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Reuters | Equities.com |

The French central bank said on Monday it would exit from coal and limit exposure to gas and oil in its investment portfolio by 2024 as part of a shift towards more environmentally friendly assets.

Many central banks have committed to green up their investment portfolios as part of a push to encourage the financial system to support a less environmentally damaging economy.

The Bank of France manages 22 billion euros ($26.6 billion) of its own portfolio investments separately from asset purchases related to its monetary policy operations.


Reuters | Equities.com |

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden’s expected move to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline prompted Canada’s main oil-producing province of Alberta on Monday to threaten to seek damages as Ottawa made efforts to save the troubled project.

Scrapping the project would threaten Canadian jobs and the U.S.-Canadian relationship as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tries to turn the page on the Donald Trump era, though the idea drew support from environmental groups and progressive U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders.

A source told Reuters on Sunday that Biden will cancel a permit for the $8 billion project over concerns about fossil fuels contributing to climate change, dealing a blow to the Canadian energy sector.


Kimberly Redmond | Equities.com |

Following a scandal involving child welfare payments that drove thousands of families into financial hardship, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and his entire cabinet resigned Friday, according to reports.

Rutte announced the resignations in a televised address, saying that the responsibility for the scandal “ultimately rests with the incumbent cabinet and nowhere else.” 

In December, the Parliamentary Interrogation Committee on Childcare Allowance released findings of an investigation that revealed tax officials wrongly accused around 10,000 families of fraud and ordered them to repay benefits between 2013 and 2019. Many of those families, the inquiry found, were targeted based on their ethnicity or dual nationalities.


AP News | Equities.com |

As President Donald Trump’s supporters massed outside the Capitol last week and sang the national anthem, a line of men wearing olive-drab helmets and body armor trudged purposefully up the marble stairs in a single-file line, each man holding the jacket collar of the one ahead.

The formation, known as “Ranger File,” is standard operating procedure for a combat team that is “stacking up” to breach a building — instantly recognizable to any U.S. soldier or Marine who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. It was a chilling sign that many at the vanguard of the mob that stormed the seat of American democracy either had military training or were trained by those who did.


AP News | Equities.com |

President-elect Joe Biden already faces the daunting task of steering a newly announced $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill through a closely divided Congress as the pandemic and its economic fallout grow.

Now Biden will have to do it with President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial beginning potentially as soon as his first day in office.

The confluence of events amounts to one of the most politically and logistically complicated openings to a new administration in modern history, requiring Biden to try to move the country into a post-Trump era even as senators debate Trump’s most divisive acts.


Reuters | Equities.com |

United by political grievances, they came in costumes, snapping selfies, calling themselves patriots. Some came armed for battle and planning for “war.”

As authorities begin to charge the rioters in the Jan. 6 siege of the U.S. Capitol, court documents paint a picture of a diverse mob that included both citizens with mainstream careers - police officers, a flower shop owner, a state lawmaker, military veterans, even an Olympic medalist - as well as Americans on the fringe. One was a member of the Proud Boys, a far-right extremist group. Another had a caveman costume beneath a police bulletproof vest. One served time in prison for attempted murder.


Reuters | Equities.com |

U.S. President Donald Trump’s trade war with China has caused a peak loss of 245,000 U.S. jobs, but a gradual scaling back of tariffs on both sides would boost growth and lead to an additional 145,000 jobs by 2025, a study commissioned by the U.S.-China Business Council (USCBC) shows.

The group, which represents major American companies doing business in China, said the study by Oxford Economics also includes an “escalation scenario” which estimates a significant decoupling of the world’s two largest economies could shrink U.S. GDP by $1.6 trillion over the next five years. This could result in 732,000 fewer U.S. jobs in 2022 and 320,000 fewer jobs by 2025, it said.


AP News | Equities.com |

The FBI is tracking an “extensive amount of concerning online chatter,” including calls for armed protests leading up to next week’s presidential inauguration, Director Chris Wray said Thursday.

Wray, in his first public appearance since the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, said in a security briefing for Vice President Mike Pence that the FBI remains concerned about the potential for violence at protests and rallies in Washington and in state capitols around the country.


Reuters | Equities.com |

The Trump administration in its waning days took another swipe at China and its biggest firms on Thursday, imposing sanctions on officials and companies for alleged misdeeds in the South China Sea and imposing an investment ban on nine more firms.

The moves will further increase tensions with China, Washington’s strategic rival in Asia, days before President-elect Joe Biden takes office on Wednesday. The Biden transition team did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Executives of state-owned enterprises, officials of the Chinese Communist Party and military, along with oil giant CNOOC will face new restrictions for allegedly using coercion against states with rival South China Sea claims.


AP News | Equities.com |

President-elect Joe Biden unveiled a $1.9 trillion coronavirus plan Thursday to end “a crisis of deep human suffering” by speeding up vaccines and pumping out financial help to those struggling with the pandemic’s prolonged economic fallout.

Called the “American Rescue Plan,” the legislative proposal would meet Biden’s goal of administering 100 million vaccines by the 100th day of his administration, and advance his objective of reopening most schools by the spring. On a parallel track, it delivers another round of aid to stabilize the economy while the public health effort seeks the upper hand on the pandemic.