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Pres. Biden To Deliver Speech On ‘Battle For The Soul Of The Nation’

The president is aiming to inspire voters with rhetoric from his 2020 campaign.

It’s one of President Joe Biden’s most often repeated lines from his 2020 presidential campaign: “We’re in a battle for the soul of this nation.”

Now, he’s bringing that message back in a speech Thursday evening as he launches into a midterm season where Democrats possibly face losing control of their majority in Congress. 

Liz Suhay is an associate professor of government at American University, where she studies political psychology.

“I actually think that many Americans do believe that the soul of the nation is at stake, but they have very different ideas about what’s going wrong, who’s to blame and how you fix it,” she said. “I think what Biden is trying to do, electorally, is try to energize the coalition that led Democrats to victory in the 2018 and 2020 elections. And so that coalition is going to be made up, of course, of Democrats, of many independents who are not fans of Donald Trump, and a small slice of Republicans who are also anti-Trump.”

The Biden administration says the address will highlight what President Biden considers threats to America’s core values, with his spokeswoman telling reporters that “our rights and freedoms are under attack.”

Recently, President Biden has also begun referring to Trump-ism as “semi-facism,” a label that Darren Davis, a professor of political science at the University of Notre Dame, says is also directly targeted to appeal to the coalition that got President Biden elected. 

“I think it really helps more than it hurts. People in the middle help understand what is at stake,” he said. “It helps articulate the consequences. It helps frame these issues. But also, you know, it allows Biden to talk tough at the same time.”

But despite recent Democratic wins in Washington — like passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, hailed as the largest investment ever to prevent climate change — President Biden still faces just 44% approval in August.  

And he also faces dismal rankings on the economy, with 60% disapproval on his handling of the economy and 65% percent disapproval on his handling of inflation, according to the latest CBS News poll.  

But will the president’s rhetoric inspire the voters who turned out for him in 2020?  

“When things aren’t particularly great or positive for the incumbent president in the midterms, he has to turn to something. And I think he’s turning to what actually worked in 2020,” Davis said.

Source: newsy.com

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The Leading Cause Of Death For American Children Is Now Gun Violence

Researchers say prevention efforts can help reduce the amount of kids dying from gun violence, but more data is also needed to understand why.

Gun violence in the U.S. is nothing new, but things are getting worse. More Americans died from gun injuries in 2020 than any other year on record, but one group being particularly impacted is kids.

A new analysis found guns are the leading cause of death for children in the U.S. since 2017, surpassing car crash deaths.

Kids have been shot and killed while rider their bikes, walking home from school and even playing video games.

This is a uniquely American problem. Kids in the U.S. are 15 times more likely to die from guns than kids in 31 other high-income countries combined.

Researchers say gun violence has become the number one cause of death for kids because, while it has increased, there has also been a decrease in car crash fatalities.  Cars, however, have a specific regulatory agency. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration was established in 1970, which had a public database of car deaths to help researchers better understand how road safety can be improved. Things like side airbags, booster-seat laws and automatic braking all helped make kids safer.

On the other hand, there is no federal agency to regulate the safety of guns. Funding was just granted to the CDC in 2019 to begin research for preventing gun injuries, so the research is far less extensive than car crash data.

A study from the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that 9 million children ages 5 to 17 lived in a neighborhood that experienced at least one fatal shooting a year from 2015 to 2019. It also found Black kids compared to white kids were at a higher risk of being exposed to gun violence before the pandemic. Since then, the disparity has grown even more.

To combat this issue, researchers say that, just like with car safety, prevention efforts can help.

In Dayton, Ohio, the local YWCA works on preventing gun violence through two programs for middle and high schoolers.

“We’re hearing from our students just hugely disproportionate levels of stress coming at them from a number of different ways, and I think when you look at gun violence, one of the biggest things is that they feel completely out of control in terms of you don’t know who’s carrying a firearm around with you,” said Audrey Starr, vice president of mission, brand and programs at YWCA Dayton. “There’s kind of that constant threat and that constant potential.”

Kids can suffer gun injuries from accidental shootings, getting caught in the crossfire, suicides and also intimate partner violence. 

“You see big socioeconomic disparities in our communities,” Starr said. “You have families with big financial strains… All of this kind of comes to a head a lot of times in things like interpersonal violence, in increased levels of suicide among youth in our community. So being able to, as much as we can, be proactive and give them a safe space to talk.”

YWCA Dayton says it has seen quick success with its newest program, AMEND Together, which is aimed at engaging men and boys to prevent violence against women and girls by teaching them what a healthy relationships look like.

“We had an immediate statistical data come back to us that showed from pretest to post-test that we were changing behaviors among the young men in our community and that we were able to see that immediate reaction of, ‘Oh, this makes sense, it is a clear need. We are clearly meeting need,'” Starr said.

In addition to gun risks for youth in Dayton, the city also faced a mass shooting in 2019 where nine people were killed and dozens were injured.

“We had staff members who lost family members, we had clients who lost family members,” Starr said. “We had our youth programs, right, who were then going into the classroom immediately thereafter with these kids who heard about it, knew about it, had family involved and we’re having to work through that on top of all of the things that they were already dealing with in the day to day. I think it just really put it into perspective how things can change so quickly, but then it also immediately put us into this national conversation of ‘How do we reduce violence in our communities?'”

A CBS News analysis found that nearly 300 kids aged 16 and under were shot in Chicago last year.

“Children are being bored,” Saleshea McCray, founder of Hug a Child Make a Change, said. “I feel that they are getting their hands into different things, that some children come from broken homes, and there’s not enough mental health resources out here. The children are losing their friends to death, and nobody is checking in with them for therapy. Nobody’s checking into mental health to say ‘Are you okay?’ because they’re numb, and they’re believing this is normal when it’s not.

Groups like Hug a Child Make a Change are working on prevention efforts across the city.  

“We get the children together, and we march for peace to let them know that we are fighting for them,” McCray said. “We are fighting for them to live and not to die in the city of Chicago.”

The organization connects kids with mentors that meet and check in several times a month to offer support and help them reach major life milestones.

“My program helped because we’re involved in these children’s lives,” McCray said. “We have graduates coming across the stage this year with honors classes because they have a shoulder to lean on and a foundation of people. So, I feel like my program has helped tremendously because we’ve not only worked with the children, but we work with the parents, the mothers, the fathers, the sisters, the brothers, we work with them.”

These community outreach efforts are vital when it comes to tackling the root of the problem, but some researchers say more data is needed to better understand what is happening with gun violence.

Source: newsy.com

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Ukrainian foreign minister says situation in Mariupol may be ‘red line’ in talks, article with image

FILE PHOTO – Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba is seen after a NATO foreign ministers meeting, amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium April 7, 2022. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein/Pool

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WASHINGTON, April 17 (Reuters) – Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said there had not been any recent diplomatic communications between Russia and Ukraine at the level of their foreign ministries and that the situation in the port of Mariupol, which he described as “dire”, may be a “red line” in the path of negotiations.

“Mariupol may be a red line”, he told CBS News in an interview on Sunday.

Ukrainian soldiers resisted a Russian ultimatum to lay down arms on Sunday in the pulverized port of Mariupol, which Moscow said its forces had almost completely seized in what would be its biggest prize of the nearly two-month war. read more

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Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said troops in Mariupol were still fighting despite a Russian demand to surrender by dawn.

“We didn’t really have any contacts with Russian diplomats in recent weeks at the level of foreign ministries”, Kuleba said in the interview.

“The only level of contact is the negotiating team that consists of the representatives of various institutions and members of parliament. They continue their consultations at the expert level but no high level talks are taking place,” he added.

The foreign minister said he was expecting “intensification of heavy fighting in eastern Ukraine” in the coming weeks.

When asked about prospects of U.S. President Joe Biden visiting Ukraine, the foreign minister said Ukraine would be happy to welcome him and that a visit from him will send “an message of support.”

The White House, however, said earlier this week there were no plans for Biden to visit the country that Russia invaded in late February.

“We are not sending the president to Ukraine,” White House spokesperson Jen Psaki said on Friday.

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Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Washington; Editing by Toby Chopra and Grant McCool

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Chris Wallace Says Life at Fox News Became ‘Unsustainable’

“Before, I found it was an environment in which I could do my job and feel good about my involvement at Fox,” Mr. Wallace said of his time at the network. “And since November of 2020, that just became unsustainable, increasingly unsustainable as time went on.”

Still, he acknowledged that some viewers may wonder why he did not leave earlier.

“Some people might have drawn the line earlier, or at a different point,” he said, adding: “I think Fox has changed over the course of the last year and a half. But I can certainly understand where somebody would say, ‘Gee, you were a slow learner, Chris.’”

Fox News declined to comment.

Mr. Wallace said his new CNN+ series, which airs at 6 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, was inspired by the work of famed interviewers like Larry King and Charlie Rose. (His father, the “60 Minutes” legend Mike Wallace, hosted a versatile interview program of his own in the late 1950s, with guests ranging from Henry Kissinger to the actress Jean Seberg.)

The set of the show is sparse, just Mr. Wallace and a guest sitting on either side of a Plexiglas table — a more brightly lit version of Mr. Rose’s long-running PBS format. Mr. Wallace said he hoped “to have the kind of intimate, thoughtful conversation where we forget we’re on camera in a studio.”

Marketing materials for CNN+ prominently feature Mr. Wallace alongside younger hosts like the former NPR host Audie Cornish, the chef Alison Roman and the actress Eva Longoria. The advanced ages of some of his early guests — Ms. Collins is 82, and Mr. Shatner just turned 91 — also suggest that Mr. Wallace’s program might complement more millennial-focused fare.

The service, which costs $6 a month, debuts on Tuesday, years after the arrival of streaming competitors like Fox Nation and the CBS News Streaming Network. CNN executives view it as a major effort to gain a foothold with viewers who are abandoning cable subscriptions in favor of online alternatives for news.

The stakes are high for CNN, which is undergoing wrenching change. The channel’s parent company, WarnerMedia, is expected to be acquired by Discovery Inc. in the next few weeks. A new president, Chris Licht, is taking over CNN after the network’s longtime leader, Jeff Zucker, resigned in February over an undisclosed relationship with a colleague.

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Can CNN’s Hiring Spree Get People to Pay for Streaming News?

A couple of months ago, CNN’s forthcoming streaming channel was perceived as little more than a curiosity in the television news business: just another cable dinosaur trying to make the uneasy transition into the digital future.

In fact, the plan to start CNN+, which is expected to go live by late March, amounted to a late arrival to the subscription-based streaming party, more than three years after Fox News launched Fox Nation.

Then the hirings began.

In December, Chris Wallace, Fox News’s most decorated news anchor, said he was leaving his network home of 18 years for CNN+. Next came Audie Cornish, the popular co-host of “All Things Considered” on NPR, who said in January that she was leaving public radio to host a weekly streaming show.

notably violent language in urging a gathering of conservatives to publicly confront Dr. Anthony Fauci.

  • Jan. 6 Texts: Three prominent Fox News hosts — Laura Ingraham, Sean Hannity and Brian Kilmeade — texted Mark Meadows during the Jan. 6 riot urging him to tell Donald Trump to try to stop it.
  • Chris Wallace Departs: The anchor’s announcement that he was leaving Fox News for CNN came as right-wing hosts have increasingly set the channel’s agenda.
  • Contributors Quit: Jonah Goldberg and Stephen Hayes quit the network in protest over Tucker Carlson’s “Patriot Purge” special.
  • He is gambling that CNN+ can entice new viewers — and bring back some old ones. CNN’s traditional broadcast viewership has dropped significantly from a year ago, thanks to a post-Trump slump and waning audience interest, and the network recently fired its top-rated anchor, Chris Cuomo, amid an ethics scandal.

    Mr. Zucker is turning to a strategy honed during his days as the executive producer of NBC’s “Today” show in the 1990s, mixing hard news with a heavy dose of lifestyle coverage and tips on how to bake a pear cobbler. In marketing materials, CNN+ has urged viewers to “grab a coffee” while flipping on shows promoted as “never finicky” and “the silver lining beyond today’s toughest headlines.”

    struggled to find success with shows that riff on current events. One Netflix executive conceded in 2019 that topical programming was “a challenge” when it came to on-demand, watch-at-your-own-pace streamers.

    Symone D. Sanders, a former adviser to President Biden. (NBC News also has separate digital offerings for hard news and lifestyle coverage.)

    For news executives, finding a winning formula in the streaming game is now an urgent priority.

    Streaming has supplanted cable as the main home delivery system for entertainment, often on the strength of addictive series like “Squid Game.” For a while, though, old-fashioned cable news clung on, with CNN, MSNBC and Fox News attracting record audiences in recent years. In case of emergency — a pandemic, civil unrest, a presidential election, a Capitol riot — viewers still tuned in en masse.

    After former President Donald J. Trump left office, news ratings nose-dived and cable subscriptions continued to plummet — an estimated four million households dropped their paid TV subscriptions last year, according to the research firm MoffettNathanson.

    Fox Nation and CNN+ both rely on a business model dependent on paid subscriptions, hence the efforts by both to generate a wide variety of programming.

    “A subscriber every month only has to find one thing that they want,” Mr. Zucker said in the interview. “We don’t need the subscriber to be interested in everything we’re offering, but they need to be interested in something.”

    Mr. Zucker said CNN+ was aiming at three buckets of potential subscribers. He is seeking to entice loyal CNN viewers into paying for streaming programs featuring hosts familiar from the cable channel: Anderson Cooper will have two, including one on parenting; Fareed Zakaria is helming a show examining historical events; and Jake Tapper will host “Jake Tapper’s Book Club,” in which he interviews authors.

    The other would-be subscribers, Mr. Zucker said, are news and documentary fans who want more nonfiction television, as well as younger people who don’t pay for cable.

    CNN, though, is not ignoring the needs of its flagship cable network, which ranked third last year behind Fox News and MSNBC in total audience.

    Mr. Zucker recently reached out to representatives for Gayle King, the star CBS News anchor, about the prospect of her taking over the weekday 9 p.m. hour on CNN, said two people with knowledge of the approach. CNN has not named a permanent anchor for the prime-time slot since Mr. Cuomo was fired in December after revelations that he assisted with the efforts of his brother, former Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York, to fend off sexual harassment allegations.

    CNN+ is also expected to include the breaking news and political coverage that CNN viewers are accustomed to — a feature that could pose difficulties for the network down the road. CNN commands a high price from cable distributors, who may cry foul if CNN+ includes too much news programming that potentially competes with the cable offering. For instance, Wolf Blitzer, the host of “The Situation Room” on CNN at 6 p.m., will also appear on CNN+ to anchor a “traditional evening news show with a sleek, modern twist.”

    CNN’s parent company, WarnerMedia, which is on the verge of a megamerger with Discovery Inc., appears willing to take the risk. The company is placing a significant financial bet on CNN+, budgeting for 500 additional employees, including producers, reporters, engineers and programmers, said Andrew Morse, CNN’s chief digital officer. The company is also renting an additional floor of its headquarters in Midtown Manhattan to accommodate the hires.

    “What we’re building at CNN+ is not a side hustle,” Mr. Morse said.

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    CBS News Will Try to Reinvent Itself, Again

    “The wants and habits of our consumers evolve by the day,” Mr. Cheeks wrote to his staff in a memo last week. He effusively praised Ms. Zirinsky as an “indefatigable” driver of “powerful journalism” while suggesting that it would fall to the next generation of CBS leaders to usher in the modern era: “Z has helped position the division for success.”

    Ms. Zirinsky, in the interview, said that “every part of my being believes this transition is right, at the right time, with the right ideas.” She conceded she “would be lying” if she claimed ratings were unimportant, but she noted that “Evening News” had narrowed its deficit in the key demographic and that she had shored up a newsroom that, after the convulsions of recent years, had “felt a bit abandoned.”

    Ms. Zirinsky signed the star anchor Gayle King to a new contract at “CBS This Morning,” which had lost momentum after the exit of its former co-anchor Charlie Rose over claims of workplace misconduct. On March 8, the show beat ABC and NBC for the first time on the strength of its exclusive excerpts from Oprah Winfrey’s CBS interview with Meghan Markle. “60 Minutes” and “CBS Sunday Morning” remained highly respected and highly rated.

    Some of Ms. Zirinsky’s strengths — a love of producing; an encyclopedic knowledge of the network — proved double-edged. Accustomed to the banter of the control room, she sometimes mused aloud about personnel changes, prompting unease and unauthorized leaks; trained to report every fact, she spent months seeking input about her next moves, delaying big decisions.

    By the time Ms. O’Donnell was officially named “Evening News” anchor in May 2019 — days after the announcement had leaked to The New York Post — Ms. Zirinsky had openly told colleagues that the network presidency could be an awkward fit for her. The Post reported last week that Ms. Zirinsky, during a lengthy corporate budget meeting, scrawled “I hate my job” on a sheet of paper and held it up.

    “I am transparent,” Ms. Zirinsky said, when asked about her expressions of frustration with the job. “The passion that I feel sometimes gets misinterpreted. I wouldn’t have traded this for anything. If I was asked today to step into this role, I would do it all over again.”

    CBS News has tried a number of approaches over the years to lift its fortunes.

    The “Evening News” tried a megawatt star (Katie Couric) and a lesser-known homegrown prospect (Jeff Glor). “CBS This Morning” was a revolving door of anchors and producers. David Rhodes, who had worked at Fox News before he became the CBS News president in 2011, ran the division in the style of a technocrat before he was replaced by Ms. Zirinsky, the old-school shoe leather journalist.

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    Treasury Puts Taiwan on Notice for Currency Practices: Live Updates

    Vietnam and Switzerland as manipulators in its final report in 2020. The Biden administration’s report undid those designations, citing insufficient evidence.

    Instead, the department said it would continue “enhanced engagement” with Vietnam and Switzerland and begin such talks with Taiwan, which includes urging the trading partners to address undervaluation of their currencies.

    “Treasury is working tirelessly to address efforts by foreign economies to artificially manipulate their currency values that put American workers at an unfair disadvantage,” Ms. Yellen said in a statement.

    Taiwan is the United States’ 10th largest trading partner in 2019, according to the United States trade representative. Vietnam is the 13th largest, and Switzerland is 16th.

    The Treasury Department did not label China as a currency manipulator, instead urging it to improve transparency over its foreign exchange practices.

    Treasury kept China, Japan, Korea, Germany, Italy, India, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand on its currency monitoring list, and added Ireland and Mexico.

    “Sonia” chats with coworkers — from a distance.
    Credit…IBM

    Millions of workers are wondering what the office will be like when they go back after a long stretch of remote work. Employers are trying to prepare them for it.

    IBM has designed a “reorientation” program to help its employees adjust when they return to a familiar setting but face a host of unfamiliar new procedures, the DealBook newsletter writes.

    “It’s sort of like the first day of school,” said Joanna Daly, the company’s vice president of talent. “A day early, kids go and get to see the classroom or see how things work.”

    This is needed, she said, because it is “not simply returning to the workplace as it existed before or the ways of working as it existed before.”

    IBM made a “day in the life” video to show employees what to expect. One version of the 11-minute-long video seen by DealBook starts with “Paul” going back to one of IBM’s offices in Britain. To start the day, he goes through a self-screening checklist to assess potential exposure. He enters the office through designated entrances and picks up his masks for the day (and disinfectant wipes if he needs them). Arrows guide him through the halls and up one-way staircases. Only one person is allowed in the bathroom at a time.

    The cafeteria is closed, so Paul must bring his lunch. He can’t use the whiteboards or marker pens in conference rooms (and he shouldn’t linger there longer than necessary). If Paul sees other IBMers not following the safety protocols, “It is OK to politely remind them,” the narrator assures him.

    Along with the video, IBM produced an 18-page presentation depicting “Sonia’s’’ return to the workplace, serving as a friendly, cartoon-filled back-to-work manual.

    “We’re looking now at how might anxiety manifests itself differently for different employees around being back together and then how do we address that,” Ms. Daly said, “through practical understanding of health and safety and also through having enough flexibility in the environment that everyone can kind of get used to coming back.”

    IBM, which has 346,000 employees, hasn’t set a timeline for when its U.S. workers will return to the office. The company’s chief executive, Arvind Krishna, has said he expects 80 percent of them will work in a hybrid fashion when they do.

    Mercedes-Benz said the electric EQS can travel up to 480 miles on a single charge, a feat the company attributed to new battery technology and the car’s aerodynamic shape.
    Credit…Mercedes/Associated Press

    Mercedes-Benz unveiled an electric counterpart to its top-of-the-line S-Class sedan on Thursday, the latest in a series of moves by German automakers to defend their dominance of the high end of the car market against Tesla.

    The EQS, which will be available in the United States in August, is the first of four electric vehicles Mercedes will introduce this year, including two S.U.V.s that will be made at the company’s factory in Alabama and a lower-priced sedan. Mercedes did not announce a price for the EQS, but it is unlikely to be lower than the S-Class, which starts at $94,000 in the United States.

    The cars could be decisive for Daimler, the parent company of Mercedes, as it tries to adapt to new technology.

    “It is important to us,” Ola Källenius, the chief executive of Daimler, said of the EQS during an interview. “In a way it is kind of day one of a new era.”

    The EQS has a range of 770 kilometers or about 480 miles, according to Mercedes. If that figure is confirmed by independent testing, the EQS would dethrone the Tesla Model S Long Range Plus as the production electric car that can travel the farthest between charges. The Tesla currently occupies the No. 1 spot with a range of just over 400 miles, according to rankings by Kelley Blue Book.

    The EQS owes its stamina to advances in battery technology and an exceptionally aerodynamic design, Mr. Källenius said. Some analysts question whether Mercedes can sell enough electric vehicles to justify the cost of development, but Mr. Källenius said, “We will make money with the EQS from the word ‘go.’”

    The EQS is the latest attempt by German carmakers to show that they can apply their expertise in engineering and production efficiency to battery-powered cars. Vehicles are Germany’s biggest export, so the carmakers’ success or failure will have a significant impact on the country’s prosperity.

    On Wednesday, Audi, the luxury unit of Volkswagen, unveiled the Q4 E-Tron, an electric SUV. The Q4 shares many components with the Volkswagen ID.4, an electric SUV that the company began delivering to customers in the United States in March. Though priced to compete with internal combustion models, neither vehicle offers as much range as comparable Tesla cars.

    In the S-Class tradition, the EQS offers over-the-top luxury features like software that can recognize when a driver might be feeling fatigued and can offer to turn on the massage function embedded in the seat.

    “You’re going to get S-Class level refinement in a very, very high performing electric car,” Mr. Källenius said. “That’s your buying argument.”

    Car buyers in Wuhan in January. China is trying to get its consumers to return to their prepandemic spending levels.
    Credit…Gilles Sabrié for The New York Times

    China on Friday reported that its economy grew by a remarkable 18.3 percent in the first three months of this year compared with the same period last year. But the spike is as much a reflection of how bad matters were a year ago — when the China’s output shrank by 6.8 percent — as it is an indication of how China is doing now.

    Global demand for the computer screens and video consoles that China makes is soaring as people work from home and as a pandemic recovery beckons. That demand has continued as Americans with stimulus checks look to spend money on patio furniture, electronics and other goods made in Chinese factories.

    China’s recovery has also been powered by big infrastructure. Cranes dot city skylines. Construction projects for highways and railroads have provided short-term jobs. Property sales have also helped strengthen economic activity.

    Exports and property investment can carry China’s growth only so far. Now China is trying to get its consumers to return to their prepandemic ways.

    Unlike much of the developed world, China doesn’t subsidize its consumers. Instead of handing out checks to jump-start the economy last year, China ordered state-owned banks to lend to businesses and offered tax rebates.

    Travel restrictions over the Lunar New Year holiday dampened consumer appetite and slowed the momentum of Chinese shoppers. But retail data on Friday showed that March sales were better than expected, raising hopes that consumers might be starting to feel confident.


    By: Ella Koeze·Data delayed at least 15 minutes·Source: FactSet

    Global stocks rose on Friday after a string of strong economic reports and company earnings.

    The S&P 500 rose 0.2 percent, set for its fourth straight week of gains and another record. The benchmark had gained 1 percent in the week through Thursday and is up nearly 5 percent so far this month.

    The Stoxx Europe 600 rose 0.6 percent on Friday, also climbing to a record, while the FTSE 100 in Britain climbed above 7,000 points for the first time since February 2020. Stock indexes in Japan, Hong Kong and China all closed higher.

    China reported on Friday that its economy grew by 18.3 percent in the first three months of the year compared with the same period last year, when swathes of the country had been shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic. On Thursday, data showed U.S. retail sales in March leapt past expectations, increasing by nearly 10 percent, and initial state jobless claims fell last week to their lowest level of the pandemic.

    This week, banks including Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase reported better-than-expected earnings, and their chief executives delivered upbeat economic forecasts.

    The yield on 10-year Treasury notes slipped to 1.57 percent on Friday. Last month, concerns that government spending would overheat the economy and lead to higher inflation sent bond yields shooting higher, to 1.74 percent on March 31. But those worries appear to have been soothed by central bank officials, who have repeatedly said they expect increases in inflation to be temporary.

    Earlier this week, data showed that prices in the United States rose 2.6 percent in March from a year earlier, a larger-than-normal increase partly because prices of some items fell in March 2020 as the pandemic took hold.

    Another reason yields have drifted lower is a “remarkable” demand for bonds, ING, a Dutch bank, said. Recent Treasury bond auctions have received more bids than normal, and JPMorgan Chase sold $13 billion of bonds on Thursday, the biggest sale ever by a bank, according to Bloomberg.

    “Cash has to go somewhere, and it can’t all go into equities,” the ING analysts wrote in a note to clients.

    James O’Keefe, the founder of the conservative group Project Veritas, in 2015.
    Credit…Stephen Crowley/The New York Times

    Twitter said on Thursday that it had blocked the account of James O’Keefe, the founder of the conservative group Project Veritas.

    Mr. O’Keefe’s account, @JamesOKeefeIII, was “permanently suspended for violating the Twitter Rules on platform manipulation and spam,” specifically that users cannot mislead others with fake accounts or “artificially amplify or disrupt conversations” through the use of multiple accounts, a Twitter spokesman said.

    In a statement on his website, Mr. O’Keefe said he will file a defamation lawsuit against Twitter on Monday over its claim that he had operated fake accounts.

    “This is false, this is defamatory, and they will pay,” the statement said.

    “Section 230 may have protected them before, but it will not protect them from me,” Mr. O’Keefe said, referring to a legal liability shield for social media. That shield, part of the federal Communications Decency Act, has become a favorite target of lawmakers in both parties.

    In February, Twitter permanently suspended the Project Veritas account, saying it had posted private information. It also temporarily locked Mr. O’Keefe’s account.

    “We were trying to find the most incendiary way of making them mad,” Caolan Robertson said of the videos he used to make.
    Credit…Alexander Ingram for The New York Times

    To keep you watching, YouTube serves up videos similar to those you have watched before. But the longer someone watches, the more extreme the videos can become.

    Caolan Robertson learned how making clever edits and focusing on confrontation could help draw millions of views on YouTube and other services. He also learned how YouTube’s recommendation algorithm often nudged people toward extreme videos.

    Over more than two years, he helped produce and publish videos for right-wing Youtube personalities including Lauren Southern, Cade Metz reports for The New York Times.

    Knowing what garnered the most attention on YouTube, Mr. Robertson said, he and Ms. Southern would devise public appearances meant to generate conflict. They attended a women’s march in London and, with Ms. Southern playing the part of a television reporter, approached each woman with the same four-word question: “Women’s rights or Islam?”

    They often received a confused, measured or polite response, according to Mr. Robertson. They continued to ask the question and sharpened it. Ms. Southern, for example, said it would be difficult for Muslim women to answer the question because their husbands wouldn’t let them attend the march. That caused anger to build in the crowd.

    “It appears in the videos that we are just trying to figure out what is going on, gather information, understand people,” Mr. Robertson said. “But really, we were trying to find the most incendiary way of making them mad.”

    Ms. Southern described the situation differently. “We asked the question because we knew it was going to force people to question their own political views and realize the contradiction in being a hard-core feminist but also supporting a religion that, quite frankly, has questionable practices around women,” she said. And, she added, they used video techniques that any media company would use.

    Attendees of the disastrous Fyre Festival in the Bahamas won $2 million in a class-action settlement that is subject to final approval.
    Credit…Jake Strang, via Associated Press

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    CBS News names two to replace outgoing president.

    Two years ago, CBS picked the ultimate insider to run its broadcast news division: Susan Zirinsky, whose decades-long tenure at the network stretched to the days of Walter Cronkite.

    Now the network is turning to a pair of outsiders — one from the world of newspapers and digital publishing — to restore the fortunes of a news division that still trails its rivals at ABC and NBC.

    CBS said on Thursday that Ms. Zirinsky would be succeeded by Neeraj Khemlani, a vice president at the publishing powerhouse Hearst and a relatively little-known figure in the TV news industry, and Wendy McMahon, a former ABC executive. The two will serve as presidents and co-heads of a CBS News division that will also include local stations owned by the network.

    In the gossipy world of TV news, neither executive had been rumored to be a candidate for the top CBS role. Mr. Khemlani worked at CBS News from 1998 to 2006 as a producer at its “60 Minutes” franchise, but he left television to work at the news arm of the web giant Yahoo before going to Hearst in 2009.

    announcing the hires.

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    Catch up: Former Condé Nast editor plans a Vanity Fair for the Substack era.

    • A former editor at Vanity Fair has been working to create a new digital publication, in which writers will share in subscription revenue — Vanity Fair meets Substack. The new company behind the publication, Heat Media, hopes to unveil it in the coming months, four people with knowledge of the matter said. The start-up is partly the brainchild of Jon Kelly, a former editor at Vanity Fair. One of the backers is the private equity firm TPG, which would take three seats on the Heat Media board, the people said. Another investor is 40 North, a related investment arm of Standard Industries, a global industrials company, the people said. Heat Media has raised around $7 million so far, according to the people.

    • Kimberly Godwin, a veteran CBS News executive, was named the next president of ABC News on Wednesday, making her the first Black woman to lead a major broadcast network’s news division. Ms. Godwin succeeds James Goldston, who announced his departure from ABC in January. She will begin in her job in early May. Ms. Godwin most recently served as CBS’s executive vice president of news.

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