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The UK’s GDP forecast this year has shrunk by 11.3%, the largest contraction in 300 years

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The new coronavirus epidemic, the Brexit stalemate, the economic contraction…Just as the British Prime Minister Johnson announced that he would substantially increase military expenditures, the economic field poured cold water.

On November 25, the Office of Public Organization Budget Responsibility (OBR), which is funded by the UK Ministry of Finance and responsible for providing independent economic forecasts and public financial analysis, released a “Fiscal Sustainability Report”, pointing out the UK’s GDP this year ( GDP) is expected to shrink by 11.3%.

This set the UK’s largest economic decline in 300 years. The last time the British economy was hit by such a heavy blow was the Great European Frost in 1709. At that time, Britain was still an agricultural country, and even the Industrial Revolution had not occurred.

The UK’s GDP forecast this year has shrunk by 11.3%, the largest contraction in 300 years

Screenshot of the UK OBR website report

The report of the Office of Budget Responsibility shows that the impact of the new coronavirus pandemic on the global economy in peacetime is the largest in recorded history. Due to the strict control of economic and social life, national income has fallen at an unprecedented rate, the increase in fiscal deficit and debt is second only to that of the war, and there is a high degree of uncertainty in the future.

The British economy has been relatively hard hit by the epidemic and anti-epidemic measures. First of all, during the first wave of the epidemic in the spring, the United Kingdom lags behind some European neighbors in the blockade, which takes longer, which aggravates the recession of economic activity and makes recovery more difficult. Secondly, affected by the second wave of the current epidemic, countries have restarted blockades one after another, weakening the already weak economic recovery momentum, and the UK is no exception. It is expected that the British GDP will shrink by 11.3% this year, the largest economic decline since the Great Frost of 1709.

The UK’s GDP forecast this year has shrunk by 11.3%, the largest contraction in 300 years

Economic volatility in the UK since 1709 Source: Bloomberg

OBR predicts that the UK’s revenue this year will be 57 billion pounds less than last year, while expenditures will skyrocket 281 billion pounds. Among them, the epidemic prevention expenditure has increased from 181 billion this summer to 218 billion, and it is expected to rise to 280 billion pounds in the future. OBR also believes that the UK’s fiscal deficit this year (£394 billion) will reach its highest value since the end of World War II, and the debt-to-GDP ratio (105%) will reach its highest value since 1959-1960.

For the future economic vision of the UK, OBR has three scenarios.

According to the most optimistic scenario: the blockade measures successfully controlled the second wave of the epidemic, the new coronavirus vaccine is effective and can be quickly launched and mass-produced, then the economy will be able to return to the level before the epidemic by the end of 2021.

According to the most pessimistic scenario: the lockdown period is forced to be extended and the vaccine is ineffective. Only by the end of 2024 can the economy return to its pre-epidemic level.

According to the hypothesis of centering: the lockdown measures will continue until next spring, and the promotion of vaccines will be slower. Then the economy can be restored to the level before the epidemic by the end of 2022.

The UK’s GDP forecast this year has shrunk by 11.3%, the largest contraction in 300 years

OBR’s forecast of UK economic growth (the dotted line is the fluctuation range of the most optimistic and pessimistic forecast)

Such severe economic conditions made the British “Guardian” lament: In 1709, Britain was still an agricultural country, and its economy was completely controlled by nature. But from the current situation to a certain extent, it is still the same.

According to the “Guardian”, a major frost swept across Europe in 1709. The continuous low temperature caused food shortages, crops withered, and livestock was frozen to death in barns, and people were hardly immune. After that, the economic recession was mostly related to wars, inflation, and policy errors. It was not until the outbreak of the new coronavirus that natural factors returned to people’s vision.

In order to save the economy, the British government announced that it will invest billions of pounds in infrastructure construction, promote employment, and increase the wages of low-income workers. According to Bloomberg News, the British government also intends to cut some expenditures, such as reducing the proportion of overseas aid to national income from 0.7% to 0.5%, thereby saving the UK 4 billion pounds.

The UK’s GDP forecast this year has shrunk by 11.3%, the largest contraction in 300 years

The budget deficits of the British government since the 20th century and the budget deficits predicted by OBR for this year and the future. Chart source: Bloomberg

However, this decision has met with strong opposition. Former Prime Minister Cameron believes that cutting overseas aid when Brexit is about to take effect will not help the United Kingdom to display its global image. The Undersecretary for Overseas Territories and Sustainable Development of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Sag ( Elizabeth Sugg even resigned in protest, on the grounds that: “Britain should keep its promises in times of hardship or prosperity.”

In addition, the British epidemic data is still not optimistic. According to data published on the British government website, in the past 24 hours, there were 18,213 new confirmed cases of new coronavirus in the UK, an increase of 7,000 from the previous day. There were 696 new related deaths, an increase of 294 from the previous day, and the highest record since May.

British scientists have warned that Prime Minister Johnson’s plan to relax restrictions on the new coronavirus during the Christmas period may “add fuel to the fire” of the new coronavirus epidemic.

The UK’s GDP forecast this year has shrunk by 11.3%, the largest contraction in 300 years

The UK’s GDP forecast this year has shrunk by 11.3%, the largest contraction in 300 years

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Biden pushed for a $1.9 trillion stimulus package that would allow individuals to receive $1,400 in cash

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According to the Wall Street Journal, CNBC, and many other foreign media reports, US President-elect Biden announced the details of the large-scale stimulus plan, the American Rescue Plan, with a total scale of US$1.9 trillion.

The program includes:

  • Direct payment of US$1,400 per person to most Americans. Together with US$600 in December 2020, the total amount of relief will reach US$2,000;
  • Increase the federal weekly unemployment benefit to $400 and extend it to the end of September;
  • Raise the federal minimum wage to US$15 per hour and allocate US$350 billion for state and local government assistance;
  • Appropriate USD 170 billion for K-12 schools (kindergarten to grade 12) and higher education institutions;
  • Allocate US$50 billion for new coronavirus testing;
  • $20 billion was allocated for the national vaccine program.

In addition, the program will increase the annual refundable amount of the child tax credit to US$3,000 per child, and each child under the age of 6 can receive a refund of US$3,600.

According to senior officials of Biden’s team, the “U.S. Rescue Plan” will be one of the two most important expenditures in Biden’s first few months. The second bill is expected to be introduced in February. The main goal is to solve long-term employment, infrastructure, climate change, and racial equality issues.

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Senior leaders of the US military rarely make joint voices: Capitol riots are illegal, and Biden will become commander-in-chief

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On January 12, the senior leaders of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff broke the silence for nearly a week and issued a joint statement on the US Congressional riots on the 6th. They condemned the demonstrators participating in the riots for violating American laws and challenging the procedures established by the U.S. Constitution and emphasized that Biden has won the U.S. election and will soon become the new commander-in-chief of the U.S. military.

Reuters pointed out in the report that senior US military leaders usually do not make statements involving political issues. It is very rare for them to make such a joint statement this time.

The aforementioned joint statement first repeated the duties of the U.S. military, stating that the U.S. military has always obeyed the legal orders of civilian leaders, ensured public safety in accordance with the law, and is committed to “protecting the U.S. constitutional government from damage by enemies at home and abroad.”

The statement then condemned the riots in the U.S. Congress on the 6th, saying that the demonstrators directly attacked the U.S. Congress and the statutory procedures established by the Constitution, but the U.S. law did not grant them such rights, and the U.S. military would resolutely “defend the Constitution.”

“We have witnessed violations of the law in the Capitol. Free speech and freedom of assembly do not give anyone the right to resort to violence, sedition, and rebellion. As soldiers, we must embody the values and ideals of the country, and we support and defend the United States. The Constitution, any action that violates the procedures prescribed by the Constitution not only violates traditions, values, and oaths but also violates the law.” The statement reads.

At the end of the statement, the Joint Chiefs of Staff emphasized that in accordance with the US Constitution, after confirmation by states and courts and certification by Congress, Biden will be sworn in as President of the United States on January 20, becoming the 46th commander-in-chief of the US military. They also reminded U.S. soldiers across the country to be vigilant and ready to perform their duties at any time.

According to the final signature of the document, the Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milly, Vice Chairman John Hayteng, and the leaders of the various services of the US military signed this statement.

CBS said that the Joint Chiefs of Staff is responsible for the work of the chief military adviser to the President of the United States and usually does not involve political matters. Although this statement did not issue any political declaration, it clearly shows that senior US military officials believe it is necessary to reiterate the responsibilities of the US military before the inauguration of the new president. Reuters also pointed out that such joint statements by senior US military officials are very rare.

The report pointed out that the statement made by the US military this time is in sharp contrast with what they did in June last year. At that time, during the protests after the black man Freud was “kneeled and killed,” Milly, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, accompanied Trump to the church to take pictures. On the way, the National Guard used rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse the protesters. Milli later apologized to the American people for this matter.

Since the U.S. military is mainly composed of white men, the “extremism” in the U.S. military has also received close attention after the Congressional riots. The US Army said on the 12th that they will cooperate with the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to investigate whether any US military personnel have also participated in the demonstration. “There is no place for extremism in the military. We will review every report and take appropriate action,” said a US Army spokesperson.

The US Department of Defense has announced that it may deploy up to 15,000 National Guard soldiers to be responsible for security during Biden’s inauguration. The U.S. military and the U.S. Secret Service will also conduct investigations on these National Guard personnel and decide whether it is necessary to conduct an in-depth background investigation on some of them as appropriate.

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3 dead and 4 injured by a gunner in Chicago shooting, 1 Chinese student killed

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3 dead and 4 injured by a gunner in Chicago shooting, 1 Chinese student killed

On Saturday (9th), a serial shooting occurred in Chicago, the United States. The 32-year-old African-American gunman Jason Nightengale shot wantonly, resulting in 3 deaths and 4 injuries in just a few hours. Yiran Fan, a 30-year-old Chinese student studying at the University of Chicago, was also shot dead. The gunman was killed by the police.

3 dead and 4 injured by a gunner in Chicago shooting, 1 Chinese student killed

Based on reports from the Chicago Tribune, World Journal, and other media, the serial shooting began at 1:50 pm on the 9th. Fan Yiran was the first victim. He was shot in the head by Nightingale in the car in the parking lot of the apartment. 10 minutes later, Nightingale appeared in the lobby of the apartment at No. 4900 South East End Street. At that time, the apartment building manager tried to prevent Nightingale from entering the building, but the latter broke in and turned to the 46-year-old female building manager. Shot, killing him in the chest.

According to the report, a 77-year-old woman who picked up the letter in the mailbox of the apartment building was also shot by the gunman. As of the 10th, the woman was still in critical condition. At 2:45 pm on the 9th, Nightingale entered the apartment at No. 5500 Southeast End Street from the back door, took the elevator to the 19th floor, pointed the gun at a male acquaintance, and asked him to hand over the vehicle keys. Leaving the building by car.

3 dead and 4 injured by a gunner in Chicago shooting, 1 Chinese student killed

At around 3 pm on the 9th, Nightingale appeared at a grocery store near 9300 South Hosety Street. As soon as he entered the store, he shot a 20-year-old man in the head. The man was seriously injured and sent off. He died after treatment. At that time, an 81-year-old woman who was also in the grocery store was shot in the back and neck. She was rushed to the hospital but was still in danger.

Immediately after 4 pm, Nightingale randomly fired at a passing vehicle near 10300 South Goodstit Street. A 15-year-old girl sitting in the passenger seat was shot in the head. She is currently in critical condition. . Afterwards, the gunman returned to the 9300 grocery store, aimed at the police who had been handling the case at the scene and fired, but missed any police officers.

At 5:35 pm, Nightingale appeared in Evanston, just north of Chicago, and entered a local restaurant and a chain pharmacy next to it. He also held a woman in the restaurant and shot her. After driving to escape. The police subsequently pursued him and eventually stopped Nightingale in a nearby parking lot. A gun battle broke out between the two sides and Nightingale was shot dead by the police.

3 dead and 4 injured by a gunner in Chicago shooting, 1 Chinese student killed

The Chicago Police Department said on the 10th that after preliminary investigations, Nightingale had multiple convictions. On the 8th, he posted a radical video on Facebook in which he brandished a gun and said that he would kill randomly, even threatening “I want Let the whole community blow up.” On Sunday (10th) around 10:30 am, Facebook closed Nightingale’s homepage.

On the afternoon of the 10th, the University of Chicago Booth School of Business announced that Fan Yiran is a fourth-year student of the School of Economics and Finance from China. He is a bright and talented student and is loved by his classmates. Fan Yiran originally planned to submit his doctoral dissertation this year. His main research areas include the interaction of bank asset-liability management and the research on screening competition under flexible information.

According to the media, apart from Fan Yiran, the identities of the other casualties are not yet clear.

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