Covid-19 news from Dec.2

Obama will take vaccine, might film to build confidence

Former President Barack Obama addresses voters one day before the election, in Atlanta, Georgia, November 2, 2020.

Brandon Bell | Reuters

Former President Barack Obama said that he will take a Covid-19 vaccine once one is available and may film it to build confidence about safety.

“I will be taking it and I may take it on TV or have it filmed so people know that I trust this science,” he told SiriusXM’s “The Joe Madison Show” during an interview. “What I don’t trust is getting Covid.”

Numerous polls find many Americans are skeptical about getting a Covid-19 vaccine, potentially jeopardizing U.S. vaccination efforts to control the pandemic.

The reluctance or refusal to get vaccinated has been a growing problem in the U.S. long before the pandemic started. Medical experts point to a long-debunked

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China Hits Out at US Over New Visa Restrictions | World News

BEIJING (AP) — China has accused critics in the U.S. government of “an escalation of political suppression” against Beijing following new visa restrictions on members of China’s ruling Communist Party and their immediate family members.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said Thursday that China would “make representations” to the U.S. over its decision to limit such people to one-month, single-entry visas.

Hua called Washington’s approach “totally inconsistent with the U.S.’s own interests,” and said it would damage America’s global image.

“I think it is obvious to all that this is an escalation of political suppression by some extreme anti-China forces in the U.S. out of strong ideological prejudice and deep-rooted Cold War mentality against China,” Hua said at a daily briefing.

The State Department said in a statement Thursday that the new restrictions are intended to protect the U.S. from the Chinese Communist Party’s “malign influence.”

“For decades we allowed

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United States Toughens Visa Rules for ‘Malign’ Chinese Communist Party Members | World News

(Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration has issued rules to restrict travel to the United States by Chinese Communist Party members and their families, the State Department said in a statement on Thursday.

The policy reduces the maximum validity length of B1/B2 visitor visas for party members and their immediate family members from 10 years to 1 month, the statement said.

The measure was aimed at protecting the nation from the party’s “malign influence,” the statement said, adding the party works to “influence Americans through propaganda, economic coercion, and other nefarious activities.”

The Trump administration has sought to cement the outgoing president’s tough-on-China legacy, and relations between the world’s two largest economies have sunk to their lowest point in decades.

Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying responded at a news briefing on Thursday, saying: “This clearly is an escalated form of political oppression towards China by some extreme anti-China

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Revamped Small Business Development Center opens to serve Richmond-area businesses | Business News

Lofchie added that the service is available for “any client that wants some help, whether they have a small business idea they want to launch, or whether they are currently an entrepreneur and want some help.

“We have business experts that will be available to talk with any of our clients on a confidential, one-on-one basis,” she said. “We also will be providing training and access to other content resources.”  

Most businesses have had some resiliency planning in place during the COVID-19 crisis, Lofchie said.

“I think this has lasted longer than any of us ever expected,” she said. “They [small businesses] are at the point where it is getting really hard, and there is a need for someone to come alongside them and coach them. There is also a need on the technical side, matching entrepreneurs with resources that are out there for them.”

The goal is to provide

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Flipkart’s Digital Payments Firm PhonePe to Raise $700 Million From Existing Investors | Investing News

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – PhonePe, the digital payments unit of Walmart’s Indian e-commerce arm Flipkart, said on Thursday it would sell a stake to existing investors for $700 million, helping it fuel growth in a crowded market that includes Google and Amazon .

PhonePe’s fundraising, from Flipkart investors led by Walmart, will give it a valuation of $5.5 billion, the company said in a statement.

PhonePe is also using the opportunity to assert its independence from the Flipkart Group which runs a successful e-commerce business in India rivalling Amazon’s local unit.

It will have its own board of directors, which will include founder and CEO Sameer Nigam and former Flipkart boss Binny Bansal, who is no longer at the company he co-founded.

PhonePe will also have employee stock ownership plans separate from Flipkart, which will continue to be its majority shareholder, the statement said.

“We are really excited to have

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Euro Zone Business Activity Shrank Sharply in November: PMI | Investing News

LONDON (Reuters) – Euro zone business activity contracted sharply last month as governments across the bloc reimposed strict lockdown measures to try to quell a second wave of coronavirus infections, a survey showed on Thursday.

The bloc’s economy will shrink again this quarter, according to a Reuters poll, but with hopes for a coronavirus vaccine and additional support from the European Central Bank, quarterly growth forecasts for next year were upgraded. [ECILT/EU]

IHS Markit’s composite PMI, seen as a good guide to economic health, sank to 45.3 in November from October’s 50.0 – the exact level separating growth from contraction. That was however above an earlier flash reading of 45.1.

“The euro zone economy slipped back into a downturn in November as governments stepped up the fight against COVID-19, with business activity hit once again by new restrictions to fight off second waves of virus infections,” said Chris Williamson, chief

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BOJ’s Suzuki Says Central Bank Should Allow Yield Curve to Steepen More | Investing News

TOKYO (Reuters) – Bank of Japan (BOJ) board member Hitoshi Suzuki said on Thursday the central bank should allow super-long bond yields to rise moderately as part of efforts to make its stimulus programme sustainable.

Under its yield curve control policy, the BOJ seeks to keep short-term interest rates at around -0.1% and 10-year bond yields at around zero as part of efforts to revive the economy with low borrowing costs.

But years of ultra-low rates have strained financial institutions’ profits, stoking fears that they may not earn enough to boost lending and help support the economy.

“Allowing the super-long end of the yield curve to steepen moderately, while keeping 10-year bond yields around zero, would help financial institutions earn more profits,” Suzuki told business leaders in Fukushima, northeastern Japan.

“As such, this will be desirable from the standpoint of maintaining financial system stability, as our monetary easing is prolonged,”

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Stock indexes shake off a weak start and end mostly higher | St. Louis business news

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More Covid-19 +ves than recoveries in Vid on Wed | Nagpur News

Nagpur: Vidarbha’s number of recoveries came down after outnumbering new Covid cases for three days in a row on Wednesday.
The region’s 11 districts reported 1,051 new Covid cases against 926 recoveries, while 23 deaths were also witnessed in the day.
Only Nagpur and Chandrapur districts registered new cases in three digits, while Washim continues to see lowest number of infections in a day.
The 23 deaths were from Nagpur 11, Bhandara 3, Wardha 1, Chandrapur 2, Akola 2, Yavatmal 1, Buldhana 2, Washim 1, taking the total count to 6,088.
The 1,051 cases were from Nagpur 453, Bhandara 74, Wardha 66, Gondia 48, Chandrapur 168, Gadchiroli 42, Akola 26, Amravati 76, Yavatmal 50, Buldhana 28 and Washim 20, making for 2,29,152 total cases.
Wednesday’s 926 recovered patients belong to Nagpur 264, Bhandara 82, Wardha 52, Gondia 128, Chandrapur 162, Gadchiroli 74, Akola 13, Amravati 38, Yavatmal 68, Buldhana 32
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Black Friday weekend not a boon for many Williamson County small businesses – News – Austin American-Statesman

Cindy Eckhart, a clerk at the Escape Fine Crafts and Gifts shop in Georgetown, said business was down about 50 percent on Black Friday weekend because the city didn’t hold its annual Christmas lighting ceremony.

“Usually about 50,000 people come to the downtown square and then they come shopping,” she said of the event, which was canceled this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Like the Escape gift shop at 713 S. Main St. in Georgetown, other small stores in the city and in Round Rock whose business depends on a rush of holiday shoppers are suffering.

The owners of a custom jewelry shop in Round Rock that makes jewelry with handcrafted silver bells, Seantel Cockle and her husband John Cockle, said this is usually their busiest time of year.

But the festivals they go to around Christmas have been canceled and online business has been slow, said John Cockle.

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