New York Police found potential bomb-making material at a home in Astoria, Queens, WNBC reported.
The discovery came a few hours after firefighters responded to a fire at the home.
A man was taken to the hospital with burns during that incident.
The man’s identity has not been released and no charges have been filed yet.
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Police in New York said they found a chemical that could potentially be used to make a bomb in a home in Astoria, Queens, on Tuesday.
The discovery came hours after a man at that address was taken to a hospital with burns on his hands after a fire broke out, WNBC reported.
The New York Fire Department told WABC that 12 units and 60 firefighters responded to the scene. Officials told the outlet that the man was combative when they showed up.
WNBC reported that the man has been arrested in the past for minor offenses and could possibly be emotionally disturbed.
The landlord of the building had asked firefighters to look into boxes in the man’s house, where 40 pounds of potassium nitrate were found, a police source told the outlet.
Potassium nitrate is legal to buy and own and is less powerful than powerful ammonium nitrate. Police are investigating whether the chemical, which can be used to remove tree stumps, was potentially intended for explosives.
Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence and Counterterrorism John Miller told WABC that no actual bomb was found at the scene.
“What we know is we had a fire, we had an emotionally distraught individual who had to be removed to a hospital, we had some chemicals in certain amounts that gave us concern about what they were for and what they could make together, and some written material that we are going to have to go over and figure out what all this means,” Miller said.
The identity of the man who was taken to the hospital with burns has not been released nor has he been charged with anything.
Miller is seeking a search warrant to further search the home.
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Madrid braces for partial lockdown as virus surges
Nearly a million Madrid residents were bracing Sunday for a partial lockdown with several hundred marching in protest as Spanish authorities seek to put a brake on a second wave of Covid-19.
The restrictions, which take effect Monday for two weeks, affect 850,000 people living mainly in densely-populated, low-income neighbourhoods in the south — or 13 percent of the 6.6 million people living in and around the capital.
Like many countries in Europe, Spain is battling a coronavirus surge and, once again, Madrid is the worst-hit region.
“We’re concerned with the data we’re seeing, because the number of cases is double that of the national average and the number of hospital admissions… is triple the national average,” Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said in a television interview Saturday.
But he stressed he was not contemplating a national lockdown.
Several districts of southern Madrid have counted more than 1,000 cases per 100,000 inhabitants — around five times the national average, which in itself is the highest in the European Union.
Residents will be banned from leaving their district other than for essential travel like work, medical care or taking children to school, Madrid’s regional government said Friday.
They will be allowed to move around freely inside their zone but no one from outside will be allowed in unless absolutely essential.
Parks will be closed but shops, bars and restaurants will remain open at 50 percent capacity.
Meanwhile, gatherings of more than six people will be banned in the entire region, down from ten currently.
On Sunday, people took to the streets in some of the affected districts in protest against the new measures.
They sported placards reading “No to a class-based lockdown” or “They’re destroying our district and now they’re locking us up”.
Hundreds gathered in the districts concerned and outside the regional parliament to shout their displeasure.
“The health centres having been working for years with minimum staffing, they don’t have enough staff or nurses … and this crisis has made the situation worse,” lamented Victoria, a 63-year-old civil servant.
“You get the impression they take us for fools. We shall be able to continue to go and work in other non-confined zones at the risk of ramping up transmission, and we shall also be able to infect ourselves within our own zone,” Bethania Perez, a nurse aged 31, told AFP.
Madrid’s regional president Isabel Diaz Ayuso, who has been slammed for her management of the crisis, is due to meet Sanchez on Monday.
The meeting is a sign of central government concern over the crisis in Madrid, as the management of public health issues is normally the responsibility of Spanish regional authorities.
Regional health officials say Madrid’s healthcare system is under growing pressure, with one in five hospital beds occupied by Covid patients.
As such, experts fear a sharp increase in the regional mortality rate — which is currently much lower than in the spring — over the coming weeks.
Spain has so far recorded over 30,000 deaths — one of Europe’s worst tolls — and 600,000 confirmed cases, according to official figures.
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Analysts Say These 3 Stocks Are Their Top Picks for 2020 and Beyond
Every smart investor knows that he doesn’t know everything – and there is no shame in turning to the experts for advice. International investment firm Credit Suisse regularly publishes the information that investors need to make informed decisions. According to TipRanks, Credit Suisse ranks number 5 among the top 50 investment firms, with a sustained long-term success rate of 60% out of more than 12,000 stock recommendations made.This makes Credit Suisse a natural place to look for stock picks. With the year winding down, and the fourth quarter just around the corner, the bank is starting to publish its analysts 1 picks to round out 2020 – and to get a strong start on 2021. We’ve pulled up three of these picks; stocks that Credit Suisse analysts see gaining 20% or more in the year ahead.Using TipRanks’ Stock Comparison tool, we were able to evaluate these 3 picks alongside each other to get a sense of what the analyst community has to say.Concho Resources (CXO)First on the list, Concho Resources, is a major hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation company in the Permian Basin of West Texas. The company has exploration rights on 800,000 acres of ground in the region, and extracts both oil and natural gas. Concho is a one of the area’s largest unconventional shale producers, and has proven reserves in excess of 1 billion barrels of oil equivalent. The proven reserves are split, 2 to 1, between crude oil and natural gas.Concho has shown great resilience during the corona crisis. While earnings fell by a third in the Q1, they quickly returned to normal levels in Q2. The second quarter results, reported in July, showed a top line of $474 million in revenues, and EPS of $1.13. That EPS result was 242% above expectations. Furthermore, Concho generated $689 million in cash from operations last quarter, well above the forecast – and of that total, $238 million was considered free cash flow, giving the company sound liquidity.Credit Suisse’s Bill Janela explains why this stock is a top pick: “We believe concerns around federal acreage exposure are overblown for CXO and have been more than taken out of its stock price given recent relative underperformance. CXO’s asset quality and depth would allow it to easily reallocate activity; we estimate loss of well permits on Fed acreage would only reduce its NAV by <5%.”To this end, Janela rates this stock an Outperform (i.e. Buy), and his $48.03 price target suggests an impressive 45% upside potential for the coming year. (To watch Janela’s track record, click here)Overall, Concho gets a Strong Buy analyst consensus rating, based on 17 reviews of which 16 are Buys and only 1 is a Hold. Shares are selling for $48.18, and the $72.44 average price target implies a 50% one-year upside for the stock. (See CXO stock analysis on TipRanks)Ares Management (ARES)The second Credit Suisse pick for today is Ares Management, an alternative investment manager with global reach operations across the private equity, real estate, and credit segments. The company brought in $1.77 billion in total revenues last year, and boasts $165 billion in assets under management.Size and competence have stood Ares well during the health and economic crises of 1H20. In discussing its earnings during the period, it’s important to note that the 4Q19 EPS was unusually high – and so the earnings fall in Q1 brought the result back in-line with historical values. Q2 showed a further dip, to 39 cents per share, which was 5% above the forecast.At the top line, revenues collapsed in the first quarter of the year, but roared back in the second. Q2 total revenues hit $602 million. Solid revenues and positive earnings allowed Ares to keep up its dividend payment, which the company has been increasing for the past three years. At 40 cents per common share, this dividend annualizes to $1.20 and gives a yield of 4%, well above the average found among peer companies.Craig Seigenthaler wrote the Credit Suisse review for Ares, saying, “ARES is our Top Outperform due to the high visibility into its Stock Total Return (including Divs) strong fee-related earnings trajectory coupled with its defensive qualities (distressed investing capabilities, credit mix, long-duration AuM base, high composition of fees generated on fixed committed capital)… Over the next two to three years we expect ARES will earn ~$350M in incremental mgmt. fees without raising any additional capital…”Seigenthaler supports his Outperform (i.e. Buy) rating with a $49 price target, suggesting a 23% upside potential going forward. (To watch Seigenthaler’s track record, click here)Overall, shares in ARES are trading for $39.47, and the $44 average price target implies they have room for 11% upside growth this year. The stock’s Strong Buy analyst consensus rating is based on 6 Buys and 2 Holds set in recent weeks. (See ARES stock analysis on TipRanks)Carlisle Companies (CSL)Last on our list of Credit Suisse picks is Carlisle Companies, a highly diversified global manufacturer. Carlisle has its hands in many pots, with four major divisions: construction materials, interconnections technologies, industrial fluids, and brake and friction technology. The company is best known, however for its roofing materials, in the construction segment. This is another company weathered the corona crisis and remained in good shape. Earnings per share had been declining through the latter half of 2019, and so the dip in Q1 of this year only continued that trend. EPS turned back upwards for Q2, and at $1.61 it beat the forecast by a wide margin. The outlook for Q3 is even higher, at $1.73. Revenues in 1Q20 were stable, at just over $1 billion in each quarter.Fiscal health has not translated into share appreciation, however, as CSL shares are still down 21% from February’s pre-market collapse peak. The stock has underperformed in recent months, but Credit Suisse’s Adam Baumgarten sees it with an ace in the hole for future growth.”~75% of Carlisle’s profits come from commercial roofing, and ~75% of that is for roof replacements. Given the non-discretionary nature of roofs (if your roof leaks, you fix it), roofing is one of the most downturn resistant product categories in our coverage universe… Given that roof replacements are never lost, just delayed, we expect the stock to outperform when the backlog of roof replacements is cleared,” In other words, Baumgarten believes that the economic downturn simply pushed some of Carlisle’s base business into next year at the latest. Based on this belief, the analyst rates the stock an Outperform (i.e. Buy), and his $150 price target implies an upside of 22% in the next year. (To watch Baumgarten’s track record, click here)Carlisle has earned a unanimous Strong Buy consensus rating, with 5 Buy reviews in the past two months. Shares are priced at $122.42 and the $150 average price target matches Baumgarten’s. (See CSL stock analysis on TipRanks)To find good ideas for stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights.Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the featured analysts. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any investment.
British bomb disposal expert dies in explosion on Solomon Islands
A British bomb disposal expert has been killed in an explosion in the Solomon Islands.
Luke Atkinson, 57, was working for Norwegian People’s Aid, an 81-year-old humanitarian organisation, specialising in mine disposal and relief aid.
Mr Atkinson, from London, was a programme manager working on creating a database of unexploded ordnance, dating back to the Second World War. Trent Lee, an Australian in his 40s who was a chemical weapons adviser, was also killed.
Police are working overnight to clear the site of the explosion in a residential area of Honiara, the Solomon Islands capital.
The blast could reportedly be heard three miles away, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported.
“Explosives ordinance disposal officers will have to render the scene safe before forensics and other investigators access the scene to find out what happened,” Inspector Clifford Tunuki said.
According to ABC, investigators are trying to ascertain why the explosives were taken to a flat, which serves as the project office.
The Solomon Islands, which was a major battleground in the war, is strewn with unexploded ordnance and workers have been trying to clear the site ahead of the 2023 Pacific Games.
“There is a worldwide problem with the remnants of war all kinds of munition are left after conflict and it takes a tremendous toll on societies,” Per Nergaard, the deputy general secretary of Norwegian People’s Aid, told the Telegraph.
“We have been doing for the last 25 years. We are among the largest in the humanitarian field.”
Mr Nergaard paid tribute to Mr Atkinson.
“Luke is a very experienced ex-army guy and worked with us for more than 10 years in various countries.
“I knew him very well, I have been working with him since the mid-90s. He was a fantastic person.
“You could deploy him at any theatre he would be an extremely accomplished manager at these kind situations.”
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