The Japanese government will end a state of emergency in all but Tokyo and three neighbouring prefectures at the end of this month, a week earlier than scheduled, public broadcaster NHK reported on Friday. Osaka, Kyoto, Hyogo, Aichi, Gifu and Fukuoka prefectures will all see their emergency coronavirus measures lifted, NHK said. The government had placed 11 of Japan's 47 prefectures under a state of emergency in January as a third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic swept the nation.
OTTAWA — The Canadian Judicial Council says a Quebec judge has resigned after the Supreme Court of Canada declined to hear his appeal. Supreme Court Chief Justice Richard Wagner says Michel Girouard's decision to step down from the Quebec Superior Court "narrowly avoids his removal from office by Parliament." A 2012 complaint alleged that Girouard, while he was still a lawyer, had bought illegal drugs from a client. An inquiry committee rejected the allegations but cited contradictions and implausibilities in Girouard’s testimony. A second complaint about Girouard’s credibility during the initial proceedings led a majority of judges on the council to recommend he lose his job. The Federal Court and the Court of Appeal dismissed Girouard's attempts to overturn the recommendation, prompting his application to the Supreme Court. In a news release Thursday as chairperson of the judicial council, Wagner said Girouard's resignation "is the last chapter in a prolonged saga that has undermined expectations of access to justice and has cost Canadians millions of dollars." Wagner said Canada benefits from outstanding judges who demonstrate the highest ethical integrity but the Girouard matter shows that the disciplinary process that deals with instances of judicial misconduct must be re-examined. "In the matter of Michel Girouard, proceedings have been going on for eight years now. Throughout this entire period, Michel Girouard has continued to receive his full salary despite not sitting, and he will now receive a pension for life, all at the expense of Canadian taxpayers," said Wagner. Earlier Thursday, Justice Minister David Lametti said he would seek parliamentary approval to remove Girouard from the bench. Lametti said Thursday on Twitter that as the "lengthy process has unfolded, I have made it clear that I fully intended to act if Justice Girouard exhausted his avenues of appeal and the revocation decision was upheld. That moment has arrived." Lametti said he intended to proceed with Girouard's removal by seeking the necessary approval of the House of Commons and Senate. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 25, 2021. The Canadian Press
Home-sharing site Airbnb posted a $3.9 billion loss in the fourth quarter of 2020 as it suffered from the pandemic downturn in travel and recorded one-time costs for becoming a public company. In results released Thursday — Airbnb's first as a publicly traded entity — the company took a charge of $2.8 billion for stock compensation related to the IPO. A year earlier, Airbnb lost $352 million. Revenue fell 22% to $859 million in the quarter that ended Dec. 31. That was still more than analysts expected, according to a FactSet survey, and a far smaller percentage decline than reported by rivals Expedia, Tripadvisor and Bookings Holdings. Airbnb declined to offer a forecast for 2021 profit and revenue. Company executives said they are upbeat about a recovery, but they said the unknown pace of vaccinations make it difficult to know how quickly people will be willing to travel. The company did say revenue will not decline as much in the current quarter as it did in the fourth quarter of last year. In late January, Airbnb said a survey it commissioned showed that just over half of Americans have already booked a trip or plan to travel this year. Since the start of the pandemic, Airbnb has shifted its focus to beach towns and mountain destinations — outdoorsy places where the risk of contracting the coronavirus is perceived to be lower. The company expects rentals in big cities to come back last. It has also slashed costs and jobs to ride out the pandemic, much like airlines and others in the travel industry. CEO Brian Chesky said his company will benefit from changes in travel and jobs as many people work from somewhere other than the office — maybe a rental far from home. “When travel comes back, we believe it will look different than before,” Chesky said on a call with analysts. “People are living more nomadically. Some people are taking longer-term stays, one or two months at a time in Airbnb.” The company is counting on adding hosts. It believes that people who book long-term rentals will also turn to Airbnb to rent their empty homes. For all of 2020, Airbnb lost nearly $4.6 billion including the charge for stock-based compensation and a separate charge of $827 million for stock warrants tied to a loan. That compared with a 2019 loss of $674 million. Even as revenue increased, the company also lost money in 2017 and 2018 as it spent heavily on marketing and technology and added new lines to the business. Despite the years of losses, Airbnb generated sky-high expectations from investors, which led to a winning debut on the stock market in December, when its shares more than doubled the San Francisco-based company’s target price and gave it a valuation of just over $100 billion. At $3.7 billion, it was the biggest U.S. IPO in 2020, according to Renaissance Capital. Airbnb faces challenges, including opposition from hotels. Some cities have stepped up restrictions on short-term rentals. Critics say Airbnb contributes to higher rents and home prices in some markets. Some of the company’s hosts aren’t just sharing their homes, they are turning them into businesses catering to tourists, reducing the supply of housing for local residents, according to some researchers. Before the release of financial results, the company's shares fell 9.1% to close at $182.06. They rose less than 1% in after-hours trading. ___ David Koenig can be reached at twitter.com/airlinewriter David Koenig, The Associated Press
Perth's homelessness crisis: the WA election issue Mark McGowan can't shake offFremantle’s ‘tent city’ has shed light on Western Australia’s growing number of rough sleepers – and a Labor government presiding over a ballooning public housing waiting list The tent city in Pioneer Park in Fremantle on 22 January, which was set up on Boxing Day 2020. In the past 12 months, Western Australia’s public housing waiting list has ballooned by 2,000 to 14,890 applicants. Photograph: Richard Wainwright/AAP
Words matter: how New Zealand's clear messaging helped beat CovidOne year on from the nation’s first case of coronavirus, Aotearoa has largely eliminated the virus - communications played a key part in its successCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverage Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaks to media during a press conference at Parliament. Photograph: Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images
San Francisco, California--(Newsfile Corp. - February 25, 2021) - Hagens Berman urges Ebix, Inc. (NASDAQ: EBIX) investors with significant losses to submit your losses now. A securities fraud class action has been filed and certain investors may have valuable claims.Class Period: Nov. 9, 2020 - Feb. 19, 2021Lead Plaintiff Deadline: April 23, 2021Visit: www.hbsslaw.com/investor-fraud/EBIXContact An Attorney Now: EBIX@hbsslaw.com844-916-0895Ebix, Inc. (EBIX) Securities Fraud Class Action:The complaint alleges that, throughout the Class Period, Defendants ...
The U.N. Security Council imposed sanctions Thursday on a top police security official in Yemen's capital, which is controlled by Houthi rebels, citing his prominent role in intimidations, systematic arrests, detentions, torture, sexual violence “and rape against politically active women.” A resolution adopted by a vote of 14-0 with Russia abstaining said Sultan Saleh Aida Aida Zabin, director of the Criminal Investigation Department in the capital Sanaa, is directly or by virtue of his authority responsible for using multiple places of detention including police stations, prisons and detention centers for human rights abuses. The council said in imposing a travel ban and arms embargo on Zabin that he “engaged in acts that threaten the peace, security and stability of Yemen, including violations of applicable international humanitarian law and human rights abuses in Yemen.”
New York, New York--(Newsfile Corp. - February 25, 2021) - The following statement is being issued by Levi & Korsinsky, LLP:To: All persons or entities who purchased or otherwise acquired securities of Ebix, Inc. ("Ebix") (NASDAQ: EBIX) between November 9, 2020 and February 19, 2021. You are hereby notified that a securities class action lawsuit has been commenced in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. To get more ...
Colombia will extend its health state of emergency to curb the spread of coronavirus by three months, President Ivan Duque said on Thursday, adding that the country is in talks to buy additional doses of coronavirus vaccines produced by China's Sinovac Biotech. Colombia earlier announced agreements with a raft of pharmaceutical companies - including Sinovac - as well as the World Health Organization-backed COVAX mechanism to secure 61.5 million vaccine doses, enough to inoculate some 32.5 million people. However, the country is in talks to buy additional doses from Sinovac, Duque said in his nightly television broadcast.
Hasbro this fall will launch a "Create Your Potato Head Family" kit, which it called "a celebration of the many faces of families". Mr. Potato Head and Mrs. Potato Head will still be sold. "This is a really smart move for Hasbro," said Allen Adamson, co-founder of branding firm Metaforce.
LAVAL, Quebec (AP) _ Bellus Health Inc. (BLU) on Thursday reported a loss of $7.5 million in its fourth quarter. The Laval, Quebec-based company said it had a loss of 10 cents per share. The average estimate of four analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for a loss of 13 cents per share.
RADNOR, Pa., Feb. 25, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The law firm of Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check, LLP announces that a securities fraud class action lawsuit has been filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York against Bit Digital, Inc. (NASDAQ: BTBT) (“Bit Digital”) on behalf of those who purchased or acquired Bit Digital securities between December 21, 2020 and January 8, 2021, inclusive (the “Class Period”). Investor Deadline Reminder: Investors who purchased or acquired Bit Digital securities during the Class Period may, no later than March 22, 2021, seek to be appointed as a lead plaintiff representative of the class. For additional information or to learn how to participate in this litigation please contact Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check, LLP: James Maro, Esq. (484) 270-1453 or Adrienne Bell, Esq. (484) 270-1435; toll free at (844) 887-9500; via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org; or click https://www.ktmc.com/bit-digital-inc-securities-class-action?utm_source=PR&utm_medium=link&utm_campaign=bit%20digital According to the complaint, Bit Digital is a holding company that engages in the bitcoin mining business through its wholly owned subsidiaries in the United States and Hong Kong. On January 11, 2021, J Capital Research (“J Capital”) issued a research report alleging, among other things, that Bit Digital operates “a fake crypto currency business . . . designed to steal funds from investors.” Though Bit Digital claims “it was operating 22,869 bitcoin miners in China,” J Capital alleged that “is simply not possible” and stated that “[w]e verified with local governments supposedly hosting the BTBT mining operation that there are no bitcoin miners there.” Following this news, Bit Digital’s stock price fell $6.27 per share, or 25%, to close at $18.76 per share on January 11, 2021. Bit Digital investors may, no later than March 22, 2021, seek to be appointed as a lead plaintiff representative of the class through Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check, LLP or other counsel, or may choose to do nothing and remain an absent class member. A lead plaintiff is a representative party who acts on behalf of all class members in directing the litigation. In order to be appointed as a lead plaintiff, the Court must determine that the class member’s claim is typical of the claims of other class members, and that the class member will adequately represent the class. Your ability to share in any recovery is not affected by the decision of whether or not to serve as a lead plaintiff. Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check, LLP prosecutes class actions in state and federal courts throughout the country involving securities fraud, breaches of fiduciary duties and other violations of state and federal law. Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check, LLP is a driving force behind corporate governance reform, and has recovered billions of dollars on behalf of institutional and individual investors from the United States and around the world. The firm represents investors, consumers and whistleblowers (private citizens who report fraudulent practices against the government and share in the recovery of government dollars). The complaint in this action was not filed by Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check, LLP. For more information about Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check, LLP please visit www.ktmc.com. CONTACT: Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check, LLPJames Maro, Jr., Esq.Adrienne Bell, Esq.280 King of Prussia RoadRadnor, PA 19087(844) 887-9500 (toll free)(610) email@example.com
WASHINGTON — The Senate parliamentarian has dealt a potentially lethal blow to Democrats’ drive to hike the minimum wage, deciding that the cherished progressive goal must fall from a massive COVID-19 relief bill the party is trying to speed through Congress, Democratic Senate aides said Thursday. The finding by Elizabeth MacDonough, the chamber’s nonpartisan arbiter of its rules, comes as Democrats prepare for House approval Friday of an initial version of the $1.9 trillion package that still includes the minimum wage boost. It will force Democrats to make politically painful choices about what to do next on the federal minimum wage, which has long caused internal party rifts. The Senate aides confirmed the parliamentarian's decision to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because it hadn't yet been released. Progressives seeking to maximize Democratic control of the White House and Congress have wanted party leaders to push aggressively on the issue. The proposal would gradually raise the federal minimum wage to $15 over five years, well over the $7.25 in effect since 2009. But Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona have voiced opposition to including the minimum wage hike in the relief bill, and other moderates have expressed concerns, too. That suggests Democrats could well lack the strength they need for it to survive. Democrats control the 50-50 Senate with Vice-President Kamala Harris’ tiebreaking vote and can’t lose any of their senators to prevail. Republicans solidly oppose the hike to $15. Democrats have said they could still pursue a minimum wage boost in free-standing legislation or attach it to legislation expected later this year that is to be aimed at a massive infrastructure program, another Biden priority. But they'd still face the challenge of garnering 60 Senate votes, a hurdle that has upended Democratic attempts to boost the minimum wage for over a decade. While Biden supports the increase to $15, the White House seemed to signal reluctance to pursue one rarely used option. Democrats could choose to bust through decades of Senate precedent, ignore the parliamentarian’s view and keep the minimum wage provision in the bill with their 51 votes. But moves like that are anathema to many Senate traditionalists like Biden, a 36-year veteran of the chamber, and would invite tit-for-tat retaliation by Republicans. White House chief of staff Ron Klain on Wednesday distanced the administration from the possibility of bypassing the Senate’s usual procedures. “Certainly, that’s not something we would do,” he told MSNBC host Joy Reid. “We’re going to honour the rules of the Senate and work within that system to get this bill passed.” Republicans solidly oppose the $15 minimum wage target as an expense that would hurt businesses and cost jobs. They also oppose the overall relief bill, saying it’s too expensive, not targeted enough at people and businesses that most need it and a grab bag of gifts for Democratic allies. The overall relief bill is Biden’s first legislative priority. It is aimed at combating a year-old pandemic that’s stalled much of the economy, killed half a million Americans and reshaped the daily lives of virtually everyone. The pandemic relief legislation would provide millions of people with $1,400 direct payments. It contains billions of dollars for vaccines and COVID-19 testing, schools, state and local governments, the ailing restaurant and airline industries and emergency jobless benefits while providing tax breaks to lower earners and families with children. Democrats are pushing the $1.9 trillion measure through Congress under special rules that will let them avoid a Senate filibuster by Republicans, a tactic that Democrats would need an unattainable 60 votes to defeat. But those same Senate rules prohibit provisions with only an “incidental” impact on the federal budget because they are chiefly driven by other policy purposes. The parliamentarian decides if provisions pass that test. Alan Fram, The Associated Press