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January 1, Coronavirus Fears Tank Global Stock Markets



This Day in History | 1964

Cassius Clay, who would later become known as Muhammad Ali, defeats Sonny Liston to win his first world title. 

Good morning Middle Americans

The fears of investors over the coronavirus finally took root yesterday. And losses continue to mount today.  This is turning out to be a black swan event. It’s now impacting investors, and you can expect to hear more about covid-19, as the coronavirus is also known, impacting our politics.  

In addition to Bernie Sanders facing a barrage of attacks tonight from his 2020 rivals, we should expect to hear the candidate address how they would deal with the coronavirus. 

Harvey Weinstein is going to jail, the only question is for how long. Monday, he was convicted of 3 of the 5 rape charges he faced. He will avoid life in prison, at least. The jury failed to return a guilty verdict on the sexual predator charges. Weinstein still faces additional charges in Los Angeles. 

The Trump administration’s public charge rule has taken effect. It’s expected to block the entry of hundreds of thousands of people, disproportionately affecting prospective immigrants from Asia, Africa and Latin America. 

Finally today, talk about a dramatic example of show and tell. And 11 year old girl brings a loaded  AR-15 to a city government meeting in Idaho. I think she got everyone’s attention. 

Read all about it!

Asian Shares Extend Losses After Dow Drops More than 1,000 Points on Coronavirus Fears

(AP) – Shares are mostly lower in Asia on Tuesday after Wall Street suffered its worst session in two years, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average slumping more than 1,000 points on fears that a viral outbreak that began in China will weaken the world economy.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 index lost 3%, to 22,686.61 after it reopened from a holiday on Monday. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng edged 0.2% lower to 26,777.88 and the Shanghai Composite index sank 1.6% to 2,984.19. In Australia, the S&P ASX/200 shed 1.2% to 6,896.10.

South Korea’s Kospi rebounded from a steep loss on Monday, adding 0.6% to 2,091.80. Shares also rose in Singapore but fell elsewhere in the region.

In Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s main benchmark dropped 2.7% amid a political upheaval after Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad offered his resignation to Malaysia’s king while his political party quit the ruling alliance.

Overnight on Wall Street, traders sought safety in U.S. government bonds, gold and high-dividend stocks like utilities and real estate. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to the lowest level in more than three years.

Technology companies, whose supply chains have been disrupted, accounted for much of the broad market slide, which wiped out all of the Dow’s and S&P 500’s gains for the year.

Weinstein Found Guilty of Sexual Assault, Rape, in Victory for #MeToo Movement

(Reuters) – Former movie producer Harvey Weinstein was convicted of sexual assault and rape in a New York court on Monday and taken off to jail in handcuffs, a victory for the #MeToo movement that inspired women to publicly accuse powerful men of misconduct.

Once one of Hollywood’s most influential producers, Weinstein, 67, was found guilty of sexually assaulting former production assistant Mimi Haleyi in 2006 and raping Jessica Mann, a onetime aspiring actress, in 2013.

Officers helped Weinstein unsteadily to his feet before leading him away. His lawyer said Weinstein, who has used a walker throughout the trial, was expected to be taken to a medical facility at New York City’s Rikers Island jail complex.

A spokesman for Weinstein said later that the onetime movie mogul was diverted instead to Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan, which has a unit that provides medical care for jail inmates.

The spokesman, Juda Engelmayer, told Reuters he did not know why Weinstein went to Bellevue or how long he would be there. But a number of news outlets, including Variety, reported that he had complained of chest pains.

Read more here

Trump’s “Public Charge” Rule Takes Effect, Reshaping Legal Immigration

(CBS News) – The Trump administration on Monday began enforcing stringent income-based requirements for green cards and certain visas, instituting the most ambitious unilateral effort in recent history to change the nation’s legal immigration system.

After multiple legal barriers blocking the implementation of the new requirements were cleared by the conservative-leaning Supreme Court, most green card applicants in the U.S. and abroad will now be subjected to a redefined “public charge” test. Under the rules by the Departments of State and Homeland Security, immigration officials have more power to deny applications from petitioners they deem are, or could become, an economic burden on the country. 

The sweeping policy change, one of the administration’s top immigration priorities, is expected to block the entry of hundreds of thousands of people, disproportionately affecting prospective immigrants from Asia, Africa and Latin America, according to experts

Learn more here 

Girl, 11, Brings AR-15 to Idaho Hearing on Gun Legislation

(AP) — An 11-year-old girl toting a loaded AR-15 assault weapon appeared Monday at a legislative hearing with her grandfather, who is supporting a proposal that would allow visitors to Idaho who can legally possess firearms to carry a concealed handgun within city limits.

Charles Nielsen addressed the committee that voted to send the legislation to the full House as Bailey Nielsen stood at his side with the weapon slung over her right shoulder, but did not say anything.

“Bailey is carrying a loaded AR-15,” Charles Nielsen told lawmakers. “People live in fear, terrified of that which they do not understand. She’s been shooting since she was 5 years old. She got her first deer with this weapon at 9. She carries it responsibly. She knows how not to put her finger on the trigger. We live in fear in a society that is fed fear on a daily basis.”

He said Bailey was an example of someone who could responsibly handle a gun, and lawmakers should extend that to non-residents.

“When they come to Idaho, they should be able to carry concealed, because they carry responsibly,” he said. “They’re law-abiding citizens. It’s the criminal we have to worry about.”

There was no notable reaction among lawmakers to the girl carrying the AR-15, and none asked Charlie Nielsen any questions after he testified. Guns are not an uncommon sight in the Statehouse when gun legislation is being debated, particularly handguns on belt holsters. Long rifles such as AR-15s also appear occasionally.

Read more here

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