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Royal teen at Qatar World Cup goes viral in China
  + stars: | 2022-12-03 | by ( Dorothy Kam | )   time to read: +2 min
La'eeb during the opening ceremony of the World Cup in Doha, Qatar on Nov. 20. Karim Jaafar / AFP via Getty Images fileThey had earlier joked about La’eeb’s resemblance to traditional Chinese dumpling wrappers, and so Abdulrahman's nickname was born. “We love him because he is so cute,” one user commented on Weibo, a popular social media platform similar to Twitter. On Weibo, which he joined on Wednesday as “Little Prince La’eeb,” he has posted twice and gained almost 2.5 million followers. Qatar has since been eliminated from the World Cup, becoming the first host country to lose all three matches in the group stage.
Apple Makes Plans to Move Production Out of China
  + stars: | 2022-12-03 | by ( Yang Jie | Aaron Tilley | )   time to read: 1 min
In recent weeks, Apple Inc. has accelerated plans to shift some of its production outside China, long the dominant country in the supply chain that built the world’s most valuable company, say people involved in the discussions. It is telling suppliers to plan more actively for assembling Apple products elsewhere in Asia, particularly India and Vietnam, they say, and looking to reduce dependence on Taiwanese assemblers led by Foxconn Technology Group. Turmoil at a place called iPhone City helped propel Apple’s shift. At the giant city-within-a-city in Zhengzhou, China, as many as 300,000 workers work at a factory run by Foxconn to make iPhones and other Apple products. At one point, it alone made about 85% of the Pro lineup of iPhones, according to market-research firm Counterpoint Research.
REUTERS/Thomas PeterSHANGHAI, Dec 3 (Reuters) - China has started taking steps to ease its zero-COVID policy, fuelling a mix of relief and worry as the public waits to see the health consequences, and impact on the medical system, of a full-blown exit. Researchers have analysed how many deaths the country could see if it pivots to a full reopening, with most pointing to the country's relatively low vaccination rates and lack of herd immunity as some of its most vulnerable spots. As of Friday, China reported 5,233 COVID-related deaths and 331,952 cases with symptoms. They forecasted that peak demand on intensive care would be more than 15 times capacity, causing roughly 1.5 million deaths, based on worldwide data gathered about the variant's severity. The company said it modelled its data on Hong Kong's BA.1 wave in February, which occurred after the city eased restrictions after two years.
Today features my conversation with top strategist and economist, Ed Yardeni, on his recession outlook and what he sees as the US economy's biggest risks for 2023. Ed Yardeni, President of Yardeni Research Ed YardeniEd Yardeni is the president of Yardeni Research. Ed Yardeni: For the past year or so, the main issue for the US economy is inflation. EY: They can either continue to tighten until they cause a recession, but that's not my most likely scenario. I think either rates are going to go higher, causing a recession, which would bring interest rates down next year.
The southern city of Shenzhen announced it would no longer require people to show a negative COVID test result to use public transport or enter parks, following similar moves by Chengdu and Tianjin. A video showing workers in Beijing removing a testing booth by crane on to a truck went viral on Chinese social media on Friday. CHINA OUTLIERThree years into the pandemic, China has been a global outlier with its zero-tolerance approach towards COVID that has seen it enforce lockdowns and frequent virus testing. China reported 32,827 new local COVID-19 infections for Dec. 2, down from 34,772 a day earlier. As of Friday, China reported 5,233 COVID-related deaths and 331,952 cases with symptoms.
(Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)Beijing residents cheered the removal of Covid-19 testing booths while Shenzhen followed other cities in announcing it would no longer require commuters to present their test results to travel, as an easing of China's virus curbs gathered pace. Three years into the pandemic, China has been a global outlier with its zero-tolerance approach towards Covid that has seen it enforce lockdowns and frequent virus testing. China began tweaking its approach last month, urging localities to become more targeted. Initial reactions, however, were marked with confusion and even tighter lockdowns as cities scrambled to keep a lid on rising cases. Then a deadly apartment fire last month in the far western city of Urumqi sparked dozens of protests against Covid curbs in a wave unprecedented in mainland China since President Xi Jinping took power in 2012.
In an interview with Insider, Ed Yardeni broke down his his 2023 outlook for the US economy and stock market. He put the odds of a soft landing next year at 60% and the odds of a hard landing at 40%. And by the end of 2023, Yardeni predicted the S&P 500 could climb to around 4,800. But Yardeni said the yield curve may not be as reliable of a recession indicator compared to previous years. Geopolitics presents the second largest risk to the economy, Yardeni continued, pointing to the Russia-Ukraine war, US-China tensions, Beijing's zero-COVID policies, and Iran.
Chinese cities this week loosened COVID restrictions in the wake of mass protests, lifting Chinese stocks. China's top pandemic official this week appeared to signal a softening in the zero-COVID policy but the government has yet to pledge a comprehensive step-down. Retail investors should be prepared to move defensively should Beijing's decisions on zero-COVID policy go against their respective positions, Martin said. Here's what some market experts are looking at as global investors watch for developments surrounding the Chinese government's zero-COVID stance. "You have to understand that nobody has an edge as to predicting China policy anymore.
Michael Burry and Elon Musk this week flagged the risk of a severe US recession. Experts have flagged inflation, rising interest rates, and global growth headwinds as major worries. Several of these experts blame the Federal Reserve, which has rapidly raised interest rates to curb soaring prices this year, leaving consumers facing both higher living expenses and borrowing costs. Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, Twitter, and SpaceX"Fed needs to cut interest rates immediately. Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta"We thought that the economy and the business were going to go in a certain direction, and obviously it hasn't turned out that way.
The B-21 Raider is the first new American bomber in more than 30 years. Courtesy of Northrop GrummanThe Air Force unveiled the first new US stealth bomber in decades on Friday, following years of covert development. The B-21 Raider is a sixth-generation aircraft intended to serve as the backbone of America's fleet amid increasingly rocky relations with China and Russia. The sleek stealth bomber made by Northrop Grumman made its public debut at an Air Force facility in Palmdale, California. Six B-21 test aircraft are currently being assembled at the company's Palmdale, California, site, according to the aerospace and defense manufacturer.
The ecommerce store wasn't wildly successful but he managed to sell about $500 worth of products, he said. He also tried selling call-center software for six months but didn't make a single sale. So Peterson began doing his research and within a few weeks, he was ready to launch his first product: A seatbelt gap filler. "I didn't know I was infringing on anyone's patent, and so I basically closed down that product," Peterson said. Again, it began to do well until Amazon banned selling the product without documents and approvals due to safety issues, he said.
Russia has a "shadow fleet" of oil tankers to bypass western sanctions, the Financial Times reported. The EU has agreed on a $60 a barrel price cap on Russian oil after Poland wanted it set at just $30. Russia assembled what the industry described as the "shadow fleet" in a bid to counter new sanctions. Analysts estimate a shortfall as Russia still needs more tankers to maintain its export levels, according to the report. Rystad analyst Viktor Kurilov told the newspaper: "Russia needs more than 240 tankers to keep its current exports flowing."
FBI Director Chris Wray said on Friday that he has national security concerns about TikTok, per AP News. Wray warned that China could use TikTok to collect user data for espionage operations, AP News said. He added that China could collect users' data for traditional espionage operations, the news agency reported. TikTok said in June that it started routing American users' data via US-based servers owned by Oracle, per The Verge. However, BuzzFeed News reported that US user data was still being repeatedly accessed from China.
[1/2] Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese attends the APEC Leader's Dialogue with APEC Business Advisory Council during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, Friday, Nov. 18, 2022, in Bangkok, Thailand. The group, which includes Australia's governing Labor Party and opposition Liberal-National coalition MPs, will fly to Taiwan on Sunday and is the first delegation of its type to visit there since 2019, The Australian newspaper reported on Saturday. Albanese on Saturday described the trip as a "backbench" visit to Taiwan, not a government-led one. "There remains a bipartisan position when it comes to China and when it comes to support for the status quo on Taiwan," Albanese told reporters in the town of Renmark, in South Australia state. The group will reportedly meet with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen and Foreign Minister Joseph Wu, with the visit having support from Taiwan's foreign ministry.
Pentagon debuts its new stealth bomber, the B-21 Raider
  + stars: | 2022-12-03 | by ( )   time to read: +7 min
The B-21 Raider is the first new American bomber aircraft in more than 30 years. Both the Air Force and Northrop also point to the Raider's relatively quick development: The bomber went from contract award to debut in seven years. And we will build the bomber force in numbers suited to the strategic environment ahead," Austin said. The B-21 Raider, which takes its name from the 1942 Doolittle Raid over Tokyo, will be slightly smaller than the B-2 to increase its range, Warden said. Northrop Grumman has also incorporated maintenance lessons learned from the B-2, Warden said.
Ronaldo, Portugal’s captain, said the comments he made as he left the field in the 65th minute were in fact aimed at a South Korean player. “What happened was before my substitution, the South Korea player told me to get off quickly. The 37-year-old is seeking to equal the Portuguese record of most World Cup goals held by Eusebio, who racked up nine in 1966 in England, the only World Cup tournament he played in. Fu Tian/China News Service/Getty ImagesSantos, asked by reporters about the substitution incident, also said a South Korean player had been aggressive in his comments towards the five-time Ballon d’Or winner. We wanted to go through with a win, we wanted to go through playing good football to keep boosting our confidence,” Santos said.
Apple is increasing its efforts to shift production outside of China, according to the Wall Street Journal. Production at factories like Foxconn has taken a massive hit amid riots over zero-Covid policies. Shifting production will likely be difficult in the current global economic climate, sources told WSJ. In November, the area known as "iPhone City" erupted into violent protests among employees over withheld pay and strict zero-Covid policies that prompted a lockdown in Zhengzhou. The protests, which coincided with the start of the holiday shopping season in the US, have led to significant supply chain issues and shortages of Apple iPhone products.
Analysts at Goldman Sachs named a slew of stocks this week that the firm said are well positioned if market conditions deteriorate. They include Yeti, Yum China , Keysight Technologies , Capri Holdings and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing . Yum China Yum China is a stock made for these times, according to analyst Michelle Cheng. Keysight Technologies "Strong results despite weakening macro. Yum China "YUMC delivered a strong margin beat in its 3Q22 results reinforcing its leading execution & business resiliency amid market volatility.
On Friday, G7 nations and Australia agreed a $60 per barrel price cap on Russian seaborne crude oil in a move to deprive President Vladimir Putin of revenue while keeping Russian oil flowing to global markets. OPEC virtually met on Saturday without allies such as Russia and discussed mostly administrative matters, sources said. The ministers did not discuss the Russian price cap. Five OPEC+ delegates said on Saturday the OPEC+ meeting on Sunday would likely approve a policy rollover. On Friday, two separate OPEC+ sources said a further output cut was not completely off the table given concern about economic growth and demand.
A student's laptop was damaged after a fellow rail passenger unexpectedly reclined his seat. The student, identified as Wang, successfully sued the passenger, identified as Liu, for about $475. The court ruled that Liu neglected his obligation to tell Wang that he planned to recline his seat. Wang demanded Liu pay him 4,788 yuan to compensate for repair costs, taxis to the repair shop, and disruption to his journey. This week, the Xiangyin County People's Court ordered Liu to pay Wang 3,341 yuan, or about $475.
JPMorgan, Citi and BlackRock are among those who believe a recession is likely in 2023. Nevertheless, many on Wall Street are increasing allocations to areas of the market that have a reputation for outperforming during uncertain economic times. The S&P 500 Health Care sector is down around 1.7% year-to-date, handily beating the broader index's performance. JPMorgan's analysts forecast a "mild recession" and expect the S&P 500 to test its 2022 lows in the first quarter of next year. Signs of ebbing inflation have fueled hopes that the Fed may tighten monetary policy less than expected, supporting a rebound in the S&P 500 that has buoyed the index from its October low.
But Wray said the FBI continues to be concerned about Chinese government “talent programs” that sometimes pay American professors through secret relationships. “At the same time, you also stated, as you’ve just done, that this effort isn’t about the Chinese people or Chinese Americans. But of course, Chinese Americans are part of the U.S. society that you believe needs to be mobilized against China. He also returned to talking about Chinese government operations that have targeted Chinese Americans. “We view Chinese Americans here as being with us.
Brent crude futures settled down $1.31, a 1.5% drop, at $85.57 per barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell $1.24, or 1.5%, to $79.98 per barrel. Russian oil output could fall by 500,000 to 1 million bpd early in 2023 due to the European Union ban on seaborne imports from Monday, two sources at major Russian producers said. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the Russian oil price cap will be adjustable over time so that the union can react to market developments. The cap was designed to limit revenues to Russia while not resulting in an oil price spike.
NEW YORK, Dec 2 (Reuters) - A U.S. judge on Friday dismissed an indictment against Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies Co [RIC:RIC:HWT.UL], formally ending a criminal sanctions case that strained U.S.-China relations. U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly in Brooklyn dismissed Meng's indictment with prejudice, meaning it cannot be brought again. A lawyer for Meng and a spokeswoman for Huawei did not immediately respond to requests for comment. On the day Donnelly approved that agreement, Meng flew home to Shenzhen. On Nov. 25, the Biden administration banned approvals of new telecommunications equipment from Huawei and China's ZTE Corp (000063.SZ) because they posed an "unacceptable risk" to national security.
Each new B-21 is pegged at roughly $729.25 million, and the U.S. Air Force expects to procure at least 100 of them. Factoring in inflation, it’s half the price of the exorbitantly expensive B-2 stealth bomber it’s meant to replace. Factoring in inflation, it’s half the price of the exorbitantly expensive B-2 stealth bomber it’s meant to replace. (China’s military grasps the benefit of long-range stealth bombers in the Pacific context and is developing its own Raider-like stealth bomber intended to expand its strike range.) That isn’t to say the Raider program should be written a blank check.
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