• Business,  News,  Politics

    US stocks suffer worst week in a decade

    US stocks suffered one of the worst weekly falls in a decade as trade tensions with China, interest rate rises and a possible government shutdown rattled markets. All three indexes closed lower, with the technology-focused Nasdaq down 20% since its peak, placing it in so-called “bear market” territory. The Dow Jones Industrial Average recorded its biggest weekly drop in percentage terms since 2008. The S&P 500 fell 7% for the week. It is the biggest weekly percentage drop since August 2011 while the Nasdaq’s 8.36% decline is the sharpest since November 2008. The Dow Jones fell 6.8% during the week. What’s knocked markets off course? US economy under Trump: Is…

  • News,  Politics

    George Osborne: Conservatives must adapt to stay in power

    The Conservative Party is heading towards a “prolonged period” in opposition unless it adapts to modern Britain, George Osborne has said. The former chancellor, who was sacked by Theresa May in 2016, said the party needed to become more socially-liberal and pro-business to survive in power. The ex-frontbencher, who now edits the Evening Standard newspaper, campaigned for Remain in the EU referendum. He added he believes a general election could be likely in 2019. Mr Osborne was interviewed by David Dimbleby, who is guest-editing BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Saturday. He was former prime minister’s David Cameron’s closest ally in government and served as his chancellor for the whole…

  • News,  Politics

    Michael Kovrig arrest: Canadian held in China ‘not allowed to turn lights off ‘

    A former Canadian diplomat detained in China last week is being denied legal representation and is not allowed to turn lights off at night, sources say. Michael Kovrig, who now works for the International Crisis Group (ICG) think tank, was detained on accusations of harming national security. Canada drew Chinese protests after it arrested an executive at telecoms giant Huawei at the request of the US. China says it has guaranteed Mr Kovrig’s lawful rights. ICG spokesman Karim Lebhour told the BBC: “Michael has not been allowed access to his lawyers. The arrest is unjustified.” Mr Kovrig has been working as North East Asia senior adviser for the Brussels-based think…

  • News,  Politics

    Crime once plagued San Joaquin County, but now its jail has empty beds. Here’s what it did right

    When California lawmakers unveiled a plan in 2011 to reduce the number of inmates in state prison, officials in San Joaquin County thought the timing couldn’t have been worse. There were already signs that a recent dip in crime might be coming to an end in this Central Valley county east of San Francisco. Homicides were up by nearly 40% from the previous year. And in the midst of a financial crisis, the county and local cities were laying off police officers and prosecutors. Now the county would have to quickly absorb an influx of nearly 1,000 released prisoners. “We were super concerned,” said Stephanie James, the county’s probation chief.…

  • Politics

    Government shutdown hits after Congress adjourns without a deal on Trump’s border wall

    Roughly one-quarter of the federal government officially shut down Friday night as Congress and President Trump remained deadlocked over money for his proposed border wall, the second time in less than a year that the nation’s unyielding divisions over immigration have led to the closure of federal agencies. Lawmakers who spent Friday in fitful, inconclusive negotiations with White House officials said they would resume talks on Saturday, hoping to break the stalemate, which threatens the paychecks of some 800,000 government workers. For now, with most government offices already closed for the weekend and the Christmas holiday, the shutdown will have limited effect, although it may hamper activities at some national…