HONG KONG, Jan 29 (Reuters) - A Hong Kong court on Monday ordered the liquidation of property giant China Evergrande Group (3333.HK), opens new tab, a move likely to send ripples through China's crumbling financial markets as policymakers scramble to contain a deepening crisis.
The decision to liquidate the world's most indebted developer with more than $300 billion of total liabilities was made by Hong Kong Justice Linda Chan, who noted Evergrande had been unable to offer a concrete restructuring plan despite months of delays.
"It is time for the court to say enough is enough," she said.
Chan will deliver her reasons for granting the liquidation at 2:30 pm (0630 GMT). It is expected a provisional liquidator will be appointed to oversee Evergrande ahead of a permanent appointment.
Evergrande, which has $240 billion of assets, sent a struggling property sector into a tailspin when it defaulted on its debt in 2021 and the liquidation ruling will likely further jolt already fragile Chinese capital and property markets.
Read more: https://www.reuters.com/business/embattled-china-evergrande-back-court-liquidation-hearing-2024-01-28/
This is the first step in what could easily be a global economic catastrophe.
The share of American workers who are members of a union hit a new low in 2023 it's now 1 in 10 though the total number of unionized employees rose slightly.
Why it matters: Advocates say unions are a needed proponent of worker rights and compensation, while critics say unions throttle progress in the workplace.
Driving the news: 10% of the workforce was part of a union in 2023, down from 10.1% in 2022 and a high of 20.1% in 1983, the first year the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported comparable figures.
14.4 million workers were union members in 2023, up from 14.3 million in 2022 but the percentage fell because the workforce grew at a faster rate than union membership.
Read more: https://www.axios.com/2024/01/23/unions-big-labor-uaw-teamsters-strikes
'He has an obsession with violence': School shooter Ethan Crumbley sentenced to life behind bars, no chance of parole
Source: Law and Crime
Ethan Crumbley, the Michigan teenager who killed four of his classmates after drawing violent images in a class workbook, will spend the rest of his life behind bars.
Crumbley, now 17, was 15 years old when he shot and killed his fellow Oxford High School students Tate Myre, 16 Hana St. Juliana, 14, Madisyn Baldwin, 17, and Justin Shilling, 17 in November 2021 with a gun he had received as a gift from his parents. A subsequent investigation revealed that he had been caught drawing violent images while in class before the attack.
He pleaded guilty in October 2022 to all the charges against him, 24 in total including murder and terrorism. In September, Oakland County Judge Kwame Rowe ruled that Crumbley is eligible for the sentence of life without parole, which is what the prosecutors had requested. First-degree murder carries a mandatory life sentence in Michigan, but Rowe could have potentially considered a shorter term because of the defendants age at the time.
His defense lawyers had requested a sentence of an undetermined term of years.
When Rowe issued his sentence, he was unequivocal: the defendant would never know life outside of prison.
Read more: https://lawandcrime.com/high-profile/he-has-an-obsession-with-violence-school-shooter-ethan-crumbley-sentenced-to-life-behind-bars-no-chance-of-parole/
Republican House speaker Johnson doubles down on demand for border security deal in exchange for Ukraine aid
Source: The Guardian
In a letter to the White House sent today, Republican House speaker Mike Johnson said he would not support further military aid to Ukraine unless the White House agrees to tighten border security.
While Johnson does not specify which policies he wants to see enacted, he refers to the Secure the Border Act, which would require construction of a wall on the border with Mexico first proposed by Donald Trump to be restarted, and limit the ability of asylum seekers to stay in the United States all proposals Democrats and the Biden administration opppose.
Supplemental Ukraine funding is dependent upon enactment of transformative change to our nations border security laws, Johnson writes in the letter to top White House budget official Shalanda Young, adding that he first informed her of these demands in late October.
Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2023/dec/05/us-senate-zelenskiy-ukraine-funding-biden-republicans-politics-latest-updates?filterKeyEvents=false&page=with:block-656f3dcf8f080d14db794b26#block-656f3dcf8f080d14db794b26
A federal judge delivered a decisive ruling Friday against allies of Democrat Stacey Abrams in their 4-year-old voting rights lawsuit, upholding Georgia election laws on all counts in the case filed by Fair Fight Action days after the 2018 election.
U.S. District Judge Steve Jones judgment concludes the major case over Georgias voter registration and absentee ballot practices after a trial in which voters testified about problems at the polls but few of them were unable to cast a ballot.
Although Georgias election system is not perfect, the challenged practices violate neither the Constitution nor the VRA (Voting Rights Act), wrote Jones in his 288-page order.
The decision followed what is believed to be the longest voting rights trial in the history of the Northern District of Georgia, lasting 21 days with testimony from over 50 witnesses, wrote Jones, a nominee of President Barack Obama.
Read more: https://www.ajc.com/politics/judge-upholds-georgia-election-laws-on-all-counts-in-voting-rights-case/24ZA7WQVQVBFHI2PWCM7OMZWEI/
The White House summoned China's ambassador on Thursday to condemn China's "irresponsible" military activities near Taiwan as tensions continue to escalate in the region following US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to the island this week.
"After China's actions overnight, we summoned PRC Ambassador Qin Gang to the White House to demarche him about the PRC's provocative actions. We condemned the PRC's military actions, which are irresponsible, at odds with our long-standing goal of maintaining peace and stability and across the Taiwan Strait," National Security Council coordinator for strategic communications John Kirby said in a statement to CNN.
The decision to summon Qin came after days of warnings to China not to escalate tensions in the region following the speaker's visit to the self-governing island, which the Chinese Communist Party regards as its territory despite having never controlled it. It represents a shift from the White House's attitude about the trip before it occurred, when officials privately tried to warn Pelosi over the possible consequences of the visit and how it could harm US-China relations. The meeting was first reported by The Washington Post.
In the days since Pelosi left Taiwan, China has taken multiple bellicose steps, both diplomatically and militarily.
Read more: https://www.cnn.com/2022/08/05/politics/white-house-summon-chinese-ambassador-qin-gang-provocations/index.html
This could be the start of something big. China is facing an debt and banking crisis of major proportions. A conflict or war could be exactly what they need to distract their population from problems at home.
Russia continued to make its case against Brittney Griner at her trial on Thursday, more than 140 days since the WNBA star was arrested at a Moscow-area airport on drug charges.
It marks Griner's second court appearance since her trial began in earnest last Friday. A judge had previously ordered her to be detained for the length of the trial, which her lawyer has said could last up to two months and will likely involve several hearings by the prosecution before the defense gets its turn.
The Phoenix Mercury Center and Olympic medalist could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted of drug smuggling charges.
On Thursday, however, Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov suggested that it is difficult to exchange prisoners with the U.S., in comments reported by Reuters. Referring to the letter that Biden intended to send Griner, he said that "hype" around the case does not help, and that "this kind of correspondence does not help."
Read more: https://www.npr.org/2022/07/07/1110229049/brittney-griner-trial-hearing-russia
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) wants the Senate's bipartisan energy and climate talks to prioritize domestic battery production and make it easier to mine critical minerals at home, people familiar with the matter tell Axios.
Why it matters: Sinema's engagement on mining reform reveals both the possibilities and pitfalls of a potential bipartisan deal. Democrats are eager for a win this critical midterm year.
Sinema's support for permitting the mining reforms puts her on the same page as Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) as well as some Senate Republicans.
It also reveals the contours of a package that would unlock billions of dollars for electric vehicles and green energy.
But tackling permitting reform, especially on the politically sensitive issue of mining, could create a chasm in the Democratic Party.
Driving the news: Axios is told that Sinema made her case during Tuesday nights meeting of bipartisan senators, led by Manchin.
Read more: https://www.axios.com/2022/05/20/sinema-bipartisan-energy-talks-mining-reform
Source: Associated Press
Nearly 43,000 people were killed on U.S. roads last year, the highest number in 16 years as Americans returned to the roads after the coronavirus pandemic forced many to stay at home.
The 10.5% jump over 2020 numbers was the largest percentage increase since the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began its fatality data collection system in 1975. Exacerbating the problem was a persistence of risky driving behaviors during the pandemic, such as speeding and less frequent use of seat belts, as people began to venture out more in 2021 for out-of-state and other road trips, analysts said.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said America faces a crisis on its roads. The safety administration urged state and local governments, drivers and safety advocates to join in an effort to reverse the rising death trend.
Our nation has taken a dangerous and deadly step backwards in traffic safety and impaired driving, said MADD National President Alex Otte, who urged strong public-private efforts akin to the seat belt and air bag public safety campaigns of the 1990s to stem reckless driving. More families and more communities are feeling the crushing magnitude of this crisis on our roads.
Read more: https://apnews.com/article/health-government-and-politics-pandemics-transportation-8388d8ca4b1ad141939fe07ce00f9c7f
So people really did forget how to drive during COVID.
The lawyer for WNBA star Brittney Griner said Friday her pre-trial detention in Russia has been extended by one month.
Griners lawyer Alexander Boikov told The Associated Press he believed the relatively short extension of the detention indicated the case would come to trial soon.
Griner, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, was detained at the Moscow airport after vape cartridges containing oil derived from cannabis were allegedly found in her luggage, which could carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.
The Biden administration says Griner, 31, is being wrongfully detained. The WNBA and U.S. officials have worked toward her release, without visible progress.
Read more: https://apnews.com/article/brittney-griner-moscow-hearing-live-updates-0ff42a2ceab60724f86f6c7e7f81313a
pictures of the hearing at link.
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