Tag Archives: biggest

The California power outages show how dire the wildfire crisis has gotten — 9 of the state's 10 biggest fires came in the last 16 years

The California power outages show how dire the wildfire crisis has gotten — 9 of the state's 10 biggest fires came in the last 16 yearsCalifornia utility company PG&E; preemptively shut down power lines that could have sparked wildfires this week. It could be a new normal.



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Here's the biggest news you missed this weekend

Here's the biggest news you missed this weekendTrump whistleblower testimony, a 'historic' winter storm, Joe Maddon and more of the weekend's top stories.



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Hong Kong sees biggest protests since controversial bill dropped as demonstrators find their anthem

Hong Kong sees biggest protests since controversial bill dropped as demonstrators find their anthemAfter three months of chaos in Hong Kong, tens of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets with a new “protest anthem” on Sunday, despite the formal withdrawal of a controversial extradition bill. Protesters gathered outside a department store in the afternoon for a pro-democracy rally took place, despite being banned by police. Some protesters threw bricks at police outside the Chinese People's Liberation Army base in the city's Admiralty district, and tore down and set fire to a red banner proclaiming the 70th anniversary on Oct 1 of the founding of the People's Republic of China, in a direct challenge to Beijing.  The illegal march marks the biggest protest since the withdrawal of the bill, which would have allowed the extradition of fugitives to mainland China.  However, protesters are urging the government to instate direct elections and an independent commission into police brutality. They are also calling for unconditional release of those detained, and an end to the authorities describing the protests as riots. Armed Riot police officers on patrol during an anti-government rally  Credit: JEROME FAVRE/EPA-EFE/REX “We are not even talking about being independent, as long as the government meets our demands, we will go home,” said James Wong, 25. “I guess this is not happening now because of the political circumstances. But I will continue to protest because this is our society, our generation. If we don’t speak out, we could be the next Xinjiang, we have to stay strong.” Protesters repeatedly sang Glory to Hong Kong, a song that has gained traction over the last few days and been dubbed the “unofficial national anthem”. The song, reportedly recently composed by a musician in his mid-20s and set to an orchestral backing, has been widely spread on social media.  Protesters sang in Cantonese: “Our flesh, our blood shall write this song. Free this land, stand with Hong Kong.” Police spray anti-government protesters with coloured water Credit: REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha Mostly in black t-shirts, protesters held signs saying: “I thought freedom was a basic human right” and “Guard our future”.  Riot police fired rounds of tear gas, and hundreds of protesters surrounded the Legislative Council building showed no signs of leaving, throwing bricks and petrol bombs towards the government offices. Police later deployed water cannon with blue and white dye, protesters and reporters changed clothes and washed off the dye on nearby overpass, and bystanders received first aid treatment with saline solution after rounds of tear gas. Since the protests kicked off, police have arrested more than 1300 protesters, aged between 12 and 76. “Hong Kong people have been living under white terror for three months, we are used to it,” said Anthony Chau, 22. “We won’t give up and I will continue to attend protests.”



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EXCLUSIVE-Ahead of trade talks, China makes biggest U.S. soybean purchases since June – traders

EXCLUSIVE-Ahead of trade talks, China makes biggest U.S. soybean purchases since June - tradersPrivately run Chinese firms bought at least 10 boatloads of U.S. soybeans on Thursday, the country’s most significant purchases since at least June, traders said, ahead of high-level talks next month aimed at ending a bilateral trade war that has lasted more than a year. The soybean purchases, which at more than 600,000 tonnes were the largest by Chinese private importers in more than a year, are slated for shipment from U.S. Pacific Northwest export terminals from October to December, two traders with knowledge of the deals said. The purchases were another indication that trade tensions between Washington and Beijing could be easing, after hitting a low last month when China suspended all U.S. farm product purchases in response to threats by President Donald Trump to impose more tariffs on Chinese goods.



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British Airways tells passengers not to turn up at airports, as airline's biggest ever strike begins

British Airways tells passengers not to turn up at airports, as airline's biggest ever strike beginsBritish Airways has told its passengers not to turn up at airports as the biggest strike action in the airline’s 100 year history begins on Monday. More than 1,500 flights have been cancelled as the company was accused of bullying its own staff by union bosses, who warned they could continue the action until the end of the year. Some 280,000 people will be affected by the strike which is set to continue on Tuesday, costing BA £80m in lost revenue. BA and The British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA) are clashing after the union rejected a proposed 11.5 per cent pay rise for its pilots, taking their pay package to around £200,000 a year. BALPA says that BA “has resorted to breaking agreements and threatening pilots who will strike, which is bound to make matters worse” after they emailed their 4,300 pilots on Friday warning that strike action would be a ‘serious breach’ of their contract. BALPA General Secretary Brian Strutton said: "British Airways must now put the needs of its staff and passengers first and accept that its pilots will not be bullied or fobbed off." Credit: BALPA The airline further threatened to withdraw a travel perk, where staff can book tickets for ten per cent of the full fare plus taxes, for three years if they chose to strike. BALPA branded the airline’s behaviour “illogical and irresponsible” and “will further deepen the fall out with their pilots.” Flights to New York, Delhi, Hong Kong and Johannesburg have all been affected, with the airline telling passengers: “If your flight is cancelled, please do not go to the airport.”  One passenger, Kenneth Farrington, told the BBC that he thought his holiday “was in ruins.” Travellers have been offered full refunds, flights on different carriers, or the option to fly on a different date, but should not turn up at the airport without a confirmed flight. On Sunday, 50 flights were cancelled over fears of a lack of space to park planes at Heathrow and Gatwick, and the knock on effect will last well into the week. Long haul captains at the airline earn an average base salary of £167,000 a year, while co-pilots take home £70,000. British Airways say they made a “fair” offer of an 11.5 per cent pay rise over three years, plus a one per cent bonus. The deal was already accepted by members of the Unite and GMB unions, which represent 90 per cent of British Airways’ staff. BALPA says that now the company is in better financial health, its members should see a greater share of the profits and have a mandate for strike action until January, raising fears of Christmas travel chaos. British Airways said on Sunday: “We're extremely sorry for the problems caused by the strike action called by the pilots’ union, BALPA on 9, 10 and 27 September. “We continue to be available for constructive talks with BALPA, on the basis that there are no pre-conditions to those talks. “If you have a flight booked with us on those dates, it is likely that you will not be able to travel as planned due to BALPA’s strike action. We are offering all affected customers full refunds or the option to re-book to another date of travel or alternative airline.” Compensation due for a cancelled flight On Sunday, BALPA General Secretary Brian Strutton said: “British Airways needs to wake up and realise its pilots are determined to be heard. “They’ve previously taken big pay cuts to help the company through hard times. Now BA is making billions of pounds of profit, its pilots have made a fair, reasonable and affordable claim for pay and benefits. “BALPA has consistently offered up chances for the company to negotiate a way forward. British Airways must now put the needs of its staff and passengers first and accept that its pilots will not be bullied or fobbed off. “But the company’s leaders, who themselves are paid huge salaries and have generous benefits packages, won’t listen, are refusing to negotiate and are putting profits before the needs of passengers and staff. “This strike will have cost the company considerably more than the investment needed to settle this dispute. “It is time to get back to the negotiating table and put together a serious offer that will end this dispute.” This is the second time in a month that BALPA have been involved in pay disputes with airlines, after Ryanair pilots were reportedly demanding pay rises of up to 121%, according to the airline.  Ryanair accused BALPA of "excessive and unexplained demands for pay increases" and a secret memo seen by the Telegraph, which was drawn up by the airline, showed pay package demands of up to £350,000 a year. Strike action has already taken place twice this summer, with more disruption planned for later this month.



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Cancer overtakes heart disease as biggest rich-world killer

Cancer overtakes heart disease as biggest rich-world killerCancer has overtaken heart disease as the leading cause of death in wealthy countries and could become the world’s biggest killer within just a few decades if current trends persist, researchers said on Tuesday. Publishing the findings of two large studies in The Lancet medical journal, the scientists said they showed evidence of a new global “epidemiologic transition” between different types of chronic disease. While cardiovascular disease remains, for now, the leading cause of mortality worldwide among middle-aged adults – accounting for 40% of all deaths – that is no longer the case in high-income countries, where cancer now kills twice as many people as heart disease, the findings showed.



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Cancer overtakes heart disease as biggest rich-world killer

Cancer overtakes heart disease as biggest rich-world killerCancer has overtaken heart disease as the leading cause of death in wealthy countries and could become the world’s biggest killer within just a few decades if current trends persist, researchers said on Tuesday. Publishing the findings of two large studies in The Lancet medical journal, the scientists said they showed evidence of a new global “epidemiologic transition” between different types of chronic disease. While cardiovascular disease remains, for now, the leading cause of mortality worldwide among middle-aged adults – accounting for 40% of all deaths – that is no longer the case in high-income countries, where cancer now kills twice as many people as heart disease, the findings showed.



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Ex-Malaysia PM Najib Razak Faces Court for Biggest 1MDB Corruption Trial

Ex-Malaysia PM Najib Razak Faces Court for Biggest 1MDB Corruption Trial(Bloomberg) — Malaysian prosecutors will seek to prove that Najib Razak acted together with fugitive financier Jho Low in their alleged roles in 1MDB, as the former premier faces his biggest trial linked to the troubled state fund.“In truth, Jho Low was the accused’s mirror image,” prosecutor Gopal Sri Ram said in his opening statement in the Kuala Lumpur court. “The prosecution will establish facts which will give rise to an irresistible inference that Jho Low and the accused acted as one at all material times.”The 25 charges Najib faces revolve around 1MDB’s multibillion-dollar bond sales and acquisitions. That includes accusations he received 2.08 billion ringgit ($ 495 million) of bribes related to a letter of government support for $ 3 billion of 1MDB bonds in 2013, as well as allegations he accepted 49.9 million ringgit linked to a $ 975 million loan facility from Deutsche Bank AG. He has pleaded not guilty to all the charges. Jho Low, or Low Taek Jho, has denied any wrongdoing in response to charges against him in the U.S. and Malaysia.The start to the proceeding was postponed many times as it clashed with Najib’s first 1MDB trial, which involved local transactions by the state fund’s former unit. The delays point to the massive task Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has ahead of him in getting to the bottom of the 1MDB scandal. Since wresting power from Najib last year, the prime minister has prioritized investigations into the scandal, as well as recouping funds believed to be lost through the scandal-ridden fund.Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s lawyer is also present in court to hold a watching brief. Malaysia has charged three of the bank’s units as well as 17 of its current and former directors over $ 6.5 billion of bond in bonds the bank arranged for 1MDB in 2012 and 2013.Multiple ChargesHere are a few of the charges Najib faces today:He allegedly received 90.9 million ringgit linked to 1MDB deals, including:Joint venture with PetroSaudi International Ltd. costing $ 1 billion and subsequent 1 billion ringgit investment in the JV10.6 billion ringgit bid for Tanjong Energy Holdings Sdn.2.75 billion ringgit purchase of Syarikat Mastika Lagenda Sdn. sharesHe allegedly received 60.6 million ringgit gratification for approving a state guarantee on 5 billion ringgit of Islamic notes sold by Terengganu Investment Authority Bhd., the precursor to 1MDBHe allegedly received funds from illegal activities involving a total of 2.08 billion ringgit from Tanore Finance Corp.’s account at Falcon Private Bank in SingaporeHe’s accused of money laundering in relation to a total of 2.2 billion ringgit of fund transfers to Tanore’s account at FalconHe allegedly used funds from illegal activities involving 20 million ringgit paid to United Malays National Organisation, the largest opposition party, as well as 100,000 ringgit to UMNO’s Batu Kawan divisionHe allegedly spent illicit funds, including 303,000 ringgit sent to Semarak Konsortium Satu Sdn., 2 million ringgit to ORB Solutions Sdn., and 246,000 ringgit sent to Lim Soon Peng(Updates with comments from the prosecutor throughout.)\–With assistance from Chloe Whiteaker and Kristine Servando.To contact the reporters on this story: Anisah Shukry in Kuala Lumpur at ashukry2@bloomberg.net;Hadi Azmi in Kuala Lumpur at klnews@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Yudith Ho at yho35@bloomberg.net, Ruth PollardFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



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UPDATE 1-EU says ready for no-deal Brexit, "British would be the biggest losers"

UPDATE 1-EU says ready for no-deal Brexit, "British would be the biggest losers"The European Commission said on Monday that the EU was ready for a no-deal Brexit and that Britain would suffer most under such a scenario. Speaking at a regular daily briefing, Commission spokeswoman Natasha Bertaud said a no-deal UK exit would never be the EU’s preferred scenario, adding that the Brussels-based executive saw no need for additional contingency preparations at this stage.



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Teaching pastor on biggest myth of hearing from God, calls PreachsNSneakers ‘Fake News’

Teaching pastor on biggest myth of hearing from God, calls PreachsNSneakers ‘Fake News’Nathan Finochio, Hillsong pastor, on his new book ‘Hearing God’



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