An employee sits reflected in a glass screen featuring the London Stock Exchange Group Plc’s logo at their offices in London, U.K., on Thursday, Jan. 2, 2020.Simon Dawson | Bloomberg via Getty ImagesLONDON — Shares of Canadian chip designer Alphawave IP crashed as much as 19% in the company’s debut on the London Stock Exchange on Thursday morning.Alphawave and its shareholders sold £856 million ($1.2 billion) worth of shares at £4.10 per share, giving it a market value of £3.1 billion. The company sold £360 million new shares, and existing shareholders sold down stock worth roughly £496 million. Approximately 28% of the business was listed.But within hours of trading, the share price fell to £3.28, cutting the market cap by more than £500 million. Shares recovered slightly and were trading at £3.33 by 9 a.m. London time.The IPO comes as stock markets worldwide take a hit, with the pan-European Stoxx 600 falling over 1.3% in early trade Thursday. European markets are following the negative trend seen in Asia-Pacific overnight and the U.S. on Wednesday after the latest U.S. inflation data for April showed higher-than-expected price pressures.Founded in Toronto, Alphawave announced it intended to list on the London Stock Exchange last month, shunning New York’s tech-focused Nasdaq in the process.John Lofton Holt, executive chairman of Alphawave IP, said in a statement that the company was proud to be launching on the London Stock Exchange. “London was the obvious venue for the listing of our silicon IP business because both the industry and the business model were born in the U.K.”He added: “We are pleased to have executed against our IPO plans successfully, ahead of schedule and supported by a strong UK investor base, alongside a distinguished list of blue-chip investors across the US, Canada and Europe. Today is just the start of our journey.”Other firms that have listed on the London Stock Exchange this year include food delivery firm Deliveroo, cybersecurity start-up Darktrace, shoemaker Dr Martens, digital greetings card seller Moonpig and consumer review site Trustpilot.
LONDON — There will be new mergers in the Italian banking sector over the coming months, the CEO of Italy’s largest bank by market capitalization has predicted.Speaking to CNBC’s Squawk Box on Friday, Intesa Sanpaolo CEO Carlo Messina said: “I think that in the next year, so within 12 months, there will be some M&A deal in the country. I don’t know what kind of bank can be merged or put together, but the future for the country is to enter into another season of merger(s).”His comment comes after S&P Global Market Intelligence said in a note in March that Italy is on the cusp of being “the busiest market for bank mergers in Europe in 2021.”The ratings and analysis firm said that the large number of Italian banks, the relative size of the market taken by the top banks, and the need for digitalization increase the pressure on smaller lenders to consolidate with others.Italy’s Banco BPM and BPER Banca said in December they were considering a merger, with the possibility of a deal taking place in the first half of 2021. Media reports have also suggested that Banco BPM had discussed merger possibilities with other lenders, but they hadn’t come to anything.In addition, the Italian government has to dispose of its stake in Monte dei Paschi di Siena — dating back to 2017 when Italian taxpayers rescued the struggling bank — in the coming months too.”It is clear that in Italy we are — and will remain — the leader by definition,” Messina said of Intesa Sanpaolo, but stressed that the market needed more large lenders.”Italy … needs to have minimum another two players that can have a good market share, because it is the future to have concentration,” Messina added.
The investigation into the January 6 Capitol insurrection has challenged law enforcement, taking officers across thousands of miles and digital images, searching for rioters and stolen property, including US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s laptop.
“We’re looking for Nancy Pelosi’s laptop,” FBI agents told Marilyn Hueper on April 28 after briefly handcuffing her.
Hueper told The Associated Press news agency: “That still doesn’t explain why you’re in my home. Or in Homer, Alaska.”
The agents walked out of Hueper’s home with iPads, mobile phones and a pocket-sized copy of the Declaration of Independence, the AP reported. They took a laptop, but it was not from Pelosi’s office. And it is possible they may have the wrong person altogether, Hueper claims.
Homer Residence Raided By FBI Wednesday
The home of Paul and Marilyn Hueper, the owners of the Homer Inn and Spa, was raided by FBI agents on Wednesday, April 28th. Through… – https://t.co/w4XaEu60Zl pic.twitter.com/Rb7ReXoowr
— KSRM Radio 92 (@ksrmam) April 30, 2021
Federal prosecutors have charged more than 400 people in relation to the riot, and expect to charge at least 100 more in one of the largest undertakings by the US Justice department in American history. The investigation has included scores of defendants who posted images and videos of their crimes online and boasted about breaking into the hallowed building.
These include far-right figures, conspiracy theorists and anti-government militias.
Some are facing serious charges and considerable prison time, including conspiracy. Reports suggest evidence is trending towards sedition charges for some, a serious charge rarely used by prosecutors.
But the Justice department’s far-reaching prosecution of those who stormed the US Capitol on January 6 has not been without its problems, including this potential instance of mistaken identity. And as Republicans increasingly seek to minimise the insurrection and play down the horror of the day, any missteps by federal prosecutors could be used in that effort to discredit what actually happened.
The volume of people inside the Capitol building, along with the lack of arrests made at the time of the riot, has made it difficult to identify people, even with the glut of social media evidence.
Federal agents have dug through thousands of social media posts, gotten sweeping warrants to obtain information on mobile phones in the area of the Capitol, used facial recognition tools and obtained logs of devices that signed into the congressional WiFi during the riot.
But by far the most effective tool for federal agents has been old-fashioned tips. Many of the rioters have been identified by their friends and family members.
Violent rioters, loyal to then-President Donald Trump, storm the Capitol on January 6, 2021 [File: John Minchillo/AP Photo]Hueper and her husband first came to officials’ attention this year when Alaska Airlines in February banned the couple for refusing to wear masks on a flight, according to court documents obtained by AP. Then two other people called in tips saying they recognised Hueper in photos that authorities had released of suspects wanted for storming the Capitol.
Riley June Williams, a Pennsylvania resident, was arrested in January after a tip that she took Pelosi’s laptop. Legal proceedings in the Williams case are ongoing, according to court documents seen by Al Jazeera.
The warrant, obtained by the AP, identifies Hueper as the woman who took the laptop.
Hueper insists they are wrong. She told the AP that another woman wearing her same coat and with a similar hairstyle was inside the Capitol during the insurrection, not her.
She admits she was in Washington, DC, for Trump’s rally that day but says she did not get any closer than 91 metres (100 yards) from the Capitol and spent part of the day being lost in an unfamiliar city.
She said agents showed her one photo of the woman inside the Capitol, and they looked so similar that Hueper wondered if someone had used photo-editing software to put her in the photograph.
Proud Boys members stand in front of the Capitol on January 6 before they were later arrested [File: Jim Urquhart/Reuters]The warrant details how FBI agents located an image showing Hueper wearing similar clothing in a photo on her husband’s Instagram account. It said Hueper’s husband had also posted photos of them near the Capitol.
Hueper said an agent came back with a different and larger photo of the woman, which showed the suspected thief wearing a black sweater with large white snowflakes on it. The agent asked where in the house they could locate the sweater.
Hueper insisted she was not inside the Capitol, and said the sweater was hideous.
Hueper said she grabbed the photo and held it next to her face, asking the female agent to look at both closely, “Me. Her. Me. Her,” she told the agent. Hueper said the agent grabbed the paper and walked off.
Hueper listed further differences. After insisting, Hueper was shown the front page of the warrant but not allowed to thoroughly read the document, she told the AP. She read it only after receiving a copy as the dozen or so agents and Capitol Police officers left.
Hueper said she has not heard back from federal authorities, nor have agents returned her laptop, two iPads, two mobile phones or the 50-cent pocket-sized Declaration of Independence booklet they confiscated.
She has not been arrested. Justice Department officials would say only that the investigation is ongoing.
But she decided to go public with her story, just in case.
“I better go online and protect myself before they call me in and make me this person,” she told the AP.
India, gripped by one of the most deadly coronavirus surges seen by any country, will have to be ready for new waves and badly needs more oxygen from other countries, officials said Wednesday.
Facing critical shortages of hospital beds and oxygen, the warnings came as India reported 3,780 new pandemic deaths, a new daily high, and 382,000 new cases. Experts say the peak may not be reached for weeks.
New figures on Thursday showed that India confirmed national record new deaths, with 3,980 people lost in 24 hours. The number of cases recorded was also a record for the country, at 412,262.
India reports 4,12,262 new #COVID19 cases, 3,29,113 discharges and 3,980 deaths in the last 24 hours, as per Union Health Ministry Total cases: 2,10,77,410Total recoveries: 1,72,80,844 Death toll: 23,01,68Active cases: 35,66,398 Total vaccination: 16,25,13,339 pic.twitter.com/W1kQnSucGe
May 6, 2021
According to the International Red Cross, India is bearing the brunt of a coronavirus crisis badly hitting all of South Asia, AFP reports.
K. Vijay Raghavan, the Indian government’s principal scientific advisor, said the country of 1.3 billion had to be ready for more trouble even after beating down this wave which has taken India’s caseload above 20 million infections.
“Phase 3 is inevitable given the high levels of circulating virus. But it is not clear on what timescale this phase 3 will occur. We should prepare for new waves,” Raghavan told a news conference.
With the government facing criticism as patients die in streets outside hospitals because of the bed shortages, consignments of oxygen and equipment have been arriving from the United States, France, Britain, Russia and other countries in recent days.
And India will need more oxygen from other countries to fight the surge until numbers stabilise, another government official said.
“We did not and do not have enough oxygen,” the top government official told reporters, speaking on condition of anonymity. “If we could get more oxygen more lives would be saved.”
A poll taken in 53 countries has found that 44% of people around the world consider the United States to be a threat to their democracy – significantly less than those who believe the same about China and Russia.
Out of the 53,000 people polled in 53 countries, more respondents (44%) considered US influence on their country to be a “threat to democracy” than those who didn’t (26%). Meanwhile, only 38% considered Chinese influence a threat to democracy.Fear of Russian influence was the lowest of the three, with only 28% considering Russia to be a threat to their democracy, compared to 36% who expressed no concern.Asian countries were high among those that feared US influence, with people in Pakistan fearing Washington the most. Japanese respondents also consider the US to be a greater concern than China – while Mexico, Canada, Colombia, Greece, Israel, Australia, Ukraine, and Switzerland were also among the top half.
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US registers WORST birth-rate drop in decades, low fertility rate shows current generation below ‘self-replacement’ level
While people in European countries expressed lower levels of fear when it comes to US influence, they still expressed more fear about US influence on democracy than influence from Moscow or Beijing.Meanwhile, 64% of the world also considered economic inequality to be a threat to democracy, along with “limits on free speech” at 53%, “unfair or fraudulent elections” at 49%, and the power of Big Tech companies – most of which are based in the United States – at 48%.Regarding the US’ “role in world affairs,” people in Russia, China, and Europe were most critical, while Latin America and Asia were more positive.The report also showed that concerns over US influence on other democracies has increased since last year – up 20% in Germany alone and 16% in China.The survey was conducted by Latana in partnership with the Alliance of Democracies, which was founded in Denmark by former NATO secretary general Anders Fogh Rasmussen – a detail some on social media found interesting, given that the results showed higher levels of fear regarding the US than Russia and China.Hilarious: A US govt-funded org founded by NATO to spread “free markets” did a poll in 53 mostly rich countriesIt found 44% of respondents see USA as a threat, compared to 38% for China & 28% RussiaAnd this biased poll excludes most of the Global Southhttps://t.co/YwBz9I5MiF— Ben Norton (@BenjaminNorton) May 5, 2021The Alliance of Democracies boasts that it is funded by “several democratic governments,” including Canada. It has also received money from Google, Facebook, Microsoft, the George W. Bush Institute, the Atlantic Council and the George Soros-funded National Democratic Institute.
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‘Less democratic’ Asian nations satisfied with govt Covid response as public opinion in Europe suffers ‘severe downturn’ – study
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The US birth rate has fallen 4% in the largest single-year drop in nearly 50 years, according to a government report.The rate dropped for mothers of every major race and ethnicity, and in nearly all age groups, falling to the lowest point since federal health officials started tracking it more than a century ago, the report due to be published on Wednesday said.Births have been declining in younger women for years, as many postponed motherhood and had smaller families.Birth rates for women in their late 30s and in their 40s have been inching up. But not last year.The US once was among only a few developed countries with a fertility rate above the 2.1 children per woman that ensured each generation had enough children to replace itself. But the rate has been sliding for more than 10 years and last year dropped to about 1.6, the lowest rate on record. “The fact that you saw declines in births even for older moms is quite striking,” said lead author of the report, Brady Hamilton, of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.The figures suggest that the current generation will not have enough children to replace itself.The CDC report is based on a review of more than 99% of birth certificates issued last year. The findings echo a recent Associated Press analysis of 2020 data from 25 states showing that births had fallen during the coronavirus outbreak.The pandemic contribute to last year’s big decline, experts said. Anxiety about Covid-19 and its impact on the economy likely caused many couples to think that it was not the right time to have a baby.But many of the 2020 pregnancies began well before the US epidemic. CDC researchers are working on a follow-up report to better parse out how the decline unfolded, Hamilton said.Other highlights from the CDC report include:
About 3.6 million babies were born in the US last year, down from about 3.75 million in 2019. When births were booming in 2007, the US recorded 4.3 million births.
The US birth rate dropped to about 56 births per 1,000 women of child-bearing age, the lowest rate on record. The rate is half of what it was in the early 1960s.
The birth rate for 15 to 19-year-olds dropped 8% from 2019. It has fallen almost every year since 1991.
Birth rates fell 8% for Asian-American women; 3% for Hispanic women; 4% for Black and white women; and 6% for mothers who were American Indians or Alaska Natives.
The caesarean delivery rate rose slightly to about 32%. It had generally been declining since 2009.
The percentage of infants born small and premature – at less less than 37 weeks of gestation – fell slightly to 10% after rising five years in a row.
A total of 41,730,517 Covid-19 vaccinations took place in England between December 8 and May 1, according to NHS England data, including first and second doses, which is a rise of 452,789 on the previous day.
NHS England said 28,895,159 were the first dose of a vaccine, a rise of 123,619 on the previous day, while 12,835,358 were a second dose, an increase of 329,170.
London: 3,611,726 first doses and 1,527,060 second doses (total: 5,138,786)
Midlands: 5,550,858 first doses and 2,379,828 second doses (total: 7,930,686)
– East of England: 3,462,371 first doses and 1,547,278 second doses, making 5,009,649 in total
– North East and Yorkshire: 4,565,870 first and 2,080,505 second doses (6,646,375)
– North West: 3,669,516 first and 1,715,269 second doses (5,384,785)
– South East: 4,723,171 first and 2,068,576 second doses (6,791,747)
– South West: 3,134,123 first and 1,476,043 second doses (4,610,166)
India has recorded over 3,000 deaths for the fourth straight day.
LONDON: There are no new safety concerns around the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine and heart inflammation based on the rollout of the shot in Britain, the UK MHRA medicine regulator said on Wednesday, after cases of the condition in Israel. “The MHRA is as aware of the reports of myocarditis under investigation in Israel. Based on our experience and safety monitoring in the UK, there is currently no new safety concerns raised regarding myocarditis,” a MHRA spokeswoman said. The comment echoed the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) which said it had not seen a link between the shot and heart inflammation.
Alphabet sees earnings soar as people stuck at home in the pandemic used more of its services.