Trump administration forced U.S. attorney in Georgia to step down: Wall Street Journal


White House officials pushed Atlanta’s top federal prosecutor to resign before Georgia’s U.S. Senate runoffs because President Trump was upset he wasn’t doing enough to investigate the president’s unproven claims of election fraud, people familiar with the matter said.

A senior Justice Department official, at the behest of the White House, called the Trump-appointed U.S. Attorney Byung J. Pak late on the night of Jan. 3. In that call the official said Trump was furious there was no investigation related to election fraud and that the president wanted to fire Mr. Pak, the people said.

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Queensland police investigating alleged murder of man stabbed in Ingham street



Queensland police are investigating the alleged murder of a 20-year-old Ingham man in the north Queensland town on Sunday night.

Police said the man was walking with two women on Mcilwraith Street at 11:30pm when they were approached by another man.

Police allege the two men started fighting and the 20-year-old was stabbed in the stomach.

Officer gave him first aid before paramedics arrived to take him to Ingham Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 12:40am, just over an hour after the incident.

On Monday, police said they were still searching for the alleged attacker.

Officers saw him at the scene when they started giving first aid to the injured man, but he fled soon after, they said.

They’re appealing for information about the alleged attack, including any relevant CCTV or dashcam footage.

Hinchinbrook Shire Mayor Raymon Jayo said he was “horrified” to learn of the incident and asked residents to assist police.

“This is terrible news,” he said.

“I’m horrified that an incident of this nature can occur in our community.

“If anyone has any information out there I would really appreciate it if they could cooperate with the police.

“Provide that information so that we can apprehend the perpetrator in this matter and as a community show that we will not tolerate this.

“The only way we can do that is by assisting the police in bringing charges where they should be laid,” he said.

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State Street to insist companies disclose diversity data


State Street’s $3.1tn investment arm will start voting against directors of big companies that fail to disclose the racial and ethnic make-up of their boards, a move that will increase the mounting pressure on corporations to diversify their leadership. 

For this year, the Boston-based asset manager is only calling on companies to report the information. But beginning in 2022, it will also vote against the chair of the nominating and governance committees of companies that do not have at least one minority board member. 

The threat applies to all companies in the S&P 500 and FTSE 100, many of which count State Street Global Advisors as a top shareholder owing to its large passive fund business. Starting in 2022, State Street will also demand that S&P 500 companies report the racial and ethnic composition of their entire workforce.

“As long as a company is in an index, we are going to hold that stock, so we need to make sure that those companies are doing the right things to drive value creation for our clients who are their shareholders over the long term,” chief executive Cyrus Taraporevala told the Financial Times.

This move builds on State Street’s announcement last year that it would vote against the boards of companies that scored poorly on its homegrown sustainability metric, known as the “responsibility factor”. It highlights the business world’s growing focus on racial equality as part of the broader environmental, social and governance movement. 

“The preponderance of evidence demonstrates clearly and unequivocally that racial and ethnic inequity is a systemic risk that threatens lives, companies, communities and our economy — and is material to long-term sustainable returns,” Mr Taraporevala wrote in a letter set to be sent to chief executives on Monday, outlining the specifics of its new policy.

State Street’s announcement follows a string of similar moves in the financial sector.

Goldman Sachs said last January it would no longer take companies public unless they had one diverse board candidate. And Nasdaq announced in December that it would require all companies listed on its exchange to have two diverse directors on their board or explain why they are not capable of doing so. 

Only about one in three companies listed on the Nasdaq exchange currently meet that criteria — so if its proposal is approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission, it could trigger a big shift in board nominations.

In 2020, State Street voted to re-elect the entire board of 26 of the 56 companies in the S&P 500 that had no directors from a racial or ethnically diverse background, according to a report from pressure group Majority Action. BlackRock and Vanguard, the two other largest passive fund managers in the world, voted to re-elect the full slate of directors at 52 and 51 of these companies, respectively, according to the report.

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Mixed reviews for synthetic turf laid on Auburn Street | Goulburn Post


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Notice anything different on Auburn Street next to Belmore Park? After upgrading the median strips on the main street at the end of last year, Goulburn Mulwaree Council trialled a synthetic turf surface. Turf has been laid in the block from Market Street to Montague Street and Goulburn Mulwaree Council mayor Bob Kirk felt it made the street look better. READ ALSO: History Goulburn is on the hunt for a new home “I think it looks quite good,” Cr Kirk said. “With the trees planted on the strip too, it gives the street more of a garden feel. “I hope the public can see it’s all about the beautification process of Goulburn’s CBD.” Laying out the turf on the median strips will cover up more concrete on the street, which in turn, will soften the street’s aesthetics and cool the main street. READ ALSO: The summer in tunes The public has given both positive and negative thoughts on the project. Some of the positive feedback include the fact that it is low maintenance, adds colour to the town and some say it makes them want to spend more time in the area. Mission Australia’s SE NSW and ACT area manager Daniel Strickland said “Well done council, it looks great”. READ ALSO: Border checkpoints ‘no big deal’ for interstate truckers Another person said they wanted to give “an out of town pat on the back for council” and a third person said they loved what council was doing for our beautiful town”. However, there was plenty of criticism including these: If Goulburn Mulwaree Council decided the trial is a success, more turf will be laid throughout the street in the coming months. Did you know the Goulburn Post is now offering breaking news alerts and a weekly email newsletter? Keep up-to-date with all the local news: sign up below.

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COVID-19: Boris Johnson to hold Downing Street news conference from 5pm | Politics News


Boris Johnson will hold a news conference with England’s chief medical officer and chief scientific adviser later today, Downing Street has said.

The prime minister will be joined by Professor Chris Whitty and Sir Patrick Vallance from 5pm, on the first day of England’s third national lockdown.

In a national address on Monday, Mr Johnson announced another shutdown to try and control the spread of COVID-19.

Live COVID updates as lockdown begins

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Tighter restrictions as new lockdown begins

People are once again being told to stay home, apart from for a limited number of exceptions, while schools and colleges will be closed to the majority of pupils.

Offering some potential light at the end of the tunnel, the PM spoke of his hope that everyone in the top four priority groups for vaccination will have been offered a jab by the middle of February, allowing restrictions to start being eased.

A surge in cases is being driven by a new variant of coronavirus that has been judged to be between 50% and 70% more transmissible.

As of Monday, there were 26,626 COVID patients in hospital in England – an increase of over 30% in one week and now more than 40% higher than the peak of the first wave of infections last April.

There has also been a near 25% increase in the number of deaths in the past seven days, compared to the previous week.

A senior minister told Sky News earlier that the government “should be able” to begin easing the lockdown in March.

Michael Gove said the public should not expect a sudden relaxation of the rules, with restrictions “progressively” eased instead.

“We will keep these constantly under review but you are absolutely right, we can’t predict with certainty that we will be able to lift restrictions in the week commencing February 15-22,” he said.

“What we will be doing is everything that we can to make sure that as many people as possible are vaccinated, so that we can begin to progressively lift restrictions.

“I think it is right to say that as we enter March we should be able to lift some of these restrictions, but not necessarily all.”

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‘Some restrictions could be lifted in March’

He warned of “very, very difficult weeks ahead” and said the country was in a “race against time” against the variant.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer told Sky News he has some “quarrels and criticisms” with the government over the latest shutdown, but added that “everybody recognises how serious this is”.

“This is a time where we all have to say we will support the restrictions and do what we can to make these work,” he said.

Sir Keir said he had “doubts” about the vaccination target outlined by the PM, adding: “This is a race against time – I want the government to succeed… and I will offer my support.”

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Is Sesame Street good or bad for children?


Its supporters say it’s first-class TV. The ones against it claim it’s steeping our children in a culture and environment that are alien to them?

From trash cans to garbage tins… Oscar the Grouch in 1972.

What do I think?

I think it’s brilliant television. I also think it will prove to be one of the biggest mistakes the ABC has made.

For the trouble with Sesame Street is not that it’s American. The trouble with it is that it is aimed specifically at the impressionable three to five pre-school age group. And it’s aim is educational, not just entertainment.

Older children can cope with “Superman” and “Bugs Bunny”. They can take it or leave it. They have school and outside interests to counter it.

To a four-year-old, “Sesame Street” IS school. (And let’s not forget, it’s unloaded 10 hours a week.)

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Good or bad, we look like being stuck with “Sesame Street”.

To a tired mother, hunting for an easy babysitter, it’s probably a godsend.

But while the ABC is spinning out its episodes at the rate of two hours a day, I hope at the same time it’s putting a few of its own TV brains to work.

And maybe next year, when we switch our youngsters back from trash cans to garbage tins again, we can come up with something that’s ours… and good.

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Wall Street to kick out Chinese telecom giants


The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) said it will delist three Chinese telecommunications firms based on claimed links with its military



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Albury Wodonga Health has reopened its Vermont Street clinic in light of the border changes | The Border Mail


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Albury Wodonga Health have reopened their drive-through COVID testing clinic due to an increase in demand. The clinic was initially scheduled to be closed on New Year’s Day for the public holiday, but Albury Wodonga Health decided to open it from 2pm to 8pm due to the situation on the border and the requirement for Victorians to return home and be tested. It comes as Victoria recorded eight cases of COVID-19 yesterday and NSW recorded three new cases in the 24 hours to 8pm Thursday. IN OTHER NEWS: The Vermont Street clinic will also be open from 8am to 4pm tomorrow. Anyone with symptoms are being asked to get tested. Appointments are not required at the clinic but residents who need information can call the National COVID hotline on 1800 020 080.

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