About 2,000 Israelis rallied outside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s residence in Jerusalem on Tuesday as protests mounted against him over his handling of a worsening coronavirus crisis and alleged corruption.Wearing protective masks, the demonstrators marched from Netanyahu’s official residence to Israel’s parliament, holding up signs that read “Crime Minister” and calling on the five-term premier to step down.Reimposed coronavirus curbs after a rise in new COVID-19 cases have prompted Israelis demanding better state aid to take to the streets in almost daily demonstrations. As part of the protest, restaurant owners set up a free buffet for the demonstrators, demanding their businesses keep open or else receive compensation.Israel lifted in May a partial lockdown that had flattened an infection curve. But a second surge of COVID-19 cases and ensuing restrictions has seen Netanyahu’s approval ratings plunge to under 30% and unemployment soar to 21%. Police did not provide a figure for the number of demonstrators. A Reuters cameraman estimated that about 2,000 people rallied. Israeli media said the protest drew thousands from across the country. At least six people were arrested, police said.With a population of 9 million, Israel has reported more than 50,000 coronavirus cases and 422 deaths. Topics : Public anger has also been fuelled by corruption alleged against Netanyahu, who went on trial in May for bribery, fraud and breach of trust – charges he denies.Netanyahu has announced numerous economic aid packages. But frustrated by red tape and a slow pace, many Israelis say the aid is coming too little, too late.”It’s humiliating and insulting. You pay social security and taxes for thirty years and then have to beg [the authorities] in order to make ends meet. I’m here to protest, so that this evil government quits,” said Doron, 54.He asked not to give his full name and said he has been on unpaid leave for three months.
Boris Johnson faces the same Brexit challenges as his predecessor Theresa May when he takes over as prime minister this week, according to asset managers.Johnson was elected leader of the ruling Conservative Party by its members today, replacing May, who quit two months ago after failing to get the UK’s EU withdrawal agreement passed by parliament. He will officially become UK prime minister tomorrow following a meeting with the Queen.While Johnson led his campaign for the leadership promising to leave the EU on 31 October with or without a withdrawal agreement, asset managers today warned that the opposition to both the agreement and a ‘no-deal’ Brexit within parliament meant the new prime minister faced an uphill task in the next three months. Azad Zangana, senior European economist and strategist, Schroders“It is clear that there is no majority for the current withdrawal agreement, and a significant majority against no-deal. Indeed, we expect those opposed to Brexit to successfully raise motions that would compel the government to seek an extension in the absence of a deal being approved by parliament.“Given the low likelihood of a successful re-negotiation, the most likely outcome ahead of the Brexit deadline is therefore another delay.”Leigh Himsworth, portfolio manager at Fidelity International, said: “With Boris Johnson as prime minister, the options facing the UK remain broadly the same: a withdrawal agreement similar to that presented by Theresa May, a general election to win a greater majority for the Conservative Party, or a new [EU membership] referendum.”Philip Smeaton, chief investment officer at UK-based wealth manager Sanlam, added: “While the chances of leaving with a no deal have significantly increased, we still question whether this is a viable route considering the parliamentary arithmetic.“Equally, we don’t believe the EU will cave to the UK’s demands around the Irish backstop… Despite having a new prime minster, it’s still a case of catch 22 for the UK.”Buying opportunity?Although uncertainty would prevail in the short term, some investors speculated that it could signal a buying opportunity for UK assets given the recent fall in the value of sterling and declining appetite for UK equities.Jason Borbora-Sheen, a multi-asset portfolio manager at Investec Asset Management, said uncertainty for investors would “likely continue long into the future as the trading relationship is negotiated” between the UK and the European Union.However, he added that there would “likely be a buying opportunity once there is more clarity over the Brexit outcome”. “[Johnson’s] appointment arguably increases the odds of a hard or no-deal Brexit,” Borbora-Sheen said, “which will likely cause sterling to weaken and would hurt the UK’s near-term growth opportunities, favouring the UK-listed multinationals over domestic plays. After a short while, however, we would expect investors to take advantage of the situation and start to look for oversold opportunities in the UK and add exposure.” Azad Zangana, senior European economist and strategist at Schroders, said Johnson’s Brexit rhetoric – he promised to take the UK out of the EU on 31 October “come what may” – “simply lacks credibility”.“While at some level it makes sense for Johnson to use the threat of no-deal as a negotiation strategy, the fatal flaw is that the parliamentary maths has not changed, and does not support the strategy,” Zangana said. “Boris Johnson was a great supporter of the City of London when he was mayor, and we look forward to working with him to ensure that the investment management industry continues to thrive and grow under his leadership in government”Chris Cummings, chief executive, the Investment AssociationFidelity’s Himsworth said: “While it is easy to argue that the UK equity markets offer great value versus their peer group, this is especially true of a deal or new referendum scenario. The jury remains firmly out regarding a ‘no-deal’ as this would be too much of a step into the unknown.“We may well look back in a few years’ time and regard this period as quite simply one of the best opportunities that we have seen to invest in UK equity markets.”Over the past three years the FTSE All Share has gained 26.4% in sterling terms, according to FE Analytics. However, the S&P 500 is up 49.9% in that period, while the Euro Stoxx 50 index has gained 36.1%.Policy demandsAway from the investment outlook, some industry commentators called for the new prime minister and his cabinet – expected to be appointed within the next few days – to push forward with expected policy decisions and legislation.Helen Morrissey, pension specialist at Royal London, said: “While Boris’s in-tray is likely to be straining under the weight of Brexit related issues there’s a domestic agenda that has been in limbo for far too long. We call upon the prime minister to devote some time to pressing issues such social care funding and the Pensions Bill, which will allow the industry to make much needed progress with initiatives such as the pensions dashboard.”Barnett Waddingham senior consultant Malcolm McLean called for an “urgent review” of the UK’s pension tax relief regime after reports emerged of some doctors having to reduce their working hours in order to avoid huge tax bills for breaching UK pension rules regarding how much individuals can accrue.Several government consultation papers covering various areas of pensions policy have emerged in the past two years, but most have only promised legislation “when parliamentary time allows”.
Few people live and breathe football the way that Nick Pappas, former USC football player, coach and associate athletic director, did. Pappas, who passed away on Friday at the age of 99, left behind a long legacy of commitment to both the school and the sport.Nicknamed “Mr. Trojan” for his unwavering passion for USC, Pappas embodied the qualities of a leader and a team player during his 59 years with the University, according to Sports Information Director Tim Tessalone.“Nobody loved USC more or did more for the University and its athletic program, particularly its football team, than Nick,” Tessalone said in an email to the Daily Trojan. “His length of service to USC was amazing.”Pappas was born in Seattle in 1916, and started his football career as a tailback for the Trojans in 1935, where for three years, he led the team in rushing under coach Howard Jones. After graduating from the University, he briefly played for the Hollywood Bears before returning to USC in 1939 to coach the freshman team.Pappas’s dedication extended off the field and into his service overseas as a member of the Navy during World War II. During the Battle of Okinawa, he distinguished himself by earning a Silver Star for heroism in battle. In 1945, he received a Purple Heart after his destroyer, the USS Drexler, fell under attack by Japanese kamikaze pilots and sank into the Pacific. Pappas, who was blown into the water, swam into the burning wreckage of the ship to rescue two fellow sailors.After the end of the war, Pappas spent several years as a pro football scout before returning to the University to scout for the Trojans. He was named an assistant coach under Jess Hill in 1953, a position that helped him lead the Trojans to the Rose Bowl in 1955.Though Pappas worked to support the University while he was coaching there, he also took steps to ensure that its athletic programs would exist long after his tenure there was over. When he established the Trojan Club athletic booster organization in the late 1950s, it was unique among universities.“He was an innovator,” Tessalone said. “He was well ahead of his time in establishing the Trojan Club, which became a model athletic fundraising program for universities throughout the nation.”The Trojan Club survives today as the USC Trojan Boosters, a group dedicated to athletic fundraising that is focused on building relationships between the University and its donors. Though Pappas retired in 1981, he continued his work with the Trojan Club, raising endowment funds for the University until 2004. As a result, he was inducted into the USC Athletic Hall of Fame in 1997. Upon his retirement, he was the longest tenured employee at USC, for which he received USC’s Alumni Service Award.The story of Pappas’s life crosses local, state and national borders, but it always comes back to football. In 1940, Pappas made his film debut as a stunt double for Pat O’Brien in the biopic Knute Rockne, All American, which memorialized the story of Notre Dame’s legendary coach and also featured Ronald Reagan in a starring role. Though brief, Pappas’s contribution was inspired by what he loved best: playing football.Pappas is survived by his daughters, Lisa Widman and Mona Pappas, five grandchildren and many great-grandchildren. His wife of 66 years, Deedy, passed away in 2006, followed by his daughter Rene Arrobio in 2009. He will be missed by the USC community, which, according to Tessalone, would not be the same without the passion and effort that Pappas brought to the University.“Everything that Nick did, he did it with USC’s best interest in mind,” Tessalone said. “There is only one Nick Pappas, and he will be deeply missed by everyone in the Trojan Family.”