Thursday, 31 March 2022

AFSPA: Areas under draconian law reduced in India's north-east








India introduced AFSPA in 1958 to put down separatist movements in certain parts of the country

Authorities have withdrawn a controversial anti-insurgent law from large parts of north-eastern India after decades.
Home Minister Amit Shah said that areas covered under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in the states of Nagaland, Assam and Manipur would be reduced from Friday.
India introduced AFSPA in 1958 to put down separatist movements.
The law was first enforced in Manipur and later extended to other states.
It is also in effect in Indian-administered Kashmir where it was imposed after the outbreak of armed insurgency in 1989.
Mr Shah said AFSPA had been lifted completely in 23 of Assam’s 32 districts and partially in one. The law has been in effect in the state since 1990.


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The law had also been removed from areas falling under 15 police stations in six districts of Manipur and an equal number of police stations in seven districts of Nagaland, he said.
Ethnic groups in north-east India have long opposed the law, which empowers Indian security forces to conduct operations anywhere and arrest anyone without any prior warrant. It also protects soldiers who may kill a civilian by mistake or in unavoidable circumstances during an operation.
The law can be imposed in an area or a region for six months at a time and can be extended if deemed necessary by the government.
Human rights campaigners say AFSPA is often misused and have called for its repeal for decades.
Calls to repeal the law intensified after six civilians were killed in an army ambush in Nagaland’s Mon district in December. Eight more civilians died after troops shot at angry protesters who attacked the army’s camp.
The law will, however, continue to remain in effect in Mon.
Mr Shah said the law was being withdrawn because of the “improved security situation” and several agreements to end insurgency in the northeast and “bring lasting peace” in the region.
The move has been welcomed by the chief ministers of Assam, Nagaland and Manipur.
Irom Sharmila Chanu, an activist in Manipur, spent 16 years on a protest fast against the law. She broke her fast – described as the world’s longest hunger strike- in 2016.
The state of Tripura had revoked AFSPA in 2015. It was withdrawn in Meghalaya in 2018.
But the law remains in effect in parts of Arunachal Pradesh. On Friday, the government extended AFSPA in three districts of the state.
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Jessie J Claps Back At Troll Who Asks If She’s Pregnant 5 Months After Miscarriage: ‘Stop’


Jessie J clapped back at a troll who body-shamed her just months after sharing that she had a miscariage.
Jessie J has no tolerance for body shaming! The singer posted a picture of her struggling to button a pair of pants. She simply captioned the Insta Story (via Daily Mail), “Mood.” Well that must’ve prompted some comments, because the “Domino” singer then went on to give a diatribe about how uncool it is to body shame people– especially without knowing what they may be going through.
Jessie J (David Fisher/Shutterstock)
“Stop commenting on people’s weight. Anyone. Just stop. Or telling someone they look pregnant for sure. Or you look skinny. Just anything. Just Stop. I see it so much on socials and know it happens in real life,” she wrote on a separate slide on her Instagram Story. In other words, she really doesn’t want to hear what you think about her body. Which is fair.
Speaking of, she’s actually happy about the weight gain– thanks for asking. “I have gained 10 pounds in the past 6 months and I feel great,” she continued. “That’s just under a stone to those who don’t do pounds. It might stay or it might not or I might gain more. Who cares?! I don’t care as long as I feel good and I’m healthy.”
Jessie J on the red carpet (Jesus Aranguren/AP/Shutterstock)
She then shared that someone actually asked her “if I was pregnant.” The user apparently said, “You look pregnant.” Then Jessie brought up her tragic miscarriage, writing, “And they also know of what I went through last year and told me their thoughts on that and how I should have handled it.” Jessie miscarried back in November and revealed the heartbreaking news on her social media. She explained that despite the tragedy, she wasn’t going to cancel the concert she had lined up for that night. The “Bang Bang” singer realized that singing would be the best way for her to cope, as she found it cathartic.
Meanwhile, she wasn’t going to let that person get away with the rude pregnant about her “looking pregnant” without clapping back. “So strange and damn bold. I would never. Just no. It’s a no,” she continued. “Not cool to just say or comment on anyone’s body. Unless they/ I tell you or ask your opinion it’s not one that’s needed or helpful. Wild they some people don’t know that. Phew.”


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Sri Lanka lifts curfew after violent protests over economic crisis


By Uditha Jayasinghe and Dinuka Liyanawatte
COLOMBO (Reuters) – Police in Sri Lanka’s capital lifted a curfew on Friday after protests in which dozens of people were arrested and several policemen were hurt near the home of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa over his handling of an economic crisis.
Hundreds of protesters gathered near Rajapaksa’s residence in a Colombo suburb late on Thursday before police dispersed them with tear gas and water cannons, a Reuters witness said.
“We have arrested 54 people over the unrest last night. Several vehicles belonging to the army and police were burnt by the protesters, including two buses, one police jeep and several motorcycles,” a police spokesman, Senior Superintendent Nihal Thalduwa, told Reuters.
The island nation of 22 million people is in the midst of its worst economic crisis in years with rolling blackouts for up to 13 hours a day because the government does not have enough foreign exchange to pay for fuel imports.
Five policemen were injured and in hospital, Thalduwa said, adding there were no reports of injuries among the protesters.
Streets in the capital were quiet on Friday morning. Police combed through the wreckage of two burnt-out buses near Rajapaksa’s home, a Reuters witness said.
(Reporting by Uditha Jayasinghe and Dinuka Liyanawatte in Colombo; Writing by Alasdair Pal; Editing by Robert Birsel)


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Jim Carrey Is ‘Retiring’ After 45 Year Career: ‘I’ve Done Enough’ & ‘I Have Enough’



Watch
March 31, 2022 11:50PM EDT



Jim Carrey said he would only take on another project that’s ‘really important for people to see’ but said he’s ready to move on from acting in a new interview.
Jim Carrey declared that he’s retiring from the acting and comedy worlds. “I am retiring. I am being fairly serious,” he said in a new interview to Access Hollywood‘s Kit Hoover on Thursday, March 31. The 60-year-old didn’t say the door is closed for good on other projects though, explaining that he would consider a script that was “important for people to see.”
“It depends – if the angels bring some sort of script that’s written in gold ink, that says to me that it’s going to be really important for people to see, I might,” the Canadian-born star noted to a stunned Kit. “I might continue down the road, but I’m taking a break. I really like my quiet life, and I really love putting paint on canvas, and I really love my spiritual life, and I feel like – and this is something you might never hear another celebrity say as long as time exists – I have enough. I’ve done enough. I am enough,” he said during the Sonic the Hedgehog 2 junket.
Jim Carrey said he’s ready to retire. (Jim Ruymen/UPI/Shutterstock)
Jim has had one of the most successful comedy acting careers in history, dating back to his stand-up gigs at the Toronto Yuk Yuk club. He was infamously passed on by Saturday Night Live in the 80s, but continued to hustle in the stand-up world, appearing on several late night shows — including The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. Carrey’s made a name for himself on In Living Color, which lead to his box-office breakout Ace Ventura: Pet Detective in 1994.
Jim Carrey is seen as ‘The Mask’ in one his most iconic film roles from the ’90s. (Jim Ruymen/UPI/Shutterstock)
The project was quickly followed up by a string of hits including The Mask, Dumb and Dumber, Batman Forever and Liar Liar — cementing his status as one of the most successful lead actors of the decade. Jim continued the momentum into the early 2000s with Bruce Almighty co-starring Jennifer Aniston, and, of course, the forever-Christmas classic How the Grinch Stole Christmas.


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Winsome Sears: Americans Know Biden Is To Blame For High Gas Prices



Joe Biden is blaming everyone but himself for inflation and the rising gas prices that are hurting so many Americans.
But people know that he is responsible. Winsome Sears, the new Republican Lt. Governor of Virginia recently pointed this out.
She also noted that the American people aren’t stupid.
The Washington Examiner reports:
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Winsome Sears: ‘Americans aren’t stupid,’ know Biden is to blame for gas prices
Virginia Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears slammed President Joe Biden’s attempts to blame energy prices on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Thursday, saying “the American people aren’t stupid” and aren’t falling for it.
“They know that prices were rising from the day that he started,” Sears told the Washington Examiner after speaking at an event at American University in Washington, D.C., hosted by the AU College Republicans and the AU Network of Enlightened Women.
“We were a net exporter of energy before he came into office, and he changed all that. So this is pretty much squarely on his shoulders and the shoulders of Democrats.”
Of the president’s response to rampant inflation, Sears told the Washington Examiner, “We ought to continue to drill,” adding that “he should open the Keystone Pipeline.”
The lieutentant governor praised the president for news that he is releasing one-third of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve but said, “We should’ve replenished it when President Trump wanted to do so.”

She is absolutely right.

Winsome Sears is absolutely right.
Biden continuing to blame Putin and oil companies for high gas prices he helped cause shows that he and Democrats think you are stupid and don’t remember how they tried to shut down American energy production. https://t.co/4yln2nozhg
— Dan K. Eberhart (@DanKEberhart) March 31, 2022

Biden is not dealing in truth or reality.

Biden says “I’m gonna always be honest with the American people” before blaming the pandemic and Putin for soaring gas prices. pic.twitter.com/nkhonzi4UX
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) March 31, 2022

No one is buying his spin.
Cross posted from American Lookout.


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Sri Lanka: Protest at president Rajapaksa's home turns violent



By Ayeshea PereraBBC News



Image source, EPAImage caption,
Protesters chanted slogans and set fires on the roads at Thursday’s demonstration



Sri Lankan police imposed curfew and fired tear gas after a demonstration outside the president’s house to protest dire food, fuel and power shortages turned violent.


Agitated protesters stormed through barricades, and were accused of setting fire to a bus on Thursday night.


President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa blamed the events on “extremist elements”.


Sri Lanka is in the midst of a foreign exchange crisis that has crippled its economy.


Faced with 13-hour power cuts, a lack of fuel, essential food items and medicines, public anger has reached a new high.


The protest outside the President’s house began peacefully, but participants say police fired tear gas, water cannons and also beat people present. A number have also been detained.


The demonstrations mark a massive turnaround in popularity for Mr Rajapaksa who swept into power with a majority win in 2019, promising stability and a “strong hand” to rule the country.


Critics have been pointing to rank corruption and nepotism – his brothers and nephews occupy several key ministerial portfolios – as one of the main reasons for the situation the country has found itself in.



Image source, EPAImage caption,
Protesters hurled rocks at police, who later shot tear gas into the crowd



News reports that the president and his ministers are exempt from the power cuts, along with opulent displays of wealth by family members, have only increased anger.


The government has been blaming the crisis on the pandemic’s impact on tourism – one of the island nation’s main sources of foreign revenue – along with a series of attacks on churches on Easter Sunday 2019 which led to a marked drop in tourists.


But experts say that this crisis has been a long time in the making.


“This is an implosion, an accumulated outcome of what has been building up for a couple of decades and as usual there is no one to take responsibility for it. Of course, the present government is directly responsible for its wilful mismanagement of the crisis since they came into power in 2019 by sheer incompetency, arrogance and of course corruption,” Jayadeva Uyangoda, a political scientist and commentator, told the BBC.


Sri Lanka’s former deputy central bank governor WA Wijewardena told the BBC that Sri Lanka made a fundamental mistake in not integrating with the global economy after the end of a civil war in 2009 which saw its economy grow at rates of almost 9%.


“Exports which accounted for 33% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2000 have now fallen to 12% and remain at that level,” he said.


In the more immediate term, a government refusal to let the Sri Lankan rupee depreciate also took a massive toll on its foreign reserves.


Accordingly, foreign reserves which stood at $7.6bn (£5.8bn) at the end of 2019 have now fallen to a level of $2.3 bn; of those reserves, usable reserves have fallen to some $300mn.


Mr Wijewardena feels things will get a lot worse before they get better, as there is no sustainable flow of foreign exchange for the heavily import-reliant country.


Sri Lanka no longer has enough dollars to buy essential items like fuel to power vehicles or even generate power.


As a result, the country’s electricity board has been imposing power cuts that have grown longer and longer in duration. On Thursday, power was switched off for 13 hours, with 16-hour cuts expected in the coming days.



Image source, EPAImage caption,
The crowd tried to storm barricades in front of the house



This has disrupted businesses, education and day to day life for millions.


Long lines have been reported outside fuel stations, while people have also had to queue up for hours in the heat to buy items like cooking gas cylinders with sometimes tragic results.


Five elderly people have died after collapsing in queues over the last few weeks.


Shortages in food items and essential medicines are also being reported from across the country.




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High-Rolling ‘Fujian Gang’ Caught in China Property Crisis


(Bloomberg) — “Work hard when young or enjoy no reputation later in life.” So goes a famous saying from China’s Fujian province.
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Ou Zongrong stood by it, building a property empire with its roots in the province.
At first, things worked out well. Now the tide has turned.
In February, Ou’s Zhenro Properties Group Ltd. spooked investors by saying it may not have cash to redeem a perpetual note, just weeks after promising it would. In fact, it said it may not have enough liquidity to repay other near-term maturities.
That was a shock for investors in a developer that had been weathering China’s massive real estate crisis relatively well, never missing a public debt payment until then.
Zhenro’s stock slumped on the announcement, taking its drop for the year to 77%, while its dollar bonds plummeted to around 20 cents on the dollar from near par in January. Ou transferred about one-third of his stake in the company’s property-services unit to settle loans following a forced disposal of some Zhenro shares. Market watchers began questioning the firm’s transparency, eroding already-fragile confidence in the sector’s corporate governance.
The latest blow came on Wednesday, when Fitch Ratings Ltd. downgraded Zhenro to restricted default.
Zhenro’s fallout is a warning for investors in what is known as the “Fujian Gang”: publicly listed developers whose bosses came from the province and are famous for their risk-taking, even outbidding some of China’s biggest builders. As they did so, their debt ballooned, leaving them exposed when the government launched a nation-wide campaign to deleverage the sector that triggered a wave of failures.
The clan, which comprises at least 11 developers traded in Hong Kong and mainland China, includes some of the most troubled names. Yango Group Co. and Yuzhou Group Holdings Co. are responsible for at least $3.24 billion of defaults on dollar bonds this year — more than half the sector’s total — while many have asked investors for more time to repay their debt.
“Fujian-based developers such as Ronshine, Yuzhou, Zhenro have been aggressively funding land acquisitions with debts,” said Dan Wang, a credit analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence. “This has left them vulnerable in a property market downturn and in a scenario where capital markets shut down.”
China’s private housing market expanded rapidly after its liberalization in the 1990s, leading to a surge in prices for one of the few safe investments available to the nation’s emerging middle class. Developers in Fujian, a province originally famous for its apparel and manufacturing businesses, were relatively late to the property game and had to use leverage to catch up.
To help gain scale, many firms that originated in the province moved their headquarters to bigger cities, while their founders or top executives sought to gain political influence. Ou, who created Zhenro’s predecessor in 1998, transferred the company’s main offices to Shanghai in 2016 and is a delegate for one of China’s top advisory bodies, along with four bosses from the developers with Fujian roots.
While generally smaller than giants such as China Evergrande Group and Country Garden Holdings Co., aggressive land acquisitions allowed the Fujian companies to grow quickly. In 2016, Zhenro made headlines for buying a parcel in Wuhan at a peak price, outbidding some of the country’s top names including Sunac China Holdings Ltd. with premiums exceeding 400%. The same year, Ronshine China Holdings Ltd. — founded by Ou’s younger brother — set a national record by splashing 11 billion yuan ($1.73 billion) for a site in Shanghai, while Sansheng Holdings (Group) Co. in 2020 paid the most ever per square meter for a plot in the eastern city of Wuxi.
The strategy paid off: Revenue surged for the companies from the group, rising more than 10-fold at Zhenro and Ronshine in the six years through 2020. Now five of China’s top 30 developers have their roots in Fujian, from two in 2012.
But the quick expansion led to a pile of debt, including a large pool of money borrowed from global investors. Annual dollar bond sales by developers with Fujian roots rose ninefold from 2016 to peak at $16.7 billion in 2019, representing more than one-quarter of all dollar debt sold by the sector that year. As of March 31, the group had $32 billion of dollar bonds outstanding.
None of the 11 builders responded to requests for comment.
While China has relaxed some of its rules to ease the burden on the real estate market, Country Garden’s results showed the gap is widening between the better funded developers and the others. For many, the outlook remains bleak as home sales are still falling and access to financing remains tight.
Adding to investors’ concerns, Shimao Group Holdings Ltd., Powerlong Real Estate Holdings Ltd. and Ronshine are among those that delayed the release of their 2021 financial results, citing reasons including auditor resignations and the impact of Covid-19. Ronshine, which until a few months ago was deemed one of the safest bets for being in compliance with the government’s three red-lines policy, was downgraded deep into junk in March by both Moody’s Corp. and Fitch. Meanwhile, Tahoe Group Co.’s chairman is being probed for an undisclosed offense.
“The liquidity strain of China’s property sector is set to cast a long shadow over the land market,” Bloomberg Intelligence analysts Kristy Hung and Lisa Zhou wrote in a note. “Debt troubles for private developers should sap their appetite to invest, as their near-term liquidity outlook fails to improve even after policymakers’ shift to a supportive tone.”
An additional problem is that the Fujian developers often joined forces to win big projects and share the debt burden. That means if one is in trouble, it can easily spread to the others. Zhenro has joint developments with builders including CIFI Holdings Group Co., Yango and Shimao, and the dollar bonds of the latter two trade near record lows.
“It’s common for the second-tier developers to team up to compete against the top ones,” said Kenny Ng, a strategist at Everbright Securities International in Hong Kong. But when the overall market sentiment cools, “it could trigger a chain effect.”
The slump has cost the Fujian bosses billions. Shimao’s Hui Wing Mau, Zhenro’s Ou and Lin Zhong of CIFI have all seen their fortunes slump. Ou is no longer a billionaire, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
Zhenro managed to buy itself some time with a debt swap to cover five of its notes. On Thursday, it pledged to accelerate asset sales after reporting its financial position weakened.
Still, Fujian builders face further obstacles as the crisis unfolds. Dollar bonds are trading at highly stressed levels even for developers that haven’t defaulted.
“We have been cautious on the bonds issued by Fujian developers, as they are typically more aggressive than peers,” said Zhijun Zhang, chairman of private fund manager Beijing DingNuo Investment Management Co. “Investors are expecting more bond defaults.”
(Updates with Zhenro results in third paragraph from the bottom)
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J.Lo Rocks Jeans As She Holds Hands With Ben Affleck Picking Up Samuel, 10, From School: Photos



March 31, 2022 9:58PM EDT



School duty! J.Lo was chic in casual jeans and sandals as she accompanied beau Ben Affleck to his son’s school.
Ben Affleck, 49, and Jennifer Lopez, 52, are making school pick-ups a regular activity. The “Marry Me” singer rocked casual jeans as she accompanied The Town actor to collect his son Samuel, 10, after class on Thursday, March 31. The couple, affectionately known as Bennifer, sweetly held hands as they walked alongside his youngest child, who sported a school uniform consisting of a green golf shirt and beige khaki pants.
Ben Affleck and J.Lo held hands as they picked up his son Samuel from school. (BENS / BACKGRID)
Jennifer elevated her skinny denim look with a dressier cream and pink floral silk blouse, perfect for a Spring day! She added a weather-appropriate pair of high heeled sandals, accessorizing with an all-black Gucci leather belt and vanity case handbag. The star rocked her highlighted hair back into a slick ponytail, keeping her always-glowing skin behind a wire pair of aviator sunglasses.
Ben was all Boston in his ensemble, sporting black jeans and a dark gray t-shirt. The actor threw on a gray shirt-jacket overtop, matching with a white and gray pair of sneakers. Like J.Lo, Ben also finished his look with sunglasses — opting for a similar wire pair with darker lenses.
J.Lo and Ben seem to be going strong as they approach their 1-year anniversary of being back “on” after their 2004 split (which was also just months after they postponed their wedding). While they initially remained mum on the rekindled romance, Jennifer has opened up periodically about her beau in recent interviews. “I feel so lucky and happy and proud to be with him,” she said to PEOPLE magazine in February 2022, acknowledging that they have a “second chance.”
“It’s a beautiful love story that we got a second chance,” she explained — admitting the two had “fear” as they began to fall in love again. “Before we kind of put [our relationship] out there and we were na├»ve and it got a little trampled.”


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China: Peeking into the private lives of livestreamers


From a pigeon expert to a professor, a new photo series seeks to shed light on one of China’s fastest growing communities – livestreamers.
Chinese photographer Huang Qingjun is no stranger to capturing the intimate personal lives of ordinary Chinese. In 2003, he embarked on a unique project – documenting the possessions that people across China own.
The project series – called Jia Dang, or Family Stuff – has taken him across a multitude of provinces for nearly two decades, snapping families as they lay out all their worldly possessions.
In the latest instalment of his project, Mr Huang has turned his lens on people who make their living from livestreaming.






Tian Rongguo, 25, shot to fame on livestreaming playing a comedic character called Tian Bin the Mentor

Livestreaming exploded in popularity during the pandemic, providing hours of entertainment as millions were confined to their homes for weeks on end.
It was not just viewers who were hooked. More digitally-savvy entrepreneurs also went online to peddle goods. In February 2020 at the height of China’s Covid-19 epidemic, Taobao, the Chinese platform which sees the largest number of livestreaming sales, saw an increase of 719% in new sellers across the country.
And as lockdowns continue to be imposed across provinces and cities, the appetite for livestreaming content has remained strong.
“In the past two years, people’s daily life and consumption habits have changed a lot,” Mr Huang tells the BBC.
“Now people in the post-pandemic era perceive society through smartphones, and short broadcasts and livestreaming have become a window for individuals to showcase their talents.”






Born into a family of kite-makers, Yang Hongwei, 55, shares about the techniques and stories of this 2,000-year-old tradition in her livestreams

Perhaps more importantly, livestreamers have presented some respite from loneliness, especially at a time when restrictions and quarantine have left many starved of human connection and company.
“The ‘iron friendships’ between the audience and the livestreamer, forged in the livestream broadcast room, is also part of what sustains the spirit of people,'” says Mr Huang.






Aspiring actor Ma Shuai, 31, found fame when he gave up his apartment to live in a caravan and started livestreaming about his daily life







Lu Fengge, 38, has drawn online fans and real life customers with his broadcasts from his food truck selling cold noodles

In his earlier photo series, Mr Huang had to travel to some of the remotest parts of China to persuade people to pose for him. Some of them had never even been photographed in their lives, much less owned a camera.
They often displayed their meagre yet prized possessions: a television, a few pots and pans, and several pairs of worn shoes.
But he has now focused on a group of technology-savvy people from diverse backgrounds, ranging from a chemistry professor and a food deliveryman to a pigeon aficionado and a noodle seller.
Many of his subjects this time are pictured turning their own lenses on themselves, surrounded by professional filming equipment, electronic appliances and sporting goods.






Lao San, 40 has travelled an estimated three million kilometres across every province in China, and thousands follow his broadcasts about trucking and driving







Quan Rui, 35, has carved out a unique niche for herself by livestreaming about homing pigeon racing

“By focusing on [the livestreamers’] belongings … and the tools they rely on for their livelihood, we can see the changes of an era,” says Mr Huang.
“With the rapid development of Chinese society, the living standards of Chinese people have also undergone great changes, and more families enjoy the dividends brought by this development.”
The World Bank estimates China’s gross national income per capita has grown more than tenfold in two decades, from $940 (£714) in 2000 to $10,550 in 2020, creating a swelling middle class with disposable income.






Briton David Evans, 64, is a chemistry professor who has gained 10 million followers for his short science videos

But the photographer adds that living through a pandemic has forced many to re-think their patterns of consumption.
“Now people have recognised the importance of the environment, and every household has begun to sort their rubbish [for recycling],” he says. “Because the pandemic has too many uncertainties, it also has had a great impact on people’s incomes and household consumption patterns.”
Mr Huang hopes this gradual orientation away from excessive consumerism will serve as inspiration for his next instalment of the series.
“I hope that I can do a minimalist lifestyle in the future,” he says. “And the last work of my Family Stuff series will be of my own belongings.”






Female bodyguard Zhang Meili, 21, shares self-defence skills with her mostly female audience

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What You Need To Know About XP Inc.'s (NASDAQ:XP) Investor Composition


Every investor in XP Inc. (NASDAQ:XP) should be aware of the most powerful shareholder groups. Institutions often own shares in more established companies, while it’s not unusual to see insiders own a fair bit of smaller companies. We also tend to see lower insider ownership in companies that were previously publicly owned.
XP has a market capitalization of US$17b, so it’s too big to fly under the radar. We’d expect to see both institutions and retail investors owning a portion of the company. In the chart below, we can see that institutions own shares in the company. Let’s take a closer look to see what the different types of shareholders can tell us about XP.
View our latest analysis for XP






ownership-breakdown

What Does The Institutional Ownership Tell Us About XP?
Institutional investors commonly compare their own returns to the returns of a commonly followed index. So they generally do consider buying larger companies that are included in the relevant benchmark index.
XP already has institutions on the share registry. Indeed, they own a respectable stake in the company. This implies the analysts working for those institutions have looked at the stock and they like it. But just like anyone else, they could be wrong. When multiple institutions own a stock, there’s always a risk that they are in a ‘crowded trade’. When such a trade goes wrong, multiple parties may compete to sell stock fast. This risk is higher in a company without a history of growth. You can see XP’s historic earnings and revenue below, but keep in mind there’s always more to the story.






earnings-and-revenue-growth

XP is not owned by hedge funds. Our data shows that XP Control LLC is the largest shareholder with 19% of shares outstanding. In comparison, the second and third largest shareholders hold about 12% and 11% of the stock.
We also observed that the top 6 shareholders account for more than half of the share register, with a few smaller shareholders to balance the interests of the larger ones to a certain extent.
While studying institutional ownership for a company can add value to your research, it is also a good practice to research analyst recommendations to get a deeper understand of a stock’s expected performance. Quite a few analysts cover the stock, so you could look into forecast growth quite easily.
Insider Ownership Of XP
The definition of company insiders can be subjective and does vary between jurisdictions. Our data reflects individual insiders, capturing board members at the very least. Company management run the business, but the CEO will answer to the board, even if he or she is a member of it.
Insider ownership is positive when it signals leadership are thinking like the true owners of the company. However, high insider ownership can also give immense power to a small group within the company. This can be negative in some circumstances.
Our most recent data indicates that insiders own less than 1% of XP Inc.. But they may have an indirect interest through a corporate structure that we haven’t picked up on. As it is a large company, we’d only expect insiders to own a small percentage of it. But it’s worth noting that they own US$55m worth of shares. Arguably recent buying and selling is just as important to consider. You can click here to see if insiders have been buying or selling.
General Public Ownership
With a 14% ownership, the general public, mostly comprising of individual investors, have some degree of sway over XP. This size of ownership, while considerable, may not be enough to change company policy if the decision is not in sync with other large shareholders.
Private Equity Ownership
With a stake of 11%, private equity firms could influence the XP board. Sometimes we see private equity stick around for the long term, but generally speaking they have a shorter investment horizon and — as the name suggests — don’t invest in public companies much. After some time they may look to sell and redeploy capital elsewhere.
Private Company Ownership
We can see that Private Companies own 37%, of the shares on issue. Private companies may be related parties. Sometimes insiders have an interest in a public company through a holding in a private company, rather than in their own capacity as an individual. While it’s hard to draw any broad stroke conclusions, it is worth noting as an area for further research.
Next Steps:
It’s always worth thinking about the different groups who own shares in a company. But to understand XP better, we need to consider many other factors.
Many find it useful to take an in depth look at how a company has performed in the past. You can access this detailed graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow.
But ultimately it is the future, not the past, that will determine how well the owners of this business will do. Therefore we think it advisable to take a look at this free report showing whether analysts are predicting a brighter future.
NB: Figures in this article are calculated using data from the last twelve months, which refer to the 12-month period ending on the last date of the month the financial statement is dated. This may not be consistent with full year annual report figures.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.
This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.



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Africa's week in pictures: 25-31 March 2022


A selection of the week’s best photos from across the continent and beyond:






Short presentational grey line







On Friday in Magadi, Kajiado, Kenya, these Maasai women take to the shade during the 10th global Fridays for Future climate strike, which was sparked by teenage Swedish activist Greta Thunberg in 2018.







On the same day in Cape Town, South Africa, a dancer poses for a picture at a circus in Muizenberg.







Meanwhile these two women warmly embrace at the same event.







On Sunday in Cairo, this Egyptian market stall is lit up with lanterns for people to buy to decorate their homes with during the forthcoming month of Ramadan…







There are more pre-Ramadan scenes in Khartoum, Sudan, on Thursday as this man sells his vegetables to people buying food supplies ahead of the Islamic fasting month.







Back in Cairo, there are tears on Tuesday as an Egyptian boy watches the World Cup qualifying match between Egypt and Senegal, which saw Senegal go through…







These Senegalese fans cheer on their side painted in the country’s national colours…







Over in Abuja, this woman celebrates during the Nigeria-Ghana match, nicknamed the “Jollof derby”…







But Ghana go through to the World Cup finals in Qatar on away goals, with the Black Stars’ Osman Bukari celebrating on the pitch.







There are more sporting activities in the Moroccan Sahara desert on Monday as two men walk their camels past Marathon des Sables participants.







On Wednesday Nigerian filmaker and writer Onyeka Nwelue attends the Financial Times’ Weekend Oxford Literary Festival in the UK…







There are more book lovers in Algiers on Friday as people attend the 25th International Book Fair which had been postponed for two years due to Covid-19.







On the same day in Ethiopia, these children are cleaning themselves off in Afdera, at a site for internally displaced people…







At the same site a woman and three young people stare into the camera.







On Wednesday, as night falls in Karamoja, Uganda, these Karamojong tribesmen stand on a rock.

Images subject to copyright.


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As Jan. 6 committee races against the clock, lawmakers caution against raised expectations


WASHINGTON — Despite near daily bombshells relating to the investigation of the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol by supporters of then-President Donald Trump, pressure is mounting on lawmakers to finish their probe before the 2022 midterm elections, when Republicans are expected to retake control of the House of Representatives and quash the inquiry.
“Attorney General [Merrick] Garland, do your job so that we can do ours,” Rep. Elaine Luria, D-Va., said Monday at a meeting of the House’s Jan. 6 select committee shortly before voting to hold former Trump White House aides Dan Scavino and Peter Navarro in contempt for refusing to testify.
The sophomore lawmaker from Virginia was expressing a growing concern among Democrats that Trump’s aides may elude justice, even after a monumental week of revelations surrounding the investigation into the Jan. 6 attack.
On Tuesday, an explosive report from CBS News and the Washington Post revealed a more than seven-hour gap in the White House call logs that overlapped with the riot at the Capitol building. Missing from the logs during that span of time was any sign of reported phone calls with House and Senate Republicans, raising questions about whether the official records had been altered.
Last Thursday, the Post revealed efforts by Virginia Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, to pressure then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows to pursue avenues to overturn the results of the 2020 election. Justice Thomas was the only member of the Supreme Court to vote to keep the National Archives from turning over Trump’s records to the Jan. 6 committee.






Chairperson U.S. Representative Bennie Thompson (D-MS) speaks as members of the U.S. House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol on December 1, 2021. REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz

Democrats stepped up their calls this week for Clarence Thomas to recuse himself from all cases involving the Jan. 6th riot at the Capitol and efforts to block the certification of the 2020 election results.
On Monday, a federal judge in California declared in a related ruling that Trump “more likely than not”committed a crime in his attempt to overturn the election results and that one of the architects of the plan to keep him in power, California lawyer John Eastman, would have to turn over 101 emails to the Jan. 6 committee regarding that effort.
“We’ve obviously come into possession of a lot of evidence of individual crimes, and we need to make that available, in whatever the best way is, to the Department of Justice,” Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., a member of the House Jan. 6th Committee, told Yahoo News. “But our job goes beyond individual criminal accountability to much broader social and political accountability to ourselves. This is a democracy. We need to deliver a report to the American people and Congress that will be a wake-up call about the threats to constitutional democracy in this new century.”
The clock is ticking fast for Luria, Raskin and the other committee members tasked with identifying not just the motives of those who sacked the Capitol, but the possible criminality of those who inspired their actions.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who is widely expected to become Speaker of the House if Republicans retake the chamber in the November elections, told Punchbowl News last week that he would refocus the panel’s work to investigate why Capitol Police and security were overrun by the Trump mob and what current Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s role was in the response.






Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) (R) speaks alongside Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) during a Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Based on the current pace of contempt charges moving through the justice system, a long line of Trump aides who bore witness to the events leading up to the attack appear likely to skirt having to testify before the committee, a fact that is prompting no shortage of anxiety among Democrats and Republicans serving on the committee
The criminal case against former Trump advisor Steve Bannon for refusing to testify is not expected to take place until the middle of July, just four months before the 2022 midterm elections. And despite being formally held in contempt in January, no criminal charges have been filed against Meadows, who initially cooperated with the committee before refusing to do so.
The contempt recommendations against Scavino and Navarro mark the fourth and fifth witnesses that the House panel is attempting to compel to testify. A third recommendation of contempt, filed against former Trump official Jeffrey Clark, was put on hold after he agreed to cooperate.
Based on the evidence already accumulated, Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., the vice-chair of the committee, has said that lawmakers might recommend criminal charges against Trump for his role in the attack. But veterans of previous investigations into Trump have cautioned against raising expectations of what the panel may find or recommend when it wraps up its work.






Steve Bannon looks on as he leaves an appearance in U.S. District Court after being indicted for refusal to comply with a congressional subpoena over the Jan. 6 attacks on the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Nov.15, 2021. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

“The President and his campaign’s behavior with Russia was appalling. The president’s son asked the Russians for dirt. One of his foreign policy advisors was sitting in European bars talking about how the Russians were providing dirt to the campaign. So their behavior was appalling,” Rep. Jim Himes, D-Conn., and a veteran of the House investigation into Russia’s support for Trump in the 2016 campaign, told Yahoo News. “But we promised more than ultimately was delivered. And that’s a terrible mistake.”
“We should let those facts speak for themselves. We shouldn’t embellish them. We shouldn’t raise expectations about them,” Himes said.
The panel is expected to launch a slew of primetime public hearings starting in a month or so, after it finishes its work interviewing witnesses in closed-door depositions. The committee is also expected to recommend criminal prosecutions based on its investigation to the Department of Justice, but it will ultimately fall to Garland and his team to decide whether to pursue charges.


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New Russian Claims: Kiev Wanted to Use Drones to Deliver Bioweapons to Donbass




Barack Obama and Victoria Nuland tied to DOD bio program in Ukraine; Collage: jouwatch

Documents and other evidence from US-funded laboratories in Ukraine suggest that Kiev was planning to use drones to deploy pathogens against the Donbass as well as Russia, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Wednesday. Moscow has also identified specific US officials involved in the development of bioweapons in Ukraine.
Of particular interest to Russian investigators are “documents testifying to the plans of the Kiev regime to use unmanned aerial vehicles capable of carrying and spraying deadly substances,” military spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov said during a briefing.
Facts in the possession of the Russian military “prove that the Kiev regime was seriously considering the possibility of using biological weapons against the population of the Donbass and the Russian Federation,” Konashenkov added.
Russia has also identified “specific officials who took part in the creation of components of biological weapons,” the general added. He did not name any of them, however, saying only they were “the heads of divisions and employees of the US Department of Defense, as well as its main contractors.”
TRENDING: “Bill Barr Broke the Law… The Fix Is In… Bill Barr Did Not Do His Job” – EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Tony Shaffer on Barr’s Actions After the 2020 Election
These campaigns were “directly related to the son of the current US president, Hunter Biden,” Konashenkov added, citing investigations in the Western media. Last week, the Daily Mail published emails showing Biden’s ties to the Pentagon contractor Metabiota, which specialized in researching pandemic-causing pathogens that could be used as bioweapons.
Hunter Biden’s involvement in the US funding of Ukrainian biolabs was brought up by Lieutenant General Igor Kirillov, commander of the Russian Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Protection Forces, in a briefing last Thursday.
The results of the further analysis of documents and other evidence obtained from Ukrainian biolabs will be shared in more detail “in the near future at a special briefing,” Konashenkov promised.
Washington has long claimed that allegations about Pentagon-funded biolaboratories in Ukraine were “Russian disinformation.” Earlier this month, however, US diplomat Victoria Nuland testified before the Senate that there were “biological research laboratories in Ukraine” and the US was working with Kiev “to ensure that the materials of biological research do not fall into the hands of Russian forces.” 
NOTE: In wartime, all claims made by the Russian government must be viewed with caution.


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Trump son-in-law Kushner appears before U.S. House Jan 6 committee


WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Former President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner made a “valuable” appearance on Thursday before the U.S. House of Representatives committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol, Representative Elaine Luria, a member of the panel, said.
“It was really valuable for us to have the opportunity to speak to him,” Luria told MSNBC. The Democratic representative declined to provide specifics about Kushner’s appearance before the panel via videolink, but said he commented on various reports about events of the day that have already been published.
“He was able to voluntarily provide information to us to verify, substantiate, provide his own take on this different reporting,” she said.
Kushner is the first close relative of the former president known to have spoken to the House Select Committee. He also served as a senior adviser in the Trump White House.
A committee spokesman declined comment.
The Select Committee has conducted hundreds of interviews in its investigation of the attack on the Capitol last year by supporters of Trump as lawmakers were poised to certify the Republican’s defeat in the November 2020 presidential election by Democratic President Joe Biden.
(Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Editing by David Gregorio)


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Star Royalties Announces Strategic Investment by Agnico Eagle into Green Star Royalties


Toronto, Ontario –News Direct– Star Royalties Ltd. care of Investor Stratum Resources Inc.






Star Royalties Ltd. care of Investor Stratum Resources Inc.

MARCH 31, 2022 – TheNewswire – TORONTO, ON – Star Royalties Ltd. (the “Company” or “Star Royalties”) (TSXV:STRR), (OTC:STRFF) is pleased to announce a non-brokered private placement (the “Private Placement”) of 15,384,620 common shares (“Green Star Shares”) of its subsidiary, Green Star Royalties Ltd. (“Green Star Royalties”), at a price of C$1.00 per Green Star Share. Agnico Eagle Mines Limited (“Agnico Eagle”) (NYSE, TSX: AEM) has agreed to purchase 14,134,620 Green Star Shares for an aggregate purchase price of C$14.13 million. The Company’s management team and Board of Directors (collectively, “Management”) have agreed to purchase concurrently the remaining 1,250,000 Green Star Shares in the Private Placement for an aggregate purchase price of C$1.25 million.
Upon completion of the Private Placement, Green Star Royalties will have approximately 40.4 million Green Star Shares issued and outstanding, which will be owned in the approximate amounts as follows: 61.9% by Star Royalties, 35% by Agnico Eagle and 3.1% by Management.
The Private Placement is expected to close in April 2022 and is subject to certain closing conditions, including (i) the receipt of all necessary approvals of the TSX Venture Exchange, (ii) the satisfactory completion of due diligence by Agnico Eagle, (iii) the negotiation of a unanimous shareholders agreement among the shareholders of Green Star Royalties and a co-investment agreement pursuant to which Agnico Eagle will have the right to co-invest with Green Star Royalties in green projects, and (iv) the entering into of a management agreement between Green Star Royalties and Star Royalties.
Investment Highlights


Cornerstone shareholder: Agnico Eagle, a senior Canadian gold mining company, will become a 35% shareholder of Green Star Royalties and have certain rights to co-invest alongside Green Star Royalties.


Significant recognition of value: The Private Placement values the Company’s 61.9% ownership of Green Star Royalties at C$25 million.


Pathway to grow Green Star Royalties: The Private Placement is expected to accelerate the Company’s ability to pursue larger green opportunities and to establish a substantial pure-green royalty company that should attract capital from both generalist and ESG-focused investors.


Alex Pernin, Chief Executive Officer of Star Royalties, commented: “We are thrilled to establish a strategic relationship with Agnico Eagle and we look forward to jointly maximizing the potential of Green Star Royalties. We recognize the alignment between our and Agnico Eagle’s commitments to sustainability and we welcome their expertise as not only a highly reputable senior Canadian gold mining company, but also a global ESG leader in their industry. The Private Placement supports the growing valuation of Green Star Royalties and represents a strong endorsement of our green royalty business model. We believe this support for our green strategy and increased scale following the Private Placement should accelerate our growth, which we expect would lead to a lower cost of capital going forward.”
“Green Star Royalties is focused on the origination of top-quality carbon sequestration projects that will contribute to the reduction of global greenhouse gas emissions. We innovated the first forest carbon credit royalty and we recently announced a scalable carbon credit royalty in regenerative agriculture with our partner Blue Source LLC, North America’s leading carbon offset developer and marketer. We are also in discussions with respect to several significant regenerative agriculture and forestry carbon credit opportunities in North America that we intend to advance aggressively following the closing of the Private Placement.”
Rationale for the Creation of Green Star Royalties
Since its inception, Star Royalties has been committed to funding sustainable environmental solutions for a carbon neutral economy and continues to view ESG-related investments as a highly scalable business model with attractive returns. As part of its original portfolio development strategy, Star Royalties targeted a long-term 80% capital allocation to precious metals with the remaining 20% reserved for predominantly green investments, including the development of carbon offset credit projects (nature-based and renewable energies) and green technology opportunities (diesel usage displacement).
Following the overwhelmingly positive response thus far to the Company’s innovative green royalty model, numerous origination opportunities, and the superior potential returns, on October 18, 2021 Star Royalties announced the creation of a new subsidiary, Green Star Royalties, with the sole purpose to accelerate the growth of its green portfolio beyond the initial limitations of its 80/20 allocation framework.
A more rapid build-out of the green investment strategy will allow Star Royalties to maximize its strong relationships and first-mover advantage in carbon offset credit and ESG-related investments. The Company’s current vision is to use existing management, infrastructure and oversight to grow Green Star Royalties at a minimal cost as a private subsidiary and, subject to market conditions, unlock additional value when an appropriate public market valuation is achieved.
About Agnico Eagle
Agnico Eagle is a senior Canadian gold mining company, producing precious metals from operations in Canada, Australia, Finland and Mexico. It has a pipeline of high-quality exploration and development projects in these countries as well as in the United States and Colombia.
CONTACT INFORMATION
For more information, please visit our website at starroyalties.com or contact:
Alex Pernin, P.Geo.
Chief Executive Officer and Director
apernin@starroyalties.com +1 647 801 3549
Dmitry Kushnir, CFA
Head of Investor Relations
dkushnir@starroyalties.com
+1 647 287 3846
ABOUT STAR ROYALTIES LTD.
Star Royalties Ltd. is a precious metals and green royalty and streaming investment company. The Company created the world’s first carbon negative gold royalty platform and offers investors gold exposure with an increasingly negative carbon footprint. The Company’s objective is to provide wealth creation through accretive transaction structuring and asset life extension with superior alignment to both counterparties and shareholders.
CAUTIONARY NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION
Certain statements in this news release may constitute “forward-looking statements”, including those regarding future market conditions for carbon offset credits. Forward-looking statements are statements that address or discuss activities, events or developments that the Company expects or anticipates may occur in the future. When used in this news release, words such as “estimates”, “expects”, “plans”, “anticipates”, “will”, “believes”, “intends” “should”, “could”, “may” and other similar terminology are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are made based upon certain assumptions and other important factors that, if untrue, could cause the actual results, performances or achievements of Star Royalties and Green Star Royalties to be materially different from future results, performances or achievements expressed or implied by such statements. Forward-looking statements should not be read as a guarantee of future performance or results and will not necessarily be an accurate indication of whether or not such results will be achieved. A number of factors could cause actual results, performances or achievements to differ materially from such forward-looking statements, including, without limitation, changes in business plans and strategies, the ability of the parties to complete the Private Placement, market conditions, ongoing market disruptions caused by the Ukraine and Russian conflict, carbon pricing and carbon tax legislation and regulations, risks inherent to the development of the ESG-related investments and the creation, marketability and sale of carbon offset credits by the parties, the potential value of mandatory and voluntary carbon markets and carbon offset credits, including carbon offsets, risks inherent to royalty companies, title and permitting matters, operation and development risks relating to the parties which develop, market and sell the carbon offset credits from which Green Star Royalties will receive royalty payments, regulatory restrictions, activities by governmental authorities (including changes in taxation), currency fluctuations, the global, federal and provincial social and economic climate in particular with respect to addressing and reducing global warming, natural disasters and global pandemics, dilution, and competition. These risks, as well as others, could cause actual results and events to vary significantly. Accordingly, readers should exercise caution in relying upon forward-looking statements and the Company undertakes no obligation to publicly revise them to reflect subsequent events or circumstances, except as required by law.
View source version on newsdirect.com: https://newsdirect.com/news/star-royalties-announces-strategic-investment-by-agnico-eagle-into-green-star-royalties-296427926


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Those who invested in Humana (NYSE:HUM) five years ago are up 117%


The most you can lose on any stock (assuming you don’t use leverage) is 100% of your money. But when you pick a company that is really flourishing, you can make more than 100%. For example, the Humana Inc. (NYSE:HUM) share price has soared 109% in the last half decade. Most would be very happy with that. Meanwhile the share price is 2.0% higher than it was a week ago.
With that in mind, it’s worth seeing if the company’s underlying fundamentals have been the driver of long term performance, or if there are some discrepancies.
Check out our latest analysis for Humana
In his essay The Superinvestors of Graham-and-Doddsville Warren Buffett described how share prices do not always rationally reflect the value of a business. One imperfect but simple way to consider how the market perception of a company has shifted is to compare the change in the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price movement.
Over half a decade, Humana managed to grow its earnings per share at 41% a year. The EPS growth is more impressive than the yearly share price gain of 16% over the same period. So it seems the market isn’t so enthusiastic about the stock these days.
The graphic below depicts how EPS has changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).






earnings-per-share-growth

This free interactive report on Humana’s earnings, revenue and cash flow is a great place to start, if you want to investigate the stock further.
What About Dividends?
When looking at investment returns, it is important to consider the difference between total shareholder return (TSR) and share price return. The TSR incorporates the value of any spin-offs or discounted capital raisings, along with any dividends, based on the assumption that the dividends are reinvested. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. In the case of Humana, it has a TSR of 117% for the last 5 years. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.
A Different Perspective
Humana shareholders gained a total return of 5.5% during the year. Unfortunately this falls short of the market return. On the bright side, the longer term returns (running at about 17% a year, over half a decade) look better. It’s quite possible the business continues to execute with prowess, even as the share price gains are slowing. It’s always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Humana better, we need to consider many other factors. Consider for instance, the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We’ve identified 1 warning sign with Humana , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.
Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking elsewhere. So take a peek at this free list of companies we expect will grow earnings.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on US exchanges.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.
This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.



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GameStop Soars on Plans to Extend Rebound With Stock Split


(Bloomberg) — GameStop Corp. shares surged as much as 22% in extended trading after the company said it plans to ask shareholders for approval of a stock split in the form of a dividend.
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The gaming retailer will request at its upcoming annual meeting that shareholders approve a proposal to increase the number of Class A shares to 1 billion from 300 million, according to a filing Thursday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The stock jumped to a high of $203.98 after closing at $166.58 in New York.
The plan would make the company the latest tech firm to propose a share split after heavyweights Alphabet Inc., Amazon.com Inc. and Tesla Inc. laid out similar goals in recent weeks. The moves helped trigger rallies on the companies as retail investors, who tend to favor stocks with lower price tags, flocked to the shares.
The split is “just a sentiment effect,” Gina Martin Adams, chief equity strategist at Bloomberg Intelligence, said earlier this week referring to the recent split announcements.
GameStop’s shares have swung over the past year as the company became a poster child for so-called meme stocks. Retail investors, who organize in online forums like Reddit, boosted the stock by more than 700% in 2021. But gains faded earlier this year until last week when Chairman Ryan Cohen reported an increase in his stake of the company to 11.9%, with the purchase of 100,000 shares, signaling confidence in the gaming retailer.
Cohen joined the board of GameStop early last year and became chairman in June with a vision to revive growth at the Grapevine, Texas-based company, which has slowed as players shifted from buying gaming discs to digital downloads.
The company said on Thursday the split would “provide flexibility for future corporate needs.” It’s unclear when GameStop will release its definitive proxy statement. The company hasn’t announced when and where it will hold its annual meeting though last year’s took place in June.
(Updates with additional detail throughout.)
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Ukraine war: Russian troops leave Chernobyl, Ukraine says





Image source, Getty ImagesImage caption,
There have been concerns about safety at the former plant since the Russian occupation



Russian troops occupying the former nuclear power plant at Chernobyl have left, the plant’s staff say.


According to Ukraine’s state nuclear company Energoatom, staff at the plant said there are currently no “outsiders” at the site.


Earlier, it said some Russian forces had set off towards the Belarusian border, leaving a small group behind.


The announcement appears to confirm reports by senior US defence officials on Wednesday of a withdrawal.


Russian troops seized Chernobyl at the beginning of their invasion of Ukraine.


“This morning, the invaders announced their intentions to leave the Chernobyl nuclear power plant,” Energoatom said in a statement.


The company also confirmed reports that Russian troops had dug trenches in the most contaminated part of the Chernobyl exclusion zone, receiving “significant doses” of radiation. There are unconfirmed reports that some are being treated in Belarus.


Reuters news agency quoted workers at the plant as saying some of the soldiers had no idea they were in a radiation zone.


The Russian military, however, said that after capturing the plant radiation levels at the plant itself had stayed within a normal range.


The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said in a statement that it was unable to confirm the reports.


Its director did, however, say it was in close consultations with Ukrainian authorities on sending a mission to the Chernobyl plant in the next few days.


While “Chernobyl” is a word that evokes apocalypse, nuclear experts stressed throughout this saga that there was no risk of “another Chernobyl”.


There is no working nuclear reactor on the site. As Prof Claire Corkhill from Sheffield University told me at the time, even if buildings containing contaminated material were pierced “we wouldn’t be talking about plumes of radioactive smoke”.


She was much more concerned when Russian forces attacked a building at the working Zaporizhzhia nuclear facility on 4 March. That incident caused the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to plan a trip to Ukraine – essentially to ask Russian forces to keep nuclear facilities out of the line of fire.


“What is a concern in Chernobyl now,” Prof Corkhill told me, “is that we haven’t had regular communication between the site and the IAEA, which basically keeps a [safety log] of where any potentially hazardous material is. We now need to go in and establish that none of that material is missing.”


Other scientists are concerned about the damage that may have been caused to a place that has become a wildlife refuge and a site of international research collaboration.


Prof Nick Beresford, who studies the exclusion zone’s landscape, says his Ukrainian colleagues now don’t know if they will have labs to return to. “The zone itself, over the last nearly 40 years, has become a site for wildlife,” he added.


“Lots of rare species moved in when people moved out. We just don’t know how this will have affected the wildlife.”


In recent days Russia has said it will scale down its operations in northern Ukraine around the capital Kyiv and focus its forces on the eastern Donbas region. Chernobyl is located north of Kyiv.


But on Thursday Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Moscow was repositioning rather than withdrawing in order to regroup, resupply and reinforce its offensive in Donbas.


“At the same time, Russia maintains pressure on Kyiv and other cities. So we can expect additional offensive actions, bringing even more suffering,” he said.


There was no change in Russia’s objective to pursue a military outcome, he added.


The occupation of the Chernobyl site since 24 February, the day of the invasion, has been dogged with concerns about power outages and problems for the staff, many of whom were trapped there for weeks and could not get home.


Although no longer a working power station, Chernobyl was never fully abandoned and still requires constant management.


It is the site of what is considered to be the world’s worst nuclear accident in 1986.


The Russian withdrawal follows an announcement several days ago by the mayor of Slavutych, a nearby town housing workers at the plant, that Russian troops had left the town.


War in Ukraine: More coverage



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GOP Senator Shrugs Off Trump’s Plea to Putin for Dirt: ‘Donald Trump Is Donald Trump’








MSNBC

A Republican lawmaker insisted on Thursday that former President Donald Trump was just being sarcastic and tweaking the media when he brazenly called for Russian President Vladimir Putin to release dirt on President Joe Biden’s son Hunter.
“Donald Trump is Donald Trump,” Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) shrugged during an appearance on MSNBC’s MTP Daily.
In an interview earlier this week with JustTheNews’ John Solomon, who just so happens to be the architect of Rudy Giuliani’s Ukraine conspiracies that led to Trumps’ first impeachment, the ex-president implored America’s top adversary to release damaging information about the president of the United States.
“As long as Putin is not exactly a fan of our country, let him explain… why did the mayor of Moscow’s wife give the Bidens—both of ’em—three and a half million dollars?!” Trump exclaimed, advancing an unsubstantiated claim about the Biden family. “I would think Putin would know the answer to that. I think he should release it. I think we should know that answer.”
Greg Gutfeld Blames Hunter Biden’s Laptop for Famine Because Why Not
Speaking with Cramer on Thursday, MSNBC anchor Chuck Todd brought up the fact that Trump once again was asking for help to tarnish a political rival from a foreign government—this time, from a country waging an unprovoked war with an American ally.
“Why would you trust propaganda from somebody who is, you know, right now based on the conversation I had earlier, President Biden called for him to be removed from power?” Todd wondered. “Why would you want to trust anything Putin had to say about Hunter Biden?”
After Cramer said Trump’s remarks were “more sarcastic than it was anything” else, the MTP Daily host pushed back on his characterization.
“I mean, I’m sorry, it comes across as almost a bit unpatriotic to ask literally the enemy of the free world right now for propaganda for a political opponent,” Todd declared. “I mean, it just seemed like a horrendous thing to do by the former president. No?”
The North Dakota senator deflected by claiming the media would be “treating the war in Ukraine like a Boy Scout camp” if “Hunter Biden’s name was Donald Trump Jr.,” prompting Todd to cut him off.
“Senator, that is the laziest attack. It’s not about the media,” the anchor grumbled.
“It’s also honest,” Cramer retorted.
Chuck Todd Wonders ‘How Long’ NATO Can ‘Stand By and Watch’ Russia Attack Ukraine
“It doesn’t matter about the media,” Todd fired back. “Is it right for the former president of the United States to ask an enemy of the free world to do this?”Asserting that what an ex-president does can’t be compared to the current president, Cramer ascribed the actions to merely Trump being Trump.
“Donald Trump is Donald Trump,” he said. “He hasn’t changed. He’s not going to change. It’s more interesting to the Washington press corps than it is to the general public. Was it the wisest thing in the world to say? Perhaps not, but he’s Donald Trump and he says these things.”
Adding that he thinks Putin is a “war criminal,” Cramer downplayed Trump’s remarks as nothing more than the former president taking the press for a ride.
“Once again Donald Trump baited you all and you all took the bait. Now we’re having to, you know, discuss this,” Cramer said.
“I’m not going to debate you about whether Trump gets too much coverage or not enough. But he is the leader of your party, sir,” Todd pressed. “At the end of the day, whether you like it or not, he’s the leader of your party. Are you comfortable with the leader of your party playing footsie with Vladimir Putin?”
Hannity Quotes Putin’s Mouthpiece in Attack on Biden
Cramer, meanwhile, dodged the question again by saying there is “evidence the Democrats fed information into the White House to plant false evidence” that Trump colluded with Russia, seemingly parroting misleading claims about Special Counsel John Durham’s most recent filing.
“How does that make what Donald Trump is doing somehow better?” Todd exasperatedly asked.
“I’m way more concerned, and I think the American people are, with the current president and his behavior and really the lack of scrutiny compared to a former president who has a long history of saying sort of outrageous things, whether seriously or not seriously, and being taken way, way, way too seriously, frankly, by a press corps that’s all too anxious to jump on an interesting personality, to say the least,” Cramer deflected again. “I’ll add when Donald Trump was president, Russia didn’t invade Ukraine.”
Read more at The Daily Beast.
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Get up to 40% off at this Madewell sale—save on top-rated jeans, dresses and shirts








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This article originally appeared on Reviewed: Madewell sale: Save up to 40% on jeans, dresses and shirts


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Capital Allocation Trends At Ormat Technologies (NYSE:ORA) Aren't Ideal


If you’re looking for a multi-bagger, there’s a few things to keep an eye out for. In a perfect world, we’d like to see a company investing more capital into its business and ideally the returns earned from that capital are also increasing. Basically this means that a company has profitable initiatives that it can continue to reinvest in, which is a trait of a compounding machine. Although, when we looked at Ormat Technologies (NYSE:ORA), it didn’t seem to tick all of these boxes.
Return On Capital Employed (ROCE): What is it?
For those who don’t know, ROCE is a measure of a company’s yearly pre-tax profit (its return), relative to the capital employed in the business. To calculate this metric for Ormat Technologies, this is the formula:
Return on Capital Employed=Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) ÷ (Total Assets – Current Liabilities)
0.042=US$162m ÷ (US$4.4b – US$544m) (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2021).
So, Ormat Technologies has an ROCE of 4.2%. On its own that’s a low return, but compared to the average of 2.8% generated by the Renewable Energy industry, it’s much better.
View our latest analysis for Ormat Technologies






roce

In the above chart we have measured Ormat Technologies’ prior ROCE against its prior performance, but the future is arguably more important. If you’d like to see what analysts are forecasting going forward, you should check out our free report for Ormat Technologies.
How Are Returns Trending?
When we looked at the ROCE trend at Ormat Technologies, we didn’t gain much confidence. Around five years ago the returns on capital were 9.4%, but since then they’ve fallen to 4.2%. However it looks like Ormat Technologies might be reinvesting for long term growth because while capital employed has increased, the company’s sales haven’t changed much in the last 12 months. It may take some time before the company starts to see any change in earnings from these investments.
In Conclusion…
Bringing it all together, while we’re somewhat encouraged by Ormat Technologies’ reinvestment in its own business, we’re aware that returns are shrinking. Although the market must be expecting these trends to improve because the stock has gained 43% over the last five years. But if the trajectory of these underlying trends continue, we think the likelihood of it being a multi-bagger from here isn’t high.
On a final note, we’ve found 1 warning sign for Ormat Technologies that we think you should be aware of.
For those who like to invest in solid companies, check out this free list of companies with solid balance sheets and high returns on equity.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.
This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.



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Rep. Jayapal urges lawmakers to protect trans kids: “We cannot wait any longer”


Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) in a Teen Vogue op-ed out Thursday urged lawmakers to pass federal protections for transgender children, writing that such measures “cannot wait any longer.”
Why it matters: March 31 marks Transgender Day of Visibility. It comes this year as Republican-led states across the nation continue to introduce and pass legislation targeting transgender youth.
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Jayapal, the mother of a trans child, noted that “transgender youth are some of the most vulnerable children in our country today, experiencing higher rates of bullying and harassment, physical and sexual violence, depressed academic performance, and an epidemic of mental distress and suicidality.”


The big picture: Over two-thirds of LGBTQ youth said recent debates over state laws that target transgender people have negatively impacted their mental health, a January poll by the Trevor Project indicates.
The big picture: Among the measures are Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s order that seeks to have parents investigated for seeking gender-affirming care for their children, and a proposal in Idaho to make it a felony to help kids seek gender-affirming care.


Those proposals are “fueled by a cocktail of ignorance, transphobia, and malice for trans kids, their parents, and the doctors and the communities who want to help them,” Jayapal wrote.


“These attacks on our children are precisely why we cannot wait any longer to enshrine protections for trans kids into federal law,” she added.


Worth noting: Jayapal said she and co-chairs on the House’s Transgender Equality Task Force plan to reintroduce a resolution recognizing Transgender Day of Visibility.


She also urged the Senate to pass the Equality Act — passed by the House more than a year ago — which she called “our best chance for achieving full protection for LGBTQ+ Americans.”


What they’re saying: “Like hundreds of thousands of parents with transgender kids across the country, I want to do everything I can to support my daughter as she strives to embrace who she is and live as her most authentic self,” Jayapal wrote.


“To transgender kids everywhere, I want you to know that we see you, we will stand with you, and we will fight for you.”


“The suffering of transgender children is not inevitable. It is our job — as leaders, as parents, as legislators — to push back on the attacks and to move us forward again toward true equality and justice.”


Go deeper:


Most LGBTQ kids’ mental health negatively impacted by anti-trans legislation


Biden honors Transgender Day of Visibility: “Your President sees you”


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Biden Tells Americans Struggling with Higher Energy Costs to Buy Electric Vehicles and Get Some Solar Panels (VIDEO)



Joe Biden waged war on the domestic oil industry on Thursday as he delivered remarks on energy and gas prices.
Biden announced he is authorizing the release of 1 million barrels per day for the next six months from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
“This is a wartime bridge to increase oil supply until production ramps up later this year,” said Biden.
Biden also said he will use the Defense Production Act to create materials needed for electric car and renewable energy batteries.
TRENDING: JUST IN: Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich Refers Criminal Action Against AZ Secretary of State Katie Hobbs For Election Crimes
In the meantime, Joe Biden has some advice for Americans struggling with high energy costs: Buy expensive electric vehicles and get some Chinese-made solar panels.
Biden said driving a $55,000 electric vehicle will save families $80 a month on gas.
VIDEO:

Biden drives a Corvette while telling the peasants to drive a Chevy Volt or a Nissan Leaf.
VIDEO:

Biden: *Drives a Corvette*
Also Biden: Buy electric vehicles! pic.twitter.com/WufzueiP88
— MRCTV (@mrctv) March 11, 2022


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