Thursday, 3 Dec 2020

Biden to Host First Meeting with Pelosi, Schumer Since Election

Oil Futures Settle Slightly Lower

Crude oil futures ended lower on Thursday as rising coronavirus cases in the U.S. and Europe and imposition of fresh lockdown measures at several places raised concerns about energy demand.

Despite positive updates on the vaccine front, with Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca all saying their Covid-19 vaccines are proving to be quite successful during the final phase of trials, there are worries about the pandemic due to continued increase in new cases.

The continued impasse over a fiscal stimulus bill is hurting as well.

West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for December ended down $0.08 or about 0.2% at $41.74 a barrel.

New York City public schools are closing and returning to remote learning for all 1.1 million students, signaling that a second wave of the coronavirus has arrived.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz announced a month-long stop to social gatherings, gyms and indoor service at bars and restaurants as the virus spread spiked to a record high.

U.S. land borders with Canada and Mexico are expected to remain closed to non-essential travel until Dec. 21 amid a rising number of U.S. coronavirus cases.

Broadway producers behind ‘Chicago’ ask $13.2M for Westchester estate

Tony Award-winning Broadway producers Fran Weissler, 92, and Barry Weissler, 81 — who helped bring “Chicago,” “Waitress,” “Pippin” and “Finding Neverland” to the stage — are selling their $13.2 million estate in Waccabuc, NY.

It’s the house that “Chicago” built, Fran Weissler once quipped, referring to the show’s success, as it’s now the second-longest-running one on Broadway after “The Phantom of the Opera.”

The 18.4-acre estate at 35 Schoolhouse Road features a four-bedroom main residence and a four-bedroom guest house.

There’s also an outdoor amphitheater/sculpture by artist Beverly Pepper. It’s here that the Weisslers have hosted private performances by Christopher Plummer, the New York Philharmonic, James Earl Jones, Tommy Tune, Marvin Hamlisch and others.

The property features a sculpture garden featuring artists like Hanneke Beaumont. There’s also a pool, cabana rooms, a tennis court and a wooded walking path.

The listing brokers are Melissa Colabella and Anthony Lando, of William Pitt Julia B. Fee, of Sotheby’s International Realty.

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WHO chief denies 'taking sides' in Ethiopia conflict

GENEVA (AFP) – World Health Organisation (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Thursday (Nov 19) rejected allegations by Ethiopia that he was backing his native dissident Tigray region in a conflict with the central government.

“There have been reports suggesting I am taking sides in this situation. This is not true,” Tedros wrote on Twitter.

“I want to say that I am on only one side and that is the side of peace.”

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Wildfire in Colorado Springs forces evacuations, threatens homes

A wildfire in Colorado Springs has forced dozens of home evacuations in the Bear Creek Park area.

Multiple fire crews and engines are working on the large grassfire and areas under evacuation include along Bear Creek Drive and Gold Camp Road, according to the fire department.

All homes west of Vista Grande Drive, and on Nebula Court, have also been ordered evacuated.

People are asked to avoid the area as firefighters work on putting out the fire, which has produced a large column of brown smoke. Structures are threatened, no injuries have been reported.


Former Peru Soccer Star Leads Poll Ahead of Presidential Vote

A 38-year-old former goalkeeper is leading the race to become Peru’s next president, according a poll of voter intentions before the April vote.

George Forsyth, who last month quit as mayor of Lima district to run for the presidency, had 16% support in an Ipsos Peru poll published Thursday. He’s been leading polls in recent months in a crowded field of 23 candidates.

Julio Guzman, who was disqualified from the 2016 presidential race, had 7% support in the poll. Veronika Mendoza, a leftist former lawmaker from Cuzco, and Daniel Urresti, a former interior minister, both had 6%, according to Ipsos. Two-time presidential contender Keiko Fujimori had 5%.

The South American country will hold a general election April 11 following a period of unprecedented political upheaval after congress’s surprise ouster of President Martin Vizcarra last week, and the resignation of his successor six days later. The country’s new interim president, Francisco Sagasti, is a member of Guzman’s Purple Party.

Biden to Host First Meeting with Pelosi, Schumer Since Election

President-elect Joe Biden will meet in person on Friday with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer in Wilmington, Delaware, according to people familiar with the plans.

The meeting will be the first in-person conversation between the top three Democratic leaders since Biden won the presidency. Biden has spoken with Pelosi and Schumer by phone, but he has had very limited in-person meetings because of the worsening coronavirus pandemic.

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will also attend the meeting, a transition official said.

The Democratic leaders last saw Biden in person at a memorial for Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg in late September.

The meeting is scheduled to take place at The Queen, the theater in Wilmington that Biden has been using for meetings and events since the campaign.

The Biden transition team declined to comment.

Biden has not yet spoken to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Pelsoi and McConnell’s teams are meeting Thursday to work toward a $1.4 trillion spending bill that would avert a Dec. 11 government shutdown.

Those talks are on a separate track from stalled negotiations on a Covid-19 relief bill. Senate Republicans say they can support $500 billion in stimulus now, while Democrats have sought a $2.4 trillion rescue package.

Biden has also said he supports a larger stimulus.

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