Monday, 28 Sep 2020

Jim Lehrer, PBS NewsHour Founder, Dead At 85

South Western Railway staff vote for fresh wave of strikes

Commuters on the South Western Railway face further disruption after staff voted for more strikes in a long-running dispute over the use of guards.

Nearly 80% of workers who took part in the ballot held by the RMT union backed more walkouts. The union has held dozens of strikes over the past two years, including 27 days of walkouts in December, which caused travel misery for passengers.

The train operator serves about 600,000 passenger trips each day, on lines out of London Waterloo into the Surrey commuter belt and destinations including Exeter, Southampton and Bournemouth.

The transport secretary, Grant Shapps, said on Wednesday the struggling franchise was not sustainable and could be nationalised.

Commenting on the latest strike vote, a spokesman for South Western Railway said: “We are obviously disappointed with the result, although it should be noted that less than half of eligible RMT members voted for strike action.

“On this basis, we hope the RMT will use the next few weeks as a window of opportunity to work with us to find a solution so that our passengers do not suffer more unnecessary disruption.

“Similar proposals to the ones we have made are already in place with numerous operators across London and the south east, and we have already promised that we will keep guards with a safety critical role on all our trains.”

Hilton Grand Vacations eliminates straws from all its properties

Hilton Grand Vacations Inc. HGV, -0.32% announced Thursday that it has removed single-use plastic straws from all 34 of its properties. Plastic straws are one of the top items found during beach cleanups, the company said. Hilton Grand Vacations has partnered with Clean the World to expand its recycling efforts, part of environmental commitment. Hilton Grand Vacations stock has gained 17.2% over the past year while the S&P 500 index SPX, -0.24% is up 25.4% for the period.

Gold futures finish at their highest in more than 2 weeks

Gold futures settled at a more than two-week high on Thursday, as worries surrounding the spread of the coronavirus led to weakness in the U.S. stock market and a fall in bond yields, lifting the haven appeal of the precious metal. "Appetite towards the precious metal should remain supported by growing fears over the coronavirus outbreak in China," said Lukman Otunuga, senior research analyst at FXTM. "The general uncertainty is likely to accelerate the flight to safety with gold seen testing $1568 in the short term," he said. February gold GCG20, +0.31% rose $8.70, or 0.6%, to settle at $1,565.40 an ounce. That was the highest most-active contract settlement since Jan. 7, according to FactSet data.

Wuhan virus: China's Hebei province confirms first death outside epicentre of virus outbreak

BEIJING (REUTERS) – China’s Hebei provincial health authority said a patient infected with the new coronavirus has died, marking the first confirmed death outside Hubei province where the outbreak began.

The Health Commission of Hebei Province said in a statement dated Thursday (Jan 23) that the patient, 80, died on Wednesday but was not confirmed to have been infected with the virus until Thursday.

The death toll from the outbreak now stands at 18.

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Norway's PM to appoint Jan Tore Sanner as finance minister: media

OSLO (Reuters) – Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg will appoint Conservative lawmaker Jan Tore Sanner as the new finance minister, business daily Dagens Naeringsliv reported on Thursday.

Sanner is currently minister of education and integration.

The right-wing Progress Party, including Finance Minister Siv Jensen, resigned from the government on Monday over a cabinet decision to help bring a woman suspected of Islamic State affiliation back home to Norway, opening up several cabinet jobs.

Details of Saracens scandal, and Brexit deal gets royal assent

On today’s Daily podcast we examine the Saracens salary cap scandal as Sky News obtains the full report into the breach by the rugby union Premiership club.

Also, as Boris Johnson’s Brexit withdrawal deal gets royal assent, we look at what it means and what’s still to do before the UK leaves the EU.

:: Listen to the Daily podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Spreaker

Read Live Updates From Day 2 Of Democrats’ Opening Arguments In Impeachment Trial

Democrats’ second day of opening arguments in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial in the Senate is underway.

The seven-person team of impeachment managers, led by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), took the Senate floor Thursday to continue arguments for Trump’s removal from office.

The House voted last month to pass two articles of impeachment against Trump ― abuse of power and obstruction of Congress ― related to his efforts to pressure Ukraine to publicly commit to investigating political rival Joe Biden.

Thursday’s portion of the trial follows roughly nine hours of opening arguments from the Democratic managers a day earlier. Each side gets 24 hours over three days to make its case. Afterward, senators will have 16 hours to ask questions before voting on whether to call witnesses or introduce new evidence.

Follow along with live updates below.

Jim Lehrer, PBS NewsHour Founder, Dead At 85

Jim Lehrer, the co-founder and longtime anchor of “PBS NewsHour,” died Thursday.

Judy Woodruff, the show’s anchor and managing editor, revealed the news. Lehrer, 85, died “peacefully in his sleep at home,” she said in a statement on the PBS site. 

“I’m heartbroken at the loss of someone who was central to my professional life, a mentor to me and someone whose friendship I’ve cherished for decades,” she said. “I’ve looked up to him as the standard for fair, probing and thoughtful journalism and I know countless others who feel the same way.”

Lehrer started the show in 1975 with co-founder Robert MacNeil after the pair teamed up to cover the unfolding Watergate scandal in 1973. The show underwent several name changes before becoming the “PBS NewsHour” in 2009.

“From co-creating the groundbreaking MacNeil/Lehrer Report to skillfully moderating many presidential debates, Jim exemplified excellence in journalism throughout his extraordinary career,” PBS President Paula Kerger said Thursday. “A true giant in news and public affairs, he leaves behind an incredible legacy that serves as an inspiration to us all. He will be missed.”

He is survived by his wife, three daughters and six grandchildren.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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