For all official information and updates regarding COVID-19, visit the South African Department of Health's website at www.sacoronavirus.co.za

Home » Articles Posted by Bomkazi Malobola

Author Archives: Bomkazi Malobola

Wall Street falls with Amazon, S&P 500 posts sixth straight month of gains
1 August 2021, 5:00 AM

US stocks fell and registered losses for the week as Amazon.com shares dropped after the company forecast lower sales growth, but the S&P 500 still notched a sixth straight month of gains.

Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) shares sank 7.6% – their biggest daily percentage drop since May 2020 – after the company reported late on Thursday revenue for the second quarter that was shy of analysts’ average estimate and said sales growth would ease in the next few quarters as customers ventured more outside the home. read more

Shares of other internet and tech giants that did well during the lockdowns of last year, including Google parent Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O) and Facebook Inc (FB.O), were mostly lower as well.

“Overall earnings have been good. But Amazon … and some of last year’s winners are taking some of the air out of the market today,” said Jake Dollarhide, chief executive officer of Longbow Asset Management in Tulsa, Oklahoma. “This market has been driven by big tech and when tech does well, the market seems to go right along with it, and when it doesn’t,” it falls.

Disney rejects Scarlett Johansson’s complaint over ‘Black Widow’ streaming release
1 August 2021, 3:00 AM

Scarlett Johansson, star of the Marvel superhero movie “Black Widow,” sued the Walt Disney Co (DIS.N) on Thursday, alleging that the company breached her contract when it offered the movie on streaming at the same time it played in theaters.

Disney said there was “no merit” to the lawsuit, saying it had complied with her contract. It added in a statement that the release of the movie on its streaming platform had “significantly enhanced her (Johansson’s) ability to earn additional compensation on top of the $20 million she has received to date.”

Johansson’s complaint, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, argued that the dual release strategy of “Black Widow” had reduced her compensation, which was based partly on box office receipts from what was supposed to be an exclusive run in cinemas.

“Black Widow” debuted on July 9 in theaters and for a $30 charge on the Disney+ streaming service. Disney has been testing the hybrid pattern for some films during the coronavirus pandemic as the company tried to boost its streaming service while many movie theaters around the world were closed.

Johansson’s lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, claims that Disney wanted to steer audiences toward Disney+, “where it could keep the revenues for itself while simultaneously growing the Disney+ subscriber base, a proven way to boost Disney’s stock price.”

“Second, Disney wanted to substantially devalue Johansson’s agreement and thereby enrich itself,” the lawsuit said.

The suit seeks unspecified damages to be determined at trial.

The outcome could have broad ramifications in Hollywood as media companies try to build their streaming services by offering premium programming to lure subscribers.

Jamaica sweep 100m podium, Djokovic leaves with nothing
1 August 2021, 2:30 AM

Jamaican sprinter Elaine Thompson-Herah blazed to 100 metres gold on Saturday, becoming the fastest woman alive as she denied compatriot Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce a third Olympic title.

In retaining her title Thompson-Herah added a sparkling flourish to a day which had seen US gymnast Simone Biles withdraw from two more finals in Tokyo, and a listless Novak Djokovic fail to take bronze in tennis after his dream of a “Golden Slam” was dashed.

Thompson-Herah led a Jamaican 100m podium sweep with Shericka Jackson in third. The champion’s blistering 10.61 seconds time has only ever been bettered by the late Florence Griffith-Joyner, who set a world record of 10.49 in 1988.

“I put everything in there I gave it 100 and I would say that I’m ready, super ready, but I had to just hold my composure to come out here take it runs by runs,” she said.

“It shows tonight that Elaine is back. She wasn’t gone anywhere.”

The day had begun with local fans defying a ban on spectators to get a glimpse of the triathlon. Big crowds lined the streets at the Odaiba Marine Park on the Tokyo waterfront, defying Olympic staff who carried signs and bullhorns asking them not to gather along the roadside to watch the event.

The setbacks for stars such as Biles and Djokovic have been in a way fitting for the improbable Games, taking place without spectators amid a widening pandemic. Minutes after his singles defeat, Djokovic withdrew from the mixed doubles bronze match.

New COVID-19 infections hit 4 058 in Tokyo, a new record and the first time above 4 000. The government has extended a state of emergency in the capital and expanded it to neighbouring prefectures.

Swimmers Katie Ledecky and Caeleb Dressel recovered some lost lustre for America, while Lyu Xiaojun took gold in men’s weightlifting, bringing China’s haul in the medal tally to 21. Japan have 17 golds and the United States are at 16.

In the first instances of doping at the Games, two sprinters, Kenya’s Mark Otieno and Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare, were provisionally suspended after testing positive for banned substances.

American BMX racer Connor Fields was moved out of intensive care after suffering a brain bleed during his horrific crash a day earlier. Originally one of the big favourites for gold, Fields went down hard in a first-corner crash during the semi-finals.

Much of the focus at the Games has been on superstar Biles, who this week stunned the world when she dropped out of the team competition after a poor opening vault and then declined to defend her all-around crown, citing concern for her mental and physical well-being.

“Today, after further consultation with medical staff, Simone Biles has decided to withdraw from the event finals for vault and the uneven bars,” USA Gymnastics said, adding she would continue to be evaluated daily to see whether she would compete in the finals for the floor exercise and balance beam.

US watchdog rejects Blue Origin protest over NASA lunar contract
1 August 2021, 1:15 AM

A US government watchdog sided with NASA over its decision to pick a single lunar lander provider, rejecting a protest filed by Blue Origin and defense contractor Dynetics Inc.

The companies had challenged the $2.9 billion award to Elon Musk’s SpaceX for the lander, arguing NASA was required to make multiple awards. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) said it “denied the protest arguments that NASA acted improperly in making a single award to SpaceX.”

Blue Origin, the rocket company founded by billionaire Jeff Bezos, said on Friday it remained convinced that there were “fundamental issues” with NASA’s decision, and that GAO was not able to address them “due to their limited jurisdiction.”

Blue Origin said it will continue to advocate for two immediate providers as it believes that to be the right solution.

“GAO’s decision will allow NASA and SpaceX to establish a timeline for the first crewed landing on the Moon in more than 50 years,” NASA said in a statement on Friday, adding that sending American astronauts to the moon is a priority for the Biden Administration.

Dynetics, a unit of Leidos Holdings, said it was disappointed with the decision, but plans to compete for other opportunities announced by NASA in the future.

SpaceX did not comment, but Musk sent a tweet saying just “GAO” with a flexed muscle emoji.

NASA had sought proposals for a spacecraft that would carry astronauts to the lunar surface under its Artemis program to return humans to the moon for the first time since 1972.

n April, NASA awarded SpaceX a contract to build such a spacecraft as early as 2024.

Blue Origin had contended NASA gave SpaceX an unfair advantage by letting it revise its pricing.

On Monday, Bezos offered to cover up to $2 billion in NASA costs if the US space agency awarded Blue Origin a lunar landing contract.

Tunisia’s Ennahda puts off party meeting amid crisis
1 August 2021, 12:00 AM

The head of Tunisia’s biggest party, the moderate Islamist Ennahda, on Saturday postponed a meeting of its highest council after senior members called for his resignation over his handling of the political crisis, party sources said.

Rached Ghannouchi, who is also parliament speaker, has played a critical role in Tunisia’s democratic crisis this week after quickly accusing President Kais Saied of a coup when he declared he was seizing executive authority.

The moves have caused the biggest crisis in Tunisian politics since the 2011 revolution that introduced democracy, with no announcement by Saied of a new Prime Minister or roadmap to end the emergency period.

Saied’s moves, which also included freezing parliament and dismissing the prime minister, have also thrown Ennahda into turmoil, leading to recriminations within the party over its strategy and leadership.

The party has been the most consistently powerful in Tunisia since the revolution, playing a role in backing successive coalition governments and has lost support as the economy stagnated and public services declined.

On Saturday Ghannouchi postponed a meeting of its Choura Council, the party’s highest internal authority, shortly before it was due to take place, three party sources said.

Dozens of younger party members and some of its leaders including Samir Dilou, a parliament member, had called on Ghannouchi to resign, the sources said.

Ghannouchi has led Ennahda for decades, including from exile in Britain before the revolution, after which he returned to a tumultuous welcome at Tunis airport. He stood for election for the first time in 2019, winning a parliament seat and becoming speaker.

Weather

 

SABC © 2021