Abdel Nader (Phoenix Suns) with an assist vs the Denver Nuggets, 01/23/2021
Abdel Nader (Phoenix Suns) with an assist vs the Denver Nuggets, 01/23/2021
People from England who enter "a port of departure to travel internationally" without the completed three-page form stating their personal details, passport number, destination and intention to leave the country, from 8 March, will be "committing a criminal offence."
CAMEROON, Cameroon — An attempt to get U.N. Security Council approval for a statement calling for an end to violence in Ethiopia’s embattled Tigray region and to spotlight the millions in need of humanitarian assistance was dropped Friday night after objections from India, Russia and especially China, U.N. diplomats said. Three council diplomats said Ireland, which drafted the statement, decided not to push for approval after objections from the three countries. The press statement would have been the first by the U.N.’s most powerful body on the Tigray crisis, which is entering its fourth month. Fierce fighting reportedly continues between Ethiopian and allied forces and those supporting the now-fugitive Tigray leaders who once dominated Ethiopia’s government and alarm is growing over the fate of Tigray’s 6 million people. No one knows how many thousands of civilians have been killed. On Tuesday, U.N. humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock warned that “a campaign of destruction” is taking place, saying at least 4.5 million people need assistance and demanding that forces from neighbouring Eritrea accused of committing atrocities in Tigray leave Ethiopia. The proposed statement made no mention of foreign forces or sanctions -- two key issues -- but did call “for an end to violence in Tigray.” The draft statement also noted “with concern” the humanitarian situation in Tigray, “where millions of people remain in need of humanitarian assistance” and the challenge of access for aid workers. It called for “the full and early implementation” of the Ethiopian government’s statements on Feb. 26 and March 3 committing to “unfettered access.” Council diplomats, speaking on condition of anonymity because consultations were private, said China wanted the statement to focus only on the humanitarian situation, with no reference to the violence in Tigray. India only wanted a minor change, and Russia reportedly supported its ally China at the last minute, the diplomats said. Accounts of a massacre of several hundred people by Eritrean soldiers in the holy city of Axum in Tigray have been detailed in reports by The Associated Press and then by Amnesty International. Federal government and regional officials in Tigray both believe that each other’s governments are illegitimate after elections disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Human Rights Watch echoed the reports on Friday, saying Eritrean armed forces “massacred scores of civilians, including children as young as 13," in the historic town of Axum in Tigray in November 2020. It called on the U.N. to urgently establish an independent inquiry into war crimes and possible crimes against humanity in Tigray. Edith M. Lederer, The Associated Press
The US poet says she was offered no apology after being confronted while returning home.
Video calling can be entertaining, but there is certainly a vast gap between it and an in-person date
The founder of Cazoo, the fledgling online car retailer, is weighing a merger with a 'blank cheque' company involving some of the best-known names in American finance and technology that could value it at as much as $8bn (£6bn). Sky News has learnt that Alex Chesterman, who set up Cazoo just two years ago, has been holding discussions with Ajax I, which raised $750m when it floated in New York last autumn. The special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) is among hundreds which have been established in the last year to find acquisition targets in sectors such as consumer technology, electric vehicles and healthcare.
HONG KONG — A group of 11 Hong Kong pro-democracy activists accused of subversion will stay in jail for at least another five days while judges consider whether to release them on bail, a court said Saturday. The group, which includes three former legislators, will have hearings Thursday and on March 13, the High Court said. A court agreed this week to release them but prosecutors appealed the decision. They are among 47 people who were charged under a national security law imposed on the Chinese territory last year by the ruling Communist Party after pro-democracy protests. They were arrested after opposition groups held an unofficial vote last year to pick candidates for elections to the territory’s Legislative Council. Some activists planned, if elected, to vote down major bills in an attempt to force Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam to resign. The national security law was imposed following months of rallies that began over a proposed China extradition law and expanded to include demands for greater democracy. The law prompted complaints Beijing is undermining the “high degree of autonomy” promised when the former British colony returned to China in 1997, and hurting its status as a business centre. People convicted of subversion or other offences under the law can face penalties of up to life in prison. Hong Kong traditionally grants bail for non-violent offences but the new law says bail cannot be granted unless a judge believes the defendant “will not continue to commit acts endangering national security.” On Friday, four of the 47 people charged were released on bail after prosecutors dropped a challenge to the decision. The group due to appear in court Thursday includes former legislators Helena Wong, Jeremy Tam and Kwok Ka-ki. The next hearing for the 47 defendants is May 31. The Associated Press
(Bloomberg) -- Long before Credit Suisse Group AG was forced to wind down a $10 billion group of funds it ran with financier Lex Greensill, there were plenty of red flags.Executives at the bank knew early on that a large portion of the assets in the funds were tied to Sanjeev Gupta, a Greensill client whose borrowings were at the center of a 2018 scandal at rival asset manager GAM Holding AG. They were also aware that a lot of the insurance coverage the funds relied on depended on a single insurer, according to a report. Credit Suisse even conducted a probe last year of its funds that detected potential conflicts of interest, yet failed to prevent their collapse months later.On Friday, the bank finally pulled the plug and said it would liquidate the strategy, a group of supply chain finance funds for which Greensill had provided the assets and which had been held up as a success story. The funds, which have about $3.7 billion in cash and equivalents, will start returning most of that next week, leaving about two-thirds of investor money tied up in securities whose value may be uncertain.The decision caps a dramatic week that started when Credit Suisse froze the funds after a major insurer for its securities refused to provide coverage on new notes. The move sent shock waves across the globe, prompted Greensill Capital to seek a buyer for its operations, and forced rival GAM Holding AG to shutter a similar strategy. For Credit Suisse and its new Chief Executive Officer Thomas Gottstein, it’s arguably the most damaging reputational hit after an already difficult first year in charge.While the financial toll on the bank may be limited, fund investors are left with about $7 billion locked up in a product that was presented as a relatively safe but higher-yielding alternative to money markets.The Greensill-linked funds were one of the fastest-growing strategies at Credit Suisse’s asset management unit, attracting money from yield-starved investors in a region that had for years had to contend with negative interest rates. The bank started the first of the funds in 2017, but they really took off in 2019, the year rival asset manager GAM finished winding down a group of bond funds that had invested a large chunk of their money in securities tied to Greensill and one of his early clients, Gupta’s GFG Alliance.The Credit Suisse funds, too, were heavily exposed to Gupta early on. As the bank ramped up the strategy, the flagship supply-chain finance fund had about a third of its $1.1 billion in assets in notes linked to Gupta’s GFG Alliance companies or his customers as of April 2018, according to a filing.Credit Suisse executives were aware but denied at the time that it was an outsized risk, according to people familiar with the matter. They argued that most of the loans were to customers of Gupta and not directly to GFG companies, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private.Over time, the proportion of loans linked to GFG and customers appeared to decrease, while new counterparties popped up in fund disclosures that packaged loans to multiple borrowers -- making it harder to determine who the ultimate counterparty is. Many of the vehicles were named after roads and landmarks around Lex Greensill’s hometown in Australia.The executives in charge of the fund also knew that much of the insurance coverage they relied on to make the funds look safe was dependent on just a single insurer, according to the Wall Street Journal. They considered requiring the funds to secure coverage from a broader set of insurers, with no single firm providing more than 20% of the coverage, but never put the policy in place, the newspaper said.A spokesman for Credit Suisse declined to comment.Greensill, meanwhile, was looking for new ways to fuel the growth of his trade finance empires after the collapse of the GAM funds removed a major buyer of his assets. In 2019, SoftBank Group Corp. stepped in, injecting almost $1.5 billion through its Vision Fund to become Greensill’s largest backer. It also made a big investment in the Credit Suisse supply chain finance funds, putting in hundreds of millions of dollars, though the exact timing isn’t clear.Over the course of 2019, the flagship fund more than doubled in size, but soon questions arose about the intricate relationship between Greensill and SoftBank that fueled the growth. The funds had an unusual structure in that they used a warehousing agreement to buy the assets from Greensill Capital, with no Credit Suisse fund manager doing extensive due diligence on them. Within the broad framework set by the funds, the seller of the assets -- Greensill -- basically decided what the funds would buy.Credit Suisse started an internal probe that found, among other things, that the funds had extended large amounts of financings to other companies backed by SoftBank’s Vision Fund, creating the impression that SoftBank was using them and its sway over Greensill to prop up its other investments. SoftBank pulled its fund investment -- some $700 million -- and Credit Suisse overhauled the fund guidelines to limit exposure to a single borrower.Neither Gottstein nor Eric Varvel, the head of the asset management unit, or Lara Warner, the head of risk and compliance, appeared to see a need for deeper changes. The bank reiterated it had confidence in the control structure at the asset management unit.Credit Suisse’s review didn’t mention at the time that Greensill had also extended financing to another of his backers, General Atlantic. The private equity firm had invested $250 million in Greensill Capital in 2018. The following year, Greensill made a $350 million loan to General Atlantic, using money from the Credit Suisse funds, according to the Wall Street Journal. The loan is currently being refinanced, said a person familiar with the matter.A spokeswoman for General Atlantic declined to comment.Shortly after the Credit Suisse probe concluded, more red flags popped up. In Germany, regulator BaFin was looking into a small Bremen-based lender that Greensill had bought and propped up with money from the SoftBank injection. Greensill was using the bank effectively to warehouse assets he sourced, but BaFin was worried that too many of the those assets were linked to Gupta’s GFG -- a risk that the Credit Suisse’s managers, for their part, had brushed off earlier.SoftBank, meanwhile, was quietly starting to write off its investment in a stunning reversal from a bet it had made only a year earlier. By the end of last year, it had substantially written down the stake, and it’s considering dropping the valuation close to zero, people familiar with the matter said earlier this month.Credit Suisse, however, was highlighting the success of the funds to investors. Varvel, the head of asset management, listed them in a Dec. 15 presentation as an example of the “innovative” and “higher-margin” fixed-income offerings that the bank was planning to focus on.By that time, Greensill already knew that a little-known Australian insurer called Bond and Credit Company had decided not to renew policies covering $4.6 billion in corporate loans his firm had sourced. The policies were due to lapse on March 1, prompting a last-ditch effort from the supply-chain firm to take the insurer to court in Australia. That day, a judge in Sydney struck down Greensill’s injunction, triggering the series of events that have since reverberated around the world.Credit Suisse didn’t know until very recently that the insurance was about to lapse, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.In an update to investors Tuesday, Credit Suisse said that several factors “cumulatively” led to the decision to freeze the funds, and that it was looking for ways to return cash holdings. But in a twist that may complicate the liquidation of the remainder, it also said that Greensill’s German Bank was one of the insured parties and plays a role in the claims process, and that bank was just shuttered by BaFin.Many of the assets in the funds have protection to make them more appealing to investors seeking an alternative to money market funds. Yet the second-biggest of them, the High Income Fund, doesn’t use insurance. It’s also the fund with the least liquidity, with less than 20% of the net assets in cash.Credit Suisse has said it wasn’t aware of any evidence suggesting financial irregularities with the papers issued by Greensill or by the underlying companies. The bank still hasn’t commented on how many of the assets in the funds are tied to Gupta’s GFG Alliance.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
SYDNEY, Australia — Sydney’s annual iconic Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras went ahead on Saturday, only in a different format due to coronavirus restrictions. It was being held at the Sydney Cricket Ground, where people can socially distance in their seats rather than on the traditional route down Oxford Street. Up to 23,000 spectators will be allowed in the stands while the performers will be on the pitch. Organizers say this year’s parade will move away from the traditional large floats and instead focus on the outlandish pageantry of costumes, puppetry and props. Face masks will be mandatory for participants and there will be temperature checks and screening at entry points. Meanwhile, LGBTQI rights protesters have been given the green light to march down Oxford Street in a separate event before the parade. Health officials in New South Wales state agreed to make an exception to the 500-person limit on public gatherings after organizers agreed to enhanced contact-tracing processes. The marchers are protesting social issues including transphobia, the mandatory detention of asylum-seekers and the criminalization of sex work. The Associated Press
Its promising potential treatment for Alzheimer's disease is going to enter phase 3 trials later this year.
Coronavirus LIVE updates: Additionally, Delhi's positivity rate also rose to 0.53 percent on 5 March from 0.36 percent on 27 February, according to official figures
WASHINGTON — Senate leaders and moderate Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin struck a deal over emergency jobless benefits, breaking a logjam that had stalled the party's showpiece $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill. The compromise, announced by the West Virginia lawmaker and a Democratic aide late Friday, seemed to clear the way for the Senate to begin a climactic, marathon series of votes and, eventually, approval of the sweeping legislation. The overall bill, President Joe Biden’s foremost legislative priority, is aimed at battling the killer pandemic and nursing the staggered economy back to health. It would provide direct payments of up to $1,400 to most Americans and money for COVID-19 vaccines and testing, aid to state and local governments, help for schools and the airline industry and subsidies for health insurance. Shortly before midnight, the Senate began to take up a variety of amendments in rapid-fire fashion. The votes were mostly on Republican proposals virtually certain to fail but designed to force Democrats to cast politically awkward votes. It was unclear how long into the weekend the “vote-a-rama” would last. More significantly, the jobless benefits agreement suggested it was just a matter of time until the Senate passes the bill. That would ship it back to the House, which was expected to give it final congressional approval and whisk it to Biden for his signature. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Biden supports the compromise on jobless payments. Friday's lengthy standoff underscored the headaches confronting party leaders over the next two years — and the tensions between progressives and centrists — as they try moving their agenda through the Congress with their slender majorities. Manchin is probably the chamber’s most conservative Democrat, and a kingmaker in the 50-50 Senate. But the party can’t tilt too far centre to win Manchin’s vote without endangering progressive support in the House, where they have a mere 10-vote edge. Aiding unemployed Americans is a top Democratic priority. But it’s also an issue that drives a wedge between progressives seeking to help jobless constituents cope with the bleak economy and Manchin and other moderates who have wanted to trim some of the bill’s costs. Biden noted Friday's jobs report showing that employers added 379,000 workers — an unexpectedly strong showing. That's still small compared to the 10 million fewer jobs since the pandemic struck a year ago. “Without a rescue plan, these gains are going to slow," Biden said. “We can’t afford one step forward and two steps backwards. We need to beat the virus, provide essential relief, and build an inclusive recovery." The overall bill faces a solid wall of GOP opposition, and Republicans used the unemployment impasse to accuse Biden of refusing to seek compromise with them. “You could pick up the phone and end this right now,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said of Biden. But in an encouraging sign for Biden, a poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that 70% of Americans support his handling of the pandemic, including a noteworthy 44% of Republicans. The House approved a relief bill last weekend that included $400 weekly jobless benefits — on top of regular state payments — through August. Manchin was hoping to reduce those costs, asserting that level of payment would discourage people from returning to work, a rationale most Democrats and many economists reject. As the day began, Democrats asserted they'd reached a compromise between party moderates and progressives extending emergency jobless benefits at $300 weekly into early October. That plan, sponsored by Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., also included tax reductions on some unemployment benefits. Without that, many Americans abruptly tossed out of jobs would face unexpected tax bills. But by midday, lawmakers said Manchin was ready to support a less generous Republican version. That led to hours of talks involving White House aides, top Senate Democrats and Manchin as the party tried finding a way to salvage its unemployment aid package. The compromise announced Friday night would provide $300 weekly, with the final check paid on Sept. 6, and includes the tax break on benefits. During the “vote-a-rama," the Senate narrowly passed an amendment from Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, that would have extended the $300 unemployment insurance benefit to July 18. But Portman's victory was short-lived and the proposal was cancelled out when the chamber subsequently passed the unemployment insurance proposal worked out by the Democrats. Before the unemployment benefits drama began, senators voted 58-42 to kill a top progressive priority, a gradual increase in the current $7.25 hourly minimum wage to $15 over five years. Eight Democrats voted against that proposal, suggesting that Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and other progressives vowing to continue the effort in coming months will face a difficult fight. That vote began shortly after 11 a.m. EST and was not formally gaveled to a close until nearly 12 hours later as Senate work ground to a halt amid the unemployment benefit negotiations. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell chided Democrats, calling their daylong effort to work out the unemployment amendment a “spectacle." “What this proves is there are benefits to bipartisanship when you're dealing with an issue of this magnitude," McConnell said. Republicans criticized the overall relief bill as a liberal spend-fest that ignores that growing numbers of vaccinations and signs of a stirring economy suggest that the twin crises are easing. “Democrats inherited a tide that was already turning.” McConnell said. Democrats reject that, citing the job losses and numerous people still struggling to buy food and pay rent. “If you just look at a big number you say, ‘Oh, everything's getting a little better,'" said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. “It's not for the lower half of America. It's not." Friday's gridlock over unemployment benefits gridlock wasn't the first delay on the relief package. On Thursday Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., forced the chamber's clerks to read aloud the entire 628-page relief bill, an exhausting task that took staffers 10 hours and 44 minutes and ended shortly after 2 a.m. EST. Democrats made a host of other late changes to the bill, designed to nail down support. They ranged from extra money for food programs and federal subsidies for health care for workers who lose jobs to funds for rural health care and language assuring minimum amounts of money for smaller states. In another late bargain that satisfied moderates, Biden and Senate Democrats agreed Wednesday to make some higher earners ineligible for the direct checks to individuals. ___ Associated Press staff writer Kevin Freking contributed to this report. Alan Fram, The Associated Press
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia has long proclaimed itself “Almost Heaven,” a nod to a song and soaring mountaintop vistas. Now some joke the state name-checked in “Take Me Home, Country Roads” could take things up a notch as Democratic U.S. Sen Joe Manchin bargains his way through Congress. “Maybe we’ll get to heaven status,” said longtime Democratic Party official Nick Casey. Reviving West Virginia’s economically battered coal towns and reversing a persistent population decline is a tall order. But Manchin, who grew up in the mountain town of Farmington, has emerged as a key swing vote in a divided Senate. Now he has his best shot in years to steer federal dollars back home. Manchin put himself in the middle of things again this week over the COVID relief bill making its way through Congress, singlehandedly halting work on the measure Friday as Democrats sought to placate his concerns about the size and duration of an expanded unemployment benefit. As for his own agenda, Manchin has dropped hints publicly about “common sense” infrastructure investments sorely needed back home: expanding rural broadband and fixing roads among them. He declared that West Virginia could supply the manufacturing firepower to “innovate our way to a cleaner climate.” And more than once, he's said coal miners can build the best solar panels if given a chance. Some wonder if his newfound clout might help him do something former President Donald Trump promised but couldn’t deliver — reignite a state economy long overly dependent on a coal industry in freefall. Manchin's Senate colleagues have good reason to study the needs of small towns beyond the Blue Ridge Mountains. Manchin, 73, was already a recognized dealmaker on Capitol Hill, but deference to the most conservative Democrat in a 50-50 Senate has ratcheted up since November. A senator from Hawaii recently teased him as “your highness.” The guessing game of which way he'll vote has become fodder for late night television. In recent days, Manchin's opposition helped sink Neera Tanden as President Joe Biden's nominee to lead the federal Office of Management and Budget. Not since Robert Byrd’s death in 2010 has a senator from West Virginia wielded this much influence. Over half a century, Byrd brought home billions of dollars in federal buildings, landmarks and roads, many bearing his name. “This is hardscrabble country, man — our population is dropping, the demise of coal,” said Casey, an attorney and former chair of the state Democratic Party. “We got a guy now who can maybe do something legacy-wise. And I think there’s a lot of hope and some expectation that Joe’s going to do things that are significant, exceptional.” Pam Garrison, a retired cashier, said she told Manchin at a meeting seeking a $15 federal minimum wage that Byrd has universities and hospitals named after him because “when he got into power, he used that power for the good of the people.” “If you do what’s good for the people, even after you’re gone, you’re going to be remembered.” Manchin, though, sees himself not as a seeker of pork-barrel projects but as a champion for policies that aid Appalachia and the Rust Belt. “What we have to do now, and I think it’s appropriate — we show the need, and that the base has been left behind,” he said. He started down that road by joining Michigan Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow in co-sponsoring a proposal for $8 billion in tax credits to boost clean energy manufacturing for coal communities and the auto industry. Robert Rupp, a political history professor at West Virginia Wesleyan College, says Manchin can use his position in a 50-50 Senate to put his small state in the forefront of everyone’s mind. “He’s at the centre of attention, and he could assert power,” Rupp said. A former governor, Manchin has deep roots in West Virginia politics. That helps explain why he is the last Democrat to hold statewide office in a state Trump carried twice by large margins. Manchin maintains an air of unpredictability. He opposed a $15 minimum wage provision in the $1.9 billion pandemic stimulus package, even after activists rallied outside his state office in Charleston, leaving some to question his future legacy. “We’re either going to smell like a rose in West Virginia, or we’re going to smell like crap, and it’s going to be attributed to Joseph Manchin,” said Jean Evansmore, 80, an organizer with the Poor People’s Campaign in West Virginia. Days later, the Senate parliamentarian ruled an increase couldn’t be included in the COVID-19 relief bill. That was a win for Manchin and his reverence for Senate customs, including the filibuster, which helps sustain a 60-vote hurdle to advancing most legislation. Manchin has vowed never to support ending the filibuster. On a recent morning in Charleston outside the golden-domed state capitol, saving it was a rallying cry for anti-abortion advocates, who held signs stating, “Thank you Senator Manchin.” “We need to encourage him to stand strong,” said Marilyn Musgrave, who works for the Susan B. Anthony List, an anti-abortion non-profit. Musgrave's group looks to Manchin now after campaigning against his 2018 bid for a second full term, which he won with just under 50% of the vote. Manchin opposes public funding for abortions but stops short of supporting an outright ban. Still, he typically scores a low rating from abortion-rights groups, which puts him more in line with West Virginians who collectively have sent mixed signals on abortion. With his centrist instincts in such a red state, Manchin has occasionally been the subject of rumours he'll switch parties. “Republicans kind of have this day-dream that just because he’s conservative on some issues that would mean he would jump parties,” Rupp said. That's unlikely, especially given Manchin's newfound clout, he said. And that's fine with Matt Kerner, a 54-year-old West Virginian who wants Manchin to never forget that 16% of the people in his state live below the poverty line, the sixth-highest rate in the nation, according to the U.S. Census. “We're hoping Senator Manchin remembers that he represents some of the poorest people in this country,” Kerner said. Cuneyt Dil, The Associated Press
“Thanks for sticking with us through one whole year without a studio or haircuts,” the "Daily Show" captioned the clip.
India won the final Test by 317 runs
NEW DELHI — Thousands of Indian farmers blocked a massive expressway on the edges of New Delhi on Saturday to mark the 100th day of protests against agricultural laws they say will devastate their income. Farmers stood on tractors and waved colorful flags while their leaders chanted slogans via a loudspeaker atop a makeshift stage. Thousands of them have hunkered down outside New Delhi’s borders since late November to voice their anger against three laws passed by Parliament last year. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government says the laws are necessary to modernize agriculture but farmers say they will leave them poorer and at the mercy of big corporations. Samyukta Kisan Morcha, or Joint Farmers’ Front, said the blockade would last five hours. “It is not our hobby to block roads, but the government is not listening to us. What can we do?” said Satnam Singh, a member of the group. The farmers have remained undeterred even after violence erupted on Jan. 26 during clashes with police that left one protester dead and hundreds injured. But they could soon run into problems. For 100 days, Karnal Singh, has lived inside the back of a trailer along a vast stretch of arterial highway that connects India’s north with New Delhi. He camped outside the capital when it was under the grip of winter and smog. Now, the city is bracing for scorching summer temperatures that can hit 45 degrees Celsius (113 degrees Fahrenheit). But Singh, like many other farmers, is unfazed and plans to stay until the laws are completely withdrawn. “We are not going anywhere and will fight till the end,” Singh, 60, said on Friday, as he sat cross-legged inside a makeshift shelter in the back of his truck. The mood at the Singhu border, one of the protest sites, was boisterous on Friday, with many farmers settling into their surroundings for the long haul. Huge soup kitchens that feed thousands daily were still running. Farmers thronged both sides of the highway and hundreds of trucks have been turned into rooms, fitted with water coolers in preparation for the summer. Electric fans and air conditioners are also being installed in some trailers. Farmers say the protests will spread across the country soon. The government, however, is hoping many of them will return home once India’s major harvesting season begins at the end of the month. Karanbir Singh dismissed such concerns. He said their community, including friends and neighbours back in the villages, would tend to farms while he and others carried on with the protests. “We’ll help each other to make sure no farm goes unharvested,” Singh said. But not all farmers are against the laws. Pawan Kumar, a fruit and vegetable grower and ardent Modi supporter, said he was ready to give them a chance. “If they (the laws) turn out to not benefit us, then we will protest again,” he said. "We will jam roads, and make that protest even bigger. Then more common people, even workers, will join. But if they turn out to be beneficial for us, we will keep them.” Multiple rounds of talks between the government and farmers have failed to end the stalemate. The farmers have rejected an offer from the government to put the laws on hold for 18 months, saying they want a complete repeal. The legislation is not clear on whether the government will continue to guarantee prices for certain essential crops — a system that was introduced in the 1960s to help India shore up its food reserves and prevent shortages. Farmers also fear that the legislation signals the government is moving away from a system in which an overwhelming majority of farmers sell only to government-sanctioned marketplaces. They worry this will leave them at the mercy of corporations that will have no legal obligation to pay them the guaranteed price anymore. ___ Associated Press video journalist Rishabh R. Jain contributed to this report. Neha Mehrotra And Sheikh Saaliq, The Associated Press
BT denied any "misalignment" between board and management on Saturday after Sky News said that CEO Philip Jansen had indicated he might resign unless it replaced its chairman. The British broadband and mobile telecoms operator said on Monday that Jan du Plessis, who was appointed chairman in November 2017, had informed the board of his intention to retire once a successor has been appointed. On Friday Sky News reported that Jansen, who joined BT as CEO in 2019, had told fellow directors he was frustrated with the speed at which it was taking key strategic decisions.
KABUL — A suicide car bombing killed the Afghan intelligence directorate’s chief prosecutor Saturday, an official said, amid in increase in violence in the war-ravaged country. Sayed Mahmood Agha was on his way to his office in the southern city of Lashkargah when an attacker driving a car full of explosives targeted Agha's convoy, killing him, said Attaullah Afghan, provincial council chief for Helmand province. One of Agha's bodyguards was also killed and eight others, including two civilian passersby, were wounded. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack. Afghanistan is experiencing a nationwide spike in bombings, targeted killings and other violence as peace negotiations in Qatar between the Taliban and the Afghan government continue. The Islamic State group’s local affiliate has claimed responsibility for some of the attacks, but many go unclaimed, with the government putting the blame on the Taliban. The insurgents have denied responsibility for most of the attacks. The Associated Press
(Bloomberg) -- The Senate voting process on President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus package continues after the first amendment to the bill set a record for the longest vote in Senate history, dragging on for nearly 12 hours as Democrats tried to keep their caucus united.The Senate is working its way through a raft of Republican amendments with no end in sight. Senators have already rejected Republican attempts to cut state and local funding, redirect Amtrak funding, end funding for minority farmers and stop grants for non-profit entities. The amendment process began after 11 a.m. on Friday.The chamber voted to include the deal Democrats reached within their own ranks to extend until Sept. 6 the $300 weekly federal supplement for jobless benefits.Majority Leader Chuck Schumer pledged the Senate will “power through” the arduous final process of getting Biden’s first signature piece of legislation passed. The House will need to vote on the Senate’s version, with Democratic leaders pledging final passage by March 14, when current supplemental jobless benefits expire.Moderate Senate Democrats Flex Muscle on UI, WagesModerate Senate Democrats led by West Virginia’s Joe Manchin have flexed their muscles over the past 24 hours, making major changes to the Biden stimulus bill and setting down a marker on the minimum wage.The most consequential changes will come for the unemployed and for businesses which have complained of being unable to lure workers because of the level of pandemic unemployment benefits.The House-passed bill would have provided $400 in federal weekly benefits above state benefits through August. Manchin, Delaware’s Tom Carper and other moderates objected to that. Carper led a Biden-backed effort to keep the current level of $300 per week but extend it through Oct. 4. That is when Manchin again forced a change, holding up Senate action for nearly 12 hours, until he effected a cutoff of benefits on Sept. 6.The moves came even as seven Democrats and Independent Angus King of Maine stunned the Senate by voting against allowing a doubling of the minimum wage to be added to the bill.Action in Congress eventually tends to spark an equal and opposite reaction. House progressives will have to decide whether to accept the changes made by moderate Democrats and pass the bill or block it, setting up more negotiations.Ohio Democrat Sherrod Brown suggested they do the former.“This bill is so extraordinary what we’re able to do, and if some things change at the margins they change at the margin,” he said. -- Erik WassonSenate Votes on Keystone Pipeline, Reopening Schools (3:29 a.m.)The Senate has been plowing through amendments now for several hours, voting down a bipartisan effort to build the Keystone Pipeline and splitting on partisan amendments on reopening schools.The Keystone Pipeline amendment needed 60 votes since it did not comply with budget rules. It only got 51, nine votes short, though that tally showed a bipartisan rift with Biden. Democrats Jon Tester of Montana and Manchin sponsored the proposal, which sought to cut against Biden’s decision to cancel the project.Earlier, Democrats voted down a amendment from Florida Republican Marco Rubio to tie Covid relief funding to reopening schools. They instead backed an amendment by New Hampshire Democrat Maggie Hassan to require schools receiving funding to develop plans within 30 days for reopening safely.Democrats also blocked an effort by Maine Republican Susan Collins to shrink the package to $650 billion by eliminating much of the bill and shrinking who would get stimulus checks, as well as an amendment from Lindsey Graham of South Carolina changing a state-and-local funding formula that he said was too generous to blue states.About 500 amendments have been filed so far during the vote-a-rama, with Republicans promising still more -- Steven T. DennisSenate Amends Bill with Jobless Benefits Deal (1:29 a.m.)The Senate voted 50-49 to accept an amendment including a deal Democratic leaders struck with Manchin, a moderate Democrat from West Virginia, to tweak the weekly amount and expiration date of supplemental jobless benefits.With the change, the provision would extend existing $300-a-week supplemental unemployment insurance through Sept. 6 and exempt the first $10,200 of benefits from income taxes for families making less than $150,000.Manchin had opposed an earlier offer extending the benefits until October. He and several other moderate Democrats said the $400 weekly payments included in the House-passed version could discourage workers from finding new jobs as the economy reopens.Senators still face a gauntlet of potentially hundreds of Republican amendments and procedural motions that could drag the vote through the weekend. -- Steven DennisVote Continues After Nearly 12-Hour Amendment (11:46 p.m.)The Senate’s amendment “vote-a-rama” continued Friday night after Democrats held open the vote on the first proposed change to the virus-relief bill while they tried to reach a deal within their own party on supplemental unemployment provisions.Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat, said he was worried that overly generous jobless benefits would discourage people from returning to work when it’s safe. He agreed to a deal that would extend a federal supplement of $300 per week unemployment aid through Sept. 6.The nearly 12-hour vote on a minimum-wage amendment from Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders set a record for the longest Senate vote in U.S. history. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell called the delay “a spectacle” and criticized Democrats for pushing a partisan bill, unlike last year’s bipartisan packages.“We were prepared to do yet another bill on a bipartisan basis,” McConnell said. “They wanted to do it the hard way.”Republicans questioned why Majority Leader Chuck Schumer was cutting deals with his members to finalize the bill after the amendment-vote process had already begun. Democrats voted down McConnell’s attempt to adjourn and return to continue the vote Saturday morning.“We are going to continue working until we get the job done,” Schumer said.Hundreds of amendments have been filed, although the process is expected to move more quickly, aiming to finish the vote this weekend. -- Steven DennisDemocrats Reach Deal on Unemployment Benefits (8:10 p.m.)Senate Democrats struck a deal on an amendment to the stimulus legislation to extend the additional $300 per week enhanced unemployment aid through Sept. 6, according to a Democratic aide, after hours of negotiations that had stalled progress on the bill.The deal also provides tax relief to workers who received unemployment insurance compensation by making the first $10,200 of unemployment insurance benefits non-taxable for households with incomes of less than $150,000.It also would extend tax rules regarding excess business loss limitations for one additional year, through 2026.The plan would end the supplemental unemployment benefits a month sooner than the proposal Democrats had floated earlier in the day as one of the changes made to win the support of West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin. -- Erik WassonDemocrats Work to Salvage Unemployment Deal (7:17 p.m.)Democrats worked to put the stimulus bill back on track after Senator Joe Manchin put a hold on their plans for a compromise on unemployment-insurance payments.“No comments, no comments, no comments -- too much good negotiations going on,” the West Virginia Democrat said as he brushed past reporters.Earlier Friday, the White House celebrated an apparent compromise from Senator Tom Carper, a Delaware Democrat, that would reduce weekly supplemental jobless benefits from $400 to $300 per week, but phase out on Oct. 4 rather than the end of August. The deal would also make $10,200 of unemployment benefits tax-free.But Manchin throughout the day flirted instead with backing a proposal from Ohio Republican Rob Portman that would only extend the benefits through July 18, and not include the tax relief. Because of the 50-50 partisan split in the upper chamber, a defection by any Democratic lawmaker could lead to significant changes -- and possibly even imperil the overall bill in the House of Representatives, where liberals represent a sizable voting bloc.A White House official who requested anonymity to discuss the situation said Biden was generally supportive of compromise to get the legislation passed, and that he and his team were in close contact with senators as they sought a resolution.Republicans derided Democrats over the impasse. The hours-long pause in Senate work today “is pretty indicative that they didn’t have their act together,” Texas GOP Senator John Cornyn said.Republican Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi said he expects Manchin to vote for Portman’s amendment. “He’s done talking to them. Done talking to Schumer and the president,” Wicker said.Port man said Democrats should have realized the difficulty in keeping their caucus together when they used a budget process that has no margin for error.“They are having real problems. What they have is bad policy. The economy is improving and you are increasing UI? How do you explain that to people ?”But Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow of Michigan said she expects the matter will be resolved soon and the Senate will return to work on amendments later tonight. “We’re hammering out a couple of things, and we’ll get there.” -- Laura Litvan, Justin Sink and Erik WassonGOP Down by a Vote as Alaska Senator Departs: (6:19 p.m.)Republicans are down by one vote as debate on the stimulus bill ground to a halt for six hours while Democrats haggled among themselves on unemployment aid as an earlier deal appeared to fall apart.Senator Dan Sullivan departed Washington Friday afternoon for his home state of Alaska to attend a funeral for his late father-in-law, spokesman Nate Adams said. Sullivan would have voted “no” on the stimulus bill, Adams said. Sullivan’s absence means that Vice President Kamala Harris likely won’t need to break a tie with 50 Democratic lawmakers and 49 Republicans present to vote this weekend.However, Democrats still don’t have 50 members on board for a crucial unemployment insurance deal after Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia wouldn’t commit to vote for the plan. Democrats need all of their Senators to vote for the amendment to attach it to the $1.9 trillion stimulus bill that they are aiming to pass this weekend.The agreement, which the White House supports, would have lowered the weekly expanded federal jobless benefits from $400 a week to $300, but would have continued the benefits through early October, instead of terminating them at the end of August. The amendment also makes the first $10,200 of unemployment compensation tax-free, a change that would save some taxpayers from surprise IRS bills.Senate Republicans are working to convince Manchin to back another amendment that would extend the $300 payments through mid-July and wouldn’t make the jobless benefits tax free, therefore adding significantly less to the deficit.Biden Appeals for Passage of His Aid Bill (4:30 p.m.)Biden met at the White House with his economic team to highlight how the latest monthly jobs report showcases a still-damage labor market a year into the Covid-19 crisis, along with hosting a meeting with people who would be getting stimulus checks under the pending pandemic-aid bill.Biden was joined by a Maryland woman who works providing transit to disabled individuals, a self-employed veteran from Washington, D.C., who lost his home to a fire and a representative from Mary’s Center -- a health care, social services and education resource center.“It’s going to make a big difference in terms of their lives,” Biden said. “People in the country are hurting right now, with less than two weeks from enhanced unemployment checks being cut out.”Biden earlier highlighted that the economy still has more than 9 million fewer jobs now than in February last year. “At that rate it would take two years to get back on track.”“We can’t afford one step forward, two steps backward,” he said in appealing for passage of his stimulus. “People need the help now.” -- Justin SinkSenate Voting Stalls Amid Talks on Jobless Aid (3:27 p.m.)While Senate Democrats had looked to have nailed down a deal on the amount and duration of supplemental unemployment benefits earlier in the day, talks continued Friday afternoon, with GOP involvement.The negotiations held up the marathon of votes on amendments for more than three hours Friday afternoon.Democrats continue to work within their caucus to make sure that none of their members would go along with Republican amendments that could sink the bill in the House. Chief among the issues: unemployment insurance benefits.Earlier in the day, a Democratic agreement was unveiled to reduce weekly supplemental jobless benefits to $300 per week -- from $400 in the House-passed legislation -- and extend it through Oct. 4, compared with the end of August.The deal including making $10,200 worth of jobless benefits tax-free.Republican senators said Democrats are still working to line up support for that deal and to ward off an amendment from Ohio Republican Rob Portman to make the benefit $300 a week through July 18. It doesn’t address the tax issue.“They are worried about losing on Portman,” John Thune, the Senate’s No. 2 Republican, said.Key to the outcome could be West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin, who has argued for stricter targeting of pandemic relief.Texas Senator John Cornyn predicted Senate would pass the stimulus bill Saturday morning. -- Erik Wasson.Sanders Bid to Restore Wage Hike Falls Short (2:42 p.m.)A last-ditch effort by Senator Bernie Sanders to restore a minimum-wage hike to the pandemic-relief bill is headed to defeat with 42 votes in favor and 58 against.The vote hasn’t been made final, though there is almost no chance it would change. It remained open while Democrats attempted to nail down support for their plan to extend supplemental unemployment through September.The Senate parliamentarian had previously ruled that the phased-in increase in the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025 fell afoul of budget-reconciliation rules, which Democrats are using to get the Covid-19 aid bill through the Senate with just a simple majority vote.Sanders’s bid to waive the rules and restore the wage hike would have required 60 senators of 100 senators to agree to go along with the amendment. But it failed to get even a majority.“An unelected staffer in the Senate should not be in charge of determining whether 32 million workers in America receive a raise,” Sanders said on the Senate floor.There wasn’t even majority support within the Democratic caucus. Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema was among the Democrats who voted against it, saying the chamber should look at the issue separate from the relief legislation.“The Senate should hold an open debate and amendment process on raising the minimum wage, separate from the Covid-focused reconciliation bill,” Sinema said in a statement.Also voting against the attempt were Democratic senators Joe Manchin, Jon Tester, Jeanne Shaheen, Maggie Hassan, Tom Carper and Chris Coons as well as independent Angus King.Biden has called on lawmakers to move ahead with his proposed wage hike on a standalone basis. -- Erik WassonWhite House Sees Bill Speeding Job Recovery by a Year (11:08 a.m.)Biden’s $1.9 trillion economic rescue plan will accelerate the U.S.’s return to full employment by a year, National Economic Council Director Brian Deese said.“Most people say that this bill would pull forward by about a year the length of time it would take to get back to full,” Deese said in an interview with Bloomberg News on Friday. He declined to make more specific predictions about unemployment.A government report earlier Friday showed that total U.S. payrolls in February remained more than 9 million lower than the peak prior to the pandemic. Biden said Friday the report showed his stimulus legislation is “urgently needed.”Deese added that the administration is working to speed up the delivery of stimulus checks that are a key feature of the aid bill that Congress is expected to pass in coming days.White House economist Heather Boushey, also speaking in an interview, underscored that economic recovery will depend heavily on the distribution of coronavirus vaccines.“Just to state the obvious, this all depends on getting shots in arms,” she said. -- Jennifer JacobsSenate Democrats Resolve Differences Over Jobless Aid (11:03 a.m.)Senate Democrats have resolved differences over the level and duration of supplemental unemployment benefits in the pandemic relief bill, according to a Democratic aide.The bonus will be kept at the current level of $300 a week, rather than the $400 provided in the House version of the bill, but they will last until Oct. 4 -- rather than the end of August, the aide said. Senator Tom Carper of Delaware, a close Biden ally, led the talks and will offer the amendment to make the change.The White House supported the compromise. Press secretary Jen Psaki tweeted that Biden believes “it is critical to extend expanded unemployment benefits through the end of September.”Recipients will get tax forgiveness on $10,200 worth of benefits under the deal, according to the aide.For millions of unemployed Americans who were able to receive enhanced federal jobless benefits, the change would eliminate their obligation to pay Internal Revenue Service levies on the first $10,200 of those payments.That tax forbearance will offer major help. Unemployment benefits, unlike stimulus payments, are subject to federal income taxes. Many states don’t withhold taxes when they make the payments, so recipients will be required to pay those levies when they file their tax return this spring. That means that the millions of workers who received unemployment benefits could face large, unanticipated tax bills.The deal would also expand a tax provision from the GOP 2017 tax law that restricts how businesses losses can be carried forward to offset future-year profits through 2026. The provision was initially implemented through 2025.In past economic crises, Congress has approved tax relief to help unemployed individuals. In 2009, lawmakers waived taxes on up to $2,400 in jobless benefits. -- Erik Wasson, Laura DavisonSenate Begins Debate as Schumer Pledges to Power Through (9:30 a.m.)The Senate reconvened Friday morning for three hours of debate on the $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief plan ahead of a marathon series of amendment votes expected to last through the night.The first amendment to get a vote will be offered by progressive Budget Chairman Bernie Sanders, who has said he will attempt to amend the bill to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2025. That amendment is subject to an objection, since the parliamentarian has ruled it against budget rules, and 60 senators would have to vote to add it to the bill. Some moderate Democrats are expected to vote against the amendment, arguing that it would sink the bill by allowing the entire package to be filibustered by Republicans.While many of the Republican amendment votes are expected to be designed to cause political damage to Democrats and have no chance of succeeding, others may go through.“They are dead-set on ramming through a partisan spending spree packed with non-Covid related policies” said Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell on Friday on the Senate floor. “This isn’t a pandemic-rescue package, this is a parade of left-wing pet projects.”McConnell said the economy is “already on track to bounce back from this crisis,” because of last year’s bipartisan virus-relief packages, not because of the $1.9 trillion bill before the Senate this week.“Republicans have many ideas to improve the bill, many ideas, and we are about to vote on all kinds of amendments in the hope that some of these ideas make it into the final product,” McConnell said.For amendments that are in order under budget rules -- such as one to cut supplemental unemployment benefits from the $400 per week in the bill -- it would only take one Democrat to side with 50 Republicans to make the change.“We are going to power through and finish this bill however long it takes,” Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on the Senate floor Friday. “We are not going to make the same mistake we did after the last economic downturn, when Congress did too little.” -- Erik WassonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
LONDON — Britain’s royal family and television have a complicated relationship. The medium has helped define the modern monarchy: The 1953 coronation of Queen Elizabeth II was Britain’s first mass TV spectacle. Since then, rare interviews have given a glimpse behind palace curtains at the all-too-human family within. The fictionalized take of Netflix hit “The Crown” has moulded views of the monarchy for a new generation, though in ways the powerful, image-conscious royal family can’t control. “The story of the royal family is a constructed narrative, just like any other story,” said Phil Harrison, author of “The Age of Static: How TV Explains Modern Britain.” And it’s a story that has changed as Britain moved from an age of deference to an era of modern social mores and ubiquitous social media. “The royals, particularly the younger royals, have moved from the realm of state apparatus to the realm of celebrity culture in recent decades,” Harrison said. “That’s worked well for them up to a point — but celebrity culture takes as well as gives and is notoriously fickle.” So anticipation and apprehension are both high ahead of Oprah Winfrey’s interview with Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan — the Duke and Duchess of Sussex — a year after they walked away from official royal life, citing what they described as the intrusions and racist attitudes of the British media toward the duchess, who is biracial. A clip released by CBS ahead of Sunday’s broadcast shows Meghan, a former TV star, appearing to suggest the royal family was “perpetuating falsehoods” about her and Harry. A look at some other major royal television moments, and their impact: PRINCESS DIANA The 1981 wedding of 32-year-old Prince Charles and 20-year-old Lady Diana Spencer at St. Paul’s Cathedral was a fairy-tale spectacle watched by an estimated 750 million people around the world. But the relationship soon soured. The couple separated in 1992, and in 1995 Diana gave a candid interview to the BBC’s Martin Bashir, discussing the pressure of media scrutiny and the breakdown of her marriage. “There were three of us in that marriage,” Diana said, referring to Charles’ relationship with Camilla Parker-Bowles. The interview prompted a wave of sympathy for Diana, seen by many as a woman failed by an uncaring, out-of-touch royal establishment — a pattern some say has repeated itself with Meghan. Charles and Diana divorced in 1996; Diana was killed in a car crash in Paris the following year, triggering intense public mourning and a period of reflection for the monarchy, which has since tried to appear more modern and relatable — with mixed results. ___ PRINCE ANDREW The biggest scandal to engulf the family in decades stems from the friendship between the queen's second son, Andrew, and wealthy convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, who died in a New York jail in August 2019 while awaiting trial on sex-trafficking charges. One woman who says she was a victim of Epstein alleges she had sex with Andrew when she was 17, a claim the prince denies. The prince tried to undo the damage by giving an interview to the BBC’s “Newsnight” program in November 2019. It backfired spectacularly. Andrew appeared uncomfortable and evasive, and failed to convey empathy for those who say they were exploited by Epstein, even as he defended his friendship with the man. He called Epstein’s behaviour “unbecoming,” a term interviewer Emily Maitlis suggested was an understatement. Charlie Proctor, editor of the Royal Central website, said at the time that the interview was "a plane crashing into an oil tanker, causing a tsunami, triggering a nuclear explosion-level bad.” After the interview, Andrew announced he was “stepping back” from public duties. He has not returned. ___ SARAH, DUCHESS OF YORK Like Diana before her and Meghan since, Sarah Ferguson was a young woman who had a bruising collision with the royal family. She was initially welcomed as a breath of fresh air for the stuffy royals when she wed Prince Andrew in 1986. But she quickly became a tabloid target, dubbed “Freeloading Fergie” for allegedly scooping up freebies and spending more time vacationing than performing public duties. Some saw snobbery in coverage of a woman who, before and after her marriage, worked for a living and was open about her problems with weight, relationships and money. After her 1996 divorce, the duchess used television to speak out — frequently. She appeared on Winfrey’s show in 1996, saying palace life was “not a fairy tale.” She spoke to Winfrey again in 2010 after being caught on video offering access to her ex-husband for $724,000. The duchess said she had been drinking and was trying to help a friend who needed money. The following year she appeared in her own reality show, “Finding Sarah,” on Winfrey’s OWN network. The duchess was not invited to the 2011 wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, in what was widely seen as a royal snub. ___ “THE CROWN” It may be fiction, but Netflix's “The Crown” is the most influential depiction of the royals in years. Over four seasons that have covered Elizabeth’s reign up to the 1980s, its portrait of a dutiful queen, prickly Prince Philip, oversensitive Prince Charles and the rest of the clan has brought the royal soap opera to a new generation. It is widely seen as helping the royals by humanizing them, though British Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden suggested it should come with a warning that it’s drama, not history. Prince Harry has defended the show — while underscoring that it's fiction — telling TV host James Corden that he was “way more comfortable with ‘The Crown’ than I am seeing stories written about my family or my wife.” Now Harry and Meghan are getting their chance to tell their story. It’s a high-stakes strategy, especially since the interview is airing as 99-year-old Prince Philip, Harry’s grandfather, in a London hospital after a heart procedure — timing critics have called insensitive. “I think this particular interview, like so many of those interviews, is going to do a great deal more harm to Harry and Meghan than anything to do with the British monarchy,” said royal historian Hugo Vickers. Jill Lawless, The Associated Press
Replacement halfback Ryan Lonergan kicked a 55-meter penalty goal three minutes after the fulltime siren to give the ACT Brumbies a 27-24 win over the Melbourne Rebels in a Super Rugby match Saturday. The teams appeared headed for golden-try extra time, tied 24-24 after 80 minutes, but the Brumbies ran the ball out of their own half and then secured a penalty at the breakdown. Lonergan opted to take the unlikely kick in the swirling breeze, but it went the distance before he was swamped by his cheering teammates.