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U.S. Fed raises rates by 50 basis points

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The U.S. Federal Reserve has raised interest rates by half a percentage point, and projected more rises to come in 2023, to rein in inflation.

 
The U.S. Federal Reserve has raised interest rates by half a percentage point, and projected more rises to come in 2023, to rein in inflation.

Policymakers are starting to move more cautiously, following signs that the most severe inflation in decades may be starting to ease.

The Federal Reserve has raised interest rates at an historically rapid pace this year, responding to inflation that is running at a 40-year high.

“It is likely that restoring price stability will require holding [interest rates] at a restrictive level for some time,” Powell said at a press conference. “History cautions strongly against prematurely loosening policy.”

“Despite some promising developments, we have a long way to go in restoring price stability.”

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Texas man breaks ice off trampoline net

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Texas cold snap sees temperatures plummet

 
How’s this for cold?

Twitter user Brett Hillier has shared a video from his property in Texas, showing ice on the net of his trampoline cracking.

The Dallas-Fort Worth area has been blanketed with snow, with hazardous conditions expected to continue until at least Thursday.

Authorities have responded to hundreds of accident-related calls, with the ice storm wreaking havoc on roads.

The freezing conditions are making making roads slick, sending cars sliding as residents are told to stay home.

Schools across Mississippi and Tennessee have also been shut. #trending #featured

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Kamala Harris demands Congress pass George Floyd Act

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U.S. vice President Kamala Harris has implored Congress to pass the George Floyd Justice and Policing Act

While at the funeral of Tyre Nichols, who was beaten and died at the hands of five Memphis police officers – Harris implored for the right thing to be done.

“As vice-president of the United States, we demand that Congress pass the George Floyd Justice and Policing Act. Joe Biden will sign it,” Harris made the call to action while at the congregation in Memphis.

The Memphis Police Department fired five of the officers involved in the attack, who also are Black.

Prosecutors then charged them last week with second-degree murder, assault, kidnapping, official misconduct and oppression.

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Business

Meta stocks soar in ‘Year of Efficiency’

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Meta Platforms has announced a better-than-expected sales quarter, as well as a USD$40 billion stock buyback.

The parent of Instagram and Facebook cut its cost outlook for 2023 by $5 billion, and projected first-quarter sales that could beat Wall Street estimates.

Meta stock surged nearly 19% in after-hours trade.

Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg described the focus on efficiency as part of the natural evolution of the company, calling it a “phase change” for an organisation that once lived by the motto “move fast and break things.”

“We just grew so quickly for like the first 18 years,” Zuckerberg said in a conference call. “It’s very hard to really crank on efficiency while you’re growing that quickly. I just think we’re in a different environment now.”

The cost cuts reflect Meta’s updated plans for lower data centre construction expenses this year.

In November, the company cut more than 11,000 jobs in response, a precursor to the tens of thousands of layoffs in the tech industry that followed.

“Our management theme for 2023 is the ‘Year of Efficiency’ and we are focused on becoming a stronger and more nimble organisation,” Zuckerberg said in a statement.

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