Jharkhand Becomes Eighth State to Revoke General Consent to CBI to Carry Out Probes


The Jharkhand state government on Thursday revoked the Central Bureau of Investigation’s power to carry out any investigation in the state. It became the eighth state to take such a decision, following in the footsteps of Maharashtra and Kerala that recently revoked the central probe agency’s powers.

The powers vested in the CBI were given via an order dated February 19, 1996, by the then Bihar government to the CBI.



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Stock market rally continues despite continuing lack of clarity in U.S. vote count


Stock markets surged on Thursday as investors awaited the outcome of the U.S. presidential election and embraced the upside of more gridlock in Washington.

European markets opened higher after a day of gains in Asia, while the fate of the U.S. presidency remained undecided as neither President Donald Trump or Democratic challenger Joe Biden had secured the 270 Electoral College votes needed to win.

Analysts say a Congress likely once again split between a Democratic House and a Republican Senate is expected to keep U.S. tax and other policies relatively stable amid legislative stalemates. And share prices tend to rise regardless of who is in the White House.

Taking reassurance where they can, “markets have been happy to presume that this Democratic White . . . House and Republican Senate is the `Goldilocks’ outcome. In other words, a ‘Goldilocks Gridlock’,” Mizuho Bank said in a commentary.

An expectation that Biden has a chance of winning also has raised hopes that U.S. foreign policies might be “more clear,” said Jackson Wong, asset management director of Amber Hill Capital. He added, “investors are cheering for that. That’s why the markets are performing well.”

Dark economic clouds remain

But while most markets have rallied since Tuesday’s election rising coronavirus counts, job losses and recessions remain a dark backdrop for many countries.

Britain’s FTSE 100 edged up as England began a four-week lockdown Thursday that will keep closed all shops selling items deemed to be non-essential, such as books and clothes. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland also have announced wide-ranging restrictions on economic activity.

The Bank of England increased its monetary stimulus by more than anticipated to help the economy weather the new lockdown measures. But as expected it kept its benchmark interest rate at an ultra-low 0.1 per cent.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened up more than 600 points or 2.5 per cent to 28,500. The Dow has gained almost 2,000 points since Monday, a day before polls closed.

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq moved up a similar amount in percentage terms.

Toronto’s benchmark stock index moved up almost 300 points or two per cent to about 16,300. Two major companies, Canadian Tire and Barrick Gold, reporting strong earnings and a dividend hike on Thursday, which helped fuel the optimism.

Thursday’s rallies followed a strong performance overnight on Wall Street, where the S&P 500 had its best day in five months. The Nasdaq notched its biggest gain in more than six months as traders doubled down on technology stocks that are seemingly immune to pandemic shocks that bring more and more activity online.

Looking ahead, continued Republican control of the U.S. Senate may further stymie an agreement on a fresh infusion of aid for the economy following the expiration of an earlier package of stimulus measures in July. That could add to pressures on the Federal Reserve to do even more on its own to support the economy, which could send the dollar lower against the euro and other currencies.

The Fed is meeting this week and had been due to announce its latest decision on interest rate policy on Thursday. But it may hold off on determining whether and how to expand its economic support until after final election results are confirmed.



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Which States Could Tip U.S. Election And When Will They Report Results?


The outcome of the U.S. presidential election hung in the balance on Thursday as five swing states continued to count their ballots.

To capture the White House, a candidate must amass at least 270 votes in the Electoral College.

Edison Research gave Democratic challenger Biden a 243 against 213 lead over Republican President Donald Trump in Electoral College votes. Other networks said Biden had won Wisconsin, which would give him another 10 votes.

Results in Pennsylvania (20 electoral votes), Georgia (16), North Carolina (15), Arizona (11) and Nevada (6) remained uncertain as of Thursday morning, according to Edison Research.

ARIZONA

Biden led by 2.4 percentage points as of Thursday morning, or more than 68,000 votes, with about 14% of the vote left to be counted.

More results from densely populated Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix, were not expected until 7 p.m. local time (9 p.m. EST, 0200 Friday GMT), the county elections department said.

There were at least 275,000 in the county left to be counted, the elections department said. Biden was leading by 4 percentage points in the votes counted so far, indicating Biden was in a strong position to maintain his lead.

GEORGIA

Trump held onto to a lead of 0.4 percentage points, or 18,540 votes, with 4% percent of the vote left to be counted.

Results could be expected by noon EST (1700 GMT), Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger told WSB-TV.

NEVADA

Biden led Trump by 7,647 votes, or 0.6 percentage points, with about 14% of the vote left to be counted.

An update was expected around 9 a.m. PST (noon EST, 1700 GMT), Nevada Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske said.

All properly received ballots will be counted for up to nine days after the election, but the exact number left to be counted was unknown, Cegavske said.

The outstanding votes are mail-in ballots and those cast by voters who registered to vote at polling place on Election Day, she said.

NORTH CAROLINA

Trump led by more than 76,000 votes, or 1.4 points, with about 5% of the vote uncounted.

State officials have said a full result would not be known until next week. The state allows mail-in ballots postmarked by Tuesday to be counted if they are received by Nov. 12.

PENNSYLVANIA

Trump led by 2.1 percentage points, or more than 135,000 votes, with 11% of the vote outstanding.

A final count may not be available until at least Friday as Pennsylvania can accept mailed-in ballots up to three days after the election if they were postmarked by Tuesday.

More than 763,000 mail-in votes had yet to be counted as of the last report from the state website on Wednesday night, giving Biden a chance to catch Trump if enough of them were from Democratically friendly areas such as Philadelphia, where Biden was winning around 80% of the vote.

Philadelphia County reported more than 252,000 ballots were cast by mail but did say how many remained to be counted.

Disclaimer: This post has been auto-published from an agency feed without any modifications to the text and has not been reviewed by an editor



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Unifor announces GM to bring back pickup truck production to Oshawa plant



TORONTO — General Motors Canada president Scott Bell says the automaker will bring pickup truck production back to its Oshawa, Ont., assembly plant.

The announcement came after the company reached a tentative contract agreement with Unifor.

GM says its planned new investments will include $1 billion to $1.3 billion at Oshawa with the expected hiring of 1,400 to 1,700 hourly workers as well as $109 million in St. Catharines, Ont., to support added engine and transmission production and $500,000 million in operations at the Woodstock Parts Distribution Centre.

More to come.




© 2020 The Canadian Press





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UAE Customs seizes over 168,000 counterfeit goods in 2019


Customs officials check the seized fake items.
Image Credit: WAM

ABU DHABI: Federal Customs Authority, FCA, and local customs departments in UAE seized 168,251 counterfeit items in 2019 counted compared to 169,587 pieces in 2018. The limited decline in seized pieces is attributed to the increase of small consignments seized in regular and courier mail under the increasing growth of e-commerce movement.

The report offered a classification on IPR seizures in 2019 in terms of transport means highlighting that counterfeit goods seizure by air cargo represented 33 per cent of total seizures, followed by regular and courier mail which accounted for 31 per cent, while marine transport represented 19 per cent and finally, 16 per cent goes for land transport.

The report also classified seizures in accordance with product type, indicating that 37.31 per cent of seizures falls below other goods (miscellaneous) category while hand luggage accounted for 29.85 per cent of total seizures during the year followed by cellular phones and accessories which accounted for 11.94 per cent then garments with 7.46 per cent, perfumes and shoes 4.48 per cent each and finally 1.49 per cent each for accessories, lenses, glasses, waters and jewellery.

Ali Saeed Matar Alneyadi, Commissioner of Customs and Chairman of FCA, said: “In UAE, we have in place a clear and exhaustive strategy to tackle forfeit goods and fight trade fraud. Customs institutions in UAE are the most crucial entities mandated with protecting IPR in world trade on the light of the responsibilities and powers charged to them by virtue of GCC unified customs law and relevant laws. UAE has put IPR protection on the top of its strategic priorities as a part of its vision to build a knowledge-based economy in line with Emirates vision 2021,” he added.

Data release

From the perspective of transparency and disseminating customs efforts across the State, FCA laid a plan to annually disseminate statistics and efforts exerted by customs sector in UAE to protect IPR on Authority’s website, of which the first report on IPR seizures for the year 2019 has been posted at the Authority’s website.

Alneyadi said, “Elaborating from the significance of cooperation among relevant entities, the customs sector in UAE is actively engaged with many local and federal institutions and authorities whether within the country or international supply chain to avoid the risks of IPR infringements and protect the interests of genuine mark owners. This goal can be achieved through a number of joint committees with local and global concerned entities in addition to sharing data and expertise which will lead to reinforcing risk management systems employed by customs to target prohibited goods”.

WAM 201105 CUSTOMS-1604590230959
Alneyahdi applauded the high level of customs sector inspectors and controllers’ vigilance in the country.
Image Credit: WAM

He highlighted that the immense collaboration between customs sector in the country and worldwide in sharing data, to help target prohibited and counterfeit goods, resulted in a number of interference operations and inspection raids carried out by customs departments inside the country and abroad, he also pointed out that in this context, FCA implements 15 agreements on mutual customs support, and seeks to get more agreements executed with its partners from customs departments globally.

Alneyahdi applauded the high level of customs sector inspectors and controllers’ vigilance in the country, and their keenness to protect the community and maintain the rights of entrepreneurs within the country and abroad against malicious trade practice.



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New York Rangers avoid arbitration with Ryan Strome


The New York Rangers avoided arbitration with center Ryan Strome, agreeing to a two-year, $9 million contract, according to multiple reports.

Strome had a breakout season this year, with 18 goals and a career-high 59 points while centering the Rangers’ second line. He was also a plus-21. He hadn’t had more than 35 points since his second season in the league in 2014-15 when he had 50 for the Islanders.

The 27-year-old finished up a two-year, $6.2 million contract, and his production last season put him in line for a raise.

New York had been shopping for a more dynamic center to pair with Artemi Panarin and Kaapo Kakko, but Strome got the job done. But the Rangers struggled to establish market value for Strome after the big year.

Strome’s younger brother Dylan was also a restricted free agent this year with the Blackhawks.



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Haryana Assembly Passes Bill Approving 75% Job Quota in Private Sector for Locals


File photo of Haryana Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala.

File photo of Haryana Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala.

It applies to private companies, societies, trusts and partnership firms, among others, located in the state. The state governor has to give assent to the bill before it becomes law.

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  • Last Updated: November 05, 2020, 20:57 IST
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The Haryana Assembly on Thursday passed a bill to give 75 per cent reservation in the private sector to job seekers from the state, fulfilling an election promise made by ruling alliance partner Jannayak Janta Party. The Haryana State Employment of Local Candidates Bill, 2020 provides the quota for local people in private sector jobs that offer a salary of less than Rs 50,000 a month.

It applies to private companies, societies, trusts and partnership firms, among others, located in the state. The state governor has to give assent to the bill before it becomes law.

The bill provides for training to eligible local candidates when qualified people are not available. The bill was tabled by Haryana Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala in the assembly here on Thursday, when it began the second part of its monsoon session.

Giving 75 per cent reservation in private sector jobs was a key poll promise by Chautala’s Jannayak Janta Party, which the BJP’s coalition partner in the state. After the House passed the Bill, Chautala said the promise made to lakhs of youth has now been fulfilled.

Earlier this year, the BJP-JJP government had failed to get Governor Satyadeo Narain Arya’s assent to an ordinance on the job quota. Narain had sent the ordinance to the President for his consideration.

The state government had then said that it will table a job quota bill during the Vidhan Sabha’s monsoon session. But amid fears of coronavirus infection the House sat only for one day in August, only to resume now. When asked about the Governor’s move, Chautala had then said that since some provisions in the ordinance gave it “an overriding effect over other laws”, Narain may have decided to refer the matter to the President.



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Alibaba Beats Sales Forecasts On China E-commerce Growth


Alibaba Group beat third quarterly revenue estimates on Thursday, driven by e-commerce growth after China emerged from coronavirus lockdowns, and said it was assessing the suspension of its affiliate Ant Group’s listing.

China’s surprise suspension of Ant Group’s planned $37 billion Shanghai initial public offering (IPO) was seen by some analysts and investors as an attempt by Beijing to cut founder Jack Ma and his financial services empire down to size.

Alibaba Chief Executive Daniel Zhang said during an earnings call that added that Alibaba is “actively evaluating” the impact of the Ant Group IPO’s suspension on its business and will “take appropriate measures accordingly”.

Ant Group said separately it would decide whether to restart its IPO after fully reviewing and evaluating relevant measures.

Alibaba’s results also coincided with markets awaiting the outcome of the U.S. presidential election results, with Democrat Joe Biden edging closer to victory.

Under Donald Trump, the world’s top two economies have clashed over trade, forcing some Chinese companies to put off U.S. IPOs and list on exchanges close to home.

Revenue at Alibaba’s cloud computing business, a focus area for the company, jumped 60% to 14.9 billion yuan, while sales from its core e-commerce business rose 29% to 130.92 billion yuan in the reported quarter.

Net income fell 63% to 26.52 billion yuan, as Alibaba had booked a one-off gain last year from its 33% stake in Ant Group.

Revenue rose 30% to 155.06 billion yuan in the quarter ended Sept. 30, compared to estimates of 154.74 billion yuan, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Alibaba’s U.S.-listed shares , which have gained about 39% this year, fell nearly 4% in trading before the bell.

(This story corrects to add dropped word “billion” in revenue estimates in paragraph 9; the error also occurred in earlier versions of the story)



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