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U.S. financial report for the third quarter is predicted to indicate weak progress.


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Credit score…Tim Gruber for The New York Instances

Authorities information is predicted to indicate that financial progress slowed sharply over the summer season, as supply-chain bottlenecks and the resurgent pandemic restrained exercise at shops, factories and eating places.

The Commerce Division on Thursday will launch its preliminary estimate of financial output within the third quarter. Forecasters surveyed by the monetary analysis agency FactSet count on the report to indicate that gross home product, adjusted for inflation, rose lower than 1 % from the earlier quarter, or 3.5 % on an annualized foundation, down from 1.6 % within the second quarter. Some forecasters warn that the report may present an outright stall, or perhaps a contraction.

The slowdown was partly a results of the unfold of the Delta variant of the coronavirus, which led many Individuals to drag again on journey, restaurant meals and different in-person actions. Newer information suggests that individuals have returned to these actions as virus circumstances have fallen, and most economists count on considerably sooner progress within the ultimate three months of the 12 months.

However one other main restriction on progress could also be slower to recede. The pandemic has snarled provide chains around the globe, whilst demand for a lot of merchandise has surged. The ensuing backups have made it exhausting for U.S. shops and factories to get the merchandise and elements they want. Economists initially anticipated the disruptions to be short-lived, however many now count on the problems to linger into subsequent 12 months.

Many companies are additionally struggling to search out sufficient employees to make, promote and ship merchandise — one other provide scarcity that’s holding again progress longer than economists anticipated.

“The economic system doesn’t have a requirement drawback,” stated Ben Herzon, govt director of IHS Markit, a forecasting agency. “It has a provide drawback.”

The mixture of sturdy demand and restricted provide has resulted in greater costs: Inflation soared final spring and has remained elevated.

Nonetheless, the economic system is in a lot better form than forecasters anticipated for many of final 12 months. Gross home product returned to its prepandemic stage within the second quarter, though it has not caught as much as the place it will be if the pandemic had by no means occurred. Authorities assist, together with diminished spending throughout the pandemic, has left Individuals flush with money, which ought to assist spending for the remainder of the 12 months.

“Provide chain disruptions along with Delta conspired to carry again progress,” stated Constance L. Hunter, chief economist for KPMG, the accounting agency. “It’s a velocity bump not a slowdown.”

Credit score…Thilo Schmuelgen/Reuters

As Royal Dutch Shell introduced its quarterly earnings on Thursday, together with a leap in revenue that failed to satisfy investor expectations, firm executives have been coping with an activist fund’s proposal that the oil big be damaged up.

Third Level, a New York-based activist fund administration agency, has taken a stake in Shell and referred to as for it to be damaged up into “a number of stand-alone firms” that would handle competing shareholder pursuits.

These firms may embody a unit encompassing Shell’s legacy oil- and gas-extraction companies and one other with its renewable-energy and liquefied-natural-gas actions, stated Third Level’s chief govt, Daniel S. Loeb, in a letter to buyers.

Mr. Loeb referred to as Shell “one of many most cost-effective large-cap shares on the earth.” He additionally stated that by most metrics Shell was buying and selling at a 35 % low cost to its rivals Exxon Mobil and Chevron, regardless of what he referred to as “greater high quality and extra sustainable” enterprise traces.

He blamed the corporate’s “making an attempt to appease a number of pursuits however satisfying none” for the shortage of investor curiosity in Shell.

Shell stated that it had “preliminary conversations with Third Level and we’ll have interaction with them, as we do with all our shareholders.”

Third Level’s transfer recalled the profitable battle waged this spring by one other activist hedge fund, Engine No. 1, to put in three administrators on the board of Exxon Mobil with the purpose of pushing it to scale back its carbon footprint.

Information of the Third Level’s curiosity got here as Shell, Europe’s largest oil firm, reported $4.1 billion in adjusted earnings for the third quarter of this 12 months, a considerable enhance over the $955 million reported within the interval a 12 months earlier, thanks primarily to greater oil and fuel costs. The earnings got here in beneath analysts’ expectations.

Shell shares have been down 3 %.

Emily Flitter contributed reporting.

Executives of among the world’s largest oil and fuel firms — Exxon Mobil, Chevron, BP and Shell — are set to seem earlier than a congressional committee Thursday to deal with accusations that the business spent thousands and thousands of {dollars} to wage a decades-long disinformation marketing campaign to forged doubt on the science of local weather change and to derail motion to scale back emissions from burning fossil fuels.

The hearings mark the primary time oil executives shall be pressed to reply questions, underneath oath, about whether or not their firms misled the general public concerning the actuality of local weather change by obscuring the scientific consensus: that the burning of fossil fuels is elevating Earth’s temperature and sea ranges with devastating penalties worldwide, together with intensifying storms, worsening drought and deadlier wildfires.

Home Democrats evaluate the inquiry with the historic tobacco hearings of the Nineteen Nineties, which introduced into sharp reduction how tobacco firms had lied concerning the well being risks of smoking, paving the best way for robust nicotine laws. Local weather scientists are actually as sure that the burning of fossil fuels causes world warming as public well being consultants are certain that smoking tobacco causes most cancers.

The proof exhibiting that fossil gas firms distorted and downplayed the realities of local weather change is effectively documented by tutorial researchers. However oil firms have denied mendacity to the general public about local weather change, and have stated the business is now taking daring steps to rein in emissions.

Credit score…Kaiti Sullivan for The New York Instances

Meals costs are surging, and meals banks and pantries are struggling to maintain up. To manage, they’re substituting or pulling the most costly merchandise, like beef, from their choices, The New York Instances’s Nelson D. Schwartz and Coral Murphy Marcos report.

For meals banks, the rising prices have stretched budgets even because the variety of folks searching for assist has elevated. Listed below are some particulars from the article:

  • A case of peanut butter that was $13 to $14 earlier than the pandemic now prices $16 to $19, in response to Alexandra McMahon, director of meals technique for the Gleaners Meals Financial institution of Indianapolis. Inexperienced beans that used to retail for $9 a case now promote for $14.

  • Costs of meat, poultry, fish and eggs in U.S. cities are up 15 % because the begin of 2020, in response to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

  • On the Oregon Meals Financial institution, which distributes meals to companions throughout Oregon and southwest Washington, 1.7 million folks sought help in 2020, in contrast with 860,000 in 2019, stated Susannah Morgan, the group’s chief govt.

    Though the variety of folks coming for assist in Oregon will in all probability be nearer to 1.3 million this 12 months, “the necessity remains to be ridiculously excessive,” Ms. Morgan stated. “Your greenback goes much less far in a grocery retailer.”

Credit score…Andrew Mangum for The New York Instances

Responding to mounting strain from activists, mother and father and regulators who consider tech firms haven’t completed sufficient to guard kids on-line, companies and governments across the globe are putting main elements of the web behind stricter digital age checks.

Folks in Japan should present a doc proving their age to make use of the courting app Tinder. The favored sport Roblox requires gamers to add a type of authorities identification — and a selfie to show the ID belongs to them — if they need entry to a voice chat function. Legal guidelines in Germany and France require pornography web sites to examine guests’ ages.

This month, lawmakers in Washington, which has lagged different world capitals in regulating tech firms, referred to as for brand spanking new guidelines to guard younger folks after a former Fb worker stated the corporate knew its merchandise harmed some youngsters. They repeated these calls on Tuesday in a listening to with executives from YouTube, TikTok and the dad or mum firm of Snapchat.

The New York Instances’s David McCabe experiences that the adjustments, which have picked up velocity over the past two years, may upend one of many web’s central traits: the means to stay nameless. For the reason that days of dial-up modems and AOL chat rooms, folks may traverse enormous swaths of the net with out divulging any private particulars. Many individuals created a web based persona fully separate from their offline one.

However the expertise of consuming content material and speaking on-line is more and more much less like an nameless public sq. and extra like going to the financial institution, with measures to show that you’re who you say you’re.

Critics of the age checks say that within the identify of maintaining folks secure, they may endanger consumer privateness, dampen free expression and harm communities that profit from anonymity on-line. Authoritarian governments have used defending kids as an argument for limiting on-line speech: China barred web sites this summer season from rating celebrities by recognition as half of a bigger crackdown on what it says are the pernicious results of movie star tradition on younger folks.

Credit score…Mike Kai Chen for The New York Instances

SAN JOSE, Calif. — The ninth week of testimony within the fraud trial in opposition to Elizabeth Holmes raised questions of what dangers and duties buyers have after they put cash into high-growth start-ups like Theranos, Ms. Holmes’s failed blood testing firm.

In previous weeks of the trial, the jury heard from former Theranos staff who have been alarmed by its practices, in addition to executives and board members who stated they have been taken in by Ms. Holmes’s pitch for blood testing machines that would conduct a whole lot of blood exams precisely and shortly from a drop of blood.

That constructed as much as testimony from buyers, who prosecutors stated are the victims within the 12 counts of wire fraud on the coronary heart of the trial. Earlier than Theranos collapsed in 2018, it raised $945 million from buyers, valuing it as excessive as $9 billion and making Ms. Holmes a billionaire.

Ms. Holmes has pleaded not responsible. If convicted, she faces 20 years in jail.

Listed below are the important thing takeaways from this week’s proceedings, which passed off solely on Tuesday after a water essential break close to the courthouse on Wednesday pressured the cancellation of the day’s occasions.

Lisa Peterson, an funding supervisor at RDV Company, an funding agency representing Michigan’s rich DeVos household, defined how the group got here to speculate — and ultimately lose — $100 million in Theranos.

RDV’s chief govt, Jerry Tubergen, met Ms. Holmes at a 2014 convention and have become captivated with Theranos, in response to an e mail proven in courtroom. Ms. Peterson, who was put answerable for researching and facilitating the funding, testified that Theranos had handpicked a number of rich households to speculate and that Ms. Holmes made the agency really feel fortunate to be included.

“She was inviting us to take part on this alternative,” Ms. Peterson stated. Theranos purposely sought out non-public buyers who wouldn’t push the corporate to go public, a presentation proven in courtroom stated.

With Ms. Peterson’s testimony, prosecutors constructed on how Theranos had appeared to make use of pretend endorsements from pharmaceutical firms to deceive its companions and buyers. Theranos had proven Walgreens and Safeway executives a validation report that displayed the logos of pharmaceutical firms and stated they supported its know-how.

Final week, a Pfizer govt testified that the corporate had dug into Theranos’s know-how and “come to the alternative conclusion.” Ms. Peterson stated she had seen the validation report and believed it had been ready by Pfizer, which helped entice her agency to speculate.

In a heated cross-examination, Ms. Holmes’s legal professionals tried portray Ms. Peterson as a negligent steward of capital who didn’t do correct analysis earlier than pouring money right into a younger start-up.

Lance Wade, a lawyer for Ms. Holmes, highlighted contradictions between Ms. Peterson’s statements and an earlier authorized deposition she had given. When Ms. Peterson insisted that her present testimony was correct, he shot again, “Your reminiscence has improved over time? Is that your testimony?”

Mr. Wade additionally prodded Ms. Peterson for not hiring scientific, authorized and know-how consultants to dig into Theranos’s claims, nor did she demand to see copies of Theranos’s contracts with Walgreens and Safeway. “You perceive that’s a typical factor to do in investing?” he requested.

Ms. Peterson stated the agency relied on what Ms. Holmes and different Theranos executives informed them.

Mr. Wade tried to decrease Ms. Peterson’s decision-making energy inside the agency by declaring that she was not on RDV’s funding committee and was not current for all of the conferences involving Theranos.

By arguing that buyers like Ms. Peterson didn’t do sufficient analysis, Ms. Holmes’s legal professionals walked a fragile line. That’s as a result of their argument included an implied acknowledgment that Theranos’s know-how didn’t do all that it promised, whilst additionally they needed to preserve that Ms. Holmes didn’t lie concerning the know-how.


Who’s Who within the Elizabeth Holmes Trial

Erin Woo

Erin Woo📍Reporting from San Jose, Calif.

Who’s Who within the Elizabeth Holmes Trial

Erin Woo

Erin Woo📍Reporting from San Jose, Calif.

Carlos Chavarria for The New York Instances

Elizabeth Holmes, the disgraced founding father of the blood testing start-up Theranos, stands trial for 2 counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and 10 counts of wire fraud.

Listed below are among the key figures within the case →

Merchandise 1 of 9

Jurors watched two movies of Ms. Holmes — almost certainly their first time seeing her face with no masks — as she defended Theranos in interviews after The Wall Avenue Journal reported in 2015 that the start-up’s blood testing machines didn’t do as a lot as claimed.

In an look on Jim Cramer’s “Mad Cash” present on CNBC, Ms. Holmes stated Theranos’s machines may do greater than 100 exams, dismissing the vital report. In an interview with CBS in 2016, Ms. Holmes was extra contrite, saying, “I’m the C.E.O. and founding father of this firm. Something that occurs on this firm is my accountability.”

Ms. Holmes’s legal professionals argued to exclude the movies as proof, at one level referring to the time period after The Journal article because the “conspiracy interval.”

Ms. Peterson testified that in that point, she and others at RDV met with Ms. Holmes. On the assembly, Ms. Holmes downplayed the revelations, Ms. Peterson stated, saying The Journal’s reporting was “completed by a really overzealous reporter who needed to win a Pulitzer.”

Mr. Wade requested the courtroom to strike that remark from the document.



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