Blame the Financial Crisis for More Expensive Christmas Trees

Navy Base Shooting Probed as Terrorism on Link to Saudi Suspect

Washington (AP) — The Florida Naval station shooting suspect was an aviation officer in the Saudi Air Force, U.S. officials said Friday, as the FBI and other authorities began investigating the incident to determine if it was terrorism-related.

The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation, said the suspect was a second lieutenant attending the aviation school at the base. Military from around the globe attend the Naval Air Station in Pensacola for flight training.

The shooter opened fire in a classroom building on Friday morning. The attack left four people dead, including the assailant, and multiple people wounded.

There was no immediate report on the shooting carried by Saudi state media. The kingdom has long relied on the U.S. to train its military.

The shooting was the second at a U.S. Navy base this week.

London Bridge attacker’s dark past in spotlight

Usman Khan, who killed two people and injured several others, had a terrorism conviction and was only released from prison last year.

    It has been a week since the attack on London Bridge in which two people were killed and many others injured.

    The attacker, Usman Khan, had a conviction for terrorism and was only released from prison last year.

    He was taking part in a rehabilitation programme when he began stabbing people. The attack has led to many questions about the effectiveness of such initiatives.

    Al Jazeera’s Emma Hayward reports.

    Brazilian real up 1%, posts biggest weekly rise in six weeks

    BRASILIA, Dec 6 (Reuters) – Brazil’s real rallied 1% against the dollar on Friday to its strongest level in almost four weeks, as traders continued to buy back the currency at cheap levels after it slumped to a record low last week.

    The real’s rally on Friday to a closing level of 4.1455 per dollar took its gains for the week to more than 2%, its biggest weekly rise in six weeks and one of its best weeks of the year. (Reporting by Jamie McGeever Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

    SEC rejects NYSE's proposal on U.S. direct listings

    Dec 6 (Reuters) – The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) said on Friday that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had rejected its proposal for a rule change that would allow U.S direct listings to raise new capital.

    “We remain committed to evolving the direct listing product. This sort of action is not unusual in the filing process, and we will continue to work with the SEC on this initiative,” a NYSE spokesman said in a statement.

    An SEC spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment. (Reporting by Greg Roumeliotis in New York Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

    Brandon couple allegedly claimed more than $100K in EIA benefits fraudulently, say police

    A man and woman are facing charges after allegedly defrauding the Employment and Income Assistance Program (EIA) of more than $100,000.

    Brandon Police Service received a complaint about the 49-year-old man and 47-year-old woman on Oct. 22.

    They are alleged to have been receiving the benefits between 2011 and 2017.

    Both were arrested and released for a court date on Jan. 30, 2020.

    Trump asks Supreme Court to shield banking records

    President Donald Trump and three of his children asked the Supreme Court on Friday to shield records held by Deutsche Bank and Capital One from House Democrats.

    The case from New York is similar to two other cases pending before the justices, a subpoena from the House for Trump’s financial records and one from the Manhattan district attorney for his tax returns.

    The court already has blocked the House from getting the financial records while it considers what to do with the cases. The district attorney has agreed to hold off enforcing his subpoena until the justices act. A decision on whether to hear the cases could come by mid-December.

    Trial judges and appellate panels in all three cases have ruled that the records held by the banks and Trump’s accounting firm, Mazars USA, must be turned over.

    The subpoenas to Deutsche Bank DB, +0.56%  and Capital One COF, +1.82%  also seek documents pertaining to three Trump children, Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump and Eric Trump; the Trump Organization; and other Trump business holdings.

    Without a Supreme Court order, the banks would have to begin turning over records to House committees next week.

    The request was filed with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who oversees emergency appeals from New York.

    Blame the Financial Crisis for More Expensive Christmas Trees

    Consumers in the market for a Christmas tree can expect to pay more this year, as a shortage of Christmas trees has led to higher prices, thanks in part to the lingering effects of the 2008 financial crisis.

    The average price per tree reached $78 last year, compared to $37 in 2008, RBC analyst Paul Quinn wrote in a note.

    The crisis was responsible for the closure of many farms and the under-planting of seedlings, Quinn said. “Most market participants expect the shortage, which began around 2016, to last for several years,” he said.

    This shortage, along with low labor, has pushed prices higher over the past few years, Quinn wrote.

    Demand has been also rising, and to keep up with it, artificial trees have been gaining market share, albeit for higher prices.

    Quinn notes, however, that artificial plants are “less green” as they are not generally recyclable, while real trees are. His top pick for tree is Fraser Fir, which is sometimes called the “Cadillac” of Christmas Trees.