News Briefing - Monday, January 8th 2024
From US Top News and Analysis
Stock futures slip after S&P 500 snaps nine-week win streak: Live updates
U.S. stock futures were down on Monday after a down week for the major indices, with traders focusing on inflation data and big bank earnings in the week ahead. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures fell 0.36%, while S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures saw slight gains. Over the weekend, congressional leaders announced a $1.59 trillion spending deal to avoid a government shutdown. Boeing shares may be lower due to the grounding of dozens of Boeing 737 Max 9 aircraft for inspections after a flight incident. Last week, mega-cap tech stocks underperformed and Treasury yields rose, leading to the first losing week for Wall Street in ten weeks. The Dow dropped 1.5%, the S&P 500 slid 0.6%, and the Nasdaq Composite had its worst weekly performance since September, falling 3.25%. The yield on the 10-year Treasury also went above 4%. Traders will be looking to the December consumer price index and producer price index for clues about inflation, as well as earnings reports from big banks like Bank of America, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, and Wells Fargo. UnitedHealth, BlackRock, and Delta Air Lines will also report their earnings.
Missing door plug that detached from Alaska Airlines plane found in Oregon backyard
During a flight of a Boeing 737 Max 9 aircraft over Portland, chaos and communication issues were experienced by the flight crew when they heard a loud noise and the cabin rapidly depressurized. The first officer lost her headset in the incident, and the captain also had problems with theirs. The cockpit door opened violently, and an emergency checklist flew out. Despite these challenges, the flight crew managed to rely on a handbook and successfully bring the situation under control. If the incident had occurred at cruising altitude, the outcome could have been far more serious. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is investigating the incident, and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has grounded some Boeing 737 Max 9 aircrafts, affecting 171 planes globally. The damage inside the aircraft was significant, with seats torqued and headrests and seatbacks missing. The NTSB expressed concern for the three infants who were being held in caregivers' laps during the incident, emphasizing the recommendation for young children to travel in car seats secured in separate, ticketed seats.
U.S. congressional leaders reach deal on a top-line spending agreement to try to avoid a government shutdown
Congressional leaders have finalized a $1.59 trillion top-line spending deal to prevent a government shutdown. Under the agreement, $886 billion will be allocated for military spending, while $704 billion will go toward non-defense spending for the 2024 fiscal year. The deal comes as the Jan. 19 deadline approaches, when funding runs out for several federal agencies. However, a potential shutdown may still occur as parties continue to disagree over key policy issues. House Speaker Mike Johnson stated that the spending levels would not satisfy everyone, but they offer a way to move the process forward and prioritize funding toward conservative objectives. Some of the concessions made include a $10-billion cut to IRS mandatory funding and the removal of $6.1 billion from COVID-era slush funds. President Biden has expressed approval of the deal and called on Republican lawmakers to fund critical domestic and national security priorities without threatening a government shutdown.
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From BBC News - Home
Church leader tortured and raped disciples, BBC finds
A two-year investigation by the BBC has uncovered evidence of widespread abuse and torture by Nigerian megachurch leader TB Joshua, founder of the Synagogue Church of All Nations. Former church members, including five British individuals, have alleged atrocities including rape, forced abortions, physical violence, and child abuse. TB Joshua, who died in 2021, was a popular preacher and televangelist with a large global following. The BBC's investigation includes dozens of eyewitness accounts of abuse carried out by Joshua, as well as allegations of multiple rapes and forced abortions, and details on how Joshua faked his "miracle healings". Several victims compare their experiences to being in a cult. The Synagogue Church of All Nations has not responded to the allegations.
Ministers to meet to discuss Post Office Horizon scandal
The UK government is set to consider measures to clear the names of sub-postmasters convicted in the Post Office Horizon scandal. Over 700 branch managers were wrongly convicted of false accounting, theft, and fraud between 1999 and 2015 due to faulty software. Some were wrongfully imprisoned and many were financially ruined. Currently, fewer than 100 people have had their convictions overturned. Justice Secretary Alex Chalk and Minister for the Post Office Kevin Hollinrake will meet to explore mechanisms to address the miscarriage of justice. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has stated that the government is reviewing options to help victims of the scandal, including the possibility of stripping the Post Office of its role in the appeal process. A public inquiry into the scandal is ongoing, and the Metropolitan Police is investigating potential fraud offences by the Post Office.
'I can't stay silent' on knife crime, Idris Elba says
Idris Elba, the London-born actor known for his roles in Luther and Thor, is urging the government to take action on knife crime. Elba accuses politicians of not giving the issue the attention it deserves and is calling for a fast-tracked law change to ban all sales of zombie knives and machetes. As part of his Don't Stop Your Future campaign, Elba is displaying clothes representing the victims of knife crime in London's Parliament Square. The campaign aims to tackle serious violence by working with local communities and well-known brands. Yemi Hughes, whose son Andre Aderemi was murdered in 2016, has donated the outfit he was wearing when he was killed. Elba is also releasing a single, "Knives Down," to support the campaign. Police figures from July 2022 to June 2023 show that around 247 people lost their lives due to knife crime in England and Wales. Elba's campaign also calls for an immediate ban on zombie knives and machetes.
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From CNN.com - RSS Channel - App International Edition
Trump pleads not guilty to 34 felony counts
Former President Donald Trump's arraignment in a New York state court will not be broadcasted by news outlets, a judge declared on Monday night. Instead, limited access will be granted to several photographers to capture still photos at the beginning of the proceedings. While arraignments in the Manhattan courthouse are typically public, cameras are generally not allowed inside. Trump's legal team supported the decision to deny media requests for live cameras in the courtroom, while the Manhattan District Attorney's office did not express a position. However, media organizations argued that given the gravity of the case, public access should be maximized. Trump has already arrived in Manhattan ahead of the arraignment. Last week, he was indicted by a grand jury. The unsealing of the criminal charges, which relate to hush-money payments made during the 2016 presidential campaign, is anticipated during the arraignment. Trump continues to deny any wrongdoing, and his lawyers have expressed their intention to fight the charges.
Haberman reveals why Trump attacked judge and his family in speech
In a recent speech at his Mar-a-Lago resort, former President Donald Trump launched a series of attacks on the judge and his family after being arraigned on felony charges. CNN political contributor Maggie Haberman sheds light on the motivation behind Trump's actions. According to Haberman, Trump's attacks served two purposes. Firstly, they were a tactical move to divert attention from his own legal troubles and shift the focus onto someone else. By targeting the judge and his family, Trump aimed to create a distraction and rally his supporters against what he portrayed as an unfair judicial system. Secondly, Trump's attacks were part of a larger strategy to undermine public trust in the courts and the rule of law. By criticizing the judge and suggesting bias, he sought to further erode confidence in the justice system and discredit any potential legal actions against him. Overall, Haberman suggests that Trump's attacks were motivated by self-preservation and a broader agenda to delegitimize those who posed a threat to his power.
Russian authorities detain suspect over St. Petersburg cafe blast
Ukraine has received the first portion of $2.7 billion from a new International Monetary Fund (IMF) program. The IMF approved a four-year extended arrangement under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) of around $15.6 billion, as part of a $115 billion total support package for Ukraine. The program intends to stabilize fiscal, external, price, and financial aspects, as well as support economic recovery and promote long-term growth. It also encourages ambitious structural reforms. The EFF loan is the first major conventional financing program authorized by the IMF for a country involved in a large-scale war. However, the risks involved in this arrangement are exceptionally high, according to Gita Gopinath, the first deputy managing director of the IMF. The success of the program depends on securing external financing on concessional terms to close fiscal and external financing gaps and ensure debt sustainability.