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The USA and Europe condemn the arrest of the poisoned Putin critic

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Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny and his wife Yulia are seen at the passport control point of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport on January 17, 2021.

KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV | AFP | Getty Images

LONDON – The US and several European governments have expressed deep concern after the arrest of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny and urged his immediate release from Russian custody.

Police arrested 44-year-old Navalny at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport on Sunday, shortly after he flew from Berlin. Germany ended up in the country’s capital.

The activist, widely recognized as the most prominent and determined critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, returned home for the first time since being poisoned last summer.

Navalny had recovered in Germany after barely surviving what had since been confirmed as poisoning by a Novichok nerve agent in August. 20th

The opposition politician believes Putin ordered the poisoning and reportedly said last October that he saw no other explanation.

Putin’s government denies the poisoning of Navalny, though investigative reporters have since released evidence to support Navalny’s claims.

In response to Navalny’s arrest, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said via Twitter on Monday that he was “deeply concerned” by the developments and called for his immediate and unconditional release from custody.

“Confident political leaders do not fear competing voices, commit violence against or wrongly detain political opponents,” said Pompeo.

Separately, Jake Biden’s National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan urged Navalny to be released immediately. Sullivan said, “The perpetrators of the outrageous attack on his life must be held accountable.”

“The Kremlin’s attacks on Mr Navalny are not just a violation of human rights, but an affront to the Russian people who want their voices to be heard,” he added.

“I’m going back to my hometown.”

Navalny had spoken on board the plane before take-off in Berlin and said he did not expect to be arrested on arrival in Russia.

His flight was supposed to land at Vnukovo Airport, where supporters and media had waited despite the bitter cold weather, but his route was reportedly diverted to Sheremetyevo Airport for “technical reasons”.

“I feel great. I’m finally returning to my hometown,” said Navalny on board the flight back to Moscow, according to a Reuters report. Navalny was accompanied on the flight by his wife Julia and his spokesman and lawyer.

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny and his wife Yulia are seen on a Pobeda plane after it landed at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport on January 17, 2021.

KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV | AFP | Getty Images

When Navalny arrived in Moscow on Sunday evening, he last said goodbye to his wife at passport control before he was taken away by the Russian authorities.

“The arrest of Aleksei Navalny is further evidence that the Russian authorities are trying to silence him,” said Natalia Zviagina, Amnesty International’s Moscow office director, in a statement on Sunday.

“His detention only underscores the need to investigate his allegations that he was poisoned by state agents acting on orders from the highest levels,” Zviagina said.

The Russian embassy in London did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

Punitive measure

In Europe, several world leaders issued statements sharply criticizing Navalny’s arrest, but most stopped calling for punitive action.

European Council President Charles Michel described the arrest of Navalny on Sunday as “unacceptable” and called on the Russian authorities to “release him immediately”.

Crowds gather as they wait for the arrival of Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny at Vnukovo International Airport in Moscow, Russia, on Sunday, January 17, 2021.

Andrey Rudakov | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The Foreign Ministries of the United Kingdom, Germany, France and Italy separately issued statements condemning Navalny’s arrest and demanding his immediate release.

Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin said Monday via Twitter that Navalny must be released “immediately”, adding that others arrested on his arrival should also be released. “Russia should investigate the poisoning of Navalny and protect the opposition rights that belong to any democracy,” said Marin.

In a joint statement by the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, three former Soviet republics, the EU has been asked to consider “introducing restrictive measures in response to this apparent act” if Navalny is not released.

They described Navalny’s arrest as “totally unacceptable”.

Biden plans a flash of govt motion within the first 10 days

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This combination of images, taken on January 15, 2021, shows U.S. President Donald Trump on July 29, 2020 at the White House in Washington, DC, and Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden in Dallas on October 24, 2020, Pennsylvania.

Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden plans to take immediate action after his inaugural address this week to turn the Trump era, said Chief of Staff Ron Klain on Sunday after setting out Biden’s plan for his first days in office.

Biden plans a 10-day blitz of executive action on what his administration has dubbed the country’s “four crises” problems – Covid-19, economic downturn, racial injustice and climate change.

“He will return to the White House after this speech in the Capitol and take immediate action to move this country forward,” Klain told CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday.

Klain outlined Biden’s plans for his first few days in a memorandum to White House staff sent to NBC News on Saturday entitled “A Review of the First Ten Days.”

Biden’s plans include:

  • Wednesday: Re-entry into the Paris climate protection agreement and lifting of President Donald Trump’s travel ban, which applies to several Muslim-majority countries. Biden will also require masks for federal estates and interstate travel, and will take steps to expand eviction and foreclosure restrictions.
  • Thursday: Biden will sign executive measures related to reopening schools and businesses and on Friday “instruct his cabinet agencies to take immediate action to provide economic aid to working families who are bearing the brunt of this crisis,” the memo said.
  • The following week: Biden will “take significant early action to promote justice and support color communities and other underserved communities.” It will also take action to address climate change, expand access to health care and “restore the dignity of our immigration system and border policies”.

Biden will officially take office on Wednesday at 12:00 PM ET. Klain told CNN that Biden’s inaugural address was “a message to move this country forward, a message of unity, a message to get things done”.

In the memo sent to staff on Saturday, Klain highlighted the major challenges the nation is facing.

“We are facing four overlapping and worsening crises: the COVID-19 crisis, the resulting economic crisis, the climate crisis and a racist stock crisis,” Klain wrote in the memo.

“In his first ten days in office, President-elect Biden will act decisively to address these four crises, prevent other urgent and irreversible harm, and restore America’s place in the world,” added Klain.

The executive actions take a variety of forms, including executive orders, presidential memoranda, and instructions to cabinet agencies.

The memorandum contains few details and states that Biden splits up executive action to highlight the activity.

It is also noted that the objectives behind executive action, while “bold”, are backed by “sound” legal theory and are “a restoration of an adequate constitutional role for the President”.

Klain wrote in the memo that legislation will be required for the administration’s more ambitious agenda items, including immigration reform and the increase in the federal minimum wage.

Biden on Thursday unveiled his $ 1.9 billion Covid-19 relief agenda, which calls for action to combat the public health crisis and new cash injections to stimulate the economy. The plan would also raise the federal minimum wage to $ 15 an hour.

Democrats control the House of Representatives and will soon take control of the Senate after two Republicans were defeated in Georgia’s Senate runoff earlier this month. But Klain said Sunday that, given the small Democratic majority, the Biden team would push for GOP support for its plans.

Democrats have 222 seats in the House of Representatives compared to the GOP’s 212, and the parties will split the Senate equally between 50 and 50, with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris able to break votes that break the votes.

“We’re going to try to work hard with people in both parties,” Klain said on CNN.

“The American people voted in November and they voted overwhelmingly for Joe Biden, no question about it, but they elected an evenly divided Senate, they elected a tightly divided Congress, we have to find ways that Democrats and Republicans do Get things done. ” ,” he added.

The “ethical failure” of the world, says the WHO

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Healthcare workers administer the COVID-19 vaccine to residents of the Jackson Heights neighborhood at St. John’s Missionary Baptist Church on January 10, 2021 in Tampa, Florida.

Octavio Jones | Getty Images

LONDON – The head of the World Health Organization said Monday the fair distribution of coronavirus vaccines was “seriously at risk”.

WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned of a “catastrophic moral failure”, saying “the recent emergence of fast-spreading variants makes the quick and fair introduction of vaccines all the more important.”

But he added that this distribution could easily become “another building block in the wall of inequality between the world’s owners and non-owners”.

“With the use of the first vaccines, the promise of fair access is seriously jeopardized,” he said at a meeting of the WHO Executive Board.

While more than 39 million doses of various vaccines have now been administered in at least 49 higher-income countries, only 25 doses have been administered in one of the lowest-income countries.

“I have to be dull, the world is facing catastrophic moral failure and the price for that failure is paid for with life and livelihood in the poorest countries in the world.”

At the beginning of his speech, Tedros emphasized that developing and approving safe coronavirus vaccines less than a year after the virus emerged in China in late 2019 was an “amazing achievement and a much-needed source of hope”.

However, he added, “It is not right for younger, healthier adults in rich countries to be vaccinated before health workers and older people in poorer countries.”

“There will be enough vaccines for everyone, but right now we must work together as a global family to prioritize (those) who are most at risk of serious illness and death in all countries.”

Without naming names, according to Tedros, some countries and companies speak the language of fair access but continue to prioritize bilateral deals, bypassing COVAX, which is driving prices up and trying to jump to the top. “That’s wrong,” he said.

COVAX is a global program jointly led by an international vaccine alliance called Gavi, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation, and the WHO. It was established to ensure equitable access to vaccines for every country in the world. The goal is to deliver 2 billion doses of safe, effective vaccines that have passed regulatory approval and / or prequalification by the WHO by the end of 2021.

The WHO urged wealthier countries that had pre-ordered millions of doses of coronavirus vaccines, such as the US, UK and Europe, to share some of those vaccines with COVAX so they could then pass them on to poorer countries.

Wealthier nations have been accused of “hoarding” more vaccines than they need, even though the vaccine supply is still in its infancy, as mass vaccination – which began in the West in December – is largely still in its first phase of distribution.

Tedros urged countries with bilateral agreements with vaccine manufacturers and controls of supply to “be transparent to COVAX on quantities, prices and delivery dates” and to share their own doses with COVAX once they have vaccinated their own health workers and older populations.

Noah Centineo has an operation to take away tonsils after years of ache

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It is time for Noah Centineo to enjoy all the ice cream he loved before.

The actor shared on Instagram on Sunday January 17th that he recently had surgery to remove his tonsils after years of persistent neck-related illness.

“I had my tonsils taken out 2 days ago,” he wrote. “Goodbye, chronic tonsillitis and strep throat. Hope you have enjoyed your free stay for the past 7 years.”

The 24-year-old To All the Boys star, who I previously loved, posted a carousel that had footage of him looking rather dazed in a hospital bed and gown.

“All right, all done,” he said to the camera, opening wide to show the new look of his mouth. “Finished it.”

For the actor, who will play his role as Peter in “Against All Boys: Always and Forever”, 2021 was already a busy year Lana Condoris Lara Jean. The trailer, released last week before the Netflix movie released on February 12, showed Lara Jean how she decided to join Peter in Stanford in the third episode of the popular film franchise.

“The world is prepared and open” for variety on Wall Road, exec says

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Tiffany McGhee, founder of Pivotal Advisors, told CNBC on Tuesday that the increasing opportunities for various companies are starting to recognize historical barriers that have been present in the financial services industry in particular.

“If you’re interested in working with a company that is variously owned, the traditional metrics may not work. We may not have a 50-year track record,” McGhee said in an interview. But she emphasized, “that doesn’t mean we don’t know what we’re doing.”

McGhee officially founded New York-based Pivotal Advisors this week after nearly a decade at Momentum Advisors where she was CEO and Co-CIO of institutional investment practice. Pivotal, which is outsourcing the duties of chief investment officer, specializes in working with institutional clients such as pensions and foundations, McGhee said.

According to a press release, Pivotal is the first company in its class to be run by an African American and an Afro-Latina woman. McGhee, whose career began on Wall Street 16 years ago, believes the 2020 calculation of racial justice helped create an opportunity for Pivotal to be formed.

“I think there has never been a better time to start a company for someone like me because it seems the world is ready and open,” said McGhee, who is also a CNBC employee. She pointed to the protests against Black Lives Matter that swept the nation that summer, and subsequent commitments companies made to increase board diversity, for example.

Businesses can do more to address economic inequalities in the US, such as hiring differently owned companies for professional service contracts, she said. “If you want to move the needle, that’s how you do it.”

John W. Rogers Jr., Co-CEO and Chief Investment Officer of Ariel Investments, offered a similar roadmap for fueling the success of companies in differently owned companies. In an interview Tuesday on CNBC’s “Mid-Term Report”, Rogers said that established organizations have a role to play across the US economy.

“If you really want to build a big business, you need access to both customers and capital. And many of us in the financial services industry who started our own businesses fondly remember those early customers,” said Rogers.

For Ariel, which Rogers founded in 1983, those early customers were the city of Chicago and Howard University, a historically black college in Washington, DC, he said.

“They gave us the opportunity and once we had those early customers it gave us the confidence to get more customers and it attracted more customers, so customer access is vital,” said Rogers, whose Ariel’s first led by African Americans was firm to have a family of mutual funds.

McGhee agreed with Rogers, especially for various financial firms. “Nobody in the investment industry likes to be your first. And I think when you’re a fund, people get the idea that you’re starting from scratch,” she said. “If you’re an investment advisor, that first client is difficult to find because the first thing they’ll ask you is, ‘How much money are you managing?'”

Typically, Rogers said companies have focused their efforts on creating opportunities for minority-owned companies through supplier contracts. In today’s knowledge economy, however, Rogers cautioned decision-makers to take a broader perspective.

“That’s why we want anchor institutions in our country – whether it’s a university, a museum, a hospital, or a large corporation – to ensure that they really do business with minority companies in everything we do.”

Justin Timberlake confirms child # 2 with Jessica and divulges the title

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Justin Timberlake finally sets out to welcome a second child with his wife Jessica Biel.

Sunday 17th January Ellen DeGeneres shared a preview clip from her interview with the 39-year-old pop star on Jan. 18, in which he offered the first confirmation of the little one, who arrived in 2020. The couple who married in 2012 and were 5 years old son Silashadn’t revealed that they were expecting.

“His name is Phineasand he’s great and so cute and nobody sleeps, “Justin said to Ellen.” But we are excited. We are excited and couldn’t be happier. Very grateful.”

When Ellen asked how different it was to raise two children instead of just one, he joked, “We won’t see each other anymore.” Then he added, “It’s a lot of fun, but I think the saying goes, you go from zone defenses to man-to-man defenses very quickly! ‘”

The star said Silas is enjoying his new role as big brother so far. “Silas is super excited,” continued the Cry Me a River cast member. “He likes it a lot right now. Phin can’t go or chase him yet, so I don’t know. We’ll see what happens.”

As for more updates on Silas, the proud dad shared that the 5-year-old is “very good at tennis” and that he recently got a Nintendo Switch that Justin jokingly refers to as “Child Crack”.

E! News reported on July 31 that the couple had welcomed their second baby, citing reports.

Justin’s former NSYNC bandmate, Lance bass, had previously teased that his friends sent him many photos about the latest addition to the family.

Just like the market bubble, the wealthy are investing right here, or at the least close by

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If an investor with a market share of $ 1 million or more believes that there is already a stock bubble – or one is coming soon – what is the correct answer? According to a new survey by E-Trade Financial, the answer is to keep investing in stocks with an emphasis on undervalued sectors of the market.

Only 9% of the millionaires surveyed by E-Trade believe the market is nowhere near a bubble. The rest of the wealthy investor set:

  • 16% think we are “full in a bubble”
  • 46% in “something like a bubble”
  • 29% believe the market is getting closer

However, these wealthy investors do not run away from the market or park money in cash. With bubble fears mounting mounting fears, the same investors say their risk tolerance increased significantly in the first quarter of 2021, and the majority expect stocks to end the first quarter with more gains.

The introduction of the Covid-19 vaccines, albeit slow to start, and the prospect of another even bigger stimulus package from President-elect Biden are causing investors to do what market history dictates: look ahead.

“There is broader recognition of an improving economy and evidence that the factors for higher market development are in place,” said Mike Loewengart, chief investment officer of E-Trade Financial’s capital management unit.

The Morgan Stanley E-Trade survey was conducted Jan. 1-7 of an online sample of 904 self-managed active investors who manage at least $ 10,000 in an online brokerage account. The millionaires record, created exclusively for CNBC, consists of 188 investors with investable assets of at least $ 1 million.

The apparent contradiction in the sustained upward movement at a time of mounting bladder anxiety is not as strong as it seems. This bull market has taken all risks and market experts continue to believe that the path of least resistance is up. Although the bullish path may require some optimization of the portfolio with a greater emphasis on undervalued sectors of the stock market.

Here are some results from the e-trade survey that show where investors are right now between risk and reward.

1. Millionaires are more bullish than the wider investing public

There’s a lot of talk right now about an overstretched market and dotcom bubble-like environment, which makes it difficult for many investors to shut down the noise. But among these wealthy investors, even as their own bubble fears mount, they are increasingly bullish and bullish than the broader investor universe. 64 percent of millionaires are bullish, up 9 percentage points from the fourth quarter of 2020 compared to 57 percent of the broader investor universe who remain bullish.

Among these investors, the percentage who said their risk tolerance increased in the first quarter rose 8 percentage points (from 16% to 24%). The majority (63%) said that it will remain at the level of the previous quarter. Only 13% of millionaires said their risk tolerance has decreased.

Wealthy investors don’t expect great returns. The largest group expects the market to grow no more than 5% this quarter. However, after the sharp rise in the markets that are already on the books, this is a safe, albeit bullish, reaction, Loewengart said. Fifty-nine percent of millionaires expect another quarterly profit in the S&P 500, with 43 percent of those seeing a profit of no more than 5 percent. Those who believe the market is due for a quarterly decline fell from 28% to 22%.

2. Further portfolio changes will be made

Even if the risk remains the mode for many, more and more investors are optimizing their portfolios. Rotation in value stocks, small-cap stocks, and depressed sectors like energy and finance is already a well-mapped phenomenon – called the “big rotation” – and these investors are no exception.

The percentage of millionaires who report making changes to the allocations in their portfolios rose 6% for the second straight quarter to almost a third (32%) overall. The percentage of millionaires who invest in cash is still very low (7%) but increased from 5% in the last quarter.

While growth stocks have outperformed in recent years, investors are taking the opportunity to move into more cyclical sectors of the market.

“Everything outside of big tech turned into better potential opportunities,” Loewengart said.

According to CFRA, small caps have underperformed the S&P 500 since late 2018.

The price growth gap between S & P 500 Growth and S & P 500 Value was at its highest level in history last August (since the mid-1970s) and is currently as large as it was in December 1999, even after a certain amount of stock rotation .

The 12-month price-performance ratio of the S&P 500 is 45% above the 20-year average. The CFRA 2021 profit increase for the S&P 500 growth component of the index is 13.3% versus 20.1% for the value group.

3. Home trading may have peaked but it is permanent

Even if millionaires are more likely to say they’re making changes to their portfolio allocations, the upside in the S&P 500 sector hasn’t changed as much as the survey suggests. This shows that names and names are given to every investor that participates in the rotation. With more cyclical games, there are still many who put their market money on the winners.

“There’s the momentum factor. People want to keep believing where they’ve seen strong returns, it will go on, but some are realizing it can’t go up forever,” Loewengart said.

While interest in financials as the sector with the greatest potential has increased slightly (3%) this quarter, a bet on a quick financial recovery, information technology and healthcare overall remain the top bets in the fall in this bull market, according to Loewengart . Healthcare (at 66%) and technology (at 53%) remain the two most popular sectors and investor interest has not declined.

Technology, for all its winnings, is hard to bet on.

“We can talk a lot about how the home trade is over and other segments will do better. However, when we see similar industry expectations, that also reflects the market tied to technology and the fact that Covid is changing the world has, “said Loewengart. “Some things are not going to be what they were before and we are going to see multiple expansion in big tech names,” he said.

He added that given recent valuations, investors should expect earnings to be more modest than the opportunity in cyclical sectors, where more stimulus and vaccine use can result in more significant valuation growth. “There is a possible change in market leadership,” said Loewengart.

4. International market opportunities are more attractive

The data shows more clearly that overseas interest is growing than that sector bets are changing significantly in the US market. This is in part because these millionaires have typically long preferred US stocks.

Millionaires are shaking their prejudices about their home country and are becoming more interested in investing outside the US. Interest rises 9 percentage points this quarter. The percentage of millionaire investors who said international markets were more attractive to them in the first quarter of 2021 rose from 27% to 36%.

“It’s definitely a big step in terms of millionaires, a significant step,” said Loewengart.

For the past three years, the S&P 500 has outperformed the international and emerging market indices developed by S&P. The last time these international markets outperformed the US large-cap index was in 2017.

While the dollar has rallied recently, its broader weakness over the past few months has been a key element of global equity performance.

“This means that the millionaire is better prepared for the opportunity,” said Loewengart.

How much of this new interest overseas is broadly based compared to China is not clear from the survey. “China could be the only G8 member to see GDP growth in 2020. This is a clear indicator that the world outside of the US, developing countries, is moving past the virus,” he said.

5. The US political risk factor has fallen sharply

If political risk and election risk were a major factor in the fourth quarter, there was a significant investor downgrade that quarter.

The end of the e-trade poll was the Georgia runoff election and the unrest at the Capitol that set the market another record. When it comes to the biggest question – the presidential election – millionaire investors are no longer nearly as concerned as they were last quarter.

The percentage of wealthy investors who see the new presidential administration as the greatest risk to their portfolio decreased from 50% to 30% this quarter. 26% of these investors are pessimistic about the outlook for the US economy under President-elect Biden, while 60% showed some degree of optimism, ranging from moderate (38%) to high (22%).

Market volatility, meanwhile, saw risk factors spike, from 18% of millionaires who viewed this as their biggest portfolio threat, to just over a quarter (27%).

6. Millionaires are less risky when it comes to the riskiest assets

The most recent phase of this bull market, the phase after Covid Spring 2020, was marked by a risk appetite for new offers, IPOs and SPACs, as well as an increase in new asset classes such as cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin. Millionaires, while remaining at risk, are less interested in betting like this:

Publication of GDP for the fourth quarter of full yr 2020

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Employees working on a dry-type transformer production line at a power generation factory in Haian, east China’s Jiangsu Province, Jan. 4, 2021.

Stringer | AFP | Getty Images

BEIJING – China reported Monday that its economy grew 2.3% over the past year as the world battled to contain the coronavirus pandemic.

Gross domestic product rose 6.5% year over year in the fourth quarter, official data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed. These numbers exceeded analysts’ expectations.

However, Chinese consumers continued to be reluctant to spend as retail sales fell 3.9% over the year. Retail sales increased 4.6% year over year in the fourth quarter.

The online sales of consumer goods rose relatively quickly by 14.8% in the past year, the statistics office announced, but the share of total retail sales remained relatively constant at around a quarter.

Economists expected China to be the only major economy to have grown over the past year and forecast GDP growth of just over 2% in 2020. The people surveyed by Reuters expected economic growth of 6.1% for the fourth quarter, which is faster growth than in the previous quarter of 4.9%.

The Chinese authorities have tried to increase the economy’s reliance on domestic demand rather than more traditional growth drivers like investment.

For 2020, consumption accounted for 54.3% of GDP, Ning Jizhe, commissioner of the National Bureau of Statistics, told reporters on Friday. That’s less than 57.8% of GDP originally reported for 2019.

Bruce Pang, head of macro and strategy research at China Renaissance, predicts retail sales will pick up in 2021, rising by more than 10% from the subdued level of the previous year, also because consumers are spending excessive savings from 2020 onwards.

Effects of Covid-19

Covid-19 first appeared in the Chinese city of Wuhan at the end of 2019. To control the virus, Chinese authorities closed more than half the country and the economy contracted 6.8% in the first three months of 2020.

The coronavirus has surfaced again in parts of China this year. Hebei Province has reported an increase in Covid-19 cases since the beginning of the year.

Ning said the virus recurrence added uncertainty and attributed the decline in retail sales to coronavirus. Given China’s experience last year, he presented the latest virus cases as controllable.

While some economic indicators exceeded expectations over the past year, others were not ideal, Ning said, noting that some of China’s problems cannot be resolved in the short term.

China’s economy returned to growth in the second quarter.

In late December, the National Bureau of Statistics cut China’s official growth rate for 2019 to 6.0% from the 6.1% previously reported. The cut came mostly in manufacturing as factories dealt with new US tariffs on Chinese goods valued at billions of dollars.

Biden’s nationwide safety adviser calls on Russia to launch Navalny

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A file photo dated September 29, 2019 shows Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny during a rally in support of political prisoners on Prospekt Sakharova Street in Moscow, Russia. Alexei Navalny is passed out in hospital after allegedly being poisoned, according to his press secretary.

Sefa Karacan | Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

WASHINGTON – President-elect Joe Biden’s national security adviser Jake Sullivan called for the immediate release of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who was arrested at a Moscow airport on Sunday after his arrival.

The previous Sunday, Navalny flew from Berlin to Russia, where he had recovered for almost six months since being poisoned last summer. He was arrested at passport control.

Last week, Russian authorities issued an arrest warrant for Navalny alleging that he had violated the three and a half year suspended sentence he received in 2014 for embezzlement.

“Mr. Navalny should be released immediately and the perpetrators of the outrageous attack on his life must be brought to justice,” Sullivan wrote on Twitter.

The White House and State Department did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

Sullivan’s call for Navalny to be released comes days before President-elect Joe Biden takes office. Biden’s new government is expected to increase pressure on Russia.

After the poisoning of Navalny last year, Biden vowed “to work with our allies and partners to hold the Putin regime accountable for its crimes,” and accused President Donald Trump of not being tough enough.

A non-partisan group of US senators had urged the Trump administration to impose sanctions on Russia in response to the poisoning of Navalny. Trump, who is leaving office on Wednesday, did not do so.

The United Kingdom and the European Union, close allies of the United States, swiftly imposed targeted sanctions on six Russians and a government research center in October.

On the return flight to Moscow, Navalny told reporters that he was feeling great and that the trip home was “the best moment in five months.”

“I feel great. I’m finally going back to my hometown,” he said, according to a Reuters report.

Last year, Navalny was medically evacuated to Germany from a Russian hospital after falling ill after reports that something had been added to his tea. Russian doctors treating Navalny denied that the Kremlin critic had been poisoned, blaming his comatose condition for low blood sugar levels.

In September, the German government announced that the 44-year-old Russian dissident had been poisoned by a chemical agent on nerves and described the toxicological report as “clear evidence”. The nerve agent was in the Novichok family, which was developed by the Soviet Union.

Following the test results, the White House said it was “deeply concerned” by the matter and called the poisoning “utterly reprehensible.”

“The United States is deeply concerned about the results released today,” White House National Security Council spokesman John Ullyot said in a written statement at the time. “The poisoning of Alexei Navalny is completely reprehensible. Russia has used the chemical nerve agent novichok in the past,” he said, referring to the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter in England in 2018.

The Kremlin has repeatedly denied a role in the poisoning of Navalny and Skripal.

Navalny’s arrest Sunday faces another strain on relations between European leaders and Russian President Vladimir Putin and comes while the Kremlin works to secure a gas pipeline project, Nord Stream 2, to Germany.

Jana Kramer apologizes to Tiger Woods’ former lover Rachel Uchitel

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Jana Kramer was open with Tiger Woods‘former mistress Rachel Uchitel on her and husband Michael CaussinPodcast from Whine Down.

The former One Tree Hill star has long been open about how her marriage to Michael has been compromised due to his infidelity. The couple has worked through these issues in their relationship and even published the book The Good Fight: Wanting to Go, Wanting to Stay and the Powerful Practice of Loving Faithfully Together about their journey.

However, on the January 17 episode of the couple’s podcast, Jana admitted that she still “hates” Rachel, who appeared in the HBO documentary Tiger about the golfer’s fall.

Before Rachel was a guest on her podcast, Jana said to Michael: “I honestly hate her. That’s really mean to say. I don’t know her. She’s the face of someone else I hate. I feel bad there. I don’t know your story. “

She added, “She’s the face of someone I don’t like. I’ll have a hard time getting a picture of who I’m imagining and just seeing her.”

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