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World News

The Rise and Suppression of #EndSARS

On October 20, Nigerian soldiers were deployed to massacre the country’s own youths, killing at least 12 people who had peacefully assembled to demand accountability for rampant police brutality in Africa’s most populous nation. Before this tragedy, now known as the Lekki massacre, the #EndSARS movement had drawn tens of thousands of Nigerians into the streets for more than two weeks, bringing global attention to a rogue unit of the Nigerian Police Force, called the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, or SARS, which has a documented history of abusing its power. After promising reform, the government increasingly targeted protesters with violence, and last Thursday, the Nigerian president, Muhammadu Buhari, banned public protests amid national curfews. Ahead, everything else you need to know about the rise and suppression of Nigeria’s largest protest movement in generations.

What does police brutality look like in Nigeria?

The #EndSARS movement has taken aim at SARS, a tactical police unit assembled in 1992 to curtail violent crimes such as armed robbery and kidnapping. Over the years, SARS has become the most flagrant source of state violence and corruption that citizens encounter. Youths, the demographic propelling #EndSARS, report harassment, bribery, and even kidnappings by SARS officers, who criminalize young people for “dressing like” prostitutes and Internet scammers, merely because they own smartphones and laptops, drive “flashy” cars, or have tattoos and dreadlocks. A 2020 Amnesty International report, “Nigeria: Time to End Impunity,” documented 82 horrifying cases between January 2017 and May 2020 of SARS extrajudicial killings, extortion, and torture methods, including “hanging, mock execution, beating, punching and kicking, burning with cigarettes, waterboarding, near-asphyxiation with plastic bags, forcing detainees to assume stressful bodily positions, and sexual violence.” Citizen reporting sites including End SARS and The POBIN (Police Brutality in Nigeria) Project score more testimonies of abuse.

What sparked the protests?

On the morning of October 3, two days after Nigeria celebrated 60 years of independence, a tweet by Chinyelugo (@AfricaOfficial2) went viral, sounding an alarm that “SARS just shot a young boy dead.” Hours later, mobile phone recordings with the hashtag #EndSARS began trending, documenting the gruesome scene of the unidentified young man’s lifeless body abandoned on the roadside and citizens pursuing the officers, who they witnessed steal the man’s Lexus SUV.

Over the following days, many more Nigerians shared their own harrowing SARS experiences using the hashtag, which actually made its first appearance as a social media campaign and petition three years earlier, after a viral police murder in December 2017. This time around, with the mobilizing power of popular influencers on Twitter, the online protest moved to the streets. Since October 8, protesters in 26 of Nigeria’s 36 states have organized daily mass demonstrations, vigils, a sit-in of the National Assembly, and blockades of airports and major roads—until the tragedy on October 20.

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Markets

What to Expect When American Express, Coca-Cola, Intel, Verizon and More Report This Week

Nearly a third of the Dow Jones industrial average components are scheduled to report their latest quarterly reports this week. With the markets seemingly back on track, the fundamentals from this quarter will be important in terms of understanding where we really stand with the Dow what it could mean for the economy as a whole.

24/7 Wall St. has put together a preview of those Dow companies scheduled to report their quarterly results this week. We have included the consensus earnings estimates, as well as the stock price and trading history. Be advised that the earnings and revenue estimates may change ahead of the formal reports, and some companies may change earnings dates as well.

Travelers Companies Inc. (NYSE: TRV) will report its latest quarterly earnings before Tuesday’s open. The consensus estimates call for $3.16 in earnings per share (EPS) and $7.55 billion in revenue. Shares recently near $113, in a 52-week range of $76.99 to $142.22. The consensus target price is $121.80.

Procter & Gamble Co. (NYSE: PG) is expected to report its most recent quarterly results on Tuesday morning as well. The consensus estimates are $1.41 in EPS and revenue of $18.35 billion. Shares were trading close to $145 on Friday. The consensus price target is $141.69, and the 52-week trading range is $94.34 to $145.85.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) is expected to report its most recent quarterly results first thing on Wednesday. The consensus analyst estimates are $1.22 in EPS and revenue of $31.59 billion. Verizon stock traded above $58 on Friday. The consensus price target is $61.26, and the 52-week trading range is $48.84 to $62.22.

Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO) will report its latest quarterly earnings before Thursday’s opening bell. The consensus estimates call for $0.46 in EPS and $8.35 billion in revenue. Shares were trading above $50 apiece late in the week. The 52-week range is $36.27 to $60.13, and the consensus analyst target is $54.50.

Dow Inc. (NYSE: DOW) will post its quarterly earnings early on Thursday. The consensus estimates are calling for a net loss of $0.33 per share and $9.52 billion in revenue. Shares changed hands below $50 late on Friday, in a 52-week range of $21.95 to $56.25. The analysts’ consensus target is just $48.39.

Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) will share its third-quarter results late Thursday. The analysts’ consensus forecast is EPS of $1.10 on $18.22 billion in revenue. Shares were trading just below $55. The consensus price target is $56.59, and the stock has a 52-week range of $43.63 to $69.29.

And American Express Co. (NYSE: AXP) is scheduled to report its third-quarter earnings Friday morning. The consensus estimates call for $1.33 in EPS and revenue of $8.66 billion. Shares were changing hands just above $105. The mean price target is $106.04, and the 52-week trading range is $67.00 to $138.13.

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World News

Hannity: Hunter Biden emails expose 'damning information', 'corrupt practices' of Biden family

Emails purportedly show Hunter Biden introduced Joe to Burisma exec

Sean Hannity examines the ‘damning information’ about ‘corrupt practices of the Biden family’

The New York Post's latest report about Hunter Biden is "an avalanche of damning information" that speaks to the corrupt practices "of the Biden family business," Sean Hannity told viewers Wednesday night. 

The "Hannity" host then played a clip of Joe Biden, the Democratic presidential nominee, denying "ever discuss[ing] with my son or brother or anyone else" and promising an "absolute wall" between personal and presidential business if elected.

"What you just watched," Hannity said, "is Biden lying straight to your face."

Hannity then laid out details of Hunter Biden's business activities as noted in a report released last month by the Senate Homeland Security and Finance Committees. 

"In December 2013, Hunter Biden flew with his father aboard Air Force Two. They took a trip to China," he said. "Hunter admitted he met with Chinese businessmen during the trip … Hunter had zero experience in the country of China, zero experience with Chinese investments. But only 10 days later … Hunter signed on to a very lucrative, sweetheart deal with a Chinese state-backed investment fund, netting Hunter a massive amount of money and equity and revenue and a partnership with the Bank of China."

A few months later, in February 2014, Hannity said, Hunter Biden "got a $3.5 million wire transfer from a corrupt Russian oligarch once referred to as the 'first lady of Moscow.' Again, 'Zero Experience Hunter' with no experience in the country of Russia."

In an interview with ABC News' "Good Morning America" last year, Hunter Biden claimed "nobody buys this idea that I was unqualified" to sit on the board of Ukrainian energy giant Burisma.

"I was vice chairman of the board of Amtrak for five years," he said at the time. "I was the chairman of the board of the U.N. World Food Program. I was a lawyer for Boies Schiller Flexner, one of the most prestigious law firms in the world."

"I think that I had as much knowledge as anybody else that was on the [Burisma] board — if not more."

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Markets

Reopening Economy Lends Fresh Impetus to Indian Shares

Stock investors are taking heart from India’s efforts to re-open its economy, even as the nation continues on a trajectory to overtake the U.S. as the country with the most coronavirus cases.

The S&P BSE Sensex’s has rallied almost 11% since hitting a more than two-month low on Sept. 24, the best performance among the world’s national equity benchmarks, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It is less than 2% away from wiping out its losses for the year.

A Jefferies Financial Group Inc. model tracking economic recovery this week showed activity in India is already at 93% of pre-Covid levels. The nation is set to further relax restrictions on gatherings of people and allow schools, multiplexes and entertainment parks to reopen in some areas from Oct. 15.

“A higher-than-expected level of economic reopening, coupled with various steps from policy makers, creates an upside risk for GDP and earnings estimates, said Sameer Kalra, a strategist at Mumbai-based Target Investing. “There is a good chance that third-quarter GDP shows a recovery and then the Sensex hits a record by December,” he said.

The Sensex capped its best week since early June on Friday as the central bank signaled more policy easing ahead and announced a slew of liquidity steps to support the economy. In the past few days, data showing a mild improvement in some economic indicators and optimism over earnings results from a few major firms have also helped boost investor sentiment.

India’s biggest carmaker Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. posted its highest monthly sales in two years in September, as an end to a nationwide lockdown prompted dealerships to stock up ahead of a festive season. Asia’s third largest economy is set to announce third-quarter growth at the end of November. That number will be closely watched after the economy contracted by a record in the second quarter.

“The Indian government has pursued a gradual re-opening and the Covid peak seems to be behind now,” Jefferies strategists Mahesh Nandurkar and Abhinav Sinha wrote in a note last week as they upgraded the nation’s financial stocks to overweight from neutral.

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K+S Nears $3 Billion Sale of Morton Salt Unit to Kissner

German fertilizer company K+S AG is in advanced talks to sell its Morton Salt unit to Kissner Group for about $3 billion, people with knowledge of the matter said.

A deal for the North American salt business, famous for its “Umbrella Girl” logo, could be announced as soon as this week, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private.

Kissner, a producer and supplier of salt controlled by holding company Stone Canyon Industries Holdings, beat out other suitors including buyout firm Cerberus Capital Management, the people said.

No final agreements have been reached, and talks could still be delayed or fall apart, the people said. A representative for K+S declined to comment while Kissner and Cerberus didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Kassel, Germany-based K+S is divesting assets after its bet on a Canadian potash project backfired during a global slump in prices for the crop nutrient. This has weighed on earnings and sent the company’s credit rating into junk territory. Shares of K+S have fallen 45% in Frankfurt trading this year, giving it a market value of about 1.2 billion euros ($1.4 billion).

The company acquired Morton Salt in 2009 for about $1.7 billion.

K+S said in March it aims to cut its net debt by more than 2 billion euros by divesting the salt unit and trimming corporate functions. An earlier plan proposing the sale of just a minority stake in the business failed, meaning K+S was forced to give up a stable earnings contributor.

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World News

Eric and Donald Trump Jr. Test Negative for Coronavirus 1 Day After Donald Trump and Melania Test Positive

Donald Trump, Jr., and Eric Trump have tested negative for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), one day after Donald Trump and Melania Trump tested positive for the contagious respiratory virus.

Trump Jr. told Tucker Carlson on Fox News Friday that his dad is taking his positive diagnosis "seriously," and that he would still be working from the hospital.

Fox News' Bill Hemmer reported that Trump Jr. and his girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle had been tested Friday and their results came back negative.

Trump Jr.'s younger brother Eric and his wife Lara have also tested negative, a spokesperson for the couple tells PEOPLE.

"Eric and Lara are praying for their father and father-in-law, respectively," the spokesperson said. "At this time, they both have negative COVID tests and will be taking all necessary precautions, under the advisement of medical professionals."

White House physician Sean Conley said in a statement Friday that Trump was "fatigued but in good spirits," and that Melania was "well with only a mild cough and headache."

"The remainder of the First Family are well and tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 today," Conley's statement said.

"Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19," Trump announced on Twitter, hours after news broke on Thursday that his advisor Hope Hicks had contracted the virus. "We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!"

On Friday, Trump was admitted to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center out of an "abundance of caution."

Later on Friday night, Conley said in a statement he had recommended the president be moved to the hospital for "further monitoring."

"This evening I am happy to report that the president is doing very well," the doctor said.

"He is not requiring any supplementary oxygen, but in consultation with specialists, we have elected to initiate Remdesivir therapy [an antiviral medication]. He has completed his first does and is resting comfortably."

In a pre-taped message before heading to the hospital, he said: "I want to thank everybody for the tremendous support. I’m going to Walter Reed hospital. I think I’m doing very well, but we’re going to make sure that things work out."

"The First Lady is doing very well," he added, "so thank you very much. I appreciate it. I will never forget it."

"Thank you for the love you are sending our way," Melania tweeted separately on Friday. "I have mild symptoms but overall feeling good. I am looking forward to a speedy recovery."

Later in the evening, Trump gave an update on how he was feeling.

"Going welI, I think! Thank you to all. LOVE!!!" he tweeted.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from the WHO and local public health departments. PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a GoFundMe.org fundraiser to support everything from frontline responders to families in need, as well as organizations helping communities. For more information or to donate, click here.

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