|Another round of stimulus checks could soon be headed to Americans (Photo: Forbes)|
Another round of $1,200 stimulus checks coming for Americans
According to AL news, another round of stimulus checks could soon be headed to Americans.
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said Thursday the Republican stimulus plan includes more direct payments to help Americans struggling amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“Our proposal is the exact same provision as last time,” Mnuchin was quoted by Bloomberg as saying.
That would mean individuals earning up to $75,000 would receive a $1,200 payment for themselves with an additional $500 for dependent children. Couples earning up to $150,000 would qualify for the full amounts. After that, payments drop based on income, capped at $99,000 for singles and $198,000 for couples, accoriding to AL.
The last round of stimulus money went to 160 million Americans.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told reporters Saturday that the checks will arrive in August, but that still leaves a lot of room for uncertainty. A major determining factor is whether the bill will be passed before August 7th, which is the Senate’s last day in session before it’s August recess.
If the negotiations aren’t wrapped up before then, they will have to pick it back up when they return September 8th, meaning checks could be delayed into late September. Once the bill is signed into law, it’s just a matter of when the IRS sends the checks, as reported by Forbes.
Crowds wave Chinese flags and take selfies as US consulate closes in Chengdu
Local residents in Chengdu flocked to the US consulate on Sunday, taking selfies and waving Chinese flags, as officials prepared to remove its official plaque just days after Washington and Beijing each ordered the other to close a diplomatic mission, according to The Guardian.
On Sunday, a constant stream of onlookers in the city of 16.5 million people flowed past the consulate, many taking photos. On Monday morning, the US flag was lowered outside the diplomatic outpost.
Large numbers of police kept people in Chengdu from getting too close and put a quick stop to any provocative gestures or obvious signs of joy as the Americans left.
Boos also went up when a bus with tinted windows left the building on Sunday.
An attempt to pry the main plaque from the wall of the shuttered consulate with a crowbar, hammer and chisel, failed.
Tensions between the two countries over trade and the coronavirus rose another notch last week when on Tuesday the US ordered China’s consulate in Texas closed, saying it was a hub of espionage and intellectual property theft.
|Local residents in Chengdu flocked to the US consulate on Sunday, taking selfies and waving Chinese flags (Photo: Guardian)|
Chinese authorities to test six million residents in Dalian after new cluster emerges
Dalian, a port in Liaoning province with a population of over six million people, confirmed 12 new cases of local origin and 14 asymptomatic cases on Saturday. Dalian’s cluster of infections was first reported on Wednesday, when a 58-year-old man working at a seafood processing company tested positive, according to SCMP.
Ma Xiaowei, director of the National Health Commission, led a team to Dalian on Friday night to guide the containment measures. As of Saturday, the contagion link from the city’s cluster had extended to seven other cities in four provinces, mostly asymptomatic case.
Ma said the city should aim to complete nucleic acid testing, all costs to be covered by the government, within four days, according to a statement released by the National Health Commission on Sunday.
As most of the confirmed and asymptomatic cases are related to the seafood company, Dalian has put all of the firm’s employees and their close contacts under the 14-day quarantine, which will be expanded to cover more possible close contacts.
China reported 35 local infections cases on Saturday, 22 in the northwest region of Xinjiang, which reported cluster infections earlier this month, and 13 in Liaoning province – 12 of which were in Dalian.
|Chinese authorities to test six million residents in Dalian (Photo: SCMP)|
France imposes on-the-spot fines for drug users
France will hit illicit drug users, especially cannabis, with an on-the-spot fine of 200 euros, Prime Minister Jean Castex said on Saturday.
The instant fines will be put into practice in September, Castex said while on a trip to the southern port city of Nice.
The measure will help the police to "apply a sanction without delay" and should be effective against targeting drug dealers at the point of sale "which plague the districts", Castex was quoted by Euro News as saying.
In recent weeks, 200 euro fines issued by police have been tested in several cities in the country such as Reims and Rennes.
France is Europe's leading consumer of cannabis and comes in third place for cocaine use.
How will the fine work?
If the 200 euro fine is paid within two weeks, it will be reduced to 150 euros.
But it will rise to 450 euros if it is not paid within 45 days.
If paid within two weeks the fine will be reduced to 150 euros but will rise to 450 euros unless settled within 45 days.
France will hit illicit drug users, especially cannabis, with an on-the-spot fine of 200 euros
(Photo: Euro News)
Gold price makes history, hits all-time high and analysts still looking for more
The gold market made its historic move Sunday evening during the Asian trading session. First spot gold hit its all-time high above $1,920 and then August futures quickly followed suit. August gold last traded at $1,922.70 an ounce, up more than 1% on the day, Kitco news reported.
Although the record has been a significant target for analysts and investors, it is also seen by some as just a small speed bump within a much bigger uptrend.
In a recent interview with Kitco News, Marc Chandler, chief market strategist at Bannockburn Global Forex, said that he expects that gold prices could easily hit $2,000 an ounce before this current rally is over.
The market has seen significant bullish momentum in the last few months as the global economy has been turned upside down because of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to some analysts, rising geopolitical tensions between China and the U.S. are adding further fuel to the rally.
|The gold market made its historic move Sunday evening during the Asian trading session (Photo: Kitco)|
Analysts have pointed out that because of the COVID-19 pandemic, central banks around the world have implemented aggressive monetary policy stimulus measures, pumping trillions of dollars to stabilize financial markets.
These stimulus measures have pushed bond yields significantly lower, a significant tailwind for gold.
Analysts are also watching continued weakness in the U.S. dollar as another supportive factor for higher gold prices.
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