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Hong Kong, U.S. take steps to curb coronavirus spread

Hong Kong, U.S. take steps to curb coronavirus spreadAs experts tell people not to panic about the unfamiliar coronavirus, several governments are taking steps to limit its spread.A second case of the respiratory virus that originated in Wuhan, China, leaving more than 40 people dead and causing quarantines and transit closures throughout China, has been confirmed in the United States. Officials said Friday that a Chicago woman in her 60s has been diagnosed with the virus, and they're monitoring 63 other possible cases across 22 U.S. states. The Chicago patient, who last week returned home from Wuhan, is reportedly isolated in the hospital, and officials say she's doing well and has had limited contact with others.The U.S. is reportedly planning to evacuate its citizens and diplomats from Wuhan on Sunday via a chartered plane — any additional seats may be offered to non-U.S. citizens. Elsewhere, Hong Kong, where there's five confirmed cases, on Saturday declared the outbreak "an emergency," scrapping Lunar New Year celebrations, restricting links to the mainland, and keeping schools closed. Australia, Malaysia, and France also reported cases Friday.More than 1,300 have been infected across the globe, mostly in China. Read more at The Wall Street Journal and Reuters.More stories from theweek.com The Grammys are America's worst awards show Trump is winning the impeachment battle — but losing the war GOP Senator, military veteran defends Trump's comments on soldiers' brain injuries



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Asia steps up defences as China virus hits 291 people, kills six

Asia steps up defences as China virus hits 291 people, kills sixAsian countries on Tuesday ramped up measures to block the spread of a new virus as the death toll in China rose to six and the number of cases jumped to almost 300, raising concerns in the middle of a major holiday travel rush. From Australia to Thailand and as far as Nepal, nations stepped up fever checks of passengers at airports to detect the SARS-like coronavirus, which first emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan. Fears of a bigger outbreak rose after a prominent expert from China’s National Health Commission confirmed late Monday that the virus can be passed between people.



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How to restart and fix Windows Explorer on your computer in 3 simple steps

How to restart and fix Windows Explorer on your computer in 3 simple stepsYou can restart your Windows Explorer browser on your computer in three steps, and possibly solve any performance issues. Here's how.



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Warren Steps Into Repo Turmoil, Asks Mnuchin for Answers

Warren Steps Into Repo Turmoil, Asks Mnuchin for Answers(Bloomberg) — U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren waded into last month’s turmoil in short-term funding markets, warning Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin not to use the incident as a rationale for weakening post-financial crisis regulations.Warren, a front-runner in the race to challenge Donald Trump in the 2020 U.S. presidential election, sent a letter to the Treasury on Friday. In it, she sought Mnuchin’s views on what triggered the spike in rates for repurchase agreements and expressed concern about potential costs to businesses and consumers if strains persist.She also set herself up for another fight with Wall Street, citing a Reuters article reporting that large banks were using the repo-market chaos to pressure the Federal Reserve to weaken liquidity rules “they have long despised.” Warren said she’s concerned the Financial Stability Oversight Council, whose chair is Mnuchin, might support those efforts.“These rules were designed to ensure that banks have enough cash on hand to meet their obligations in the event of another market crash,” Warren said. “Banks are reporting profits at record levels, and it would be painfully ironic if unexplained chaos in a small corner of the banking market became an excuse to further loosen rules that protect the economy from these types of risks.”The Treasury Department declined to comment on Warren’s letter. On Oct. 16, in response to a reporter’s question, Mnuchin rejected the notion that the U.S. government’s heavy issuance of debt contributed to the tumult and instead blamed a corporate tax deadline for draining money from the banking system. The jump in rates on Sept. 17 “had nothing to do with our issuance, it had to do with the big tax day, that we were taking cash out of the market,” he said.Banking industry complaints about regulations have gotten louder since the mid-September dislocation. JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon said Oct. 15 that the bank had the money and inclination to step in when rates surged, but liquidity rules prevented it from doing so.Regulations introduced after the 2008 crisis oblige financial institutions to hold more cash and cash-like assets as a buffer against times of stress, and systemically important banks — JPMorgan is the largest in the U.S. — face year-end reviews to determine how much more common equity they must carry. Analysts at JPMorgan argued this week that money-market stress is likely to get much worse despite the Fed’s attempts to fix the problem.The central bank has been injecting liquidity into the funding markets since Sept. 17, when the rate on overnight general collateral repo jumped to 10% from around 2%. The Fed has also begun buying Treasury bills to add reserves back into the system. These efforts have mostly calmed repo rates.“While the Federal Reserve has taken the necessary action to ensure that markets continue to function, I am alarmed that it has been required to engage in money market interventions that have not been used since the 2008 financial crisis,” wrote Warren, a Democrat from Massachusetts.Warren came to prominence because of her criticisms of Wall Street and calls for tougher oversight of the financial industry after the 2008 financial crisis. Her advocacy was pivotal to the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and helped lock in her election to the Senate.Warren asked that Mnuchin respond to these and other questions no later than Nov. 1:What are the underlying causes of the spike in borrowing rates for overnight repurchase agreements?Has FSOC learned why the Fed announced on Oct. 11 that overnight operations meant to keep the calm would be extended at least through January of next year?How will FSOC and Treasury use data on centrally cleared repo transactions to gain a further understanding of the market? Is further information needed to sufficiently monitor the short-term lending market?(Updates with Mnuchin comment on repo from last week in fifth paragraph.)\–With assistance from Michael Shepard, Saleha Mohsin and Anna Edgerton.To contact the reporters on this story: Emily Barrett in New York at ebarrett25@bloomberg.net;Alexandra Harris in New York at aharris48@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Benjamin Purvis at bpurvis@bloomberg.net, Nick Baker, Jenny ParisFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



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Giuliani refuses to comply with impeachment subpoena as attorney steps down: ‘I don’t need a lawyer’

Giuliani refuses to comply with impeachment subpoena as attorney steps down: ‘I don’t need a lawyer’Rudy Giuliani has said he will not co-operate with an impeachment inquiry against Donald Trump and insisted he did not need a lawyer following the arrest of two business associates accused of campaign finance violations.The president’s personal attorney posted a letter on Twitter to the House permanent select committee on intelligence in which his lawyer wrote: “Please accept this response as formal notice that Mr Giuliani will not participate because this appears to be an unconstitutional, baseless and illegitimate ‘impeachment inquiry.’”



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Syria regime steps in to halt Turkish assault on Kurds

Syria regime steps in to halt Turkish assault on KurdsThe Syrian regime sent troops towards the Turkish border Monday to contain Ankara’s deadly offensive against the Kurds, stepping in for US forces due to begin a controversial withdrawal. The Syrian army has maintained a presence in the Kurdish-controlled cities of Qamishli and Hasakeh in Syria’s northeast since the start of the war, and deployed a limited number of troops around the key city of Manbij in 2018 at the request of Kurdish forces to shield the area from a feared Turkish assault.



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Retailers Dealt Another Blow as Trump Steps Up China Tariffs

Retailers Dealt Another Blow as Trump Steps Up China Tariffs(Bloomberg) — Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here. For American retailers, what Trump giveth, Trump taketh away.President Donald Trump’s administration, which said just 10 days ago it would delay until December some of its new tariffs on Chinese goods, has hit the retail sector with a new blow: The new levies will be raised to 15% from 10% as retaliation after China threatened to impose additional tariffs on $ 75 billion of American goods.He also said that the $ 250 billion of goods and products already being taxed at 25% will see that rate hiked to 30% starting on Oct. 1. Trump had warned earlier in the day that he was planning to escalate the trade war with China, firing off on Twitter a new demand that U.S. companies seek alternatives to producing goods in China. Some large retailers had said they’ll be able to pull levers to keep from passing on the costs to consumers at the 10% tariff rate, but a 15% hike makes that harder to pull off.The National Retail Federation, a retail trade association, weighed in on the escalating trade war Friday, ahead of Trump’s tweets laying out the specifics.“There are no winners in a trade war, and right now, both sides are losing,” said Jonathan Gold, vice president of supply chain and customs policy at the group. “American businesses and consumers continue to be caught in the crosshairs.”Home Depot Inc., Lowe’s Cos., Mattel Inc. Hasbro Inc., Walmart Inc., Target Corp., Best Buy Co., Macy’s Inc., Kohl’s Corp., J.C. Penney Co. and the Toy Association didn’t immediately respond to email requests for comment.David French, senior vice president of government relations for the NRF, said it’s “impossible” for businesses to plan for the future in the current climate.“The administration’s approach clearly isn’t working, and the answer isn’t more taxes on American businesses and consumers,” he said. “Where does this end?”Before May, the average U.S. consumer had largely escaped direct impact from U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports, with the previous rounds focusing more on agricultural items like fish and produce as the Trump administration tried to avoid the backlash that taxing consumer goods might bring. But consumer items like handbags were added to the list in the spring, with the upcoming rounds expected to hit everything from footwear to electronics.“We urge both governments to cease all punitive tariffs and return to the negotiating table,” Rick Helfenbein, president and chief executive officer of the American Apparel & Footwear Association, said in an emailed statement after China’s $ 75 billion round was first announced. “It is time that we end this senseless game of tariff ping-pong, before undue harm comes to our economies and our consumers.”After Trump announced plans to increase the levies further, Helfenbein decried the “tit-for-tat tariff hikes.”“Two and a half years we have been promised a new and innovative approach, yet what we’ve been given is a 1930s trade strategy that will be a disaster for American consumers, American businesses and the American economy,” Helfenbein said.“The president has said he wants American businesses to stop working in China, yet he doesn’t seem to understand that moving a supply chain is incredibly complicated and expensive. It takes years to build relationships that meet compliance standards and deliver quality products, yet we have been given weeks and in this case days. This is not how you negotiate.”The Consumer Technology Association, a trade group representing more than 2,200 companies and which holds the annual CES, a massive consumer electronics trade show in Las Vegas, was blunt.“These escalating tariffs are the worst economic mistake since the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of 1930 — a decision that catapulted our country into the Great Depression,” CTA president and CEO Gary Shapiro said in a statement. “Enough is enough.”(Updates with CTA statement in final paragraph.)\–With assistance from Matthew Boyle.To contact the reporters on this story: Joe Deaux in New York at jdeaux@bloomberg.net;Jordyn Holman in New York at jholman19@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Crayton Harrison at tharrison5@bloomberg.net, Anne Riley Moffat, Ros KrasnyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



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Germany steps up warnings about right-wing Identitarian Movement

Germany steps up warnings about right-wing Identitarian MovementGermany’s domestic intelligence agency (BfV) classified the Identitarian Movement as an extreme right-wing group on Thursday, a sign that authorities are increasingly worried about radicals with anti-Islamic and racist views. The murder last month of a prominent regional politician by a suspected neo-Nazi shook Germans and prompted the interior minister to warn that right-wing extremism was a threat to Germany’s democratic system. The Identitarian Movement has not been directly linked to the killing, but the intelligence agency said the group discriminated against non-Europeans and Muslims and as such was incompatible with the constitution.



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RPT-WRAPUP 2-Iran makes new nuclear threats that would reverse steps in pact

RPT-WRAPUP 2-Iran makes new nuclear threats that would reverse steps in pactGENEVA/DUBAI, July 8 (Reuters) – Iran threatened on Monday to restart deactivated centrifuges and ramp up its enrichment of uranium to 20 percent purity as its next potential big moves away from a 2015 nuclear agreement that Washington abandoned last year. The threats, made by the spokesman for Tehran’s nuclear agency, would go far beyond the small steps Iran has taken in the past week to nudge its stocks of fissile material just beyond limits in the nuclear pact.



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Iran steps further from nuke deal, adding pressure on Europe

Iran steps further from nuke deal, adding pressure on EuropeIran increased its uranium enrichment Sunday beyond the limit allowed by its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, inching its program closer toward weapons-grade levels while calling for a diplomatic solution to a crisis heightening tensions with the U.S. Iran’s move, coupled with earlier abandoning the deal’s limit on its low-enriched uranium stockpile, intensifies pressure on Europe to find any effective way around U.S. sanctions that block Tehran’s oil sales abroad. While Iran’s recent measures could be easily reversed, Europe has struggled to respond, even after getting a 60-day warning that the increase was coming.



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