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Elizabeth Holmes will resume her testimony in her fraud trial.

Elizabeth Holmes will resume her testimony in her fraud trial.

Elizabeth Holmes will resume her testimony in her fraud trial.

Credit score…Mike Kai Chen for The New York Occasions

The high-stakes trial of Elizabeth Holmes, the founding father of the collapsed medical start-up Theranos, is headed towards a dramatic end. The newest twist got here on Friday, when Ms. Holmes unexpectedly took the stand in her personal protection, after the prosecution rested its case.

She testified for an hour, and is predicted to proceed on Monday. Ms. Holmes has been charged with 11 counts of fraud and faces as much as 20 years in jail on every rely. She has pleaded not responsible.

Whether or not Ms. Holmes would testify had been one of many greatest questions of the trial. Up till Friday afternoon, many authorized specialists predicted that she wouldn’t. The advantages of doing so, the specialists argued, may very well be offset by the dangers of cross-examination.

At first, her testimony raised issues for her protection. Her attorneys’ technique has been to color her as inexperienced, led astray by others like her former boyfriend and enterprise associate Sunny Balwani (who’s being tried individually).

However on the stand, Ms. Holmes depicted herself as very a lot in management. She offered herself as an professional within the know-how Theranos was creating and detailed how she used that data to draw traders, whose cash would finally be worn out.

She additionally rebutted a key argument by prosecutors. The prosecution sought to determine that Ms. Holmes withheld info, notably monetary experiences, from traders.

On the stand, Holmes detailed the “very complete diligence course of” of Don Lucas, a enterprise capitalist who finally invested in Theranos and have become its chairman. The protection offered a 2006 electronic mail wherein Ms. Holmes despatched Mr. Lucas detailed monetary info. (Nevertheless, this may increasingly undermine one other protection argument: that traders had been careless and at the very least partially in charge.)

The trial can be a referendum on Silicon Valley’s start-up tradition. If Ms. Holmes is discovered responsible, it might put truth-stretching start-up founders on discover. But when she is acquitted, it might bolster the tech trade’s “faux it til you make it” method.

“A non-guilty verdict will vindicate a Silicon Valley tradition of celebrating aggressive innovation on the expense of the whole and complete fact,” mentioned Jeffrey Cohen of Boston School Legislation College.

Credit score…Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel through Related Press

The Walt Disney Firm has paused a coronavirus vaccine mandate for workers of its Florida theme park after the State Legislature and the governor made it unlawful for employers to require all staff get the pictures, an organization spokesperson confirmed Saturday.

Walt Disney World might have been dealing with fines beneath the coverage, illustrating how even probably the most well-known tourism manufacturers within the state has to cope with the headwinds of political debate over the pandemic response.

Supply: State and native well being companies. Every day instances are the variety of new instances reported every day. The seven-day common is the typical of a day and the earlier six days of knowledge.

The Republican-controlled Florida Legislature delivered the invoice blocking Covid-19 vaccine mandates on Wednesday and Gov. Ron DeSantis signed it into regulation on Thursday, casting the measures as an effort to guard staff who might lose their jobs for lack of compliance.

Governor DeSantis, additionally a Republican, has been on the forefront of the political battle to curtail masks and vaccine mandates, saying the push towards these restrictions counters overreach from the federal authorities. “No one ought to lose their job as a consequence of heavy-handed Covid mandates, and we had a accountability to guard the livelihoods of the individuals of Florida,” the governor mentioned in a press release.

The Biden administration has ordered vaccinations for staff in massive corporations and members of the federal work drive, however the effort has met resistance throughout the nation. Florida is amongst states which have challenged federal mandates in court docket.

The brand new Florida regulation prohibits employers from imposing strict vaccine mandates, permitting staff to decide on exemptions that embody well being or spiritual issues, being pregnant or anticipated being pregnant, and having had the virus and recovered from it. Unvaccinated staff might as an alternative endure periodic testing or put on protecting tools, on the employers’ price. Fines for violation might price $10,000 a day per worker violation for companies with fewer than 99 staff or as much as $50,000 per worker violation for bigger companies.

Authorities entities and faculty districts are additionally restricted by the Covid mandate ban.

Disney World beforehand struck a cope with staff to require theme park staff to be absolutely vaccinated towards the coronavirus to maintain their jobs, and the corporate defended that rule in a press release Saturday. “We consider that our method to necessary vaccines has been the precise one as we’ve continued to give attention to the security and well-being of our forged members and friends,” the assertion mentioned.

Greater than 90 % of lively forged members in Florida have verified they’re vaccinated, the corporate mentioned, earlier than it despatched a memo to staff halting the mandate.

Walt Disney’s web site tells guests it has been “very intentional and gradual” in working safely, recommending friends train warning: sporting face coverings, checking for signs and getting the pictures. “We encourage individuals to get vaccinated,” it says.

Todd Gregory contributed to this report.

Credit score…Samuel Aranda for The New York Occasions

BARCELONA, Spain — Protesters in Barcelona are pushing again towards international funding corporations which have purchased up hundreds of houses over the previous decade and are forcing out residents who can’t pay the hire.

Credit score…Samuel Aranda for The New York Occasions
Credit score…Samuel Aranda for The New York Occasions

Big funding corporations like Cerberus Capital Administration, Blackstone and Lone Star have been snapping up properties throughout Spain at cut price costs for the reason that international monetary disaster that started in 2008. The corporations then put them up for hire at a time when the nation’s economic system was on a stronger footing.

However the pandemic pushed the Spanish unemployment charge as much as 15 % and evictions nationwide spiked within the first half of 2021. The funding agency landlords despatched out a slew of eviction notices to tenants throughout the nation or canceled leases for individuals who fell behind on the hire, residents mentioned.

Within the streets of Barcelona, a gaggle known as Struggle In opposition to Cerberus determined to battle again.

When attorneys of personal fairness corporations include cops to drive residents from their houses, members of the group — a few of them longtime housing activists — encompass the constructing to dam their entry. As residents are pushed out of residences, the group sends squatters to occupy properties owned by the corporations elsewhere within the metropolis — typically breaking in to realize entry.

The activists even took over the places of work of a Cerberus actual property servicer in Barcelona for a time final 12 months.

Credit score…Samuel Aranda for The New York Occasions
Credit score…Samuel Aranda for The New York Occasions

In response to Struggle In opposition to Cerberus, dozens of households have occupied buildings owned by personal fairness corporations in Barcelona, which has lengthy been a goal of outdoor traders. That may translate into years of courtroom hearings and thousands and thousands of {dollars} in authorized charges to take away the squatters.

“This property belongs to Cerberus,” mentioned Ana María Banegas, a resident who, together with a dozen different households, has occupied a constructing in central Barcelona since April and now refuses to depart. “And from this house, we goal to strain them.”

Miquel Hernández, a spokesman for Struggle In opposition to Cerberus who helped Ms. Banegas discover the house the place she is squatting, accused the personal fairness corporations of making the most of the financial misery attributable to the pandemic.

“They’re treating them like some other asset,” he mentioned, referring to the houses owned by the corporations.

The issue has caught the eye of Spain’s nationwide authorities, led by a left-wing coalition. It has proposed the imposition of hire controls on funding funds and different massive landlords.

The proposed laws, supported by Barcelona’s mayor, Ada Colau, would permit for hire caps for homeowners with greater than 10 properties in areas the place hire will increase have outpaced inflation.

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Credit score…Samuel Aranda for The New York Occasions
Credit score…Samuel Aranda for The New York Occasions

“We’ve to civilize a market that has gotten uncontrolled,” mentioned Ms. Colau, a former housing activist who rose to energy with a corporation that fought towards foreclosures. “An issue that was dangerous earlier than the pandemic has out of the blue gotten worse.”

Spain imposed a partial moratorium on evictions for a lot of the pandemic, however just for these in “susceptible conditions,” comparable to single dad and mom. In instances that went to the courts, the judiciary was seen as siding largely with the landlords.

Within the first quarter of 2021, evictions of renters in Spain rose by 14 % in contrast with the identical interval the earlier 12 months, in response to the federal government. By the second quarter of this 12 months, they surged to eight occasions as many as in the identical interval in 2020.

Samuel Aranda contributed reporting from Barcelona.

Credit score…Laetitia Vancon for The New York Occasions

VIENNA — Austria entered a nationwide lockdown on Monday, as Europe experiences a menacing fourth wave of the coronavirus, with hovering charges of an infection.

The lockdown, wherein persons are allowed to depart their houses solely to go to work or to acquire groceries or medicines, will final at the very least 10 days and as many as 20 and comes after months of struggling makes an attempt to halt the contagion by widespread testing and partial restrictions.

Whereas Austria often is the first European nation to reply with a lockdown, it is probably not the final. That prospect, together with more and more stringent vaccine mandates, has set off a backlash in Austria and elsewhere, with mass demonstrations in Vienna, Brussels and the Dutch metropolis of Rotterdam over the weekend, typically punctuated with violent outbreaks.




Austrians Protest Lockdown and Vaccine Mandate

Hundreds in Vienna over the weekend demonstrated towards the measures, which embody a nationwide lockdown.

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Hundreds in Vienna over the weekend demonstrated towards the measures, which embody a nationwide lockdown.Credit scoreCredit score…Lisa Leutner/Related Press

The brand new Covid wave is being pushed by widespread resistance to vaccines and the rising prevalence of vaccine and masks mandates. Austrian officers have mentioned they are going to implement a nationwide vaccine mandate in February, the primary European nation to take action.

Austria, the place 66 % of the inhabitants is vaccinated, reported greater than 14,000 new instances of the virus inside 24 hours on Sunday. Over the previous week the Netherlands has been averaging greater than 20,000, whereas Germany has seen roughly double that quantity.

Supply: Middle for Techniques Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins College. The every day common is calculated with knowledge that was reported within the final seven days.

The opposition to the lockdown and vaccine mandates in Austria is being fueled partly by the far-right Freedom Social gathering, which has used its platform within the Austrian Parliament to unfold doubt concerning the effectiveness of the vaccines and to advertise ivermectin, a drug usually used to deal with parasitic worms that has repeatedly failed towards the coronavirus in scientific trials.

However the fury isn’t restricted to far-right activists, because the throngs that crammed Vienna’s streets on Saturday attested. The police estimated the gang at 40,000, with many households and others far outnumbering the right-wing extremists.

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