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Brits could work 4 day week under plan by opposition Labour Party

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BRIGHTON, ENGLAND — British people could see their working week reduced to a maximum of four days under a radical plan by the opposition Labour party.

Speaking in Brighton at the party’s annual conference, Labour’s shadow chancellor John McDonnell said the plan reflected his belief that “we should work to live, not live to work.”

“People in our country work some of the longest hours in Europe,” McDonnell said.

“The next Labour government will reduce the average full time working week to 32 hours within a decade.”

“A shorter working week with no loss of pay,” he said.

The announcement comes as the party prepares to fight a general election, expected later this year, against prime minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative party.

McDonnell said Labour would introduce a 32-hour working with no loss of pay within a decade if Labour was elected to government, to be achieved by opting back into the European Working Time Directive, which caps the number of hours people can work in an average week.

He also promised to roll out collective bargaining to trade unions to negotiate the target with employers.

Laura Parker, national coordinator of the Corbyn-supporting Labour group Momentum, said: “We are delighted that a shorter working week, a policy Momentum campaigned hard for, has been adopted by John McDonnell and is now Labour policy.”

However, the announcement came just two weeks after a report commissioned by the party described the plan as not “realistic or even desirable.”

The report, by cross-bench peer Robert Skidelsky, said people should work fewer hours for a living but said imposing a four-day working week would not be effective.

The UK now works longer hours than and other European country apart from Greece, with the average employee spending 42.5 hours a week compared to the EU average of 41.2 hours.

The report said: “Even though some people are compelled to work shorter hours than they want to, most people are compelled to work longer hours than they want to.”



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Trump campaign struggles to find coherent strategy during protests

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  • President Donald Trump and his campaign have yet to find a strong strategy for addressing the massive nationwide protests against police violence.
  • Trump and his campaign have ping-ponged between messages focused on shoring up his base in the  Christian right and attacking former Vice President Joe Biden to siphon his support among black voters.
  • Current and former advisers describe a campaign that was beleaguered even before the protests engulfed the country, and it has only gotten worse since then.
  • A 2016 Trump aide said the president’s Monday visit to St. John’s Church was a missed opportunity. “He should have gone over there and inspected the damage, or if he was going over there with a Bible, he should have prayed,” the person said.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump and his campaign are struggling to find a coherent strategy with the clock ticking toward Election Day. 

That’s the takeaway from interviews with a half-dozen members of the president’s circle of loyalists who see a reelection effort tossing out different messages by the day in a struggle to regain the narrative amid the double whammy of the coronavirus pandemic and nationwide protests over the Memorial Day death of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis.

It’s been a whirlwind 72 hours, even by Trump standards. The president has ping-ponged between a focus on his piousness, attacks on Joe Biden’s lengthy record with African Americans, and a promise he is the “law and order president” akin to Richard Nixon’s successful 1968 bid for the White House. 

As the president hemorrhages support — his current and former Defense secretaries joined the list on Wednesday — people close to the 2020 campaign say they are frustrated at the lack of a clear strategy.

“They think they had a pretty good narrative until all of this happened,” said a Trump 2016 campaign adviser in touch with the re-election effort. “They want to recapture the narrative.”

Trump isn’t doing himself any favors

The protests over Floyd’s death hit just as Trump’s team was finding its footing after a rocky two months since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Jared Kushner led an overhaul inside the campaign last week, installing former White House political director Bill Stepien as it’s new de facto campaign manager. And campaign aides have been talking up how to get Trump back to his in-person campaign rallies, possibly as soon as next month. 

But his focus on energizing his base has cost him support with the broader electorate. A Reuters/Ipsos poll released Tuesday found 64 percent of Americans surveyed were “sympathetic” to those protesting police violence and Floyd’s death. The poll found that 55 percent of respondents disapproved of Trump’s response to the protests. 

Trump hasn’t done himself any favors.

Consider his trip to St. John’s Church on Monday and then to the St. John Paul II shrine on Tuesday. The president’s goal in the two Washington D.C. outings was to showcase his ties to the conservative Christian base and appeal to suburbanites and independents with his “law and order” proclamation. 

But the forceful removal of protesters camped outside the White House by federal police instead drew criticism from across the political spectrum, including an admonition from famous televangelist Pat Robertson. 

On Wednesday, Trump tried another tactic. He pivoted to attacking former Vice President Joe Biden over his support for the 1994 crime bill that increased the number of minorities locked up across the nation while touting his support of historically black colleges and universities.

The aim: Undercut African American support for Biden, a critical demographic for Democrats if they’re going to win back the White House. 

But he stepped on his own message again as military troops for a third straight day cordoned off federal buildings from looters and activists protesting police violence against blacks in the wake of Floyd’s death.

PatRobertson

Pat Robertson criticized President Trump on Tuesday, saying he should be uniting and healing the country and that forcing out protesters “isn’t cool.”

Win McNamee / Getty Images


Priority No. 1: Keeping the Christian right satisfied

Trump’s walk to St. John’s Church, his advisers said, was also a nod to Christian right voters, one of the biggest groups the president must hold to win in November. 

But the trip, which the White House memorialized with a campaign-style video, drew criticism from a cross section of religious figures, from Robertson to the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, which oversees St. John’s Church, and the Catholic archbishop of Washington, D.C.

The former Trump adviser said those complaints can be brushed off easily because the church leaders are left of center and Robertson has lost a step with the Christian right during the Trump era to leaders like Franklin Graham. But there is still a widespread recognition the president needs to do more to keep the Christian right happy.  

“I thought going over to the church was a good idea, it showed he wasn’t locked in the basement,” the former adviser said. But this person also complained that the quick trip didn’t get executed well. 

“He should have gone over there and inspected the damage, or if he was going over there with a Bible, he should have prayed,” the 2016 Trump adviser said.

‘Casting doubt’ on Biden’s record with African Americans

Trump advisers have also been urging him for months to launch the kind of attack that he leveled Wednesday on Biden over his support of the 25-year old crime bill. The goal is to both peel away some of the presumptive Democratic nominee’s African American support— or just depress turnout from the demographic come November in critical battlegrounds like Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

Earlier Wednesday, Trump signaled the pivot away from the religious focus (for now), tweeting “In 3 1/2 years, I’ve done much more for our Black population than Joe Biden has done in 43 years.”

By contrast, Biden has made white supremacists’ support for Trump, and Trump’s own comments that white supremacists protesters in Charlottesville three years ago included some “very fine people”, a centerpiece of his campaign. 

Trump advisers have argued he should own policy victories for African Americans, like his signing of sweeping criminal justice reform legislation almost two years ago, and his work with Kanye West and Kim Kardashian West. 

“At the end of the day it’s not just about him winning their votes,” said Sean Spicer, the former White House press secretary who on Wednesday aired an interview with Trump for his new gig as the host of a nightly show on the conservative network Newsmax. 

“It’s also about him casting doubt about them voting for Biden. From that standpoint it can be effective,” Spicer added.

Donald Trump Jim Mattis

Former Defense Secretary James Mattis in a statement to the Atlantic published Wednesday said Trump was tearing the country apart in a style akin to the Nazis.


Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images



Trump adviser: St. John’s visit wasn’t intended for the blue coastal states

The focus on messaging “law and order” plays well to an important crowd of Americans who are angry at the looting and destruction of businesses that has often overshadowed the protests against police violence, Trump advisers tell Insider. 

“The president’s going to take action and stand up,” said a 2020 campaign adviser. 

She noted that Trump’s walk to St. John’s and clearing of the protesters wasn’t meant to appeal to people who live in blue states on both US coasts. The president instead was speaking to his supporters, including the business owners who’ve had their businesses looted. 

“If the media is going to be ridiculous against us and not get the pulse of the real people, he will go out and talk to them directly,” the Trump adviser said.

But Trump’s shocking law and order response to the protest nonetheless drew sharp criticism from even inside his most ardent supporters. 

Robertson said Tuesday that Trump should be uniting and healing the country, and that forcing out protesters “isn’t cool.” And Trump’s own defense secretary, Mark Esper, said he opposed sending in military troops and even said they could leave their posts — though he later reversed course following a meeting at the White House. 

Another startling response came from Trump’s former defense secretary, James Mattis, who said in a statement submitted to The Atlantic that Trump was tearing apart the country in a style akin to the Nazis. 

“‘Instructions given by the military departments to our troops before the Normandy invasion reminded soldiers that ‘The Nazi slogan for destroying us … was ‘Divide and Conquer,'” Mattis wrote.

“Our American answer is ‘In Union there is Strength,'” he continued. “We must summon that unity to surmount this crisis—confident that we are better than our politics.”

Paul Winfree, a former top deputy for domestic policy at the Trump White House and now with the Heritage Foundation, summed up the campaign’s problem as a straightforward one that leaves the burden on the president.

“Biden is not going to defeat Trump on policy,” he said in an interview. “Biden is going to defeat Trump on not being Trump. Trump knows that.” 



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Stock market news today: Dow, S&P rise on jobs report, reopening hopes

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The stock market’s June rally continued on Wednesday as growing hopes of a smooth economic recovery drowned out nationwide protests.

Major indexes gained through the morning after an ADP labor-market report said US private payrolls fell by 2.76 million in May, less than one-third of the decline expected by economists. The reading was a steep decline from April’s record slump of 19.6 million.

Economists expected a far worse drop of 9 million jobs, suggesting Friday’s jobs report could also defy estimates and further boost investor sentiment.

Here’s where US indexes stood soon at the 4 p.m. ET close on Wednesday:

Read more: A $40 billion wealth-management firm says the US economy is only 19% recovered from the pandemic — and lays out a winning investing strategy in the wake of a massive stock-market rally.

The Nasdaq 100 temporarily traded above its February 19 record close before ending the session just below the threshold. The S&P 500 reached three-month highs, led by a bank-stock rally.

A report from the Institute for Supply Management pointed to positive performance within the US service industry, easily the largest part of the nation’s economy. The organization’s non-manufacturing index jumped to 45.4 in May from 41.8, remaining in contraction territory but turning higher after plunging on coronavirus woes. 

“We may be past the bottom and non-manufacturing activity may start to slowly improve in June, but we are still a long way from returning to pre-virus conditions,” Gregory Daco, chief US economist at Oxford Economics, said. “Consumer and business confidence will play key roles in shaping the economic recovery.”

Read more: A proprietary Bank of America indicator points to 20%-plus gains in the stock market over the next year. Here’s what the firm recommends buying now ahead of the rally.

Airlines outperformed the market upswing after the White House banned Chinese airlines from operating passenger flights to the US starting mid-June. The move follows the Department of Transportation accusing China of blocking US passenger flights. Alaska Air led the group, gaining as much as 12% on the news.

Oil erased early gains and hovered around little changed amid doubts on when OPEC will next meet. The global coalition is set to extend record production cuts for at least another month. But leading members are have threatened to cancel a Thursday meeting unless the entire group agrees to a concerted extension, according to Bloomberg.

Stocks have edged higher in June’s early sessions despite new risks emerging from nationwide police-brutality protests and renewed US-China trade tensions.

Nicholas Colas, a cofounder of DataTrek Research, said in a Tuesday note that while such rallies “may seem counterintuitive, and perhaps not even ‘fair,'” history holds several examples of investors looking past near-term strife to bet on surging corporate profits.

Now read more markets coverage from Markets Insider and Business Insider:

GOLDMAN SACHS: Buy these 15 stocks for powerful profit growth after a historic rally leaves the market with little room for error

ZoomInfo is set to join the Nasdaq exchange, risking new confusion among investors trading other Zoom-named stocks

Investors have plowed $151 billion into coronavirus bonds in a rush to stem pandemic damage



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US weekly jobless claims preview: Economists see 1.8 million claims

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  • The median economist estimate for jobless claims in the week ending May 30 is 1.8 million, according to Bloomberg data. The Labor Department will release the official report Thursday. 
  • While a decline from the previous week, the estimate is still nearly three times higher than the worst seven-day period during the Great Recession, when 665,000 people filed for unemployment. 
  • It’s still “indicative of a labor market that’s under quite a lot of stress,” Michelle Meyer of Bank of America told Business Insider. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Economists expect that initial claims data from the Labor Department will show another week in which millions of Americans filed for unemployment insurance benefits. 

The median economist estimate is for the Thursday report to show 1.8 million initial claims filed in the week ending May 30, according to Bloomberg data. 

That would be a decrease from the 2.1 million Americans who filed during the prior period, and mark the ninth weekly decline in a row. Still, 1.8 million jobless claims is a highly elevated number that’s nearly three times larger than the worst week of the great recession, when 665,000 filed for unemployment. 

It’s still “indicative of a labor market that’s under quite a lot of stress,” Michelle Meyer of Bank of America told Business Insider. 

claims projections 5 30 20



Andy Kiersz/ Business Insider


Read more: MORGAN STANLEY: The market’s hottest stocks are in danger of being disrupted to a degree not seen since the Great Recession. Here’s how to adjust your portfolio for the coming shift.

Economists will also be watching to see if continuing claims — which indicate people receiving unemployment benefits — fall for a second week in a row. In the previous report, continuing claims dipped for the first time since sweeping coronavirus-induced layoffs began when the US went into lockdown in mid-March. 

While declining initial claims show that fewer Americans are being laid off and seeking benefits, falling continuing claims indicate that at least some previously unemployed workers are returning to jobs. As all 50 states continue to slowly reopen their economies, that could be a sign that rehiring is taking place. 

Thursday’s report precedes the May jobs release on Friday, which economists expect will show the US lost roughly 8 million jobs and the unemployment rate surged to 19% during the month. In April, the US lost a record 20.5 million jobs and saw the unemployment rate spike to 14.7%, the highest since the 1940s. 

Still, there’s always the chance that the report comes in better than expectations — on Wednesday, ADP’s private payrolls report showed that 2.76 million jobs were cut in May, far fewer than the 9 million economists were expecting. 

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