Some small businesses are happy about Biden's vaccine mandate



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CNN’s u003ca href=”http://www.cnn.com/profiles/vanessa-yurkevich” target=”_blank”>Vanessa Yurkevichu003c/a> spoke with some who fear their worst-case scenario is within arm’s reach.”},{“title”:”These robots are filling open jobs at restaurants”,”duration”:”01:54″,”sourceName”:”KTVT”,”sourceLink”:”https://dfw.cbslocal.com/”,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/business/2021/09/07/restaurant-robots-worker-shortage-texas-affil-vpx.ktvt/index.xml”,”videoId”:”business/2021/09/07/restaurant-robots-worker-shortage-texas-affil-vpx.ktvt”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/210907101423-restaurant-robots-worker-shortage-texas-affil-vpx-00012002-large-169.png”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/business/2021/09/07/restaurant-robots-worker-shortage-texas-affil-vpx.ktvt/video/playlists/business-coronavirus/”,”description”:”As the service industry continues to face a worker shortage, restaurants are turning to robots to help fill the gap. CNN affiliate KTVT reports.”,”descriptionText”:”As the service industry continues to face a worker shortage, restaurants are turning to robots to help fill the gap. CNN affiliate KTVT reports.”},{“title”:”Slow relief funds rollout means renters face uncertain future”,”duration”:”02:55″,”sourceName”:”CNNBusiness”,”sourceLink”:””,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/business/2021/09/03/rental-relief-funds-evictions.cnnbusiness/index.xml”,”videoId”:”business/2021/09/03/rental-relief-funds-evictions.cnnbusiness”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/210903091602-kristina-toscano-large-169.jpeg”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/business/2021/09/03/rental-relief-funds-evictions.cnnbusiness/video/playlists/business-coronavirus/”,”description”:”State and local agencies have been struggling to distribute federal funds in a timely manner. CNN’s Vanessa Yurkevich reports on what that means for renters facing eviction.”,”descriptionText”:”State and local agencies have been struggling to distribute federal funds in a timely manner. CNN’s Vanessa Yurkevich reports on what that means for renters facing eviction.”},{“title”:”OpenTable is helping restaurants verify vaccination status”,”duration”:”03:28″,”sourceName”:”CNNBusiness”,”sourceLink”:””,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/business/2021/08/25/opentable-ceo-clear-restaurants-vaccinations.cnnbusiness/index.xml”,”videoId”:”business/2021/08/25/opentable-ceo-clear-restaurants-vaccinations.cnnbusiness”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/210825152019-opentable-ceo-debbie-soo-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/business/2021/08/25/opentable-ceo-clear-restaurants-vaccinations.cnnbusiness/video/playlists/business-coronavirus/”,”description”:”OpenTable is teaming up with Clear to help restaurants with proof of vaccination requirements. CEO Debby Soo says the company is offering restaurants several tools to manage through the pandemic.”,”descriptionText”:”OpenTable is teaming up with Clear to help restaurants with proof of vaccination requirements. CEO Debby Soo says the company is offering restaurants several tools to manage through the pandemic.”},{“title”:”Delta CEO: Unvaccinated employees face more stringent requirements”,”duration”:”03:09″,”sourceName”:”CNNBusiness”,”sourceLink”:””,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/business/2021/08/25/delta-ceo-unvaccinated-employees-insurance-surcharge.cnnbusiness/index.xml”,”videoId”:”business/2021/08/25/delta-ceo-unvaccinated-employees-insurance-surcharge.cnnbusiness”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/210825112201-delta-air-lines-ceo-ed-bastian-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/business/2021/08/25/delta-ceo-unvaccinated-employees-insurance-surcharge.cnnbusiness/video/playlists/business-coronavirus/”,”description”:”Delta Air Lines is putting a new deadline on unvaccinated employees that will require them to take weekly Covid tests and, depending on their insurance, pay a $200 per month surcharge. “,”descriptionText”:”Delta Air Lines is putting a new deadline on unvaccinated employees that will require them to take weekly Covid tests and, depending on their insurance, pay a $200 per month surcharge. “},{“title”:”Maersk CEO: The trade pipeline is bursting at the seams”,”duration”:”01:59″,”sourceName”:”CNNBusiness”,”sourceLink”:””,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/business/2021/08/23/maersk-ceo-supply-chain-pressure.cnnbusiness/index.xml”,”videoId”:”business/2021/08/23/maersk-ceo-supply-chain-pressure.cnnbusiness”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/210823113411-maersk-ceo-soren-skou-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/business/2021/08/23/maersk-ceo-supply-chain-pressure.cnnbusiness/video/playlists/business-coronavirus/”,”description”:”Maersk CEO Soren Skou says the US economic stimulus money is driving demand. He spoke with CNN’s Richard Quest about the global supply chain challenges.”,”descriptionText”:”Maersk CEO Soren Skou says the US economic stimulus money is driving demand. He spoke with CNN’s Richard Quest about the global supply chain challenges.”},{“title”:”Demand for school supplies is high but the Delta variant could change that”,”duration”:”02:33″,”sourceName”:”CNNBusiness”,”sourceLink”:””,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/business/2021/08/12/back-to-school-shopping-supplies-covid.cnnbusiness/index.xml”,”videoId”:”business/2021/08/12/back-to-school-shopping-supplies-covid.cnnbusiness”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/210812110457-school-supplies-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/business/2021/08/12/back-to-school-shopping-supplies-covid.cnnbusiness/video/playlists/business-coronavirus/”,”description”:”Back-to-school shopping is expected to break records, but uncertainty around Covid-19 could mean a cut back on spending. CNN’s Vanessa Yurkevich reports.”,”descriptionText”:”Back-to-school shopping is expected to break records, but uncertainty around Covid-19 could mean a cut back on spending. CNN’s Vanessa Yurkevich reports.”},{“title”:”United Airlines CEO: Employee vaccine mandates are ‘inevitable’ “,”duration”:”03:05″,”sourceName”:”CNNBusiness”,”sourceLink”:”cnnbusiness.com”,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/business/2021/08/11/united-airlines-ceo-scott-kirby-vaccine-mandate-vpx.cnnbusiness/index.xml”,”videoId”:”business/2021/08/11/united-airlines-ceo-scott-kirby-vaccine-mandate-vpx.cnnbusiness”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/210806111505-united-airlines-plane-0702-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/business/2021/08/11/united-airlines-ceo-scott-kirby-vaccine-mandate-vpx.cnnbusiness/video/playlists/business-coronavirus/”,”description”:”United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby discusses how the airline will require employees to get vaccinated against Covid-19. United Airlines is the first major US airline to implement such a mandate. “,”descriptionText”:”United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby discusses how the airline will require employees to get vaccinated against Covid-19. United Airlines is the first major US airline to implement such a mandate. “},{“title”:”Companies delay return to offices”,”duration”:”02:59″,”sourceName”:”CNNBusiness”,”sourceLink”:””,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/business/2021/08/06/return-to-office-delays-covid-delta.cnnbusiness/index.xml”,”videoId”:”business/2021/08/06/return-to-office-delays-covid-delta.cnnbusiness”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/210805140244-01-amazon-seattle-offices-file-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/business/2021/08/06/return-to-office-delays-covid-delta.cnnbusiness/video/playlists/business-coronavirus/”,”description”:”Amazon is delaying its return to office until 2022. CNN’s Matt Egan reports on businesses pushing back their returns because of surging Covid-19 cases.”,”descriptionText”:”Amazon is delaying its return to office until 2022. CNN’s Matt Egan reports on businesses pushing back their returns because of surging Covid-19 cases.”},{“title”:”Business is ‘insane’: Fisherman struggles to meet demand with labor shortages”,”duration”:”03:02″,”sourceName”:”CNN Business”,”sourceLink”:””,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/business/2021/08/05/seafood-industry-worker-shortage-economy.cnn-business/index.xml”,”videoId”:”business/2021/08/05/seafood-industry-worker-shortage-economy.cnn-business”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/210805082027-nate-phillips-greenport-seafood-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/business/2021/08/05/seafood-industry-worker-shortage-economy.cnn-business/video/playlists/business-coronavirus/”,”description”:”A shortage of workers in the seafood industry means businesses like Nate Phillips’ Greenport Seafood Inc. are struggling to meet customer demand. CNN’s Vanessa Yurkevich reports.”,”descriptionText”:”A shortage of workers in the seafood industry means businesses like Nate Phillips’ Greenport Seafood Inc. are struggling to meet customer demand. CNN’s Vanessa Yurkevich reports.”},{“title”:”New York City will require proof of vaccination for restaurants and gyms”,”duration”:”02:49″,”sourceName”:”CNNBusiness”,”sourceLink”:”cnnbusiness.com”,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/business/2021/08/03/new-york-city-vaccine-requirements-qmb-vpx.cnnbusiness/index.xml”,”videoId”:”business/2021/08/03/new-york-city-vaccine-requirements-qmb-vpx.cnnbusiness”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/210803101231-nyc-restaurant-vaccine-requirement-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/business/2021/08/03/new-york-city-vaccine-requirements-qmb-vpx.cnnbusiness/video/playlists/business-coronavirus/”,”description”:”Mayor Bill de Blasio announced New York City will require proof of vaccination to enter all restaurants, fitness centers and indoor entertainment venues. CNN’s Vanessa Yurkevich reports. “,”descriptionText”:”Mayor Bill de Blasio announced New York City will require proof of vaccination to enter all restaurants, fitness centers and indoor entertainment venues. CNN’s Vanessa Yurkevich reports. “},{“title”:”Businesses are taking a stand on vaccines”,”duration”:”02:21″,”sourceName”:”CNNBusiness”,”sourceLink”:””,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/business/2021/07/30/vaccines-companies-employees-work-delta-covid.cnnbusiness/index.xml”,”videoId”:”business/2021/07/30/vaccines-companies-employees-work-delta-covid.cnnbusiness”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/210728110348-covid-vaccine-arm-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/business/2021/07/30/vaccines-companies-employees-work-delta-covid.cnnbusiness/video/playlists/business-coronavirus/”,”description”:”As the Delta variant surges around the country, Corporate America is taking a stand on vaccinations. Johnny Taylor, president and CEO of the Society for Human Resource Management, explains the conditions employees will face if they aren’t vaccinated against Covid-19.”,”descriptionText”:”As the Delta variant surges around the country, Corporate America is taking a stand on vaccinations. 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Investigation finds World Bank leaders pushed staffers to boost rankings for China and Saudi Arabia in high-profile reports


The bank commissioned the law firm WilmerHale to conduct the probe.

Investigators found then-CEO Kristalina Georgieva pressured the Doing Business team in 2017 to “change the report’s methodology” or “make specific changes” to data points to boost China’s ranking in the 2018 edition.

This came after Chinese government officials repeatedly expressed concerns to her and then-World Bank President Jim Yong Kim over the country’s ranking, according to the 16-page investigation released by WilmerHale.

At the time, Georgieva was in the middle of negotiations over a capital increase campaign in which China “was expected to play a key role,” the investigation found.

Georgieva was “directly involved” in improving China’s ranking, according to the independent investigation, which said that during one meeting, the then-CEO “chastised the Bank’s then-Country Director for mismanaging the Bank’s relationship with China and failing to appreciate the importance of the Doing Business report to the country.”

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Doing Business team leaders eventually increased China’s ranking in the survey by seven places to 78 by identifying data points they could modify, including giving the nation “more credit” for a Chinese secured transactions law, according to the WilmerHale report.

In October 2017, the investigation found that aides to Kim also directed the survey team to simulate how China’s final score might change if data from Taiwan and Hong Kong were incorporated into the country’s existing data. The WilmerHale report says that the Doing Business team leaders “believed that the concern was coming from President Kim directly.”

Georgieva, who is now the managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), said in a statement that she disagrees “fundamentally with the findings and interpretations of the Investigation of Data Irregularities as it relates to my role in the World Bank’s Doing Business report of 2018,” and that she has briefed the IMF’s Executive Board on this matter.

Kim has not yet responded to a CNN email seeking comment.

During a press briefing Friday, the Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian said, “Ms. Georgieva has issued a statement on the IMF’s official website. I would refer you to relevant authorities for further information. We have also noted that the World Bank recently issued a statement on suspending the Doing Business report. The Chinese government attaches great importance to the efforts of Doing Business of improving the business environment, which is evident to all. We hope that the World Bank will take facts as the basis, rules as the criterion, follow the professional, objective, fair and transparent principles, to conduct a thorough investigation into relevant issues in strict accordance with the internal review procedures, so as to better safeguard the professionalism and credibility of the Doing Business report and the credibility of the World Bank itself and its member countries’ reputations.”

The WilmerHale investigation also found irregularities relating to Saudi Arabia’s data in the 2020 Doing Business report. Saudi government officials expressed “displeasure” over how their country ranked in the 2019 edition, especially with the survey team’s failure to recognize what officials saw as the “country’s successful reforms,” according to the investigation.

As a result, senior bank leaders, including one of the founders of the Doing Business report, Simeon Djankov, instructed the survey team to “find a way to alter the data” so that Jordan wouldn’t rank first on its so-called “Top Improvers” list. The team eventually added points in multiple categories to Saudi Arabia so that the country would replace Jordan in the top spot, according to the results of the investigation.

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Djankov said that the demand to change Saudi Arabia’s data came from two senior World Bank officials, one of whom previously served as Chief of Staff to President Kim and was involved in changes to China’s data in the 2018 edition of Doing Business, the investigation found.

In a statement released on Thursday, the World Bank said it would discontinue the “Doing Business” report. “The World Bank Group remains firmly committed to advancing the role of the private sector in development and providing support to governments to design the regulatory environment that supports this. Going forward, we will be working on a new approach to assessing the business and investment climate,” the statement added.

CNN has reached out to the Saudi Arabian embassy in Washington D.C and the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs for comment and is awaiting a response.

CNN has also reached out to Simeon Djankov and the Peterson Institute for International Economics where he works as a senior fellow for comment.

— Jennifer Hauser, Pamela Boykoff, Betsy Klein and CNN’s Beijing Bureau contributed reporting.



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Biden announces global goal to reduce planet-warming methane emissions


Biden made the announcement Friday morning during the Major Economies Forum, a virtual, closed-door meeting with other world leaders on climate, ahead of a pivotal UN climate conference in Glasgow in November. The meeting is meant to raise climate ambition ahead of the Glasgow summit, a senior administration official recently told reporters.

“This will not only rapidly reduce the rate of global warming, but it will also produce a very valuable side benefit like improving public health and agricultural output,” Biden said. “We’re mobilizing support to help developing countries that join and pledge to do something significant.”

Speaking on Friday, Biden called on world leaders to “bring to Glasgow our highest possible ambitions,” citing the US’s own goals aimed at curbing carbon emissions and his sweeping domestic economic agenda.

Biden described the August report from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as a “code red for humanity,” reiterating his belief that the world is at an “inflection point” for climate action, something, he said, that “presents real, incredible economic opportunities.”

Biden was joined by representatives from a portion of the MEF countries, including British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, South Korean President Moon Jae-in, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, and European Union Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. Not all of the member countries were represented at the virtual event.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres addressed the leaders at the meeting and told them they must step up their efforts to reduce fossil-fuel emissions.

“The world is on a catastrophic pathway to 2.7 degrees of heating,” Guterres said. Scientists have said global temperatures should remain below 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels to stave off the worse consequences of the climate crisis.

Guterres also noted that the UN climate conference in November, during which world leaders will meet to discuss emissions targets, has a “high risk of failure.”

“It is clear that everyone must assume their responsibilities,” Guterres said.

With Earth rapidly warming, scientists say methane emissions need to be reduced fast. Charles Koven, a lead author of the UN climate change report published in August, told CNN this is due to methane’s incredible warming power. Even though carbon dioxide stays in the atmosphere longer, methane is a much more potent greenhouse gas, trapping 25 times as much heat.

Major countries have recently seized on reducing methane as a fast way to cut down fossil-fuel emissions. The US and the EU began working on this global pledge within the last year, said Drew Shindell, a professor of earth science at Duke University. Shindell is a methane expert and lead a May paper showing that cutting methane emissions would help slow global warming, and have public health benefits.

“I’ve been in touch with both the US government and European Unions commission since the methane assessment came out, and even before the first drafts came to governments for review, they got very excited about methane,” Shindell told CNN.

The US and EU finalized their pledge about a month ago, Shindell said, and are now trying to get other countries to commit to it.

Scientists say reducing methane emissions is the quickest way to slow global warming. For instance, if the world stopped emitting carbon dioxide tomorrow, Koven said, global temperatures wouldn’t begin to cool for many years because of how long the gas stays in the atmosphere. Methane has a more potent warming effect, but it doesn’t stay in the atmosphere as long as carbon dioxide.

“Rapidly reducing methane emissions may be the single most effective strategy to keep the 1.5-degree limit in reach, in terms of near-term actions one can take,” a senior Biden administration official told CNN recently, adding methane currently accounts for about half a degree of warming.

Shindell told CNN the methane pledge is significant.

“When you think about it going down 30% in a decade when it’s been going up, that’s a huge reversal, it’s a U-turn,” Shindell said. “If they pull this off, this could be huge.”

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Methane is the main component of natural gas, which powers close to 40% of the US electricity sector. It can enter the atmosphere through leaks from oil and natural gas wells, natural gas pipelines and the processing equipment itself.

“We’ve already taken big steps domestically to tackle these emissions and create good paying jobs, introduced by plugging leaks and capping abandoned wells and gas wells,” Biden said Friday. “We believe the collective goal is both ambitious but realistic, and we urge you to join us in announcing this pledge at COP 26.”

According to data from the US Energy Information Administration, the US has thousands of active wells for natural gas, millions of abandoned oil and gas wells, about two million miles of natural gas pipelines, and several refineries that process the gas.

One in three Americans lives in a county with oil and gas operations, posing climate and public health risks, according to a report by the Environmental Defense Fund.

Biden’s Environmental Protection Agency is expected to release new methane regulations later this year, and Democrats in Congress are attempting to pass a new methane fee as part of their $3.5 trillion budget bill.

This story has been updated with additional developments.

CNN’s Angela Dewan and Rachel Ramirez contributed to this report.



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These are the deaths and investigations connected to the Murdaugh family


But the killings weren’t the only ones to which names of the Murdaugh family were tied.

As years-long mysteries surrounding the family are now getting renewed attention, so are several other deaths.

Alex Murdaugh called 911 on June 7, 2021, to report he found his wife Margaret, 52, and son Paul, 22, shot dead outside their Islandton home about an hour from Hilton Head Island, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) said.

Colleton County Sheriff’s deputies said both victims had multiple gunshot wounds.

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SLED took over the investigation, but the case remains unsolved. Alex Murdaugh has denied responsibility in the killings.

“My brother loved Maggie and loved Paul like nothing else on this earth, just like he loves (his other son) Buster,” Alex Murdaugh’s brother, Randolph “Randy” Murdaugh IV, told “Good Morning America” following the killings. “So there’s no possible way he could have anything to do with this, I can assure you.”

Dick Harpootlian, an attorney for Alex Murdaugh, said on NBC’s “Today” show this week that the killings took a “tremendous toll” on Murdaugh, as did the death of his father in the same week.

His wife’s and son’s death were followed by an announcement from his law firm that he had misappropriated funds. A self-initiated detox around the same time sent Murdaugh into a “massive depression,” Harpootlian said.

Stephen Smith

On June 22, SLED announced it was reopening an investigation into the death of 19-year-old Stephen Smith, whose body was found in the middle of a Hampton County road on July 8, 2015.

Though authorities have not announced a connection between Smith’s death and the Murdaugh family, SLED said it was reopening an investigation into the killing based on information gathered while investigating the double homicide of Margaret and Paul Murdaugh.

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SLED has not specified what that information was.

According to an incident report from the South Carolina Highway Patrol’s Multidisciplinary Accident Investigation Team (MAIT), Smith’s body was found in the road with blunt force trauma to the head.

While a pathologist cited in a SLED report states that Smith appeared to have been hit by a vehicle, the responding officer referenced in MAIT’s report cited “no vehicle debris, skid marks, or injuries consistent with someone being struck by a vehicle.”

Smith’s shoes were also both on and loosely tied, the report added, and investigators saw no evidence suggesting he was struck by a vehicle.

Notes from investigators in the case file say that “according to family, Stephen would never have been walking in the middle of the roadway” and that he was “very skittish.”

According to notes taken by a SLED investigator at the scene, Smith had injuries to his left arm, hand and head.

His vehicle was found about three miles away, that report said, and added the gas tank door was open and the gas cap was hanging out on the side of the car. The vehicle’s battery was functional but the car wouldn’t start, it added.

Smith’s death remains unsolved.

Mallory Beach

Mallory Beach was a 19-year-old woman killed in a February 24, 2019, boat crash.

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Beach was ejected from the boat — along with a male — when the boat struck a bridge, according to an affidavit from an officer who was supervising the scene.

According to a report from the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (DNR), a doctor who treated Paul Murdaugh after the boat crash reported that Murdaugh was “clearly intoxicated” and slurring his speech.

Beach’s body was found about a week after the crash by volunteer searchers, according to a DNR accident report.

Three people who were on the boat told investigators that Paul Murdaugh was driving, but another passenger named a different person who was also aboard that night as the driver, according to the affidavit.

At the time of his death, Paul Murdaugh was facing charges including boating under the influence (BUI), causing great bodily harm, and causing death in connection to the boat crash.

Gloria Satterfield

On September 15, SLED announced it was also opening a criminal investigation into the February 26, 2018, death of Gloria Satterfield, 57, and the handling of her estate.

Satterfield was the Murdaugh family housekeeper for more than two decades before dying after what was described as a “trip and fall accident” at the Murdaugh home, according to attorney Eric Bland, who is representing her estate.

South Carolina law enforcement opens criminal investigation into 2018 death of Murdaugh family's housekeeper

SLED said it is opening an investigation based on a request from the Hampton County coroner that highlighted inconsistencies in the ruling of Satterfield’s manner of death, as well as information gathered during SLED’s other ongoing investigations involving Alex Murdaugh.

Satterfield’s death was “not reported to the coroner at the time, nor was an autopsy performed,” the coroner’s request to SLED said. Additionally, her manner of death was ruled “natural,” which was “inconsistent with injuries sustained in a trip and fall accident,” the coroner said.

In the aftermath of Satterfield’s death, a $500,000 wrongful death claim was filed against Alex Murdaugh on behalf of her estate, Bland said. But the estate has not received any of the $500,000 owed as the result of a wrongful death settlement in 2018, Bland added. The attorney has filed a lawsuit on behalf of Satterfield’s estate against Alex Murdaugh, the estate’s former attorney Cory Fleming, as well as Palmetto State Bank.

“We’re talking about an extremely small rural town where this family presides over any number of different capacities and people see the power this family has had,” Bland said. “So you normally … question authority, but sometimes you just don’t question authority because you’re afraid to or you are told things are being handled and you just trust it.”



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Japanese students sent a message in a bottle. 37 years later, it washed up in Hawaii



(CNN) — A glass bottle containing a message from 1984 has washed up in Hawaii and been discovered by a 9-year-old girl — 37 years after high school students in Japan dropped it into the ocean as part of an experiment.
The message in a bottle, titled “Ocean current investigation,” was written by the students and placed in the Kuroshio Current near Miyajima Island, western Japan, as part of a school project into ocean currents.

The letter sealed inside, dated July 1984, asked whoever found the bottle to return it to the school, Choshi High School.

The bottle’s finder, named in local media in Hawaii as 9-year-old Abbie Graham, was on a family visit to a beach near the city of Hilo, Hawaii, when she discovered it. It had traveled some 4,350 miles.

The school said in a press statement that it released 450 bottles in 1984 and a further 300 in 1985 as part of its ocean currents survey.

So far, 51 have been found and returned. However, the school added, this is the only bottle to have been found since 2002.

Other bottles from the experiment washed up in Washington state in the US, Canada, the Philippines, and the Marshall Islands in the central Pacific.

Mayumi Kanda, a former student of the school, who was a member of the science club in 1984, said she was surprised the bottle had reappeared after so long. She said hearing the news had “revived the nostalgic memory of my high school days.”

Choshi High School said its pupils planned to write to Abbie to thank her for returning it.

They said they will include a miniature Tairyo-bata — a type of fisherman’s flag once used to indicate a good haul — with the letter as a gift.



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World Bank leaders pushed staffers to boost rankings for China and Saudi Arabia, investigation finds


The bank commissioned the law firm WilmerHale to conduct the probe.

Investigators found then-CEO Kristalina Georgieva pressured the Doing Business team in 2017 to “change the report’s methodology” or “make specific changes” to data points to boost China’s ranking in the 2018 edition.

This came after Chinese government officials repeatedly expressed concerns to her and then-World Bank President Jim Yong Kim over the country’s ranking, according to the 16-page investigation released by WilmerHale.

At the time, Georgieva was in the middle of negotiations over a capital increase campaign in which China “was expected to play a key role,” the investigation found.

Georgieva was “directly involved” in improving China’s ranking, according to the independent investigation, which said that during one meeting, the then-CEO “chastised the Bank’s then-Country Director for mismanaging the Bank’s relationship with China and failing to appreciate the importance of the Doing Business report to the country.”

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Doing Business team leaders eventually increased China’s ranking in the survey by seven places to 78 by identifying data points they could modify, including giving the nation “more credit” for a Chinese secured transactions law, according to the WilmerHale report.

In October 2017, the investigation found that aides to Kim also directed the survey team to simulate how China’s final score might change if data from Taiwan and Hong Kong were incorporated into the country’s existing data. The WilmerHale report says that the Doing Business team leaders “believed that the concern was coming from President Kim directly.”

Georgieva, who is now the managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), said in a statement that she disagrees “fundamentally with the findings and interpretations of the Investigation of Data Irregularities as it relates to my role in the World Bank’s Doing Business report of 2018,” and that she has briefed the IMF’s Executive Board on this matter.

Kim has not yet responded to a CNN email seeking comment.

During a press briefing Friday, the Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian said, “Ms. Georgieva has issued a statement on the IMF’s official website. I would refer you to relevant authorities for further information. We have also noted that the World Bank recently issued a statement on suspending the Doing Business report. The Chinese government attaches great importance to the efforts of Doing Business of improving the business environment, which is evident to all. We hope that the World Bank will take facts as the basis, rules as the criterion, follow the professional, objective, fair and transparent principles, to conduct a thorough investigation into relevant issues in strict accordance with the internal review procedures, so as to better safeguard the professionalism and credibility of the Doing Business report and the credibility of the World Bank itself and its member countries’ reputations.”

The WilmerHale investigation also found irregularities relating to Saudi Arabia’s data in the 2020 Doing Business report. Saudi government officials expressed “displeasure” over how their country ranked in the 2019 edition, especially with the survey team’s failure to recognize what officials saw as the “country’s successful reforms,” according to the investigation.

As a result, senior bank leaders, including one of the founders of the Doing Business report, Simeon Djankov, instructed the survey team to “find a way to alter the data” so that Jordan wouldn’t rank first on its so-called “Top Improvers” list. The team eventually added points in multiple categories to Saudi Arabia so that the country would replace Jordan in the top spot, according to the results of the investigation.

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Djankov said that the demand to change Saudi Arabia’s data came from two senior World Bank officials, one of whom previously served as Chief of Staff to President Kim and was involved in changes to China’s data in the 2018 edition of Doing Business, the investigation found.

In a statement released on Thursday, the World Bank said it would discontinue the “Doing Business” report. “The World Bank Group remains firmly committed to advancing the role of the private sector in development and providing support to governments to design the regulatory environment that supports this. Going forward, we will be working on a new approach to assessing the business and investment climate,” the statement added.

CNN has reached out to the Saudi Arabian embassy in Washington D.C and the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs for comment and is awaiting a response.

CNN has also reached out to Simeon Djankov and the Peterson Institute for International Economics where he works as a senior fellow for comment.

— Jennifer Hauser, Pamela Boykoff, Betsy Klein and CNN’s Beijing Bureau contributed reporting.



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Officials wrapped the world's largest tree in protective foil to guard it against California wildfires


(CNN) — The world’s largest tree has been wrapped in foil to protect it against flames from an out-of-control fire burning in California’s scenic Sequoia National Park.

General Sherman wrapped in foil to protect it from fire.

General Sherman wrapped in foil to protect it from fire.

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks

The KNP Complex Fire, which is made up of The Paradise Fire and the Colony Fire, has charred 9,365 acres, so far. Lightning on September 9 caused the initial fire and prompted Sequoia National Park to close its doors to visitors.

Park crews are preparing the Giant Forest, which is home to over 2,000 sequoias, by removing fire fuel and wrapping the trees.

“Crews continue to apply protection wrapping (foil) to iconic sequoia trees and historic structures,” according to Sequoia and Kings National Parks.

A fire-resistant wrap covers a historic welcome sign, as the KNP Complex Fire burns in Sequoia National Park, California, on Sept. 15, 2021. The blaze is burning near the Giant Forest, home to more than 2,000 giant sequoias.

A fire-resistant wrap covers a historic welcome sign, as the KNP Complex Fire burns in Sequoia National Park, California, on Sept. 15, 2021. The blaze is burning near the Giant Forest, home to more than 2,000 giant sequoias.

Noah Berger/AP

Even though crews are hard at work trying to protect these sequoias, they have already been hit hard by wildfires in recent years. “Two-thirds of all giant sequoia grove acreage across the Sierra Nevada has burned in wildfires between 2015 and 2020,” the National Park Service says.
Firefighters assigned to the KNP Complex Fire prepare the historic Sequoia entrance sign for the possibility of fire in the area by wrapping it with aluminum-based burn-resistant material.

Firefighters assigned to the KNP Complex Fire prepare the historic Sequoia entrance sign for the possibility of fire in the area by wrapping it with aluminum-based burn-resistant material.

From Sequoai & Kings Canyon National Parks/Instagram

Sequoias that were killed during last year’s Castle Fire could have ranged from hundreds to 3,000 years old, the service added.

Officials sounded optimistic though, reporting minimal fire growth Thursday despite some activity picked up late in the afternoon as the temperature increased and humidity levels dropped.

Giant sequoias aren’t known to be the world’s oldest trees, but “they are known to reach ages of up to 3,400 years,” according to the National Park Service.

And even though giant sequoias adapt to periodic fire, the bark usually protects the trees against significant damage and can insulate them against a fire’s heat, NPS said. Over time, however, it may be difficult for the trees to heal after centuries of fire scars.

CNN’s Stella Chan, Cheri Mossburg and Christina Maxouris contributed to this report.



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Two of Queen Elizabeth's sons are facing growing pressure


Where does the case go from here? We asked two respected lawyers in the field who aren’t involved in it: Amber Melville-Brown, head of the media and reputation practice at the international law firm Withers, and Nick Goldstone, head of dispute resolution at Ince.

This week, an English court agreed to serve the papers. Melville-Brown says, “it is a matter for the English court to determine the method of service when serving at the request of a foreign court” and that it can be via email, post or in person.

Once the papers are served, what happens?

Melville-Brown says Andrew would have four options: Ignore the claim; contest it; admit it; or, try to settle it. “None are particularly attractive,” she adds, “although he and his team may consider the first and the last may be the least of a bad lot.”

Goldstone adds it’s a “fairly binary decision” for Prince Andrew’s legal team: Either engage or evade.

Can he engage and defend his position?

Goldstone says Andrew could say to himself, “I’m not going to participate in this process, because it’s outrageous, and I have further nothing to say.” In effect, he would be refusing to submit to the jurisdiction of the court in this case.

“If he wants to engage and go through the process of civil trial,” says Goldstone, “the simplest thing for him to do is to put in an acknowledgement and say to the New York court: ‘Okay, I’m going to defend this, I’m going to fight this.’ But as I understand it, he is under no obligation to respond and sometimes people choose not to respond because of all sorts of different reasons.”

What if he does submit to the jurisdiction of a New York court?

“Then they are going to be fighting a case within the New York court procedural rules,” says Goldstone, “and that brings with it all sorts of consequences, which may be good or may be bad, depending upon the outcome of that procedure. If you win a case, it’s always a good decision. If you lose a case, it’s more often looked upon as a bad decision. If you choose not to engage and submit to the jurisdiction of the New York court, you’ve got to consider what will the New York court do in your absence? Will it proceed in your absence in a detailed way? Will it proceed in your absence in the summary or default way? And what would the consequences be of an outcome that presumably would be negative because you’re not there to defend yourself? And how enforceable would such a final outcome in a New York court be against you wherever? Obviously it will be enforceable in New York, but Prince Andrew isn’t in New York.”

What if he doesn’t submit to the court and the court finds him guilty?

“He could argue that this is not a judgment that should be enforceable against him,” Goldstone says, noting that Andrew has not participated in the New York court’s proceedings or recognized its jurisdiction to date. The prince may therefore argue that a ruling by the court “shouldn’t be enforced against him because it’s not a claim that could be advanced in England,” which doesn’t have an equivalent to New York’s Child Victims Act, says Goldstone. “And therefore, as a matter of public policy, English courts shouldn’t recognize a judgment that has been obtained in a foreign court.”

Will he be forced to appear in court?

Goldstone: “I believe if he chooses not to engage in, not to submit to the jurisdiction, there is no prospect of him being called to the US … or being deposed or providing evidence or witness testimony in proceedings that he’s not engaged in, that is not recognized. On the other hand, if he does engage, there’s every prospect.”

Prince Andrew has already spoken to the media about these allegations, and it famously backfired, resulting in his having to step back from royal duties. It’s hard to imagine him rushing to go back on the record, especially in court. The negative headlines will keep coming while the case is unresolved, and that must concern the palace communications teams responsible for managing the reputation of the wider monarchy — of which Prince Andrew is still part.

CHARLES’ CHARITY DRAMA

Prince Charles on a visit to Dumfries House in Cunnock, Scotland last week.
The chairman of Prince Charles’ charitable foundation has resigned, days after a Scottish regulator said it was probing fresh “cash for access” allegations reported by a UK newspaper. The Sunday Times reported that the heir to the throne wrote a thank you letter to Russian banker Dmitry Leus and offered to meet him in person after receiving a six-figure donation to The Prince’s Foundation in May 2020. Leus, who is reportedly seeking British citizenship, made his donation after a fixer promised a private meeting with Prince Charles at a Scottish castle, the Sunday Times reported. The newspaper said there was no evidence that Prince Charles was aware of any deception around the donation.

Foundation chair Douglas Connell said he was “shocked and dismayed by newspaper reports that rogue activity of various kinds may have taken place within and outside the Prince’s Foundation.” Explaining why he was choosing to relinquish his role, he continued: “My view is that the person chairing any organisation should take responsibility if it appears that serious misconduct may have taken place within it.” A Clarence House spokesperson told CNN that Charles “has no knowledge of the alleged offer of honors or British citizenship on the basis of donation to his charities and fully supports the investigation now underway by The Prince’s Foundation.” The Prince’s Foundation is an umbrella organization for several of Charles’ charitable projects.

Connell’s departure comes a week after the head of The Prince’s Foundation temporarily stepped down amid claims of misconduct reported by the same newspaper. Michael Fawcett, Charles’ longest-serving and closest aide, was accused of using his position and influence to help a Saudi businessman obtain an honorary title in exchange for donations.

WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING?

William announces the finalists of his inaugural environment award.

The Duke of Cambridge spoke of his honor at introducing “the 15 innovators, leaders, and visionaries who are the first ever Finalists for The Earthshot Prize” on Friday. Whittled down from 750 nominations, the shortlist includes leaders, activists and even an entire country — check out the full list here. “They are working with the urgency required in this decisive decade for life on Earth and will inspire all of us with their optimism in our ability to rise to the greatest challenges in human history,” William said. The duke has also written about why he co-founded the environmental award last October in the introduction to a new book named “Earthshot: How to Save our Planet.” The prize “aims to inspire collective action around our unique ability to innovate, problem solve and ultimately repair our planet.” It is focused on five so-called Earthshots: Protect and Restore Nature; Clean our Air; Revive our Oceans; Build a Waste-free World; and Fix our Climate. The five winners, who will each receive £1 million ($1.4 million) in prize money, will be announced on October 17 during an award ceremony broadcast on the BBC and Discovery.
William co-founded the prize last October.

UK police will not launch a probe into Martin Bashir’s 1995 Diana interview.

London’s Metropolitan Police Service will not be opening a criminal investigation into a former BBC journalist’s controversial interview with the late Princess of Wales, broadcast in 1995, it announced this week. The BBC was forced to issue an apology in May after an independent report conducted by retired High Court judge Lord Dyson found Martin Bashir used “deceitful” tactics to secure the landmark sit-down interview more than two decades ago. The force said in a statement sent to CNN on Thursday that it had “not identified evidence of activity that constituted a criminal offence and will therefore be taking no further action” after scrutinizing Dyson’s report. The Met said it had come to its decision after “specialist detectives assessed (the report’s) contents and looked carefully at the law — once again obtaining independent legal advice from Treasury Counsel as well as consulting the Crown Prosecution Service.”
Diana's landmark interview was a cultural phenomenon when it aired in 1995.

The Sussexes are cover stars.

Time magazine named Harry and Meghan “icons” in its annual list of the world’s 100 most influential people, with the couple appearing on one of the multiple covers of Time’s annual special issue. In the magazine, José Andrés, a chef who founded a nonprofit that provides meals to those in need in the wake of natural disasters, described Harry and Meghan as having “compassion for the people they don’t know.” They “take risks to help communities in need” by “offering mental health support to Black women and girls in the US, and feeding those affected by natural disasters in India and the Caribbean,” he added. Read the full story here.

Harry joins first lady Jill Biden at a veterans’ event.

Prince Harry co-hosted a virtual event Monday in honor of athletes taking part in the Warrior Games, an annual event run by the US Department of Defense that “celebrates the resiliency and dedication of wounded, ill, and injured active duty and veteran U.S. military Service members.” Harry had planned to attend the 2021 Warrior Games in Orlando, Florida, but the event was canceled due to concerns over Covid-19. The event is closely linked to the Invictus Games, an international sporting event that Harry founded for service members and veterans.

Jill Biden and Prince Harry watch the wheelchair basketball final during the Invictus Games in 2017.

Philip’s will to remain secret for 90 years.

The will of Queen Elizabeth’s late husband, Prince Philip, will be sealed and remain private for at least 90 years to preserve the monarch’s dignity, Reuters reports, after a ruling at London’s High Court. “The degree of publicity that publication would be likely to attract would be very extensive and wholly contrary to the aim of maintaining the dignity of the Sovereign,” judge Andrew McFarlane said in a ruling published on Thursday, according to Reuters. Philip died in April aged 99.

FROM THE ROYAL VAULT

The Queen marked the 20th anniversary of 9/11 with a heartfelt message to the victims of the terror attacks as well as to their families and the United States as a whole.

In a message to US President Joe Biden, the Queen said: “My thoughts and prayers — and those of my family and the entire nation — remain with the victims, survivors and families affected, as well as the first responders and rescue workers called to duty.”

The 95-year-old monarch recalled visiting the World Trade Center site in July 2010, saying the occasion “is held fast in my memory.”

“It reminds me that as we honour those from many nations, faiths and backgrounds who lost their lives, we also pay tribute to the resilience and determination of the communities who joined together to rebuild,” she added.

The Queen laid a wreath in remembrance at Ground Zero when she visited New York City in 2010.

ANNOUNCEMENT

Campbell called her new role a "privilege."

Naomi Campbell joins forces with Queen’s charity.

International supermodel Naomi Campbell was named as a global ambassador for the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust (QCT) at an event in London on Thursday evening as it prepares to mark the monarch’s Platinum Jubilee next year. The charity — which was established in 2018 — supports young people who are bringing about sustainable change in their communities. It recently launched the QCT Platinum Jubilee Fund for Young Leaders, aimed at helping 18- to 35-year-old entrepreneurs across the Commonwealth. Prior to their departure as working royals, the Sussexes were heavily involved with the international development charity.

Campbell called her new role as a QCT Platinum Jubilee Global Ambassador a “privilege” in a speech Thursday and spoke of her decades-long passion for elevating future leaders. “Regardless of where you are from or where you are now, there are young leaders within your community doing amazing work. Sometimes they are not seen and some of them may not even see themselves as ‘leaders’ yet, but they all deserve our support, and access to education and resources,” the 51-year-old said. “I have been doing the work with empowering young people for over 25 years. This is something very close to my heart and I will continue to do everything I can to uplift the next generation, so they can create a better future for their communities.”

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

Kate meets UK soldiers involved in evacuations from Kabul.

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, walks into the fuselage of an RAF C17 Globemaster as she meets individuals who supported the UK’s evacuation of civilians from Afghanistan at RAF Brize Norton in England on Wednesday. In a post on a joint Instagram account with husband William, the duchess wrote of the honor of speaking to personnel involved in “Operation Pitting,” whose stories she described as “inspiring, emotional, harrowing and powerful.” She added: “Flying out in excess of 15,000 people from Kabul was a truly collaborative operation across our Armed Services, local authorities and aid organisations in Afghanistan and the UK. You should all be proud of your work, often around the clock, to support the evacuation of civilians from Afghanistan.”

“As the people of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea celebrate their National Day, I send my good wishes for the future.”

Queen Elizabeth’s message to North Korea, according to state media.

Queen Elizabeth sent a message of congratulations to the people of North Korea on their national day, a Buckingham Palace spokesperson told CNN Tuesday. The message was sent on behalf of the sovereign by the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) “as has been done before,” the spokesperson said. The palace added that it is standard practice to send similar messages on other national days across the world.

North Korea celebrated its national day — to mark the 73rd anniversary of its founding — on September 9. The day began with a midnight military parade in Pyongyang. The hermit kingdom’s leader, Kim Jong Un, appeared on a platform in Kim Il Sung square and waved at the crowd.



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