New Zealand’s virus success unleashes runaway housing prices

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — New Zealand’s success in battling the coronavirus has unleashed an unanticipated problem: skyrocketing house prices. When the pandemic first hit, most experts predicted house prices would fall. Instead, prices have risen by more than 19% over the past year, putting them out of reach for many people wanting to buy their first home. The government, which has come under increasing criticism for its response to the housing squeeze, on Thursday announced the first of what it says will be a series of moves to address the issue by ordering the nation’s central bank to consider the impact on house prices when making decisions. Reserve Bank Governor Adrian Orr said it welcomed the new directive, which is

Read More

Biden revokes Trump orders on ‘anarchist’ cities and more

President Joe Biden on Wednesday formally revoked a series of presidential orders and memorandum signed by Donald Trump, including one that sought to cut funding from several cities the 45th president deemed “anarchist” havens and another mandating that federal buildings should be designed in a classical esthetic. Since taking office last month, Biden has revoked dozens of Trump orders and issued dozens more of his own as he’s sought to target foundational aspects of Trump’s legacy and promote aspect of his own agenda without going through Congress. The latest slate of revocations targeted a grab-bag of issues, including a few that Trump signed in his last months in office. Trump issued a memorandum in September that sought to identify municipal

Read More

Australia passes law to make Google, Facebook pay for news

CANBERRA, Australia — Australia’s laws forcing Google and Facebook to pay for news are ready to take effect, though the laws’ architect said it will take time for the digital giants to strike media deals. The Parliament on Thursday passed amendments to the so-called News Media Bargaining Code agreed between Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg on Tuesday. In return for the changes, Facebook agreed to lift a ban on Australians accessing and sharing news. Rod Sims, the competition regulator who drafted the code, said he was happy that the amended legislation would address the market imbalance between Australian news publishers and the two gateways to the internet. “All signs are good,” Sims told Australian Broadcasting Corp.

Read More

The latest numbers on COVID-19 in Canada for Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021

The latest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 7:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. There are 855,126 confirmed cases in Canada. _ Canada: 855,126 confirmed cases (30,393 active, 802,926 resolved, 21,807 deaths).*The total case count includes 13 confirmed cases among repatriated travellers. There were 2,863 new cases Wednesday. The rate of active cases is 79.97 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 20,945 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 2,992. There were 46 new reported deaths Wednesday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 376 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 54. The seven-day

Read More

Biden lifts Trump-era ban blocking legal immigration to US

SAN DIEGO — President Joe Biden on Wednesday lifted a freeze on green cards issued by his predecessor during the pandemic that lawyers said was blocking most legal immigration to the United States. Former President Donald Trump last spring halted the issuance of green cards until the end of 2020 in the name of protecting the coronavirus-wracked job market — a reason that Trump gave to achieve many of the cuts to legal immigration that had eluded him before the pandemic. Trump on Dec. 31 extended those orders until the end of March. Trump had deemed immigrants a “risk to the U.S. labour market” and blocked their entry to the United States in issuing Proclamation 10014 and Proclamation 10052. Biden

Read More

GOP rallies solidly against Democrats’ virus relief package

WASHINGTON — Republicans rallied solidly Wednesday against Democrats’ proposed $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill as lawmakers awaited a decision by the Senate’s parliamentarian that could bolster or potentially kill a pivotal provision hiking the federal minimum wage. Despite their paper-thin congressional majorities, Democratic leaders were poised to push the sweeping package through the House on Friday. They were hoping the Senate, where changes seem likely, would follow quickly enough to have legislation on President Joe Biden’s desk by mid-March. By late Wednesday, not one Republican in either chamber had publicly said he or she would back the legislation. GOP leaders were honing attacks on the package as a job killer that does too little to reopen schools or businesses shuttered

Read More

El Chapo’s wife goes from obscurity to celebrity to arrest

CULIACAN, Mexico — Despite her status as the wife of the world’s most notorious drug boss, Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, Emma Coronel Aispuro lived mostly in obscurity — until her husband went to prison for life. Then, suddenly, she was a presence on social media. There was talk of launching a fashion line. Even an appearance on a reality show dedicated to the families of drug traffickers. Coronel’s actions did not go unnoticed. And in the wake of her arrest Monday on charges that she had conspired to distribute drugs, there were those who wondered: In embracing the limelight, had Coronel put a target on her own back? Her behaviour was notable in part because she had lived a relatively

Read More

Retired TC Energy CEO Russ Girling aiming to join Suncor’s board of directors

CALGARY — Suncor Energy says former TC Energy CEO Russ Girling is returning to the energy producer and will stand for election to its board of directors in May. The Calgary-based energy giant says Girling is well-known in the North American energy industry following a 35-year career. Girling recently retired after 26 years at TC Energy, including a decade as president and chief executive. He previously worked at Suncor Energy, Northridge Energy Marketing and Dome Petroleum. Girling also sits on the board of fertilizer company Nutrien Ltd. as well as some private boards and non-profits. He holds a commerce degree and a master of business administration degree from the University of Calgary. “In addition to his deep understanding of issues

Read More

3 adults slain in Arkansas home, abducted baby found safe

HUNTSVILLE, Ark. — Three adults were found dead and a baby was abducted from a home in northeast Arkansas, but the child was found hours later, unharmed, and a suspect was arrested, authorities said Wednesday. Sheriff’s deputies discovered the bodies at the home near Huntsville, in Madison County, on Tuesday evening, Arkansas State Police said. Authorities deduced that the infant was missing and state police troopers started searching for two vehicles that had been seen at the home earlier in the day. One of the vehicles, a truck, was found abandoned, but troopers caught up to the other vehicle, a van, just after 10 p.m. Tuesday along Interstate 30 near Benton, about 200 miles from Huntsville. A passenger armed with

Read More

Buffett’s right-hand man says US stock market is overvalued

OMAHA, Neb. — Investor Warren Buffett’s right-hand man says the U.S. stock market is overvalued, but he doesn’t know when the bubble will burst. Billionaire Charlie Munger is a vice chairman at Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway conglomerate. He typically sits alongside Buffett to field questions at Berkshire’s annual meetings in Omaha, Nebraska, each spring. “I think it must end badly but I don’t know when,” Munger said of the stock market’s run to record levels. He fielded questions for two hours Wednesday at the annual meeting of another company he is chairman of, the Daily Journal, which operates a small legal newspaper in California and sells software to court systems. Munger said the recent frenzy over GameStop’s stock was driven by

Read More

1 2 3 574