The slowest fire season in years taught this wildland firefighter to create a financial backup plan

The 25-year-old Montanan was preparing for his second season as a wildland firefighter when Grow talked to him this past summer. Read more: What it’s really like to make a living as a wildland firefighter in Montana This season proved more challenging, prompting Linear to pick up other lines of work to supplement his income and create a plan for financial security. By mid-September, it had become clear: “There just wasn’t any work for us, even outside of the fires.” Donovan “Donny” Linear Wildla


The 25-year-old Montanan was preparing for his second season as a wildland firefighter when Grow talked to him this past summer.
Read more: What it’s really like to make a living as a wildland firefighter in Montana This season proved more challenging, prompting Linear to pick up other lines of work to supplement his income and create a plan for financial security.
By mid-September, it had become clear: “There just wasn’t any work for us, even outside of the fires.”
Donovan “Donny” Linear Wildla
The slowest fire season in years taught this wildland firefighter to create a financial backup plan Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-01-01  Authors: anna-louise jackson
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, work, season, 2019, fires, create, 2018, slowest, plan, job, taught, wasnt, linears, wildland, backup, firefighter, linear, financial


The slowest fire season in years taught this wildland firefighter to create a financial backup plan

Much of the Western part of the U.S. got a reprieve this year from a milder than average fire season — and no one knows this as well as Donovan “Donny” Linear. The 25-year-old Montanan was preparing for his second season as a wildland firefighter when Grow talked to him this past summer. In 2018, his first year in this seasonal line of work, Linear had fought wildfires in six U.S. states and made more money in the stretch from June to November than he’d ever earned in a full year of work. Read more: What it’s really like to make a living as a wildland firefighter in Montana This season proved more challenging, prompting Linear to pick up other lines of work to supplement his income and create a plan for financial security. Here’s how Linear navigated a year of uncertainty, and his plans for the future.

‘There just wasn’t any work for us’

Firefighters must be comfortable with uncertainty. The nature of the work is that they don’t know where the next fire will take them or how long it will take to fight it. But this year, another unpredictable factor tested Linear: How much fire activity there will be in a season — or how little, as was the case in 2019. Linear’s crew was first called out for a fire in July, more than a month later than their first call in 2018. Their second call of 2019 was in early September. More than 49,000 reported fires burned 4.6 million acres in the U.S. through late-December, compared to a 10-year average of 64,000 fires and 6.9 million acres, according to data from the National Interagency Fire Center. The acreage that burned in 2019 was the least since 2014, and about half the amount in 2017 and 2018. Linear and the other 19 members of a Missoula, Montana-based initial attack handcrew are employed by a private contractor. While these crews work alongside those employed by government agencies, since they contract with federal and state agencies for work, they may not be the first crews to be called. By mid-September, it had become clear: “There just wasn’t any work for us, even outside of the fires.” “Here I am sitting around waiting for a fire call and that kind of set me behind with bills and stuff like that, so I ended up having to get a regular job in order to get by,” he says. Instead of fighting fires, which requires hiking several miles a day with a 60-pound pack on his back, Linear’s new job was working as a cashier at a local grocery store.

There just wasn’t any work for us, even outside of the fires. Donovan “Donny” Linear Wildland firefighter

‘Short and bitter’ fire season

While Linear’s rookie season as a wildland firefighter kept him on the job for weeks at a stretch, 2019 was the complete opposite experience. When he turned in his firefighting gear sometime in October, he’d only worked a total of 21 days. “It was short and bitter,” Linear says of this season. Fire is vital to forest regrowth because it can clear out underbrush and dead trees. “A lot of people just aren’t really knowledgeable in the sense that Mother Nature also needs fire, it’s part of the natural ecosystem.” Linear is grateful that there were fewer destructive fires in 2019, burning homes or killing people. “I heard plenty of people saying they were thankful there wasn’t smoke,” he says. But the mild fire season was tough for people like Linear who depend on it for their livelihood. Linear says if he were to compare his 2019 earnings with what he made in 2018, “it’s like night and day.”

Courtesy Donovan Linear

Linear’s crew was called out for a third fire, which turned out to be a 16-day job in Colorado. But by that time he already was working elsewhere, so he had to turn down the opportunity. All that downtime proved inspirational for Linear, however. He completed online training through the International Sports Sciences Association to become a certified fitness trainer, and began working as a personal trainer.

A financial plan for 2020 and beyond

The slower-than-average fire activity this year didn’t affect Linear’s love for fighting wildland fires, but he will take a different approach with this seasonal job in the future. “I’m definitely planning on coming back, but I know now that if the year’s starting to look like it was this past year, what I can do differently,” he says. “Once those months are rolling around where the fires really start to get to popping, if it looks like it’s not going to be a good season, I’ll probably just work a regular job or invest more time into my personal training business.” This spring, the 2020 fire season will begin anew. Linear will need to attend a refresher training course and pass a physical fitness test again: walking three miles within 45 minutes while wearing a 45-pound vest. And he still has dreams of becoming a hotshot, the most elite group of wildland firefighters who generally work closest to the blaze, and joining a government crew in the future. Doing so would provide more security, by earning him a salary even during slow fire seasons and receiving benefits like health insurance, Linear says.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-01-01  Authors: anna-louise jackson
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, work, season, 2019, fires, create, 2018, slowest, plan, job, taught, wasnt, linears, wildland, backup, firefighter, linear, financial


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Iran’s Khamenei strongly condemns US attacks in Iraq: TV

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamanei makes a speech regarding Trump’s withdrawal decision from Iran nuclear deal during a press conference in Tehran, Iran on May 09, 2018. Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei strongly condemned U.S. attacks on Iran-allied militia groups in Iraq, Iranian state TV reported on Wednesday, blaming the United States for the violence in the neighboring country. “The Iranian government, nation and I strongly condemn the attacks,” state TV quoted Khamene


Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamanei makes a speech regarding Trump’s withdrawal decision from Iran nuclear deal during a press conference in Tehran, Iran on May 09, 2018.
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei strongly condemned U.S. attacks on Iran-allied militia groups in Iraq, Iranian state TV reported on Wednesday, blaming the United States for the violence in the neighboring country.
“The Iranian government, nation and I strongly condemn the attacks,” state TV quoted Khamene
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Iran's Khamenei strongly condemns US attacks in Iraq: TV

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamanei makes a speech regarding Trump’s withdrawal decision from Iran nuclear deal during a press conference in Tehran, Iran on May 09, 2018.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei strongly condemned U.S. attacks on Iran-allied militia groups in Iraq, Iranian state TV reported on Wednesday, blaming the United States for the violence in the neighboring country.

“The Iranian government, nation and I strongly condemn the attacks,” state TV quoted Khamenei as saying.

The U.S. military carried out airstrikes on Sunday against the Kataib Hezbollah militia in response to the killing of a U.S. civilian contractor in a Friday rocket attack on an Iraqi military base.

U.S. President Donald Trump accused Iran of orchestrating violent protests at the U.S. embassy in Iraq on Tuesday and said Tehran would be held responsible. Iran has rejected the accusation.

“Again that guy (Trump) has accused Iran of the attacks. You cannot do a damn thing. If you were logical, which you are not, you would see that your crimes in Iraq and other countries have made nations hate you,” Khamenei tweeted.

“If Iran decides to confront a country, we will do that openly … If anyone threatens our nation’s interests we will fight back … without any hesitation.”

The Iranian leader’s condemnation comes as paramilitary groups who have been protesting against U.S. airstrikes in Iraq told their supporters to withdraw from the perimeter of the U.S. embassy in Baghdad on Wednesday, although there was no immediate sign of a pullout.


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US traffic safety agency launches probe of fatal Tesla Model S crash

Tesla Model S is displayed inside of the new Tesla flagship facility on August 10, 2016 in San Francisco, California. The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said, after market close on New Year’s Eve, that it plans a probe of a fatal Tesla crash that occurred on Sunday in Los Angeles. The two occupants inside the Tesla were taken to a nearby hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The agency said, in a statement e-mailed to CNBC on Tuesday: “NHTSA’s special crash investigat


Tesla Model S is displayed inside of the new Tesla flagship facility on August 10, 2016 in San Francisco, California.
The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said, after market close on New Year’s Eve, that it plans a probe of a fatal Tesla crash that occurred on Sunday in Los Angeles.
The two occupants inside the Tesla were taken to a nearby hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
The agency said, in a statement e-mailed to CNBC on Tuesday: “NHTSA’s special crash investigat
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Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, fatal, inside, vehicles, agency, probe, safety, launches, tesla, model, traffic, systems, los, program, vehicle, crash


US traffic safety agency launches probe of fatal Tesla Model S crash

Tesla Model S is displayed inside of the new Tesla flagship facility on August 10, 2016 in San Francisco, California.

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said, after market close on New Year’s Eve, that it plans a probe of a fatal Tesla crash that occurred on Sunday in Los Angeles.

The Los Angeles Police Department confirmed that a motorist in a black 2016 Model S ran a red light and struck a 2006 Honda Civic on Sunday, killing the two people in that car. The two occupants inside the Tesla were taken to a nearby hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

It was not immediately known whether Tesla Autopilot — the company’s advanced driver assistance systems — may have been engaged at the time of the fatal crash, and if so, whether it might have caused or exacerbated the incident.

NHTSA, which is part of the Department of Transportation, has the power to issue mandatory vehicle recalls if it deems them necessary, typically when an automaker has failed to determine and fix dangerous flaws in their vehicles or parts, systems and components within.

The agency said, in a statement e-mailed to CNBC on Tuesday: “NHTSA’s special crash investigation (SCI) program will initiate a crash scene and vehicle inspection of the 12/29/2019 crash of a Tesla Model S after it collided with another car in Los Angeles, California.”

Tesla did not reply to a request for comment.

That same NHTSA program had previously initiated probes of 13 incidents or accidents involving Tesla electric vehicles with Autopilot possibly in use. Results of eleven of those investigations were still pending as of Tuesday.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-01-01  Authors: lora kolodny
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David Stern, former commissioner who drove the NBA’s global expansion, dies at 77

But over the course of 30 years as Commissioner, he ushered in the modern global NBA,” Commissioner Adam Silver said in the statement announcing Stern’s death. Every member of the NBA family is the beneficiary of David’s vision, generosity and inspiration.” Every member of the NBA family is the beneficiary of David’s vision, generosity and inspiration. “And David Stern at that time said, ‘I’m going to make the bet that it will,’ and he pushed it, and he forced it. NBA legends Magic Johnson, Larr


But over the course of 30 years as Commissioner, he ushered in the modern global NBA,” Commissioner Adam Silver said in the statement announcing Stern’s death.
Every member of the NBA family is the beneficiary of David’s vision, generosity and inspiration.”
Every member of the NBA family is the beneficiary of David’s vision, generosity and inspiration.
“And David Stern at that time said, ‘I’m going to make the bet that it will,’ and he pushed it, and he forced it.
NBA legends Magic Johnson, Larr
David Stern, former commissioner who drove the NBA’s global expansion, dies at 77 Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-01-01  Authors: marty steinberg jabari young, marty steinberg, jabari young
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David Stern, former commissioner who drove the NBA's global expansion, dies at 77

Then-NBA Commissioner David Stern addresses the media before Game One of the 2013 NBA Finals between the Miami Heat and the San Antonio Spurs at American Airlines Arena on June 6, 2013 in Miami. Mike Ehrmann | Getty Images

David Stern, the lawyer who became the head of the National Basketball Association and had been the longest-serving commissioner of any major U.S. sport, died on New Year’s Day. He was 77. Stern died three weeks after being hospitalized for a sudden brain hemorrhage. His wife, Dianne, and their family were at his bedside when he died, the NBA said. During his 30-year tenure from 1984 to 2014, he took the NBA from a 23-team organization struggling to make a profit to a 30-team operation whose revenue increased by 30 times to a reported $5 billion. He helped boost its attraction by expanding its presence outside the United States through marketing and television broadcasts in more than 200 countries and regions in 49 languages. He also presided over four NBA lockouts and led efforts to create two new leagues, the Women’s National Basketball Association and the NBA Development League; implemented the first dress code and first anti-drug agreement in professional sports; and introduced salary caps and revenue sharing to the league. “David took over the NBA in 1984 with the league at a crossroads. But over the course of 30 years as Commissioner, he ushered in the modern global NBA,” Commissioner Adam Silver said in the statement announcing Stern’s death. “He launched groundbreaking media and marketing partnerships, digital assets and social responsibility programs that have brought the game to billions of people around the world. Because of David, the NBA is a truly global brand — making him not only one of the greatest sports commissioners of all time but also one of the most influential business leaders of his generation. Every member of the NBA family is the beneficiary of David’s vision, generosity and inspiration.”

Former “Bad Boys” Detroit Pistons player Isaiah Thomas and former NBA commissioner David Stern attend a game against the Miami Heat to honor the 1989 NBA Championship team and to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of their first NBA Championship at the Palace of Auburn Hills, Michigan, on April 2, 2014. Allen Einstein | NBAE | Getty Images

“When you talk about the NBA family, David Stern is kind of the father of the family who really brought us all together and really had owners and players thinking as one to move the game forward,” former NBA star Isiah Thomas said on NBA.com after Stern was hospitalized in December. “Without his stubbornness, without his intellect, without his love and care, and sometimes disciplinarian hard hand, the league would not be where it’s at today.” “He fought for the game of basketball,” Grant Hill, another former star player and co-owner of the Atlanta Hawks, said on NBA.com. “He had a style about him, he had a passion, but he had a vision that this league could really transcend. It could reach all people. It could become a global game.” David Joel Stern was born in New York on Sept. 22, 1942, and grew up in suburban Teaneck, New Jersey. After graduating from Rutgers University in 1963 and Columbia Law School in 1966, he was hired by the Proskauer Rose law firm, which represented the NBA.

Every member of the NBA family is the beneficiary of David’s vision, generosity and inspiration. Adam Silver NBA commissioner

Stern led the league’s legal defense in the antitrust lawsuit filed by superstar Oscar Robertson and the NBA Players Association in 1970. The lawsuit sought to block any merger of the NBA with the American Basketball Association and to end the option clause and college draft rules that bound a player to a team. It was settled in 1976 with free agency for the players and approval of the merger with the ABA. Stern became the NBA’s general counsel two years later and succeed Larry O’Brien as commissioner on Feb. 1, 1984. He had to overcome some of the league’s image problems. “I remember it was ’81 or ’82, cover of Sports Illustrated, ‘Will white America’ — these were the headlines — ‘Will white America accept or come to an arena to watch African-Americans play basketball?’ And will corporate America support it?” recalled Thomas. “And David Stern at that time said, ‘I’m going to make the bet that it will,’ and he pushed it, and he forced it. And corporate America for a long time wasn’t supporting it. But you know, through his marketing genius and his understanding of how to package and put it out on display, and then TV came along, I mean he was the pioneer of that movement.”

NBA legends Magic Johnson, Larry Bird and NBA Commissioner David Stern on the red carpet of the premiere of Magic Bird on Broadway on April 11, 2012 at the Longacre Theatre in New York. Steven Freeman | NBAE | Getty Images

Stern also had fortuitous timing. His first season ended with the classic championship matchup in which Larry Bird and the Boston Celtics defeated Magic Johnson’s Los Angeles Lakers in the seventh game. Then a few months later, he presided over his first draft, considered one of the greatest in NBA history. The players selected included four future Hall of Famers — Hakeem Olajuwon, Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley and John Stockton. The next year, the lowly New York Knicks got the first draft pick — Patrick Ewing — in a drawing in which Stern was suspected of rigging to get the best college player to the league’s biggest TV market. In 2005, he instituted a dress code in which players were banned from wearing headphones, chains, indoor sunglasses and other urban-type attire at NBA-related public appearances. It was the first dress code imposed by a profession sports league, and it elicited criticism from some players, including Allen Iverson, who said: “The dress code is not who I am and doesn’t allow me to express myself.” The rules were later eased into requiring inactive players to wear a sport coat if they sat on the bench. Stern also presided over four NBA lockouts, in 1995, 1996, 1998-99 and 2011. The latter two lasted 204 days and 161 days, respectively. Stern showed his harsh side at times during negotiations to end the 75-day lockout in 1995, said former NBA guard Terry Porter, who was a union representative and spent most of his career with the Portland Trail Blazers. “He was a very shrewd businessman,” Porter recalled in an interview with CNBC. “He will get his thoughts across, whether you like it or not. He’s very opinionated, I can tell you that much. He made sure his point of view was received.” But, Porter added, “he had a great feel for the game, a good feel for players’ issues — our concerns. And he was always willing to have conversations about those concerns.” During a tense time in the 2011 lockout, which stemmed from a dispute over the league’s salary cap and how to divide revenue and resulted in the cancellation of 16 of 82 regular season games, HBO commentator Bryant Gumbel dropped a racial bomb. On his show, he likened Stern to a “modern plantation overseer treating NBA men as if they were his boys.” “It’s part of Stern’s M.O.,” Gumbel continued. “Like his past self-serving edicts on dress code or the questioning of officials, his moves are intended to do little more than show how he’s the one keeping the hired hands in their place.” Six years later, Stern still felt the pain of the black journalist’s remarks. “My reaction was that Bryant Gumbel is an idiot and that I considered it a badge of honor,” Stern told former Washington Post sportswriter Nunyo Demasio in a 2017 podcast. “He was repeating something that the players’ representatives had said in the middle of a lockout. He was just regurgitating something. … My response was, ‘I have done more for people of color than he has.'” To Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra, Stern was a “commanding leader.” “I remember the first time I went to the NBA head coaches’ meetings; I didn’t want to say a word,” Spoelstra told CNBC. “He could really command a room, lead a room and explain his vision for the league so clearly and concisely that we all would walk out of that room understanding exactly the direction that we were supposed to go on behalf of the league.”

NBA Commissioner David Stern and Yao Ming of the Houston Rockets laugh during a news conference for the NBA China Games, part of the 2004 Jam Session located in the China Palace at the Los Angeles Convention Center February 14, 2004 in Los Angeles, California. David Sherman | NBAE | Getty Images


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-01-01  Authors: marty steinberg jabari young, marty steinberg, jabari young
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, david, game, league, family, leagues, commissioner, global, stern, drove, dies, players, dress, nba, nbas, expansion


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Small business pay checks are growing at a fast pace as job gains slow

Weekly earnings for employees of small businesses grew at an annual rate of 4.1% at the end of the year, the fastest pace since the Paychex/IHS Markit Small Business Employment Watch began. The employment report began making annual comparisons in 2011. Steady gains in hourly earnings and the strongest increase in hours worked in December since 2012 helped drive earnings growth. Job growth was flattish, up just 0.06% from November’s level, but year-over-year, job growth fell 0.7% due to declines


Weekly earnings for employees of small businesses grew at an annual rate of 4.1% at the end of the year, the fastest pace since the Paychex/IHS Markit Small Business Employment Watch began.
The employment report began making annual comparisons in 2011.
Steady gains in hourly earnings and the strongest increase in hours worked in December since 2012 helped drive earnings growth.
Job growth was flattish, up just 0.06% from November’s level, but year-over-year, job growth fell 0.7% due to declines
Small business pay checks are growing at a fast pace as job gains slow Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-01-01  Authors: patti domm
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Small business pay checks are growing at a fast pace as job gains slow

A worker of the LIC Corner Cafe prepares an expresso for customers in Long Island City, New York, November 7, 2018.

Weekly earnings for employees of small businesses grew at an annual rate of 4.1% at the end of the year, the fastest pace since the Paychex/IHS Markit Small Business Employment Watch began.

The employment report began making annual comparisons in 2011.

Steady gains in hourly earnings and the strongest increase in hours worked in December since 2012 helped drive earnings growth. Hours worked were up 1% from the same period last year. Job growth was flattish, up just 0.06% from November’s level, but year-over-year, job growth fell 0.7% due to declines in the first half.

“Small business job gains have flattened in the second half of the year as labor markets prove very tight,” said James Diffley, chief regional economist at IHS Markit. “In response, weekly earnings have accelerated, surging from 2.49 percent mid-year to 4.13 percent at year-end.”

The monthly report focuses on small businesses and uses payroll data of about 350,000 Paychex clients to glean wage trends and activity by region and sector.

Wage growth had been steadily rising and sometimes stubbornly slow since the financial crisis, but picked up in late 2018 and 2019.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-01-01  Authors: patti domm
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Australia is sending military aid to wildfire towns as death toll rises

In this image made from video, people evacuate to a lake to escape wildfires Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2019, in Ulladulla, New South Wales, Australia, Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2019. Navy ships and military aircraft were bringing water, food, and fuel to towns where supplies were depleted and roads were cut off by the fires. Authorities confirmed three bodies were found Wednesday at Lake Conjola on the south coast of New South Wales, bringing the death toll in the state to 15. In the New South Wales town of Con


In this image made from video, people evacuate to a lake to escape wildfires Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2019, in Ulladulla, New South Wales, Australia, Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2019.
Navy ships and military aircraft were bringing water, food, and fuel to towns where supplies were depleted and roads were cut off by the fires.
Authorities confirmed three bodies were found Wednesday at Lake Conjola on the south coast of New South Wales, bringing the death toll in the state to 15.
In the New South Wales town of Con
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Australia is sending military aid to wildfire towns as death toll rises

In this image made from video, people evacuate to a lake to escape wildfires Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2019, in Ulladulla, New South Wales, Australia, Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2019. ABC Channel 9, Channel 7 | AP

Australia deployed military ships and aircraft Wednesday to help communities ravaged by apocalyptic wildfires that have left at least 17 people dead nationwide and sent thousands of residents and holidaymakers fleeing to the shoreline. Navy ships and military aircraft were bringing water, food, and fuel to towns where supplies were depleted and roads were cut off by the fires. Authorities confirmed three bodies were found Wednesday at Lake Conjola on the south coast of New South Wales, bringing the death toll in the state to 15. More than 175 homes have been destroyed in the region. Some 4,000 people in the coastal town of Mallacoota fled to the shore as winds pushed a fire toward their homes under a sky darkened by smoke and turned blood-red by flames. Stranded residents and vacationers slept in their cars, and gas stations and surf clubs transformed into evacuation areas. Dozens of homes burned before winds changed direction late Tuesday, sparing the rest of the town. Victoria Emergency Commissioner Andrew Crisp told reporters the Australian Defence Force was moving naval assets to Mallacoota on a supply mission that would last two weeks and helicopters would also fly in more firefighters since roads were inaccessible.

In this image dated Dec. 30, 2019, and provided by NSW Rural Fire Service via their twitter account, firefighters are seen as they try to protect homes around Charmhaven, New South Wales. Twitter@NSWRFS via AP

“I think that was our biggest threat in terms of what are we doing with the children if we need to go in the water to protect ourselves given the fact that they are only 1, 3 and 5,” tourist Kai Kirschbaum told ABC Australia. “If you’re a good swimmer it doesn’t really matter if you have to be in the water for a longer time, but doing that with three kids that would have been, I think, a nightmare.” Conditions cooled Wednesday, but the fire danger remained very high across the state, where four people are missing. “We have three months of hot weather to come. We do have a dynamic and a dangerous fire situation across the state,” Crisp said. In the New South Wales town of Conjola Park, 89 properties were confirmed destroyed and cars were melted by Tuesday’s fires. More than 100 fires were still burning in the state Wednesday, though none were at an emergency level. Seven people have died this week, including a volunteer firefighter, a man found in a burnt-out car and a father and son who died in their house. Firefighting crews took advantage of easing conditions on Wednesday to restore power to critical infrastructure and conduct some back burning, before conditions were expected to deteriorate Saturday as high temperatures and strong winds return. “There is every potential that the conditions on Saturday will be as bad or worse than we saw yesterday,” New South Wales Rural Fire Service Deputy Commissioner Rob Rogers said. The early and devastating start to Australia’s summer wildfires has led authorities to rate this season the worst on record and reignited debate about whether Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s conservative government has taken enough action on climate change. Australia is the world’s largest exporter of coal and liquefied natural gas, but Morrison rejected calls last month to downsize Australia’s lucrative coal industry.

The remains of burnt out buildings are seen along main street in the New South Wales town of Cobargo on December 31, 2019, after bushfires ravaged the town. Sean Davey | AFP | Getty Imges


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Israel’s Netanyahu will seek parliamentary immunity from prosecution in corruption cases

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks after being tasked by President Reuven Rivlin (not in frame) with forming a new government, during a press conference in Jerusalem on September 25, 2019. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday he would seek parliamentary immunity from prosecution in the three graft cases he faces, a move that could delay criminal proceedings against him for months. He said in his address that the charges against him were politically motivated


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks after being tasked by President Reuven Rivlin (not in frame) with forming a new government, during a press conference in Jerusalem on September 25, 2019.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday he would seek parliamentary immunity from prosecution in the three graft cases he faces, a move that could delay criminal proceedings against him for months.
He said in his address that the charges against him were politically motivated
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Israel's Netanyahu will seek parliamentary immunity from prosecution in corruption cases

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks after being tasked by President Reuven Rivlin (not in frame) with forming a new government, during a press conference in Jerusalem on September 25, 2019.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday he would seek parliamentary immunity from prosecution in the three graft cases he faces, a move that could delay criminal proceedings against him for months.

Netanyahu was indicted in November on charges of bribery, fraud, and breach of trust over allegations he granted state favors worth hundreds of millions of dollars to Israeli media barons in return for gifts and favorable coverage.

He denies any wrongdoing, saying he is the victim of a witch hunt by the media and left to oust a popular right-wing leader.

A trial cannot get underway once an immunity request is made, and Netanyahu announced the politically risky move in a speech on live television just four hours before a deadline for an application was to expire. He said in his address that the charges against him were politically motivated and he was entitled to parliament’s protection.

Amid deep political deadlock, parliament seems unlikely to decide the issue before Israel’s March 2 election. Netanyahu will need the support of 61 of its 120 legislators for immunity to be granted, the same majority that eluded him in attempts to form a government after national ballots in April and September.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-01-01
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, netanyahu, israels, prosecution, prime, cases, corruption, parliamentary, charges, media, seek, israeli, granted, minister, benjamin, immunity, politically


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Disgruntled Pope Francis says he’s sorry he lost patience with hand-shaker who yanked him

Pope Francis has apologized for hitting the hand of a well-wisher who grabbed him and yanked him toward her. Cameras captured the scene when the woman, from behind a barrier, reached out and grabbed the pope’s hand, pulling him violently toward her. Francis reacted sharply, exclaimed something and then slapped her hand so she would let him go. In video of the incident, Francis walks down a line of admirers separated by fencing, clasping their hands, waving and smiling with the basilica and the V


Pope Francis has apologized for hitting the hand of a well-wisher who grabbed him and yanked him toward her.
Cameras captured the scene when the woman, from behind a barrier, reached out and grabbed the pope’s hand, pulling him violently toward her.
Francis reacted sharply, exclaimed something and then slapped her hand so she would let him go.
In video of the incident, Francis walks down a line of admirers separated by fencing, clasping their hands, waving and smiling with the basilica and the V
Disgruntled Pope Francis says he’s sorry he lost patience with hand-shaker who yanked him Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-01-01
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, disgruntled, yanked, roman, francis, vatican, lost, grabbed, sorry, hes, hand, incident, square, patience, handshaker, woman, pope


Disgruntled Pope Francis says he's sorry he lost patience with hand-shaker who yanked him

Pope Francis has apologized for hitting the hand of a well-wisher who grabbed him and yanked him toward her.

In his new year’s wishes to the public in St. Peter’s Square on Wednesday, Francis confessed to losing his patience with the woman while he was strolling in the square Tuesday night to admire the Vatican’s Nativity scene.

Cameras captured the scene when the woman, from behind a barrier, reached out and grabbed the pope’s hand, pulling him violently toward her. Francis reacted sharply, exclaimed something and then slapped her hand so she would let him go. Frowning in anger, he turned and strode away.

In his impromptu remarks Wednesday, Francis said “so many times we lose patience. Me, too.” He then added “I say ‘excuse me’ for the bad example” he gave in the incident Tuesday.

Pope Francis grew visibly angry and even swatted at the hand of a woman who tugged his arm as the head of the Roman Catholic Church greeted pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square on New Year’s Eve.

In video of the incident, Francis walks down a line of admirers separated by fencing, clasping their hands, waving and smiling with the basilica and the Vatican obelisk in the background.

Just as the pope appears to turn to walk away from the crowd, a woman reaches out, grabs his hand and then jerks him forcefully toward her.

Francis immediately recoils and swats at her hand to free himself as the pope’s security detail also moves to intervene.

The woman made the sign of the cross just before the incident. It’s not clear what she said to the pope as she grabbed him.

Earlier in the day, Francis had attended the private funeral of a friend, showing up without notice at the Roman parish of San Giuseppe al Nomentano to pay his respects to María Grazia Mara, the Vatican said, confirming reports in Italian media.

Mara, a professor emerita at the Patristic Institute Augustinianum in Rome, died Monday at 95. She was a noted scholar of the history and theology of the Roman Catholic Church’s founders whom Francis visited at her home in 2018 and then singled out for special praise during a visit to the college in early 2019.

—NBC News and Reuters contributed to this report.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-01-01
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, disgruntled, yanked, roman, francis, vatican, lost, grabbed, sorry, hes, hand, incident, square, patience, handshaker, woman, pope


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Bristol-Myers, Gilead, and Biogen hike US drug prices as the new year begins

Soaring U.S. prescription drug prices are expected to again be a central issue in the presidential election. Many branded drugmakers have pledged to keep their U.S. list price increases below 10% a year, under pressure from politicians and patients. Bristol-Myers said in a statement it will not raise list prices on its drugs by more than 6% this year. Gilead raised prices on more than 15 drugs including HIV treatments Biktarvy and Truvada less than 5%, according to 3 Axis. Biogen price increases


Soaring U.S. prescription drug prices are expected to again be a central issue in the presidential election.
Many branded drugmakers have pledged to keep their U.S. list price increases below 10% a year, under pressure from politicians and patients.
Bristol-Myers said in a statement it will not raise list prices on its drugs by more than 6% this year.
Gilead raised prices on more than 15 drugs including HIV treatments Biktarvy and Truvada less than 5%, according to 3 Axis.
Biogen price increases
Bristol-Myers, Gilead, and Biogen hike US drug prices as the new year begins Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-01-01
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, raised, begins, gilead, bristolmyers, price, biogen, according, increase, prices, increases, drugs, including, hike, drug, list


Bristol-Myers, Gilead, and Biogen hike US drug prices as the new year begins

From l-r, Giovanni Caforio, M.D. Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., Jennifer Taubert, Executive Vice President, Worldwide Chairman, Janssen Pharmaceuticals Johnson & Johnson, and Kenneth C. Frazier, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Merck & Co., Inc., take their seats as they wait to testify before the Senate Finance Committee hearing on drug prices, Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019 on Capitol Hill in Washington.

Drugmakers including Bristol-Myers Squibb, Gilead Sciences, and Biogen hiked U.S. list prices on more than 50 drugs on Wednesday, bringing total New Year’s Day drug price increases to more than 250, according to data analyzed by healthcare research firm 3 Axis Advisors.

Reuters reported on Tuesday that drugmakers including Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline, and Sanofi were planning to increase prices on more than 200 drugs in the United States on Jan. 1.

Nearly all of the price increases are below 10% and the median price increase is around 5%, according to 3 Axis.

More early year price increases could still be announced.

Soaring U.S. prescription drug prices are expected to again be a central issue in the presidential election. President Donald Trump, who made bringing them down a core pledge of his 2016 campaign, is running for re-election in 2020.

Many branded drugmakers have pledged to keep their U.S. list price increases below 10% a year, under pressure from politicians and patients.

The United States, which leaves drug pricing to market competition, has higher prices than in other countries where governments directly or indirectly control the costs, making it the world’s most lucrative market for manufacturers.

Drugmakers often negotiate rebates on their list prices in exchange for favorable treatment from healthcare payers. As a result, health insurers and patients rarely pay the full list price of a drug.

Bristol-Myers said in a statement it will not raise list prices on its drugs by more than 6% this year.

The drugmaker raised the price on 10 drugs on Wednesday, including 1.5% price hikes on cancer immunotherapies Opdivo and Yervoy and a 6% increase on its blood thinner Eliquis, all of which bring in billions of dollars in revenue annually.

It also raised the price on Celgene’s flagship multiple myeloma drug, Revlimid, 6%. Bristol acquired rival Celgene in a $74 billion deal last year.

Gilead raised prices on more than 15 drugs including HIV treatments Biktarvy and Truvada less than 5%, according to 3 Axis.

Biogen price increases included a 6% price hike on multiple sclerosis treatment Tecfidera, according to 3 Axis.

Gilead and Biogen could not be immediately reached for comment.

3 Axis advises pharmacy industry groups on identifying inefficiencies in the U.S. drug supply chain and has provided consulting work to hedge fund billionaire John Arnold, a prominent critic of high drug prices.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-01-01
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, raised, begins, gilead, bristolmyers, price, biogen, according, increase, prices, increases, drugs, including, hike, drug, list


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Pete Buttigieg raised huge $24.7 million haul in the fourth quarter, campaign says

Democratic presidential contender Pete Buttigieg raised $24.7 million in the final quarter of 2019, according to an email his campaign sent out Wednesday morning. Buttigieg received his largest donor share in the fourth quarter alone, with 326,000 people contributing to the campaign. In the third quarter, Buttigieg’s campaign brought in $19.1 million, and in the second quarter, a hefty $24.8 million. Schmuhl said in the email that in the fourth quarter, the campaign staff grew to 500 people nati


Democratic presidential contender Pete Buttigieg raised $24.7 million in the final quarter of 2019, according to an email his campaign sent out Wednesday morning.
Buttigieg received his largest donor share in the fourth quarter alone, with 326,000 people contributing to the campaign.
In the third quarter, Buttigieg’s campaign brought in $19.1 million, and in the second quarter, a hefty $24.8 million.
Schmuhl said in the email that in the fourth quarter, the campaign staff grew to 500 people nati
Pete Buttigieg raised huge $24.7 million haul in the fourth quarter, campaign says Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-01-01  Authors: yelena dzhanova
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, fourth, raised, 247, huge, fundraising, democratic, quarter, campaign, buttigieg, according, pete, haul, million, email


Pete Buttigieg raised huge $24.7 million haul in the fourth quarter, campaign says

Democratic presidential contender Pete Buttigieg raised $24.7 million in the final quarter of 2019, according to an email his campaign sent out Wednesday morning.

Since entering the race in April, he’s raised $76 million, the email said, with 733,000 individual donors making up that sum. Buttigieg received his largest donor share in the fourth quarter alone, with 326,000 people contributing to the campaign.

In the third quarter, Buttigieg’s campaign brought in $19.1 million, and in the second quarter, a hefty $24.8 million.

Chris Meagher, the spokesperson for the campaign, said on Twitter that the average donation from the fourth-quarter contributions was $33.

“We are building a campaign that can not only compete and win the nomination, but can beat Donald Trump,” Meagher said.

Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, began the campaign as a longshot contender among Democratic heavyweights like Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Since then, Buttigieg, 37, has made inroads with big-money donors. He and former Vice President Joe Biden are among the 2020 Democratic contenders who have received the support of top financiers across the country, as CNBC reported in June.

Buttigieg quickly rose to recognition, gaining traction in national polls and becoming known as one of the top contenders in the Democratic race. In the emailed announcement of the fourth-quarter funds, Campaign Manager Mike Schmuhl touted the haul, saying it’s an indication of Buttigieg’s strength in the race.

“We did not have the fundraising lists of a Washington politician or someone who had run for president before,” Schmuhl said. “We certainly did not have a candidate who had the personal wealth of a millionaire or billionaire.”

Schmuhl said in the email that in the fourth quarter, the campaign staff grew to 500 people nationwide. Since Buttigieg’s entrance in the race, the campaign has opened 65 field offices in early voting states and has more than 100 organizers in Iowa, he said.

Earlier this month, Buttigieg released the names of his campaign’s biggest financial supporters following a barrage of criticism from Warren and Democratic activists over the secrecy of his fundraisers. The list, which has a total of 113 bundlers who have raised at least $25,000 for his campaign, features Wall Street and Hollywood titans like Hamilton James, executive vice chairman of private-equity firm Blackstone; Orin Kramer, a hedge fund manager and big Democratic fundraiser; and New York socialite and philanthropist Agnes Gund.

Warren slammed Buttigieg at the Democratic debate in December for hosting a fundraiser inside a Napa Valley “wine cave,” which reportedly attracted about 150 to 200 supporters, some of whom spent $1,000 for a photo op with the candidate. Others reportedly spent $2,800 to “co-host a dinner” with him, according to pool reporter Mike DeWald.

After finishing the third quarter with $24.6 million, Warren’s campaign told supporters in an email on Friday that, so far, it has raised just over $17 million in the fourth quarter, a significant drop from her fundraising haul during the third quarter.

Sanders announced Monday that his campaign received contributions from nearly five million donors in the fourth quarter – far more than any other candidate, The New York Times reported. Based on his previous average donation of $18, Sanders could expect a windfall of about $26 million in the fourth quarter, according to the Times.

Andrew Yang’s campaign said on Monday it expects to raise more than $12.5 million in the fourth quarter, a sum that would help the entrepreneur remain competitive with the front-runners in the Democratic primary.

Still, the Democratic candidates’ fundraising to date pales in comparison with President Trump’s re-election campaign war chest. In the third quarter alone, Trump’s 2020 campaign and the Republican National Committee pulled in a total of $125 million, a haul that surpassed the $105 million second-quarter joint total and marks a new presidential fundraising record, according to the Associated Press.

—CNBC’s Brian Schwartz and Tucker Higgins contributed to this story.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2020-01-01  Authors: yelena dzhanova
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, fourth, raised, 247, huge, fundraising, democratic, quarter, campaign, buttigieg, according, pete, haul, million, email


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