Nations recalibrate in anticipation of a change in leadership.
U.S. President-elect Joe Biden sought to shore up ties with key Asian allies on Thursday morning, by making his first calls with the leaders of Japan, South Korea, and Australia.
Japan and Australia are set to sign a broad agreement facilitating joint military exercises in a bid to strengthen the broader “Quad” partnership and project a show of unity against Chinese maritime expansionism.
Japan, the U.S., India, and Australia wrapped up their first four-way joint military exercise in more than a decade on Friday, reinforcing the security partnership among the grouping known as the “Quad” amid shared alarm over China’s growing influence in the region.
India will cover up to 20% of pay for newly employed workers as part of a 2.65 trillion rupees ($35.8 billion) stimulus package announced Thursday aimed at kick-starting an economy struggling to overcome the coronavirus pandemic The job program, announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, will cover jobs that pay up to about $200 per month, at small businesses that hire at least two new employees and larger companies that bring on at least five between last month and next June. The subsidy will last for two years.
President Rodrigo Duterte has decided to extend the Visiting Forces Agreement with the U.S., Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said on Wednesday, amid continuing tensions with China in the disputed South China Sea.
In Europe, Russia has alleged that Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny could have been poisoned in Germany or on the medical plane to Berlin.
Moscow has also announced planned retaliatory sanctions against France and Germany over the alleged poisoning.
France’s prime minister said it would be “irresponsible to lift or even relax” the lockdown restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of coronavirus.
UK economy grew by a record 15.5% over the summer before new COVID-19 restrictions were imposed
Latin America is witnessing increased COVID Cases. Colombia and Argentina crossed 1 Million cases and Brazil has ha150,000 deaths as they combat the pandemic.
Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said he worries about the long-term impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. Specifically, he cited women out of work involuntarily, children whose education is suffering, and small business owners who have lost “generations of intellectual capital.”
Speaking at a European Central Bank forum Thursday, he said “we’re not going back to the same economy.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer are calling for a sweeping new coronavirus relief bill in response to record infection numbers across the U.S.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, meanwhile, continues to push for more narrow legislation as he cites an improving economy.
The number of coronavirus cases is rising quickly, and investors are fretting over the economic implications stemming from a new virus wave.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell more than 300 points on Thursday or 1%. The S&P 500 slid 1% as well, and the Nasdaq Composite pulled back 0.7%.
Disney announced Thursday that its platform surpassed 73.7 million subscribers. It’s remarkable growth considering Disney’s goal, at its launch, was to reach 60 million to 90 million subscriptions by 2024.
Just a year in and Disney+ is quickly creeping up on Netflix, which reported more than 195 million subscribers in its most recent quarter. Disney also joined the streaming wars at roughly the same time as Apple and a few months before Comcast’s NBCUniversal. Apple has yet to release subscription numbers for Apple TV+. NBCUniversal’s Peacock reported nearly 22 million sign-ups as of October, up 12 million from its July report.
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