Good results boost Hemingway shares

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Belfast retail – International interest

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Retail: Hello, goodbye

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Cisco takes more space in Reading

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Resist rebel Hackett’s extraordinary demands

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Cross-country run

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Democrats set sights on rising rival Bloomberg as debate looms

first_imgThe prospect is not sitting well with Bloomberg’s five debate rivals, who are likely to hurl searing salvos at him when they take the stage for a two-hour Las Vegas showdown starting 6:00 pm local time (0200 GMT Thursday).Sanders and others have already hammered Bloomberg hard, stressing Americans have no appetite for billionaires trying to “buy” their way into the presidential race.Bloomberg has essentially foregone the campaigning in the first four contests, including Nevada.Instead he is going all in on so-called Super Tuesday on March 3, when 14 states including California and Texas vote on choosing a Democratic nominee.The ninth Democratic debate’s other participants — former vice president Biden, former South Bend, Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg and Senator Amy Klobuchar, all moderates, and the more progressive senators Sanders and Warren — have castigated Bloomberg for his approach. ‘Egomaniac billionaire’ Buttigieg, asked by CNN if he thought Bloomberg was trying to buy his way in, was unequivocal.”What else do you call it when you dip into your endless reserves of millions and billions and don’t go through the process of campaigning in states like Nevada, or Iowa, or New Hampshire, humbling yourself… looking eye to eye to voters?” Buttigieg responded.Biden attacked the political affiliations of Bloomberg, a longtime Democrat who left the party to run for mayor first as a Republican, then an independent. In 2018 he re-registered as a Democrat.”He basically has been a Republican his whole life,” Biden, 77, fumed Wednesday.Sanders and Bloomberg, both 78, have also tangled in increasingly ugly ways.On Wednesday, Bloomberg spokesman Tim O’Brien accused the Sanders campaign of behaving in “Trumpy” fashion by falsely asserting that Bloomberg has had a heart attack. He did have stents installed in 2000 because of a coronary blockage but has never had a cardiac arrest. Sanders had a heart attack in October.”Those are the facts,” O’Brien tweeted. “It’s a dangerous time when Sanders goes all in with Trumpism.”While Sanders is ahead, Bloomberg is surging on the national stage. Two separate polls released Tuesday show him leapfrogging rivals to claim second spot behind Sanders, with Biden third.Buttigieg, who narrowly won Iowa and finished second in New Hampshire, will seek to show viewers that his strong early performances were no fluke. Sharp criticism For Warren, Klobuchar and Biden, the Nevada debate is a critical opportunity for them to convince voters that they belong in the race heading into the stretch.Bloomberg has his own challenge: the powerful billionaire who has long controlled his message will have to defend his record in real time against practiced politicians eager to notch a viral moment.Some of Bloomberg’s policies as mayor are facing sharp criticism.Several rivals have highlighted the stop-and-frisk police operations during Bloomberg’s mayorship that disproportionately targeted people of color.Bloomberg has apologized for enforcing the policy, and on Saturday acknowledged that he defended it “for too long” because he failed to understand the “unintended pain” it caused minorities.On the streets of Las Vegas, where protesters fighting for a union contract gathered Wednesday, some voters were rejecting a candidate who has opted to skip Nevada and other early-voting states.”He’s trying to buy votes,” said pastor Sylvester Rogers, 79. Bloomberg “should be in the race from the beginning, like every other candidate,” Rogers added. “He needs to see what our communities are about.”Topics : Former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg will confront rivals Wednesday during his debut presidential debate, with Democratic competitors desperate to cut him down a peg over his sudden prominence in the race to take on Donald Trump.All eyes will be on the US media magnate as he navigates a 2020 national audience for the first time, after his astronomical spending on campaign advertising fueled a rise in polling that has sent him into the top tier of candidates.Bernie Sanders, meanwhile, will take the stage as the clear frontrunner, buoyed by a strong showing in Iowa, a victory in New Hampshire and a surge in polling with the next nominating contest just three days away in Nevada. A Washington Post-ABC News poll out Wednesday showed Sanders with a commanding double digit lead nationally, at 32 percent. Sagging former frontrunner Joe Biden, who has suffered the most from Bloomberg’s gains, was second at 16 percent, followed by Bloomberg at 14 and Elizabeth Warren at 12.  While Sanders and other White House hopefuls have spent months barnstorming early states, billionaire Bloomberg parachuted late into the Democratic contest.His surge boosts the chances of November’s election being a unique show of one septuagenarian white male New York billionaire challenging another — Trump himself.last_img read more

Number of US coronavirus cases of unknown origin climbs to four

first_img“What we know now is that the virus is here, present at some level, but we still don’t know to what degree,” said Dr. Sara Cody, the chief public health officer for Santa Clara County, speaking of the newly diagnosed case there, the latest of three in her county and the 10th statewide.Even as confirmation was pending there, the CDC sent a team to assist local authorities in tracing close contacts the patient had with others in a bid to curb transmission.Until this week, the CDC had counted 15 confirmed cases in six states as having been detected through the US public health system since Jan. 21, none fatal. Most were contracted by individuals while traveling in China, where the outbreak originated. Only two person-to-person transmissions were documented among them, both between married couples.An additional 47 cases have been confirmed among people recently repatriated from abroad, either from the Diamond Princess cruise ship quarantined in Japan or from Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the outbreak, according to the CDC.Masks, gloves and test kits The latest flurry of cases came as the Trump administration said the United States would invoke a federal defense law to boost production of masks, gloves, gowns and other items needed to protect medical personnel from exposure.Around the world, more countries are reporting new infections, companies have curtailed travel and global stock markets have tumbled.President Donald Trump said at the White House on Friday the United States will decide “very soon” about whether to bar entry to travelers from countries other than China where community transmission has emerged.At a rally in South Carolina on Friday night, Trump defended his administration’s response to the coronavirus outbreak and accused Democrats of politicizing the disease.“This is their new hoax,” Trump said at the event, held a day before the state’s Democratic presidential primary.The US State Department has issued travel advisories for several nations and on Friday it said Americans should reconsider travel to Italy, where nearly 900 coronavirus cases have been confirmed. A similar warning was issued earlier this week for South Korea, which has hundreds of infections.A government task force appointed by Trump to deal with the threat will meet at the White House on Saturday morning, according to an administration official.Latest figures from China, where the outbreak started late last year, indicated that nearly 80,000 people have been infected, with more than 2,800 deaths. The World Health Organization reported 57 deaths in 46 other countries.Dr. Anthony Fauci, who heads the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in a closed-door briefing in the US House of Representatives that sustained spread of the coronavirus meant there would be many more infections in the United States, according to a source.Fauci warned lawmakers the country lacked enough testing resources, the source said on condition of anonymity. The CDC said it has revised its criteria for who should be tested and is ramping up testing capabilities.”Our goal is to have every state and local health department online and doing their own testing by the end of next week,” CDC official Nancy Messonier told reporters.A vaccine may take up to 18 months to develop, health officials have said.The United States has decided to postpone a meeting with leaders of Southeast Asian countries it had planned to host on March 14 in Las Vegas because of worries about the outbreak.US and global stocks plummeted as rattled investors braced for the prospect that a pandemic could further dent an already slowing world economy.The S&P 500 fell for the seventh straight day on Friday, suffering its biggest weekly drop since the 2008 global financial crisis. Stocks cut losses right at the end of the session. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.4%.Trump this week said the coronavirus risk to Americans remained “very low,” but he has been increasingly alarmed by the reaction of the US stock market, which he considers a barometer of the economy’s health.Topics : US public health officials said they have identified four “presumptive” coronavirus cases believed to have emerged from community transmission of the infection, signaling a turning point in efforts to contain the disease in the United States.The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a statement on Friday citing three such cases newly diagnosed by state public health authorities – one each in California, Oregon and Washington state.If confirmed by the CDC, together with a previous case of unknown origin announced on Wednesday in California, that would bring to four the number of diagnosed individuals in the United States with no history of travel to a country where the virus is circulating and no close contact with an infected person. The three latest patients were diagnosed based on results obtained in their respective states from CDC-supplied test kits and are considered “presumptive positive” cases pending CDC confirmatory testing, the US agency said.A fourth presumptive positive was also announced in Washington state on Friday, but that one is “likely travel-related,” the CDC said.Still, the three latest cases of apparent community transmission, plus the one identified earlier this week in California, are a sign the virus is now spreading within at least four separate locations up and down the US West Coast.They span nearly 900 miles from California’s Silicon Valley region in Santa Clara County north to the Puget Sound near Seattle.last_img read more

Biden racks up new primary wins over Sanders

first_imgAdding to nerves in a country on edge after three tumultuous years under Trump, fears of the coronavirus epidemic prompted both campaigns to cancel election-night rallies.Organizers of a live television debate scheduled Sunday, pitting the fiery Sanders and the veteran centrist Biden, likewise said they would take the extraordinary step of not allowing the usual live audience.But for Biden, the six-state contest, coming a week after his surprise comeback in voting on Super Tuesday, was a chance to demonstrate that his once dismissed campaign is in rude health.Michigan in particular — an industrial giant that Trump won in an upset in 2016 — was being targeted by Biden as a place to put down a marker ahead of the November general election. Joe Biden took another big step closer to clinching the Democratic nomination to challenge President Donald Trump, with wins projected Tuesday over leftist rival Bernie Sanders in Mississippi and Missouri, two of six states holding primaries.The Mississippi win, projected by US networks, confirmed crucial and overwhelming support from African American voters for Biden, the former vice president under the first black US president, Barack Obama.Results from four more states, including the key battleground of Michigan, were due in shortly, with Biden looking to build an invincible lead in what has become a two-man race with the self-proclaimed democratic socialist Sanders. Sanders has also acknowledged that Michigan is critical as a test of his message of revolution against the economic status quo.Biden opened primary day meeting workers at an under-construction automobile plant in Detroit, where he received cheers but also was confronted by one worker.In an exchange avidly shared online by Trump supporters, the worker, wearing a construction helmet and reflective vest, accused Biden of seeking to take away Americans’ firearms.”You’re full of shit,” an angry Biden shot back, insisting that he supports the constitutional right to bear arms. When the worker pressed the issue, Biden said with a raised voice.”I’m not taking your gun away,” he said, adding, “Gimme a break, man.” Coronavirus fears Voters came out under the growing shadow of the global coronavirus epidemic, which has infected about 900 people across the United States and killed 28.Sanders and Biden called off customary election-night rallies — both planned in Cleveland, part of another Rust Belt state, Ohio, which votes next week — in line with public health warnings from state officials.Their precaution is at odds with Trump, who has vowed to keep holding his campaign’s sometimes raucous rallies despite the concerns.Washington state, which has borne the brunt of the crisis and also was going to the polls Tuesday, votes entirely by mail — an option some experts say should become more widespread as the epidemic grows.Idaho and North Dakota were also voting.But the day’s top prize is Michigan, with its large delegate haul, status as a swing state and diverse demographics that mirror the United States. ‘Most dangerous’ president Artist and designer Cecilia Covington, 61, was the first person to vote in Precinct 123 in downtown Detroit, braving the drizzle as she arrived at Chrysler Elementary School to vote for Biden.”When he wasn’t doing well in the polls I was really concerned,” she said, adding that his stunning comeback on Super Tuesday “put my confidence back.””We’ve got to get ’45’ out of office,” she said, referring to the current president.Sanders has highlighted Biden’s support for free-trade deals to win over Michigan’s blue-collar voters, many of whom ditched the Democrats for Trump four years ago.”We are in a crisis in America, not only in the need to defeat Donald Trump, the most dangerous president in modern American history, but to take on the greed and corruption of corporate elite,” Sanders said in an ABC interview.”That is what our campaign is about. It’s very different than Joe’s.”Biden narrowly leads delegates Biden has also courted blue-collar workers, highlighting his own hard-knock childhood in Pennsylvania and Delaware.”Wall Street didn’t build America, you built America,” Biden told a rally in Detroit. “Unions built the middle class.”Biden won 10 out of 14 states that voted on Super Tuesday and holds a narrow lead in delegates to pick the nominee, although Sanders carried the most populous state of California.Trump has sought to portray Sanders as the victim of a conniving Democratic establishment, a narrative that some experts believe could depress turnout and benefit Republicans.”Going to be a BAD day for Crazy Bernie!” Trump tweeted.But Sanders supporter Frank Anderson, a 24-year-old software engineer, said he was optimistic for a victory, noting how Sanders triumphed in the 2016 Michigan primary over Hillary Clinton.”They had counted us out then, so I’m hopeful for today,” Anderson said.Topics :last_img read more

Coronavirus case at Apple’s EU headquarters in Ireland

first_imgAn Apple employee at the tech giant’s European headquarters in the city of Cork has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, the firm said Tuesday.”One of our employees in Cork has been confirmed to have COVID-19,” Apple said in a statement.”We are closely coordinating with the local health authorities who feel the risk to others is low, and the individual remains in self-isolation,” it added. “As a precaution, we have asked some of our team members to stay at home while we work with the Health and Safety Executive to assess the situation.”Apple said a deep cleaning programme at all of its offices and stores would continue and it “will take all necessary precautions in accordance with guidance from health authorities”.Apple, which has maintained offices in Ireland since the 1980s, employs around 6,000 people in Cork, the country’s second-largest city.Ireland currently has 24 cases of COVID-19 according to department of health figures updated Monday night. There have yet to be any fatalities from the virus in the Republic, but the government and health service is bracing for further outbreaks.Last week, thousands of staff at Google’s European headquarters in Dublin were told to stay away for the day after one employee reported flu-like symptoms.And on Monday Prime Minister Leo Varadkar announced that annual parades scheduled for the St Patrick’s Day festival on March 17 would be cancelled owing to the virus.”There’s a lot about this virus that we don’t yet know, but it is possible that we’re facing events that are unprecedented in modern times,” the premier warned at a press conference.Topics :last_img read more