until April 12 to push her divorce agreement through a fractious parliament next week. The sterling has come under pressure owing to the uncertainty in the past few days, falling to as low as $1.3004 Thursday, though it has recovered slightly and is still maintaining its position, helped by this week's dovish outlook on interest rates from the Federal Reserve.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern joined about 20,000 people standing quietly at Hagley Park, in front of the Al Noor mosque where most of the victims were killed during Friday prayers last week. "New Zealand mourns with you. Ardern, who swiftly denounced the shooting as terrorism, has announced a ban on military-style semi-automatic and assault rifles.
The five largest publicly listed oil and gas majors have spent $1 billion since the 2015 Paris climate deal on public relations or lobbying that is "overwhelmingly in conflict" with the landmark accord's goals, a watchdog said Friday. Despite outwardly committing to support the Paris agreement and its aim to limit global temperature rises, ExxonMobil, Shell, Chevron, BP and Total spend a total of $200 million a year on efforts "to operate and expand fossil fuel operations," according to InfluenceMap, a pro-transparency monitor. Two of the companies -- Shell and Chevron -- said they rejected the watchdog's findings.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will lead thousands of mourners expected to gather at Hagley Park in front of the Al Noor mosque, where most of the victims died. Ardern, who has labelled the attack as terrorism, announced a ban on military-style semi-automatic and assault rifles under tough new gun laws on Thursday. The prime minister is expected to be accompanied in the Christchurch prayers with community leaders and other foreign dignitaries.
T-Mobile on Thursday unveiled a limited home internet service that it plans to pilot for 50,000 mobile customers at $50 a month, with the company promising it could build on that, and eventually offer a lot more once its $26.5 billion merger with Sprint finally goes through.For now, the new invitation-only service will focus on areas where the carrier can deliver high-speed internet access to connect up to 50,000 homes in rural and underserved parts of the country. Once it merges with Sprint, however, T-Mobile says it should be able to cover more than half of the US with broadband service by 2024.This seems to be one attempt by T-Mobile to push back against critics of the proposed merger who worry it will leave customers with less choice and the potential for prices to rise. "We're walking the walk and laying the foundation for a world where we can take the fight to Big Cable on behalf of consumers and offer real choice, competition and savings to Americans nationwide," T-Mobile CEO John Legere about the home broadband pilot.The service will be offered only in areas where T-Mobile expects to deliver speeds of around 50 Mbps through fixed unlimited wireless service over LTE, with no data caps. The carrier points to one economist's estimate that showed while customers today pay around $80 a month for wired in-home broadband service, "the new T-Mobile will save customers up to $13.65 billion a year on home broadband by 2024".As context for why it decided to pursue the new service, T-Mobile went on to note in its announcement that almost half of Americans today have no competitive choice for high-speed in-home broadband. "The New T-Mobile," the company declares, "will be armed with spectrum and network assets that will build the highest capacity wireless network in US history, covering millions with 5G, not just a few people in a few blocks of a few cities like the other guys."If you're eligible to participate in the home broadband pilot, T-Mobile plans to start sending out invitations by email and regular mail this week.We mentioned T-Mobile's pending merger with Sprint, and it's also worth pointing out, as a reminder, that it's still under review by federal regulators. T-Mobile has said it feels optimistic everything will be approved in the first half of this year.
NASA needs a way to get astronauts to the International Space Station that doesn't involve paying Russia heaps of money, so it struck deals with both SpaceX and Boeing to build crew capsules capable of fulfilling that need. Earlier this month, SpaceX successfully sent its Crew Dragon capsule to the International Space Station, paving the way for crew tests to be conducted within months, but what about Boeing?A new report from Reuters suggests that Boeing is having a much, much harder time getting its Starliner spacecraft ready for its first big test. Boeing, which analysts thought would beat SpaceX's Crew Dragon to delivery by a significant margin, has now reportedly pushed back its maiden flight to the space station by several months, and the first crewed flights won't happen until close to the end of the year, if they happen in 2019 at all.The report, which cites unnamed sources, claims that the first unmanned test flight of Starliner has been delayed by three months. Adjusting the timeline based on that new information, Boeing's first crewed flight of the spacecraft wouldn't be ready until November, and that's assuming everything goes perfectly from here on out.Both Crew Dragon and Starliner have been plagued by delays over the past couple of years, forcing NASA to strike new deals with Russian space agency Roscosmos to fly NASA crew members to the ISS and back. The clock is ticking, and right now it's clear that SpaceX is much closer to delivering NASA much-needed crew-capable spacecraft than Boeing is.In the meantime, NASA is doing its best to prepare for a worst-case scenario in which one or potentially both programs fail to deliver before the end of 2019. The agency is mulling the decision to throw more money at Russia to ensure its astronauts can make it to the ISS throughout 2019 and into 2020, but no decisions have been finalized as of yet.
Cyclone Idai left death, destruction, and a sprawling inland sea in its wake. The powerful tropical cyclone -- which struck Mozambique last Thursday as the equivalent of a Category 2 or 3 hurricane with winds of around 100 mph -- has left at least 150 dead and 600,000 in need of help in the flooded nation said the EU, though the Associated Press reports over 300 fatalities as of March 21 when accounting for deaths in neighboring Zimbabwe.The cyclone's widespread flooding -- in part overshadowed by simultaneous and historic flooding in the Midwest -- has left behind an inundated area some 200 square miles in size (518 square kilometers), with the inland sea reaching up to 15 miles wide, according to satellite images from the European Space Agency (ESA). > And for better comparison a GIF animation of the images showing the Mozambique flood before (March 2nd) and after (March 20th) Mozambique Copernicus Sentinel-1️ Better quality GIF https://t.co/h8608N8so5 MozambiqueFloods MozambiqueFloods2019 RemoteSensing Beira Idai pic.twitter.com/d9hOmdiBbp> > -- Pierre Markuse (@Pierre_Markuse) March 21, 2019The destruction is particularly severe around Mozambique's fourth largest city, Beira. SEE ALSO: The West accepts its drought-ridden future, slashes water use"The situation is terrible. The scale of devastation is enormous. It seems that 90 per cent of the area is completely destroyed," said the Red Cross's Jamie LeSueur, who is working in the region. > The latest delineation maps for Mozambique: > ✴️Nhantaze: 24,837.7 ha (248 sq km) flooded > ✴️Macorreia: 9,862.5 ha (98.6 sq km) flooded > Maps and geospatial data: https://t.co/w3uo4SPyREMozambiqueFloods Idai IdaiCyclone pic.twitter.com/0siHZhW6hM> > -- Copernicus EMS (@CopernicusEMS) March 21, 2019Though there's little evidence showing that the planet is experiencing more cyclones and hurricanes, there is mounting evidence that these storms are growing stronger compared to storms in the 21st century.What's more, cyclones, like any big storm today, can now carry more water: The world has warmed by 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit, or 1 Celsius, over the last century, and for every 1 degree C of warming the atmosphere holds seven percent more water. > This just in: shocking footage from our team via helicopter that has just arrived in Beira, Mozambique. The devastation is widespread with barely a house intact following CycloneIdaipic.twitter.com/BnyqVIJ9YF> > -- IFRC Africa (@IFRCAfrica) March 17, 2019Since the 1960s, only three tropical storms of category 3 or stronger have hit Mozambique, according to Weather.com.When the total number of fatalities are confirmed and the great inland sea dissipates, Idai's rampage may end up being the worst storm on record in the Southern Hemisphere, the EU noted. WATCH: Jordan Peele explains the childhood experience that made him love horror
Late-night TV host Samantha Bee ripped into the growing field of Democratic 2020 presidential hopefuls Wednesday night. The 'Full Frontal' host commented on everything from Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand's campaign slogan, to former Vice President Joe Biden not making a decision on his third potential presidential run. The TBS star also went after former Texas congressman Beto O'Rourke, Sen. Cory Booker and Sen. Amy Klobuchar.
A descendant of enslaved people has sued Harvard University, alleging that the Ivy League institution has “shamelessly” profited from photos of her ancestors. Tamara Lanier, of Norwich, Connecticut, claims that Harvard has ignored requests to surrender images of a man named Renty, whom she says is her great-great-great grandfather, and his daughter Delia. Lanier is suing Harvard for “wrongful seizure, possession and expropriation” of the images, asking the university to return the photos to her, pay unspecified damages, and recognise her ancestry.
In the immediate aftermath of last Friday's shootings at two mosques in the city of Christchurch, Ardern labeled the attack as terrorism and said New Zealand's gun laws would change. “All semi-automatic weapons used during the terrorist attack on Friday 15 March will be banned." Ardern said she expected the new laws to be in place by April 11 and a buy-back scheme costing up to NZ$200 million ($138 million) would be established for banned weapons. All military style semi-automatics (MSSA) and assault rifles would be banned, along with parts used to convert weapons into MSSAs and all high-capacity magazines.
Former senior White House official Hope Hicks is said to have agreed to cooperate with a Democratic-led congressional investigation into Donald Trump. Ms Hicks, 30, who was considered one of the president’s closest confidantes and who served as White House communications director from the summer of 2017 to the spring of last year, has reportedly said she will provide documents to a congressional committee looking into possible obstruction of justice by Mr Trump. CNN said Democratic congressman Jerry Nadler, chair of the House of Representative’s judiciary committee, wrote to Ms Hicks earlier this month, seeking documents on topics that ranged from former national security advisor Michael Flynn’s false statements to the FBI, the May 2017 firing of James Comey, and the drafting of a misleading media statement about Donald Trump Jr’s 2016 meeting in Trump Tower.
Maduro's government has since 2014 used financial operations known as gold swaps to use its international reserves to gain access to cash after a slump in oil revenues left it struggling to obtain hard currency. Under the terms of the 2015 deal with Citigroup's Citibank, Venezuela was due to repay $1.1 billion of the loan on March 11, according to four sources familiar with the situation. Citibank plans to sell the gold held as a guarantee - which has a market value of roughly $1.358 billion - to recover the first tranche of the loan and will deposit the excess of roughly $258 million in a bank account in New York, two of the sources said.
Venezuelan intelligence officers Thursday arrested the chief of staff of Juan Guaido, the opposition leader recognized by the US and other countries as interim leader, Guaido and the opposition-ruled congress said on Twitter. Roberto Marrero was grabbed by SEBIN officers when they staged a pre-dawn raid on his Caracas home, according to Guaido and a recorded voice message by Marrero published on social media. The United States has repeatedly warned Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's government against arresting Guaido or his aides, and Washington's Secretary of State Mike Pompeo quickly called for Marrero's release.
Biden has told supporters and former staff that he will run, according to one source who has knowledge of discussions. Biden and his aides also have reached out to donors and potential bundlers - people who volunteer to raise money on behalf of the candidate - to assess support, according to another source. A third source with direct knowledge of Biden's plans offered a caveat, saying the former vice president was very close to running, but "it’s not 100 percent." “We’re leaning into that moment” when Biden gives the green light, the source said.
Kentucky governor Matt Bevin on Tuesday signed a bill that bans abortions chosen on the basis of an unborn child's sex, race, or disability.A court filing in the U.S. District Court in Louisville indicated that the governor has signed the bill, which included an "emergency clause" stipulating that it would go into effect immediately.Physicians must now certify in writing that the patient did not request the abortion for a reason related to the baby's sex, race, or disabilities. Flouting the new law puts doctors at risk of losing their medical license or being prosecuted for a felony, although the mother of the unborn child would not be targeted.The American Civil Liberties Union is challenging the bill in federal court as an unconstitutional restriction on a woman's right to abortion.“Instituting laws that instantly affect critical patient care should not be a cat-and-mouse game,” the group said, asking that it be notified when the bill is signed.Another new law that bans abortions after about six weeks or when a heartbeat can be detected forced Kentucky's sole abortion clinic, EMW Women's Surgical Center in Louisville, to cancel some appointments on Friday until a federal judge intervened.“EMW and its abortionists have responded with a novel claim: Women have a constitutional right to undergo race-based abortions, gender-based abortions, and disability-based abortions. In plaintiffs’ view, somewhere in the Fourteenth Amendment’s penumbra lies a protection for eugenics,” the governor's lawyer M. Stephen Pitt wrote in defending the ban on eugenics-based abortions. “This is a perverse distortion of Roe v. Wade.”
Amazon on Wednesday rolled out an updated version of its Kindle e-reader, giving the entry-level version of the tablet a small price bump and adding a front light to it -- making this the first Kindle with a front light you can get your hands on for less than $100.At that price, it no doubt sounds like quite a steal, though there are a few key points to be aware of. This $89.99 version of the device includes the screen saver ads you'll have to accept, unless you want to pay more for a version of the Kindle without them. Amazon says this version of the Kindle also include updated electronic ink technology for better contrast, in addition to a six-inch, 167 PPI capacitive touch display.That display contrasts with the 300 PPI version found on the Kindle Paperwhite and Oasis, with the $90 Kindle also being the only one in the device family that isn't waterproof. So, again, there are some trade-offs if you want an e-reader at this low of a price.In terms of what else is new about the updated entry-level Kindle ... the front light is, well, kind of it. Which is not to say there aren't myriad benefits to mention, especially if this is your first Kindle or maybe even your first e-reader. It's thin and light, so it's easy to hold, and the on-device storage allows you to keep thousands of books on hand. You also get a battery that lasts for weeks, and for a limited time, Amazon will give you three months of Kindle Unlimited for free (a $30 value) when you order the device.Kindle Unlimited provides unlimited access to millions of titles, which lets you read popular authors across a range of genres as much as you want at no extra cost.The new Kindle is available for pre-order today in white or black on Amazon's website. It will start shipping on April 10. Amazon says that if you're a previous Kindle owner, you can trade in your device to receive an Amazon.com gift card for the appraised value as well as a 25% discount on a new device, including the all-new Kindle. You can also buy a cover for your new Kindle for $29.99.
The Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged Wednesday and predicted that it will not raise them again for the entirety of the coming year due to a recent slowdown in economic growth.In a widely anticipated move, the central bank’s policy-making Federal Open Market Committee abandoned its previous prediction, made just three-months ago, of continued strong economic growth that would necessitate two rate hikes this year.After predicting in December that the economy would continue to grow at 2.3 percent on the year, officials revised their assessment to 2.1 percent. As a result, the benchmark-funds rate will remain between 2.25 percent and 2.5 percent. The Fed has generally kept rates low since the 2008 financial crisis, but began raising them incrementally under Janet Yellen.The new economic-growth forecast further widens the chasm between the central bank and the White House, which has consistently provided the rosier prediction of 3.2 percent growth this year.The decision to halt rate hikes will likely please President Trump, who, following the Fed's December announcement, lambasted Chairman Jerome Powell for threatening the bull market he's enjoyed since taking office.> It is incredible that with a very strong dollar and virtually no inflation, the outside world blowing up around us, Paris is burning and China way down, the Fed is even considering yet another interest rate hike. Take the Victory!> > -- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 17, 2018Powell, for his part, has resisted criticizing the president and has repeatedly asserted the Fed's independence from the Trump administration.
Vodafone will receive a warning from EU regulators about possible anti-competitive effects from its $22 billion deal to buy Liberty Global's German and eastern European assets, two people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday. The warning, via a statement of objections setting out the European Commission's concerns, is expected to be conveyed to the companies shortly, the sources said, ahead of a June 3 deadline for the EU executive's regulatory approval. The world's second-largest mobile operator and U.S. cable pioneer John Malone's Liberty announced the deal in May last year in a move that would help Vodafone to compete with rival Deutsche Telekom in its home market.
You would never travel without your Apple Watch, of course, but wouldn't you love it if you could travel without the Apple Watch's mile-long charging cable? Clip the 5% coupon on the Amazon page and use the exclusive coupon code BGRSAVING15 when you check out, and you'll get the UGREEN Apple Watch Travel Charger for an all-time low of just $32.79. This essential accessory is tiny enough to fit on a keychain and it has an MFi certified wireless charging disc just like the charger that came with your Apple Watch. Definitely pick one up before these sales end.Here's some additional information from the product page: * Apple MFi Certified: Built-in MFI certified (PPID: 219693-0102) magnetic wireless charging module, combine MagSafe technology with inductive charging; Compatible for all 44mm 42mm 40mm 38mm Apple Watch Series 4 3 2 1, Apple Watch Sport, Apple Watch Nike plus, Apple Watch Hermes, Apple Watch Edition; * Cable-free Charging: No extra charging cables are needed---saves you from the hassles of tangling cables! Simply plug it into a wall charger/power bank or any other USB charging devices and charging is on the go! * Original Charging Speed: Offers a fast original charging speed for your Apple watch series 4 3 2 1; This apple watch charger cable only takes 2h to fully charge your Apple watch; * Portable and Compact: Lightweight and portable apple watch charger is a perfect accessory for your apple watch. With lanyard design, you can hang it on your bag or put it in your pocket. * Multiple Protections: Built-in over current, over voltage, short circuit and over temperature protection, offers you a safe environment for both watch and the charger.
Fox News contributor Katie Pavlich attempted to counter Senator Elizabeth Warren’s call to discuss the injustices of slavery, and its lasting systemic impact on generations of African-Americans, by claiming that the United States does not get “enough credit” for ending slavery. While discussing reparations to descendents of enslaved people on Fox News’ "Outnumbered" on Tuesday, Ms Pavlich claimed that the US was the first country to abolish slavery. “They keep blaming America for the sin of slavery but the truth is, throughout human history, slavery existed, and America came along as the first country to end it within 150 years,” she said.
Glyphosate, the world's most widely used herbicide and the active ingredient in Monsanto's weedkiller Roundup, is the subject of fierce controversy across the globe and is classified by the World Health Organization as "probably" being carcinogenic. A California court on Tuesday found that Roundup was a "substantial factor" in Edwin Hardeman, 70, getting non-Hodgkin's lymphoma after spraying the weedkiller on his garden for decades.
A Danish MP said on Tuesday she was ordered to remove her infant daughter from parliament's chamber, sparking surprise in a country often hailed as a pioneer in women's rights. "You are not welcome with your baby in the parliament's chamber," speaker Pia Kjaersgaard, an outspoken former leader of the far-right Danish People's Party, allegedly told MP Mette Abildgaard. "I didn't ask for permission to bring her since I had previously seen another colleague bring a child into the chamber without any problems," Ms Abildgaard, whose Conservative party is part of the ruling centre-right coalition, wrote on Facebook. Ms Abildgaard, who is in her 30s, said she found herself in an exceptional situation with her five-month-old daughter, and had never brought her into the chamber before. But she said the infant was "in a good mood and had a pacifier in her mouth." Mette Abildgaard responded to the incident on Facebook Ms Kjaersgaard passed the message to an assistant, who then asked Ms Abildgaard to remove the baby from the room. Ms Abildgaard handed the child to an assistant and returned to the chamber to vote. "MPs should be in the chamber, not babies or children," insisted Ms Kjaersgaard when questioned by news agency Ritzau. She said clear rules would be issued on the subject. The Scandinavian country is often held up as a champion of gender equality and women's rights, and as a child and family-centred nation with generous parental leave. Ms Abildgaard noted that she was entitled to a year's maternity leave with full pay, but that she had chosen to return to work. Her Facebook post garnered more than 600 comments within the space of a few hours. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern holds her baby after speaking at the UN General Assembly Credit: REUTERS/Carlo Allegri "A chamber that represents mothers, fathers and babies ought to be open to mothers, fathers and babies," one person wrote. In 2016, an Icelandic lawmaker made headlines after breastfeeding her infant while speaking at the podium in parliament. And in September, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern became a symbol for working mothers when she brought her baby to the UN General Assembly in New York.
People under 30 in Kazakhstan have only known one leader -- Nursultan Nazarbayev, who announced his resignation this week after shepherding the country from the Soviet era. "The word 'Nazarbayev' means something like the word 'parent'," said 18-year-old film student Madi Makanov, who lives in the country's largest city Almaty. Kazakhstan has a young population, with around 40 percent of people under 24, according to estimates based on UN figures.