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The most-powerful American cars ever

America automakers most powerful cars

American horsepower is on display for the world to see. Several automakers are producing cars with record-breaking engine performance.

Just like the stock market, the never-ending American horsepower war has had its ups and downs over the years, but records keep getting broken and the outlook remains bullish.

2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon: 808 hp


The resurrected Demon is so extreme that one leading automotive publication has called for it to be banned (and was promptly shouted down by the muscle car's fans.) The beast comes with drag radials, a transmission brake, just one seat and can pop a wheelie. Its supercharged 6.2-liter V8 makes 808 hp on pump gas, and if somehow you don't think that's enough, Dodge can make it compatible with 100 octane race gas that bumps it up to 840 hp.

2020 Dodge Challenger SRT Super Stock: 807 hp


Dodge only built 3,300 Demons and promised owners it wouldn't make any more. It kept that promise, but only just. The 2020 Challenger SRT Super Stock checks in with 807 hp from its Hellcat V8. It doesn't have a transmission brake and can't pop a wheelie, but it will cover a quarter-mile in 10.5 seconds and Dodge will build as many as the market wants.

2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye: 797 hp

Dodge says the Hellcat Redeye is possessed by the Demon. We don't know about that, but its 797 hp engine does scream like a banshee.

2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500: 760 hp

The Shelby GT500 has always been a drag racing special, but Ford promises this upcoming edition will be able to take turns as well as go in a straight line.

2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1: 755 hp

The 2019 ZR1 is the most powerful front-engine Corvette in history and will likely be for eternity, because the Corvette is being replaced by an all-new mid-engine version in 2020.

2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat 717 hp


To celebrate its fourth anniversary, the standard Challenger SRT Hellcat got a 10 hp boost. It really didn't need it.

2015 Dodge Challenger/Charger SRT Hellcat: 707 hp


Dodge's original Hellcat bros seem tame compared to their successors, but are still serious forces to be reckoned with. If you can't decide between the two, here's something to keep in mind: while the Challenger can hit 199 mph, the Charger's slightly more aerodynamic body is good for 204 mph.

2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk: 707 hp

The Trackhawk is the most powerful SUV in the world, but while it has the same engine and horsepower as the Hellcats, it loses the tiebreaker with a measly 645 lb-ft of torque compared to their 650 lb-ft rating. Its ace in the hole is an all-wheel drive system that won't send any of it up in tire smoke. If you like burnouts, that may not be a good thing.

2014 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500: 662 hp

When it was new, the last Shelby GT500 was the most powerful American car ever, but it looks like a 98-pound weakling today. Still, there's no denying the potency of its 5.8-liter supercharged V8. And who's going to complain about a Mustang that can go 202 mph?

2018 Chevrolet Corvette Z06/Camaro ZL1: 650 hp


Two high performance cars from the same company with 6.2-liter supercharged V8s? Hmmm, sounds familar. But while the power outputs of these two are identical, their engines are a little different. The Corvette gets a dry sump oiling system that's better for the track, while the ZL1 uses a tried and true wet sump design. The 'Vette also beats the Camaro on manual transmission gear count 7 to 6. But the ZL1 automatic comes back strong with an all-new 10-speed automatic, while the one in the Z06 makes do with just eight.

2017 Ford GT: 647 hp

What a world we live in where a Mustang is more powerful than a $450,000 supercar, but the carbon fiber GT has a 216 mph top speed to go with it, so it's got nothing to be ashamed of.

2017 Dodge Viper: 645 hp


The Viper's 8.4-liter V10 was the largest engine in any car of its day.

2016 Cadillac CTS-V: 640 hp


Need to get somewhere fast but want to keep it classy? The CTS-V borrows the engine from the ZL1, but pays it a 10 hp vig for the privilege. Its 200 mph top speed is 2 mph faster than the Camaro's, however, so what do you think about that, tough guy?

2013 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1: 638


The first 21st Century ZR1 was the first American car with more than 600 hp, but obviously not the last. Its 205 mph top speed holds up pretty well today, but don't think you've seen the last of it. Chevy's been spotted working on what looks like a new ZR1, and you can bet it won't be less powerful than this one.

Honorable mention: 2017 Tesla Model S/X P100D


When Tesla first unleashed the "D" it said it had 691 hp. Then it added a Ludicrous model with a claimed 762 hp. The problem was that it was just adding the horsepower ratings of the electric motors used at each axle, and it doesn't work exactly like that. The solution? Now it doesn't say how powerful the cars are, just how quick. If nothing else, with a 0 to 60 mph time of less than 2.5 seconds for the Model S, it's probably safe to say these are the most powerful American electric cars ever.

At least for now.

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World News

Tucker Carlson: Who are the criminals destroying your country?

Tucker: Who are the criminals destroying your country?

They’re not protesters or civil rights activists. They’re violent criminals being used as a militia by the Democratic Party to seize power.

A couple of nights ago, we talked to a man from St. Louis called Mark McCloskey. Last weekend, McCloskey and his wife sat down for dinner in the backyard of their home. Suddenly, a mob of screaming BLM fanatics, hundreds of them, burst through the gate and threatened to murder the McCluskey's and then kill their dog.

Here's part of what Mark McCluskey told us.

MARK MCCLUSKEY: I see all these people outside the gate. Then the gate bursts open. People start coming in, and then a flood of people started coming in. They're angry, they're screaming. They've got spittle coming out of their mouths. They're coming towards our house. Out there with my wife, and I said, oh my God, we're absolutely alone. There's nobody here to protect us but us. That was the same night retired police captain David Dooring was murdered. I was literally afraid that within seconds there would surmount the wall, come into the house, kill us, burn the house down and everything that I'd worked for and struggled for the last 32 years.


But the story didn't end there, unfortunately, we're here to tell you tonight. After appearing on this show, Mark McCloskey and his wife were bombarded with death threats. Many of them credible.

Today, they learned of another coordinated attack on them that is planned for this weekend. They immediately called police. The dispatcher put them on hold and then finally transfer them to an officer. The officer didn't seem to be listening to anything the McCluskey's said. "We'll call you back," police said, and they never did.

Desperate, the McCluskey's then called a number of different private security firms, but not one of them would take the job of protecting them. The owner of the last company McClosky spoke to advise them to flee immediately.

Quote, "The only advice I can give you is abandon the house, run. Let the mob have its way, let it burn."

But the McCluskey's are not running. They have spent thirty-two years rebuilding their home and they plan to defend themselves. They have no choice. They are completely alone. No one will come to their aid.

Their governor, Mike Parson, is a Republican. He's also a former sheriff. Parson could fix their problem immediately. Parson could send state troopers to St. Louis tonight to protect the McCluskey's. But he hasn't done that.

Parson hasn't even picked up the phone to speak to them. He doesn't care, obviously, nobody cares.

About an hour ago, Mark McCloskey called us to tell us all of this. He was panicked, understandably. His wife sobbed in the background as we spoke.

American citizens trapped in their home by a violent mob, knowing that something awful could happen to them very soon. Totally undefended. This is your country.

The mob is winning, if things like this happen. So who is the mob exactly? They're not protesters. They're not civil rights activists. They are violent criminals.

They are being used as a militia by the Democratic Party to seize power. That's the truth.

But even that description is too imprecise. Most of these are Americans. They have faces. They have names. So who are they?

No one in the media ever tells you. They don't want to talk about it. But tonight, we're going to.

Thanks to delayed but very welcome efforts by federal law enforcement, at least one hundred and twenty-eight people have now been charged for riot-related offenses. Many of them have been charged at the state level. We're going to bring you tonight pictures of a few of them.

Authorities arrested 24-year-old Devin Montgomery on Tuesday on federal arson charges. Montgomery is accused of opening the door of an unmarked police car during a riot in Pittsburgh and then torching the car. Montgomery was not an outside agitator. He's from Pittsburgh.

33-year-old Lori-Elisabeth Blumenthal is accused of burning a cop car in Philadelphia where she lives. Federal investigators tracked her down thanks to her tattoos and her T-shirt. The shirt reads: Keep the immigrants, deport the racists. Blumenthal works as a massage therapist. She is, not surprisingly, the daughter of a former department chairman at LaSalle University.

Stephan Cannon, 24 years old, is charged with the murder of retired St. Louis police officer David Dorn. He was shot to death while protecting a friend's pawn shop. What exactly was Dorn killed for? Apparently, a television. Police found that television at Cannon's home as they arrested him.

Colinford Mattis and Urooj Rahman are both attorneys in New York City. Both went to prestigious law schools. Mattis graduated from Princeton undergraduate and NYU law. Rahman went to Fordham Law. Both are charged with tossing a Molotov cocktail at a marked NYPD squad car. In their view taped in Brooklyn, Rahman declared that violence was the only way forward. Quote, "The only way they hear us is through violence, through the means that they use. We've got to use the master's tools. That's what my friend always says."

When asked about police officers who'd been hurt in this violence, Rahman blamed the mayor for not pulling police back and letting the mob rampage as they did in Minneapolis.

Speaking of Minneapolis, twenty-five-year-old Montez Terrill Lee of Rochester, Minnesota, is accused of burning down a pawnshop there during the riots. He was identified thanks to a video received anonymously at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. In that video, Lee says of the pawnshop, quote, "F this place, we're going to burn this effort down."

Authorities say Lee's arson of the pawnshop was methodical. He poured flammable material throughout the entire store before torching it.

Jessica White is also being charged for arson in the Twin Cities. She allegedly helped burn down an auto zone in St. Paul because everything this year is irony, White's Facebook page says she studied, quote, "violence prevention" at Metropolitan State University in St. Paul.


Brandon Wolfe, 23, has been charged with participating in the destruction of the third police precinct in Minneapolis. Wolfe was arrested while trying to enter a home improvement store where he had worked previously as, irony again, a security guard. Wolfe was wearing body armor and carrying a police baton. Both were allegedly stolen from the police precinct in his apartment. Police found a stolen pistol magazine and a drug overdose treatment kit. Wolfe was homeschooled by his mother in Pensacola, Fla. His father told the Minneapolis Star Tribune that his son, quote, "has grandiose ideas. A lot of them and zero common sense." His father added, quote, "I'm still proud of him. Whether he burned down the police station or not, he didn't hurt anyone, did he?" End quote.

Jesse Taggart of Salt Lake City was participating in a BLM protest in Provo when a white SUV tried to pass through the area. A crowd swarmed around the car and according to police, without provocation Taggart drew a gun and fired twice into the car, nearly killing the driver. Taggart then hid his gone and went back to protesting as though nothing had happened. It appears Taggart went on Facebook afterward to defame the driver as a, quote, "Nazi or white supremacist who ran over protesters." Hours later, he posted, quote, "#America 20-20. No respect for other human beings blows my mind. We will overcome this together!" Police have charged Taggart with attempted murder.

And then there are the people who have been targeting our public art, our shared history, our heritage, our country itself. At the start of the week, federal authorities charged for people with participating in the attempt to destroy a statue of President Andrew Jackson. That was in Lafayette Square, directly opposite the White House. Those charged Lee Michael Cantrell, Connor Matthew Judd, Ryan Lane and Graham Lloyd. Three were from the Washington area, while Lloyd was visiting from the state of Maine.


Earlier today, federal agents arrested Jason Charter in Washington, D.C. They say he is the ringleader in the effort to topple the statue of Andrew Jackson. Charter apparently is affiliated within Antifa. He's been caught on camera menacing a reporter at a protest. Police say he also helped topple the statue of Albert Pike in Washington two weeks ago and then set that statue on fire as it lay broken on the ground. Jason Charter's LinkedIn says he studied computer science at George Washington University. Tuition there, by the way, one of the highest in the country. More than $55,000.

Another angry, rich kid. There are so many of them. Still far more than five people were involved in the attacks on those statues in Washington. Hundreds more have attacked monuments and destroyed public property around the country.

Adapted from Tucker Carlson's monologue on "Tucker Carlson Tonight" on July 1, 2020.


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Unemployment is highest in these 10 states

America sees record job growth as the economy adds 4.8 million jobs and the unemployment rate drops to 11 percent

Fox Business Briefs: The job market shows signs of improvement as close to 5 million jobs added and a drop in the unemployment rate.

The U.S. economy added almost 5 million jobs in June as more businesses reopened from the coronavirus-induced lockdown and hired idled workers.

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Buoyed by the record-shattering figure, the nation's unemployment unexpectedly dropped to 11.1 percent from 13.3 percent in May. Over the course of the past month, every state has started to navigate reopening their economies.


But the unemployment level, which is still at the highest level in decades, is expected to remain elevated for years to come, particularly as a resurgence in COVID-19 cases threatens to put the brakes on the economy's nascent recovery. New cases surpassed 50,000 twice in a row this week, reaching a new single-day record on Thursday.

"Today’s jobs report is a look in the rearview mirror," said Andrew Chamberlain, chief economist at Glassdoor. "With surging COVID-19 cases hitting new highs in the past week, rough waters are surely ahead for the economy in the coming months as a second wave could again shutter millions of American small businesses and put a freeze on hiring."


Job losses are not proportional across the country. Some states have experienced a tidal wave of layoffs — in May, 43 states set record jobless rate highs — while the losses have been more tempered in other states.

The unemployment rate is highest in these 10 states, according to Department of Labor data released at the end of June:


Nevada's economy was hit hard by the shuttering of its massive casino and tourism industries. The unemployment had actually ticked down slightly from 28.2 percent the prior month.

At the beginning of June, the state reopened casinos, restaurants and bars at a limited capacity. But after an increased number of COVID-19 cases, the state mandated that everyone in a public space must wear a mask and hit pause on moving into the next phase of reopening (which was slated to begin on June 30).


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First-time car owners pay more for insurance, but you can save money by shopping for a new policy after 6 months

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  • First-time car owners pay between 7% and 12% higher premiums than existing policyholders for their first six months of coverage, according to data from The Zebra.
  • After the first six months, new drivers can lower costs by shopping for new car insurance coverage. 
  • Spending an hour shopping for car insurance and comparing quotes after six months of consistent coverage could eliminate this markup, which could save an average of $126 per year.
  • See Business Insider's picks for the best cheap car insurance in 2020 »

For first-time car owners, getting car insurance is the first step — and first big expense — of car ownership.

Car insurance is more expensive for people buying their first policy. According to insurance comparison site The Zebra, customers who have never had a car insurance policy before can expect to pay between 7% and 12% more for their first policy than customers who are renewing a policy, or who have had insurance consistently for the past six months. 

The average driver without any record of car insurance pays about $1,752 annually for coverage, according to The Zebra's 2020 State of Auto Insurance report. However, a driver who has had insurance consistently for the past six months pays about $1,626 per year for coverage. 

The Zebra notes that that this doesn't apply in California, where state laws restrict car insurance companies from taking insurance history into consideration. In the other 49 states, however, the average new car owner could save about $126 per year by shopping around for coverage after six months.

Try shopping for car insurance again 6 months after you buy

Unlike many other contracts, you're not locked into your car insurance. You can change car insurance policies anytime, generally without a penalty. Even if your first car insurance policy is a one-year policy, you can still shop around, switch your insurance policy, and save, even if your policy isn't about to expire.

Every insurance company considers your information differently, including your insurance history, driving record, and even credit score and gender in some states. To find the best price, you'll want to compare several different insurance companies' coverage. 

To shop for car insurance, get several quotes from car insurance companies in your area. Then, compare your policy quotes. You'll want to pay attention to all of the moving parts of your car insurance, including the number of coverage types included and their limits. The more types of coverage and the higher the limit, the better. Also consider the deductible, or the amount you'll pay out of pocket before your insurance covers damage when you file a claim. 

Look for the policy with the most types of coverage and the highest limit, and with a premium and deductible that fits your budget. Then, compare it with your old policy to make sure you'll still have the same amount of coverage or better. 

Shopping around for car insurance and gathering quotes shouldn't take more than an hour. It's worth the time — it could help you save quite a bit as a first-time car owner. 

Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Personal Finance Insider team. We occasionally highlight financial products and services that can help you make smarter decisions with your money. We do not give investment advice or encourage you to adopt a certain investment strategy. What you decide to do with your money is up to you. If you take action based on one of our recommendations, we get a small share of the revenue from our commerce partners. This does not influence whether we feature a financial product or service. We operate independently from our advertising sales team.

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The US is in a recession. Here's what that means

A version of this story first appeared in CNN Business’ Before the Bell newsletter. Not a subscriber? You can sign up right here.

London (CNN Business)The latest US jobs report is expected to show that America’s labor market continued to bounce back in June as businesses reopened and employees returned to work.

But the data won’t reflect cracks in the recovery that have emerged in recent days as the Covid-19 outlook deteriorates. Goldman Sachs estimates that over half of the US population has now seen reopening plans reversed or put on hold as cases spike. On Wednesday, the country logged a record 50,203 new infections in a single day.
What’s happening: Economists surveyed by Refinitiv expect to learn Thursday that the US economy added 3 million jobs in June, a record high after 2.5 million positions were added in May. That would nudge the unemployment rate down to 12.3% from 13.3%.

    But the survey data, which is collected mid-month, won’t reflect the wave of fresh closures and delays that were announced in late June.
    Movie theaters like AMC are pushing back reopening plans to later in the month. Apple has shut retail stores again in states like Texas, Florida and Arizona that are struggling with their case loads. Reuters reports that McDonald’s will delay the reopening of its dine-in service by 21 days.

    Citigroup said such changes are reflected in high-frequency data, which has plateaued in recent days.
    The bank points to the OpenTable index, which tracks seated dining at restaurants, as one indication of trouble. After showing improvement in the United States as of June 21, with seatings down 41% compared to last year, dining out appears to have fallen back. Seatings were down 66% on June 22. On Tuesday, they remained 62% lower than in 2019.
    Bank of America also said it found “suggestive evidence” that economic activity and mobility is down in California, Florida, Texas and Georgia. Its economists recommend keeping an eye on regional data even as national data appears to be edging higher.
    Up next: Watching what happens over the July 4 holiday weekend, which is typically one of the busiest driving weekends in the United States, noted Stephen Innes, global chief market strategist at AxiCorp.
    But will people still hit the road in 2020, as Covid-19 outbreaks spark fresh shutdowns and changes in behavior?
    Investor insight: Traders are still shrugging off the risks, opting to put their faith in the fact that shutdowns remain localized or limited in scope. The S&P 500 is again approaching its recent high from early June.

    Tesla is the most valuable carmaker in the world

    There’s no debating it now: Tesla (TSLA) is officially the most valuable automaker in the world.
    The electric carmaker’s stock rose to roughly $1,119 per share on Wednesday, giving Tesla a market value of about $207.5 billion. It’s now more valuable than Toyota (TM), as well as Coca-Cola (KO), Disney (DIS) and ExxonMobil (XOM).
    The story: There’s been debate in recent weeks about when Tesla would steal the crown from Toyota given disagreement about the Japanese carmaker’s true market value. But now, it’s clear Tesla has the title no matter how you cut it.
    Tesla shares have been on fire this year, skyrocketing an astonishing 168% while the S&P 500 has dropped 3.5%.
    Deutsche Bank’s Jim Reid notes that the rally is even more impressive looking back one year. At the end of last May, he pointed out, the stock was trading at just under $180. Since then, it gained 412%, lost over 60% during the sell-off in March and then soared 210% off the pandemic lows.
    Watch this space: Tesla isn’t consistently profitable enough to join the S&P 500, my CNN Business colleague Paul R. La Monica reports. But it may be closing in on that milestone, helping power shares even higher.
    Remember: Tesla’s market performance is more about expectations for future earnings than what it makes right now. The company produced almost 103,000 vehicles in the first quarter, while Toyota made close to 2.4 million.

    China is storing an epic amount of oil at sea

    China bought so much foreign oil at dirt-cheap prices this spring that a massive traffic jam of tankers has formed at sea waiting to offload crude, my CNN Business colleague Matt Egan reports.
    China is storing an epic amount of oil at sea. Here's why
    As of June 29, China — the world’s second-largest consumer of oil after the United States — had amassed 73 million barrels of oil on 59 different ships floating at sea off the country’s northern coast, according to ClipperData, which tracks waterborne flows of crude oil in real-time.
    Barrels arriving today would have been purchased in March and April when oil prices were melting down because of the pandemic. US crude crashed below zero on April 20 for the first time ever.
    The latest: China’s so-called floating storage — defined as barrels of oil on vessels waiting for seven days or longer — has nearly quadrupled since the end of May, according to ClipperData, hitting the most on record going back to early 2015.
    Why it matters: The hoarding is a reflection of China’s bargain-hunting at a time of extreme stress in the energy market, and underscores the long road back to more normal supply-and-demand dynamics.
    “China went on a global buying binge,” said Matt Smith, director of commodity strategy at ClipperData. “There is just this deluge of crude building up offshore.”

    Up next

      The US jobs report for June posts at 8:30 a.m. ET. We’ll also get initial and continuing unemployment claims from last week, and the US trade balance for May.
      Coming tomorrow: US markets are closed for the July 4 holiday weekend.
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      The financial inequality behind America's racial divide

      New York (CNN Business)The nearby Save A Lot supermarket was a lifeline for Karina Rayeford, a single mom of three kids in downtown Norfolk, Virginia.

      The grocery store, located in the predominantly Black public housing community of St. Paul’s where she lives, wasn’t the fanciest. But it had all the vegetables, meats, cereals, milk and household items Rayeford needed for her family at prices she could afford. And, most importantly, it was just around a five-minute walk from her apartment. Rayeford would visit the store between her appointments as a hair braider and send her teenage kids on quick runs to pick up groceries.
      That changed last month when Save A Lot, the only grocery store within a mile from Rayeford, closed its doors in the middle of a pandemic.

        Rayeford, 30, says she felt abandoned. “It’s the worst time for this to happen,” she said. Without a car and unable to afford taxi fare, she now has to ask relatives and friends to drive her to pick up groceries. At a time when people want to limit their contact with others, she added, that’s an especially tough ask.

        The Save A Lot in the St. Paul's area of Norfolk, Virginia, closed on June 20, leaving local residents without access to a supermarket.
        Rayeford and residents in the St. Paul’s neighborhood, more than half of whom are unemployed, are living in what the Agriculture Department defines as a “low income and low access area” — one where a “significant” portion of the population lives more than a mile from the nearest supermarket or grocery store in urban areas. These areas are commonly known as food deserts, although the term has no official meaning.

        In 2015, an estimated 39 million people, or 12.8% of the US population, lived in such an area, according to the USDA. There is also a racial divide in food access: Research from the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing in 2014 found that lower-income minority neighborhoods have less access to grocery stores compared with similar white neighborhoods.
        Fast food joints, Family Dollar and 7-Eleven are the main food options available within walking distance in the St. Paul’s area.
        Rayeford worries she will have to shop more at Family Dollar, where “you can’t get your vegetables.”
        Aldi is 1.9 miles away from the closed Save A Lot, Food Lion is 2.2 miles away and Walmart is 2.4 miles. While Harris Teeter is a little closer, it’s still about a 30-minute walk and is more expensive. These distances may not seem too far, but transportation is a barrier for Rayeford and the majority of residents in the area. More than half of households within a half-mile of the Save A Lot lack access to a car, according to the city. In a quarter-mile radius of the store, 61% of households don’t have a car.
        Save A Lot opened in 2015 after another grocery store closed. The city recruited the grocer to help fill an access gap, and the store was often crowded, residents say. Its closure creates an even bigger need for healthy and affordable fruit, vegetables and meat in the neighborhood.
        “Fresh food and produce are already costly and sometimes hard to come by” for St. Paul’s residents, said Dr. Henri Parson, associate professor at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk. “With the additional burden of distant grocery stores that require transportation, this becomes even harder and adds additional stressors, which diminish quality of life.”

        The St. Paul's public housing community in Norfolk. The averge income in the area is under $12,000.
        Norfolk city officials, community activists and local residents heard rumors for months that the store might close. But they say they were caught off guard by the timing of the announcement in June and were not prepared to handle the consequences of losing the neighborhood’s only source of fresh food in the middle of a public health disaster.
        “Save A Lot gave us no heads up,” said Angelia Williams Graves, who represents the area in the Norfolk City Council. “I had a notice sent to me on my social media page. I’m frustrated that they did not at least give us the opportunity to at least come to the table and work with them.”
        Save A Lot did not respond to Graves’ claim, but said in a statement, “We take the decision to close any Save A Lot location very seriously. We regularly review our stores on a number of factors, including financial performance as well as strategic alignment with long-term plans. Unfortunately, as a result of this review, we closed our store.”

        ‘A racial justice issue’

        In the St. Paul’s area, which is comprised of three public housing projects, 98% of the more than 4,100 residents are Black and the average income is under $12,000. Life expectancy for residents in St. Paul is more than 15 years lower in the area than for people living in the adjacent downtown Norfolk area, according to the city.
        Residents and local leaders say the loss of Save A Lot must be understood within this context. Some point to the fact that the wealthier, largely white neighborhood nearby has three grocery stores within a mile.
        Grocery chains “have crafted an ideal client that looks very white,” Graves added. “We just don’t fit the demographic.”

        Angelia Williams Graves represents the St. Paul's area in the Norfolk City Council.
        Black people “will be disproportionately impacted by having this new food desert in our community, and we can’t ignore that reality,” said Ruth Jones Nichols, president and CEO of the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore, located across the street from the St. Paul’s area. “This isn’t just a food access or social justice issue. It really is a racial justice issue.”
        Hanging over Save A Lot’s absence is a revitalization project that will upend the neighborhood.
        The city has approved a $1 billion redevelopment plan that will tear down the public housing units and build a new mixed-income, mixed-use neighborhood with parks, retail and other amenities. The project, which will take up to twenty years, has already started and more than 200 residents in the community have had to relocate so far. They are given housing vouchers to either rent within the private market anywhere in the United States that accepts vouchers or relocate to another public housing community in Norfolk, according to the Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority. Proponents of the redevelopment plan say it will “break the cycle of intergenerational poverty.”
        Earlier this year, a group of residents sued the city, the city housing authority and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which provided a $30 million grant to help fund the revitalization, in federal court to block the plan. They say it violates the Fair Housing Act.
        The Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority declined to comment on the lawsuit. The Department of Housing and Urban Development also declined to comment. A spokesperson for the city said “the lawsuit will not slow down the St. Paul’s redevelopment” and “those ready to relocate will continue to be supported in doing so.”

        Save A Lot closed with little notice, frustrating residents and some city leaders.
        The lone grocery store in the area shutting down adds yet another layer of anxiety for the community.
        “You already are in a community going through a gentrification process and stressed out, and then you take away the food. I don’t even know what will happen next,” said Deirdre Love, a local activist and executive director of Teens with a Purpose, a youth development organization.
        “Food?” she asked, her voice rising. She repeated the question three times. “Really?”
        Rayeford has not been given a move out date yet, but she said she is overwhelmed by the idea of leaving and doesn’t know where she would go. She fears she won’t be able to afford returning to the new mixed-income community.

        Rallying around solutions

        Save A Lot faced challenges in St. Paul’s.
        There was “relatively low spend potential” in the area, and Save A Lot faced stiffer competition in surrounding neighborhoods, according to Neil Stern, senior partner at retail consulting firm McMillanDoolittle.
        However, the closure is a “lost opportunity for Norfolk and community residents,” said Stacey Sutton, assistant professor of urban planning at the University of Illinois at Chicago who studies race and gentrification. “This could have been an opportunity to convert this establishment into a worker-owned grocery store,” she said. “Not only would it have retained jobs, it would have supported community wealth building.”
        City officials and community advocates say they are discussing both short-term and long-term answers to replace the Save A Lot.
        The city has added bus lines to go from the St. Paul’s area to another grocery store, said Norfolk City Manager Chip Filer. But the coronavirus outbreak makes public transportation riskier, especially for older residents and those with health risks.

        Deirdre Love, local activist and executive director of Teens with a Purpose, a youth development organization in Norfolk.
        “It’s a tough time for this type of event,” said Filer. “What makes it acutely difficult is that the obvious short run solution is public transportation, and that is complicated by the existence of the virus.”
        Additionally, the pandemic and recession have strained city and state budgets, leaving officials less equipped to respond to the closure.
        The city is already cutting staff and programs and will “likely to have to do [so] again in the coming months if there is not a sharp rebound in economic activity and tax collections,” said Robert McNab, professor of economics at Old Dominion University in Norfolk. Even if coronavirus cases decline in the state, “the question is whether Norfolk will have the financial and staff resources to address the residents’ concerns.”
        Still, Save A Lot closing has pushed the community to rally together.
        Community leaders and residents have formed a group, the Community Food Disparities Coalition, to “find immediate solutions to the food desert.” On Saturday, the group organized a “mobile food market” to provide free groceries to residents in the area, relying on food donations. The group got a bus and made grocery deliveries in the area. More than 80 volunteers turned up. So did Norfolk’s mayor.
        Jones Nichols from the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore said her organization is stepping up its efforts with private and public partners to increase food distribution in the area.
        How the rise of supermarkets left out Black America
        Norfolk’s economic development department is “actively seeking potential grocers,” a spokesperson for the city said. And some leaders are thinking outside of trying to replace Save A Lot with another national chain.
        “Corporate America is not the salvation and corporate America is not going to be the long term, sustainable answer to this problem,” Graves from the City Council said in a virtual meeting with local leaders last Saturday about the store closing.
        Among the concepts that leaders have been discussing are “food hubs,” which allow local farmers to distribute fresh produce and other items. A city-owned store or a grocery cooperative may also be a long-term answer.

          In other areas where grocery stores have closed, Jones Nichols said, dollar stores have filled the gap, but they have not offered fresh produce or many healthy options. She hopes that will not happen in St. Paul’s and that the Save A Lot closing will be a chance to address systemic health and racial disparities in the community.
          Added Graves from the City Council: “Black Lives Matter doesn’t just matter when Black people get shot by police. It matters what they eat. Their health care matters.”
          Source: Read Full Article


          Here's the timeline for Social Security benefit cuts

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          For more than eight decades, the Social Security program has played a critical role in providing a financial foundation for our nation's retired workers. According to the Centers for Budget and Policy Priorities, it singlehandedly pulls more than 15 million retirees out of poverty every year.

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          But it's also a program that's facing serious financial hurdles in the years that lie ahead. For each of the past 35 years, the Social Security Board of Trustees report has cautioned that there wouldn't be enough revenue collected over the long run (defined as the 75 years subsequent to the release of a report) to cover all projected outlays, including cost-of-living adjustments. While this doesn't mean bankruptcy or insolvency, it does imply that Social Security benefit cuts may become necessary to maintain program solvency.

          How big would these benefit cuts be? Though the answer tends to change every time the U.S. economic outlook is altered or broad-sweeping fiscal measures are introduced, the 2020 report calls for a possible 24% across-the-board reduction to retired worker and survivor payouts. That's not negligible.

          The big question is, when might this happen? Let's take a closer look at the timeline of events that could lead to a significant Social Security benefits cut.


          2021: The first year of net cash outflows

          You might be surprised to learn that the first in series of events is expected to occur as soon as next year.

          The latest trustees report forecast that Social Security would bring in a $4.4 billion net cash surplus in 2020, but see $21.1 billion in net cash outflows in 2021. The last time the program suffered a net cash outflow (i.e., more spending than revenue collected) was all the way back in 1982, the year before the Reagan administration passed the last major bipartisan overhaul of the Social Security program.


          Although the program entered the decade with almost $2.9 trillion in asset reserves (net cash surpluses built up since inception), the projection is that almost $1.1 trillion will be gone by the end of 2029, leaving $1.82 trillion. This net cash outflow is expected to worsen every year this decade.

          2034: The OASI exhausts its asset reserves (if treated separately)

          Social Security is actually comprised of two trusts:

          • The Old-Age and Survivors Insurance trust, which provides payouts to retired workers and survivors of deceased workers; and
          • The Disability Insurance trust, which supplies payments to workers that are long-term disabled.


          When the Trustees examine the long-term outlook for Social Security, they hypothetically combine the financials of these two trusts into one (known as the OASDI). But if these two trusts were examined individually, the OASI is in far greater danger of exhausting its asset reserves sooner. Based on the latest report, the OASI is expected to deplete its asset reserves by 2034, at which point benefit cuts would become necessary to sustain solvency.

          2065: The DI depletes its asset reserves (if treated separately)

          By comparison, the DI Trust has a considerably longer runway before it runs into trouble. The 2020 trustees report opines that the DI Trust won't exhaust its asset reserves until 2065, which is actually 13 years later than what was projected in the 2019 Trustees report.


          According to the newest report, this change stems from a historically low rate of disability insurance applications and benefit awards, as well as reduced disability incidence rate modeling over the long run.

          2035: The likeliest year when benefit cuts will be needed

          Now, for the bottom line of when Social Security benefit cuts are likely. Since revenue collection can be diverted to the OASI or DI via congressional action, as necessary, the combination of the OASDI is expected to completely exhaust its almost $2.9 trillion in asset reserves by 2035.


          In spite of the DI trust's 45-year runway before it runs out of its net cash surpluses, the DI Trust only accounts for $95.2 billion of the $2,897 billion that's currently held in asset reserves. Thus, the DI Trust would only add about a year of cushion to the OASI's funding shortfall.

          If Congress were to fail to act by raising additional revenue and/or reducing outlays, this 24 percent reduction for retired workers and survivors would be expected to take place in roughly 15 years.

          But wait — there’s more

          Then again, the trustees' report is just one educated group's opinion of what might happen with the most successful social program in the United States.

          One thing that the Trustees report doesn't take into account is the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. Since Social Security's primary source of revenue is the 12.4% payroll tax on earned income, and the unemployment rate has skyrocketed from a 50-year low of 3.5% to a nearly nine-decade high of 13.3% in a couple of months, there's little question that the program's near-term income-collecting capacity has been harmed by COVID-19.

          Worse yet, the coronavirus pandemic is unlikely to allow the U.S. economy to bounce back at the flip of a switch. This means long-lasting negatives for Social Security.


          In a recently released analysis using the Penn Wharton Budget Model from the University of Pennsylvania, Social Security's projected asset reserve depletion has been moved forward by two to four years, depending on the pace of the economic recovery. If the U.S. economic recovery is swift and V-shaped, Social Security will exhaust its asset reserves by 2034 instead of 2036, as the PWBM had previously forecast. But if it's a slower U-shaped recovery, Social Security could burn through its nearly $2.9 trillion by 2032, a full four years earlier than originally expected.

          Keep in mind that these estimates are taking into account a large number of dynamic variables, including birth and mortality rates, net immigration, fiscal and monetary policy, the inflation rate, and economic growth forecasts, to name a few. They're not perfect or set in stone.

          But one consistent message the American public has seen from these forecasts is that the need for possible Social Security benefit cuts is closing in, and lawmakers are running out of time to implement an effective fix.


          Source: Read Full Article


          The 747 got its groove back

          New York (CNN Business)Boeing has received clearance to begin test flights of its troubled 737 Max jet, a spokesperson for the Federal Aviation Administration said Sunday. The test flights of could begin as early as Monday.

          The move marks an important step in the process to re-certify the 737 Max, which has been grounded since March 2019, for passenger flights.
          Boeing has said it expects to receive full approval for the plane to fly passengers by the middle of this year. The FAA in a letter to Congress Sunday said it does not yet have a date for when the grounding will be lifted.

            “Flights with FAA test pilots could begin as early as tomorrow, evaluating Boeing’s proposed changes to the automated flight control system on the 737 MAX,” the administration wrote in the letter to lawmakers, which was obtained by CNN. “Testing is expected to take several days, and will include a wide array of flight maneuvers and emergency procedures to enable the agency to assess whether the changes meet FAA certification standards.”
            Boeing has been working with the FAA to get the 737 Max back in the air following two crashes that killed 346 people. The company had initially hoped the plane would fly again before the end of 2019, but the effort hit a number of roadblocks, including a new software issue that was discovered in February.
            This is what good news looks like in the aviation industry: Boeing's canceled orders slowed

            “Boeing continues to work diligently to support the safe return of the 737 Max to commercial service. We defer to the FAA and global regulators on the process,” Boeing said in a statement to CNN on Sunday.
            Problems with the 737 Max have so far cost Boeing $18.7 billion, and that number is likely to continue to climb.
            The company temporarily stopped building the 737 Max in January, before the Covid-19 pandemic hit most of the world’s airlines. It couldn’t afford to keep building the Max without being able to deliver the planes and complete sales of the jet.
            Boeing restarted production of the plane in May, but airlines have moved to cancel or delay delivery of new jets in the face of the Covid-19 crisis, forcing Boeing to greatly reduce its production plans for at least the next several years.
            The plane cannot return to service until it receives final approval from the FAA.

              The FAA’s letter to Congress said the start of test flights does not signify the agency has “completed its compliance evaluation or other work associated with return to service.” The agency outlined in the letter the steps that will remain in the clearance process following the test flights, which include evaluating minimum pilot training requirements among other processes.
              –CNN’s Greg Wallace, Rebekah Riess and Hollie Silverman contributed to this report.
              Source: Read Full Article

              World News

              Wall Street Journal Editorial Board Issues Dire Election Warning To Donald Trump

              President Donald Trump is headed “for what could be an historic repudiation that would take the Republican Senate down with him,” the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal warned in a column Thursday.

              The conservative newspaper’s board said Trump had “reverted to his worst form” just four months before the 2020 election, and that he had “no second-term agenda, or even a message beyond four more years of himself” with “little time to recover.”

              Trump had “all but given up even talking about” the coronavirus pandemic that has now killed more than 125,000 people nationwide, the board said. His “default now is defensive self-congratulation.”

              The board did claim that the president’s “record fighting the coronavirus is better than his critics claim after a bad start in late February and March.” It also took a swipe at Trump’s likely election rival, saying that presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s “only real message is that he’s not Donald Trump.”

              But “millions of Americans are close to deciding that four more years are more risk than they can stand,” said the board, which in recent weeks has attacked Trump over his haphazard coronavirus task force briefings and his attempted smearing of MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough.

              The editorial also suggested that Trump “lacks the self-awareness and discipline” to campaign on an agenda of resurrecting the economy following the pandemic.

              “He may be so thrown off by his falling polls that he simply can’t do it,” the board concluded. “If that’s true he should understand that he is headed for a defeat that will reward all of those who schemed against him in 2016. Worse, he will have let down the 63 million Americans who sent him to the White House by losing, of all people, to ‘Sleepy Joe.’” 

              Read the full editorial here.

              Source: Read Full Article


              The US is in a recession. Here's what that means

              New York (CNN Business)An alarming number of credit card borrowers hurt by the coronavirus recession are complaining that Citibank is treating them unfairly.

              Citi (C) accounted for nearly 37% of pandemic-related complaints to regulators about credit cards between March 16 and May 20, according to an analysis by Consumer Reports.
              That was four times as much as the next-closest bank, the analysis of Consumer Financial Protection Bureau complaints database found.

                Borrowers complained about several aspects — from inflexible late fees and interest charges, to refusals to provide assistance for those with financial hardships.
                “Citibank’s practices are particularly egregious during a time of severe hardship when so many families have been pushed beyond the brink financially,” Syed Ejaz, policy analyst at Consumer Reports, said in a statement.

                With 55 million accounts, Citi calls itself the world’s largest credit card issuer. It provides frequent flyer credit cards to American Airlines (AAL) and cards for major US brands including Best Buy (BBY), Home Depot (HD), ExxonMobil (XOM) and Sears (SHLDQ).
                Trump's latest moves aren't exactly a winning economic -- or reelection -- strategy
                In a statement, Citi said Consumer Reports “grossly misrepresented” how the bank has supported its customers and contained multiple “factual inaccuracies.”
                “The complaints referenced in the CFPB database include those related to merchant disputes, as well as those received very early in the crisis just prior to credit card assistance being available, and in total, the 168 complaints represent a very small fraction — .008% of the 1.9 million customers assisted,” the bank said.
                In addition, the Consumer Reports article “calls for recommendations to improve practices which are already in effect, the company said, adding, “we take all customer complaints seriously.”
                With 55 million accounts, Citi calls itself the world’s largest credit card issuer. It provides frequent flyer credit cards to American Airlines (AAL) and cards for major US brands including Best Buy (BBY), Home Depot (HD), ExxonMobil (XOM) and Sears (SHLDQ).
                One Best Buy customer from Pennsylvania filed a complaint in June to the CFPB database saying Citibank is charging $100 in monthly interest even though he or she was laid off because of the pandemic.
                “This is absolutely disgusting,” the customer wrote.
                The database indicates the complaint was closed without offering non-monetary relief and Citi chose not to make its response public.
                Another borrower from Texas complained in June that Citi charged unnecessary late fees and interest.
                “I have been a Citicard member for 31 years and in 2020 I have encountered the worst and most unprofessional customer service,” the borrower wrote in the complaint, which the database indicates was closed with monetary relief.
                Synchrony Bank (SYF) had the second-highest number of credit card complaints related to the pandemic during the March-May period that Consumer Reports analyzed.
                Synchrony, the largest US issuer of retail credit cards, including ones for PayPal (PYPL), Amazon (AMZN) and Gap (GPS) credit cards, did not respond to a request for comment.
                Consumer Reports urged Citi to keep its promise to help borrowers seeking relief during the pandemic, and to needs to provide clear and reliable information about its relief programs on its websites, bills and mobile apps.
                The group also said Citi should make the only requirement to access that relief an “attestation of hardship,” and should automatically waive all late fees during the duration of the crisis and for at least 180 days after.
                Citi stressed that the recommendations Consumer Reports called for are already in effect, including a dedicated COVID-19 website for customers and not requiring proof of hardship for borrowers to receive relief. Citi also said that accounts in good standing before the waiver period began are not reported as delinquent to credit bureaus.
                “To make the process easier for customers, enrollment was digitally enabled and 80% of customers have self-serviced,” the bank said.

                  Citi generated $2.3 billion in revenue during the first quarter from its branded-card business, up 7% from the year before. The bank set aside $4.9 billion in credit reserves to help cushion the blow from loan losses across the company.
                  In 2018, Citi acknowledged it overcharged interest payments on 1.75 million credit card accounts. The bank apologized and agreed to refund about $300 million to consumers.
                  Source: Read Full Article