Fashion company Rent the Runway on Wednesday became the latest consumer-facing business to make a Wall Street debut.Opening nearly 10% above their initial public offering price, giving it a starting valuation of $1.7 billion.The company’s site allows women to rent and shop secondhand clothes and accessories such as handbags and jewelry from more than 750 designer brands. Driving up demand for secondhand goods and rental services - consumers conscious of reducing clothing and environmental waste. High demand for its apparel rental model has helped the company cut trim its net loss to $84.7 million in the six months ended July 31, from $88 million a year earlier. Amid a surge in demand in recent months, several consumer-facing businesses including eyewear company Warby Parker and Roger Federer-backed shoemaker On Holding AG have had strong market debuts. But Brooklyn, New York-based Rent the Runway stumbled by the close.It ended below its $21 IPO price - with a drop of 8 percent.
Top U.S. military officer General Mark Milley provided the first official U.S. confirmation of what he called a quote 'very concerning' Chinese hypersonic weapons test that military experts say appears to show Beijing's pursuit of an Earth-orbiting system designed to evade American missile defenses. The Pentagon has been at pains to avoid direct confirmation of the Chinese test this summer, first reported by the Financial Times, even as President Joe Biden and other officials have expressed general concerns about Chinese hypersonic weapons development. Last week, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin declined to comment directly on that report. (FROM OCTOBER 18) U.S. DEFENSE SECRETARY LLOYD AUSTIN: "Well, thanks for asking the question, but I am not going to comment on those specific reports." In an interview with Bloomberg, Milley explicitly confirmed a test and said that it was "very close" to a Sputnik moment -- referring Russia's launch of the first man-made satellite, which put Moscow ahead in the Cold War-era space race. Hypersonic weapons are difficult to defend against because they fly at lower altitudes than ballistic missiles but can achieve more than five times the speed of sound, robbing adversaries of reaction time and traditional defeat mechanisms. China's foreign ministry denied a weapons test. It said it had carried out a routine test in July, but added: "It was not a missile, it was a space vehicle." The United States and Russia have both tested hypersonic weapons.
Resurgent economic jitters knocked stocks off their stride Wednesday after days of gains fueled by a strong earnings season.The Dow fell 266 points on Wednesday. The S&P 500 lost 23. The Nasdaq barely finished with a gain. The economic worries emanated from the bond market where investors fear the Federal Reserve could move too quickly and choke off the nascent economic recovery. With stocks near record highs, fears of a slower economy was most unwelcomed, says Rebecca Felton, senior market strategist and portfolio manager at RiverFront Investment Group"I think that there is some worry building right in terms of slower growth and as everybody's keying in on the GDP number that I think is due out tomorrow, that to me would be one of the biggest worries that everyone has right now is the idea that we are going into a period of slower or decelerating growth."Economic worries aside, it was a busy day for BLUE CHIP earnings...McDonald's beat sales and profit forecasts as higher menu prices drove sales gains and offset higher labor and food costs. The stock rallied 2.6 percent.Coca-Cola raised its full-year earnings forecast. Sales also beat estimates as demand from sporting events, restaurants and other public venues bounce back. Coke closed the day with 1.9 percent gain. Boeing kept the earnings news flowing. The aerospace company lost money due to costs tied to its problem-plagued 787 airplane and Starliner spacecraft programs. The stock shed 1-1/2 percent.General Motors posted a drop in sales and profits that was not as big as feared but provided a disappointing full-year profit forecast due to the global chip shortage and rising commodity prices. Shares of GM fell more than 5 percent. But a different story out of GM rival, Ford. After the close: Ford raised its full-year outlook on strong truck sales and announced it will pay a dividend again -starting in the fourth quarter.
The ongoing Cumbre Vieja volcanic eruption intensified on Wednesday, October 27, spewing lava fountains above the Spanish island of La Palma.The Canary Islands Volcanology Institute (Involcan) reported the eruption strengthened on Wednesday night, following another cone collapse earlier in the day. Video released by Involcan shows lava exploding from the volcano.The EU’s Copernicus Emergency Management Service said the lava flow had covered over 908 hectares (2,244 acres) as of October 26. Credit: INVOLCAN via Storyful
Stocks could rally into the end of the year with investors no longer worried economic activity could dramatically slow because of a spike in COVID-19 cases seen during the summer, said Felton.
Technicals for the S&P 500 are very solid, said Fulton, and when you marry that with solid sales and earnings, "then it does bode well for the market as we head into the end of the year."
It may not always look like it… some parts are muddy and shallow... but the Parana River is South America's second-largest. It moves through Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina before reaching the Atlantic Ocean. It’s a vital waterway for commercial shipping and fishing, provides drinking water to millions of people, powers hydroelectric plants and supports rich biodiversity. But, the river is in trouble. Hit by cyclical droughts and dwindling rainfall - made worse by climate change - the river has retreated this year to its lowest level since its record low in 1944… with massive implications for all who depend on it. Like Argentine fisherman Gustavo Alcides Diaz, who says more than his livelihood is at stake: "Many fish have died because of the dry river. They got trapped and died. (flash) When everything dries, the water is lost. We use that water here, we use it, it gets processed so as to make it drinkable. But when the water is lost we have to go to the city and look for water over there." Transportation has also been compromised for locals who mostly travel by boat. Teacher, Javier Herenu: "The issue of the river drying is complicated for all of us. It is especially complicated for the children in getting to school because they do so by canoe or boat. And at the moment when the river has dried up it is impossible for them to do so. So for this reason, they are arriving on bicycles or walking and for some students it is so complicated so that they can't get here because it's too far away, the part of the river where they are coming from has dried up. So, they are not able to come." And – South America has taken a financial hit. Argentina has lost about $620 million in soybean meal and soy oil exports alone due to transport problems caused by lower river levels, according to experts. There’s more: lower water levels have contributed to a spike in wildfires, with people in river island communities losing homes and livestock. Despite some rain this month, the longer-term weather forecast is not encouraging, with only average or below average water levels predicted into 2022.
The man hailed as a modern-day Darwin has a stark message for the future of planet earth - act now and go big on fighting climate change and protecting species - or else things will only get worse. Much worse.“If we fail to do it and a large portion of the biological diversity of the world is allowed to be exterminated, the generations, all the generations to come, that carelessness will be regarded as one of humanity's greatest failures."Alongside Sir David Attenborough, Edward O. Wilson is considered the world's leading authority on natural history and conservation.The 92-year old Harvard University naturalist has called for setting aside half the planet as a nature preserve..And in an interview in Boston with Reuters, he said that despite our differences, humankind is not too polarized to save the planet."We have... if we just take a little bit of care and measure what we will achieve by, in saving the rest of Earth's biology, and by setting aside more space than we have in the past, it will, it'll be one of our humanity's proudest achievements. “Today, species are going extinct at a rate not seen in 10 million years, with around 1 million currently on the brink. To limit the loss, the United Nations has urged countries to commit to conserving 30% of their land and water – almost double the area currently under some form of protection - by 2030.The so-called "30 by 30" target is in part inspired by Wilson's Half-Earth Project. First outlined in 2016, it calls for protecting half the planet's land and sea so there are enough diverse and well-connected ecosystems to reverse the course of species extinction.Now living in a retirement community… Wilson - who continues to write and is working on a book about ecosystems - is still optimistic humankind will do the right thing.If we don't, he says, the slope of human history will always be downward.Saving the planet from falling into the kind of downward spiral Wilson warned about will be the aim of COP26, the U.N. climate talks starting in Scotland on Sunday.
"We have seen the reporting, of course, and ... it is unfortunately, not surprising for us to hear that Facebook knew of these problems," Psaki said.
Funnel clouds were spotted across parts of Texas and Louisiana on Wednesday, October 27, as the National Weather Service (NWS) issued a flurry of tornado and severe thunderstorm warnings across the region.This video taken by Premier Exteriors LLC, who said they filmed it in Lake Charles, shows a heavily damaged truck. The Lake Charles division of Louisiana’s Department of Transportation reported closures on Interstate 10 due to a “jackknifed tractor trailer.”A tornado watch was in effect for Lake Charles into Wednesday afternoon, with potentially intense tornadoes and damaging wind gusts up to 70 mph lashing the area, according to the NWS. Credit: Premier Exteriors LLC via Storyful
"Everybody in this country that has been blessed and prospered, should pay a patriotic tax," Manchin told reporters.The West Virginia Democrat said, "If you're to the point where you can use all of the tax forms to your advantage, and you end up with a zero tax-liability, but have had a very, very good life and have had a lot of opportunities, there should be a fifteen-percent patriotic tax."Manchin's comments come after the Democratic chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Ron Wyden, unveiled a proposal that would levy a new tax on billionaires to help pay for some of the social-service and climate change initiatives that are key to U.S. President Joe Biden's domestic agenda.
The United States' two decades-long occupation of Afghanistan culminated in a hastily organized airlift in August in which more than 124,000 civilians including Americans, Afghans and others were evacuated as the Taliban took over. But thousands of other U.S.-allied Afghans at risk of Taliban persecution were left behind.In a speech unveiling new steps to modernize the State Department, Blinken praised the evacuation operation but also said the agency needs to learn from this experience and do better if a similar scenario presents itself in the future."There are many things that now, looking back, we can and should ask, 'Could we have done things differently?' 'Could we have taken that step differently?' 'Should we have tried that idea first?' 'Could we have gotten to that decision more quickly?'," Blinken said in the speech at the Foreign Service Institute in Arlington, Virginia, attended by lawmakers, diplomats and others.
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange attended court in London on Wednesday, as lawyers from the U.S. government launched a new attempt to have him extradited.Assange, who is Australian, remains wanted in the United States on 18 criminal charges over the massive document dumps WikiLeaks published in 2010, containing thousands of secret U.S. government and military files, and diplomatic communications.It included documents from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, that U.S. prosecutors allege put lives at risk.The U.S. is appealing an earlier ruling by a London judge that Assange should not be extradited because he would likely commit suicide in a U.S. prison. Assange supporters gathered outside the hearing."It is unconscionable, unprecedented. Have you ever heard of a country allowing the extradition of one of its protected political asylees to the very country that wants to murder him? This is insane, this is wrong, this is completely outside any legal process."A U.S. lawyer told the court that Washington had addressed the suicide concerns by making assurances over how Assange would be treated if extradited. These included that he would not be detained at a maximum security prison Colorado, known as ADX.The U.S. authorities had also assured Britain that they would consent to Assange serving in Australia any custodial sentence imposed by a U.S. court.Assange, who denies any wrongdoing, is currently being held at the UK's Belmarsh Prison.WikiLeaks first rose to prominence in 2010 when it published a secret U.S. military video showing an Apache helicopter killing a dozen people in Iraq, including two Reuters journalists. It also played major role in the 2016 election with the release of hacked emails related to Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.
Rising seas are threatening to swallow low-lying shores in northeastern Spain, encroaching on the livelihood of locals like Marcela Otamendi.(Marcela Otamendi) "We feel like we are the first climate refugees in Europe, and we don't like it."Eery time there’s a storm, she fears her seaside restaurant and rice fields could be at risk of being washed away. In recent years the Mediterranean Sea has encroached upon the land in the Ebro River Delta – a 124 square mile UNESCO Biosphere Reserve rich in wetland wildlife such as flamingos.(Marcela Otamendi) "We have been here for 70 years and we belong to this land. Here, where the sea is now, we used to cultivate our rice fields. There was drainage, a road and some spectacular sand dunes with vegetation. It was awesome! This has already been swallowed."In response, the Spanish government aims to buy 2,055 acres of private land in the Ebro Delta in what would be Europe's largest climate-related land buyouts to date.It would include Otamendi's roughly 99 acres.According to a preliminary protection plan, such purchases would expand a publicly-owned buffer - by up to 1,800 feet inland - along the coast where nature would take its course.But the Otamendis and many locals and farmers like them refuse to let go. They would prefer the government preserved the land instead….and vow to fight the issue in court.(Marcela Otamendi) "We are on the verge of nothing, with a plan made by the ministry. They will banish us."The Environment Ministry told Reuters it had received more than 250 public comments about its plan and would take as many as possible into account. The government predicts the sea will rise around 6 inches in the area by 2045,and forecasts at least one beach could be gone by 2060.The Ebro Delta's tip shrank by more than 2,000 feet between 1986 and 2016.And the threat of extreme weather was crystallized further in January 2020 when storm Gloria flooded around 7,400 acres of rice fields.Maria del mar Catala is the Director of the institute of Agrifood Research and Technology.(SOUNDBITE) (Catalan) INSTITUTE OF AGRIFOOD RESEARCH AND TECHNOLOGY (IRTA) DIRECTOR IN AMPOSTA, MARIA DEL MAR CATALA, SAYING:"The challenge is serious, it is one of the areas most threatened by climate change. The main consequence is that salinity increases because the sea level is rising. The delta is sinking and the supply of freshwater is declining. We must all work together to control and minimize these impacts."These impacts have left Otamendi feeling like a stranger on her land which shrank by nearly a third since 1993.But she prefers not to think about leaving.(Marcela Otamendi) "We have the experience of other European countries. There's the Po delta. The Netherlands is doing sand management. We don't need to do more experiments. We know, we are clear. You may think we're crazy, but we don't want anything else that is happening in Europe. We know that we can be saved and we will fight for it."
Heavy rain caused flooding in Marcellus, New York, on October 26, as the National Weather Service issued flash-flood warnings for areas in the Finger Lakes region.Rain brought by a nor’easter flooded multiple areas in the northeast, including New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York.Videos filmed by Twitter user @UpstateChaser, a storm chaser in the upstate New York area, show flooding and high waters in the town of Marcellus, near Syracuse. Credit: @UpstateChaser via Storyful
A plan unveiled by U.S. Democrats on Wednesday would levy new taxes on billionaires, which would help pay for President Joe Biden's proposed spending bill expanding social services and tackling climate change.The so-called billionaires tax, announced by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden, is paired with a proposed 15% corporate minimum tax targeting big, profitable companies that now seem to get away with paying little or no taxes. Proponents, including Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren, say the measure would curb tax avoidance by corporations and the super-rich, and could generate hundreds of billions of dollars to pay for Biden's "Build Back Better" legislation, which is expected to cost between $1.5 trillion and $2 trillion.The White House backs the corporate minimum tax, which would dovetail with a global corporate minimum tax recently agreed by 136 countries.The billionaires tax, which would take effect in 2022, would affect roughly 700 taxpayers with over $1 billion in assets or $100 million in annual income for three consecutive years.Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday said Americans were not interested in higher taxes."Well, the larger issue is whether the country needs a big tax increase. [flash] The American people are not asking for any of this."At least one billionaire, Tesla founder Elon Musk, is unhappy with the plan.As reports of the proposal swirled earlier this week, Musk tweeted, "Eventually, they run out of other people’s money and then they come for you."An analysis by the Washington Post calculated that Musk might owe as much as $50 billion based on his ownership of stock in Tesla and other firms.
McDonald's served up a hearty serving of earnings on Wednesday. The world's largest restaurant chain beat sales expectations thanks to higher menu prices, larger order sizes, and as new menu items such as the crispy chicken sandwich brought more customers in the door. Marketing team-ups with celebrities like the South Korean boy band BTS chicken nuggets meal and rapper Saweetie's Big Mac/chicken nuggets combo also drove up sales. McDonald's has been gaining market share as restrictions ease and more of its locations operate at full capacity. A plan to boost digital sales, the launch of a new loyalty program, and a pick-up in advertising also paid off. Global same-store sales surged 12.7 percent in the third quarter with many international markets returning to growth. Profits jumped more than expected. McDonald's was able to offset higher labor costs and food inflation by bumping up menu prices. The fast-food giant's quarterly results were in contrast to a slowdown at other restaurant chains such as Domino's Pizza and Restaurant Brands - the parent of Burger King. Shares of McDonald's were up two percent in mid-day Wednesday trading....and up nearly 13 percent so far this year.
A tornado watch was issued for parts of Texas and Louisiana as an intense storm system moved across the states on Wednesday, October 27, the National Weather Service (NWS) reported.Video taken by James Huizinga shows a possible tornado swirling near Grand Parkway and Rayford Road in Spring, Texas, north of Houston, on Wednesday morning.The tornado watch warned residents of widespread wind gusts up to 70 mph and hail up to quarter-sized. Tornadoes were also reported in Louisiana as the storm moved eastward. Credit: James Huizinga via Storyful
The Gare du Nord railway station in Paris, France, was evacuated on Wednesday as police investigated an unattended piece of luggage, officials said.This footage, posted on Instagram by Michael Ivanov, shows a crowd of people waiting outside the station on Place Napoleon-III.Officials from train operator Ligne H said normal traffic was resuming as of 6 pm local time. Credit: Michael Ivanov via Storyful
A powerful nor’easter storm knocked out power for hundreds of thousands in eastern Massachusetts as wind gusts “over hurricane force” pummeled the area on Wednesday, October 27, the National Weather Service (NWS) said.John Luck posted video on Twitter showing some of the downed trees in the Bridgewater area on Wednesday morning.The NWS reported its highest wind gust at 94 mph in Edgartown. A total of 407,535 customers were without power as of 6:30 am on Wednesday. Travel was not recommended for residents in the affected areas. Credit: John Luck via Storyful
Could protecting Britain’s peatlands be pivotal in its fight to slow climate change?Conservationist Christopher Dean believes so.“It's important as keeping this in the ground here as it is important not mining coal and putting coal back into the atmosphere."Peatlands take carbon dioxide - or CO2 - out of the atmosphere as the vegetation on top builds plant structures and carbon settles in the layers of peat which have developed over thousands of years.Rising global temperatures are drying them out, making them susceptible to wildfires and turning what should be carbon sinks into carbon sources. Dean and his team are constructing dams in natural gullies to stop the moorland from drying out and eroding. They are also planting sphagnum moss which holds 20 times its own weight in water to keep the peat moist.Dean is confident this could be an easy fix.“If we invest in turning this landscape into good ecological condition, it will take CO2 out the atmosphere for us. Lock it up in the peat and it will be a fantastic good news story for climate change. And it's, it's something that we could do very quickly.”In England’s marshy Fenlands, a pilot project is testing new types of sustainable crops that can grow in re-wetted peatlands.The “Water Works" project is run by the Wildlife Trust, alongside scientists and academics from the UK’s Centre for Ecology and Hydrology and from the University of East London.Lorna Parker is the project’s restoration manager.“What we're trying to do here is demonstrate a new way that we could form peat soils and still bringing economic income for farmers, but actually trap that carbon in the soil with a new form of crops."The team hope that sustainable crops, such as wild celery, typha and reeds, could be used in a range of industries including food, construction and medicine.
Creatures of all shapes and sizes enjoyed a pumpkin party at Chester Zoo in England in the runup to Halloween this year.From millipedes to sun bears, animals across the zoo tucked into their Halloween treats. Carved pumpkins were drenched in fish blood to pique the Komodo dragon’s interest. Holes were cut for the Boelen’s pythons to slither through. Some were filled with tasty fruit snacks for the sun bears and lemurs to enjoy.Video and photos released by the zoo show the animals digging in to their spooky snacks.Conservationists at the zoo said providing food in an unusual and interesting way is great enrichment for the animals, giving them the opportunity to forage in a new way. Credit: Chester Zoo via Storyful
The Cumbre Vieja volcano continued to erupt on Wednesday, October 27, as ash rose into the sky in La Palma, Spain.Yet another cone collapsed that morning, causing lava overflows and landslides.The EU’s Copernicus Emergency Management Service said the lava flow had covered over 908 hectares (2,244 acres) as of Wednesday.These videos posted on Wednesday afternoon by the Canary Islands Volcanology Institute capture the sound of the volcano’s exhalations. Credit: INVOLCAN via Storyful
This man is one of Egypt's last fez makersLocation: Cairo, EgyptNasser Abdel Basset has been crafting the fez for nearly 45 yearsIt's the iconic felt hatthat was once worn by Egypt's elite, bureaucrats and studentsPresident Gamal Abdel Nasser abolished the fezafter the military toppled the ruling dynasty in 1952as it was considered one of the symbols of the former ruling elite(SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) FEZ MAKER, NASSER ABDEL BASSET, SAYING:"I wish old times would come back. In past times, the fez was part of the uniform. Most of the people used to wear fezzes. No one could go to school or a government institution, without wearing it."Students, scholars at Al-Azhar University and Muslim religious clericsare now Abdel Basset's only clients(SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) FEZ MAKER, NASSER ABDEL BASSET, SAYING:"I learned the craft from an apprentice, I inherited it and I am now passing it on. You say that the craft will disappear? How come? I'm passing it on to my children."
At least four people were killed during protests in Sudan by October 26, the Central Committee of Sudan Doctors said.This footage shows protesters gathered in Khartoum on Tuesday, calling for a civilian government. The protests followed what the country’s information ministry described as a “military coup” on October 25. Credit: Khalid A Elshiekh via Storyful