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US general meets with German officials over resort outbreak

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Virus Outbreak Germany Alpine Resort

BERLIN (AP) — The general commanding American troops in Bavaria met Wednesday with local officials in the Alpine town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen to reassure them of the U.S. military’s commitment to preventing the spread of COVID-19, after an outbreak at a troop hotel sickened dozens.

A total of 59 people in the town, including 25 staff at the U.S. military-run Edelweiss Lodge and Resort, tested positive for the new coronavirus after a 26-year-old American woman working at the hotel allegedly flouted quarantine rules by visiting several bars last week.

On Wednesday, German authorities said that further testing had found no additional cases, though they encouraged anybody who had frequented the affected bars and not yet been tested to come forward.

“While there is still much work ahead, we are encouraged by the results returned from yesterday and today’s testing,” Brig. Gen. Christopher Norrie said in a statement after his visit.

Norrie noted that after learning of the outbreak on Friday, the U.S. military had deployed four helicopters to Garmisch-Partenkirchen carrying additional medical personnel and testing kits.

Employees who had close contact with positive staff members were placed in quarantine and the hotel was closed for two weeks, he added.

“We are extremely grateful for Bavaria’s proactive response to keep our communities as safe as possible from this virus,” Norrie said. “We are part of this effort alongside our Bavarian hosts and friends, to act responsibly to limit the potential spread of COVID-19.”

Norrie said his command — which includes about 51,000 soldiers, civilian employees and family members at seven locations in Bavaria — would ensure that community members who don’t adhere to orders, including local ordinances, would be held to account.

U.S. Army personnel, including civilians and family members, are banned from visiting establishments that function exclusively as bars and nightclubs, he said.

“We know that environments that are close, crowded and confined are conducive to the spread of the virus,” Norrie said.

He added that while it may not be possible to find out how the virus entered the community, “we all bear individual and collective responsibility in limiting the spread of COVID-19, and I’m confident our community overall will continue to be a positive contributor to this fight.”

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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A white supremacist gang member was killed during a shootout with police in California

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A white supremacist gang member was killed during a shootout with police in California
Christopher Michael Straub.

  • A known member of a white supremacist gang died during a shootout with police on Thursday in Templeton, California, CNN reports.

  • Christopher Michael Straub fled on foot during a traffic stop, hid, and then ambushed two deputies with a handgun, according to the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office.

  • Straub was pronounced dead at the scene and an injured deputy was airlifted to a nearby hospital.

  • “He was known by us, he was wanted by us, and he was considered armed and dangerous,” Sheriff Ian Parkinson said at a news conference.

  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

 

A known white supremacist was killed in a shootout with police after escaping on foot during a traffic stop and ambushing them, CNN reports.

Deputies had tried to conduct a traffic stop on Christopher Michael Straub, 38, in Templeton, California, after recognizing that his vehicle belonged to a wanted felon.

Straub then ran through nearby vineyards to a cemetery before hiding and ambushing the deputies with a handgun, according to a press release from the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office.

It described how the deputies returned fire after Straub fired multiple rounds and hit one of them in the leg.

Straub then ran back through the vineyard while still armed and attempted to get back into his vehicle, where two other deputies intercepted him.

“The two additional deputies pulled up, engaged the suspect, who was still armed with a handgun, and engaged in a gun battle where the suspect was struck and pronounced dead at the scene,” Sheriff Ian Parkinson said at a news conference on Thursday, as reported by The Tribune.

“He was known by us, he was wanted by us, and he was considered armed and dangerous,” Parkinson added. While he said Straub was a known member of a white supremacist gang, he did not name one.

Straub had been booked into California jails on 28 occasions, including two incarcerations in state prison.

The injured officer, deputy Richard “Ted” Lehnhoff, 34, was airlifted to a local hospital and is said to be in a “stable condition.”

 

Deputies later discovered a stash of weapons in Straub’s vehicle, including four assault rifles, one bolt action hunting rifle, one shotgun, two handguns, as well as the gun he used during the shootout.

“Straub was a known member of a white supremacist gang and a criminal investigation had already been initiated by the Sheriff’s Gang Task Force when this incident occurred,” the sheriff’s office said.

“After a search warrant was served on his residence, it was discovered he was illegally manufacturing parts for weapons,” it added, noting that it is illegal for felons to possess any weapons.

Read the original article on Insider

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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Charlize Theron Shares Rare Family Photo with Daughters

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Charlize Theron Shares Rare Family Photo with Daughters

Charlize Theron Shares Rare Family Photo with Daughters | PEOPLE.com

























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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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Is Akebia Therapeutics (NASDAQ:AKBA) Using Debt Sensibly?

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TipRanks

3 ‘Strong Buy’ Stocks With Over 7% Dividend Yield

Markets are volatile, there can be no doubt. So far this month, the S&P 500 has fallen 9% from its peak. The tech-heavy NASDAQ, which had led the gainers all summer, is now leading the on the fall, having lost 11% since September 2. The three-week tumble has investors worried that we may be on the brink of another bear market.The headwinds are strong. The usual September swoon, the upcoming election, doubts about another round of economic stimulus – all are putting downward pressure on the stock markets.Which doesn’t mean that there are no opportunities. As the old saw goes, “Bulls and bears can both make money, while the pigs get slaughtered.” A falling market may worry investors, but a smart strategy can prevent the portfolio from losing too much long-term value while maintaining a steady income. Dividend stocks, which feed into the income stream, can be a key part of such a strategy.Using the data available in the TipRanks database, we’ve pulled up three stocks with high yields – from 7% to 11%, or up to 6 times the average dividend found on the S&P 500 index. Even better, these stocks are seen as Strong Buys by Wall Street’s analysts. Let’s find out why.Williams Companies (WMB)We start with Williams Companies, an Oklahoma-based energy company. Williams controls pipelines connecting Rocky Mountain natural gas fields with the Pacific Northwest region, and Appalachian and Texan fields with users in the Northeast and transport terminals on the Gulf Coast. The company’s primary operations are the processing and transport of natural gas, with additional ops in crude oil and energy generation. Williams handles nearly one-third of all US commercial and residential natural gas use.The essential nature of Williams’ business – really, modern society simply cannot get along without reliable energy sources – has insulated the company from some of the economic turndown in 1H20. Quarterly revenues slid from $2.1 billion at the end of last year to $1.9 billion in Q1 and $1.7 billion in Q2. EPS in the first half was 26 cents for Q1 and 25 cents for Q2 – but this was consistent with EPS results for the previous three quarters. The generally sound financial base supported the company’s reliable dividend. Williams has been raising that payment for the past four years, and even the corona crisis could not derail it. At 40 cents per common share, the dividend annualizes to $1.60 and yields an impressive 7.7%. The next payment is scheduled for September 28.Truist analyst Tristan Richardson sees Williams as one of the midstream sector’s best positioned companies.“We continue to look to WMB as a defensive component of midstream and favor its 2H prospects as broader midstream grasps at recovery… Beyond 2020 we see the value proposition as a stable footprint with free cash flow generation even in the current environment. We also see room for incremental leverage reduction throughout our forecast period on scaled back capital plans and even with the stable dividend. We look for modestly lower capex in 2021, however unlike more G&P oriented midstream firms, we see a project backlog in downstream that should support very modest growth,” Richardson noted.Accordingly, Richardson rates WMB shares as a Buy, and his $26 price target implies a 30% upside potential from current levels. (To watch Richardson’s track record, click here)Overall, the Strong Buy analyst consensus rating on WMB is based on 11 Buy reviews against just a single Hold. The stock’s current share price is $19.91 and the average price target is $24.58, making the one-year upside potential 23%. (See WMB stock analysis on TipRanks)Magellan Midstream (MMP)The second stock on our list is another midstream energy company, Magellan. This is another Oklahoma-based firm, with a network of assets across much of the US from the Rocky Mountains to the Mississippi Valley, and into the Southeast. Magellan’s network transports crude oil and refined products, and includes Gulf Coast export shipping terminals.Magellan’s total revenues rose sequentially to $782.8 in Q1, and EPS came in at $1.28, well above the forecast. These numbers turned down drastically in Q2, as revenue fell to $460.4 million and EPS collapsed to 65 cents. The outlook for Q3 predicts a modest recovery, with EPS forecast at 85 cents. The company strengthened its position in the second quarter with an issue of 10-year senior notes, totaling $500 million, at 3.25%. This reduced the company’s debt service payments, and shored up liquidity, making possible the maintenance of the dividend.The dividend was kept steady at $1.0275 per common share quarterly. Annualized, this comes to $4.11, a good absolute return, and gives a yield of 11.1%, giving MMP a far higher return than Treasury bonds or the average S&P-listed stock.Well Fargo analyst Praneeth Satish believes that MMP has strong prospects for recovery. “[We] view near-term weakness in refined products demand as temporary and recovering. In the interim, MMP remains well positioned given its strong balance sheet and liquidity position, and ratable cash flow stream…” Satish goes on to note that the dividend appears secure for the near-term: “The company plans to maintain the current quarterly distribution for the rest of the year.”In line with this generally upbeat outlook, Satish gives MMP an Overweight (i.e. Buy) rating, and a $54 price target that implies 57% growth in the coming year. (To watch Satish’s track record, click here)Net net, MMP shares have a unanimous Strong Buy analyst consensus rating, a show of confidence by Wall Street’s analyst corps. The stock is selling for $33.44, and the average price target of $51.13 implies 53% growth in the year ahead. (See MMP stock analysis on TipRanks)Ready Capital Corporation (RC)The second stock on our list is a real estate investment trust. No surprise finding one of these in a list of strong dividend payers – REITs have long been known for their high dividend payments. Ready Capital, which focuses on the commercial mortgage niche of the REIT sector, has a portfolio of loans in real estate securities and multi-family dwellings. RC has provided more than $3 billion in capital to its loan customers.In the first quarter of this year, when the coronavirus hit, the economy turned south, and business came to a standstill, Ready Capital took a heavy blow. Revenues fell by 58%, and Q1 EPS came in at just one penny. Things turned around in Q2, however, after the company took measures – including increasing liquidity, reducing liabilities, and increasing involvement in government-sponsored lending – to shore up business. Revenues rose to $87 million and EPS rebounded to 70 cents.In the wake of the strong Q2 results, RC also started restoring its dividend. In Q1 the company had slashed the payment from 40 cents to 25 cents; in the most recent declaration, for an October 30 payment, the new dividend is set at 30 cents per share. This annualizes to $1.20 and gives a strong yield of 9.9%.Crispin Love, writing from Piper Sandler, notes the company’s success in getting back on track.“Given low interest rates, Ready Capital had a record $1.2B in residential mortgage originations versus our $1.1B estimate. Gain on sale margins were also at record levels. We are calculating gain on sale margins of 3.7%, up from 2.4% in 1Q20,” Love wrote.In a separate note, written after the dividend declaration, Love added, “We believe that the Board’s actions show an increased confidence for the company to get back to its pre-pandemic $0.40 dividend. In recent earnings calls, management has commented that its goal is to get back to stabilized earnings above $0.40, which would support a dividend more in-line with pre-pandemic levels.”To this end, Love rates RC an Overweight (i.e. Buy) along with a $12 price target, suggesting an upside of 14%. (To watch Love’s track record, click here)All in all, Ready Capital has a unanimous Strong Buy analyst consensus rating, based on 4 recent positive reviews. The stock has an average price target of $11.50, which gives a 9% upside from the current share price of $10.51. (See RC stock analysis on TipRanks)To find good ideas for dividend 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.

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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