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Poll shows Arizonans support legalizing marijuana

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A newly-released poll of likely voters shows Arizonans favor legalizing recreational use of marijuana through a ballot measure that will be decided in the November election.

A Suffolk University/USA TODAY Network live-interview poll from Sept. 26-30 found support for Proposition 207 came in at 45.6% versus 34.2% opposed, with about 19% of the 500 likely voters surveyed still undecided, AZ Central reported.


The Smart and Safe Arizona Act would allow for adults 21 and over to possess as much as an ounce of marijuana and permit sales at around 130 existing medical-marijuana dispensaries in the state.

(AP Photo/Morgan Smith)

The legislation would also let those previously convicted of crimes that would no longer be illegal under the act to have their records expunged.

Proposition 207 would place a 16% excise tax on recreational marijuana sales and offer 26 retail licenses to those historically disadvantaged by marijuana laws.

While the poll was relatively evenly split – with a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points – it may have undercounted Republicans, who had a 2.4% registration advantage in Arizona, according to AZ Central.

Democrats heavily support the act, with 59% of respondents saying they will vote for it. Republicans only give the measure 30% support.

A similar poll of 800 likely Copper State voters released last week showed a wider margin of support, with 50% of respondents saying they would vote to approve the measure, and 34% opposed.

The campaign to approve the law is drawing nearly all of its funding from medical marijuana dispensaries in Arizona.


While the measure faces an opposition campaign, AZ Central reported Friday that the group is far less active and carries a smaller bankroll.

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White House physician says Trump is fever-free but dodged questions of whether he has ever received supplemental oxygen during coronavirus treatment

  • White House physician Sean Conley on Saturday told reporters that the president was not currently using supplemental oxygen, however, would not clarify whether President Trump had used it so far in his coronavirus treatment. 
  • Conley addressed members of the media to provide updates about Trump's hospitalization for COVID-19.
  • He also would not tell reporters the date that Trump last tested negative for the coronavirus.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

White House physician Sean Conley at a press conference on Saturday dodged questions and declined to say whether President Donald Trump has at any point required supplemental oxygen during his treatment for COVID-19.

"This morning, the president is doing very well," Conley said during the Saturday morning press conference. "The president has been fever-free for over 24 hours," he added but wouldn't clarify what the president's temperature was when he had a fever.

Conely also said that Trump was not presently using supplemental oxygen and most recently had a blood oxygen level reading of 96%. 

"You keep saying right now," one reporter asked. "Should we read into the fact he had been [using supplemental oxygen] previously?"

"Yesterday and today, he was not on oxygen," Conley responded.

The White House did not immediately return Business Insider's request for clarification following the press conference. Conley added Saturday the president was in good spirits and said Trump felt that he was in good enough condition to leave the hospital, although Conley on Saturday could not provide a discharge date for the president.


"The big plan for today is to encourage him to eat, to drink, to stay hydrated, and to be working and doing the things that he needs to do to get well," Conley told reporters outside the Maryland hospital. 

The president at around 1 a.m. on Friday announced on Twitter that both he and his wife, first lady Melania Trump, had tested positive for the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. The first lady had not shown signs that she required hospitalization, Conley said Saturday.

Trump late Friday had been taken via helicopter from the White House to the Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, "out of an abundance of caution," The White House said in a statement at the time.

Conley confirmed Saturday that the president had been given two treatments: remdesivir, a COVID-19 treatment with emergency FDA authorization, and Regeneron's experimental antibody drug since he tested positive.

Conley also wouldn't answer questions about when the president last tested negative for the virus before he tested positive.

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Trump Doing ‘Very Well’ in Hospital, Doctor Says: Trump Update

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Donald Trump’s physician said the president is “doing very well” and his condition is improving while being treated at a U.S. military hospital near Washington for Covid-19.

Trump’s campaign manager Bill Stepien tested positive, as did former White House Senior Adviser Kellyanne Conway. Three Republican senators have tested positive in the past day, and another has decided to quarantine despite testing negative. Vice President Mike Pence is said to have tested negative on Saturday morning.

The president said early Friday that he had tested positive along with his wife and one of his closest aides, throwing his campaign into deeper disarray just one month before the election.

Other developments:

  • Trump, Biden Campaigns Step Gingerly as President Falls Ill
  • Markets Were Already Braced for Chaos — and Then Came the Diagnosis
  • Senate’s Supreme Court Timeline Gets New Scrutiny on Virus Fears
  • ‘Top of His Game’: The Day Covid-19 Came to Trump’s White House

Trump Doing ‘Very Well’ Under Medical Care, Physician Says (11:42 a.m. NY)

President Donald Trump is “doing very well” on Saturday morning at the Walter Reed military hospital outside Washington and is improving , his physician Sean Conley told reporters.

“At this time, the team and I are extremely happy with the progress the president has made,” he said.

Other members of Trump’s medical team, speaking at the same briefing outside the hospital, said the president wasn’t having difficulty breathing or walking, was in good spirits and has been fever-free for more than 24 hours.

More Trump Advisers, Aides Test Negative (11:22 a.m NY)

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and Trump campaign aide Jason Miller are said to have tested negative, sources familiar with the matter told Bloomberg News. White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows also tested negative again this morning, ABC reported.

First Lady’s Symptoms Have Not Worsened (10:47 a.m. NY)

First Lady Melania Trump is “doing well” and her symptoms have not worsened, her office said in a statement. She continues to rest and remains in touch with her husband.

Pence Is Said to Test Negative Again, Plans Event (10:42 a.m. NY)

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence tested negative for Covid-19 again on Saturday morning, according to a person familiar with the matter. He will host a campaign event in Peoria, Arizona next Thursday, according to the Trump Campaign.

Trump’s Son Says He Tested Negative (9:51 a.m. NY)

Donald Trump Jr., the president’s oldest child, said Saturday he tested negative for the virus and would get tested again after a few days as a precaution.

Nebraska’s Sasse on Senate Judiciary Committee to Quarantine (9:03 a.m. NY)

Republican Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska, a member of the Judiciary Committee, said Saturday that although he has tested negative for Covid-19, he will quarantine in his home state due to his “close interaction” with other senators who have tested positive, ABC News reported.

Sasse is the third member of the Senate Judiciary Committee to quarantine. Senator Thom Tillis of North Carolina and Mike Lee of Utah, two other members of the panel, said they have tested positive Friday. Democrats have called for suspension of Supreme Court nomination hearings until safety is assured.

Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson Tests Positive for Covid (8:59 a.m. NY)

Wisconsin GOP Senator Ron Johnson has tested positive for Covid-19 and will remain isolated, the third Republican Senator to test positive in the past day, following Thom Tillis of North Carolina and Mike Lee of Utah.

Johnson “feels healthy” and is not experiencing symptoms, according to a statement from his office. He returned to Washington on Tuesday, and “shortly after” was exposed to an individual who has since tested positive.

Trump’s Symptoms Worsened Before Hospital Trip: NYT

The president had Covid-19 symptoms that worsened throughout the day before he went to Walter Reed hospital, the New York Times reported, citing unidentified aides. He was coughing and had congestion and fever, according to the report.

Biden Calls Trump’s Diagnosis A ‘Bracing Reminder’

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden called Trump’s diagnosis of Covid-19 a “bracing reminder” that Americans need to take the virus seriously, using the news to strengthen his calls for protective measures like masks and social distancing.

“We need to take the science of fighting this disease seriously if we’re going to save lives and above all the news is a reminder that we, as a nation, need to do better in dealing with this pandemic,” Biden said.

Pence, Harris Will Be 12 Feet Apart at Their Debate

Vice President Mike Pence and Democratic vice-presidential nominee Kamala Harris will be placed farther apart at their debate next week, according to people familiar with the development.

The Commission on Presidential Debates plans to seat Pence and Harris 12 feet (3.7 meters) apart, rather than 7 feet, as initially planned, according to people familiar with the procedure, who asked not to be named discussing information not yet public.

Obama Sends Well-Wishes to Trump

Former President Barack Obama wished a speedy recovery to Trump while headlining a fund-raiser to defeat him on Nov. 3.

“Let me start, by the way, by just stating that although were in the midst of a big political fight and we take that very seriously, we also want to extend our best wishes to the president of the United States and the first lady,” Obama said during a joint fundraiser with Kamala Harris.

Harris also wished Trump well.

Trump Campaign Manager Stepien Tests Positive

Trump’s campaign manager, Bill Stepien, tested positive for Covid-19 on Friday. Stepien was promoted to run the struggling campaign this summer to help revive Trump’s re-election bid.

Trump Being Treated With Antiviral Drug, Doctor Says

The president’s physician, Sean Conley, said late Friday night that Trump was being treated with the antiviral drug Remdesivir and did not require oxygen.

“This evening, I am happy to report that the president is doing very well,” Conley said in a White House statement. “He is not requiring any supplemental oxygen, but in consultation with specialists we have elected to initiate Remdesivir therapy. He completed his first dose and is resting comfortably.”

Remdesivir has been authorized to fight the virus in a number of countries. It was cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration May 1 for emergency use after research showed that the medicine, made by Gilead Sciences Inc., helped hospitalized patients recover from Covid-19 more quickly than standard care alone.

Former Top Trump Aide Conway Tests Positive for Virus

Kellyanne Conway, a former top aide to Trump, said late Friday night that she has tested positive for the coronavirus.

“My symptoms are mild (light cough) and I’m feeling fine. I have begun a quarantine process in consultation with physicians,” Conway, who left the White House in August, said on Twitter.

She did not say how she might have contracted the virus. She attended the ceremony at the White House last Saturday for Trump’s announcement that he would nominate Judge Amy Coney Barrett to replace the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court. Two Republican senators, Thom Tillis of North Carolina and Mike Lee of Utah, also attended the event.

Conway, the first woman to manage a winning presidential campaign with Trump’s victory in 2016, said that she was leaving the administration to focus on her family. At the same time, her husband, George Conway, said on Twitter that he was departing the Lincoln Project, a group committed to defeating Trump in November.

“We disagree about plenty but we are united on what matters most: the kids,” Kellyanne Conway said in August.

North Carolina’s Tillis Says He Has Tested Positive

Senator Thom Tillis of North Carolina, a member of the Judiciary Committee, said Friday he had tested positive for Covid-19. Another member of the panel, Mike Lee of Utah, announced he was positive earlier Friday.

Both were among the Republican senators who attended the Rose Garden ceremony last Saturday in which Trump announced the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. The senators sat a row behind senior White House staff and Vice President Mike Pence.

Tillis, unlike Lee and most other attendees, was pictured wearing a mask. On Thursday, he went to the Senate floor to cast a vote.

“Thankfully, I have no symptoms and I feel well,” Tillis, 60, said in a statement. Tillis took part Thursday night in a debate with his Democratic challenger Cal Cunningham., who has been leading in polls and in fundraising in the pivotal battleground state.

The Tillis campaign said it was suspending all in-person events and staffers who were exposed to the senator would quarantine and receive tests. Cunningham said he would take a test as well.

North Korea’s Dictator Joins in Get-Well Wishes

Trump received get-well wishes from world leaders all day on Friday, including one from the Kim Jong Un, the autocratic leader of North Korea.

Kim, who has met with Trump three times, “offered his sympathy to the president and first lady,” the state-run Korean Central News Service reported. “He hoped they would soon overcome it.”

Kim’s own health, one of North Korea’s most closely guarded secrets, has been a subject of international speculation for much of this year and he has spent long periods out of the public eye.

Trump Tweets for First Time Since Announcing Covid-19 Diagnosis

The president tweeted, with a recorded video message, for the first time since he announced his coronavirus infection.

“I want to thank everybody for the tremendous support. I’m going to Walter Reed hospital, I think I’m doing very well, but we’re going to make sure that things work out. The first lady is doing very well, so thank you very much, I appreciate it, I will never forget it, thank you.”

President Heads to Walter Reed Hospital

Trump will be taken to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Friday for a few days on doctor recommendations, the White House said.

Trump will work from offices at Walter Reed, and remains in good spirits with mild symptoms, Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in a statement. Trump has been treated with Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. drugs, the White House physician said earlier.

“As a precautionary measure he received a single 8 gram dose of Regeneron’s polyclonal antibody cocktail,” the physician, Sean Conley, said in a statement released by the White House.

Pelosi Tests Negative for Virus Friday

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi joined her fellow stimulus negotiator, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, in testing negative for the coronavirus on Friday.

The speaker said earlier that she had “great sadness” on hearing of Trump’s infection and was hopeful for “a saner approach” toward addressing the health crisis. Pelosi also said on MSNBC that the president’s illness might change the tenor of the stimulus talks by emphasizing the seriousness of the pandemic.

Trump Donor Blasts ‘Reckless’ Attendance at Fundraiser

A prominent financial backer of the president said his decision to attend a New Jersey fundraiser after he knew that one of his top aides tested positive for Covid-19 was “reckless” and imperils other events in the election’s stretch run.

Dan Eberhart, chief executive officer of Canary Drilling Services LLC, said in a telephone interview that Trump’s campaign should have sent a surrogate once the president was aware that his aide Hope Hicks had tested positive for the coronavirus.

Read more: Trump Donor Says President Was ‘Reckless’ to Attend Fundraiser

— With assistance by John Harney, Joanna Ossinger, Rosalind Mathieson, Stuart Biggs, Anthony Halpin, Laura Litvan, Kathleen Hunter, and Steven T. Dennis

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World News

Toyota Urban Cruiser launched

Toyota has launched its first compact SUV, the Urban Cruiser in India with prices starting at ₹8.40 lakh. Based on the Maruti Vitara Brezza, the Urban Cruiser is the second shared model between the two companies following the Baleno-based Glanza.

As with the Glanza, there is not a bare-bones ‘base’ variant with the Urban Cruiser and the range instead begins with the pretty well-equipped ‘Mid’ variant. This ‘entry-level’ Urban Cruiser Mid variant is equivalent to the mid-spec Vitara Brezza VXi. Standard features include LED headlights, LED DRLs, LED tail-lights, a 2-DIN audio system with Bluetooth, steering-mounted controls, keyless entry and go and auto climate control. The fully-loaded model, additionally, adds in 16-inch alloys, a 7.0-inch touchscreen, an auto-dimming inside rear view mirror, cruise control and automatic wipers.

There is a sole petrol engine on offer, a 1.5-litre, naturally aspirated unit, which makes 105hp and 138Nm. The engine is paired with either a 5-speed manual or a 4-speed torque convertor automatic gearbox with the latter benefiting from fuel-saving mild-hybrid technology.

Visually, the Urban Cruiser and Vitara Brezza can be differentiated just from the front end, the rear and sides are too similar to tell apart from a distance. The Urban Cruiser’s interior is also only slightly different from the Maruti.

Compared to its rivals in the compact SUV segment, the Urban Cruiser is neither the most expensive nor the most affordable. Rivals in the segment include the Mahindra XUV300, Ford EcoSport, Maruti Vitara Brezza, Kia Sonet, Tata Nexon and Hyundai Venue.

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GM, Ford need electric-car batteries, but take different paths to get them

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Auto makers, pumping billions of dollars into developing electric cars, are now facing a critical choice: get more involved with manufacturing the core batteries or buy them from others.

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Batteries are one of an electric vehicle's most expensive components, accounting for between a quarter and a third of the car's value. Driving down their cost is key to profitability, executives say.

But whereas the internal combustion engine traditionally has been engineered and built by auto makers themselves, battery production for electric cars is dominated by Asian electronics and chemical firms, such as LG Chem Ltd. and Panasonic Corp., and newcomers like China's Contemporary Amperex Technology Co.

With regulators world-wide pushing car companies to sell more electric cars, auto executives worry there won't be enough factories building high-quality batteries.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
F FORD MOTOR COMPANY 6.89 +0.14 +2.07%
GM GENERAL MOTORS COMPANY 30.46 +0.08 +0.26%
TSLA TESLA INC. 415.09 -33.07 -7.38%

California, the U.S.'s largest car market, said last month it would end the sale of new gasoline- and diesel-powered passenger cars by 2035, putting pressure on the auto industry to accelerate its shift to electric vehicles.

The race to lock in supplies for electric cars has auto makers taking varied paths.

While most make the battery pack, a large metal enclosure often lining the bottom of the car, they also need the cells that are bundled together to form the core electricity storage.

Tesla several years ago opened its Gigafactory in Nevada to make batteries with Panasonic, which in the shared space would produce cells for the packs. The electric-car maker wanted to secure production specifically for its own models and lower manufacturing and logistics costs.

Now it is looking to in-source more of that production.

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, which is looking to in-source more of its battery production. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

While Tesla will continue to buy cells from Panasonic and other suppliers, it is also working on its own cell technology and production capabilities to ensure it can keep up with demand for its cars, said Chief Executive Elon Musk last month.

Following Tesla's lead, General Motors Co. and South Korea's LG Chem are putting $2.3 billion into a nearly 3-million-square-foot factory in Lordstown, Ohio, which GM says will eventually produce enough battery cells to outfit hundreds of thousands of cars each year.

In Europe, Volkswagen AG is taking a similar path, investing about $1 billion in Swedish battery startup Northvolt AB, including some funding to build a cell-manufacturing plant in Salzgitter, Germany, as part of a joint venture.

Others like Ford Motor Co. and Daimler AG are steering clear of manufacturing their own cells, with executives saying they prefer contracting with specialized battery makers.

Supply-chain disruptions have already challenged some new model launches and put projects at risk, auto makers say.

Ford is steering clear of manufacturing its own cells. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)

For instance, Ford and VW have agreements in place with SK Innovation to supply battery cells for future electric-vehicle models. The South Korean company is building a factory in Georgia to help meet this demand, but a fight over trade secrets has put the plant's future in jeopardy and could disrupt new model launches, both auto makers have said in legal filings.

GM executives say the risk of relying on suppliers has pushed them to produce their own battery cells, albeit with LG Chem.

"We've got to be able to control our own destiny," said Ken Morris, GM's vice president of electric vehicles.

Bringing the manufacturing in house will give the company more control over the raw materials it purchases and the battery-cell chemistry, Mr. Morris said.

But establishing production, even in a joint venture, is a costly proposition, and it won't necessarily ensure a timely supply of cells. There are also risks with making big investments on one battery technology because a breakthrough could make it obsolete.

Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors, which says it has been pushed to develop its own battery cells. (REUTERS/Brendan McDermid)

Ford cites those factors in deciding against a similar investment for now.

The company sees the industry's conventional model of contracting with independent suppliers to build parts as better suited to its battery-cell needs, Ford executive Hau Thai-Tang told analysts in August.

"We have the competitive tension with dealing with multiple suppliers, which allows us to drive the cost down," Mr. Thai-Tang said, adding that the company expects to pay prices for cells in line with GM and Tesla.

Meanwhile, Ford can leave the capital-intensive task of conducting the research and setting up manufacturing facilities to the battery companies, Mr. Thai-Tang said.

Germany's Daimler has tried both strategies.

The car company made its own lithium-ion cells through a subsidiary until 2015. But the capital required to scale up was better spent elsewhere, said Ola Källenius, Daimler's chief executive officer.

The auto maker instead signed long-term supply agreements with Asian companies like Chinese battery-maker CATL and Farasis Energy (Ganzhou) Co., which Daimler invested in last year.

The company has said it is spending roughly $23.6 billion on purchase agreements but keeping its battery research in-house.

"Let's rather put that capital into what we do best, cars," Mr. Källenius said.

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Trump Campaign Manager Latest To Join Burgeoning COVID Cluster In President’s Circle

President Donald Trump’s campaign manager Bill Stepien — who traveled with Trump to his debate with Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden — has tested positive for COVID-19. 

Stepien’s diagnosis means at least six in Trump’s circle, including the president and first lady Melania Trump, have tested positive in the last few days.

Stepien was diagnosed Friday and was experiencing what one source told Politico were “mild flu-like symptoms.” He reportedly plans to self-quarantine until he recovers and will continue to be in charge of Trump’s campaign.

The growing list of infected people connected to the White House appears to be largely linked to the announcement of Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court at an event in the Rose Garden last Saturday, where few people wore face masks. Attendees sat side by side, and many shook hands.

Former White House counselor Kellyanne Conway has tested positive, along with Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) — both members of the Senate Judiciary Committee. All three attended the event. Rev. John I. Jenkins, president of the University of Notre Dame and a member of the Commission on Presidential Debates, also contracted COVID-19 after attending the ceremony, as did Trump and his wife.

(On Saturday, Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin became the third Republican senator in the past day to test positive. He was not at the Rose Garden event or at Trump’s debate preparations.)

Barrett recovered from COVID-19 earlier this year. But epidemiologist Eric Feigl-Ding, a senior fellow of the Federation of American Scientists, warned that her previous bout with COVID-19 does not preclude reinfection.

Lee and others also met with Barrett inside the White House later in the day. Lee tested positive Friday, but on Thursday attended a nearly 90-minute Senate Judiciary Committee hearing without a mask for at least part of the time.

Senior White House aide Hope Hicks did not attend the Rose Garden event, but tested positive after traveling with the president, it was announced Thursday. 

Ronna McDaniel, chair of the Republican National Committee, also tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday, but that was after suspected exposure to an ill family member, according to an RNC spokesperson. She has been home in Michigan since last Saturday, Politico reported.

An unidentified journalist covering the Barrett announcement also tested positive. Two other White House reporters, who didn’t attend the Rose Garden event, contracted the coronavirus in what may be a second stage of infections from the nomination event.

“The White House Medical Unit is beginning the process of contact tracing for these cases,” said a statement Saturday to members from the White House Correspondents’ Association.

“Given these positive cases, the president’s diagnosis and positive cases among other members of the White House staff, a number of White House journalists are self-isolating pending diagnostic testing,” the statement said. “Due to cases linked to the pools last weekend and the large number of press credentialed for the 9/26 Rose Garden event, we ask that if you were on the White House grounds or in the pools those days, that you pay extra attention to any changes in your health.”

An official of the World Health Organization sounded the alarm Friday about what he characterized as a troubling White House “cluster” — and criticized the government for its failure to effectively deal with the pandemic.

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Costco Wants To Sell You A Chevy, And A Volvo

Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ: COST) has been in the car sales business for years. It occasionally runs the equivalent of a “sale”. The most recent sale promotes many of the models in the Chevy lineup, and niche cars made by small and troubled Volvo.

The Costco Auto Program is available to the big-box retailer’s members. Unlike most other retailers, Costco charges customers for the privilege to shop in its stores. The program sets prearranged prices with manufacturers, which in theory saves Costco members money. The plan covers new and pre-owned cars. Its car maker partners have to be thrilled with the results. Last year, members bought over 600,000 vehicles via the plan.

Costco said it picked Volvo and Chevy because they are the most popular cars in their classes. The Volvo XC90 falls into the luxury SUV category. The Chevrolet Silverado is the top truck purchased by Costco members through the program.

Volvo needs the program more than Chevy, General Motors Company’s (NYSE: GM) top-selling brand. It competes with Mercedes, BMW, and Audi, which all handily outsell it. Volvo recently did poorly in both the J.D. Power 2020 Intiatial Quality Survey and its 2020 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Survey.

In the current Costco sales plan, GM brands come with a discount of $1,000. This includes Chevrolet: Blazer, Colorado, Silverado 1500/2500/3500, Suburban, Tahoe, Traverse, and Blazer; Buick: Encore and Enclave; GMC: Acadia, Canyon, Sierra 1500/2500/3500, Yukon and Yukon XL. The Volvo $1,500 discount is on its Volvo XC40, XC90, and XC60.

There is a $3,000 incentive for the Chevrolet Bolt EV, which has been a staggering failure for GM. Bolt sales are a small fraction of those of primary competitor Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA).

Several of the GM models sell extremely well outside the Costco program. The Silverado is among the best selling vehicles in America. It competes in the full-sized pickup segment with the Dodge Ram, and Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) F-150, which is the best selling vehicle in America.

The Costco Auto Program undoubteled gets members good prices on cars and good service. Otherwise, sales last year could not have approached a 600,000 figure. It is also good for the car makers, and particulalry those which struggle.


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Germany Warns of Nationalism Risks 30 Years After Reunification

Germany warned that nationalism risks undermining the international political system, which helped pave the way for the country’s reunification.

Marking 30 years since the day East and West Germany combined “makes us aware of the benefits of the international order, which is today so seriously challenged — unfortunately even in Western societies,” President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Saturday in Potsdam.

“We Germans stand for international cooperation, even if it’s become more difficult,” he said in a speech at the country’s reunification festivities on its Day of Unity holiday, adding that Germany had rejected “national navel gazing.”

Germany was politically unified less than a year after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 after peaceful protests weakened the former communist government. The country was divided at the end of World War II, with the former Soviet Union maintaining influence over the eastern part of the country. The standoff between the Soviet Union and the allied powers led to the construction of the Berlin Wall that cut off West Berlin from East Germany after 1961.

Under Chancellor Angela Merkel, who grew up in the East, Germany has been an ardent defender of multilateral institutions like NATO, the European Union and the World Trade Organization. U.S. President Donald Trump’s America First policy has posed a particular challenge to the post-war system.

While Steinmeier didn’t mention Trump by name, he noted that the U.S. had previously played an important role in facilitating European integration and German reunification. He thanked “this America.”

The German president, the official head of state who doesn’t play an active role in government, pointed out mistakes in integrating the East, which still remains behind economically and is underrepresented in high-level jobs. The gaps have helped fuel the rise of the far-right Alternative for Germany, which has a strong base in the former communist region.

People feeling disconnected from the political system creates “fertile ground for populism and extremist parties,” Steinmeier said. On the day of German unity, “we must painfully realize that the fight for freedom and democracy isn’t won — not anywhere in the world.”

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‘It’s a ghost town’: City of London market reacts to Covid slump

Ten days after the government halted its back-to-the-office drive in England, sparse lunchtime scenes in London’s historic financial district indicate that employees have embraced the renewed instruction to work from home.

A rain-soaked and windswept Friday had drawn few visitors to the shops, restaurants and pubs at the capital’s Leadenhall market, close to the Bank of England, the Gherkin skyscraper and the insurance market Lloyd’s of London.

In pre-Covid times at this time of the working week, the market would have been “heaving, absolutely rammed”, said one customer having a drink at a table outside the New Moon pub, who declined to give his name.

A worker usually based in the area, he was visiting the City for the first time since March and was surprised to see the market so quiet, where many of the grab-and-go lunch outlets including Pret a Manger and Leon have not reopened since lockdown.

“It’s a ghost town,” said Suzie Griffin, owner of Nicholson & Griffin hairdressers located at one of the market’s entrances. “Yesterday we only did two haircuts all day.”

She said trade had been slowly picking up in September at the salon and the three other branches run by her husband and herself in the City and the Canary Wharf financial district, until Boris Johnson recommended a return to homeworking on 22 September.

“I could feel business coming back a bit, then the next day it dropped off a cliff,” Griffin said.

Daphne Thomas opened the doors of her Leadenhall market cake shop, Aux Merveilleux de Fred, for the first time on 15 September and noticed a change soon after advice on work changed. The market was noticeably busier before 22 September she said. “Boris Johnson spoke on the Tuesday. We didn’t notice a change on the Wednesday and Thursday, but we did the next week. People got organised and decided to leave work and stay home,” she added.

A shop assistant at another food outlet in the market, who didn’t want to give her name, said trade had been quieter following the PM’s announcement.

A string of financial firms including Barclays, PwC and Goldman Sachs, put the brakes on their office return plans in England following the government’s U-turn on encouraging workers back to their desks. Prior to the 22 September change, ministers had said that from 1 August employers in England could decide whether staff could return to the office, which had given them more leeway than the previous advice which was to work from home where possible.

The reversion to previous advice on homeworking sparked an immediate drop in commuting, according to data from the Office for National Statistics released this week. In the week following Boris Johnson’s intervention, 59% of UK workers travelled on their usual commute, compared with 64% the previous week.

Road traffic across the UK declined by about 3%-4% in the six days after the 22 September announcement compared with the previous week, according to he Department for Transport. Rail industry sources said they were experiencing a “noticeable decrease” in passenger journeys after numbers had climbed to more than 40% of pre-pandemic levels daily at the start of the month.

Statistical evidence of a drop-off in commuting is a blow to businesses such as Griffin’s, amid signs that people were drifting back to their desks in ever greater numbers. The return to the office had begun to gather pace in early September, according to data collected by the Alphawise research unit of US bank Morgan Stanley.

It showed that prior to the prime minister’s announcement, almost half (45%) of British staff had gone back to their workplace, compared with 37% in August and 34% in July. Before the pandemic, about 500,000 people travelled to work in the Square Mile financial district, the vast majority of them commuting on public transport.

The loss of office workers and tourists has hit hospitality and retail businesses in the City hard.

“Hibernating through the winter is not an option for our economy,” warned Catherine McGuinness, policy chair at the City of London Corporation, the Square Mile’s governing body and landlord of Leadenhall market. “We are building up an economic crisis which has the potential to impact more people than the health one. It is vital that we protect livelihoods as well as lives.”

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World News

Trump Enters Hospital With Covid, Jolting White House, Campaign

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President Donald Trump remains in a U.S. military hospital outside Washington after contracting the coronavirus, a development that unnerved the White House and shook his struggling re-election campaign.

The White House said his symptoms were mild and that he would continue to work from a suite at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Maryland, but his hospitalization heightened fears that his condition was more serious.

The president’s physician, Sean Conley, said late Friday night that Trump was being treated with the antiviral drug Remdesivir and did not require oxygen.

Trump spoke Friday evening in a video he tweeted out to thank Americans for their well-wishes. “I think I’m doing very well but we’re going to make sure that things work out,” he said.

But as the day wore on, more and more prominent people in political circles revolving around Trump tested positive for the virus. They included his campaign manager, Bill Stepien, two Republican senators and a former top White House aide, Kellyanne Conway.

That Trump, who is wary of doctors, agreed to go to Walter Reed is a sign of concern about his condition, several people familiar with the matter said. Within the White House, several aides said they had received no more information about Trump’s condition than the public.

There will be no transfer of power from Trump to Vice President Mike Pence while the president is in the hospital, White House spokesman Judd Deere said.

The helicopter flight to Walter Reed was the most dramatic moment in a day of dizzying developments in Washington sparked by the president’s disclosure of his illness just a month before Election Day. As the Trump campaign was scrapping most of its planned events, the president’s Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, was campaigning in the battleground state of Michigan, where he delivered a speech while wearing a face mask.

Biden, who took part in a chaotic debate with Trump on Tuesday, expressed wishes for a speedy recovery for both Trump and First Lady Melania Trump, who also tested positive for the coronavirus, and said the diagnosis was a “bracing reminder” to take the disease seriously.

Fresh anxiety over the virus continued to reverberate into Friday night. Stepien, who was promoted to run the campaign this summer to help revive Trump’s re-election bid, has been infected, a campaign spokesman said.

Conway, who managed Trump’s 2016 campaign before joining the administration, said she had tested positive. “My symptoms are mild (light cough) and I’m feeling fine. I have begun a quarantine process in consultation with physicians,” Conway, who left the White House in August, wrote on Twitter.

The two Republican senators, Mike Lee of Utah and Thom Tillis of North Carolina said that they, too, had tested positive. Both sit on the Judiciary Committee, which is preparing for hearings on Trump’s nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. The senators and Conway attended the Rose Garden ceremony last Saturday in which Trump announced Barrett’s selection.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham, who said he had tested negative, insisted that the confirmation hearings would begin as scheduled on Oct. 12, but Democrats expressed alarm that Republicans still weren’t taking enough precautions against Covid-19 on Capitol Hill.

On Friday evening, several top staffers gathered outside to see the president off, wearing masks. Trump and the Marine who saluted him as he boarded Marine One also wore masks.

Face coverings had not been commonplace at the White House before Friday.

“Out of an abundance of caution, and at the recommendation of his physician and medical experts, the president will be working from the presidential offices at Walter Reed for the next few days,” Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in a statement.

Her statement wasn’t issued until after financial markets closed in the U.S.

The drug that Trump received at Walter Reed, Remdesivir, has been authorized to fight the virus in a number of countries. It was cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration May 1 for emergency use after research showed that the medicine, made by Gilead Sciences Inc., helped hospitalized patients recover from Covid-19 more quickly than standard care alone.

Earlier, the White House physician issued a statement saying Trump had been treated with a Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. “antibody cocktail.”

Regeneron shares spiked in late trading, rising more than 3% after the market closed in New York. The company’s experimental treatment for Covid-19 hasn’t been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, but Regeneron confirmed in a statement that it had provided a a single dose of the medicine for Trump’s use after receiving a “compassionate use” request from the president’s doctors.

Trump and the first lady had been in isolation at the White House since his diagnosis, which he announced after Bloomberg News reported that one of his closest aides, Hope Hicks, had tested positive for coronavirus infection.

Trump learned of Hicks’s positive test Thursday morning but continued with his planned schedule for the day, including a fundraiser at his Bedminster, New Jersey, golf resort that raised $5 million for his campaign, according to people familiar with the matter.

Trump and Hicks had been in close contact in the days before her diagnosis. She traveled with him to the debate in Cleveland on Tuesday and to campaign events in Minnesota on Wednesday.

— With assistance by Justin Sink

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