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Omicron casts a new shadow on pandemic economic recovery

Just as Americans and Europeans have been eagerly awaiting their most normal holiday season for a few years, the omicron variant has sparked a new wave of fear and uncertainty – for travelers, shoppers, party-goers and their savings in their homes. together. The Rockettes have canceled their Christmas show in New York City. Some restaurants in London have emptied as commuters avoid the city center. Broadway shows cancel some performances. The National Hockey League has suspended its games until after Christmas. Boston plans to require diners, party goers and shoppers to show proof of vaccination to enter restaurants, bars and stores.

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Democrats attempt to ‘rebuild’ after Manchin pays $ 2,000,000 bill

WASHINGTON (AP) – Democrats are trying to put the pieces back together after West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin effectively crushed President Joe Biden’s big home policy bill. They faced serious questions on Monday as to whether the $ 2 trillion initiative can be reshaped to win its crucial vote or whether the party will face a devastating defeat. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said they were going to “work like hell” to finish. And Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has promised the chamber will vote early in the new year. But conservative Manchin and his party are so far apart that it’s hard to see how they can even resume negotiations.

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EXPLANATION: Why Elizabeth Holmes’ trial is based on intent

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) – The high-profile lawsuit of former Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes comes down to one question: Did she cover up flaws in her startup’s blood testing technology to scam investors while potentially endangering the lives of unwitting people the patients? Federal prosecutors indicted Holmes, 37, with 11 counts of fraud and conspiracy in 2018 after Theranos collapsed under the weight of her false bragging about her technological prowess. While telling her own story at the helm, Holmes admitted to making bad decisions and other mistakes insisting that she never stopped believing that Theranos was about to transform healthcare. .

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UK to give $ 1.3 billion in aid to businesses affected by omicron

LONDON (AP) – Britain has announced $ 1.3 billion in grants and other aid to help the hospitality industry survive the onslaught of the omicron variant of COVID-19. The government caved in on Tuesday in days of pressure from pubs, restaurants and other businesses that saw their revenues plummet following public health warnings. Businesses in the hospitality and leisure industries in England will be eligible for one-off grants of up to £ 6,000 each. An additional $ 100 million will be given to local governments to support businesses in their regions affected by the surge in COVID-19 infections caused by the new highly transmissible variant.

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Stocks End Higher on Wall Street, Shattering 3-Day Crisis

Stocks closed sharply higher on Wall Street on Tuesday, more than regaining the ground they lost the day before. The S&P 500 rose 1.8%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.6%, and the Nasdaq rose 2.4%. Small business stocks rose even more than the rest of the market, indicating that investors are feeling more optimistic about the economy. Tech stocks performed particularly well. The prices of ultra-safe US government bonds have fallen, leading to higher yields. Energy prices have also increased. Nike, one of the 30 stocks in the Dow Jones, jumped 6.1% after posting strong quarterly results.

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Intel tells unvaccinated employees they face unpaid leave

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – Intel told workers unvaccinated people who do not get exemption for religious or medical reasons will be on unpaid leave starting in April. The California semiconductor company told employees last month they had a Jan. 4 deadline to get their COVID-19 vaccine or apply for an exemption, citing a government mandate for federal contractors. The constitutionality of general government mandates is pending. The Oregonian / OregonLive reports that Intel is leaving its policies in place for now. Intel will review employee exemption requests until March 15. Employees who do not receive an exemption will begin unpaid leave on April 4 for at least three months but “will not be made redundant.”

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Kellogg strike is coming to an end; workers will come back on Monday

NEW YORK (AP) – A strike in Kellogg that has been going on since early October has ended after workers voted to ratify a new employment contract at the company’s four US grain plants. The contract covers approximately 1,400 workers represented by the union at factories in Michigan, Nebraska, Pennsylvania and Tennessee. Kellogg said Tuesday that the new contract called for immediate and general pay increases and improved benefits for all. It also provides an accelerated and defined path to the highest wages, a major sticking point for workers. The International Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco and Grain Millers Union said the contract was a victory for the workers.

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Germany cracked down on New Year’s Eve celebrations to tame omicron

BERLIN (AP) – Germany has announced new restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of the new omicron variant of COVID-19. The new rules, which go into effect on December 28, do not allow a full lockdown, but include contact restrictions for those vaccinated. Chancellor Olaf Scholz told a press conference on Tuesday evening that “we cannot and must not turn a blind eye to this next wave”. Some of the new rules include limiting private gatherings to 10 people, closing nightclubs and holding large events such as football matches without an in-person audience. The German National Institute for Disease Control has urged Germans to restrict holiday travel which is “absolutely necessary”.

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Omicron forces Portugal to reimpose COVID-19 restrictions

LISBON, Portugal (AP) – Portugal is reimposing restrictions on coronaviruses amid fears over the threat of the omicron variant. The move comes as the country has one of the highest COVID-19 vaccination rates in the world. The country’s prime minister announced on Tuesday that working from home will be compulsory and that nightclubs and bars will be closed from midnight on Saturday. The measures will be in effect at least until January 9. A negative test result must be shown to enter cinemas, theaters, sporting events, weddings and baptisms during this time. The prime minister said Portugal is entering a particularly difficult time due to outbreaks of COVID-19 in other European countries attributed to omicron.

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France seeks to avoid lockdown with stricter vaccine rules

PARIS (AP) – Faced with an increase in hospitalizations linked to COVID-19, the French government is trying to pass a law requiring vaccination to enter all restaurants and many other public places. Authorities are also warning of tougher measures if the current wave of infections does not recede. However, the government has abandoned its efforts to demand a health pass for all workplaces. French Prime Minister Jean Castex spent Tuesday meeting with mayors and lawmakers to persuade them to support stricter vaccine rules. Meanwhile, French travelers and families are flocking to virus testing tents ahead of the holidays. France currently has 16,000 people hospitalized with COVID-19 and 60% of the country’s intensive care beds are occupied by patients infected with the virus.

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The S&P 500 gained 81.21 points, or 1.8%, to 4,649.23. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 560.54 points, or 1.6%, to 35,492.70. The Nasdaq rose 360.14 points, or 2.4%, to 15,341.09. The Russell 2000 Small Business Index rose 63.07 points, or 2.9%, to 2,202.95.


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