Alan Howard’s Hedge Fund Soars 100% in Virus-Fueled Chaos

Billionaire Alan Howard has doubled his investors’ money in the coronavirus crisis.

The macro trader has returned about 100% this year in the hedge fund that he personally runs, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Most of the gain was in March when the pandemic sent the global markets into a tailspin, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private.

A spokesman for Jersey-based Brevan Howard Asset Management declined to comment.

Howard’s return marks one of the most profitable money-making phases of his investing career and is the highest achieved by a major macro hedge fund this year. The no-nonsense, fast-talking trader is leading his firm’s dramatic turnaround after years of mediocre returns and an exodus of investors.

Howard’s AH Master Fund was started in 2017 to make riskier bets in order to achieve high returns. It has a handful of external investors, money from the firm’s flagship hedge fund and Howard’s own money. Every detail of the fund is kept top secret by the firm, according to people familiar with the company.

It’s not clear how exactly Howard’s fund achieved its triple-digit returns. The firm’s main hedge fund gained more than 18% in March to record its best-ever month. Returns, parts of which came from allocation to Howard, were driven by interest rate trading across directional, volatility and relative value strategies in a range of different markets, the firm wrote to clients in April.

Boom and Bust

The global pandemic has led to a raft of booms and busts in the $3 trillion hedge fund industry, with three in every four losing money in March, according to preliminary data compiled by Bloomberg. Some of the firms led by legendary investors such as Ray Dalio and Michael Hintze suffered their worst-ever losses, while many others used the crisis to churn bumper profits.

Saba Capital Management gained 36% in March, macro trader Said Haidar gained 25%, while famed oil trader Pierre Andurand saw one of his hedge funds surge almost 155%.

It’s not the first time Howard has generated eye-catching returns in his money pool. It surged 37% in May 2018, when it managed about $2.3 billion.

Brevan Howard is making a comeback after firm-wide assets dwindled to less than $8 billion at the end of last year, from more than $40 billion in 2013. After pulling money for years, investors have just started to allocate fresh capital again. The firm managed $9.6 billion at the end of April, according to a letter to investors.

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Trump Walks Back His Incendiary Minneapolis ‘Thugs’ Post

Washington (AP) — President Donald Trump has tried to walk back his post-midnight “thugs” tweet about Minneapolis protesters that added to outrage over the police killing of a black man.

Trump’s repeated condemnation of the killing and outreach to the man’s family was a marked change in tone from his earlier comments that also invoked a civil-rights-era phrase fraught with racist overtones.

“When the looting starts, the shooting starts,” Trump had written in a tweet that was quickly flagged by Twitter as violating rules against “glorifying violence.” Trump later said his comments had been misconstrued. “Frankly it means when there’s looting, people get shot and they die,” he said.

Trump’s explanation did little to satisfy hundreds of protesters who gathered outside the White House into early Saturday, shouting “No justice, no peace” as well as an obscene chant directed at the president.

Trump’s whiplash comments came after protesters torched a Minneapolis police station on Thursday night, following three days of searing demonstrations over the death of George Floyd, who was captured on video pleading for air as a white police officer knelt on his neck for over eight minutes.

And they underscored Trump’s complicated relationship with race as he tries to maintain a law-and-order mantle while looking to appeal to black voters during an election year. They also highlighted his refusal to avoid controversy or cede the spotlight even as the battered nation tries to make sense of another killing and reels over the mounting COVID-19 death toll.

Trump, in his tweets, borrowed a phrase once used by former Miami Police Chief Walter Headley in a 1967 speech outlining his department’s efforts to “combat young hoodlums who have taken advantage of the civil rights campaign.” In the speech, Headley said his department had been successful “because I’ve let the word filter down that when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”

“We don’t mind being accused of police brutality,” he said in the same speech, according to news reports from the time.

Trump, after hours of backlash, said Friday evening that he was unaware of the origins of the phrase. “But I’ve heard it for a long time, as most people have. And frankly it means when there’s looting, people get shot and they die,” he said.

Trump also revealed that he had been in touch with Floyd’s family as he continued to denounce the circumstances of the man’s killing, which he called “a terrible insult to police and to policemen.”

“I just expressed my sorrow,” Trump told reporters. “He was in tremendous pain, obviously, and couldn’t breathe. And it was very obvious to anybody that watched it.”

Still, Trump called on protesters to keep their demonstrations peaceful.

“The family of George is entitled to justice, and the people of Minnesota are entitled to live in safety,” he said. “Law and order will prevail.”

Criticism of the Trump’s tweet had been swift, with his presumptive Democratic presidential rival Joe Biden saying it was “no time for incendiary tweets, no time to incite violence.”

“It’s not helpful,” said Minnesota’s Democratic Gov. Tim Walz. “Anything we do to add fuel to that fire is really, really challenging.”

Rep. Emmanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., said that, as the country passed the grim milestone of more than 100,000 COVID-19 deaths, Trump had missed a chance to help the public cope with “two viruses: One is the coronavirus and the other is the virus of racial animus.”

Trump has been accused of stoking racial tensions and exploiting divisions for personal gain since long before he ran for president, beginning with the full-page ads he ran in 1989 calling for the death penalty for the Central Park Five, five young men of color who were wrongly convicted of assaulting a white jogger.

Trump — who rarely holds his tongue — has been silent in the face of a long list of high-profile killings by police of black men, including Eric Garner, who was placed in a chokehold and whose dying words, “I can’t breathe,” became a rallying cry for the Black Lives Matter movement. (Trump has instead invoked those words on several occasions to mock political rivals, even bringing his hands to his neck for dramatic effect.)

He spent years railing against NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick and other players for kneeling during the National Anthem to protest racial injustice and police brutality. And in one speech he appeared to advocate rougher treatment of people in custody, speaking dismissively of the police practice of shielding the heads of handcuffed suspects as they are being placed in patrol cars.

At the same time, Trump and his campaign have tried to make inroads with black Americans, particularly after Biden suggested last week that black voters who support Trump “ain’t black.” A bedrock of the Democratic base, black Americans are unlikely to embrace Trump en masse, but his campaign believes even a marginal shift could make a difference — and send a message to white voters uneasy about the president’s charged rhetoric.

Meanwhile, the unrest complicates the Trump campaign’s plans for Minnesota, one of the key swing states he hopes to win in November.

Twitter’s decision to flag Trump’s tweet — the second time it has acted this week — came a day after he signed an executive order challenging the social media giant’s protections against lawsuits as he accuses it of stifling conservative voices. The warning label prevented the tweet from being shared or liked, though it could still be viewed by users. The White House, trying to skirt the blockage, reposted the message on its own official Twitter account Friday morning. Twitter quickly flagged that tweet, too, accusing the White House of promoting violence.

Supporters of the president balked at the move.

Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale accused the media, Biden and other Democrats of “purposefully misrepresenting what the President had said, and showing once again that they are incapable of resisting their base impulse of dividing Americans, solely for the purpose of political gain, ratings, and cable news profit.”

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Another Trump Trip To The Cape, At Least $1.1 Million More In Costs For Taxpayers

WASHINGTON ― President Donald Trump is heading back to Florida on Saturday to watch a space launch, a trip that will cost taxpayers at least another $1.1 million and may potentially add pressure on NASA officials to lift off in marginal conditions ― but it will almost certainly give Trump some cool video footage for campaign ads.

Trump already attended Wednesday’s initial launch attempt for SpaceX’s very first flight of its Crew Dragon capsule intended to carry two astronauts to the International Space Station. He had been scheduled to deliver a speech after liftoff but left immediately to fly back to Washington after the launch was called off because of bad weather.

He vowed a return on the flight back to Joint Base Andrews: “Thank you to @NASA and @SpaceX for their hard work and leadership. Look forward to being back with you on Saturday!”

The forecast for Saturday afternoon’s launch time again includes a chance of poor weather, including rain and thunderclouds in the area.

On Wednesday, Trump’s presence did not prevent launch managers from scrubbing the launch. However, NASA has historically been aware that the attendance of top-level political officials can add subtle pressure to launch even when conditions are not optimal. There has also been an awareness through the years that the presence of the president can complicate matters if there is an emergency or accident.

In almost six decades of human spaceflight, presidents have attended launches only twice: In 1998, when Bill Clinton was on hand for a space shuttle launch that included former Mercury astronaut John Glenn, and in 1969, when Richard Nixon attended the launch of Apollo 12 (that flight nearly ended in disaster when the Saturn 5 rocket was struck by lightning triggered by its own ionized exhaust).

No president has ever attended the inaugural flight of any crewed vehicle ― not John F. Kennedy for Mercury-Redstone 3, not Lyndon Johnson for Gemini 3 or Apollo 7, not Ronald Reagan for the first space shuttle flight in 1981, although Reagan was convalescing after having been shot two weeks earlier. Reagan did not attend the shuttle’s “return to flight” launch in 1988 following the 1986 Challenger disaster, and George W. Bush did not attend a second return to flight in 2005 following the 2003 breakup of Columbia during reentry.

NASA headquarters spokesperson Allard Beutel said the fact that launch officials called off Wednesday’s attempt despite Trump’s presence speaks for itself. “Having both the president and vice president come to witness in person this NASA SpaceX launch of American astronauts on an American rocket and spacecraft from American soil to the International Space Station shows what a historic moment in spaceflight history it really is,” he said.

John Logsdon, the founder of the Space Policy Institute at George Washington University, said he doubted Trump’s attendance would hamper sound decision-making, even if it meant a second scrubbed launch.

“Having Trump present will be a distraction for senior NASA folks, but the launch team operates on its own and are unlikely to allow their bosses into the go-no-go loop,” he said.

Neither the White House nor the Trump campaign would return HuffPost queries about whether footage from a successful launch would make its way into a campaign ad.

His campaign, however, has not been shy about turning around video from purportedly “official” events ― those paid for entirely by taxpayers and, in theory, done on behalf of all Americans ― into reelection videos. Trump’s multimillion-dollar July 4th extravaganza on the National Mall last year later appeared in his videos. And Trump’s March 28 visit to Norfolk, Virginia, for the sailing of the hospital ship Comfort made it into a Trump campaign ad released May 4.

Jordan Libowitz, with the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington watchdog group, said Trump is not the first president to use footage from official events in campaign ads, and it does not appear to be illegal. “The presence of top campaign surrogates and quick turnaround for an ad certainly could make people question whether the trip was done for the purpose of the ad, which is not what official business is for,” he said.

Each hour that the modified 747 jetliner that Trump normally uses as Air Force One is in the air costs $273,063, according to a General Accountability Office analysis, meaning a round trip to Kennedy Space Center runs $1.1 million. That figure does not include the $58,000 that his helicopter trip from the White House to Joint Base Andrews and back costs, nor the several hundreds of thousands of dollars that ferrying his motorcade aboard C-17 cargo planes costs. That amount varies with the starting location of the planes and the cars and vans, which differs with each trip.

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Expert explains how Britons can claim from HMRC in tax relief

HMRC has been under pressure recently as a result of the coronavirus crisis, but is still processing its usual claims alongside the variety of schemes made available by the government to help during this time. However, particularly for those who are experiencing financial difficulty, there is one source of additional income which can be derived from the government. Tax repayments are available to many Britons who are employed under a PAYE scheme.

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This sort of relief is available from a wide range of expenses, and may in fact be more likely with many people working from home during lockdown.

Express.co.uk spoke exclusively to Joseph Ivory, Personal Tax Manager at Dyer and Co, who explained many workers can approach HMRC directly to claim tax relief.

He said: “PAYE employees can claim tax relief on any business related expenses that they incur which are not reimbursed by employers.

“If expense is incurred wholly for their duties, and it isn’t reimbursed by their employer, an employee can claim tax relief on that. 

“This has the effect of reducing their taxable income on paper, which means they have effectively overpaid on their PAYE income.

“Examples of this can include uniform costs, professional fees and subscriptions, and working from home, for example, claiming a proportion of household bills – such as gas and electricity.

“Employees can claim 45p per business mile from the government. Some employers would reimburse this at 45 percent meaning they cannot claim more, however a lot of employers would do this at their own approved rate.

“If there is a difference between the 45 percent and what the actual employer reimburses then tax relief is available.”

Mr Ivory explained it was important for Britons to get in touch with their employer to understand their rate. 

Over the course of the year, he added, small costs could add up to make a significant return.

He stressed workers should check if they are incurring expenses that they are not reimbursed for. 

In this case, HMRC can be contacted directly, and a tax refund claimed. 

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While tax refunds are usually calculated and can be reimbursed at the end of a tax year, the earlier a claim is submitted the better.

This could also provide Britons with additional income they may need to assist them during the coronavirus crisis. 

Similar tax refunds are also available for those who fall into the higher rate taxpayer bracket.

People can claim tax relief on charity donations if they are a higher rate taxpayer, and pension contributions for this group may also be subject to tax relief.

The government states some types of tax relief can be received automatically, however, others must be applied for.

Tax relief also applies to maintenance payments to a former partner or spouse, and also for time spent working at sea outside of the UK.

To claim tax relief, Britons must have paid tax within the year, and will receive tax relief based on what is spent, and their personal tax rate.

Claimants must submit a claim within four years of the end of the tax year where the money was spent. 

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Coronavirus causes dramatic rise in Americans’ savings rate

Saving money during coronavirus is a ‘good lesson’: Dave Ramsey

Personal finance expert Dave Ramsey discusses how people are saving money amid the coronavirus crisis.

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Americans saved a record amount of their income in April, as the coronavirus pandemic caused businesses across the country to shut down and individuals were encouraged to stay in their homes.

According to data released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis on Friday, the personal savings rate as a percentage of personal income jumped to 33 percent in April, from 12.7 percent in March. At about one-third of personal income, 33 percent, is the highest savings rate since the BEA began recording and reporting the data in the late 1950s.

For comparison, the personal savings rate has largely remained in the single digits throughout the past three decades.

The statistic accounts for what people have left after they pay taxes and spend money.

CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS PREPAID CARDS MAILED IN PLAIN ENVELOPES ARE NOT JUNK MAIL, IRS CAUTIONS

April also saw a 10.5 percent month-over-month increase in personal income, which the agency largely attributed to the fact that individuals were receiving their economic impact payments from the federal government.

During the same month, however, personal consumption expenditures declined by 13.6 percent – or $1.6 trillion – indicating people were less willing to part with their cash.

Specifically, there was a $943 billion decrease in spending on services, in addition to a $758 billion decline in spending on goods. The latter drop was heavily driven by less spending on food and beverages, according to the BEA.

MCCONNELL HINTS AT MORE CORONAVIRUS AID FOR STATES IN FUTURE RESCUE PACKAGE

The uptick in savings, and decline in spending, came as millions of Americans lost their jobs. As of Thursday, about 40 million individuals had filed for initial jobless claims since mid-March. In April, the unemployment rate jumped to 14.7 percent – a level not seen since the Great Depression.

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Consumer spending patterns may change as state economies begin to reopen and consumers have greater access to the goods and services they are accustomed to. Spending, which accounts for a majority of GDP, is expected to play an important part of the U.S. economic recovery.

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Biden Condemns Racism, Trump’s Response After Minnesota Protests

Joe Biden denounced the unjust treatment of African Americans and called Friday on Americans to take an active role in combating racism, as he assailed President Donald Trump’s leadership after a black man was killed in police custody in Minnesota.

Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, delivered brief remarks in a speech streamed live on his website, as he sought to draw a clear contrast with a series of inflammatory tweets from Trump suggesting that protesters in Minneapolis would be shot.

“We need to stand up as a nation with the black community, with all minority communities, and come together as one America,” Biden said. “The very soul of America is at stake. We must commit as a nation to pursue justice with every ounce of our being.”

On Monday, George Floyd, a black man, was killed in Minneapolis after a white police officer kneeled on his neck. On Friday, after days of sometimes violent protests, police officer Derek Chauvin was arrested and charged with murder.

Trump inserted himself into the protests with a series of early morning tweets in which he criticized the mayor’s handling of the protests and threatened to send in the National Guard, which is a state function, not federal. He then used a phrase coined by a Miami police chief in the 1960s about shooting looters.

“These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you!”

Trump tried to walk back the remark after widespread criticism, tweeting that he was not seeking to stoke violence but rather stating that looting can lead to violence, which he wanted to avoid. He later said he had spoken to Floyd’s family and asked for an expedited federal investigation into the death.

“We all saw what we saw, and it’s very hard to even conceive of anything other than what we did see. Should never happen, should never be allowed to happen, a thing like that. But we’re determined that justice be served,” he told reporters.

But he also spoke out against violent protests.

“We can’t allow a situation like happened in Minneapolis to descend further into lawless anarchy and chaos. And we understand that very well. It’s very important, I believe, to the family, to everybody that memory of George Floyd be a perfect memory. Let it be a perfect memory. The looters should not be allowed to drown out the voices of so many peaceful protesters,” he said.

Although Biden didn’t mention Trump directly in his speech, he had harsh words for the president on CNN a few hours later.

“He is totally thoroughly wrong the way he is handling this,” Biden said. “It is not presidential.”

Biden also said that he had spoken with Floyd’s family and promised that he would work to seek justice for them. But the former vice president also drew a line from Floyd’s death to the recent killings of unarmed African-Americans in Georgia and Kentucky as well as other incidents of harassment and discrimination against blacks.

“We are a country with an open wound,” he said. “None of us can turn away. None of us can be silent.”

Race Jibes in Campaign

Biden’s appeal for racial healing comes a week after he was facing jibes from Trump on race. Biden had appeared on a radio show geared toward a black audience and said, “If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump then you ain’t black.”

The Trump campaign and its allies immediately seized on the comments, saying the comment was evidence Democrats take black voters for granted. It also launched a $1 million digital ad blitz to capitalize on the remark. Biden has apologized.

Trump’s campaign had been making a public push for support from black voters, forming “Black Voices for Trump,” last fall. Trump has also courted police unions as part of his base, suggesting a return to a time where harsher police tactics were legal.

“And when you see these towns, and when you see these thugs being thrown into the back of a paddy wagon, you just see them thrown in, rough. I said, ‘Please, don’t be too nice,’” Trump said in remarks to law enforcement in Brentwood, New York, in July 2017. “Like when you guys put somebody in the car and you’re protecting their head, you know, the way you put the hand over like, ‘Don’t hit their head!’ and they’ve just killed somebody — ‘Don’t hit their head!’ I said, ‘You can take the hand away, OK?’”

Biden, whose candidacy was revived by black voters in South Carolina and remains extremely popular among older black Americans, said when he entered the presidential race last year that he did so in part because of Trump’s reaction to the white supremacists’ rally in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017, when the president said there were “very fine people on both sides.”

On Friday, Biden tweeted that the president was “calling for violence against American citizens during a moment of pain.”

“This is no time for incendiary tweets,” Biden said in his remarks. “This is no time to encourage violence. This is a national crisis, and we need real leadership right now.”

The president’s campaign said the media and Democrats were mischaracterizing the president’s words.

“We have witnessed again the media’s relentless twisting of President Trump’s words, and the Democrats seizing on that, to take the entire nation down the worst road imaginable,” campaign manager Brad Parscale said. “A man has died, a police officer is charged with murder, an American city is in chaos, and Democrats and the media see only a political opportunity and a chance to make money. Their behavior is reprehensible and should be roundly condemned by all Americans.”

Trump’s original tweet, which was also reposted by the official White House account, was flagged by Twitter for violating its policies on “glorifying violence.” Twitter added a warning, but the company did not remove the tweets “given its relevance to ongoing matters of public importance.”

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Ted Cruz calls for probe of Twitter over alleged violation of sanctions on Iran

Ted Cruz: Calling on DOJ to open investigation into Twitter

Sen. Ted Cruz argues Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is trying to silence genuine political speech by Americans while facilitating terroristic threats by Iran.

Sen. Ted Cruz on Friday called for a criminal investigation into Twitter, accusing the company of violating U.S. sanctions against Iran.

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TRUMP DROPS HAMMER ON SOCIAL MEDIA COMPANIES' ALLEGED BIAS BY TAREGTTING CRITICAL PROTECTION

In a letter to the Justice and Treasury departments, Cruz, R-Texas, asked both agencies to investigate the social media platform after it did not shut down the accounts of Iran’s supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, and Iran’s foreign minister, Javad Zarif. Cruz had sent a letter to the social media giant in February requesting that it comply with U.S. law and stop providing services to the accounts.

"Twitter sent a letter back saying their company policy was to allow as much discussion as possible, and they apparently believe they are exempt from the criminal laws of this country," Cruz told “Varney & Co.” on Friday. “So today, I asked the Department of Justice to open an investigation. Those sanction laws are designed to stop U.S. companies from facilitating Iranian terror."

FACEBOOK'S MARK ZUCKERBERG: GOVERNMENT CENSORSHIP OF SOCIAL MEDIA 'NOT THE RIGHT REFLEX'

“Big Tech, the Silicon Valley billionaires, have an arrogance that they don’t believe the laws apply to them. They believe that they are the new kings of the universe,” Cruz added.

When reached by FOX Business, Twitter declined to comment on the matter.

The senator’s letter comes as the company began flagging President Trump's tweets, including one on Friday about the violent protests in Minneapolis that the company said violated its rules about “glorifying violence.” Twitter also put a fact-check label on a tweet from the president earlier this week regarding mail-in ballots. The labels have sparked debate about how much power social media should have over what their users post.

A tweet from President Trump about Minneapolis that was flagged by Twitter/ FOX Business

"The irony of this, is at the same time that Twitter – that [Twitter CEO] Jack Dorsey – is publishing worldwide the anti-Semitic threats of violence from the Ayatollah Khamenei, Jack Dorsey is also trying to censor the president of the United States," he said.

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Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai on Friday tweeted screenshots of tweets from Khamenei that threatened Israel and went unflagged by Twitter.

Cruz, who retweeted Pai’s post, told Varney that Twitter should be a neutral public forum.

“I think Big Tech needs to get the hell out of the censorship business, in terms of Americans,” the senator said. “The First Amendment protects American speech, and Twitter has no business deciding which politicians they like and which they don’t.”

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Pizza Hut, KFC to sell Beyond Meat products at restaurants in China

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Beyond Meat is partnering with fast-food chains KFC and Pizza Hut to sell its plant-based meat replacements in China.

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The companies haven’t announced specific details yet, but new products are scheduled to launch in June at the restaurants’ Chinese locations.

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BYND BEYOND MEAT INC. 128.29 +7.47 +6.18%

“We’re proud to expand our partnership with KFC into China, one of their largest markets worldwide, as well as introduce a new partnership with Pizza Hut in China,” a Beyond Meat spokesperson told FOX Business. "We'll be sharing more details soon."

A KFC store in China during the Beyond Meat test. (Yum China Holdings)

STARBUCKS TO LAUNCH BEYOND MEAT PRODUCTS IN CHINA

Both chains are owned by Yum China Holdings.

Beyond Meat has been making a push into new markets. The company already announced a limited test last month at Chinese KFC restaurants, and Starbucks has also recently launched a plant-based menu in China that features Beyond Meat products.

KFC sold plant-based chicken nuggets in the trial last month, and Yum China said pre-sale coupons for the first day sold out in less than an hour.

KFC’s branding for the Beyond Meat meatless chicken nuggets. (Yum China Holdings)

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“The test of KFC's Plant-Based Chicken Nuggets caters to the growing market in China for delicious alternative meat options on the go,” Yum China CEO Joey Wat said in a statement last month. “We believe that testing the plant-based chicken concept with one of our most iconic products will take this increasingly popular meatless trend to a new level.”

Meatless protein makers like Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods have eyed China as key to their future growth. Beyond Meat hired a former Tesla executive, Sanjay Shah, last year to lead the company’s overseas expansion.

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Dow panics, then softens as China tensions ease

US stocks took a deep sigh of relief Friday after President Trump’s tough talk toward China did not include the announcement of any new tariffs.

The Dow Jones industrial average slid as much as 368.97 points, or 1.4 percent, to 25,031.67 ahead of Trump’s 2 p.m. news conference. That index closed down only 17.53 points, at 25383.11, a 0.07 tumble.

The S&P 500 was up 14.58 points, to 3044.31, a 0.48 percent bump, while the Nasdaq was the day’s biggest mover, jumping 120.88 points, or 1.29 percent, to close at 9489.87.

Trump’s announcement was expected to add heat to the simmering battle between the world’s two largest economies and throw some cold water on the stock market’s recent rally. Instead, Trump announced that the US will no longer fund the World Health Organization and would eliminate Hong Kong’s special relationship status after Beijing’s intensified incursion into that city.

Both of those moves were baked in as Trump has been threatening the WHO for months and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo determined earlier this week that Hong Kong was no longer sufficiently autonomous from China.

“The world needs answers from China on the virus. We must have transparency. Why is it that China shut off infected people from Wuhan to all other parts of China?” Trump said from the White House Rose Garden.

“There’s a fear that it leads to a mounting escalation of tensions between the US and China,” said Quincy Krosby, chief market strategist for Prudential Financial. “The concern is that this could lead to an abrupt shutdown of the phase-one trade agreement.”

Those fears were not realized Friday.

“That was partially a relief rally,” said Lindsey Bell, chief investment strategist for Ally Invest. “The market was expecting something much worse related to the trade deal but there wasn’t a lot to chew on by the end. Just a big dip for people to buy into.”

Wall Street has staged a comeback from its coronavirus-fueled crash over the past two months as states started to ease lockdowns aimed at getting the pandemic under control. The S&P closed Thursday just 10.7 percent below its all-time high reached in February.

Now that markets have shrugged off the possibility of a trade war being reignited with China as the country reopens from the pandemic, analysts expect more days of green ahead.

“Investors’ optimism returned after a week where some of the economic data has gotten less terrible,” said Bell.

With Post wires

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Meet the Gen Z-er Urging You to Stop Ignoring Racism Through Viral Instagrams

“Don’t ignore something because it makes you uncomfortable.”

If you’ve been on Instagram in the wake of George Floyd’s death, then you might have seen this graphic on your feed. Visually, it’s simple—white background, red bold letters, eight words—but the message speaks volumes: Stop ignoring violent acts of racism. Better yet, do something to stop them.

The image was created by 22-year-old Dom Roberts and has since been shared across social media since it was posted on Wednesday. Even Reese Witherspoon and Sophia Bush have shared it on their Instagram accounts.

“I was honestly shocked,” Roberts tells BAZAAR.com over the phone. “I didn’t have a ton of followers or any type of platform before any of this and so, when I just saw that it just kept getting bigger and bigger and bigger, I was honestly blown away and I was just so thankful that people are resonating with the message that I was trying to get across.”

Roberts, a junior at an extension school of California’s Southeastern University, previously made similar graphics following the killing of Ahmaud Arbery, a Black man who was fatally shot by a white man while jogging earlier this year. In May, Roberts created a text-based graphic demanding justice for Arbery’s death and promoting an honorary 2.3-mile run/walk/jog on his birthday.

“I just knew that if something like this were to happen again, I just want to provide people with actionable steps and honestly just resources [of] things that they can do that’s gonna help and change and make things better,” she explains. “So when I woke up and I saw this [news of Floyd’s death], I was just so upset. Honestly, I was overwhelmed with grief. I was just honestly crying while making the graphic. I was really sad that I had to make another graphic about an unfortunate like killing and murder of someone. I was so upset that I actually posted it with a spelling error that people just have not let down.”

Along with her “Don’t ignore” message, Roberts also posted graphics saying, “His name was George Floyd. He couldn’t breathe,” and shared the phone numbers for Minneapolis’s mayor, Jacob Frey, and District Attorney, Mike Freeman, so people could contact them to demand justice. She went on to create shareable scripts of what to say on the call, a list of movies and TV shows that educate on systemic racism, and videos detailing how allies can use their privilege to help people of color. Her captions usually include a reminder to donate to George Floyd’s official memorial fund, which is linked in her bio.

“I just really, really, really wanted people to know that you don’t have to just sit in helplessness. There’s stuff that you can do,” she says.

Roberts knows from personal experience how helpful text-based graphics can be in informing the public. The Gen Z-er referred to similarly formatted posts while researching to vote in the past election. “I just feel like when people share and post graphics like this, it just puts it in plain view. This is the message, this is what happened, and this is how you can help. And I just want to make it as easy and as plain and not complicated as possible.”

Roberts isn’t majoring in art—she’s studying theology and business—but she became familiar with graphic design through a social media internship with Zoe Church, which she acquired through school. She created her recent Instagram graphics on her phone (she’s still familiarizing herself with using Photoshop). And as for the design, she was inspired by the red-and-white bold text in the We’re Not Really Strangers card game, created by L.A.-based artist Koreen.

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When it came to the phrasing, the words came naturally. Roberts first considered leading with the “His name was George Floyd” text, but changed her mind. “I put something in front of that because I knew people were going to look away,” she says.

“I knew that it was uncomfortable,” Roberts continues, recalling the video of Floyd suffocating on the concrete as a police officer kneeled on his neck. “There’s a video circulating, it’s a traumatic video. It was horrifying what happened. And so many people are going to want to ignore it. And I just was like, ‘Don’t look away, but pay attention and lean in because it’s uncomfortable.’ We can’t ignore something just because it makes us uncomfortable.”

Roberts, who grew up in a predominantly white, conservative neighborhood in Arizona, used to be hesitant to speak out against racism in fear of how people would react. “For me, it was really hard when things like Ferguson and Tamir Rice and Eric Garner were happening a couple of years ago,” she recalls. “I didn’t really use my voice because I felt like the people around me would not receive it well.” But now, she’s more confident. “This time around, I really just wanted to let go of all that fear of the backlash.”

Posting, sharing, and double-tapping is just the first step, though. She hopes that white and non-Black allies are inspired to make change on a larger scale—such as calling out covert racism, calling representatives, signing petitions, writing emails—but also check in with people in their inner circles. “It’s like checking up on your friends that are Black and making sure they’re okay and if even if they’re comfortable with it, asking questions like, ‘What’s your experience been like and how can I support you?'”

She also commends people who have been able to contribute to funds helping victims of police brutality and their families or organizations combating racism. “Financial privilege is such a great thing that people are [using] to their advantage. At the same time our voices make things happen, financially, money makes things happen.”

Roberts is continuing to create and share impactful commentary through her designs. Just this morning, she responded to President Trump’s tweet calling the Minneapolis protesters “thugs” with: “Why are white mass shooters ‘mentally ill,’ but Black protesters ‘thugs’?” Next, she and her friends are planning to create merchandise and start a campaign to keep fundraising for Floyd’s memorial, bail funds, and more “organizations that are going to have lasting impacts on this fight with racism.”

Donate to the Official George Floyd Memorial Fund

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