News Briefing - Monday, October 23rd 2023
From US Top News and Analysis
Stock futures edge higher on Monday morning as Wall Street awaits big tech earnings: Live updates
Stock futures in the U.S. rose on Monday as traders anticipated corporate earnings releases from major technology companies. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were up 49 points, or 0.15%. S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq 100 futures increased 0.24% and 0.26% respectively. The previous week had been challenging for the stock market due to concerns about rising interest rates, with the S&P 500 ending the week with a 2.4% decrease, its first weekly loss in three. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.6% while the Nasdaq Composite declined 3.2% over two successive losing weeks. The 10-year benchmark U.S. Treasury yield exceeded 5% for the first time since July 2007, influenced by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's indications of a more aggressive approach in a speech at the Economic Club of New York. This week, attention will focus on earnings reports from Alphabet, Amazon, Meta, and Microsoft, which will likely provide valuable information for the stock market's performance. Traders are also awaiting key economic data to be released, including the U.S. gross domestic product report for Q3 and the personal consumption expenditure for an indication of inflation. Investors are concerned that stronger-than-anticipated reports may keep another interest rate hike on the table this year.
Israel-Hamas war live updates: WHO says more medical supplies reached Gaza; Blinken says U.S. ‘ready’ to respond if war escalates
The World Health Organization (WHO) has provided additional medical supplies to the Gaza Strip to support healthcare services in the region. The WHO Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, announced on social media that the supplies have been delivered. The equipment received will enable surgical interventions for 1,300 people, provide basic health services to 100,000 patients for three months, and offer treatment for 150,000 people with chronic diseases. Tedros emphasized the need for safe passage for the humanitarian aid convoy and sufficient fuel supplies for both the delivery trucks and local health facilities, which have been grappling with electricity shortages. This is the second delivery to Gaza following the first convoy that entered the region over the weekend through the Rafah crossing, which connects the territory with Egypt. The WHO's efforts aim to support the healthcare system in Gaza and provide vital assistance to those in need.
U.S. chip export ban is 'great news,' says partner at Chinese tech investment fund
Chloe Wang, a partner and vice-president at the Yang Cheng Fund, a Chinese semiconductor investment fund, has welcomed the US government's ban on the export of certain advanced chip types to China. The ban, which includes chipmaker Nvidia's A800 and H800 chips, is seen as an opportunity for the development of a domestic ecosystem in China. Wang believes that Chinese semiconductor companies, particularly those specialising in artificial intelligence (AI) chips, will play a leading role in driving innovation in China. Wang also expressed confidence in Chinese entrepreneurs and the consumer market. The Yang Cheng Fund has invested in semiconductor companies, including those in the AI training and autonomous vehicle sectors. Wang revealed that the fund's portfolio includes an AI chip company that is preparing for an initial public offering and a Shanghai-based AI chip firm valued at over $3bn.
From BBC News - Home
Braverman to quiz police boss over Met response at Gaza protest
Home Secretary Suella Braverman plans to question Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley about the force's response to incidents during a pro-Palestinian protest in London. The move follows the posting online of a video appearing to show a man chanting "jihad" during a rally by Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir, staged separately from the main march, which took place in solidarity with Palestinian civilians. The Met said no offences were identified in the clip. The meeting between Braverman and Rowley had been scheduled to focus on ongoing protests and tackling anti-Semitism. However, the Home Secretary intends to ask for an explanation of the police response to the incident. Braverman has asked the police to "crack down on anyone breaking the law". The main pro-Palestine march in London was attended by an estimated 100,000 people, with a separate, smaller rally at which the man is alleged to have shouted "jihad".
Family of missing UK teen say she was murdered in Hamas attack
Noiya Sharabi, a missing British teenager who vanished after a Hamas attack in southern Israel, has been confirmed dead by her family. Noiya, 16, along with her 13-year-old sister Yahel and mother Lianne, were believed to have been killed in the attack. Noiya's father, Eli, is still missing, and other relatives have been kidnapped. The family has described Noiya as "clever, sensitive, fun and full of life" and spoke of her generosity and academic abilities. Yahel's death had been confirmed the previous week, with the family describing her as a "bundle of energy." Lianne, 48, had first moved to Israel as a volunteer on a kibbutz when she was 19 and later settled there permanently. It is now believed that at least 10 British citizens have been killed in Hamas attacks, with one kidnapped and five missing.
Storm Babet floods could last for days - officials
The Environment Agency has warned that flooding from Storm Babet could last for days, following heavy rain and wind over the weekend. Flood warnings remain in place across England, with 1,250 properties having already been affected. Four people, including two in Scotland, have died so far as a result of the floods. Scottish First Minister Humza Yousaf will visit Brechin, one of the worst-hit areas. Flood duty manager Katharine Smith urged people to stay away from swollen rivers and not to drive through flood water. While Storm Babet has passed, the "exceptional rain it brought continues to cause problems," said Simon King of BBC Weather, adding that further rain was expected this week.
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Trump pleads not guilty to 34 felony counts
Former President Donald Trump's arraignment in a New York state court will not be broadcast by news outlets, according to a judge's ruling on Monday. However, Judge Juan Merchan did allow for five pool photographers to take still photos in the courtroom at the beginning of the proceedings. Trump's arraignment is a public proceeding, but cameras are typically not permitted inside the Manhattan courthouse. Several media organizations, including CNN, had requested permission to broadcast the event, arguing for the importance of public access. Trump's lawyers urged the judge to reject the media's request, while the Manhattan District Attorney's office took no position. The arraignment follows a grand jury indictment of Trump last week as part of an investigation into hush-money payments made during the 2016 presidential campaign. Trump denies any wrongdoing and intends to fight the charges.
Haberman reveals why Trump attacked judge and his family in speech
CNN political contributor Maggie Haberman analyzes why former President Donald Trump launched attacks on a judge and his family during a speech at his Mar-a-Lago resort after being arraigned on felony charges. Haberman suggests that Trump's attacks were a tactic to divert attention away from his legal troubles and rally support from his followers. She explains that Trump's strategy is to create a sense of injustice and victimization, which he believes resonates with his base. Haberman highlights Trump's history of attacking judges and perceived adversaries, dating back to his presidential campaign. She points out that Trump's attacks on the judiciary undermine the rule of law and create a dangerous dynamic, where political figures and their supporters view the legal system as a tool to advance their own interests rather than seek justice. The speech at Mar-a-Lago is another example of Trump's tendency to use inflammatory rhetoric and personal attacks in an attempt to shape public opinion and maintain his grip on power.
Russian authorities detain suspect over St. Petersburg cafe blast
Ukraine has received the first tranche of $2.7 billion from a new International Monetary Fund (IMF) program. The IMF recently approved a four-year extended arrangement under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) for Ukraine totaling around $15.6 billion. This is part of a $115 billion total support package for the country. The program aims to promote stability and economic recovery while enhancing governance and strengthening institutions. It also supports Ukraine's path to EU accession and enables the implementation of structural reforms. The EFF loan is the first major conventional financing program approved by the IMF for a country involved in a large-scale war. However, the risks to the arrangement are considered exceptionally high by the IMF, and the success of the program depends on external financing to close fiscal and external financing gaps.