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Rupee starts New Year on positive note, rises 7 paise to 71.29 vs U.S. Dollar

Traders said the Rupee gained support amid positive developments on the U.S.-China trade deal front
The Indian rupee started the New Year on a positive note and rose 7 paise to 71.29 against the U.S. Dollar in early trade on Wednesday as optimism over the U.S.-China trade deal strengthened investor sentiments. Forex traders said easing crude oil prices and higher opening in domestic equities also supported the domestic unit. At the interbank foreign exchange, the Rupee opened at 71.30 then gained further ground and touched 71.29 against the U.S. Dollar, showing a rise of 7 paise over its previous closing. The Indian Rupee on Tuesday had closed at 71.36 against the dollar. Traders said the Rupee gained support amid positive developments on the U.S.-China trade deal front. U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday said that a partial new U.S.-China trade agreement will be signed in the middle of next month, announcing that he will also then travel to China for continued talks. “I will be …

Your Money: The good, the bad and the ugly for your wallet in the New Year

The new year will be a mixed bag of financial fortunes for Irish consumers. Ireland is almost at full employment and its booming economy is set to keep growing next year – albeit at a slower rate than in 2019. With this booming economy comes higher prices in many areas, though – and not everyone can afford them.Furthermore, with Britain set to exit the EU at the end of January, Brexit will cast a shadow over many of us as we ring in the new year.So, as we head into a year which is likely to see Brexit become a reality, what reasons have you to be upbeat – or downbeat – about your personal finances?The goodCheaper 1850 and 1890 callsPlease log in or register with Independent.ie for free access to this article.Log InNew to Independent.ie? Create an accountThe days of paying through the nose when calling a 1850 or 1890 number should now be gone.Since the start of this month, new rules mean it should not cost any more to call a phone number beginning with 1850, 1890, 0818 or 076 than it …

Trump account removes retweet of link to article naming alleged whistleblower

Fox News Flash top headlines for Dec. 28Fox News Flash top headlines for Dec. 28 are here. Check out what’s clicking on Foxnews.comPresident Trump’s Twitter account has removed a retweet that contained a link to an article naming the purported Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) whistleblower who helped trigger impeachment proceedings.The removal comes two days after the retweet generated widespread attention, for essentially referencing a name that has mostly been kept out of congressional hearings and media reports.The original tweet in question, which remained posted on the "Trump War Room" account as of Friday night, links to a Washington Examiner article from Dec. 3.BIDEN VOWS TO DEFY ANY SUBPOENA FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP'S SENATE IMPEACHMENT TRIAL"It's pretty simple. The CIA 'whistleblower' is not a real whistleblower!" the original tweet read. It included a video montage of media figures and politicians discussing the existence of the deep state.The…

Facebook's Libra cryptocurrency project has failed in its current form, says Swiss president

"The project, in this form, has thus failed," Switzerland's finance minister and outgoing president Ueli Maurer said.Plans for the Facebook-led digital currency, which is to be issued and governed by the Geneva-based Libra Association, have raised concerns among regulators.Officials running the project, including co-creator David Marcus of Facebook, have said regulatory hurdles could see the launch delayed beyond the planned June date.Facebook's Libra project has failed in its current form and needs reworking to be approved, said the president of Switzerland where the cryptocurrency is seeking regulatory consent."I don't think (Libra has a chance in its current form), because central banks will not accept the basket of currencies underpinning it," Ueli Maurer, who is Switzerland's finance minister and outgoing president, told Swiss broadcaster SRF."The project, in this form, has thus failed," he added in an interview.Libra did not immediat…

Amazon stock has its best day since January after the company boasts of 'record' holiday shopping

This was the best day for Amazon stock since January 30th, putting the company positive for December after a bumpy start to the month.The e-commerce giant boasted that it quadrupled one-day and same-day deliveries over last season.The record day also comes just weeks after Amazon told sellers that use its platform that it would no longer let them use FedEx's ground-delivery network.Amazon stock gained more than 4% Thursday after the company claimed a record holiday shopping season.This was the best day for Amazon stock since January 30th, putting the company positive for December after a bumpy start to the month.The e-commerce giant issued a statement Thursday morning that went over many claimed accomplishments, but the most impressive were related to its logistics efforts."This holiday season, the number of items that were delivered with Prime Free One-Day and Prime Free Same-Day Delivery nearly quadrupled compared to the same time period last holiday season, making this Ama…

Amazon Leads S&P 500 After Reporting ‘Record’ Holiday Sales

Amazon.com Inc.’s stock had the biggest advance on the S&P 500 Index after the e-commerce giant said its holiday season this year was “record breaking,” with billions of items shipped and “tens of millions” of Amazon devices like the Echo Dot sold.Five million new customers started Prime free trials or paid memberships globally, while the number of items that were delivered with one-day or same-day shipping quadrupled compared to last holiday season. Independent third-party sellers, meanwhile, sold more than a billion items, Amazonsaid.Shares of the Seattle-based company rose as much as 3.4% in low-volume trading the day after the Christmas holiday, for the biggest gain on the S&P 500 Index. Department-store stocks including Nordstrom Inc., Macy’s Inc. and J.C. Penney Co. also advanced.Amazon didn’t release specific sales figures, but its statement backs up broader reports that shopping — particularly of the online variety — picked up this year. Web sales in the U.S. during th…

'Die Hard' star Bruce Willis slashes mansion price by $5M

Americans are moving out of urban centers to these ‘next core markets’Cadre CEO Ryan Williams discusses his company’s tech-based commercial real estate investment, the profitable markets for the firm, the next core real estate markets, and how investing in his company works as well as his talks with SoftBank.“Die Hard” star Bruce Willis just inked a deal to sell his massive Westchester County, New York, home.Continue Reading BelowThe Emmy Award-winning actor and his wife, Emma Heming Willis, sold the 9,000-square-foot property for $7.66 million, according to a report in the New York Post. That’s a steep drop from the summer’s $9.39 million listing price and an even steeper drop from the original $12.95 million listing.The sale is still one of the largest in Westchester this year, per the Wall Street Journal.The newly sold home sits on 22 acres of land overlooking the Croton Reservoir, and its craftsman-style residence sports five bedrooms, a media room and a private wine cellar.KELLY …

Here are a bunch of fun tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your new Amazon Echo

The Amazon Echo is a powerful smart speaker, but it can do so much more than just play music or answer tell you weather.You can set it up to order you an Uber, buy things from Amazon, read you the news and more.Here are a bunch of tips and tricks to help you get started with your new Amazon Echo.You may have just received a new Amazon Echo for the holidays. Maybe it's your first one, or maybe it's the second or third you've ever owned.Echos range in price from around $25 (when the Echo Dot is on sale) up to $199.99.The speaker gets better as you go up in price, but the stuff Amazon's voice assistant Alexa can do remains the same. And Alexa can be really powerful, as long as you know how to set it up and what to ask it. Here are a bunch of tips and tricks to get you going with your new Amazon Echo.Call people with EchoEchos can call other Echos much like you're just using a phone to call another phone. And, you can even use an Echo to call someone's cell, in cas…

‘Bill Gates is my Secret Santa!’

The 95th time’s the charm.A Michigan woman who has participated in 95 RedditGifts exchanges just hit the jackpot this Christmas.She finally got Bill Gates as her Secret Santa — and he sent her 81 pounds worth of books, treats and nerdy memorabilia, as well as a donation in her late mother’s memory to the American Heart Association.“I always thought it would be super cool to be matched with him some day, but I never really would have expected this to happen to me,” Shelby, 33, a marketer from the Detroit metro area, told MarketWatch. (She asked to withhold her last name.)In fact, when she went to pick up the box from FedEx FDX, -0.60%, it was too big to fit in her car. They had to open it at the FedEx location, and pack the individually-wrapped presents into the trunk.The Microsoft MSFT, -0.02% founder and America’s second richest man worth $106 billion joins RedditGifts’ Secret Santa exchange every year, and participants eagerly await to find out which one of them gets the tech titan …

State pension age: Will the state pension age go up? What to expect after Christmas 2019

The state pension age is the age at which a person can claim the state pension. It is currently rising – having previously stood at 60 for women and 65 for men. In November 2018, the state pension age reached 65 for both men and women, however it has since changed again.READ MOREState pension age? You could be missing out on thousandsThe changes to the state pension age for women were made under the Pensions Act 1995 and the Pensions Act 2011.It is now set to reach 66 for both men and women in October 2020.Due to the changes, people with the date of birth from May 6, 1954 to June 5, 1954 will reach their state pension age on January 6, 2020.Those born between June 6, 1954 and July 5, 1954 will reach state pension age on March 6, 2020.The full timetable of the changes taking place can be found on the government website.Under the Pensions Act 2014, the state pension age will increase from 66 to 67 between 2026 and 2028.Based on current legislation, the state pension age will then increa…

Trump heads into 2020 with 'historic' judicial appointments

50th appellate court judge confirmed under President TrumpCarrie Severino breaks down the president’s ‘incredible accomplishment’ that’s rattling the left.President Trump is closing the year by increasing his already transformative impact on the federal judiciary, with 13 of his district court nominees receiving confirmation this month.That brings Trump’s total to 102 federal judges confirmed in 2019. Over the course of his administration, that total jumps to 187, including 50 to circuit courts of appeal and two Supreme Court justices."In terms of quality and quantity, we are going to be just about No. 1 by the time we finish — No. 1 of any president, any administration," Trump said in early November, noting that George Washington may have technically appointed more judges. At the time, he was celebrating his 150th federal judge.The 9th Circuit in particular, which Trump has railed against as a “big thorn in our side” in the past due to its liberal bent, has seen a dramatic …

7 popular retail brands that may be on the brink of disappearing

Nearly 10,000 stores have closed their doors in 2019, including Gymboree, Payless ShoeSource and Dressbarn.For every 1% increase in online sales, roughly 8,000 to 8,500 stores will shutter, particularly clothing retailers, consumer electronics companies and home furnishing businesses.By 2026 the number of store closures is expected to hit 75,000.Since reaching a peak in January 2017, retail has lost more than 197,000 jobs, according the U.S. Department of Labor.The retail apocalypse hasn't shown a lot of mercy.Year to date nearly 10,000 stores have announced closures, according to Kevin Cody, senior consultant with CoStar Portfolio Strategy. That's an all-time high, and its a serious blow to the job market in the retail sector. Since reaching a peak in January 2017, retail has lost more than 197,000 jobs, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.Some, like Victoria's Secret, are falling prey to changing times, failing to reconnect with shoppers as lingerie trends focus mo…

Your Questions: I'm on a pension and work part-time, so what tax do I pay?

Question: I am 66 and last year retired from my work as a gallery assistant in Dublin. To help with my bills, I have recently taken on some part-time work teaching English as a foreign language. I currently work 15 hours a week, and earn €17 an hour. Do I pay any less income tax as a single person now I’m drawing my state pension? Answer: Tax exemption limits are applicable for workers over 65, meaning that where your income is below a certain threshold, no income tax is payable. The threshold for a single person aged 65 or older stands at €18,000, according to the CEO of Taxback.com, Joanna Murphy.All income, including pensions, is taken into account when considering the exemption threshold.Please log in or register with Independent.ie for free access to this article.Log InNew to Independent.ie? Create an accountWhere earnings exceed the relevant minimum exemption, you may be entitled to what is called a marginal relief, where you will pay tax at a rate of 40pc on the excess amount, …

Surveillance Court Orders Review of Actions by Ex-F.B.I. Lawyer

WASHINGTON — A secretive court that oversees national security surveillance has taken a step toward addressing dysfunction in the system detailed in a recent inspector general report, ordering the Justice Department to identify all cases that an F.B.I. lawyer heavily criticized in the report has worked on, according to an order made public on Friday.Separately, the court announced that its presiding judge, Rosemary M. Collyer, is stepping down nine weeks earlier than planned for health reasons. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. of the Supreme Court has selected Judge James E. Boasberg to succeed her in that role in the new year. He will be the first judge appointed by a Democrat to lead the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court since 1995.The developments underscored that the court has entered a period of turmoil and change after the report this month by the Justice Department inspector general that uncovered damning inaccuracies and omissions in applications to wiretap a former Tru…

French internet company Orange found guilty of string of employee suicides

Veteran rows across the Atlantic to bring awareness to the veteran suicide epidemicTim Crockett, HX Global, Inc., on rowing across the Atlantic Ocean in an effort to bring awareness to the suicide epidemic among veterans.French phone and Internet provider Orange was found guilty Friday of a string of employee suicides.Continue Reading BelowA Paris court fined it 75,000 euros (more than $83,000) on Friday in a landmark court ruling over suicides in the 2000s while the company was undergoing difficult restructuring. A decision on whether to award 2 million euros ($2.2 million) in damages from the company was pending.Image 1 of 4Former France Telecom Chief Executive Didier Lombard arrives at Paris’ courthouse in Paris, Friday, Dec. 20, 2019.(AP Photo/Michel Euler)The former CEO was also convicted and sentenced to four months in prison and ordered to pay 15,000 euros in fines. Other managers were also sentenced to prison and thousands of euros in fines. It is not yet clear whether they wi…

This Is How Fox News and Trump Create a Vicious Cycle of Conspiracy Theories

Sean Hannity might not be employed by the White House as an adviser to President Donald Trump, but he might as well be, considering the undue influence the Fox News channel host has over our president. A new, extensive report from Media Matters for America, a nonprofit, left-leaning news-media watchdog group, illustrates exactly how the “feedback loop” between Fox and Trump works.According to Media Matters’ Matthew Gertz — who documented each time the president’s tweets were inspired by Fox News hosts — the conservative news channel prompted more than 600 tweets from Trump this past year, nearly two tweets per day. And that number appears to be rising with each passing month.And, in 2019 alone, Fox personalities helped convince Trump to:Investigate former Vice President Joe BidenInvestigate the origins of the Mueller probeShut down the federal governmentDeclare a national emergency to secure funding for the border wallPardon a convicted war criminalCancel a missile strike on IranBut t…

RPT-COLUMN-Bullish oil bets surge after OPEC+ reaches deal on cuts: Kemp

(Repeats with named item code KEMP/)* Chartbook: tmsnrt.rs/2YPLHSMBy John KempLONDON, Dec 16 (Reuters) – Hedge fund managers piled back into petroleum last week after Saudi Arabia and its allies in the OPEC+ group of major oil exporters announced deeper-than-expected cuts to their production in the first quarter of 2020.Hedge funds and other money managers bought futures and options equivalent to 154 million barrels in the six most important contracts linked to petroleum prices in the week to Dec. 10.Purchases were the largest in any one week for more than two years, according to position records published by ICE Futures Europe and the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission on Friday.In recent weeks, portfolio managers have struggled to form a consistent view about production and consumption next year, amid conflicting signals about the intentions of OPEC+ and prospects for a U.S.-China trade deal.The result has been exceptional volatility and reversals in hedge fund positioning on…

British election: Pound strengthens against Singdollar, greenback and euro

LONDON • The pound rallied yesterday to multi-year highs as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party won a decisive election victory that gives him the mandate to pull Britain out of the European Union next month.Against the Singapore dollar, the British currency was up 1.4 per cent to $1.8158 as of 4pm yesterday, from the previous day’s close of $1.7913, after earlier jumping as high as $1.8293. This means the pound has strengthened 4.6 per cent against the Singapore currency to date this year.The Singdollar also strengthened against the US dollar yesterday, with the greenback trading up 0.4 per cent at $1.3520 from its close of $1.3574 on Thursday.The pound has been climbing in recent days as investors grew confident of a Conservative Party majority, but the scale of the victory suggested by exit polls sparked a huge rally in the currency.Sterling’s dramatic gains saw it reach a 19-month high versus the US dollar and its strongest levels against the euro since short…

Gold prices slip as trade euphoria lifts risk appetite

BENGALURU (REUTERS) – Gold prices fell on Friday (Dec 13) after sources said Washington and Beijing had reached an interim trade deal and averted a fresh round of US tariffs, boosting appetite for riskier assets.Spot gold was down 0.2 per cent at US$1,466.35 per ounce, as of 0051 GMT, but was on track to post a weekly gain. US gold futures were also down 0.2 per cent at US$1,469.60.In the previous session, gold prices hit their highest in over a month, driven by trade uncertainties ahead of a Dec 15 deadline, when US tariffs on another US$160 billion (S$216.6 billion) of Chinese goods were initially expected to kick in.A wave of trade relief lifted global stoocks following reports that the United States has agreed to reduce some tariffs and delay a tranche of tariffs as part of a “phase-one” deal. Asian markets also jumped on reports that Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party looked to have won a clear majority in UK elections.Source: Read Full Article

Apple's new iPhone software is supposed to limit who your kid talks to, but a bug lets them get around it

Apple's iOS 13.3 launches this week and introduces a new feature called Communication Limits that adds new parental controls.It's supposed to allow parents to limit their kids' communications only to people who are in their contacts list.But a bug lets children talk to anyone who contacts them.Apple rolled out iOS 13.3 on Tuesday with new controls that are supposed to give parents power over who their children talk to on an iPhone or iPad. It's a big new feature that Apple is advertising and has garnered lots of press.But CNBC discovered it doesn't work properly. There are several bugs with the feature, but, most importantly, it doesn't protect your kids from talking to strangers on the phone, FaceTime or through text messages.Here's what's going on:The new software includes a new Communication Limits option that lets parents control who their kids can talk to. It's supposed to let parents block their children from contacting anyone who isn't in…