News Briefing - Wednesday, October 25th 2023
From US Top News and Analysis
Alphabet shares drop as cloud miss overshadows better-than-expected overall results
Alphabet, the parent company of Google, reported an 11% increase in revenue for the third quarter, driven by a rebound in advertising. This marked the first time in over a year that the company experienced double-digit expansion. However, the company's shares dropped nearly 7% in extended trading as its cloud business missed analysts' estimates. Earnings per share came in at $1.55, surpassing the expected $1.45, while revenue reached $76.69 billion, slightly exceeding the expected $75.97 billion. Google's advertising revenue increased to $59.65 billion, up from $54.48 billion the previous year, while YouTube advertising revenue exceeded expectations, reaching $7.95 billion. The company's cloud revenue fell short of estimates at $8.41 billion, highlighting the increasing competition with Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure. Despite this, Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai noted that YouTube's TikTok competitor, Shorts, now receives 70 billion daily views.
Jamie Dimon rips central banks for being ‘100% dead wrong’ on economic forecasts
Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase, warned about the dangers of making steadfast predictions about the economy, citing the poor track record of central banks like the Federal Reserve. Speaking at the Future Investment Initiative summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Dimon cautioned against relying on a single course of action, emphasizing the need to prepare for various possibilities and probabilities. He criticized the central banks' recent projections, highlighting their incorrect forecasts from 18 months ago regarding inflation and interest rates. Dimon expressed caution regarding the economic outlook for next year, urging a more realistic and flexible approach. He also criticized the belief in the ability of central banks and governments to manage economic challenges, calling it an "omnipotent feeling." Dimon's warnings coincide with concerns about potential rate hikes by the Federal Reserve and a shaky financial landscape.
Israel-Hamas war live updates: UN warns fuel in Gaza will run out by tonight; Israel says Hamas is stockpiling existing supplies
Helima Croft, head of global commodity strategy at RBC Capital Markets, has stated that Israel's ground incursion into Gaza could have consequences for the oil market and set the tone for a Western response against Iran, who supports Hamas. Croft believes that the United States is attempting to delay the Israeli ground operation in order to evacuate Americans trapped in Gaza. However, she suggests that people are expecting some form of escalation in Gaza. The oil price reaction to the Israel-Hamas conflict has been relatively stable so far, but Croft believes that this could change if there is a ground incursion. Additionally, a wider conflict in the Middle East could affect the crude supplies of Iran, an OPEC member. Despite historically supporting Hamas, Iran has denied involvement in the recent attacks against Israel. At present, Brent futures for December are trading at $87.78 per barrel.
From BBC News - Home
Abuse by MP Peter Bone left me broken, says former aide
A former parliamentary staff member has accused suspended Conservative MP Peter Bone of "physical, emotional and psychological abuse". The staffer, who remains anonymous, said that the abuse left him with post-traumatic stress disorder and a broken shell of the person he once was. The allegations against Bone include bullying and sexual misconduct. An investigation by Parliament's behaviour watchdog found that Bone had broken sexual misconduct rules by exposing himself to the staffer during a trip abroad. It also upheld five allegations of bullying, including verbal belittling, physical striking, and throwing things. Bone denies the allegations and has filed an appeal. The Conservative Party withdrew the whip from Bone and recommended a six-week suspension. A vote by MPs is due to take place to determine whether to trigger a recall petition that could lead to a by-election in Bone's Wellingborough constituency.
Asylum hotel closures may shift cost to local council tax payers
Local authorities in the UK have warned that they may have to house asylum seekers in the very same hotels that the government plans to no longer use. The government aims to end contracts with 50 hotels that currently house asylum seekers by the end of the year due to increasing costs. Official figures suggest that employing these hotels cost the taxpayer £8 million ($10.7 million) per day. The Local Government Association (LGA) argues that these costs may shift to councils, which are legally obliged to provide accommodation to refugees in need. There is also concern about where local governments will house refugees once they are the responsibility of councils. While hotels are not considered a long-term solution, councils are struggling with housing shortages and financial strains. The government has not consulted with the LGA on this issue, causing frustration among councillors who are calling for greater support and funding.
Class sizes grow to keep up with GCSE resits
Colleges in England are reporting that they are having to increase class sizes and hire exam halls to accommodate the rising number of students retaking compulsory GCSE exams. The Association of Colleges (AoC) stated that some colleges are even rehiring former teachers to cope with the extra 60,000 students resitting English and maths, many scheduled to sit exams in two weeks. This year, changes to the grading resulted in a greater number of students failing, meaning that they are required to retake the exams. Under-18s in England need to resit GCSE English and maths if they did not achieve at least a grade 4. The government insists it is investing more in colleges.
From - 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, according to Acting New York Supreme Court Judge Juan Merchan. However, some photographers will be allowed to take still photos in the courtroom before the proceedings formally begin. Several media organizations, including CNN, had requested permission to broadcast the arraignment, but the judge rejected their request. Although the arraignment is a public proceeding, news cameras are not typically allowed inside the courtroom. Trump's lawyers urged the judge to reject the media's request, while the Manhattan District Attorney's office stated that it did not have a position. The media outlets argued that the seriousness of the proceeding necessitates broad public access. Trump was indicted by a grand jury last week, and the unsealing of the criminal charges is expected to take place during the arraignment. The charges relate to hush-money payments made during the 2016 presidential campaign to women who alleged affairs with Trump. Trump denies any wrongdoing and has vowed 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 a judge and his family. CNN political contributor Maggie Haberman provides an analysis of the reasoning behind these attacks. Haberman suggests that Trump's behavior stems from his long-standing pattern of trying to discredit and undermine anyone who he views as a threat or criticism to him personally. In this particular case, Trump was arraigned on felony charges, and the judge overseeing the case became a target of his ire. Haberman suggests that Trump's attacks on the judge and his family were a strategic move to cast doubt on the judge's impartiality and fairness. By attacking not only the judge but also his family, Trump aimed to create a narrative that the judge's personal biases could potentially influence the outcome of the case. This calculated attempt to delegitimize the judge's authority is a typical tactic employed by Trump when faced with legal challenges.
Russian authorities detain suspect over St. Petersburg cafe blast
Ukraine has received the first tranche worth $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), totaling around $15.6 billion, as part of a $115 billion support package for Ukraine. The program aims to stabilize fiscal, external, price, and financial aspects while supporting economic recovery and promoting long-term growth, as well as enhancing governance and institutions. It will also aid Ukraine in implementing more ambitious structural reforms. The EFF loan is notable as the first major conventional financing program approved by the IMF for a country involved in a large-scale war. Gita Gopinath, the first deputy managing director of the IMF, stressed that the risks associated with the program are exceptionally high and success relies on securing external financing on concessional terms to close financing gaps and restore debt sustainability.