Categories
Economy

Twitter Earnings: What to Look For

Key Takeaways

  • Analysts estimate adjusted EPS of $0.04 vs. $0.17 in Q3 FY 2019.
  • Monetizable daily active users (mDAU) is expected to rise sharply.
  • Revenue is expected to decline, but at slower pace than Q2 FY 2020.

Social media giant Twitter Inc. (TWTR) has faced two conflicting trends amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The company has seen a major spike in users as millions of people shelter at home, but the economic slowdown has caused a significant decline in advertising. Twitter depends on ads for the vast majority of its revenue and profit.

Investors will pay close attention to these dueling trends when Twitter reports earnings on October 29 for Q3 FY 2020. Analyst expect a steep drop in adjusted earnings per share (EPS) compared to the same period a year earlier after losing money in Q2 FY 2020. Revenue is expected to decline for the second straight quarter year-over year (YOY), though at a slower pace.

Investors may get promising news from a key Twitter metric, which is monetizable daily active users (mDAU). The metric is expected to post its best quarterly growth in more than three years. mDAU is the company's primary measure of user traffic on its main platform, and is closely watched as an indication of Twitter's capacity to grow its advertising revenue. 

Since plunging with the broader market to a low in March of 2020, Twitter's shares have risen by more than 120%, experiencing wild swings along the way. Twitter has outperformed the broader stock market, posting a 1-year trailing total return of 63.0% compared to 11.9% for the S&P 500.

Twitter's stock pulled back after reporting on July 23 that Q2 FY 2020 earnings and revenue badly missed expectations. It posted its first quarterly loss in three years. After the report, the stocks drifted down and then traded essentially sideways for the next two months before resuming its upward trajectory in mid-September.

Twitter had posted YOY three straight quarters of declines in adjusted EPS before the loss in Q2. When it comes to Twitter's performance in Q3, prior periods have trended downward, from adjusted EPS of $0.21 in Q3 FY 2018 to $0.17 in Q3 FY 2019. Now, analysts estimate a 75.5% decline to $0.04 for Q3 FY 2020.

The company's revenue performance also has been poor in recent quarters. In Q2 FY 2020, Twitter's revenue fell 18.8%, its first quarterly decline since Q3 FY 2017. Consensus estimates predict another YOY decline of 5.9% in Q3 FY 2020, although by a smaller amount than Q2.

Twitter Key Metrics
  Estimate for Q3 FY 2020 Actual for Q3 FY 2019 Actual for Q3 FY 2018
Adjusted Earnings Per Share ($) 0.04 0.17 0.21
Revenue ($M) 775.4 823.7 758.1
Monetizable Daily Active Users (M) 196.3 145.0 124.0

Source: Visible Alpha

As indicated, a key metric to watch at Twitter is monetizable daily active users (mDAU). This non-GAAP measure is intended to capture the “vetted” users of the platform, after filtering out illegitimate users such as fake accounts, bots, accounts linked to spam, multiple accounts linked to the same user, and so on. Twitter’s mDAU metric is watched closely by advertisers, since it serves as a proxy for the size of the audience that their ads can reach through the platform. Although mDAU may provide a more accurate picture of the company’s user base, this also makes it difficult to compare Twitter’s performance to competitors.

Twitter's stock gains in recent months may be due in part to acceleration in Twitter's growth of mDAUs. That pace has sped up in FY 2020 even though the company has posted YOY gains in mDAUs each of at least the past 13 quarters, In Q1 FY 2020, Twitter's 23.9% increase in mDAUs was the biggest quarterly jump in about three years. Then in Q2 of this fiscal year, the company beat expectations when it reported bigger YOY mDAU gains of 33.8%. Now, analysts predict a 35.4% increase in mDAUs for Q3 FY 2020.

Article Sources

  1. Wall Street Journal. "Twitter Adds More Users, but Revenue and Profit Fall." Accessed Oct. 26, 2020.

  2. Twitter Inc. "Twitter Third Quarter 2020 Earnings Conference Call." Accessed Oct. 26, 2020.

  3. Visible Alpha. “Visible Alpha.” Accessed Oct. 26, 2020.

  4. Twitter Inc. "Twitter Announces First Quarter 2020 Results," Page 3. Accessed Oct. 26, 2020.

  5. Wall Street Journal. "Twitter Adds More Users, but Revenue and Profit Fall." Accessed Oct. 27, 2020.

  6. Visible Alpha. “Visible Alpha.” Accessed Oct. 26, 2020.

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
Economy

Chobani to boost minimum wage to $15 per hour

Trump says Biden’s plan to raise minimum wage would hurt small businesses

Trump and Biden spar over raising the federal minimum wage and struggling small businesses amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Chobani is boosting its starting hourly wage to $15 per hour.

Continue Reading Below

Starting next year during the first quarter, around 70 percent of all company employees in hourly roles will be guaranteed a floor starting wage at more than double the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. This will also include any new hires at Chobani.

(Credit: Chobani)

TARGET STARTS $15 MINIMUM WAGE IN US STORES

In efforts to prioritize people before profit, the greek yogurt company is paving the way for corporate responsibility amid a global pandemic.

“When this is all over, companies will be judged on how they behaved and how much profit is too much profit,” Chobani President and CEO Peter McGuinness told FOX Business. “We hope other businesses, particularly food manufacturers, look at their starting wages and increase them – not just because they can, but because they should. And it’s not an expense, it’s an investment that will make businesses stronger.”

The wage hike will also bump the salaries of employees working in the company’s manufacturing plants to $19 per hour. And for employees working in New York City’s Chobani Café, the minimum wage will be raised well over the city’s $15 minimum wage to $18 per hour in order to meet the area’s high cost of living.

(Credit: Chobani)

On average, the hourly rates raise will land at around $19 per hour.

MCDONALD'S PUSHES FOR HEALTHIER HAPPY MEALS

The move to double down on employee benefits is contingent on the return on investment, which outweighs the expense, according to McGuinness. Whether it’s through increased productivity, lower turnover rates at manufacturing plants or higher profits, the Idaho-based yogurt giant’s standpoint on “doing good” is mutually exclusive with “strong business.” As a result, there will be no cost passed down to consumers, according to the company.

Chobani’s pay raises also comes as the economy wrestles to recover from a coronavirus-induced recession and as many corporations have announced mass layoffs. To date, around 22 million Americans lost their jobs since the start of the pandemic, and only half of those have been recovered so far.

THIS STATE HAS THE LOWEST MINIMUM WAGE IN AMERICA

And as the number of Americans applying for state unemployment benefits remains at a historic high due to widespread layoffs Chobani’s mission to champion employees first will take on an exceptional spotlight.

"This moment of uncertainty is a call for us to join together to strengthen communities and support those working tirelessly to make the food on the tables of families across America," Hamdi Ulukaya, founder and CEO of Chobani said in a press release. "Businesses should serve the people and communities in which they operate. Raising our base starting salary is the right thing to do and we hope other businesses, particularly food manufacturers, feel the same as we all work toward rebuilding our country."

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE STORIES ON FOX BUSINESS

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
Economy

3 reasons to refinance your mortgage immediately

If you’re thinking of taking advantage of today is record-low refinance rates, now’s the time to do it. Here’s why it’s better to refinance sooner rather than later. (iStock)

If you own a home and saving money is your goal, it may be time to consider a mortgage refinance to both lower your monthly payments and cut the life of the loan. Borrowers can currently benefit from the lower rates that have come about as a result of the coronavirus pandemic but today's low mortgage rates won't last forever.

Continue Reading Below

With that in mind, it may be best to make a move soon. To get a jump start on a home refinance loan, use Credible to compare mortgage lenders, get loan estimates, and find lower rates with the click of a button.

Below are three reasons to refinance as soon as possible. Read them over so you can determine whether or not refinancing your mortgage in the current interest rate environment makes sense for you.

1. Interest rates are at record lows

First, it would be irresponsible to talk about refinancing without mentioning the current mortgage refinance rates. Interest rates have been largely moving in a downward trend for the better part of 2020 since the start of the pandemic and they have now reached historic lows. As of publication, Freddie Mac holds the average rate on the following:

  • 30-year fixed-rate refinance: 3.00% 
  • 15-year fixed-rate refinance: 2.50%. 

If the rate on your current mortgage is more than half a point higher than the interest rates listed, it's probably a good idea to consider a mortgage refi. Remember different mortgage lenders may offer you different rates.

When you're considering the process of refinancing your mortgage, it's important to shop around. You can visit an online marketplace like Credible to get a sense of your refinancing options. You can also use Credible to get connected with an experienced loan officer who can answer any questions that you may have about the process.

HOW THE FED'S MORTGAGE RATES CAN HELP YOU PICK BETWEEN RENTING OR BUYING

2. The “adverse market” fee goes into effect soon

As a result of the rush to refinance that occurred in response to these record interest rates, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) recently announced that a new “adverse market” fee will soon be added to any refinances that involve Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

Though loan balances under $125,000 are currently exempt, all other mortgages that will eventually be sold to the two government-sponsored enterprises will be subject to a fee that is equivalent to 0.5% of the loan balance. On a $250,000 loan, for example, this fee would be equivalent to $1,250.

Since about half of the mortgage loans originated in the United States are eventually bought by either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, this fee has the potential to affect a lot of borrowers. However, the good news is that there is still time to take advantage of today's low mortgage refinance rates without having to account for this fee being added to your closing costs. While the fee was originally supposed to be implemented on September 1, 2020, the agency ultimately decided to delay its implementation until December 1, 2020, amid an industry backlash.

With that in mind, the window of time between now and when the fee goes into effect is quickly closing. If you do want to save on mortgage payments without having to account for this fee, it's likely best to talk to a lender sooner rather than later. Many banks and financial institutions are already starting to add this fee to their loan estimates.

Use Credible to help you compare different lenders with fewer forms to fill out. Credible can also help you get pre-qualified for a loan without impacting your credit score.

WHY IT'S A GOOD IDEA TO REFINANCE YOUR MORTGAGE WHILE RATES ARE LOW

3. Refinancing makes sense for you

Lastly, it's important to remember that the decision to refinance your mortgage is not just about jumping at the chance to capitalize on low-interest rates. Current refinance rates aside, you also need to take the time to make sure that refinancing makes sense for you personally.

In order to make that decision, one factor that you need to consider is how long you intend to stay in the home. Remember, refinancing comes with an upfront cost and it will take you a while to break even on that cost with the savings that you receive from your mortgage refi rate. Essentially, it’s important to make sure that you intend to stay in the home long enough to see significant savings.

While you can find your own break-even point by dividing the total upfront cost of closing on a new loan by any savings you’ll receive monthly, one study found that it takes homeowners an average of four years to break even on the cost of taking on a new home loan. To that end, if today's low rates are calling your name, make sure you take your break-even point into account before making your decision.

If you're ready to take the next step, you can use an online mortgage refinance calculator to take a look at what your monthly costs could be with a new loan.

Credible can help you compare mortgage lenders and save money on your monthly payments and beyond with their online tools. Checking personalized rates only takes three minutes and doesn't impact your credit score.

HOW TO LAND THE BEST MORTGAGE AND REFINANCE RATES

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
World News

Meadows: 'Four to five' more countries could reach peace deals with Israel

Mark Meadows: Trump wants to make sure US doesn’t get involved in endless wars

White House chief of staff Mark Meadows joins Maria Bartiromo on ‘Sunday Morning Futures.’

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows touted President Trump's progress with Middle East peace on Sunday, hinting that much more is still to come.

In an interview with Fox News' "Sunday Morning Futures," Meadows praised the Trump administration for leading the way to establish peace and stability in the region.

TRUMP'S MIDDLE EAST PEACE DEALS 'REJECTED CONVENTIONAL WIDSOM': STATE DEPT.

“Well, we will see more countries coming in. The president has been not only a leader but he’s been very proactive on trying to make sure that peace in the Middle East is really not just a dream but a reality," Meadows said.

The administration has already brokered peace agreements between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Sudan. Meadows pointed out how surprising such progress would have seemed just a short time ago.

TRUMP NOTCHES STRING OF PEACE DEALS: WHAT TO KNOW

“If you had asked me even three years ago or even three months ago if we would have an agreement between Sudan and Israel I would not have put the odds at a great betting odd," Meadows said. He then added that he does not expect this to be the end.

"Three countries now where peace is on the way, more countries to come, as many as four to five additional countries perhaps entering into that," Meadows announced. "And so the great news is for all of Americans is we have the hope of finally having peace in the Middle East because of this president’s leadership.”

CLICK HERE FOR THE FOX NEWS APP

President Trump was particularly optimistic Friday, when he announced the deal between Israel and Sudan. He said that even Iran would "someday" normalize relations with Israel.

Trump also said that a deal between Israel and the Palestinian region may be on the horizon. "Palestinians, they're wanting to do something. "I'm sure that will get done, too." 

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
Business

France Becomes 7th Nation To Top One Million Cases

According to the Bing COVID-19 Tracker, global confirmed cases of the disease reached 42,214,376 today, up by 501,062 from the day before. Global confirmed cases often have risen by over 350,000 a day recently. This is above the sustained figure for any period since the spread of COVID-19 began.

Fatal COVID-19 cases have reached 1,144,319, after a one-day gain of 6,909.

France became the 7th nation with confirmed cases over one million. Its figure reached 1,041,075, up 42,032. Fatal cases reached 34,508.

The number of cases continues to rise quickly in the northern hemisphere, where winter is quickly approaching. In some nations in Europe, new daily cases have hit records, with large surges in the United Kingdom and Spain. With most viruses, the rate of spread rises as people move indoors. This has been true of the flu for decades. At the same time, the southern hemisphere has not posted much improvement. Among the hardest-hit nations in the world are Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Mexico and Peru.

The United States remains the country with the most confirmed cases at 8,578,831, after an 80,471 increase in a day. The number was a single-day record. COVID-19 fatalities there stand at 227,107 and the increase has neared 1,000 per day. The rate of the spread has grown sharply in the past two weeks, sparking concern that coronavirus deaths may top 300,000 by year’s end. Dr. Anthony Fauci has said the spread will not be arrested until the average daily increase drops to under 10,000 per day, which certainly will not happen soon.

U.S. confirmed cases are concentrated in the largest states by population. California has 902,325 and Texas has 898,708. At the current rate of increase, Texas may overcome California’s count in a matter of days and become the top state in America based on the number of confirmed cases.

In Florida, there are 771,780 cases, and New York has 496,510. Yet, some of the states where COVID-19 is growing fastest have small populations, most notably North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana and Wisconsin. New York State continues to have the largest number of coronavirus deaths by far at 33,038, about 15% of the national total.

Currently ranked second in the world based on confirmed COVID-19 cases, India has 7,815,363. The coronavirus death count there stands at 118,007. Health care experts say that because of the size of the nation geographically, and its relatively primitive health care systems, more than 60 million people actually have been infected, which is about eight times the official number. The Indian Council of Medical Research puts the figure as high as 63 million.

Brazil has a confirmed case count of 5,355,650. New cases recently have risen at a rate of over 20,000 a day. Its COVID-19 deaths number is 156,528. As with India, Brazil’s figures are too low. It is nearly impossible to count cases in the nation’s interior. In the poorest parts of the largest cities, packed with impoverished people, the disease also is difficult to track.

Russia has 1,497,167 cases, and fatal cases there number 25,821. Most experts say the death count is far too low to be real. It may be that the government has kept counts down to make it appear it has the pandemic under control. Confirmed cases rose by 16,521 yesterday, among the highest one-day counts in Russia since the pandemic began.

Argentina became the fifth nation to post a total of a million cases or more. The figure for the country has hit 1,069,368, and coronavirus deaths there number 28,338. Meanwhile, Spain has become the sixth nation with more than a million confirmed cases, with 1,046,132. It has 34,752 fatal cases.

Columbia will soon be the 8th nation to cross the 1 million case barrier. It currently has 998,942 confirmed cases and 29,802 fatal ones.

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
World News

Dan Gainor: Trump managed to drive debate despite Welker's interruptions

Trump touts criminal justice reform, compares self to Abraham Lincoln

President accuses Biden of doing only harm to the Black community in his 47 years in public office

Thursday night in Nashville, the Commission on Presidential Debates did what the news media have been trying to do for four years — silence President Donald Trump. That lasted for only two minutes at a clip.

After that, moderator Kristen Welker of NBC News spent all night interrupting the president. But despite that, a debate did happen and it didn’t go anywhere near as she planned.

Trump forced discussion of the economy, scandal allegations against Biden and Biden’s 1994 crime bill that harmed tens of thousands of African-American young men.

And Trump did it with a kinder, gentler tone. In fact, it was Biden who came across as angrier — probably not the last look he wanted to give voters who seldom see him.

Trump also hammered a point that should resonate with Americans worn down by the virus. “We’re not going to shut down and we have to open our schools,” argued the president. That ran counter to the Biden strategy that called for “more social distancing” and limits on what could open.

BIDEN SHOCKS DEBATE VIEWERS WITH BIZARRE HITLER REFERENCE

Welker clearly adapted her planned questions to take into account both breaking news and the criticism that the original topics left out two huge areas of Trump’s success — foreign policy and economy.

She also avoided asking about packing the Supreme Court even though Biden had just announced a plan to do even more than that earlier in the day. That plan included a vow to “go well beyond packing."

The resulting debate focused heavily on energy and former Vic President Joe Biden’s bogus claims he doesn’t plan to ban fracking. Fossil fuels, which dominate several states including battleground Pennsylvania, are Biden’s kryptonite and he once more lied about the issue.

Biden declared: “I have never said I oppose fracking” and dared Trump to “put it on your website.” Trump challenged him and even Welker responded with a follow-up question: “Would you rule out banning fracking?

“I do rule out banning fracking,” he replied. Then he oddly continued with a call to have “complete zero emissions by 2025.” That timing would conveniently land at the end of a new administration.

The Trump War Room Twitter account immediately responded with a clip of that Q&A and then added several clips of Biden opposed to fracking.

Former Texas Republican Gov. Rick Perry jumped in on Twitter, saying, “Hey Texas and Pennsylvania, @JoeBiden just admitted he would transition from the oil industry, effectively killing an estimated 11 million jobs.”

Trump also forced a discussion of The New York Post allegations against Biden and his son Hunter. It wasn’t enough, but it was more than Welker probably wanted. And had to be a surprise to millions of Americans who suffered as both news media and social media censored the issue.

Trump scored with one of his more memorable lines of the night: “They're are like a vacuum cleaner," said Trump about the Bidens. "They're sucking up money."

CLICK HERE TO GET THE OPINION NEWSLETTER

Still, Welker’s liberal bent influenced both the questions and how she phrased them. “You've described the Black Lives Matter movement as a symbol of hate,” she said to Trump. She then asked him, “What do you say to Americans who say that kind of language from a president is contributing to a climate of hate and racial strife?”

But that wasn’t how she asked Biden the question. And it had to be Trump who brought up the 1994 crime bill Biden now apologizes for.

Welker did the same thing with the Supreme Court, twisting the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett into a battle over keeping the Affordable Care Act with the scare claim, “20 million Americans could lose their health insurance almost overnight.”

Conservative Ben Shapiro slammed the argument. “Welker's framing on this ACB question is ridiculous. Her appointment is not about overturning Obamacare.”

Welker has long been a predictable partisan Democrat. She had registered with the party back in 2012 and comes from a family with strong Democratic ties.

She had tipped off the Clinton campaign to post-debate questions back in 2016. In 2019, she confronted Trump and asked, “Have you or are you now — have you ever worked for Russia? Yes or no?”

Pre-debate pressure boxed her in enough that Trump didn’t spend all night having to fight with the moderator. Still, conservative columnist David Limbaugh assessed the debate this way: “Trump is winning this, despite, once again, deck stacked against him.”

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Neither side can point to their opponent doing badly. Trump did get to enjoy a victory lap after repeatedly asking Biden "Why didn't you do that four years ago?” “You know, Joe, I ran because of you, I ran because of Barack Obama." 

On Thursday night, he didn't just run because of Joe, he ran through him.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM DAN GAINOR

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
World News

5 things to watch for in the final debate between Biden and Trump

Trump likely to make Bidens’ alleged corruption his central claim at debate: Stirewalt

President Trump and Joe Biden gear up for their final debate; reaction and analysis from Fox News political editor Chris Stirewalt.

The stakes couldn’t be higher for Thursday’s second and final presidential debate between Democratic nominee Joe Biden and President Trump.

The showdown – coming with just 12 days to go until Election Day on Nov. 3 – is the last chance for both major party standard bearers to make their case in front of a massive national audience watching and listing on TV and radio and streaming online.

HOW TO WATCH THE FINAL BIDEN-TRUMP PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE

And it may be the last opportunity to reach out to the dwindling number of voters who’ve yet to make up their minds.

U.S. President Donald Trump, center, speaks as Joe Biden, 2020 Democratic presidential nominee, right, listens during the first U.S. presidential debate hosted by Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S., on Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020. Trump and Biden kick off their first debate with contentious topics like the Supreme Court and the coronavirus pandemic suddenly joined by yet another potentially explosive question — whether the president ducked paying his taxes. Photographer: Kevin Dietsch/UPI/Bloomberg via Getty Images

“This final debate will give each candidate a live opportunity to strengthen their core messaging and enhance their potential reach to undecided voters,” highlighted John Link, vice president at Advertising Analytics, a leading ad-tracking firm.

With so much on the line, it’s no wonder the campaigns are trading fire over numerous aspects regarding the debate, from the mute button to prevent the candidates from interrupting each other during their initial two minute responses at the top of each segment to the topics themselves.

The Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) – the bipartisan group that’s been organizing and running these faceoffs for more than three decades – announced late last week that fighting COVID-19, American families, national security, leadership, climate change and race in America will be the major topics debated during six 15-minute sections at the commercial-free 90-minute showdown at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn.

Thursday’s 9 p.m. ET faceoff between the two national party standard-bearers comes one week after the second of the three scheduled debates between Biden and Trump was canceled after the commission decided to make it a virtual showdown out of health concerns after the president was briefly hospitalized after being diagnosed with COVID-19. The president refused to take part in a debate that wasn’t being held in person.

And the debate comes with just 12 days to go until Election Day on Nov. 3, and as more than 45 million Americans have already voted through early in-person voting at polling stations or by casting an absentee or mail-in ballot. It may be the last chance for the president to make his case in front of a national audience as he tries to change the needle in a race where the most recent public opinion polls indicate Biden with the edge in most of the crucial battleground states that will decide the winner of the election.

A sign greets visitors outside the Curb Event Center at Belmont University as preparations take place for the second Presidential debate, Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020, in Nashville, Tenn., during the coronavirus outbreak. Governors of states including Tennessee, Oklahoma, Nebraska and North Dakota are all facing calls from doctors and public health officials to require masks. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

And it’s also an opportunity for both the former vice president and Trump to showcase their plans to combat the worst pandemic in a century and to pump up an economy flattened by the coronavirus, the top two issues on the minds of voters.

‘It’s imperative for both candidates to show their leadership skills tonight and the ability to heal our country at a very difficult time. We’re facing a global pandemic and an economic crisis and it’s very important for either candidate to show how they would lead,” emphasized Lauren Zelt, a GOP consultant and veteran of Republican presidential and Senate campaigns.

Here are five things to watch for at the final showdown before Election Day.

Will the candidates refrain from interrupting each other?

The first debate late last month in Cleveland, Ohio, was a chaotic clash.

The showdown – described as a “debacle” and even a “s— show" – was plagued by incessant interruptions and insults. The president was the larger of the two culprits – according to a Fox News analysis, the president interrupted Biden and moderator Chris Wallace of "Fox News Sunday" a total of 145 times, with the former vice president interrupting Trump and Wallace 67 times.

The commission responded by including a mute button. But will the candidates – specifically the president – play along?

In an interview Tuesday morning on “Fox & Friends,” the president said he “may” change his strategy and cut back on the interruptions, but he was far from definitive.

“They said if you let him talk, he’ll lose his chain of thought because he’s gonzo,” Trump said as he referred to Biden. “And I understand that. But I also understand that as he’s going down the line and issuing lies, you know, generally it’s OK to, you know, really attack that.”

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany sees a benefit in letting Biden talk without interruption. In an interview on FOX Business’ “Varney & Co,” she predicted “the upside of the muted mics is Joe Biden will be forced to speak more than 30 seconds, he will inevitably walk himself into a few disasters.”

WATCH KAYLEIGH MCENANY ON 'VARNEY & CO.'

Biden, speaking to reporters before boarding his flight to Nashville on Thursday afternoon, said "hopefully [Trump's] gonna play by the rules."

Will Trump go full throttle on Hunter Biden?

At the first debate, Trump repeatedly spotlighted the controversies surrounding the former vice president’s son Hunter Biden. The president zeroed in on the younger Biden’s acknowledged past drug use. But Trump’s attacks may have fallen flat after the former vice president declared that he was proud of his son – who along with millions of other Americans – had battled to overcome an addiction.

But thanks to a recent controversial report in the New York Post that’s gone viral – Trump may feel like he has more ammunition to fire in this final debate.

The president, his reelection campaign and surrogates, have repeatedly spotlighted last week’s report to claim that Biden’s actions as vice president during President Obama’s administration were influenced by his son’s business dealings in Ukraine. The Trump campaign launched a new ad targeting Biden over the story and on Sunday night the president charged that “as far as I'm concerned, the Biden family is a criminal enterprise."

The Biden campaign and allies have blasted the report as a “smear campaign” and point to the recent GOP-led Senate investigation that found no evidence of wrongdoing on the then-vice president’s part with regard to Ukraine.

Trump campaign adviser Jason Miller made it clear that if the debate’s moderator, NBC News’s Kristen Welker, doesn’t bring up the controversy, the president will.

"If Kristen Welker, the moderator, doesn't bring it up, I think you're pretty safe to assume that the president will," Miller said on "Mornings with Maria." "Again, these are real simple questions."

And White House director of strategic communications Alyssa Farah predicted on Fox Business that “whether it’s asked or he has the opportunity to bring it up, he’s going to get into this issue of Hunter Biden. The American people need to know if the Biden family in any way is beholden to China.”

But Fox News political analyst Karl Rove emphasized that it would be more effective for the president to focus on the economy as opposed to the Hunter Biden “scandal.”

Rove, who served as the top political adviser to President George W. Bush in the White House and on Bush’s two presidential election victories, acknowledged “we do know that Hunter Biden is a bad actor” and allegedly “used his father to make money with [Ukrainian energy firm] Burisma."

But in an appearance on Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom,” Rove argued that “I just don't think that in the last 13 days it's as effective to talk about this than it is to talk about how Joe Biden is going to raise your taxes, diminish your savings, slow down the economy, attack our energy independence, raise your utility bill, all the stuff that Trump could spend the time between now and the election talking about.”

Will Trump grill Biden over court packing and fracking?

While it’s a sure bet that Trump will bring up Hunter Biden, it’s also smart money to bet on the president grilling Biden on whether he’ll push to expand the size of the Supreme Court if elected. The president and his team sense a political opportunity here, as polling in recent days indicates the move -known as court packing by opponents – is unpopular with many Americans.

The president and the Republican majority in the Senate are fast tracking before the election the confirmation of conservative federal appeals court judge Amy Coney Barrett to succeed the late liberal-leaning justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. That move would tilt the Supreme Court to a 6-3 conservative majority, and many progressives are calling for Biden – if elected – to expand the numbers of justices.

Biden refused to answer the question during the first debate – but last week said that he’d make his feelings known after the full Senate votes on the Barrett confirmation, which would likely happen early next week.

Biden said in an interview with CBS News “60 Minutes” that made public on Thursday that if elected, he would establish a bipartisan commission of scholars to study a possible court overhaul. The announcement immediately elicited criticism by some groups on the left.

Don’t be surprised if the president also challenges Biden on whether he supports banning fracking, which is the environmentally controversial practice of shooting liquids at high pressure below the earth’s surface to open fissures and extract oil and gas.

Vice President Mike Pence, at his debate two weeks ago with Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris, charged at least five times that a Biden administration would ban fracking.

With climate change one of the six topics at the debate, it’s pretty much a sure thing that Trump will press the attack. But the spotlight on the environment also gives Biden plenty of ammunition to return fire and once again accuse the president of being a “climate arsonist.”

Will Biden keep bringing it back to the coronavirus?

The simple answer is yes.

The pandemic swept the nation in February and March. More than 220,000 COVID-19-related deaths have now been recorded and more than 8.3 million infections have been confirmed across the country. New cases have been surging in recent days nationwide – but most acutely in the Midwest and West. Over the past week the daily average of new cases stands at 59,000, the highest since early August. And the rise comes as the cooler weather is forcing many Americans indoors.

Over the past seven months, Biden has repeatedly criticized the president for initially downplaying the severity of the outbreak, and for botching the federal government’s response. The president has defended his actions and has repeatedly claimed that the country’s “turning the corner” in combating the coronavirus.

Biden in the first debate and Harris during the vice presidential showdown prosecuted the case against Trump and it’s a safe bet Biden will continue to fire away on Thursday night, armed with new controversial comments Trump’s made in recent days.

The president, who takes the debate stage for the first time as a patient recovering from COVID-19, needs a better answer that he had at the first face-off.

Will Biden clear his low bar for the debate?

Biden’s durability will once again be the spotlight.

For six months, the president, the Trump campaign and allied groups and surrogates have repeatedly questioned the 77-year-old Biden’s mental acuity. But by lowering the bar for Biden, the president and his campaign helped Biden easily beat debate expectations in Cleveland.

The former vice president’s mission in Nashville remains the same as in the first debate – avoid any major stumbles or gaffes.

Biden’s leading Trump in the public opinion polls with 12 days to go until Election Day. His game plan is to play it safe.

With that in mind, Biden appears to be coming to the debate prepared. He’s spent four of the five past days with no public events so he could prepare for the final faceoff.

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
World News

Trump, Biden traveling to Tennessee for final presidential debate showdown

Dems’ debate strategy: Avoid Trump’s accomplishments?

Did Democrats want to skip questions on the economy and foreign policy to avoid two Trump strong suits? Reaction from Joe Concha, media reporter for The Hill.

President Trump and Democratic rival Joe Biden are preparing to face off for the second and final debate on Thursday night in Tennessee with the presidential election just 12 days away. 

Like the first debate, each candidate will be allotted 2 minutes of speaking time to answer the moderator's questions; but under a new plan announced Monday by the Commission on Presidential Debates, during that portion of the debate, the opposing candidate's microphone will be muted.

BIDEN MOVES ON COURT-PACKING STANCE, WHILE TRUMP SPARS WITH NBC IN DUELING TOWN HALLS

"I'll participate. I just think it's very unfair," Trump said Monday when asked by reporters about the change.

Here's what you need to know about the presidential campaigns and how they'll be spending Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020, just 12 days away from the Nov. 3 election.

President Trump

Trump is slated to travel to Nashville this afternoon ahead of the 90-minute presidential debate, which will be moderated by NBC News' Kristen Welker. 

Before the debate, which is being held at Belmont University, Trump will participate in a roundtable with supporters. 

The debate is scheduled to begin at 9 p.m. ET. 

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden

Biden, who's been in Wilmington, Del., for most of the week preparing for the debate, is also scheduled to travel to Nashville on Thursday.

With less than two weeks to go until the Nov. 3 election, Biden is leading Trump in most national polls, but has a narrower advantage in battleground states that will likely determine the race. 

More than 44 million Americans have already cast their ballot, according to data compiled by the U.S. Elections Project.

TRUMP CAMPAIGN CALLS OUT SECOND DEBATE MODERATOR WHO INTERNED FOR BIDEN, WORKED FOR TED KENNEDY

Vice President Mike Pence

The vice president will stump in his home state of Indiana on Thursday. Pence is slated to hold a campaign rally at the Fort Wayne Aero Center. 

Trump won Indiana soundly in 2016 and is widely expected to do so again. 

Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris

The California senator will participate in a virtual "Women for Biden" rally on Thursday.

CLICK HERE FOR THE FOX NEWS APP

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
World News

Where to buy iPhone 12 TOMORROW – online deals, new Apple Store rules and more

APPLE'S new iPhone 12 is out on Friday – and despite the global health crisis, there are loads of ways to get your hands on one.

We've rounded up everything you need to know about buying an iPhone in the UK, including retail store rules, online offers and more.

Buying an iPhone in-person

The good news is that – at the time of writing – Apple Stores in the UK are still open.

This could change depending on local or national restrictions, so make sure you check on the day of your visit.

Normally, an iPhone launch would see huge queues stretching away from Apple Stores – but this year is different.

The ongoing pandemic means that there'll be less on-site fanfare, although queues may still happen.

However, Apple will enforce some measures of social distancing for anyone who decides to wait outside the store.

Face masks are essential, and you'll be required to undergo a temperature check too.

You can book one-on-one sessions with a Specialist at an Apple Store to help choose a new product.

And you can pre-order an iPhone for pick-up at the store to speed up your visit.

At the store, you'll also find fewer people milling around due to limited occupancy – and plenty of hand sanitiser to boot.

Another option is to use Apple Pickup Express, which is a super-fast way to collect your iPhone.

It's like a normal click-and-collect system, but you turn up and walk away with your iPhone from a pop-up storefront.

There are two Express locations in the UK: one at Westfield White City and the other at Westfield Stratford.

Buying an iPhone online

Arguably the safest way to buy an iPhone this year is online.

If you buy an iPhone at the official Apple website, you can opt for contactless home delivery.

There are Apple Specialists available for virtual sessions to help you make a purchase.

And you can also get advice on setting up your new iPhone after your purchase too.

There are financing options, which include 0% interest plans so you can spread the cost – though you'll still need a SIM card.

And trade-in is available both online and offline.

New iPhones – What are they?

The iPhone 12 series make up the latest and greatest smartphones from California tech titan Apple, and are the company’s first to come with 5G connectivity.

Apple boss Tim Cook said: “Today is the day of a new era for iPhone. We’re bringing 5G to iPhone.”

He added that 5G “will bring a new level of performance for downloads and uploads.”

In total, Apple announced four new mobiles during its October 13 “Hi, Speed” event, which was streamed live to fans around the world from its Apple Park headquarters.

They're the 6.1-inch iPhone 12, 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Pro, 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max and a palm-sized, 5.4-inch iPhone Mini.

Apple is staggering this year's iPhone releases.

Pre-orders for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro open on October 16, while the two mobiles will go on general sale a week later, on October 23.

The 12 will ship for £799 in the UK and $799 in the US, while the 12 Pro will go for £999 / $999.

Pre-orders for the beefy 12 Pro Max and midget iPhone Mini will come a little later, launching on November 6.

Those two handsets will ship on November 13, starting at £699 / $699 for the Mini and £1,099 / $1,099 for the 12 Pro Max.

We've put together a handy guide on which iPhone is best for you here.

iPhone 12 deals

Now that pre-orders are live, deals are trickling through from major network operators.

Remember, because they're the latest iPhones, you'll struggle to find anything cheap. Here are some of the best so far:

  • iPhone 12 with 1GB of data, 1,000 minutes and Unlimited texts for £33 a month for 36 months with Virgin Media – Buy now
  • iPhone 12 with 4GB of data, Unlimited calls and Unlimited texts for 
  • £34 a month for 24 months with Sky Mobile – Buy now
  • iPhone 12, with 100GB of 5G data, Unlimited calls and Unlimited texts, for £39 a month (£299 upfront) with Vodafone – Buy now

iPhone 12 Pro deals

  • iPhone 12 Pro with 4GB of data, Unlimited calls and Unlimited texts for £41 a month for 24 months with Sky Mobile – Buy now
  • iPhone 12 Pro with 1GB of data, 1,000 minutes and Unlimited texts for £49.50 a month for 24 months with Virgin Media – Buy now
  • iPhone 12 Pro with 50GB of data, Unlimited calls and Unlimited texts for £50.99 a month for 24 months (£99.99 upfront) with ID mobile – Buy now

In time, more networks will announce their pricing and push any deals they cook up to tempt option-swamped consumers.

In other news, check out our iPhone 12 review.

If you've got more money to burn, you'll want to read the iPhone 12 Pro review instead.

Or you could take a gander at the Apple Watch 6 review if you've been thinking about upgrading your wrist.

We pay for your stories! Do you have a story for The Sun Online Tech & Science team? Email us at [email protected]

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
World News

GOP senators push to ban Supreme Court packing: 'We're sticking with 9'

Senate GOP offers Constitutional amendment to prevent Democrats from expanding the Supreme Court

Ken Starr, former independent counsel, weighs in on ‘Outnumbered Overtime.’

Senate Republicans Wednesday spoke out against Supreme Court packing and pushed for a constitutional amendment to ban expanding the number of justices beyond nine, in anticipation of Democrats' efforts to restructure the court. 

“I can't think of a more destabilizing event for America than changing the number of [justices] on the Supreme Court every election cycle because it becomes a winner take all for the Court," said Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Graham said expanding the number of justices would destroy the independence of the judiciary and he urged colleagues to sign onto an effort to block court-packing to solidify that "we're sticking with nine. Nine has served us well.”

In March 2019, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., introduced a constitutional amendment to limit the Supreme Court to nine justices, in anticipation that Democrats would attempt to pack the court. 

He said he chuckles when he hears Democrats say they'll have to wait to the outcome of the Amy Coney Barrett confirmation vote to determine whether they would favor expanding the court. 

"They were going to do that anyway and that's why our amendment was filed a year and a half ago," Rubio said.

"It's our hope that eventually, we'll be able to get a vote and … people will have to be on the record about whether they think it's a good idea to destabilize one of the three branches of government by a court-packing scheme."

The issue of court-packing has come to the forefront since the Sept. 18 death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a liberal icon, and Republican efforts to confirm the conservative Barrett Monday, just over a week before Americans have a chance to decide the next president and control of the Senate. 

Democrats have cried hypocrisy since four years ago Republicans held up the confirmation hearings of President Obama's nominee, Judge Merrick Garland, to fill the vacancy left by Justice Antonin Scalia's death on Feb. 13, 2016 — nine months before the election — claiming the American people should decide the next president first. 

SEN. MARCO RUBIO: JOE BIDEN AND PACKING THE SUPREME COURT — THE DIRTY LITTLE SECRET DEMS DON'T WANT TO REVEAL

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said "nothing is off the table" if Republicans successfully push through the Barrett nomination and cement a 6-3 conservative tilt of the Supreme Court. If Democrats win in November some have called for adding more justices and ending the filibuster in the Senate.

"Mitch McConnell set the precedent. No Supreme Court vacancies filled in an election year," Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., tweeted shortly after Ginsburg's death. "If he violates it, when Democrats control the Senate in the next Congress, we must abolish the filibuster and expand the Supreme Court."

Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., predicted if Democrats win Schumer will move on court-packing and statehood for the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, which would add more senators to the upper chamber. 

"This is an unprecedented power grab," Daines said. "….Moving the Supreme Court to 11 or 13 justices is exactly what Chuck Schumer will do if he gets control of the Senate."

Schumer has not put forth any court-packing proposal.

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden previously called court-packing a "bonehead idea" and said last week “I have not been a fan of court packing." He's avoided taking a clear stance on court packing before the election, but signaled recently he'd make his position clearer after he assesses how Republicans handle the Barrett confirmation. 

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Joining Graham, Rubio and Daines at the Wednesday news conference were Sens. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, Ben Sasse, R-Neb., Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., Thom Tillis, R-N.C., and Martha McSally, R-Ariz.

Source: Read Full Article